Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover – Reading People Right

Facebook Page cover Inspirofreak.jpgzdQ6MJ6aTfin1FtFQLrt_Hi_FamilyFriendsFollowersI_am_expanding_my_audience._If_you_want_to_follow_my_journey_you_can_do_it_hereFollow_me_on_WorBy Inspirofreak

Things are not always what they appear – that is one of the problems with perception.

People form judgements and make conclusions about the motives and characteristics of others. Depending on personality and past experiences, people infer and judge differently. Keep reading to get some tips on how to improve your perception skills and get a better read on people…


Why Should I Develop My Perception?

First impressions are based on very little information and are influenced by factors such as social norms, stereotypes and physical cues such as dress. Implicit personality theories are collections of beliefs and assumptions that everyone has linking certain traits to other characteristics and behaviors.

What Is Your Perception?

According to Huffington Post: “South Africans are the people most likely to perceive things to be worse than they actually are, Ipsos’ 2017 survey entitled “Perils of Perception” has revealed.”

One very common perception bias is the fundamental attribution error, where people tend to blame circumstances for their own failings, yet blame the failure of others on their personalities.

The Primary Effect

We usually draw a conclusion about a person from their looks. This then affects how we treat that person. The first thing we find out about a person have the most influence on our judgments about them e.g.

  • A person’s weight. Overweight people are often seen as undisciplined, disorganized, and unattractive.
  • The clothes a person wears. We jump to conclusions about a person’s success, professionalism and even talent based on their wardrobe.
  • A person’s age.
  • Whether a person is male or female.

Is it possible to stop judging people on external factors?

Our minds tend to quickly jump to conclusions about people with little real evidence. Discrimination of this type is not good for us. It robs us of opportunities to build relationships with healthy, loving, intelligent people. This is what separates humans from other animals: We can choose our behavior.

Sum up a person more accurately by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Are they a person of integrity? Do they have a proven track record of honesty, authenticity, and openness?
  2. How do they treat others close to them? How do they treat others that are ill, in need, or have problems? Do they make any kind of meaningful contribution to the world for which they volunteer or earn very little?
  3. Where have they applied their skill and talent?

Develop Active Listening Skills

Become an active listener by making a conscious effort to hear not only the words, but more importantly, try to understand the complete message being sent.

  1. Pay attention – give the speaker your undivided attention
  2. Show that you are listening – use your own body language and gestures to convey your attention
  3. Provide feedback – reflect what is being said by asking questions, paraphrasing and summarizing the speaker’s comments periodically
  4. Defer judgment – don’t interrupt with counter agreements
  5. Respond appropriately – assert your opinions respectfully

I’ll leave you with a thought provoking quote. Think about how you feel when others judge/perceive you inaccurately. Going forward, be mindful of your perception, and keep your biases in check:

“Do not judge me until you know me. Do not underestimate me until you have challenged me AND do not talk about me until you have talked to me.” – Unknown


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Do You Have What It Takes To Be Successful?


Do You Have What It Takes To Be Successful?

By Inspirofreak


What separates the successful from the unsuccessful? People tend to have two types of mindsets. You either think in terms of scarcity or you have world-class thinking, according to Steve Siebold.  When you think of success, what do you envision?


Different dimensions of success

True success is being authentically you, fulfilling your true calling. You need to look at all the dimensions of your life. You need balance. Measure yourself and work on every dimension of your life. (Spiritually, Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, Vocationally/Calling, Financially, Socially, Environmentally) Envision your bright future and take the steps to get there.


Cultivating your success

Make yourself a vision board/dream collage and look at it daily. Get a notebook and write your ideas, visions, goals and action plans in it. Describe the kind of life you want in detail. How does it feel on the other side? Move in the direction of your dreams by taking action. Your habits determine your success.

Use other people’s education, influence and expertise to enrich your life. This will raise your level of consciousness by associating with successful people. Attend networking events. Take full advantage of Facebook Groups with like minded individuals. Take initiative and cultivate leadership abilities. Develop your personality. Be enthusiastic and positive. Speech without emotion is void of understanding. Listen, really listen when someone speaks to you. Don’t flatter people who don’t deserve it, be sincere. Drop annoying habits.

Deliver more quality, more quantity, and a better attitude than your peers/competition. Contrast yourself so that you stand out in a sea of mediocrity.  

Clear your mind of can’t. Believe in your ability to succeed. Act as if you already have what you want.

Learn from your failures and setbacks. Everything happens for a reason. It shaped you into the person you are today. Work through the tears of the moment to afford yourself the laughter of a lifetime.


Ask yourself the right questions every day

What are you grateful for in your life?

Nothing new can come into your life unless you open yourself up to being grateful for what you already have. In your journal, write down 50 benefits of your life now.

What do you love about yourself?

Your relationship with yourself sets the tone to every other relationship you have in your life. Remember, you teach people how to treat you! Fall in love with yourself.


What good came out of something bad that happened to you?

Let go of your old story, it’s holding you back. True forgiveness is seeing the seed of good that come out of the bad. Write a new script. Sever the emotional attachment to the loss. Stop living in a mindset of scarcity, limitation and lack. You have free will Stop putting yourself in a prison of your circumstances.

True success is what you envision your life to be, and taking action towards attaining what sets your soul on fire. You create the life you want. Go gettem Tiger!

“Attract what you expect. Reflect what you desire. Become what you respect, and mirror what you admire.” – Unknown

Thanks for taking the time to read this, if you’ve found it valuable, like my page @Inspirofreak on Facebook, or follow my blog @ for more.

Jana du Toit





Get Your Online Team Engaged And Motivated


Get Your Online Team Engaged and Motivated

By Inspirofreak


A study done by Gallup revealed that only 13% of workers say that they are actively engaged. Only 28% of employees said that the company are making use of their full skills, and that 2 out of 3 millennials are expecting to leave their jobs by 2020 . Employee turnover costs a company an estimated 1.5 times the employee’s salary. Online teams miss out on the social aspects of a work environment. Using technology to their advantage will help teams engage and motivate each other professionally and personally.


Employee engagement drivers


Working online has many benefits, but brings unique challenges. Keeping teams motivated and engaged has to be planned for. Employment engagement drivers include MEANING (that your job has a purpose), AUTONOMY (flexibility to fit your job into your environment so it suits you), GROWTH (being challenged so you can progress), IMPACT (positive outcomes as a result of your work) and CONNECTION (sense of belonging).


Recognition is key


Most of employee recognition systems still focus on long service. Employees don’t feel that they get enough recognition. According to Human Resources Today, the number 1 reason people resign is limited recognition and praise. 40% of workers would work harder if their employer made effort to recognize them often.


Employees feel disconnected


Online employees have a need to bond with management to maintain a meaningful relationships. Management has a huge influence on employee engagement scores. Companies that focus on increased engagement and motivation experienced 10% higher ratings from customers, a 21% higher profitability and 20% increase in productivity, which leads to lower turnover and lower absenteeism.


What is your gamification strategy?

Many companies make use of gamification tools to boost online employee performance, engagement and motivation. Think games and challenges, leaderboards and badges. Badgeville, Bunchball, Workplace Arcade and GamEffective are some of the products that can be used. Companies could launch challenges, set up teams and award tangible prizes.


Using Social Media to your advantage

Forbes has reported that Social Media can boost online employee engagement.  Facebook has launched Workplace to cater for the corporate world. This is a dedicated space where employees can connect, collaborate with and motivate each other. The advantage of using such a space is that most people knows how it works if they use Facebook. Other services in the market are Slack, Yammer and G Suite. It increases efficiency and minimizes email. Having a home channel/group where colleagues can share photos etc. that are not work related can make them more productive while being part of an online team.


Building engagement from the ground up


Define your measures and goals. You cannot force people to be active on social media. Measurable targets for engagement will help you know what you are aiming for. Share interesting and relevant content. Help your employees understand why they should get involved. Ongoing communication is crucial. Use incentives and gamification. Offer Social Media Training. Weave the social media activity into their everyday responsibilities.


Having online teams are advantageous for business, as long as there are steps being taken to actively engage and motivate team members. Establishing a sense of community will communicate that you care, remember, a happy worker is a productive worker.


Thanks for taking the time to read this, if you’ve found it valuable, like my page @Inspirofreak Personal Development on Facebook, or follow my blog @ for more.

Jana du Toit



Follow your Heart, find your destiny – Part 2


Follow your heart, find your destiny – Part 2

By Inspirofreak

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.

If you want to catch up, please read Part 1 first on:

  • How to know what your calling/vocation is and how to follow your heart.
  • What Mastery means and how you can achieve it.

To master a subject, you first have to find a Master. Look for people that you admire. Ask them to give you some pointers. Pay for a course that they offer. Get to know them inside and out and learn all you can from them. Absorb the Master’s power.

You can also use a 2nd degree role model. This will be public figures who you don’t know personally. Research them, read their biographies, follow them on Social Media. Find out how they got to be where they are at today.

If all else fails and there is no-one, books are great for being temporary mentors. Read as many books as possible in the field of your interest. Personalise the author’s voice in your head. Better yet, listen to their audiobooks or podcasts. Study the author. What would they do in a specific situation? Use what you can and eliminate what you don’t need.

Go through an apprenticeship of +- 10000 hours. This can be divided into 3 essential steps, according to Robert Greene in his book on Mastery:

  1. Deep Observation

Mute your colors, keep to the background. Drop any preconceptions and have a serious desire to learn. Look for the unspoken procedural rules. Look for patterns. Observe. Analyse.

  1. Skills Acquisition

Endless repetition and hands on work. Begin with one skill you can master and build on that. The initial stages will be tedious, but it will toughen your mind.

  1. Experimentation/Active mode

Take on more responsibility. Gauge your progress, fill in gaps. Use constructive criticism. Move past your fears. Force yourself to initiate projects.

Expanding your brain even further than the initial +-10000 hour apprenticeship, you can achieve an intuitive level of thinking, a kind of 3 dimensional intelligence. This level of mastery requires +-20000 hours. This is where you start seeing patterns and unlock mysteries to humankind. That is how Einstein got his “Genius” status. He could solve problems with a seemingly superhuman intelligence.

Some key strategies to mastery include:

  • Choosing tasks slightly above your level of competence, rising to the challenge.
  • Cultivate negative capability by learning to embrace negativity and uncertainty.
  • Explore new /intriguing mysteries.
  • Keep a notebook at hand for random thoughts and ideas.
  • Look for the HOW, instead of the WHAT, going more deeply into the parts, improving the structure.
  • Visualise it – think in terms of images, diagrams and models.
  • Stimulate your senses.

Go confidently in the direction of your interests, in time, specialise by combining skills to solve problems. The future belongs to innovators of new fields. “We betray our true selves when we do not follow the heart’s desire, for what the heart is attracted to, is your destiny.” – Leon Brown

Thanks for taking the time to read this, if you’ve found it valuable, like my page @Inspirofreak on Facebook, or follow my blog @ for more.

Jana du Toit



f5d6c3becce61cc36a49ac9c5fc544cbBy Inspirofreak

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked. “Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.

What is your calling? Do you know?

All of us are born unique. Think back to your childhood. What made you tick? What intrigued/fascinated you? What special abilities/talents do you have? If I sent you to a bookstore with a voucher to go buy 50 books (non-fictional), what would you prefer to read about?

Yes, you know what I am talking about. Listen to that inner voice (the one you’ve shut up so many times before).

I know what you are thinking…Yes, we do still need to earn a living. That is where most of our dreams go to die. Go, earn your living, but ULTIMATELY, become who you are! Also see my previous article

Did you choose your career/vocation or did someone make that decision for you? It is NEVER too late to start dreaming of a bigger purpose. Just setting out? Choose a field related to your interests. You will eventually find a sidepath, make a move to a narrower field. Take the road less traveled, it will lead you to your destiny. Get to know yourself, your interests.


…let the voices of others infect your dream.

…choose a false path (fame, money, attention).

…stay stuck.

…lose your way.


Look for gaps in your field of interest. Find and occupy a perfect niche. Create a field uniquely your own by combining mastery in different fields. Be a rebel. Foresee changes happening in your profession. Convert your experiences to the higher advantage of others. Money and success that truely lasts comes to people who focus on mastery.

What is Mastery?

Research shows that mastery is +-10000 hours spent in a particular field. It is equivalent to studying 500 books in that subject.

Can you be a Master/Genius?

YES! We are all born with the capacity to do it. Mastery simply needs to be cultivated. Mastery is not genetics or only reserved for the priveledged or elite. It is within each of us. If it is humanly possible, it is within your reach.

First, master YOURSELF.

Don’t just wander around, go find yourself! Who are you at the core? Your authentic self. Master yourself and all your weaknesses. Learn as many skills as possible. When you evolve, it creates a snowball effect and flows into other areas of your life. Success breeds success.  Give yourself the freedom to try new things. Grow. People are afraid of their dreams, they either feel undeserving or have a fear of failure. Don’t give into your fears, then you won’t be able to follow your heart!

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” -Anaïs Nin

Part 2 to follow…

Thanks for taking the time to read this, if you’ve found it valuable, like my page @Inspirofreak on Facebook, or follow my blog @ for more.

Jana du Toit




By Inspirofreak

You are attending your own funeral…Someone is reading your obituary. What flashes through your mind? Steven Covey says: “Begin with an end in mind.” Start planning and stop being on autopilot.

Conceive a legitimate purpose and set out to accomplish it. Everybody has the capacity for genius! Find your inner Einstein/Mozart. Get passionate, stop visualising worst case scenarios and start dreaming.

According to Steve Chandler, there are a few things we can do to motivate ourselves:

1. Your brain operates like a Google search engine. See my explanation about the unconscious mind in my article…
Ask yourself:
A. What is good in my life?
B. What is there still to be done?

All we achieve or fail to achieve lie in our minds. As a man thinks, so he is says Proverbs 23:7. There can be no achievement without sacrifice.

Everything in life has a CAUSE and EFFECT. Good thoughts produce good things and vice versa.

James Allen says that you receive what you earn, no more, no less. Your outer reality will ALWAYS be related to your PHILOSOPHY. Circumstances grow out of thought through self-discipline. The body is a servant of the mind.

2. If you dream of living/doing things like your favourite tv show, get off the couch! Watching people lose weight won’t make you thin, watching women hustle won’t make you successful. Do you want to experience nature through the tv screen or do you want to see it for yourself? Take action!

3. Stop saying “I don’t have willpower.” That is a lie! If you didn’t have willpower, you wouldn’t have gotten out of bed, or fed yourself. Willpower is a muscle, train it!

4. Stop making decisions based on your past failures. Start fresh, as if it’s the first time.

5. Why do we keep doing something even though you know it holds you back? You do it because it’s COMFORTABLE. Train the quit out of you.

6. Develop some new REPLACEMENT habits. Build SUPPORT habits to support your habits e.g. drinking enough water while trying a new diet.

7. Get some coaching, not because the coach is a better player, but a coach can look at your life from an objective perspective. Let them tell you what they see. It doesn’t have to cost money to get a mentor. Ask someone you admire to give you some pointers.

8. Make a list of STRENGTHS and WEAKNESSES. How can you use your weaknesses to your best ability to create a competetive advantage?

9. Be a FINISHER. Fatigue comes from not finishing. Build a personal record of finishing tasks.

10. When you relax, make sure you relax what needs relaxing. If you have a job with lots of mind stuff, do something with your body. If you are a hands on worker, go do something with your mind. Stimulate your brain even during recovery.

I will leave you with the following definition of DHARMA. Go out and chase your dreams!

The Law of Dharma:
Seek your highest self. Discover your unique talents. Ask yourself how you are best suited to serve humanity. Using your unique talents and serving others brings unlimited bliss and abundance. – Deepak Chopra

Thanks for taking the time to read this, if you’ve found it valuable, like my page @Inspirofreak on Facebook, or follow my blog @ for more.

Jana du Toit


Office Politics and conflict in the workplace… How to deal.


By Inspirofreak

Definition of Office Politics: When people use their reactions to say what they think others would want to hear instead of saying what they want to say. People are unwilling to experience interpersonal discomfort, and rather try to avoid conflict, than working things out.

Backstabbing, indirect attacks, gossip, bullying, credit-takers, criticisers…all of these types of people and scenarios are caused/worsened by unwillingness to confront the situation/person head-on.

Open, constructive conflict is productive. If no-one is able to raise their point of view, and stand up for it, the team will struggle to make decisions and won’t feel like being vounerable with each other, which in turn leads to absence of trust.

Renée Everson created a 5 step process where she teaches us how to navigate through any kind of conflict situation in the workplace.

First, some basic rules for dealing with conflict are:

-Always remain calm and treat others with respect.

-Don’t overreact. Calm down first before confronting someone.

-Don’t try to change people, focus only on changing the behaviour.

-Avoid complaining to people about others

-If the discussion gets heated, end the discussion and cool off  before attempting to resolve conflict.

Step 1 Think first

Play out various scenarios. Focus on the facts. Don’t assume. Maintain objectivity. Perceive each person’s personality and think it through from their point of view.

Do not begin with a “You” statement. Always use “I” phrases when starting the conversation. Think about how the event/situation made you feel.

Step 2 Understanding

Talk about it to the other person. Gain additional facts. Allow the person to vent without interrupting. Let the person know that he/she might be viewing the situation differently.

Step 3 Define the problem/Offer your best solution

Make eye contact. State the problem. Allow others to agree or offer a solution.

Step 4 Compromise

See if you can come to a win win solution for the problem.

Step 5 Resolution/Reconciliation

Make sure everyone agrees with the resolution. Add a positive statement to reconfirm the relationship i.e. “I’m glad we had this chat, I enjoy working with you.”

Where does a team make their biggest mistakes? According to Patrick Lencioni, there are 5 interrelated dysfunctions of a team:

1. Lack of trust

Trust in a team context means that teammembers know that their peers’ intentions are good, and that there is no reason to be protective/careful around the group.

2. Fear of Conflict

A lack of conflict will mean that no-one really agrees on decisions, so they don’t buy-in to what is decided.

3. Lack of commitment

People are generally willing to commit but they need to agree with the action plan.

4. Avoidance of accountability

If the team does not agree on the action plan, they will not want to be held accountable.

5.Inattention to results

If there is no accountability, there will be an inattention to results.

From all that we have learnt here, it is clear that a fear of dealing with conflict leads to unnecessary office politics. Rather face each and every problem head on, than having to deal with the gossip, bacstabbing, bullying etc. later. Remember, you teach people how to treat you.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, if you liked it, like my page @Inspirofreak, or follow me @ for more.

Jana du Toit