Sun | Jan 29, 2023

New Year, new world, new you

Published:Sunday | January 3, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Glenford Smith, Career

"In times of change the learners will inherit the earth while the learned will find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."

- Eric Hoffer

Welcome to a new year, a new decade - and a new world of work. A new world of unprecedented employment insecurity, increased performance demand, emotional stress, wage freezes, lessened support, and increased expectations.

Hoffer's timeless wisdom is a powerful key for surviving and thriving in this new year and beyond, in the new work world.

In a word, it says you have to adapt. It's a basic law of business and career success and, indeed, of life. A clever book title puts it aptly: What Got You Here Won't Get You There. To master the new realities of work requires new thinking, new habits, attitudes, knowledge and skills.

Your qualifications are only a starting point. Research indicates that whatever degree you earn at university will be obsolete within five years, in terms of the knowledge you gain. You have to keep on learning and updating your knowledge base and skills set. Here is a basic plan to help you learn some keys for surviving and thriving at work and in life in 2010 and beyond.

Performance psychology

Your actions create your life results. Actions flow from your mindset - how you think and your underlying beliefs.

Eighty per cent of performance is mindset, according to America's leading performance-expert Anthony Robbins. Yet universities provide little training in this area. This has resulted in technically brilliant people, who are 'emotionally unintelligent.' Robbins' Unlimited Power will

help you develop a winning mindset.

Personal effectiveness

Most people achieve only a fraction of their potential because they lack the discipline to focus on what is really important. They often fall victim to 'the tyranny of the trivial many' instead of mastering the 'vital few'. They routinely attend to what is urgent and feels good, while neglecting what is important. You will find The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch especially helpful.

Communication and influence

"Every successful day of your life, regardless of your occupation or profession, you must be a master salesman. Master salesmanship is the key to the attainment of whatever you desire from life." So attests Napoleon Hill in Succeed and Grow Rich Through Persuasion. Every day you must sell yourself - your abilities, services, products. In the new world of extreme competition, victory will go to the master communicators and influencers.


Problems and adversities are inevitable. Developing inner strength is the most critical skill, because tough times will come. If it's not lay-off, it's sickness. You may experience a bitter divorce, a bad crash or become a crime victim. Life is unpredictable. Knowing how to overcome problems and stress will be the crucial skill in this new year and decade. Learn how to develop The Survivor Personality, in Dr Al Siebert's book of that name.

Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and personal achievement strategist.