Category Archives: attitude

How I Survived from Life’s Trial

Life is like a roller-coaster.  Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. It matters not whether you’re very down, as long as, you strive to get up every time you fall.

I experienced an unforgettable trial in my life and career in the mid of 2002.  I was relieved as Department Manager of the government corporation where I work, when the former incumbent reassumed office upon returning home after finishing her scholarship grant at a foreign country.

At first, I felt depressed, especially, when I was just reassigned as a staff of a top executive.  However, I didn’t lose hope and I looked for ways to go on with my life.

Here are the ways I adopted to survive from this trial:

1.  Never Blame and Hate Anybody. Everything happens for a reason and we are responsible for our own lives.  Stop blaming others, if you want to make the most of your talent and be successful.

If you keep on hating somebody, you couldn’t keep your focus on your self-improvement. Life is too short, so don’t spend it wastefully by hating others.

When I was relieved, I could have sought the assistance of  the Civil Service Commission or the CES board for my case, as I have a CESO rank.  But, I didn’t do that because I didn’t want to spoil my relationship with my big bosses.  In this case, stirring up the waters might not enable me to catch fish.

2.  Think Positive. Look at the positive in every trial.  There are no negative incidents only incidents which help in your improvement and strengthen your character so that you may rise to new altitude. There are no failures, only lessons.

Troubles and trials make life more interesting.  Keep in mind that nothing lasts forever.  These, too, will pass.

3.  Think of the Opportunity it Can Give. When I was relieved, I used it as an opportunity to complete my Executive Leadership Program with the CESboard.

Likewise, I used it as an opportunity to research on latest updates pertaining to my field of work so that I will have the right knowledge when the time for me to head an office comes.

4.  Devote Time to Personal and Career Development Activities. Invest in yourself.  Sharpen your saw. Organize your time.  Devote at least one hour in the morning for your personal and career development activities so that when you are given again another opportunity to hold a higher position, you are prepared for it.

Your daily personal and career development activities include meditation, visualization of your day and what you want to become, reading of inspirational books and articles and listening to motivational CDs and tapes.

At the start of 2003, I wrote my career development plan.  My goal was to be a Regional Director and the target date was not later than December 31, 2003.  I listed down my activities and worked on it, to attain my goal.

5.  Persevere. At that time, bringing my goal to reality seemed impossible as I was still frozen as staff of a top executive, with no assurance of being placed to a managerial position in the near future.

But I carried on as these words of Napoleon Hill inspired me:

“whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, he can achieve.”

I believed that if I have a written plan and persist in developing myself and my career, I can achieve my goal.

6.  Have a Strong Faith in the Divine Providence. I believe that God has a purpose for everything that happens in our life.  If we place everything in the Lord’s hands, whatever happens, it is the Lord’s will and it is for our own good.

Always bear in mind that the darkest part of the night is just before dawn.

In April 2003, I received an order designating me again as Department Manager.  In May 2003, I was promoted to a position which is one salary grade higher than my present position.  On November 25, 2003, I was assigned as Regional Director of a Regional Office whose head retired from the service.  I attained my goal before the target date.

Life’s journey is not always easy.  Now and then, we pass through bumpy roads and stormy seas and we have to survive all these to attain our goal.

I know you also have your own survival ways to tell and I’m glad if you could share it with us by leaving your comments below this article.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

Five Ways to Manage your Secretary, for you to Operate at Peak Performance

In my previous article, I emphasize that your secretary can make or break you. Your secretary is the extension of your hands and feet in just getting all the things done that you can’t take time “mechanically” to do yourself.

Here are the five ways to manage your secretary, for you to operate at peak performance:

1.  Your secretary must be specially selected by you. He or she must be specially or carefully selected by you to suit your temperament.

However, if you are in government offices, whenever you are assigned to your new office, you usually inherit the secretary of your predecessor.  So, it takes a lot of patience and perseverance to adjust to each other.

2.  Establish warm and friendly relation with your secretary. Although a majority of you are aloof at some people, you must have a harmonious working relationship with your secretary in order to perform effectively.

3.  Keep your secretary informed. As anticipated, he or she will be handling confidential information, it’s important to stress to your secretary the need for a tight lip.  It is quite futile, however, to anticipate him or her to assist in the management of your office without being aware of what they need to know to get the job done.

4.  Know what your secretary is doing. This is one of your basic requirements in using a secretary.

5.  Make your secretary adapt to you. The main requirement of a secretary is that he or she be flexible in adapting his or her work habits to those of the executive.  In other words, a good secretary requires the personality of a chameleon.

I know you have also some ways in your list and I will be glad to read your thoughts by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

Ten Behavior Patterns Resorted to by People to Hide Their Lack of Self-Esteem

In the book, Creating Confidence, Rex Johnson and David Swindley define self-esteem as the feeling of worth you have about yourself; the value you place on you.  Like oxygen or electricity, you can’t see, hear, taste or smell it, but you know when it’s not there.

Lack of self-esteem means you feel yourself worthless and valueless.  It is important that we know who among our associates or co-workers lack self-esteem so that we know how to deal with them and help them.  This deficiency can cause low motivation, low energy levels, low physical activity and poor relationship with people.

Mistakably, we think that loud, arrogant people have high self-esteem and quiet people have not.  Generally, the most confident people are quiet about their achievements, get on with their lives, doing as they please and enjoying themselves.  Still waters run deep!

According to psychotherapists Rex Johnson and David Swindley, many desperately try to cover up their lack of self-esteem, but a well-tuned observer can spot the truth quite easily.

Here are the ten behavior patterns resorted to by people to hide a lack of self-esteem:

1.  The Critic

He is fond of criticizing and belittling people, especially those who are more successful than him; an unhappy way to justify himself.  He is unable to come up with constructive suggestion or positive action of his own.

2,  The Shrinking Violet

He avoids the limelight and shrinks into the background, convinced that he’s not worth anyone’s attention.  He could not accept a compliment because he’s spent many years believing he is inadequate.

3.  The Complainer

He can’t stop himself complaining, get great pleasure from it, and take every opportunity to practice his art.  Whatever happens, he’s not happy.

4.  The Addict

Eating disorders, phobias and addictive habits such as anorexia, bulimia, smoking and alcoholism are usually behaviors of a person who lack self-esteem.

5.  The Mouse

He is afraid to expose his true feelings because he cannot face possible rejection.  He creeps around like a mouse, too timid to express an opinion.  He avoids complaining even when he has every reason to do so.

6.  The Sheep

He follows the herd in order to be accepted into certain circles or groups.  He doesn’t trust his own individuality enough to go his own way.

7.  The Big Mouth

On the face of it, he is the opposite of the mouse.  He cannot stop talking, and this behavior comes in two categories.  The first is worried that he won’t get another chance to say his piece; once he engages you in conversation it is hard to get away.  The second is a habitual braggart, with little regard for truth.  He boasts and promises on anything he could not afford to fulfill.

8.  The Put-Down Expert

He has a quick insult, a barbed comment for everybody who crossed his path.  He thinks the only way he could impress is by using his sharp cleverness to put others down.

9.  The Begrudger

He is the jealous individual who feels that anyone who has something he wants doesn’t really deserve it.  Through jealousy, he dislikes people who are successful.  He doesn’t have the sufficient self-confidence to be able to say ‘Well done, I’m pleased for you,’ and mean it.

10.  The Blamer

He is always looking for scapegoats.  If something goes wrong, it’s somebody else’s fault.  He always finds someone to be blamed for any wrongdoings or failures even if he knows that he is responsible for his own actions.

I know there are literally hundreds of behavior patterns and I invite you to share your own list by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

5 Tips On How the Secretary Shall Handle the Mail and Paperwork with Efficiency

My previous article talks on the importance of the secretary to the executive.  Realizing this significance, I find it appropriate to list down these tips on how the secretary shall handle the mail and paperwork with efficiency.

1. Opens and Sorts  Incoming Mail

The secretary shall read diligently all incoming mail. Mail, such as routinary reports and other documents which do not require decision,  shall be immediately endorsed to offices concerned.

Mail received and endorsed shall be accurately recorded by the secretary and signed by the endorsee or his or her receiving clerk.  This is to facilitate tracing of documents.

Mail which need the decision or approval by the executive shall be placed under the “IN” basket items.

2.  Handles and analyzes  “IN” basket items

Items that could not be handled with confidence could be carefully organized, prioritized, and brought to the executive with a recommendation or a note or a previous communication on the issue which serves as a guide to the executive on the action to be taken on the item.

This requires that the secretary shall keep himself or herself abreast of the happenings in the office.  He or she shall keep a journal of the daily office activities, which he or she or the executive could glance from time to time.

3.  Handles routine inquiries

The secretary shall equip himself or herself all the basic data in the office which the clients shall initially need.  For example, he or she shall have ready data on the prices of products and services, number and location of branches, the contact information for each branch and other basic data.

He or she shall act with courtesy and politeness in dealing with clients and employees.

4. Reviews communications, reports and other documents which require signature of the executive

The secretary shall make a review and preliminary correction of the communications before bringing them to the executive.  He or she shall check the grammatical errors and whether the subject and body of the letter or memorandum jibe with each other.

A secretary reviews a paper before bringing to the executive.
A secretary reviews a paper before bringing to the executive.

So it is important that the secretary shall be focused on his or her job and has a good command of the English language.  There are many English books which the secretary may use for his or her review of the vocabulary and grammar.  One good book to use as reference is English for Business by Stewart, Lanham and Zimmer.

He or she shall meticulously review reports and other documents before bringing them to the executive for signature or approval.  He or she shall see to it that all other signatures are complete and in order.

5. Serves as confidential journalist and caretaker of most critical secrets in the corporate body

This one is added by my good friend and former classmate, Steve Hermosisima. Steve is a  Licensed TourGuide/Conductor atOldTown TrolleyTours in the USA.

It is necessary that the secretary is discreet, cautious, trustworthy and loyal to the company.

If these tips are followed, the busy executive shall be relieved of the paperwork and effectively perform his or her planning and decision-making function.

If you have any other tips to include in this list, I shall be very glad if you write them down by leaving your comments below this article.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

Start With Yourself

We are either the masters or the victims of our attitudes.  It is a matter of personal choice.  Who we are today is the result of choices made yesterday.  Tomorrow we will become what we choose today.  To change means to choose to change. – John C. Maxwell

Everyone desires to be successful in his career,  relationship or in life as a whole and  he is only an attitude away from realizing his desires.  To improve, he must choose to change his negative attitudes, as well as, his habits and thoughts into positive ones.  The desired change would only be successful if he begins it with himself, because it is the only person whom he has full control with.

I came across a very beautiful poem on starting with yourself and I hope it motivates us to take the choice to change. Here it is:

Start With Yourself

Author Unknown

When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world.

As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But it, too, seemed immovable.

As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.

And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realized: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world.