Beginner’s Mind – Experience Power And Beauty In The Present Moment

Have you ever watched a child who is just learning to walk? Their sheer joy is contagious! The sense of amazement and accomplishment in their eyes reflects a special state of mind. In martial arts and many Eastern traditions, this is known as “beginner’s mind” – being fully engaged in the experience, fully present in the moment, without expectation or comparison. This is where true learning happens.

Years ago, I practiced a martial art called Aikido. My sensei (teacher) was a very quiet Japanese man who taught primarily through demonstration, not words. But if he saw someone “going through the motions,” he would gently remind us to move back into beginner’s mind, where we could be fully attentive and apply the best of ourselves.

This simple concept can enhance our experience of any aspect of life. It brings joy to even the most mundane tasks, and it helps us develop a stronger sense of awareness in everyday life.

If you find that your life or current activity is feeling a little boring, here are some tips to help shift your
perspective.

Practise Beginner’s Mind

* Do something new at least once a week. Whether it’s trying a new restaurant or talking to a stranger, experiences that are out of the ordinary will shift your mindset.

* Do an ordinary task in a different way. Try taking a new route to work or even brushing your teeth with the opposite hand.

* Pause in the middle of an activity and ask yourself: how would it feel if I was doing this for the first time in my life?

Effective Negotiation Strategies – Being Prepared

On numerous occasions, I have participated in negotiations as a technical consultant on behalf of clients. In order to save time and money, the client often prepares for these negotiations themselves. Through many previous bad experiences, I have learned to ask clients in advance what their idea of negotiation strategies and being prepared actually is. Their answers often show, however, that they are not yet ready to begin an effective negotiation session.

Inexperienced, lazy, or naive negotiators believe that being prepared means ‘knowing what they want’ out of the negotiations, which generally implies that they have decided on terms that they would be happy with. They may even have given some thought to their worst case scenario, but that tends to be the extent of their negotiation strategies and preparations.

Knowing what you want from a negotiation is only a small part of what it takes to be prepared. The key to success is knowing how you are going to get what you want. Success comes from having effective negotiation strategies that convince the other side that what you want is actually fair and reasonable – or, at the very least, inevitable.

Ill-Prepared Negotiators

Most negotiators do not prepare appropriately. Even when large amounts of money are involved, people typically rely on past or similar situations to determine negotiation strategies. They expect to use their wits and develop a strategy on the fly. At best, planning for an effective negotiation session is one-sided and incomplete.

Skilled negotiators love ill-prepared opponents because their negotiation strategies are easier to manipulate. The lack of effective negotiation preparation on the part of their opponent makes their job much easier and allows them to overwhelm the other side with a higher degree of knowledge, preparation, research, and hard-hitting demands.

Being prepared requires that you have some idea of the other party’s desired outcomes. A plan is only realistic if you know what the other side wants, and you’ve figured out a way to give it to them (while getting what you want) or have figured out a way to change their minds to agree with your demands. The more you know about what the other team wants the less there is to negotiate and the easier it is to get an equitable agreement through a stream-lined, effective negotiation session.

Determining Failure or Success

Success is determined when a mutual agreement is met and both sides are satisfied without any hard feelings. To achieve this, you’ll need to consider the other side’s needs as well as your own.

After all, an effective negotiation should not be a winner-take-all type of contest. The vast majority of negotiations take place with people who you will need to work with after the negotiations have come to a close. If they feel cheated or resentful about a deal that was struck, the working relationship will be harmed.

Failure is judged in terms of potentially damaged relationships or by a deal that you are unhappy with. A failed negotiation might very well be the one in which you got everything you wanted (or thought you did) but ended up damaging your working relationship with a colleague, supplier, or competitor.

It is not uncommon for the purchasing department of large companies to squeeze small suppliers and contractors to the point where there is no profit (or incentive) in the contract that is ultimately signed. The result is a contractor that provides minimal or poor quality service and products. In this context, who is the winner of the negotiations? No one is. Everyone loses.

Successful Preparation Tactics

When planning effective negotiation strategies, it’s best to develop a list of objectives for ourselves and imagine what the position would be for the other side. Are they likely to agree to our terms or not? If not, why not? What would they agree to? Taking a win-win approach to effective negotiation strategies creates allies not enemies.

For an effective negotiation session, strategize with the big picture in mind: focus on long-term objectives, not short-term. Preserve relationships even if at the cost of short-term victories. And remember that the next negotiation begins the minute the last one ended. Being prepared means knowing how you are going to get the other side to agree and be happy with the deal you want or need. Being prepared requires planning, strategy, and tactics.

Strategy is developed from your analysis of what are reasonable targets and objectives. Your negotiation strategies are your approach to how you are going to convince the other side to agree to what you want. Tactics are specific, identifiable manoeuvres that implement the negotiation strategies.

Consider this example – a car salesman wants to sell cars for as much as possible. You want to pay the least. But does the car salesman also want you as a long-term customer? Do they want a trade-in car from you? Do they want to provide financing and maintenance? Is there anything other than low price that can be negotiated with a car salesman?

If the salesman only wants the highest possible selling price, your only bargaining chip is knowledge about prices at other dealerships. If, however, the salesman is interested in other aspects of the deal, then there are more details that can be negotiated in order to get you the lowest possible price.

Knowing what the salesman is interested other than just price allows you to develop more sophisticated, effective negotiation strategies and related tactics.

Preparation Checklist

  • Your targets: Identify objectives and justifications along with their relative priorities.
  • Their targets: Identify what you expect the other side’s objectives, justifications, and priorities to be.
  • Strategy: Create an effective negotiation plan for convincing the other side to agree to the terms you want, keeping in mind a long-term, big picture view.
  • Tactics: Specific approaches to how you will present your arguments (i.e. negotiation strategies) in a convincing way.
  • Response to tactics: Predict the other side’s tactics and plan your reactions and counter-tactics.
  • Room to move: Be prepared with some pre-determined options to provide you with flexibility in what is asked and offered.

Be Prepared

Negotiating is the art of convincing the other side that you should get what you want. Being prepared for effective negotiation involves a lot more than just knowing what you want. Effective negotiation strategies mean knowing what you would settle for and how you are going to convince the other side to give it to you.

Comprehensive negotiation strategies include prepared reactions to the strategy and tactics of the other side. When you take the time to predict what the other side is likely to want and do and then integrate these predictions into your negotiation strategy, you are among those rare individuals who truly are prepared for negotiations.

Negotiation is a contest. Fortune favours the prepared mind (and negotiator). If you want to be a winner, be properly prepared.

Shake Things Up This Valentines With Risque Presents!

Do you remember those days when you just could not wait to see the beautiful face of your beloved? You would phone each other at work several times a day, just to hear their pretty voice and seductive giggle one more time and the boss would be on the verge of giving you a warning for wasting company time. It does not seem that long ago that when your eyes met, the pair of you experienced that fluttering heart, the butterflies in the stomach and the compelling urge to rush into each other’s arms.

All that both of you could ever think of was each other and all you both lived for was the time when you could be together again. Although you enjoyed being out with friends, neither of you could wait to be alone together, somewhere quiet and there was never enough time to say all the things that were on your minds. In each other’s company, time would fly by and before you knew it you were saying a long and passionate goodbye until the next date, which even if it was going to be on the next day will always seem like an eternity away.

Then it just kept getting better and better. Perhaps you had a romantic holiday together, away from all of your friends and family, giving you both a chance to really get to know one another. Perhaps you set up home together, put down roots and started planning a family.

Once time passes and you get on with your busy lives, it is all too easy to lose your priorities. Friends want to have lunch with you on your own or meet up in the pub for a natter and you find that you do not do things together as a couple as much as you used to. It is important to rekindle that burning flame that is still flickering within you both, even if neither of you has expressed your love for one another for quite some time. With the right Valentine’s Day Presents you are sure to find it easy to feel the excitement that was there all those years ago.

If you want to set the mood for a night of hot passion, there are some risque Valentine’s Day Presents that will show your loved one what is on your mind. If you are planning a Valentines Day get together with friends, you can all enjoy a naughty game of Foreplay Connect.

Each of the counters in this game are emblazoned with a raunchy foreplay suggestion and the winner gets to play out their own fantasy by choosing a combination of counters especially for that special person, so perhaps this game could be taken upstairs later on when everyone else has gone home. Once you are upstairs, a lovely way to create the right mood is with A Rose Petal Seductions Box which contains many rose petals, each one with its own message. You can choose to sprinkle them across your bed or even create a trail that will lead to who knows where.

What can be said about one of the raunchiest Valentine’s Day Presents a Lovers Candy G-String and covered with more than 330 delicious sweets this little pleasure could last a very long time. If you feel that you have both fallen into a bedroom rut, The Kama Sutra has been working wonders for many years and will give you both some new ideas and this is one of those Valentines Day presents that is truly inspirational. It will be on your list of favourite bedtime reading for a long time to come and is crammed with things for you both to try out.

Later, as you both take a break to get your breath back, one of the Valentines Day presents that is guaranteed to refresh and relax is the Daisy Bath Flowers Box, a pretty heart shaped box containing pink and red daisy shaped luxury petals which, as they are sprinkled into a bath, will melt to release a glorious rose fragrance. All that you both need to do now is to climb in and soak up the atmosphere together before embarking on a few more romantic pastimes.

If you have never tried Chocolate Body Paint, you just have not lived. Raunchy Valentines Day presents like this one are fun, humorous and also delicious. Along with a soft body brush, the tube of body paint can be brushed onto any of your favourite places that belong to your passion partner. Who says that the passion has to go, when you can have all this fun whenever you choose?

If you want to have a successful Valentines Day, make sure you give raunchy Valentines Day presents that are guaranteed to spice up your love life.