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Self Development

(Questionnaire) How to Adopt the Right Mind-Sets

Answer these seven questions to identify wrong mind-sets and how they may be holding you back from achieving success.

Kerry Dawkins




1.  What is the most effective way to overcome a career dilemma?

  1. Persist in what you are doing, work hard, and be grateful that you have a job.
  2. Update your CV and post it on as many social network sites as you can.
  3. Never give up: it’s important to be positive and keep hoping for a lucky break.
  4. Learn the skills and strategies necessary to direct your career.

2.  If you were intentionally competent at navigating your career, what would you be doing?

  1. Thinking about finding a job that would really make you happy.
  2. Collapsing on the couch at the end of the work day because you are exhausted.
  3. Spending some time on a list of what you like, what you’re good at, and how you can add value.
  4. Waiting for HR to publish a list of training courses for the next quarter.

3.  The starting point for your successful career navigation is to adopt a mind-set of personal responsibility. Which steps could you take to show that you are serious about this mind-set?

  1. Read a book on the new ‘green’ careers for environmentally responsible people.
  2. Commit to learning about yourself and the world of work so that you can generate possible career options and evaluate them in a meaningful way.
  3. Research organisations that offer lifetime employability, and then apply with a nice covering letter.
  4. Make a firm decision that you’re going to find a new job all by yourself, without expecting help from anyone else.

4.  At the end of a project, the team leader asks everyone to share their thoughts on what worked, what didn’t work, and what they are going to take from this project as a best practice. You realise that you could also use this information to steer your career. In what way?

  1. You would be practicing a new mind-set by being open to this opportunity to learn.
  2. You know that to be a successful 21st century worker, you have to be willing to unlearn.
  3. You resolve to make management aware of all the things that didn’t work, so that they don’t assign you to projects for which you don’t have the knowledge and skills.
  4.  You realise that you could learn more about the office politics, and what you should be doing in order to get a bonus.

5.  You’re scanning the newspaper and are amazed by the numbers of new car sales. You can only imagine what it would be like to buy a new car! For now, imagination is enough. You know what job you want, you’re studying to get the qualifications, and you’re doing your best in your part-time job right now.  What would a successful career navigator tell you about your situation? 

  1. You can’t live in a fantasy world. Get real about your knowledge and skills and stick to a job that you can do.
  2. It’s okay to dream, but just remember that only the lucky few ever make their dreams come true. Find a secure job with a big company, and you’ll be fine.
  3. You seem to have the right mind-set and are doing the right things. You’ll be successful because you know where you are going and are putting in the hard work to get there.
  4. Even though you’re putting in all the effort, you still need a little bit of luck. Find someone rich to marry!

6.  You’ve been thinking about the mind-set, ‘I seek to be engaged’, and what you could do to feel more energised by your work. Which of the following options should you try?

  1. Grab a double espresso with your muffin on your way to work each morning.
  2. Just accept that it’s going to take longer than you thought to get promoted, and settle down to some hard work.
  3. Approach HR for a discussion on career opportunities in the business, with an increase or chance to earn commission or a bonus.
  4. Speak to your manager about some changes that you’d like to make to your job, so that you can build better relationships with your customers. That’s the part of your job that you really like.

7.  You’ve always been afraid of making mistakes. At work, you’re even more wary of saying something stupid or embarrassing yourself. However, if you were to adopt the right mind-set, you’d have to change this. Which affirmation could you stick up on your mirror to help?

  1. I welcome mistakes as an opportunity to learn and grow.
  2. I forgive my boss for putting me in awkward positions.
  3. I can’t do anything better than my best.
  4. I know that this is a stepping stone to something better.

For the answers click through to this link.

Kerry is the founder of Potential at Work, a consultancy specialising in the development of emerging talent. She is a senior mentor for the Oprah Winfrey Foundation and understands the challenges faced by South Africans on their journey of education to employment and then into the workplace. As an advisor, coach and mentor to corporates on key- and emerging talent programmes, she has gained understanding of the need to retain talent while raising the levels of thinking, connectedness and on-the-job effectiveness. In addition, Kerry co-authored a book with Graeme Codrington entitled Navigating your Career in the New World of Work.

Self Development

The 5 Gut-Check Questions Confronting Entrepreneurs Every Day

The day you forget why you began is the day you’re done.



Entrepreneurs make an astounding number of decisions daily. They are faced with choosing which opportunities to move on and must solve problems big and small.

By setting up a framework of questions to ask yourself daily, you’ll give yourself some markers to help guide you through these difficult situations. Knowing where you stand on these questions will empower you to make good choices that ultimately lead you to your desired outcome. It will give you a deeper understanding of your motivations and your feelings about your business, and can help you clarify future plans.

Here are five powerful questions all entrepreneurs should ask themselves daily to ensure they are consistently moving toward their goals and making the best decisions for themselves and their business. Ask yourself these questions with an honest and open mind, and see where they take you.

1. Why are you doing this?

What makes this one little question so powerful is that it forces you to examine your desires and impulses, and helps you chart how those motivations change over time. It forces you to look at things from a different perspective. Asking yourself this question every day reaffirms your ambitions and the mindset behind why you are doing what you’re doing. If you don’t know why, you’re in trouble!

Related: Entrepreneurship Is All About Overcoming Obstacles

Asking this question opens the door to a plethora of other questions that will give you food for thought. What is the reason for launching your business? Why are you passionate about doing this? Are you the right person to run this business? These answers may change over time. At first it may seem difficult to truly nail down the “why” behind your motivations. Maybe there are competing interests that are driving you. But when you really think about it and drill down into this question, there’s probably a simple answer. Just be sure you’re being truthful with yourself.

Why you do something also gives rise to the question: what do you hope to achieve? You need to know what your end game looks like, and what success means to you. Is it about attaining a certain level of wealth? Is it about being the top in your market? Is it about earning respect? Are you looking to rule the world (or at least a niche market), or are you simply hoping to earn a living doing something you love?

Start your day by asking yourself this question and see where your answer takes you. By spending a few minutes pondering this, you’ll gain clarity that will help you steer your career in the direction you want it to go.

2. What is your company’s purpose?

purposeSee if you can answer this question in a single sentence. A good place to start is with your mission statement: what are the formal aims, goals and values of your company or organisation? This should be clear and concise – it should get to the heart of what your business is about.

Your company’s purpose is the foundation that all else is built on. It should have enough flexibility to grow and allow for change, but be specific enough to be meaningful and relevant. Ultimately, this question should help you understand what the heck you’re really doing here.

This question should be at the forefront of your mind when making important decisions. Ask yourself whether this new venture or idea would reinforce or logically contribute to your company’s overall purpose. Are you staying true to your calling?

That’s not to say that your purpose can’t change over time. However, if it does, the change should be purposeful and executed with care. Thinking about this will help you identify your long-term business goals and may lead to bigger questions, such as: What do you want your company to mean to your customers, what is your company’s place in world and what is its ideal market?

3. Where is your business at right now?

The goal with this question is to take both an analytical and emotional assessment of your business. This is a chance for you to take a hard look at where your company sits. Is it on the right track? What seems amiss? What is going right and how can that be reproduced throughout your business?

It’s also important to acknowledge your emotions and to be mindful of how you are feeling about your business. What is your gut instinct saying? Are you feeling anxious or excited about the business? Whether you are having negative emotions or positive ones, it’s important to recognise what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way.

This will give you a chance to better understand your mental state and how that may be influencing your decision making. It’s also about understanding what kind of vibe you are putting out. Are you feeling clear-minded and balanced? Or are you feeling off-kilter and out of sorts?

Being in tune with your emotions and having a clear view of what’s going on with your business will ensure you’re on an even keel. It will help you avoid overreacting or under-reacting to situations.

Related: Attention Black Entrepreneurs: Start-Up Funding From Government Grants & Funds

4. What lessons are you learning?

Every entrepreneur faces an uphill battle to achieve success. Every day you should be learning and growing, and the best way to do this is through a great deal of reflection on the lessons that present themselves each day.

Ask yourself whether you’re learning from your mistakes. Failure is a part of every entrepreneur’s journey. The question is, will your mistakes allow you to learn and grow? If not, you’re liable to fall into the same pitfalls and missteps. Conversely, are you learning when to jump at an opportunity and when to let it go? This is the ultimate lesson every entrepreneur is trying to learn, and it’s never an easy one.

The next time you’re weighing whether or not to take a risk, try asking yourself: “When I’m 80, will I feel sorry if I hadn’t gone for it?” Jeff Bezos does this as a way to crystallise whether he will regret not taking action on something. In the big picture, it’s often what we fail to do that we see as our biggest mistakes in life.

5. What’s next?

If you ask yourself one question every day, this should be it. As an entrepreneur, you always need to be anticipating what’s next. You need to anticipate what’s coming down the road and formulate a plan to take it on. This is the question that forces you to look up from that pile of work on your desk and think about the big picture and next steps for your business.

What strategies will you need as you keep pushing your business into the future? What trends or shifting interests are coming up that may affect your business? How will new technology impact the way you manage the company?

Disruption will happen in every market because change is inevitable. Businesses that survive see that wave coming and start making adjustments early on. So, in a way, change is predictable because it will always come. Innovation and ingenuity will always be the key to success – and those who seize opportunity will ride the crest of the next wave.

So when you ask yourself “What’s next?” make sure you have your blinders off and are looking at things with a curious and open mind. Make sure you’re staying open to new ideas and embracing creative solutions. Keeping looking for the “wow” factor.

This article was originally posted here on

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Self Development

5 Inspiring Quotes From Madiba To Stir You Into Action On Mandela Day

In honour of Mandela Day, here are 5 of Nelson Mandela’s most inspiring quotes.

Casandra Visser



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Bouncing Back


“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

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Self Development

25 Bad Words That Make Other People Feel Inferior

If the harshest thing you have to say about someone is partly true, say the other part.

John Rampton



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Did you know that in every language, there are more negative words than positive ones? It seems we need lots of words to describe our negative feelings, but we’re content with a handful of positive ones.

For instance, researchers have found that most cultures have words for seven basic emotions: Joy, fear, anger, sadness, disgust, shame and guilt.

That’s one positive emotion, and six negative

It’s no wonder so many of us have a hard time keeping our negative comments in check. Over the past six months I’ve been working on the verbal language that I’ve been using that I don’t even realize hurts others and in some cases makes them feel inferior. I even noticed that I’ve used a couple on my personal and business website. This is a “no-no” that I needed to fix.

This post will list 25 negative words you should avoid…so that you stop hurting, belittling and intimidating those around you!

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