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Bedoor Bluemoon

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First Impressions

Impression

impressions

First impressions are usually everlasting impressions.  When you meet someone for the first time, you immediately decide what kind of person he is, whether he is educated or not, what he does for a living, what his social status is, and other issues that brand the other person and place him in a specific box.  Other people, upon meeting you, also do the same thing even though we sometimes forget and try to stand by that people shouldn’t be labelled without knowing them.

Well, it’s a shallow world and people will see what you present to them.

When entering the workforce, newly graduated students are informed to wear a suit to your interview and make sure to go on time.  They are right, it makes a big difference in your employ-ability rating (how employable are you.)

Some issues cannot be changed such as if the person you are meeting generalizes all women into being soft or all people who graduate from a certain college to be smart.  Some generalizations may come to your advantage but you will never know which would fit your future boss.

So to make sure you are doing things the right way, at least in the perspective of many managers out there, make sure to follow these points when meeting someone for the first time, especially if you are going into a job interview.

1- Make sure you prepare for the interview in advance.  Read about the company you are going to and know the position you are applying for (you’d be surprised how many people aren’t sure).

2- Make sure you know the means you will use to get to your interview and what route you will be taking.  You don’t want the interview jitters to mix with traffic and a blank mind.

3- Print your CV and use a sheet protector to protect it.  Make sure to keep an extra copy just in case there might be more than one person interviewing you.

4- Arrange what you will be wearing in advance.  Give yourself a chance to go buy something just in case.  Choose what you will wear wisely.  This is very important, your clothes should fit you correctly, you need to make sure that your outfit is ironed, and you shouldn’t be running around last minutes looking for your other pair of shoes.

5- Read and review your CV.  Yes you may have just written it but you might not remember all points listed.  You do not want to be in a situation where the person interviewing you is asking when you graduated and you mix up your dates.  This puts a big question mark on who actually wrote your CV which makes you an unreliable candidate.

6- Make sure that you get a good night sleep.  You need to be fully rested.  So ignore Netflix and get yourself into bed.

7- On the day of the interview, do something that relaxes you spiritually.  You may choose to pray or meditate or call your mother for support.  Do something that would give you an extra boost of confidence.

8- Make sure you care for your hygiene.  Take a shower, use deodorant, brush your teeth, wipe your shoes, and put some – not overwhelming, perfume.  Do not smoke before your interview, they can smell it on you and it’s not pleasant.

9- Get there at least 15 minutes before the interview.  Give yourself some time to relax and get acquainted to your surroundings.  When walking in, pay attention to the surroundings, they might give you some information about the company and how it functions

10- When your name is called, breathe, stand up straight, and with confidence walk into the room.  Knock on the door, smile to the person you see, and go for a good handshake.  In some cultures, males and females are not supposed to have any physical interactions so make sure you know the culture you are in too.

11- Sit when requested and look the part

12- Answer genuinely.  Honesty is the best policy.  Talk clearly and maintain eye contact.  When you don’t know the answer to a question simply say that you don’t.  It’s alright.

13-  When given the chance, try to talk about your accomplishments as objectively as possible.  You are simply stating facts so there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

14- Show your interest in what the interviewer is saying.  You need to listen attentively and respond accordingly.  THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO DAYDREAM!!

15- At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer and if you are not told what the next step would be, ask politely.  One way would be, “would I be getting a call in either case of acceptance or rejection?”

16- Breathe: you can now daydream, take off your tie, get into your slacks, forget to shower, and simply be you.

Good  luck ūüôā

Vision Boards

vision board

Vision boards were first introduced in one of the best selling self-help books in 2006 The Secret.  The law of attraction and the importance of living with our goals staring us in the face was implied in both the movie and the book, and actual results from using vision boards were also displayed to us.  That was when people started using and believing in The Secret and the law of attraction.

In a nut shell, you attract what you perceive whether it is good or bad.  I am not here to discuss my belief or disbelief in the law of attraction because this topic has been overly questioned and I do not have the experience to do so; I am merely here to demonstrate how I have been creating my vision boards.

What I believe is that your vision board should make sense to you.  What do you want to be displayed in front of you and how do you understand it?  If you are a visual person who prefers only pictures, then by all means use only pictures.  If you are more comfortable with words that indicate something to you, go ahead.  Most people like to use a combination of both so as to target both sides of their brains but my vision boards only contained images and pictures of things that I wanted.

Some people prefer to concentrate on one aspect in their life in their vision board such as their career. Their vision boards usually have more details in regards to that topic such as an image of a big office table, the picture of a secretary, signing agreement papers with a high end expensive signature pen, a picture of a bank statement showing a big sum of money, and so forth.

Other vision boards may represent a road map to something; it contains one goal and how to get to it. ¬†An example could be losing weight (the goal) and pictures of healthy food, gym membership, the weighing scale with the target weight, an exercise schedule, and a picture of a person with the “ideal” body.

Vision boards can contain anything. ¬†Engineers could have a 3D printout of their¬†future home, artists could have a painting of their”target” family,and poets could have a poem describing them in a 6 foot yacht. Vision boards can be made of anything and use any sense as long as they shine light on the goals.

My vision boards are more general and contain the different aspects in my life that I deem valuable. ¬†Because I am a person who wants to keep things balanced, I thought of my values. ¬†While searching for images to print out, I realized that the Wheel of Life is a great tool which¬†at least gives me the headlines for my vision board. ¬†It wasn’t applied fully but parts of it gave me a significant starting point.

I started in the core of my beliefs: God. ¬†I believe that when God is in the middle, everything falls into place. ¬†So I printed a picture with God/faith. ¬†I then thought of family, career, health and weight, finances, and personal growth. ¬†So in the middle, I had God and the rest of the topics were clustered around the corners. ¬†I printed pictures of how I saw the “utopia” of each¬†goal and how happy I looked achieving the goal. ¬†So for example, a picture of 4 adults in a meeting was representative of the communication and synergy at work. ¬†I think this helped not only in keeping my goals in view, it helped maintain the life balance I sought after.

Throughout the year,¬†I kept the vision board in front of me to remind myself of what it is I was working towards. ¬†Not only is the Vision Board a tool for the universe to conspire and give you what’s on it, it’s also a tool that let’s you maintain focus and not lose your priorities.

Motivational quotes, words that explain the goals, and pictures of you photo-shopped next to lake Lucerne with your husband raise your hopes and act as engine boosters for your future.  You know what the saying says, out of sight, out of mind so keep your goals in sight to keep them in mind.

There are many days where you lose focus, and many days that make no sense to you.  Having a bit of belief that you are in control makes it a bit better.  Knowing that there are things that do not change in your mind and knowing that you, once upon a time, knew what you wanted makes you trust yourself in days when you trust no-one.  Be there to guide yourself forward and, to me, put your faith in the middle for comfort and strength.

Choosing a Linkedin Photo

linkedin

Linkedin is a a business oriented social networking service.  People use it to display their CVs and have recruiters (or headhunters) approach them for employment opportunities or even to network with people in similar fields.  Companies also can create their page and share news, articles, and any other important issues.  Some people use it to share their experiences and post articles they wrote in hope someone might listen to them.  Like any other social networking service, Linkedin gives the opportunity to post a photo of yourself.

Being a member of the Linkedin community for a few years, I have come across many photos of people I know (and people I don’t know) that make me wonder what they were thinking when they chose to upload their photo. ¬†Well, I then decided to scroll down the list of People You May Know and be struck with disbelief. ¬†Since this is a professional social networking site, I thought that people would care about their image; I mean, their profiles are open for recruiters and maybe their future bosses.

I came up with the following tips:

1- Selfies using any Snapchat filters are not acceptable.  Do not, under any circumstances, believe that anyone would recruit you if you have dog ears or a flower halo above your head. Even if you think you look cute, this is not the right picture.  I could even say that selfies are not acceptable because the angle is all wrong and shows that you did not take the time nor effort to have a professional picture taken.

2- A cartoon drawing of yourself is not OK unless you are the artist and are trying to show your talent.

3- A picture of yourself sitting behind a huge desk just makes you seem desperate. ¬†Don’t top it off acting like you’re busy writing something either. ¬†It’s so obvious.

4- A picture of you caught in mid-laugh.  This is not Facebook and it may be one of your favorite but keep it for your social group only.

5- Do not post¬†a picture of yourself behind a billiard table. ¬†Do not post¬†a picture of yourself with any weird background such as the kitchen (unless you’re a chef), or in a party, or on vacation with the beach behind you. ¬†You want to seem like you are at work, wearing work clothes, and getting work done. ¬†If your work is associated with healthy living and yoga, for example, a picture with some tress in the background may be alright. ¬†But if you have nothing to do with nature, stay away from it.

6- ¬†Look approachable. ¬†Post a picture that makes you look approachable. ¬†A nice smile goes a long way. ¬†You don’t want your picture to resemble a mug shot nor an adult dating service profile pic.

7- Do not post a picture with you wearing a cowboy hat (or any kind of hat).  Do not post a picture with sunglasses, people want to see your face.

8- I’m not 100% sure of this point as it may go either way. ¬†I have seem a few pictures with the person holding a camera and another listening in his headset. ¬†I think it’s a smart thing to be done, that is, showing people what you do; but some recruiters might not appreciate the obviousness. ¬†This should be taken carefully, I wouldn’t feel so keen about a ¬†bank teller holding money in his hands.

9- Make sure the picture is clear and your face shows: stay away from shadows. ¬†Don’t use a picture with you covering your face with your arm, nor a picture with you looking away.

10- Do not use your children’s pictures. ¬†Again, this is a professional networking site, people will want to see what you are doing not how old your child is. ¬†You are NOT trying to get your children employed so keep them out.

11- If you choose to post a picture with something that identifies your current job, go ahead but know that you are not your job. ¬†You have a set of knowledge, skills, and abilities that are deeper than any job can provide. ¬†Plus, when or if you leave your job, you don’t want to forget to change your picture or you’ll end up looking desperate. ¬†Don’t wear your uniform in your picture either (for those who have uniforms in their jobs).

12- Do not post yourself bowling, ice skating, playing soccer, playing with your pet tiger, eating out with your friends, or doing what you do in your spare time.  You are supposed to portray how you are at work, not out of work.  People want to employ you, not date you.

13-  Keep your image right side up.  Yes, some people have their pictures sideways.  Would you ever submit your CV with your picture printed sideways?

14- Don’t just crop your face from a group picture and settle for that. ¬†This just shows that you’re lazy. ¬†Also, don’t post yourself with someone else, it confuses people as to which one you are.

15- Make sure your image isn’t so much of a close up nor too far to be unidentifiable. ¬†You want people to recognize you, half a face is not identifiable.

16- Do not post a picture of a logo unless you are a company.  Do not post a picture of your shoes, bag, sunglasses, or cup of coffee.  Again, this is not Snapchat.

These are just a few pointers I came up with after paying attention to the different Linkedin profile pictures, you can also go through your list of friends and can easily identify the best pictures that portray strength, confidence, and reliability.  Stay away from photoshopped images that look nothing like you and try to present yourself professionally.

Remember, you don’t want to resemble any funny high school yearbook pictures, you should know better now than what you knew at 18.

My profile pic? ¬†I still didn’t find one that I’m happy with so wish me luck.

Losing weight is a choice: stop ordering caramel Frappuccino

starbucks-frappuccino-caramel-blended-beverage-21400320

This post is not targeted towards¬†people who have a medical issue with weight, it is targeting people who have the ability to lose weight but are simply not doing so. ¬†I am in no way a nutritionist nor do I claim to have any medical background where I am getting my information. ¬†I am merely pointing out some things that I have seen and dealt with over the years. ¬†Please do not expect me to be a size 0 model either. ¬†“And don’t forget… I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”- Notting Hill.

When it comes to weight, we all have our ups and downs. ¬†It all starts when we are first introduced to the weighing scale. ¬†“Hello, I am here to make your life miserable.” ¬†We start counting calories, buying magazines that have different diets suitable for the growing teenage girl (or boy), sometimes go to drastic measures of living on tic-tac’s for a while and all for what? ¬†To stop a bulging belly which, in fact, is just baby fat.

It really doesn’t matter what body shape you are blessed with, all that matters is that you are healthy and capable of exercising. ¬†You see, this is where the magic starts. ¬†Once an exercise routine is put in place at a young age, it usually sticks for life.

Have you ever wondered why kids put on weight once they get to college? ¬†It’s not just the junk they are so happily gulping down, it is the fact that PE classes no longer exist. ¬†Waking up at 5 a.m. no longer exists and walking from class to class no longer exist. ¬†We turn lazy and love the fact that we can sleep late at night and no one would care to wake us up to go to school because our parents, of course, don’t know our schedules and expect that we are adults.

You see those golden years filled with pizza? ¬†This is when it all matters. ¬†This is when you should pay attention to your weight because it all goes downhill from here. ¬†I’m glad college athletes get to work out and exercise because many other nerds, I mean people, can’t seem to find the time, regardless of the reason.

Then guess what comes after college… life.

Work: ¬†a place where you sitting at a sedentary position for eight hours. ¬†It doesn’t stop here, the cycle continues. ¬†For women who get married, they can’t get into their wedding dress after a year of marriage and why is that? ¬† Because we choose to be lazy. ¬†Some stop making an effort and others are blessed with pregnancy and child birth. ¬†Of course with kids the excuse of no time comes to place, and the years go by and the kilos go on.

A friend of mine decided to lose weight a few months ago.  She was trying her best, talking to me about how important it is to lose weight and what it would mean to her.  I thought to myself that she must be working hard and her efforts are paying off, right?

Wrong. ¬†She always had a reason not to start. ¬†There was always an excuse, a time constraint, a something… and a caramel frappuccino. ¬†A daily double caramel frappuccino including the whipped cream, the caramel in the cup and over the top, the full fat milk, and the smile from the barista. ¬†You see, when that nice looking barista in Starbucks asks if you want to add a slice of chocolate-loving cake run: run far far away! ¬†Do you think she can’t say (small, medium, and large) when it comes to drink sizes? ¬†Why do you think she has to over complicate things by calling them tall, grande, and I don’t ever remember the 3rd size. ¬†It’s all in the training to make you (and me) buy the bigger size and gain weight. ¬†She’s in on the conspiracy to make us fat.

Didn’t you ever wonder why healthy restaurants never asked if you wanted to up-size your salad? ¬†Didn’t you ever wonder why they never tried to sell you an apple with your fresh orange juice? ¬†They want us all to get fat.

So what’s the plan? ¬†These are a few steps that could actually work:

1- DECIDE: Make the decision to lose weight TODAY.  Decide and keep in your mind that you will no longer accept any excuse.

2- THROW AWAY THE JUNK: Give away all junk food you have around your house and DO NOT BUY MORE JUNK. ¬†If you don’t have a bag of crisps in the cupboard you will not eat it. ¬†Instead, you can substitute with healthy snacks such as dried fruits and popcorn which is actually good for your health and heart (thumbs up).

3- Exercise:¬†There is no running away from this point. ¬†You cannot lose weight without burning it. ¬†Find something you like to do and do it. ¬†Find an exercise partner if you want or get some exercises done anywhere around the house. ¬†You don’t need to join the gym and you don’t need the top notch equipment. ¬†Surprise your body in the middle of the day and squat, for example. ¬†Use the stairs, park your car further than usual, dance with your children. ¬†In general, move your body and try to burn as many calories as you can.

4- Before you eat anything,¬†THINK: ¬†Ask yourself, “am I hungry or am I just bored?” ¬†Do you know that many people eat because they are bored! ¬†Also, when you are face to face with your favorite dessert, be strong and say, ‘I am stronger than you.’

5- EAT HEALTHY: eat healthy foods.  Add fruits and vegetables to your diet, have brown bread and rice instead of white, do not eat fried food, stay away from junk food.

6- LOOK INSIDE FOR MOTIVATION: ¬†You will not find someone who is cheering you on more than yourself. ¬†Don’t expect people to leave their life to cheer you on. ¬†This is on you and for you. ¬†Don’t look for quick fixes, there are none. ¬†Make sure that you will benefit first and foremost. ¬†Reward yourself.

In conclusion, if you want to lose weight, make sure that you understand that it’s hard work. ¬†It takes commitment and time. ¬†Don’t expect it to be an easy pill that you can take and have the weight shed off you over night (wouldn’t that be great, though). ¬†It takes persistence. ¬†It’s not easy, we are not in an age where our food gets burnt easily so bear with your body. ¬†You are working with your body to achieve a better you. ¬†Partner up with yourself, have small goals you want to achieve and reward ¬†yourself.

Stop eating junk and you will feel better.  Stop adding salt and sugar recklessly to your meals and please, please, please, stop ordering caramel frappuccino.

Know your Employees, Get Better Results

There are many ideas and theories regarding how to best motivate people in general and employees in specific. ¬†Most managers remember the X, Y, and Z theories of management from back in college in addition to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which has been altered recently to add a new primitive and basic need: WIFI. ¬†I have seen an image of the pyramid with ” battery” at the bottom but thought they were taking it a little too far. ¬†To refresh your memory, Maslow stated that all people have the same needs which he then segregated to physiological, safety, esteem, and self actualization (as shown below). ¬†It’s not a difficult concept but back in college, it was just a theory.

Maslow-hierarchy

When we finally got employed and for those of us who are fortunate to be deemed managers, we were given employees and told that we now have the role of motivating them. ¬†So what we all did was go back to our textbooks and started researching “motivation.”

Through the process of trial and error, thinking that I was sometimes too lenient and sometimes too strict, and at other times thinking that I was not cut out for this job and introverts should stay away from life as it is, I came to realize that theories were put in place as tools to help us and as guidelines to set our course. ¬†It has come to my attention that the employee I spend time talking and listening to is usually more motivated than another employee who I haven’t met with for a while. ¬†Why is that?

Communication is key. ¬†Knowing how the employee thinks and what he is looking for helps you, as a manager, identify what motivates him. ¬†An employee who seems to look forward to going out in the weekends and spending time with friends would probably appreciate time off work or additional vacation days. ¬†It doesn’t just rely on where that person is in his life, as in whether the employee is single or married, has kids, is thinking of retiring, and so forth, it also relies on the individual and his personal goals.

So let me give you a few pointers that could help:

1- When you have someone newly employed, talk to them.  Listen to their life story and try to understand what kind of person he/she is.  You will be surprised to know that most people lead a fairly similar life to you and usually have pretty clear goals.

2- Look at your employees, read their faces. ¬†Employees are people who get affected by what goes on in their life. ¬†They cannot just leave their problems at the door; it’s not possible, they are human. ¬†Read their faces and find out what “happy” looks like and what “sad” or “disappointed” looks like. ¬†You mostly need these two emotions to motivate.

3- Take cues from others. ¬†When you hear that employee X is unhappy, he probably is unhappy. ¬†Listen to people then try to find out if it’s true.

4- Listen to stories and try to make connections.  Many things happen around the office and when you hear that employee Y is a family man and loves his kids very much, consider that a point you can use to motivate him when needed.  So when employee Y does something good, maybe you can give him a gift voucher for a family dinner or offer to help with providing medical insurance for his pregnant wife to help with expenses:  something related to family.  More about this subject on my previous post Buying The Perfect Gift can be applied here.

5- Know your employees at a personal level without getting personal with them.¬†This is very tricky because you don’t want to be mistaken as a friend but rather as a very nice boss. ¬†A boss which they can talk to but who would not be invited over for birthday parties. ¬†This is a very delicate balance where you need to be empathetic but not a pushover. ¬†This could sometimes makes it hard to discipline but the key is to maintain their respect.

6- Do not over-complicate matters.  Some people just want and need money, others want time off, some want to be thanked in private, others want to be appreciated in public.  And of course, someone is out there to take over your job.  Your role is to know what the employee needs AT THAT TIME since needs constantly change.

Get to know your employees to be able to motivate them. ¬†Everyone is different and people change over time. ¬†Truly understand what makes them happy “tick” and what makes them sad “tock” ¬†Talk to your employees: be their leader, be their coach. ¬†Navigate them to succeed in their lives and you will get better results.

The Importance of a List

to do

There are two types of people: people who like using lists, and people who think lists are useless.  I am a person who loves lists.  I love everything about lists: making lists, checking things off my list, and telling people that if you want to plan your life better you need a list.  I 100% believe that lists could save you 80% of your time when done and utilized correctly.

Now, I’m not a list guru, (I give that title to my sister who, without lists, could have lost her mind by now), but I can still give you some pointers on how I use this wonderful tool.

Before I do so, let me give you one exercise you can do which would shine the light on your time management skills.

I once attended a time planning training where the instructor told us that to be able to see where your time is wasted you need to make a schedule of what you are doing for a week. ¬†So basically, you would write down 7:00 – 7:15 a.m. wake up, 7:15 – 8:00 a.m. shower, dress, and get ready, 8:00 – 8:15 a.m. have breakfast and check the news (I wish!!), 8:15 -8:50 a.m. commute to work, and so on. ¬†Of course, we shouldn’t forget to include all those little things that waste our times such as (play candy crush) and (chat on Whatsapp) or (stalk ex-boyfriend on Facebook heeheheh). ¬†So I thought to myself, what an amazing idea! I’ll just do that and eliminate all my wasted time. ¬†After a few days, I started seeing a pattern in my schedule: I waste a lot of time using the phone and not enough time doing anything I love and find significant. ¬†I chose to change my routine and make conscious decision. ¬†So now, when I catch myself doing something wasteful I tell myself make conscious decisions. ¬†I also tell myself Are you really hungry, or are you just bored? But I’ll get to that story another time.

Anyhow, this is the first step:

1- Start by identifying your biggest time wasters and make a conscious decision about changing them.  This would give you a good chunk of time for work.  Schedule in your coffee and lunch breaks and give yourself time to breathe.  When you have that done, look at the number of hours you can work in awe.  This is your canvas.

2- Take a piece of paper (yes I am old fashioned) and write TO DO as a title. ¬†Underline it twice to show¬†yourself that this is a very important document. ¬†Now leave a few lines (basically press enter twice) and write number one. ¬†You can put a dash or a dot, your choice. ¬†Great, you’ve got it so far.

3- Write down the things you need to do everyday at work. ¬†So if ¬†you have to print a specific report, check the cash invoices, file yesterday’s papers, or make specific calls, write those down. ¬†This is your first category: your daily tasks. ¬† These will not change, they are a crucial part of your job description.

4-Next, write down the things you need to do today.  I prefer to have a To Do list done in advance but if you feel like you are living in chaos at work, start with a list.  Write the things that need to be done.  A weekly to do list gives you plenty of time to shuffle the tasks around.

5- At the end of each task, draw a small box that you can check.  Checking the box feels SO good, trust me.  Keep the box.

6- Start working according to your list. ¬†Start with your daily tasks and go on. ¬†How you choose which task to start is your decision. ¬†Some people say you shouldn’t check your email before noon (or whatever golden hour they seem to have researched) but come on! ¬†You can check your email without replying, right? ¬†It’s not like you have the tendency to lose yourself in emails.

7- Review your list. ¬†You can make a daily list or you can have a general list (for people like me who don’t seem to get much done everyday). ¬†For people with projects that take longer, instead of writing (Finalize the report) you can instead write (work on report due on…..) and check the box when you work on it. ¬†The way I review my list is rewrite the things I didn’t complete and totally scratch off things that are done. ¬†This feels better than the little tick.

 

So why are lists important? ¬†Well, lists display what you need to do that day. ¬†They keep you focused on your goal when you feel like life is chaotic. ¬†With lists, you make sure that you don’t forget to do that thing you keep forgetting. ¬†So you will catch yourself less often wondering (what did my boss ask me to do on Monday?) ¬†Lists also service as a cute little motivational pat¬†on the back. ¬†The little ticks show you that you’ve done something. ¬†During those days when you can’t make yourself work and you feel like you’d rather be home in bed, lists offer you some items that CAN be done with minimum effort. ¬†You can choose your tasks and still feel like you’ve achieved something. ¬†Finally, lists are fun to have especially if you categorize them based on your workload. ¬†If you have your list numbered well and you have a bunch of papers you need to go through, your list can be the (cover) of your file with each page numbered. ¬†So item #1 on your list will be the first set of papers, item #2 the second set, and so forth. ¬†This HELPS with people who have a lot of paperwork.

In the end, lists help save your time. ¬†Make conscious decisions, write up a list, and eat because you’re hungry, not bored. ¬†Oh, I’ll get to that another time. ¬†Till then, happy listings.

 

Buying the Perfect Gift

Gift-Box

There are many occasions in our lives when we need to purchase a gift for someone. ¬†Some people are happy to buy gifts and find it easy, whereas others have a really hard time choosing something suitable. Over the course of my life, I realized that gifts are very personal and heart warming items that shine some happiness into a person’s day. ¬†So the question is, how do you buy the perfect gift?

Well, the first thing you need to do is to think. ¬†Think about the person you’re buying the gift for. ¬†Who is it? ¬†What’s the occasion? ¬†What does that person need. ¬†The best gifts are well thought of. ¬†They are gifts which are meaningful and which say, “I got you something you will really appreciate.”

Of course, you need to consider your budget but you can always find something right at any price.

You need to be creative.

These days, people are happy to give out gift vouchers. ¬†It’s the lazy way out. ¬†Once you’ve reached that point in your decision making, stop. ¬†You are not giving it enough thought or effort. ¬†Yes, it’s great when you’re gifting a colleague at work or someone who’s not important in your life, but best gifts are personal. ¬†You can save time with gift vouchers but they will be forgotten as soon as they are used. ¬†Why? ¬†Because you didn’t choose that gift.

Think of the children in your life. ¬†Would they appreciate gift vouchers? ¬†Probably. ¬†But you’ll end up driving them over to the shop and waiting for only God knows how long for them to make a decision. ¬†Whereas you could have saved yourself all this wasted time if you just listened. ¬†Also, you know all those toys they saw? ¬†They wouldn’t miss them if they never saw them.

Listening to a person and knowing what they want and need is the key to a great present. ¬†The best gifts are those which cover a person’s needs. ¬† Now if your husband/wife needs socks, by all means, buy them some just don’t consider socks to be their birthday present. ¬†This type of gift says, “I thought of you and went out of my way to get you this because I know you need it.” Still valid and sweet.

Knowing a person’s passion and hobbies help a lot. ¬†When a colleague at work comes with a new set of earrings every week, you pick up on their passion (or at least liking of) earrings. ¬†Now would it be redundant to get her some earrings. ¬†It depends. ¬†That’s when you should investigate a bit further.

With birthdays, people usually start to look for hints a month in advance. ¬†Wrong. ¬†It’s too late and the person will know you’re investigating. ¬†You should be thinking of the present in advance. ¬†An element of surprise is a great addition to the gift.

Conventional or traditional gifts are sometimes accepted and at other times they are not.  In the beginning of your relationship, a box of chocolates and a dozen roses are a great gift.  Years into your marriage, your wife probably expects more because you know her and this is also the lazy way out.  Deeper relationships require deeper thought.

So let’s recap and continue.

1- Gifts should be personal, well thought of, creative, and satisfies a need or want.

2- Stay away from gift certificates to sustain a more personalized touch to your gift

3- Investigate in advance. ¬†Do your homework when looking for ideas and don’t blow your cover.

4- Hobbies and passions are a great place to consider when thinking of gifts

5- An element of surprise is a great addition to the gift

6- More serious relationships require deeper thought.  Traditional gifts are alright for a certain time only.

When they say it’s the thought that counts when it comes to gifts, it really is the THOUGHT that counts. When a person knows you well enough to buy you a present that blows you away, hold onto that person. ¬†People who don’t put an effort need to be reminded that gifts rekindle relationships and shine through our days.

Don’t forget to have the gift wrapped and don’t forget to write something meaningful in a card.

Memories stay true when accompanied by words.

Surprise someone you love, buy them something thoughtful.

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