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12 Stressful Things to Stop Tolerating

Author: Marc

Needless tolerations can bleed you dry of energy and make it impossible for you to function effectively. You can't live a happy, successful, fulfilling life if you're spending all your energy tolerating things that shouldn't be tolerated. Sometimes you need to put your foot down.

Here are some things to stop tolerating in your life:

  • The decision to settle for mediocrity. - It's not always about trying to fix something that's broken. Sometimes it's about starting over and creating something better. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly. Sometimes growing up means growing apart from old habits, relationships, and situations, and finding something new that truly moves you - something that gets you so excited you can't wait to get out of bed in the morning. That's what life is all about. Don't settle.
  • Your own negative thinking. - Your mind is your sacred space. You can close the windows and darken your space, or you can open the windows and let light in. It's your choice. The sun is always shining on some part of your life. What do you typically think about? How far you've come, or how far you have to go? Your strengths, or your weaknesses? The best that could happen, or the worst that might come to be? Pay attention to your self-talk. Because maybe, just maybe, the only thing that needs to shift in order for you to experience more happiness, more love, and more success, is your way of thinking. Read Emotional Freedom.
  • Other people's negativity. - If you don't value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you're sabotaging yourself. You do not have control over what others say and do; but you do have control over whether or not you will allow them to say and do these things to you You alone can deny their poisonous words and actions from invading your heart and mind. Remember, if you do not respect your sacred inner space, no one else will either.
  • Unhealthy relationships. - Choose your relationships wisely. Being alone will never cause as much loneliness as the wrong relationships. Be with people who know your worth. You don't need lots of friends to be happy; just a few real ones who appreciate you for who you are. Oftentimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth, but because we finally realize our own worth.
  • Dishonesty. - Inner peace is being able to rest at night knowing you haven't used or taken advantage of anyone to get to where you are in life. Living a life of honesty creates peace of mind, and peace of mind is priceless. Period. Don't be dishonest and don't put up with people who are.
  • A work environment or career field you hate. - If it doesn't feel right, don't settle on the first or second career field you dabble in. Keep searching. Eventually you will find work you love to do. If you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don't stop. You're on to something big. Because hard work isn't hard when you concentrate on your passions.
  • Being disorganized and unprepared. - Get up 30 minutes earlier so you don't have to rush around like a mad man. That 30 minutes will help you avoid speeding tickets, tardiness and other unnecessary headaches. Clear the clutter. Get rid of stuff you don't use. Read David Allen's book Getting Things Done for some practical organizational guidance.
  • Inaction. - The acquisition of knowledge doesn't mean you're growing; growing happens when what you know changes how you live. You can't change anything or make any sort of progress by sitting back and thinking about it. If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting. The best time to start is now.
  • The lingering of unfinished business. - There's nothing more stressful than the perpetual lingering of unfinished business. Stop procrastinating. Start taking action to tie loose ends. Putting something off instantly makes it harder and scarier.
  • The choice to mull over past mistakes and regrets. - If you feel like your ship is sinking, it might be a good time to throw out the stuff that's been weighing it down. The next time you decide to unclutter your life and clean up your space, start with the things that are truly useless, like old regrets, shame, and anger. Let it go. You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep rereading your previous one.
  • A mounting pile of personal debt. - Financial debt causes stress and heartache. Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one. Do not buy stuff you do not need. Do not spend to impress others. Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects. Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you. Always live well below your means. Read The Millionaire Next Door.
  • Your reluctance to say what you need to say. - Everyone has this little watchdog inside their head. It's always there watching you. It was born and raised by your family, friends, coworkers and society at large, and its sole purpose is to watch you and make sure you stay in line. And once you become accustomed to the watchdog's presence, you begin to think it's opinion of what's acceptable and unacceptable are absolute truths. But they're not truths; they're just other people's opinions. Remember, the watchdog is just a watchdog, he just watches. He can't actually control you. He can't do anything about it if you decide to rise up and go against the grain. No, you shouldn't start shouting obscenities and acting like a fool. But you must say what you need to say, when you need to say it. It may be your only chance to do so. Don't censor yourself. Speak the truth - your truth - always.


Take Those Rocks Out of Your Head!

Author : Guy Finley

Key Lesson: Your thoughts can no more tell you what is true about your possibilities than can a set of stream-side boulders know the nature of the waters that rush by them.

The Secret of Knowing Without Thinking

Imagine for a moment what your life might be like if you never again were to pick up a complaining thought or feeling. Think of how your days would flow without carrying the additional weight of those inner voices always telling you, "I'm too tired," or "This is too much for me!" The weight of the world would be replaced by a new sense of freedom. Fresh, new energies would flow.

If this is the kind of inwardly carefree life you really want, then look closely into these next two ideas that together tell one story of freedom: leaving troubled thoughts right where you find them is the same as not picking up what troubles you. And if you can leave just one of these weary thoughts behind you, then you can leave two, and three, and four, and fifty!

Most people tend to worry that if they don't worry, something bad will happen to them. But what they don't see is that these worried thoughts they've picked up by mistake are the very storm they fear will come!

You may wonder, "But what happens if I make a mistake? How can you tell which thoughts and feelings are the right ones to leave where you find them, and which ones do you pick up? What if I choose wrong?" You needn't worry about such questions. Here's why.

There's a way to know, without ever having to think about it, exactly which of your own thoughts and feelings are your friends, and which are foes -- a totally thought-free way to understand which of your thoughts are practical and necessary for everyday life, and which are stealing your life with unsuspected self-compromise. It's true. You possess unsuspected powers of perception just waiting to be awakened. The following technique will help you get started.

Stop reading this for a minute and allow your eyes to fall on something familiar in the space where you are. Notice how your mind immediately gives that object a name. Having done this part of the exercise, keep your attention on whatever you've selected, and then continue to watch how more thoughts come into your mind about what you're seeing.

Now, while you're witnessing both that object and your growing stream of associative thoughts and feelings about it, just drop these thoughts and feelings.

You can still see the object, and you still know what it is -- but now you are knowing without thinking. This is your introduction to an unconditioned relationship with life.

In this form of higher attention, of knowing without thinking, you can see that the meaning of the object before you has not changed. The difference is that now its meaning speaks directly, silently to you -- instead of you listening to your thoughts tell you about its meaning.

When it comes to seeing a chair or a pencil, this new kind of thought-free state may not seem too profound. But this practice can, and should, be enlarged to encompass your whole life.

The benefits behind the ability to understand something, or someone, without having to go into thought, cannot be over estimated. You may not be able to think your way out of a nagging problem, but you can see your way clear of it. This special kind of inner seeing is safety. Waking up to yourself is the same as letting go of all those self-defeating thoughts and feelings that have been telling you how to win.


21 Ways We Waste Our Vital Life Forces

Author : Guy Finley

All creatures in life are created to reach their natural fruition. The Great Life generously provides all of them with everything they need to fulfill their promise. This same abundance holds true for our spiritual awakening as well. Everything we need to succeed is forever raining down upon and within us. The spiritually awakened life is not something that one achieves, like an award for fine art or some other measured performance. The true Higher Life comes to us naturally and reveals and expresses itself in anyone who realizes that, like the sun above us, this Living Light within us is always present. It is we who are absent from this eternally indwelling Life, not because these vital forces are withheld from us, but because we waste them. Following are 21 Ways We Waste our Vital Life Forces, and for whose loss we remain sound asleep spiritually. Study these thieves closely and catch them in the act of stealing your chances for Higher Life as they drain away your vital life forces.

  • All forms of useless talking
  • Being wrongly involved in the life of anyone else
  • Daydreams of any nature
  • Using excessive emotions
  • Keeping "accounts" on those who have displeased you
  • Sitting in judgment of anyone for any reason
  • Becoming identified with anything
  • Useless thinking, such as speculating "why?"
  • Overindulging yourself
  • Resisting your environment or the unpleasant manifestations of others
  • Being concerned with how others see you
  • Defending yourself from imagined enemies, as with quips or sarcasm
  • Puttering around in order to keep yourself feeling productive
  • Any form of sexual imagination
  • Rushing through or to anything
  • All forms of frustration, including impatience and anger
  • Doing anything in half measures, or leaving things hanging
  • Telling "little" lies
  • Taking part in any dialogue with yourself
  • Seeking any form of vengeance or retribution, embracing resentment
  • Wrestling with anxious feelings and trying to think your way out of pain

For extra benefit, make a list of ways you suspect your own vital forces are being wasted. Then stop throwing away your chance to know Real Life!


52 Monday Morning Stress Reduction Mantras

Author : Marc & Angel

January 17th, 2011 @ 12:36 am by: Marc

Here are 52 Monday morning stress reduction mantras - one for each week of the year. I choose one Mantra every Monday morning and sit silently for a few moments, repeating it slowly in my mind as if I were meditating. I also write the mantra on a post-it note and stick it next to my computer monitor for the duration of the week. This weekly ritual has helped me reduce unnecessary stress in my life by reminding me to keep things simple and within a reasonable perspective.

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.
- Sydney J. Harris

  • Everything I do is by choice. There is always another option.
  • I will strive to be the best I can be, but I will never try to be someone I'm not.
  • I must keep dreaming. Wanting what I don't think I can have is the first step to making my dreams a reality.
  • I won't use where I've been to justify where I am. I will use where I am to jump-start where I'm going.
  • Right now is the only guaranteed moment in my life. I will make the best of it.
  • Think big. Start small. One bite of the elephant at a time.
  • I will prioritize my obligations and do the important things first.
  • I will not try to please everyone. I will simply do what I know is right.
  • The more productive I am, the luckier I will become.
  • There is nobody else exactly like me, with my exact abilities, talents and ideas.
  • I'm not supposed to have all the answers.
  • Laughing, crying, joy and anger - all are vital, all make me human.
  • I can't change who I am. I can only change what I know and how I apply this knowledge.
  • I will slow down and become conscious of life's simple pleasures.
  • I will focus more on less. I will get rid of stuff I do not use.
  • I will not try to read other people's minds. I will not make other people try to read mine. I will communicate effectively.
  • I can help myself by helping those around me.
  • I will take ownership of my actions so my actions never own me.
  • Every person has a unique definition of success. To me, success means...
  • I will never make decisions in a state of emotional haste.
  • If I want to remember it, I will write it down in a trusted location.
  • I will do something today that makes me happy.
  • Everyone doesn't have to like me and I don't have to like everyone.
  • The one with nothing to hide is always the one left standing tall.
  • My habits define my life.
  • I will say no when I should.
  • I will stand firm by my values without senselessly promoting them.
  • We are all weird in our own way. This makes life beautiful.
  • Everyone has a story. There's a reason why people are the way they are. I will appreciate them just the way they are.
  • I cannot make someone love me. I can only be someone who can be loved.
  • The biggest mistake I can make is doing nothing because I'm scared to make a mistake.
  • Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
  • What other people think of me isn't that important.
  • If I want to believe in myself more I will start doubting others less. Because where I most easily doubt others is where I most easily doubt myself.
  • I will ask questions if I'm not sure.
  • I will let go of things I can't change and instead concentrate on things I can.
  • There are extraordinary things going on in my life. I have a lot to be thankful for.
  • Today is a new beginning - a chance for me to do something extraordinary.
  • No matter how small, I will celebrate my successes today.
  • I will thank people who have helped me and I will return the favor as soon as I am able.
  • There are ideas, products and cultures I do not yet understand. I will keep an open mind.
  • The most important things in my life are my health, my family and friends, and my education. Everything else is secondary.
  • There are thousands of little things that just aren't worth fighting for - I will let them go. I will choose my battles wisely.
  • I will stay out of other people's drama and not needlessly create my own.
  • I will always be honest with myself and others.
  • Every mistake I make is progress. I must learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of others.
  • I will treat everyone with the same level of respect I would give to my grandfather and the same level of patience I would have with my baby brother.
  • Nothing is permanent. However good or bad a situation is now, it will change.
  • Life is short and people are not perfect. I will forgive myself. I will forgive others.
  • Missing a once-in-a-lifetime chance leads to regret, or creativity. Because what can't be redone can still be outdone.
  • No matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either I succeed or I learn something. Win-Win.
  • I will not waste my time on jealously. I'm in competition with one person and one person only - myself. I'm competing to be the best I can be.

Please feel free to edit this list to meet your own needs. I've made a few modifications myself over the past few years. Also, for a great read on reducing stress I recommend Dale Carnegie's How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

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12 Dozen Places To Self-Educate Yourself Online

Author : Marc & Angel

Posted: 14 Nov 2010 08:14 PM PST

All education is self-education. Period. It doesn't matter if you're sitting in a college classroom or a coffee shop. We don't learn anything we don't want to learn.

Those people who take the time and initiative to pursue knowledge on their own are the only ones who earn a real education in this world. Take a look at any widely acclaimed scholar, entrepreneur or historical figure you can think of. Formal education or not, you'll find that he or she is a product of continuous self-education.

If you're interested in learning something new, this article is for you. Broken down by subject and/or category, here are several top-notch self-education resources I have bookmarked online over the past few years.

Note that some of the sources overlap between various subjects of education. Therefore, each has been placed under a specific subject based on the majority focus of the source's content.

Science and Health

  • MIT OpenCourseWare - MIT OpenCourseWare is a free web-based publication of MIT course materials that reflects almost all the undergraduate and graduate subjects taught at MIT.
  • Tufts OpenCourseWare - Tufts OpenCourseWare is part of a new educational movement initiated by MIT that provides free access to course content for everyone online. Tufts' course offerings demonstrate the University's strength in the life sciences in addition to its multidisciplinary approach, international perspective and underlying ethic of service to its local, national and international communities.
  • HowStuffWorks Science - More scientific lessons and explanations than you could sort through in an entire year.
  • Harvard Medical School Open Courseware - The mission of the Harvard Medical School Open Courseware Initiative is to exchange knowledge from the Harvard community of scholars to other academic institutions, prospective students, and the general public.
  • Khan Academy - Over 1200 videos lessons covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, and biology.
  • Open Yale Courses - Open Yale Courses provides lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses to the public free of charge via the internet. The courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences.
  • webcast.berkeley - Every semester, UC Berkeley webcasts select courses and events for on-demand viewing via the Internet. webcast.berkeley course lectures are provided as a study resource for both students and the public.
  • UC San Deigo Podcast Lectures - UCSD's podcasting service was established for instructional use to benefit our students. Podcasts are taken down at the end of every quarter (10 weeks Fall-Spring and 5 weeks in the summer). If you're enjoying a podcast, be sure to subscribe and download the lectures. Once the podcast has been taken offline, faculty rarely approve their reposting.
  • Johns Hopkins OpenCourseWare - The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's OpenCourseWare project provides access to content of the School's most popular courses As challenges to the world's health escalate daily, the School feels a moral imperative to provide equal and open access to information and knowledge about the obstacles to the public's health and their potential solutions.
  • Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative - No instructors, no credits, no charge. Use these self-guiding Carnegie Mellon materials and activities to learn at your own pace.
  • Utah State OpenCourseWare - Utah State OpenCourseWare is a collection of educational material used in our formal campus courses, and seeks to provide people around the world with an opportunity to access high quality learning opportunities.
  • AMSER - AMSER (the Applied Math and Science Education Repository) is a portal of educational resources and services built specifically for use by those in Community and Technical Colleges but free for anyone to use.
  • Wolfram Demonstrations Project - Wolfram brings computational exploration to the widest possible audience, open-code resource that uses dynamic computation to illuminate concepts. Free player runs all demos and videos.
  • The Science Forum - A very active scientific discussion and debate forum.
  • Free Science and Video Lectures Online! - A nice collection of video lectures and lessons on science and philosophy.
  • - searches over 42 databases and over 2000 selected websites from 14 federal agencies, offering 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information including research and development results.
  • The National Science Digital Library - NSDL is the Nation's online library for education and research in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics.
  • EnviroLink Network- A non-profit organization, grassroots online community uniting organizations and volunteers around the world. Up-to-date environmental information and news.
  • - Information about geology and earth science to visitors without charge: Articles, News, Maps, Satellite Images, Dictionary, etc.
  • Scitable - A free science library and personal learning tool that currently concentrates on genetics, the study of evolution, variation, and the rich complexity of living organisms. The site also expects to expand into other topics of learning and education.
  • - A free open learning community for sharing newer and emerging tools to teach science.

Business and Money

  • MIT Sloan School of Management - MIT Sloan is a world-class business school long renowned for thought leadership and the ability to successfully partner theory and practice. This is a subsection of the larger MIT OpenCourseWare site.
  • Investopedia Financial Investing Tutorials - A plethora of detailed lessons on money management and investing.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration Training Network - The Small Business Administration has one of the best selections of business courses on the web. Topics include everything from starting a business and business management to government contracting and international trade. Most courses take only 30 minutes to complete.
  • VideoLectures.NET (Business) - A free and open access educational video lectures repository. The lectures are given by distinguished scholars and scientists at the most important and prominent events like conferences, summer schools, workshops and science promotional events from many fields of Science.
  • My Own Business, Inc. - Offers a free online business administration course that would be beneficial to new managers and to anyone who is interested in starting a business. This comprehensive course is split up into 16 sessions covering topics like business plans, accounting, marketing, insurance, e-commerce and international trade.
  • UC Irvine OpenCourseWare (Business) - Rapidly with the addition of nearly 10 new courses every month. Many of our OCW offerings are directed at working adults seeking continuing education, with the option to enroll in instructor-led, for-credit courses, related to the OCW content. (more...)

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The Egg

Author : Andy Weir

Posted: 27th October 2010

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that's when you met me.
"What... what happened?" You asked. "Where am I?"
"You died," I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
"There was a... a truck and it was skidding..."
"Yup," I said.
"I... I died?"
"Yup. But don't feel bad about it. Everyone dies," I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. "What is this place?" You asked. "Is this the afterlife?"
"More or less," I said."Are you god?" You asked.
"Yup," I replied. "I'm God."
"My kids... my wife," you said.
"What about them?"
"Will they be all right?"
"That's what I like to see," I said. "You just died and your main concern is for your family. That's good stuff right there."
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn't look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
"Don't worry," I said. "They'll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn't have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it's any consolation, she'll feel very guilty for feeling relieved."
"Oh," you said. "So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?"
"Neither," I said. "You'll be reincarnated."
"Ah," you said. "So the Hindus were right,"
"All religions are right in their own way," I said. "Walk with me."
You followed along as we strode through the void. "Where are we going?"
"Nowhere in particular," I said. "It's just nice to walk while we talk."
"So what's the point, then?" You asked. "When I get reborn, I'll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won't matter."
"Not so!" I said. "You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don't remember them right now."
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. "Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It's like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it's hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you've gained all the experiences it had.
"You've been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven't stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you'd start remembering everything. But there's no point to doing that between each life."
"How many times have I been reincarnated, then?"
"Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives." I said. "This time around, you'll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD."
"Wait, what?" You stammered. "You're sending me back in time?"
"Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from."
"Where you come from?" You said.
"Oh sure," I explained "I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you'll want to know what it's like there, but honestly you wouldn't understand."
"Oh," you said, a little let down. "But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point."
"Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don't even know it's happening."
"So what's the point of it all?"
"Seriously?" I asked. "Seriously? You're asking me for the meaning of life? Isn't that a little stereotypical?"
"Well it's a reasonable question," you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. "The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature."
"You mean mankind? You want us to mature?"
"No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect."
"Just me? What about everyone else?"
"There is no one else," I said. "In this universe, there's just you and me."
You stared blankly at me. "But all the people on earth..."
"All you. Different incarnations of you."
"Wait. I'm everyone!?"
"Now you're getting it," I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
"I'm every human being who ever lived?"
"Or who will ever live, yes."
"I'm Abraham Lincoln?"
"And you're John Wilkes Booth, too," I added.
"I'm Hitler?" You said, appalled.
"And you're the millions he killed."
"I'm Jesus?"
"And you're everyone who followed him."
You fell silent.
"Every time you victimized someone," I said, "you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you've done, you've done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you."
You thought for a long time.
"Why?" You asked me. "Why do all this?"
"Because someday, you will become like me. Because that's what you are. You're one of my kind. You're my child."
"Whoa," you said, incredulous. "You mean I'm a god?"
"No. Not yet. You're a fetus. You're still growing. Once you've lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born."
"So the whole universe," you said, "it's just..."
"An egg." I answered. "Now it's time for you to move on to your next life."
And I sent you on your way.

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7 Ways to Deal with Uncertainty to be Happier and Less Anxious

By : Lori Deschene

Posted: 15 Aug 2010 11:07 PM PDT

"Happiness is simple. Everything we do to find it is complicated." -Karen Maezen Miller

We plan for it. We talk about it. We work toward it. We look for it. We try to create it. We try to enhance it. We hope to discover it. We hope to hold onto it.

Sometimes we make happiness exhausting.

It isn't some magical outcome, just beyond the horizon. It isn't a house, job, friend, or relationship away. Happiness can only be felt right now in acceptance of the moment as it is.

How you can embrace today, in all its beauty and flaws, to make your "someday" now?

In three weeks, my boyfriend and I might move from the Bay area to LA; or we might move in here with roommates if he decides not pursue a film career.

I am starting a new work-from-home writing gig to pay my bills while I write my book. It might be something I can do in under two days a week, or it may require more time. It may provide enough money, or I might need to get some other work to supplement.

If we move, I might enjoy LA; I might not. I might balance everything well; I might feel overwhelmed. I might make new friends easily in my new area; it might take me a while to find like-minded people.

My world is a towering stack of mights right now. Though I'm dealing with a lot more change than usual, the reality is that most days start and end with uncertainty.

Even when you think you've curled into a cozy cocoon of predictability, anything could change in a heartbeat.

The only constant in life is that it will involve change-and try as you may to control the future, sometimes all you can do is trust that whatever happens, you can adapt and make the best of it.

Since I am straddling familiarity and the unknown, waiting to form some type of expectations for my future, I've been thinking a lot about dealing with uncertainty well. Though I've written before about embracing an uncertain future, I have a few more ideas to add to the mix:

  • Replace expectations with plans.
    When you form expectations, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. You can guide your tomorrow, but you can't control the exact outcome. If you expect the worst, you'll probably feel too negative and closed-minded to notice and seize opportunities. If you expect the best, you'll create a vision that's hard to live up to.

    Instead of expecting the future to give you something specific, focus on what you'll do to create what you want to experience. I might be lonely in LA; or I might move into an apartment building full of yogis who enjoy Scrabble. None of that is in my hands right now. What is in my hands is what I plan-what I will actively do when I get there to meet friends, find balance and live the life I want.
  • Prepare for different possibilities.
    Research shows that perceived control is a key component of happiness. Even though control is always is an illusion, at some points in life we feel more in the driver's seat than others-when you have a plan and you're following it, for example.

    The most difficult part of uncertainty, at least for me, is the inability to plan and feel in control. Until I know where I am going to live, I can't plan what neighborhood I'd like to live in, where I'll practice yoga, or what events I'll attend to meet people. But I can plan for the possibilities.

    I can make a list for what I would do if I were to move to LA versus what I'd do if I stay local. Obviously the latter doesn't require much change, so all I really need is one plan and the flexibility to embrace it if necessary.
  • Become a feeling observer.
    It isn't the uncertainty that bothers me; it's my tendency to get lost in my feelings about it.

    The second I start indulging fear, I get lost in a cycle of reactionary thoughts. "I might be lonely," leads to, "I won't have a car there; how will I meet people?" Before you know it, I've somehow traveled all the way to, "What if I become a recluse, start overeating, and develop restless leg syndrome from sitting too much-alone-on my couch?"

    OK, so that's a slight exaggeration. The point is that speculation leads to feelings which can lead to more speculation and then more feelings. It helps me to stop the cycle by recognizing the feeling-in that case fear-and the reminding myself: I can't possibly predict the future, but I can help create it by fostering positive feelings about the possibilities.
  • Get confident about your coping and adapting skills.
    This isn't the same as "expect the worst." It's more about assuring yourself that you can handle any difficulty that might come. In her book, The Positive Power of Negative Thinking, Julie K. Norem discusses the concept of defensive pessimism-when you consider the worst so you can plan how you'd handle it. This has actually shown to help people manage anxiety.

    Ask yourself, "What's the worst that can happen?" In my case, the worst would be if my boyfriend didn't make a decision at all and we stayed in our current living situation (overcrowded and cluttered). I wouldn't like it, but I could handle it. I could write at the library. I could take the opportunity to downsize my stuff. I could deal, which makes the uncertainty a little less scary.
  • Utilize stress reduction techniques preemptively.
    Don't wait to feel stressed before you take a relaxing bath, practice deep breathing, go to a yoga class or get a massage. If you're dealing with uncertainty, you probably have stress in your body even if it's not at the forefront of your thoughts in this exact moment.

    Over time, that body stress affects blood pressure, blood sugar, muscle tension, cholesterol level, breathing rate and every organ in your body.

    Incorporate stress reduction techniques into your day, ideally meditation, even if just 5-10 minutes daily. Finding your center will help you feel better prepared to tackle whatever comes your way.
  • Focus on what you can control.
    While it's true there's a lot you can't control in life, we're rarely as powerless as we feel. Oftentimes we overlook the little things we can do to make life easier while obsessing about the big things we can't do.

    Take my living situation, for example. My boyfriend and I are cramped in a small space with little storage. My clothes are in bags spaced throughout the room like some kind of luggage booby trap. At times, I've gotten really frustrated with the chaos since I feel I don't know where anything is.

    Every time I couldn't find something, I started complaining about wanting to move now. Then suddenly it dawned on me: moving now just isn't an option, but I can make this living situation more bearable if I stop complaining and focus on a short-term solution. I asked my boyfriend to help me organize the space and keep it that way, and now I feel a lot less scattered.
  • Practice mindfulness.
    When you obsess about a tomorrow you can't control, you're too busy judging what hasn't happened yet to fully experience what's happening right now. Instead of noticing and appreciating the beauty in the moment, you get trapped in a fear-driven thought cycle about the potential for discomfort down the line.

    While meditation is the best way to become more mindful, it isn't the only approach. Sometimes it helps me to take an inventory of what's good in today. So I can't yet plan for tomorrow-that doesn't have to be a bad thing. That means I can spend today doing other things, like writing, reading, relaxing in the sun, and connecting with people I love.


If ever you think you've created a controllable, predictable life for yourself, you can rest assured that's an illusion. Nothing stays the same forever. The uncertainty can keep you up at night, obsessing over ways to protect yourself from anything that might go wrong. Or it can motivate you to practice acceptance, live in the moment, and embrace the adventure of living.

What's coming tomorrow might not be easy; or it might fulfill you in ways you didn't know to imagine. What's certain is that it will come, and when it gets here, you'll respond to it, learn from it, and move into another tomorrow full of endless possibilities.

Today I'm focusing on my possibilities, not my fear, and suddenly I feel a lot better.

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10 Ways to Have Peaceful, Loving Relationships

By : Lori Deschene

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." ~Dalai Lama

I've made a million and one mistakes in relationships. I've expected too much. Or not asked for what I needed in fear of rocking the boat. I've been competitive. I've been suspicious. I've been dependent. I'd like to think what redeems me from all these mistakes is that I've also been honest.

Being self aware, in my opinion, is far more valuable than being perfect-mostly because the former is attainable and helpful, while the latter is neither.

Relationships are not easy. They mirror everything we feel about ourselves and the way the world works. When you've had a bad day, the people around you seem difficult. When you're not happy with yourself, your relationships seem to be lacking.

If you've ever gotten in a fight, only to find yourself wondering what you were really upset about, this post may help you. If you've ever been disappointed because someone didn't meet your expectations, this post may help you, too. Feel walked on and unheard? You guessed it-there's likely something in here that will help you change that.

We don't live in a vacuum. We have thoughts and feelings that can be confusing. Other people do, too. And just like in the movie Crash, they don't always collide smoothly.

When I apply these ideas-which I do better sometimes than others-I feel confident, strong, compassionate, and peaceful in my interactions. I hope they can do the same for you.

  • Do what you need to do for you.
    Everyone has personal needs, whether it's going to the gym after work or taking some alone time on Saturday morning. If someone asks you to do something and your instinct is to honor you own need, do that. I'm not saying you can't make sacrifices sometimes, but it's important to make a habit of taking care of yourself. (More on this: 10 Ways to Balance Self Interest & Sacrifice).

    Someone once told me people are like glasses of water. If you don't do what you have to do to keep your glass full, you'll need to take it from someone else-which leaves them half full. Fill your own glass so you can feel whole and complete in your relationships.
  • Give people the benefit of the doubt.
    It's tempting to doubt people. To assume your boyfriend meant to hurt you by not inviting you out with his friends, or your friend meant to make you feel inadequate by flaunting her money. People who care about you want you to feel happy, even if sometimes they get too wrapped up in their own problems to show it well.

    Sometimes they may be hurtful and mean it-let's not pretend we're all angels. But that won't be the norm. It will likely be when they're hurting and don't know what to do with it. Odds are they'll feel bad and apologize later. If you want to get good will, share it by seeing the best in the people you love. When you assume the best you often inspire it.
  • Look at yourself for the problem first.
    When you feel unhappy with yourself, it's easy to find something wrong in a relationship If you blame another person for what you're feeling, the solution is on them. But this is actually faulty logic. For starters, it gives them all the control. And secondly, it usually doesn't solve the problem since you didn't actually address the root cause.

    Next time you feel the need to blame someone for your feelings-something they did or should have done-ask yourself if there's something else going on. You may find there's something underlying: something you did or should have done for you. Take responsibility for the problem and you have power to create a solution.
  • Be mindful of projecting.
    In psychology, projecting refers to denying your own traits and then ascribing them to the outside world or other people. For example, if you're not a loyal and trusting friend, you may assume your friends are all out to get you. It's a defense mechanism that allows you to avoid the discomfort of acknowledging your weaknesses. There's no faster way to put a rift in your relationships.

    This comes back to down to self awareness, and it's hard work. Acknowledging your flaws isn't fun; but if you don't, you'll continue seeing them in everyone around you. And you'll continue to hurt. Next time you see something negative in someone else, ask yourself if it's true for you. It might not be-but if it is, identifying it can help create peace in that relationship.
  • Choose your battles.
    Everyone knows someone who makes everything a fight. If you question them about something, you can expect an argument. If you comment on something they did, you'll probably get yelled at. Even a compliment could create a confrontation. Some people just like to fight-maybe to channel negativity they're carrying around about the world or themselves.

    On the one hand, you have to tell people when there's something bothering you. That's the only way to address problems. On the other hand, you don't have to let everything bother you. When I'm not sure if I need to bring something up, I ask myself these few questions:
    • Does this happen often and leave me feeling bad?
    • Does this really matter in the grand scheme of things?
    • Can I empathize with their feelings instead of dwelling on my insecurity?
  • Confront compassionately and clearly.
    When you attack someone, their natural instinct is to defend themself-which gets you nowhere. You end up having a loud conversation where two people do their best to prove they're right and the other one is wrong. It's rarely that black and white. It's more likely you both have points, but you're both too stubborn to meet in the middle.

    If you approach someone with compassion, you will open their hearts and minds. Show them you understand where they're coming from, and they'll be willing to see your side. That gives you a chance to express yourself and your expectations clearly. And when you let people know what you need at the right time in the right way, they're more likely to give that to you.
  • Don't be afraid to be vulnerable.
    There are all kinds of ways you can feel vulnerable in relationships: When you express your feelings for someone else. When you're honest about yourself or your past. When you admit you made a mistake. People don't always do these things because they want to maintain a sense of power.
    Power allows you a superficial sense of control, whereas true, vulnerable being allows you a sense of authenticity. That's love: being your true self and allowing someone else to do the same without letting fear and judgment tear it down. It's like Jimi Hendrix said, "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." I discussed this more in-depth in 5 Rules for Life.
  • Think before acting on emotion.
    This one is the hardest for me. As soon as I feel hurt, frustrated, or angry, I want to do something with it-which is always a bad idea. I've realized my initial emotional reaction does not always reflect how I really feel about something. Initially, I might feel scared or angry-but once I calm down and think things through, I often realize I overreacted.

    When you feel a strong emotion, try to sit it for a while. Don't use it or run from it-just feel it. When you learn to observe your feelings before acting on them, you minimize the negativity you create in two ways: you process, analyze, and deal with feelings before putting them on someone else; and you communicate in a way that inspires them to stay open instead of shutting down.
  • Maintain boundaries.
    When people get close, boundaries can get fuzzy. In a relationship without boundaries, you let the other person manipulate you into doing things you don't want to do. You act out of guilt instead of honoring your needs. You let someone offend you without telling them how you feel about it. The best way to ensure people treat you how you want to be treated is to teach them.

    That means you have to love and respect yourself enough to do that: to acknowledge what you need, and speak up. The only way to truly have loving, peaceful relationships is to start with a loving, peaceful relationship with yourself. This is a huge topic; if it resonates with you, I recommend this wonderful article (yes, on Oprah's website) that explains how to set personal boundaries.
  • Enjoy their company more than their approval.
    When you desperately need someone's approval, your relationship becomes all about what they do for you: how often they stroke your ego, how well they bring you up when you feel down, how well they mitigate your negative feelings. This is draining for another person; and it creates an unbalanced relationship.

    If you notice yourself dwelling on pleasing someone else or getting their approval, realize you're creating that need. (Unless you're in an abusive relationship, in which case I highly recommend getting help.) Instead of focusing on what you can get from that person, focus on enjoying yourselves together. Oftentimes the best thing you can do for yourself and someone else is let go and give yourself permission to smile.

    What do you do to create peaceful, loving relationships?

Read more about me on or on Twitter @lori_deschene. If you enjoyed this post, please support Tiny Buddha! If you'd like to submit a guest post, send it email @ Photo here and here.

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10 Tips to Advise Wisely: How to Give Advice That Actually Helps

By : Maelina Frattaroli & Lori Deschene

"If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind" ~Buddha

Nothing appears to be going right. The worst part? No one gets it, even though they might claim to.

Even though you know this is all temporary-it always is-you feel the need to ask other people what you should do. If they say what you want to hear, you're relieved. But it doesn't usually work that way. In fact, oftentimes you're more frustrated than you were before once they put their two cents in.

We've all been there before.

Think back real hard-what in particular helped or irked you about advice people gave you? Did they say you should have done something differently (which wasn't very useful after the fact)?

Did they tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself because other people have bigger problems? Did they offer some platitudes or cliche advice that sounded impossible to follow?

When friends have problems that seem incurable and never-ending, you can sense that hopelessness. And you want to fix it, which always seems so simple when you're sitting on the outside.

Oftentimes, you're not sure what to say because you don't feel qualified to give advice but you feel compelled to say something. But it always looks different when you're inside the mess than it is when you're standing on the sidelines.

And even if other people have much larger problems, we still dwell on our own because what matters, in that moment, is how we feel.

Sometimes, you just have to accept the fact that you can't, at least not instantly, help someone when they're in a fragile state. That's OK. Most of the time when someone comes to you, they're not expecting you to have all the answers or even talk.

They just want someone to lend an ear and be by their side through a difficult time.

Realizing this is key to delivering good advice. It isn't always composed of words and answers. Here's how you can be helpful to a person in their darkest of times:

  • Advise with permission.
    When you care about someone, and think you know how to improve their situation, it's tempting to play amateur psychiatrist-especially if you've been there before. If you've ever been on the couch-end of this scenario, you know it can be frustrating.

    If you feel the need to offer unsolicited advice, ask them, "Do you want some ideas to improve the situation?" This way they have the option to say no; and they'll likely give you more attention when they've agreed to take your help.
  • Give them a rant window.
    Oftentimes when people ask for advice, what they really want is to rehash something they can't get off their mind-something they've probably talked about repeatedly to lots of different people (maybe even anyone who'd listen).

    The best way to be a friend is to enable both what they want to do and what they need to do. Want: tell the story repeatedly, as if they can change how they feel if they just talk about it enough. Need: work through it and let it go. Tell them you're there to listen to everything they need to say. Once they've gotten all out, you'd love to help them move on.
  • Be honest.
    If you don't know how someone feels, you can't truthfully say, "I know how you feel." That's OK. You can likely still empathize on some level. Let them know, gently, that you haven't been there before, but you'll try to put yourself in their shoes to help as best you can.

    Also, don't be afraid to let them know you don't have anything to say. You can still be an ear, take some time to think about it, and then share your thoughts later.
  • Avoid judging.
    When someone comes to you for help, odds are they already feel pretty vulnerable. They're trusting you to hear them out without being judgmental or condescending.

    Rather than beginning your advice with, "You should have," or "Why didn't you...?" realize what's done is done, and focus on what they can do or change right now. Try something like, "It might help to consider...." Then, offer your support along the path.
  • Make it a collaboration.
    It can feel gratifying to figure out what seems like the answer, and then deliver it in a sermon. It's like being a good advice detective when you figure out exactly what someone should or can do-and you feel even better when you can put it all into words eloquently.

    But this can also come off as superiority, which probably isn't your intention. Try, "I don't have all the answers, but I'd love to help you figure out what's right for you." Whenever you've talked for a few minutes, bring it back to them. "What are your thoughts about that?"
  • Offer long-term support.
    Your sister doesn't want just a list of ways to break up with her boyfriend; she wants help finding the courage to do it and get through it. Your friend doesn't just want tips to switch careers; she wants support in making a scary but positive change.

    It doesn't matter so much that you have all the answers. More often that not, people know what's right for them; they just want to feel validated and supported.
  • Don't make promises.
    Even if you've been there before, you can't guarantee any specific outcome. Your friend could approach her boss exactly like you did for a raise, and end up being demoted-at which point she might blame you.

    Keep expectations realistic by focusing on possibilities within the realm of uncertainty. If you tell your sister to take a risk, make sure she knows it is a risk. Help her weigh the possible outcomes, both positive and negative so she can decide if it's worth the potential reward.
  • Recommend a read.
    When you make the proactive decision to find answers for yourself, you feel both empowered and confident in your ability to make the right decision. You can help your friend feel that way by pointing him in the direction of a few books that will help him help himself.

    He'll feel much better himself after gaining a new insight through reading than he will after sitting through a lecture. Start by saying, "I came across something that might help put things in perspective..."
  • Say it from the heart.
    Another option is to be there with kindness instead of words. This is a good approach if you've already offered advice on the problem, and realize not much you say will help.

    Leave a hand-written "thinking of you" card in that person's mailbox or mail them a package with some sweet treats and light reads. Sometimes people just need to remember their problem isn't the end of the world, and there are lots of other good things in their life.
  • Make plans.
    You're not the go-to guru for all answers-and you don't have to be-but you have the power to make other things happen.

    Plan a fun weekend getaway or day trip (for the budget-conscious) with your friend. Set the date in stone and make an unforgettable memory. People often find answers for themselves when they get away, let themselves relax, and clear their head for a while.

You don't always have to have the right words. Actions speak louder, anyway. But if you do have something to say, know how you say it can make a world of difference.

Maelina resides on the NY/CT line. She believes that most of life's complexities can be cured through the written word; listening to Neil Diamond; and garlic-infused dishes. Read more about Lori in the FAQs, on, or on Twitter @lori_deschene. Photo here.


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Winnie the Pooh's Guide to a Happier Life

By : Henrik Edberg

Date 20/04/10 - Source: The Positivity Blog

"Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?"

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best - " and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called."

innie the Pooh is a very nice bear. He has always seemed like a pretty happy bear to me.

So here are a few of my favorite happiness tips from that honey loving bear.

Don't get bogged down in details.

"You can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count."

Getting bogged down in details, focusing on the small problems can have advantages. But it can also make you miss the big picture. What's really important in your life.

Don't make the classic mistakes of spending too much time nitpicking or making mountains out of molehills. Relax instead. Focus on the positive things you have and want in your life.

Focus on that. Work towards that. The days may seem long but the years are often pretty short. So live them instead constantly watching, inspecting, criticizing or overthinking them.

Be proactive. Take the lead.

"You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes."

It's easy to get locked into a reactive mindset. You just follow along with whatever is happening. You do what the people around you do. You react to whatever is going on.

And so you get lost in your circumstances. This way of thinking doesn't feel too good. You tend to feel powerless and like you are just drifting along.

A more useful and pleasurable way of living is to be proactive. This feels better and provides better results. But on the other hand it's also more difficult. It's easier to just drift along in the reactive stream of life. And if you want to be proactive then you may have to take the lead quite often. You have to get out of your comfort zone. And that can be scary.

Still, living proactively is so much more rewarding and exciting.

Keep conversations positive and simple.

"It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?""

What do people want in a conversations and relationships of all kinds?

Longwinded negative babbling?
Or positive talks that are focused and where it is interesting to listen and exchange ideas?

Although the answer is probably both, I rather spend most of my time doing the latter. Three tips that help me to keep the conversation positive and focused are:

  • Live a positive life. If you focus on the positive in your daily life then it's usually no problem to keep focusing on it and talking about it in conversations.
  • Be aware and alert. If you know that you have a problem with excessive, negative ramblings then that awareness can help you to stop yourself more and more often before you go off on a rant. Or even before you pick a negative conversational path.
  • Focus on the other people. If you focus too much on yourself then it's easy to get lost in your own awesome thoughts and words and forget that you are having a conversation. It also makes it easy to get lost in your problems and make them bigger than they are. If you instead focus more outwards on the people you are talking too it becomes easier to see how the conversation is going and to keep it balanced.

Do nothing once in a while.

"Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."

Although it feels good to work towards you goals and doing the things you love I find that things go better and I feel better if there is balance. If I just take some time each week to do pretty much nothing. If I just spend time with myself on a solitary walk for example while listening to the birds.

It may sounds slightly cheesy but if you don't unload your mind and just relax and do nothing sometimes then life tend to get more burdensome and difficult than it needs to be.


"A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise."

A very obvious tip. But it is one of the most effective ones to live a healthier, more energetic and happier life.
I think that one of the most important factors for getting regular exercise is simply to find something that you like. Something that fits you.
It did for example take me quite some time of trying different ways to do cardio exercise (running, bicycling etc.) before I found body weight exercises.

Experiment and find what works for you and what fits your personality. This will make it a lot easier to stick to your positive change and develop a relaxed consistency where you are enjoying yourself.

Appreciate the little things.

"Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon"

Daily happiness is to a large part about appreciating the small things. If you just allow yourself to be happy when accomplishing a big goal or when having some great luck then you are making life harder than it needs to be.
Instead, focus on appreciating things that you may take for granted.

Take two minutes and find things in your life you can appreciate now. If you want a few suggestions, here are a few of the things that I like to appreciate:

  • My food.
  • The weather.
  • My health.
  • Friends and family.
  • This blog and the opportunity to write about what I want.
  • You, the reader.
  • Myself and the fine things about me.

The funny thing is that if you just start appreciating something you can very quickly start jumping around with your attention and appreciate just about anything around you. You may start with the food you are eating right now. Then move your attention to the phone and appreciate that you can contact anyone - and be contacted by anyone - you'd like. You might then move your attention outside, through the window and see the wonderful sunshine, then kids having fun with a football and then a really attractive person walking by. And so on.

Or you can take a couple of minutes each night and write down 5 things you are grateful for in a journal.

Doing any of these two exercises will over time make it easier to naturally in everyday situations be more appreciative and grateful for your life.

If you found this article helpful, please share it on Stumblupon and Twitter. Thank you very much! =)

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Mastering the Art of Parenting

By : Brian Tracy

The most important single role of parenting is to love and nurture your children and to build in them feelings of high self-esteem and self-confidence. If you raise your children feeling terrific about themselves, if you bring them up full of eagerness to go out and take on the world, then you have fulfilled your responsibility in the highest possible sense.

Why Parents Don't Love Enough

There are two major reasons for the failure by parents to love their children enough. First, the parents do not love themselves. Parents with low self-esteem have great difficulty giving more love to their children than they feel for themselves. The second reason that parents don't love their children enough is they often have the mistaken notion that their children exist to fulfill their expectations.

Children are Not Property
The starting point of raising super kids is to realize that your children are not your property. Your children belong to themselves. They are a gift to you from high above, and a temporary gift at that.

Children are a Precious Gift
When you look at your children as precious gifts that you can only enjoy for a short time, you see your role as parents differently. When you celebrate and encourage the special nature and personality of your child, he or she grows like a flower in sunshine. But if you try to get your child to be something he or she is not, your child's spirit will wither, and his or her potential for happiness and joy will shrivel like a leaf on a tree in autumn

"Do you know the secrets to raising super kids?"
The biggest regrets that parents have later on in life is that they didn't spend enough time with their children and that they didn't do a good enough job. You want the best for your children. You want them to be happy. You want them to be self-confident ...You want to learn the secrets of raising happy, healthy, children. Click for more >>

Love Makes the Difference
The most important consideration in raising super kids is the amount of love they receive. Children need love like flowers need water. A continuous flow of love and approval from the parent to the child is the child's lifeline to emotional and physical health. Love deprivation is surely the most serious problem that a child can suffer during his or her formative years.

Unconditional Love and Acceptance
Make it clear to your child that nothing he or she does could ever cause you to love him or her less than 100 percent. The most wonderful gift you can give your child is the absolute conviction that you love him or her completely, without reservation, no matter what he or she does and no matter what happens.

Praise and Encouragement
Give your children continual praise and encouragement for the positive things they do, even small things. Praise and reinforce what you would like to see repeated. Praise them to build their self-esteem and self-confidence.

Action Exercise
Ask yourself what it would be like to be your own child. Put yourself in the position of your child or your children, and then evaluate yourself as a parent. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What do you do well and what do you do poorly? What are some of the thing that you do that might be causing your children to grow up with lower self-esteem than you would like? What can you do, starting today, to be a better and more loving parent?

"Do you know the secrets to raising super kids?"
The biggest regrets that parents have later on in life is that they feel that they didn't do a good enough job. Do you want your children to grow up to have a wonderful life? You can raise happy, healthy, self-confident children--and give your kids the winning edge. Click for more >>

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How To Make The World A Better Place

Author : Marc & Angel

Posted: 04 Apr 2010 10:16 PM PDT

Once upon a time, a young man and woman met, gazed into each other's eyes, kissed, and knew - for certain - that they were supposed to be together forever. In the subsequent days, weeks, and months everything fell into place just as they had anticipated. He was perfect in her eyes, and she was perfect in his.

Oh, it's the majestic certainty of young love! When two souls who barely know each other believe they know everything that they must know to live happily ever after in their own blissful bubble. They think this because it's what their emotional hearts and minds tell them is true.

But you know what happens next. It's what always happens next in phony fairy tales like this. For one reason or another, logic trumps emotion, their bubble bursts, and the two lovers tumble back down to Earth, bruising themselves along the way and realizing that their perfect partner isn't so perfect after all.

Maybe he learns that she doesn't like rock music - and rock music is extremely important to him. Maybe she learns that he never makes the bed - and making the bed is extremely important to her. Regardless of the specifics, our lovers are finally beginning to see each other for who they really are - imperfect human beings. This is the turning point at which falling in love' ends and the test of 'true love' begins.

Either their mindset adjusts and they accept reality - that true love isn't so much about perfection as it is about growth and patience - or they move on to the next short-term fairy tale romance in hopes of finding that one perfect soul mate who does everything just right.

Why am I telling you this story?

Because the fluctuating feelings that steer our romantic relationships are quite similar to those that steer our motivation to make a meaningful impact on the world around us. A little passion is all that's required to start, but only sustained perseverance makes it worthwhile.

Sure, short powerful bursts of effort and seemly giant leaps in a single bound appear to be remarkable. But they fade as fast as they arrive, and all we're left with in the end is an unfulfilled void.

An enduring dedication - fulfilling promises by marching forward with one foot in front of the other, even when the going gets tough - is what true love is all about. And it's this kind of love, and only this kind of love, that can make the world a better place.

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The Awakening

Author : Unknown

A time comes in your life when you finally get...when, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out...ENOUGH, Enough fighting and crying and blaming and struggling to hold on. Then, like a child quieting down after a tantrum, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening.

You realize it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to magically appear over the next horizon.

You realize that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings, and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you...and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are...and that's OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions.

You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself...and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.

Your stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you - or didn't do for you - and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and everything isn't always about you.

So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself...and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties...and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with.

You learn that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for you next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing. You learn the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You learn that alone does not mean lonely.

You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO.

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs.

You learn that your body really is your temple. You begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drinking more water, and take more time to exercise.

You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you deserve, and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different than working toward making it happen.

More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You learn that no one can do it all alone, and that it's OK to risk asking for help.

You learn the only thing you must truly fear is fear itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your own terms.

You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people...and you lean not to always take it personally.

You learn that nobody's punishing you and everything isn't always somebody's fault. It's just life happening. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.

You lean that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Then, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than you heart's desire.

You make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind.

Finally, with courage in you heart, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

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Facing and Acknowledging Fear

Author : Nea

Fear comes in so many packages. I'm sure you recognize some of the most common types of fear:

  • Fear of disappointing others
  • Fear of illness
  • Fear of death
  • Fear of not fitting in
  • Fear of poverty
  • Fear of losing
  • Fear of powerlessness
  • Fear of failure

These fears have power over the lives of many people throughout the world, often without their knowledge of it.

An angry fighter may not know that he is subconsciously driven to violence by fear. A woman who uses her sexuality to manipulate men may not be consciously aware that she is insecure and deeply afraid of powerlessness. A demanding cult leader may not realize that he is obsessed by a deep fear of losing control. People who conform to cultural, religious, or societal norms may not know that they have a fear of not fitting in with the crowd.

Unfortunately, those who have yet to acknowledge the role of fear in their life are highly unlikely to manifest positive change.

Law of Attraction and Fear

By Law of Attraction, that which is like unto itself is drawn. So, what do you think is drawn to you when you live in fear?

Well, fear is a very low vibration emotion. Therefore, thoughts and circumstances of a similarly low vibration are allowed into your life experience when you entertain fear. In other words, fear-based thinking attracts situations that result in disappointment, frustration, anger, depression, and even more fear.

Here's an example: If you have a fear of weight gain, your negative point of attraction may draw unto you experiences; such as, digestive problems, feelings of guilt after eating, lack of interest in nutrient-rich foods, excessive preoccupation with food, and body image/self esteem issues.

At some point this downward spiral that started with fear will manifest exactly what you feared-weight gain-plus a range of equally undesirable issues. You didn't intend to attract the negatives, but your fear focused on the undesirable outcomes and created resistance to what you really want.

The Power of Negative Emotion

Because emotions are indicators of your thoughts and your point of attraction, there is some benefit to feeling fear. A negative emotion is a message from your Inner Self that lets you know when your thoughts are not in alignment with your desires.

It is somewhat like a weather warning. The fear beeps in to let you know that you're thinking in a way that allows/attracts stormy conditions. After all, you wouldn't feel fear if your thoughts were on smiling babies, sunny days, happiness, and the outpouring of love. You feel fear because you are listening to negative news, placing your beliefs in statistics that have impacted others, focusing on negative "what ifs," feeling vulnerable, and forgetting your ability to create your own reality.

A Logical Approach to Fear

In The Science of Fear, Stephen discussed his very logical and analytical approach to reducing fear. He evaluates situations based on their likelihood of occurrence and only worries about those for which he believes there is a significant (approx. 1 in 4 chance) risk.

That means no more worrying about dying via airplane accidents, food chemicals, or shark attacks. I love this idea for lessening the impact of fear, but I would like to take it even further.

Positive Awareness and Living in the Now

Like many people, I've overcome some dreadful experiences in my life. But it wasn't until I began practicing conscious living that I learned how to lessen the fear that dwelled within me after the fact. So, what is my personal solution for fear? I practice living in the now-remaining conscious and appreciative of the present moment. And I'll provide a few examples of how you can use this principle to overcome fear in your life.

Let's say you were just diagnosed with a disease that kills 95% of the people who contract it. Statistically, the odds are stacked against you; but no statistician ways in the effects of a positive, powerfully-focused, creative mind. You are alive in this moment, so you have choices on how to approach the situation.

Choice #1: You can become so afraid of the prognosis that you give up on life. You can curse the doctors, blame God, and feel angry at yourself for not taking preventative measures. You can focus on the mistakes you've made, painful medical procedures, the causes that led to your illness, the sad look in your family's eyes, and the unfairness of it all. This is a fear-based response, which will leave you drowning in a sea of negative thought vibrations that strongly resist healing.

Choice #2: You can look for and focus on the bright side. 5% of the people who've contracted this disease in the past have survived. And you are, in the present moment, surviving. You can bless every healthy cell in your body, thus influencing them to multiply. You can increase your awareness of the good in your life by pointing out every single thing that brings you joy. If you can breathe easily, give thanks for your lungs. If you have family at your side, appreciate their support. If you can walk, be fully aware of how wonderful it is to have this capability. This is a powerful response that attracts the manifestation of what you want by focusing on it without regard for its opposite.

Fear has a 0% chance of improving your life and a 100% chance of making you feel worse, so consider those odds when choosing your approach.

Overcoming Fear for Self Development

The next time you're faced with scary information, just remember that well-being (both physical and emotional) is your birthright. You are perfectly capable of using fear as a reminder to consciously guide your thoughts without letting it take control of your life.

Of course, it may take significant time and effort to develop a positive outlook if you're accustomed to guarding against potential threats. But guess can be done.

Anytime the first thoughts to cross your mind are more in alignment with fear than joy, simply release them and keep searching for the light. The light is always there, even in the darkest of times, but you must be willing to find it and give it your undivided attention.

You are destined to live happily and fearlessly. And you will do so as long as your thoughts do not resist it.

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Anything Is Possible If You Dare To Ask

Author : Jack Canfield

Good things come to those who ask!Asking for what you need is probably the most underutilized tool for people. And yet, amazing requests have been granted to people simply because they've asked for it!

Whether its money, information, support, assistance, or time, most people are afraid to ask for what they need in order to make their dreams come true.

They might be afraid of looking needy, ignorant, helpless, or even greedy. More than likely though, it is the fear of rejection that is holding them back. Even though they are afraid to hear the word no, they're already saying it to themselves by not asking!

Do you ask for what you want or are you afraid of rejection?

Consider this: Rejection is just a concept. There is really no such thing as rejection! You're not any worse off by hearing no than you were before you asked. You didn't have what you asked for before you asked and you still don't, so what did you lose?

Being rejected doesn't hold you back from anything. Only YOU hold yourself back. When you realize that there's no merit to rejection, you'll feel more comfortable asking for things. You may just need a bit of help learning how to ask for what you want.

How to Ask for What You Want
There's a specific science to asking for and getting what you want or need in life. And while I recommend you learn more by studying The Aladdin Factor, here are some quick tips to get you started:

1. Ask as if you expect to get it. Ask with a positive expectation. Ask from the place that you have already been given it. It is a done deal. Ask as if you expect to get a "yes."

2. Assume you can. Don't start with the assumption that you can't get it. If you are going to assume, assume you can get an upgrade. Assume you can get a table by the window. Assume that you can return it without a sales slip. Assume that you can get a scholarship, that you can get a raise, that you can get tickets at this late date. Don't ever assume against yourself.

3. Ask someone who can give it to you. Qualify the person. Who would I have to speak to to get...Who is authorized to make a decision about...What would have to happen for me to get...

4. Be clear and specific. In my seminars, I often ask, "Who wants more money in their life?" I'll pick someone who raised their hand and give them a quarter, asking, "Is that enough for you?" "No? Well, how would I know how much you want. How would anybody know?"

You need to ask for a specific number. Too many people are walking around wanting more of something, but not being specific enough to obtain it.

5. Ask repeatedly. One of the most important Success Principles is the commitment to not give up.

Whenever we're asking others to participate in the fulfillment of our goals, some people are going to say "no." They may have other priorities, commitments and reasons not to participate. It's no reflection on you.

Just get used to the idea that there's going to be a lot of rejection along the way to the brass ring. The key is to not give up. When someone says "No"- you say "NEXT!" Why?

Because when you keep on asking, even the same person again and again...they might say "yes"...

  • on a different day
  • when they are in a better mood
  • when you have new data to present
  • after you've proven your commitment to them
  • when circumstances have changed
  • when you've learned how to close better
  • when you've established better rapport
  • when they trust you more
  • when you have paid your dues
  • when the economy is better
  • and so on.

Kids know this Success Principle better than anyone. They will ask the same person over and over again without any hesitation (can you relate!).

Getting a good perspective on rejection and learning how to ask will make a world of difference for you as you work toward your goals. Practice asking and you'll get very good at it! You'll even speed your progress by getting what you need, or improving yourself in order to get it later.

Make a list of what you need to ask for in all areas of your life, and start asking. Remember, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE... if you dare to ask!

About the author:
Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at:

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Winston Churchill's Short Guide to Life: 6 Essential Fundamentals

Author : Henrik Edberg.

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

Winston Churchill is probably no stranger to anyone. He was an inspirational British leader during the Second World War.

He was also a writer, historian, poet, artist and the only British Prime Minister to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Here are a few of my favorite fundamentals from Churchill on how to improve your life.

1. Focus on what you are doing right now.

"It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time."

"It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see."

When you start to look too far into the future then any task or project can seem close to impossible. And so you shut down because you become overwhelmed and start surfing the internet aimlessly instead. That is one of the reasons why it is good to plan for the future but then to shift your focus back to today and the present moment.

Then you just focus on taking the first step today. That is all you need to focus on, nothing else. By taking the first step you change your mental state from resistant to "hey, I'm doing this, cool". You put yourself in state where you become more positive and open, a state where you may not be enthusiastic about taking the next step after this first one but you are at least accepting it. And so you can take the next step. And the next one after that.

The thing is, you can't see the whole path anyway and it will shift and reveal itself along the way. That's why the best of plans tend to fall apart at least a bit as you start to put it into action. You discover that your map of reality doesn't look like reality.

2. Be concerned about action.

"I never worry about action, but only about inaction"

Yes, taking action can lead to failure, rejection or making mistakes. There is always a risk for that. But if you stay in inaction then you are pretty much guaranteed that nothing will change or improve.

How can you improve your action habit though? Three tips:

  • Reconnect with the present moment. This will help you snap out of over thinking and just go and do whatever you want to get done. It is one of the best tips I have found so far for taking more action since it puts you in a state where you feel little emotional resistance to the work you'll do. And it puts you in state where the right actions often just seem to flow out of you in a focused but relaxed way and without much effort. One of the simplest ways to connect with the present moment is just to keep your focus on your breathing for a minute or two. Check out 7 more tips in 8 Ways to Return to the Present Moment.
  • Lighten up. One way to dissuade yourself from taking action is to take whatever you are about to do too seriously. That makes it feel too big, too difficult and too scary. If you on the other hand relax a bit and lighten up you often realize that those problems and negative feelings are just something you are creating in your own mind. With a lighter state of mind your tasks seems lighter and becomes easier to get started with.
  • Start small. To get from a state where you just feel like sitting on your chair and doing nothing much to one where you take action over and over you can do this: start small. Getting started with your biggest task or most difficult action may seem too much and land you in Procrastinationland. So instead, start with something that doesn't seem so hard. One of my favorites is simply to take a few minutes to clean my desk. After that the next thing doesn't seem so difficult to get started with since I'm now in a more of a "take action" kind of mode.

3. Be an optimist.

"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."

"I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else."

Focusing on what helps you sure makes a huge difference compared to if you keep focusing on what is wrong in every situation or what makes you more of a victim. It's like living in two different worlds.

How do you make the shift to a more optimistic attitude? Well, it takes time. But gradually you can change it. Four of my own most favorite tips are:

  • Take care of the fundamentals. This is for me the most important thing you can do to maintain and strengthen your positive attitude. How you eat, sleep and workout is huge factor. A good lifestyle, how you live your life on normal days determine how you feel, think and how much energy you will have.
    For example, exercising and keeping my testosterone levels pretty high consistently - I do that by focusing on free weight exercises that target many and big muscle groups - is a very simple way to get a lot of positive emotions to flow through my body automatically. A good workout always seems to do the trick.
  • Positive influences. Fill your mind and emotional system with positive input from people, music and programs/books. Other people's thoughts have a big influence and emotions are contagious. Limit your time with negative people. Reduce TV or magazines that may make you feel worse about what you don't own or your body. Or just create fear and negativity within you (for instance a lot of news shows). Limiting negative influences can make it a lot easier to keep the positive attitude up.
  • Set the context for your day. What you do early in the day often sets the context for your day. We have a tendency to want to be consistent with what we have done before. You can use that your advantage in few ways. You can for example do the hardest thing on your to-do list first. When it is done you'll feel good about yourself and it makes the day feel easier and you'll have less inner resistance to getting the rest of the tasks of the day done.
  • Act as you want to feel. Act as if you are feeling positive. After a few minutes you will actually feel it for real. So smile. Use positive language. And so on. It feels weird at first but it really works.

Just practicing these four things in a consistent way can make a huge difference in your life.

4. Be persistent. Don't give up.

"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential"

"If you're going through hell, keep going."

Since society often tells us to look for quick fixes it's easy to make the mistake of giving up to soon. After you have failed perhaps 1-5 times. That's the "normal" thing to do. But what could have happened if someone just kept going after that? And for each failure learned more and more about what works?

I think people often make a mistake of giving up too early. Your mind probably has a reasonable time-frame for success. This might not correspond to a realistic time-frame though.

It's useful to take a break from advertised perspectives and let more realistic perspectives seep into your mind. Learn from people who have gone where you want to go. Talk to them. Read what they have to say in books or online. This will not give complete plan but a clearer perspective of what is needed to achieve what you want.

Now, that's not to say that you should never quit. But it can be helpful to keep going on your current path for a while longer.

And that's not to say that you should do the same thing over and over in exactly the same manner. It's better to do and get an experience. Take the lessons you can learn from that real life experience. And then adjust how you do things as you try again.

It obviously helps immensely if you find what you really like to do. And what you really, really want. Then you'll find the inner motivation to keep going, to get what you want and to build on inner strengths like persistence.

5. Don't lose the enthusiasm.

"Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."

It's very easy to get down on yourself and your results when things don't go as planned. What was once enthusiasm can quickly become apathy and pessimism.

But how do you do keep up the enthusiasm after things have gone wrong and you just feel like giving up? Well, as I mentioned in the previous fundamental, it certainly helps to have something you really like doing and something you really want.

And the tips found in fundamental # 3 such as keeping your energy up, acting as you would like to feel and keeping away from negative influences work very well here too. A good additional tip is simply to ask better questions in "negative" situations. Instead of asking yourself why this or you suck ask yourself questions that empower you. Questions like:

What can I learn from this?
What is the hidden opportunity in this situation?

6. Remember, most troubles never happen.

"When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened"

One final, quick thought. But a very important one. Most things you fear will happen never happen. They are just monsters in your own mind. And if they happen then they will most often not be as painful or bad as you expected. Worrying is most often just a waste of time.

This is of course easy to say. But if you think back and remind yourself of how little of what you feared throughout your life that has actually happened you can start to release more and more worry from your thoughts. This makes it a lot easier to start doing more of what you really want in life. And to move through your day to day life with a lighter, happier and more optimistic attitude.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it on Stumbleupon and Twitter. Thank you very much! =)

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What Do Men Want?

Author : Bob Grant, L.P.C

Published on (

What Do Men Want?

By Oct 27 2009 - 10:13pm

What do men want from women?...

I hear this question every week from at least one my clients, or one of my customers who purchased one of my e-books. The truth is that what men actually want is really pretty simple. Deep inside the heart of every man is a secret wish to be trusted. When a man feels trusted, it makes him feel powerful. This is important for the reason that most men crave power.

In relationships that last for more than a few months, it is almost a certainty that at some point, a woman will hear some form of the following phrase from the man she loves, "If you would just trust me..." As surprising and sometimes frustrating as this phrase is to most women, it is equally puzzling to men that women don't always seem to understand why being trusted is so important to a man.

The primary reason stems from the physiological differences between the sexes.
It begins at birth when males are given a distinct physical advantage over females by having higher levels of testosterone. With testosterone comes increased physical strength that allows males to both defend themselves from danger, and/or run away from a threat. They soon learn that they have "the power" to protect themselves, and thus they develop more self reliance on their strength. Most females do not have that same ability, at least to the same degree. With far less testosterone, girls/women don't have the same level of strength to defend themselves in a physical fight when they feel threatened. If a boy/man trusts someone enough to allow that individual to invade their physical space, and that individual in turn, threatens him, he can always defend himself physically (or try to). Girls/women do not have that same physical option of power, specifically if the threat or perceived threat is coming from a man, who has a distinct physical advantage. Since a person can only trust from a position of strength (this is true not only physically, but emotionally), most little girls will grow up into women who naturally have a more difficult time "trusting" when they feel vulnerable.

So men, when you ask the woman you love to simply "trust you," it's not that simple for her. For a woman, nearly every thought is associated with a feeling. When she hears you say "trust," to her that means that she has to feel it. It is not that she doesn't want to trust, but she is not able to do so unless she feels it. If you want a woman to trust you, she needs something to assist her in developing that trust. She needs a tool or gesture that she can "count on" until that trust with you is established.

What cultivates trust in a woman is a man who consistently keeps his word. Making a promise is meaningless if there is no action or follow through to support it. A woman needs to SEE her man fulfill his promises because seeing is always more powerful than hearing. Allow me to illustrate this aforementioned point.

Imagine someone informed you that I was the meanest person they had ever met. For months all you heard was how terrible I treated my family and friends. After hearing such horrible things about me, it would be easy for you to believe that I was as mean and selfish as you had been told. Then, you finally meet me. During the course of that encounter you begin to notice that I do not seem to be as awful as you were led to believe. I listen attentively, and don't respond with aggression, indifference, or arrogance. Instead, I actually seem interested in what you have to say, and appear to genuinely care about what you are telling me regarding you, and your life. After we part you are surprised to realize that I actually seemed to be quite pleasant. Would you change your entire opinion about me from one encounter? Probably not! However, if you saw me respond consistently with kindness and humility over a period of weeks, your opinion of me would begin to change. A paradox has just been established. The kindness you have seen me exhibit for those few weeks does not match what you have heard about me. All the rumors of what a terrible person I am begin to fade because of my consistent and kind actions. Over time, the behavior that you actually witness, will replace most, if not all of your concerns about my character.

Men, I promise you that if you consistently treat the woman you love as someone that you value, and you keep your word to her without fail, you will be astounded at how quickly she begins to trust you. In fact, the result of that behavior will be that the woman in your life will have a strong desire to please you. When you are unsuccessful in keeping your word, it creates fear and doubt in the mind of your wife/girlfriend, and will negatively affect her ability to trust you.

From a woman's perspective, she genuinely wants to have faith in you, and entrust you with her heart. As the man in her life, you have the ability to make that happen by simply doing what you say you are going to do. By continuing to keep your word, you will not only earn her trust, but her heart as well.

Author's Bio
Bob Grant is the author of the best selling e-book, "The Woman Men Adore...and Never Want to Leave." He is married with a new baby girl and lives in Atlanta, Georgia. His maintains a private practice which specializes in working with women to have more fulfilling relationships.


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How to Break Out of a Victim Mentality: 7 Powerful Tips

Author : Henrik Edberg

"If it's never our fault, we can't take responsibility for it. If we can't take responsibility for it, we'll always be its victim."
Richard Bach

"Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the nonpharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality."
John W. Gardner

One big problem a lot of people have is that they slip into thinking of themselves as victims that have little or no control over their lives. In this headspace you feel sorry for yourself, the world seems to be against you and you get stuck. Little to no action is taken and you get lost in a funk of sadness and self-pity.

So how can you move out of that mindset? In this article I'd like to share a few things that have helped me.

1. Know the benefits of a victim mentality.

There are a few benefits of the victim mentality:

  • Attention and validation. You can always get good feelings from other people as they are concerned about you and try to help you out. On the other hand, it may not last for that long as people get tired of it.
  • You don't have to take risks. When you feel like a victim you tend to not take action and then you don't have to risk for example rejection or failure.
  • Don't have to take the sometimes heavy responsibility. Taking responsibility for you own life can be hard work, you have to make difficult decisions and it is just heavy sometimes. In the short term it can feel like the easier choice to not take personal responsibility.
  • It makes you feel right. When you feel like the victim and like everyone else - or just someone else - is wrong and you are right then that can lead to pleasurable feelings.

In my experience, by just being aware of the benefits I can derive from victim thinking it becomes easier to say no to that and to choose to take a different path.

It also makes it easier to make rational decisions about what to do. Yes, I know that I can avoid risk and the hard work of taking action by feeling like a victim. But I also know that there are even more positive results if I choose to take the other route, if I make the better choice to take a chance and start moving forward.

2. Be ok with not being the victim.

So to break out of that mentality you have to give up the benefits above. You might also experience a sort of emptiness within when you let go of victim thinking. You may have spent hours each week with thinking and talking about how wrong things have gone for you in life. Or how people have wronged you and how you could get some revenge or triumph over them.

Now you have to fill your life with new thinking that may feel uncomfortable because it is not so intimately familiar as the victim thinking your have been engaging in for years.

3. Take responsibility for your life.

Why do people often have self-esteem problems? I'd say that one of the big reasons is that they don't take responsibility for their lives. Instead someone else is blamed for the bad things that happen and a victim mentality is created and empowered.

This damages many vital parts in your life. Stuff like relationships, ambitions and achievements.

That hurt will not stop until you wise up and take responsibility for your life. There is really no way around it.

And the difference is really remarkable. Just try it out. You feel so much better about yourself even if you only take personal responsibility for your own life for a day.

This is also a way to stop relying on external validation like praise from other people to feel good about yourself. Instead you start building a stability within and a sort of inner spring that fuels your life with positive emotions no matter what other people say or do around you.

4. Gratitude.

When I feel that I am putting myself in victim role I like to ask myself this question:

"Does someone have it worse on the planet?"

The answer may not result in positive thoughts, but it can sure snap you of a somewhat childish "poor, poor me..." attitude pretty quickly. I understand that I have much to be grateful for in my life.

This question changes my perspective from a narrow, self-centred one into a much wider one. It helps me to lighten up about my situation.

After I have changed my perspective I usually ask another question like:

"What is the hidden opportunity within this situation?"

That is very helpful to keep your focus on how to solve a problem or get something good out a current situation. Rather than asking yourself "why?" over and over and thereby focusing on making yourself feel worse and worse.

5. Forgive.

It's easy to get wrapped up in thinking that forgiveness is just about something you "should do". But forgiving can in a practical way be extremely beneficial for you.

One of the best reasons to forgive can be found in this quote by Catherine Ponder:

"When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free."

As long as you don't forgive someone you are linked to that person. Your thoughts will return to the person who wronged you and what s/he did over and over again. The emotional link between the two of you is so strong and inflicts much suffering in you and - as a result of your inner turmoil - most often in other people around you too.

When you forgive you do not only release the other person. You set yourself free too from all of that agony.

6. Turn your focus outward and help someone out.

The questions in tip #4 are useful. Another question I use when I get into the victim headspace is simply:

"How can I give value right now?"

Asking that question and making that shift in what you focus on really helps, even if you may not feel totally like doing it.

So I figure out how I can give someone else value, how I can help someone out.

And thing is that the way you behave and think towards others seems to have a big, big effect on how you behave towards yourself and think about yourself. For example, judge people more and you tend to judge yourself more. Be more kind to other people and help them and you tend to be more kind and helpful to yourself.

A bit counter intuitive perhaps, but that has been my experience. The more you love other people, the more your love yourself.

7. Give yourself a break.

Getting out of a victim mentality can be hard. Some days you will slip. That's ok. Be ok with that.

And be nice to yourself. If you have to be perfect then one little slip is made into a big problem and may cause you to spiral down into a very negative place for many days.

It is more helpful to just give yourself a break and use the tips above to move yourself into a positive and empowered headspace once again.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it Stumbleupon and Twitter. Thank you very much! =)



3 Quick Questions That Can Help You to Cut the Irrelevant Stuff Out of Your Life

Author : Henrik Edberg

"Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers."
Anthony Robbins

"The one who asks questions doesn't lose his way"
African Proverb

Asking yourself questions is a great way to keep yourself on track in day to day life. Cutting out and letting go of irrelevant stuff can help you to simplify and relaxify your life. It can help you to find more time for the things that are fun and really important to you.

So combining these two things can be very helpful. Here are three quick questions that can help you to cut irrelevant stuff out of your life.

As you use the questions more and more they tend to start to pop up almost automatically at useful points in your everyday life.

1. Who cares?

A very simple but a very powerful question. Whenever you feel like delving into some nitpicking or some pettiness ask yourself this question. Or whenever you feel an overwhelming need to be right in some discussion.

Yes, nitpicking or having to be right can give you sort of high. You feel good. But it's a dirty high. It never lasts for long. And you just create a lot of negativity within yourself and outside of yourself in the long run.

Asking yourself "who cares?" is a way to lighten up, to not take every little thing so seriously. It's way be more open and relaxed with yourself and the people around you. It's simply a way to be cool about stuff.

2. What is the most important thing I can do right now?

If you are lost in what to do next in your day, week or life, ask yourself this question. The answer might not always be what you want to hear because the most important thing is often one of the harder things you want to do too. But it can help you to check your priorities and stop you from getting lost in busy work - or Facebook or checking some inboxes/blog statistics etc. over and over during the day - and instead start tackling the big stuff.

3. Will this matter in 5 years?

This one can really puts things into perspective. It can make just about any difficulty that you are having right now seem a bit trivial and not as important and heavy as you had imagined the last few days, weeks and months. You may discover that you had expanded a problem and made it a lot more terrifying than it actually is. And that you can actually solve it more easily than you thought you while you were in a somewhat panicked state of mind.

It's a bit similar to the first question, so try them both when faced with a appropriate situation and find out what works best for you.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it on Stumbleupon and Twitter. Thank you very much! =)



Discover Your Power of Higher Choice

Author : Guy Finley

I want you to remember for the rest of your life on this earth that you were never created to be the slave of any negative thought or feeling, that you were never created to be the subject of some limitation.

The only way you'll ever know the truth of that statement is when, through what is ultimately a long process in this education of the soul, you begin at last to experience the dawning of a new light inside of you. This light is born out of your love of the Light. Your love of Truth is what gives birth to the truth in you that you love. It's always been that way. There's nowhere to go, there's nothing to do. There's only this willingness on the part of the soul who wants to learn the lessons that he or she is presented with all the time. There's only the willingness on that nascent soul's part to discover the unclaimed territory of itself, which currently has been claimed by something quite foreign to the purpose of that soul.

Part of that education and discovery is the following idea that I want you to remember, and I'll show you how it works: There is nothing that can stay in your mind, there is nothing that can stay in your heart, that you do not willingly remember. What does that mean? It means that when there is a painful, fearful, anxious, or hateful thought or feeling in your mind -- so that you look out and see a world that is painful, hateful, or fearful -- that thought or feeling remains in your mind because you are under the spell of a nature inside of you whose will is exactly the same as the negative state that you are identified with.

You were created to be the sovereign governor, the one within who decides what remains within you. Nothing can be held in the mind that isn't remembered there.

Have you ever had in your mind the image of someone who hurt you, or the image of something that didn't work out ten years ago or ten minutes ago? How does it stay in your mind? You fight with it, you try to fix it, you try to do something with it. You remember it. No image can stay in the mind, no sensation can stay in the heart that is not remembered there. Whatever it is in you that wants to remember that pain doesn't remember it for the purpose of freeing you from it -- even though this is what it seems to promise -- but does so because it keeps you a captive of that desire, of that nature.

So I don't have to remember anything I don't want to. Now I'll say it to you positively: I can remember whatever I want to.

Throughout time, the saints, sages, and wise ones have talked about what it means to remember God, what it means to remember yourself. I am telling you the interior meaning of what it means to remember yourself, to remember God, to remember the Light. In the moment in which you first discover that something in you is holding in your mind and heart a bitter picture, a bitter thought, an angry feeling, a regret, self-pity, whatever it may be, you must realize in that moment that you're remembering it willingly. But you don't know you're remembering it because you're a captive of what it's showing you as being the cause of that pain. This keeps you from seeing that the real cause is that you are agreeing to it. You are saying "I" to the will that whips you, because the will that whips you promises you relief from the whip if you will just chase what it shows you to chase.

I am given by my Creator the ability to remember what I want to. In other words, I am given the ability to no longer have to remember the things that have been imposed upon me by the will of my past - the will of what I have been, the will of what I didn't get, the will of what they did to me. And when I start to understand that, then in the moment where that pressure comes over me -- where I begin to see a dark world filled with dark people doing dark things towards me (whatever it may be that the individual uneducated soul sees) -- I can let that all go. I let it go by first seeing the fact of it. I don't have to hold anything in this house that I don't want in it. And what I don't want anymore is to feel as though life is against me. I don't want to feel anymore like I've got to straighten out the whole universe.

Then, instead of the partial, you remember the Whole. You withdraw your attention - which is an extension of your will - from the partial. You withdraw your attention from the object that the dark will is calling the dark problem. You withdraw your attention from the partial and you put your attention on the Whole. You remember the Whole as best you understand it. You remember the Light that has no burden, as opposed to identifying with the burden of bitterness that comes through blaming someone else for your pain. You come awake to yourself and you move from something that is isolated and separated through an unconscious action of a dark will inside of you, into something that has surrendered its small will to a greater will.

And listen to what happens: When you will remember the Whole, when you will remember God, when you will remember Love... you will begin to irritate the heck out of the devil - the darkness. When you're feeling anger and enmity, see that what you're feeling is because you have been made to remember something painful, and then caused to identify with the sensations both of the pain and the promise of being relieved from that pain. And instead of remembering hatred, remember Love. Instead of remembering your tiny little life, remember God's eternal life. You bring into your present painful understanding the higher understanding that you are growing into and that is growing into you.

The dark will of desire is what occupies the soul at present, because it promises the soul that it can find outside of itself something that will bring an end to the pain of the desire. And when the remembrance of the Light is brought into that dark will of desire, in that moment when a man or woman will remember the Whole, remember God, remember themselves and their wish, that dark will of desire is rendered powerless. It is suddenly captured and made into something greater that benefits the soul, even though prior to that moment, it would have hated anything that revealed its own limited, dead-end life. And in that moment when the Light enters into it, the same dark will of desire realizes that it was always the ground in which, and upon which, everything it ever wanted already existed. But it had to have the Light to cancel the opposites. It needed the Light to reveal this fact to itself. So the Light enters into the darkness that doesn't comprehend it, and the darkness is changed by the entrance of that Light into something that is greater than it was before.

Remember what I'm telling you. You were given by God, by Truth, by the Living Light, the ability to choose what is in your mind. You were given the right to determine whose will you live from. Your task is not to will the greater; it is to surrender the lesser into the greater - to change your understanding of your relationship in this world so that you no longer struggle to overcome something, but instead see that all you need to do is give up the nature that lives to fight with what overcomes it.

You must see it, over and over again, and then right in the middle of the darkest moment - right in the middle of that punishing thought or feeling that's come over you -- you remember what you have been told, and then you work at it. You find something that is broader, greater, bigger, kinder, truer, more loving, more wide, more deep inside of yourself... because it's there. In your uneducated, unenlightened soul dwells the whole of the kingdom with all of the mansions, and the punishment of the soul is the deception that the only house it has is the little one that now holds it captive - the one it must now fight to tear down. Don't fight to tear down anything. See through the deception. You see through it by an act of being willing to give yourself up.

You have to give up this little will, the one that fills you with the powerful and fiery thoughts and feelings when it's captured by something. You have to give it up, but you don't just give it up in the sense of "I'm throwing this away." Instead, you turn it over. You let it go through the natural process of remembering its relationship with the Greater Light that gave it life, and then it gives itself to that Light, and then that Light gives it Real Life.



This Is Why You Are In Debt

Author : Marc & Angel

The only way to get out of debt is to understand why you're in debt in the first place.

And the truth is...

You will not save money when you get your next raise. You will not save money when your car is paid off. You will not save money when your kids are supporting themselves someday. And you wouldn't even save a dime if I handed you $100,000 in cash right now.

How do I know this?

Because saving money has very little to do with the amount of money you have. In fact, you will only start to save money when saving becomes an emotional habit - when you start treating the money you handle everyday differently.

So this is why you are in debt:

  • You buy miscellaneous crap you don't need or use. - Stop buying 'stuff' on impulse! Avoid the mall! The mall is not a source for entertainment. It's a source for personal debt. There's no reason to tease yourself by staring at a bunch of brand new crap you don't need. And as you know, the novelty of a new purchase wears thin long before the credit card bill arrives.
  • You use credit to purchase things you can't afford to buy in cash. - If you can't pay for it in cash today, don't buy it today! It's as simple as that.
  • You think of certain product brands as fashionable status symbols. - A car gets you from point 'A' to point 'B.' A purse holds your personal belongings. A pair of sunglasses shades your eyes from the sun. A shirt keeps you warm. If you're paying premium prices just to get a fashionable brand name labeled on each these products without any regard for how well the products actually serve their practical purpose, you have a problem.
  • You buy a brand new car every few years. - See my previous point. A car is a means of transportation to get you from one place to another. If you're buying a new car every few years even when your old car works fine, you're likely trying too hard to impress the wrong people... and you're going broke in the process.
  • You buy things you could have borrowed from a friend or rented. - After you bought that DVD, how many times did you actually watch it? Do you really want a 20 inch chainsaw collecting dust in your garage? So you own a pressure washer you only use once every three years? You get the point... borrow and rent when it makes sense.
  • You pay retail prices on everything you buy. - If you're paying retail prices, you're getting screwed. You can easily save well over $1000 a year on general purchases by waiting for sales and shopping at discount outlets.
  • You own (or rent) way more house than you need. - When you buy or rent a house that's bigger than you need, you end up wasting lots of money on larger monthly payments, higher upkeep costs, higher utility bills, and lots of random 'stuff' to fill up the extra empty space.
  • You don't follow any sort of formal budgeting plan. - Do you assume that if you wait around and make more money your finances and credit debt will magically resolve themselves? I'm sorry to say, you're dead wrong! It takes a lot of planning and proactive budgeting to erase a pile of debt and build a nest egg of wealth. So start now!
  • You don't automate 401K or savings deposits. - We're ten years into the new millennium. If you aren't using simple technology to automate savings deposits, you pretty much deserve to be broke.
  • You don't leverage the small investments you do have. - You have to give your money the opportunity to make money. Any capital you do have, no matter how small, should be invested using a basic, long-term investment strategy. If your capital isn't invested, it's just losing value as inflation rises.
  • You're married to (or dating) a spend-thrift. - You'll never get out of debt if you're married to a person who spends every dime you make. So help your soul mate become financially responsible, or except life in the poorhouse.
  • You've never educated yourself on basic money management. - Responsible money management is not an innate human instinct. You have to properly educate yourself. If you don't, you'll stay exactly where you are now, in debt.
  • You have a 'get rich quick' mentality. - For 99.99% of us, wealth doesn't come instantly. You're far more likely to be struck by lightning twice than win the lottery once. If you're spending your time and money on a 'get rich quick' scheme, the debt will just keep piling up.
  • You have nasty, money-sucking (and life-sucking) habits. - Smoking, drinking and gambling are all perfect examples of bad habits in which you choose to trade short term pleasure for long term debt and discomfort. So light one up, shoot one down, and toss another chip across the table. It's only your life.
  • You waste too much of your own time. - They say "time is money," but I think time is way more valuable than money. It's the single greatest constituent of life. If you fail to properly manage your time, you'll absolutely fail to properly manage your money... and you'll likely fail in every other aspect of your life as well. So focus your time and energy on the important stuff and forget the rest.
  • You aren't taking care of your health. - Keep your body and mind healthy! Major medical problems drain back accounts, increase insurance rates, keep you from working and earning money, and generally guarantee that you will have long-term financial problems.
  • You aren't enjoying life's (free) simple pleasures. - The best things in life are free. Stop wasting your money on second-rate entertainment and take a good look around you. Mother Nature offers lots of entertainment free of charge. Go hiking, go skinny dipping, play in the rain, build a bonfire with your friends, watch the sunset with your lover, etc.
  • You went through an unfortunate divorce. - This final point might seem cruel, but it's impossible to discuss the major reasons why people accumulate financial debt without mentioning divorce. Divorce absolutely destroys the finances of both parties involved. So the best advice I can give you is: Don't get married until you're certain you want to spend the rest of your life with your significant other. And don't get a divorce until you've truly exhausted all of your other possible options (marriage therapy, etc.).

Please remember, financial debt can be avoided and erased. It just takes a little effort, education, and determination on your end to make it possible. So as I've said before, live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one. Do not spend to impress others. Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects. Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you. And always live well below your means.



The Greatest Advice Of All Time?

Author : Nicholas P. Kidd and Henk J.M. Schram

So why are you interested in the 'Law of Attraction' anyway?

Obviously, it's about doing what you really want to do with your life.

We've said it repeatedly, quoting the wise man's adage:

Money and fame do not happiness make.

Of course, they may help in being happy. For example, it's pretty nice not having to worry about money. Let's face it... Most people like money. And others like fame, and many like both.

The thing is... money and fame are usually merely external confirmations of the fact that you're being happy and doing what you want with your life already.

If you are, money and fame are usually no issues anymore. You either don't care about them because you're being happy anyway. Or (many times) they may come as side-effects, or symptoms caused by the fact that you're already being happy with yourself and your life.

That's where the principle of being happy and grateful for what happens to you and the situation you're in is relevant.

Clearly, money and fame are really different things compared to the desire for money and fame. The desire for implies that you're not being happy and grateful right now, thinking you need money and/or fame in order to be happy and do what you want with your life.

This underlying feeling of needing (and thus the deeply-engrained feeling of lack) determines what you send out... the frequency you broadcast if you will. And this frequency 'attracts' a like frequency, and this is the mechanism through which needing pushes things away in a very small nutshell.

Anyway, this is something we've talked about more at length in other articles, so we're not going to repeat this anymore.

In this article we want to get into something a bit more concrete... something more practical to use in your life. This might sound simple, but upon deeper thought it may just be the greatest word of advice of all time...

You know, according to the American physicist, philosopher and management expert Danah Zohar, doing what you really want with your life requires what she calls 'Spiritual Intelligence'. It's about your own, personal, deeper actuating motives.

Zohar says that self-development and purpose/meaning are principles that are central to spiritual intelligence. When you're in touch with your own 'inner universe', you can develop your talents and give full scope to your natural gifts.

As such, you'll live the life that fully matches who you are (which is not necessarily the life that others think you're supposed to live). Within yourself, you'll discover your own actuating motives and what really inspires and animates you.

Zohar says that when you manage to live your life from that inspiration, you're quite a happy person. This pretty much connects to what the American psychologist Abraham Maslow (who came up with the so-called 'hierarchy of needs' aiming to explain human motivation) called 'self actualization'.

According to Maslow, self-actualization is the ultimate state of human development, a spiritual condition in which people are creative, 'playful', and tolerant. And if you've read our books and articles, you know that these are the very conditions that facilitate the extent to which you can 'work' the 'laws of the universe' (if you want to call them that).

And you know what? There's actually a specific group of people who can teach us a lot about this state of 'creativity', 'playfullness' and 'tolerance', or rather 'spiritual intelligence'...

These people are children. Kids are almost the very paragon of spiritual intelligence.

Of course, this doesn't mean we should all start behaving in infantile ways. However, we can start to look at the world more like children do. We could start to re-invent and re-discover the qualities that we so often lose in the process of what's called 'growing up' and 'becoming adults'.

Those qualities are:

Being open
Being genuine
Eager to learn
Feeling adventurous
Wonder and astonishment on the least things...
And not to forget: unconditional love.

Let's face it... People who are living life like this are pleasant company, both to themselves and to others.

Spiritual intelligence has got nothing to do with religion or faith. Of course, both are fine if pursuing them makes you feel good inside, if pursuing them is your own choice if it's not imposed on you by others.

No, spiritual intelligence is about self-reflection and intuition. There's a difference between what many consider 'being spiritual' and 'spiritual intelligence'.

You can do reiki, qigong, meditation, burn incense, do rain dances in wildlife outfits all day and read books about 'spirituality'. And of course that's all fine if that makes you feel good.

However, 'spiritual intelligence' rather refers to making the choices that suit you and actually consciously experiencing and feeling the satisfaction and feeling of fulfillment and self-realization that come with that.

That's what'll make you happy.

So what's potentially the greatest advice of all time?


Be open. Be adventurous. Be curious. Be eager to learn. Be genuine, not least to yourself. Don't judge. Acknowledge the wonder of life and the amazing experience it brings.

After all, it seems so real, doesn't it?

In the words of the late comedian Bill Hicks:

"The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it's very brightly coloured and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while.

Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, "Hey - don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride..."

And we kill those people.

"We have a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up. Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This just has to be real."

Just a ride... But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok.

But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money.

A choice, right now, between fear and love."

So what's your choice?

Remain childlike. And enjoy the ride!

Nicholas P. Kidd and Henk J.M. Schram are the instigators of the alleged 'Great Revolution', which provides the members with truthful instructions regarding the universal principles of life.

The Revolution is receiving increasingly widespread attention for its straightforward explanations and instructions with regard to complex issues, which are made understandable for people from all walks of life. In essence, the true secrets of the 'Law of Attraction' and the other 'Universal Laws' are explained in much clearer and practical ways than the 'enigmas wrapped in riddles' that usually characterize the descriptions of the Law of Attraction and its application.

More information on the Great Revolution, on joining and on the 'universal principles of life' (the true 'Universal Laws') can be found at Revolutioniz: Harness The Hidden Laws Of The Universe.



The Additional Secret of The Movie 'The Secret'

Author : Nicholas P. Kidd and Henk J.M. Schram

The past few years, with an absolute peak in 2006 as the movie 'The Secret' was exposed to hundreds of thousands, an ever growing number of people is slowly waking up to the knowledge that there may just be more to life than the often robot-like existence of daily routines they lead.

With movies like 'The Secret' and 'What the Bleep Do We Know', and books like 'The Attractor Factor' by Joe Vitale and the resurfacing of 'The Law of Success' by Napoleon Hill, people increasingly realize that they can have much more success in life, if only they knew 'the secret' that all these sources talk about.

Still, although hundreds of thousands of people have seen the movie 'The Secret', why are so few people living their ultimate lifestyle? Why aren't all those people living the success they long for so bad? The success that all these movies promise them? Is there an additional secret to movies like 'The Secret'?

The obvious answer is 'yes'. If there weren't, every person having seen the movie 'The Secret' would be living the lifestyle of their dreams, would be 'attracting' everything they long for, and would be 'manifesting' everything they desire into their lives 'without any conscious effort'.

At least, isn't that what you would think after watching movies like 'The Secret'?

Let me tell you what the problem is, what is also the cause of so many people still not achieving their desires and dreams, and what is also the additional 'secret' or 'edge' to the movie 'The Secret' and others. The problem rests in a psychological phenomenon called 'selective retention'.

In simple terms, 'selective retention' means that you only remember the things you want to hear. In other words, you filter out the things you'd rather not hear. Let's relate this to the contents of movies like 'The Secret' and other films and books with regard to this subject.

What we can agree upon is that all these movies like 'The Secret' and books like 'The Attractor Factor' are about a Universal Law called 'The Law of Attraction'. According to the Law of Attraction, you can supposedly attract and manifest anything you want or desire into your life, based on what you focus your thoughts.

That's the secret, according to the movie 'The Secret'.

What I can tell you upfront is that the Law of Attraction is real, but only to an extent. There are very important nuances to its application, which movies like 'The Secret' either don't tell you about, or which you filter out through the psychological process of 'selective retention'.

The actual nuances and details of the application of the Law of Attraction are a subject to be discussed at another time and another place. For now, it's important to realize and acknowledge the one thing that most people are missing from movies like 'The Secret' and the whole range of other products dealing with the Law of Attraction.

You see, movies and books dealing with the Law of Attraction often overemphasize the word 'effortless'. You are led to believe that you can attract things and manifest things into your life without any conscious effort from your side.

Quite likely, 'effortless' is exactly what you want to hear. Who wouldn't like to do nothing while bringing about the most profound changes? People are hardly ever satisfied with their circumstances, so they desire change.

However, although they desire change, at the same time they resist change. Sounds like a paradox, but it's true. Because as soon as any effort is required to actually make the change they desire come about, or to overcome the resistance experienced to make that change come about, people 'cop out'. Do you recognize that?

Maybe you do, or maybe you don't. But that's exactly why so many people don't achieve any success, although they've seen the movie 'The Secret' and supposedly know about 'the secret'.

Through their 'selective retention', the only thing that they remember and engrain is that 'no effort is required', and they filter out the part that says they should actually take inspired action. As a consequence, many people think that if they just think positively and try to focus on positive emotions most of the time, everything they desire will magically manifest into their lives while they're sitting on the couch watching movies like 'The Secret' and 'What the Bleep Do We Know'.

They think suddenly some distanced relative they never heard of before in their lives, will leave them a legacy of millions of dollars while they're eating potato chips and ice cream, as they keep on watching the movie 'The Secret'.

Or they visualize themselves as a Scrooge McDuck-equivalent, swimming around in a pool of money. Perhaps they include the Money Bin too. And they expect a big bag of money to fall out the sky.

As a side-effect, they get bigger and unhealthier, and more and more miserable because nothing happens to make their lives better. Apparently, even a movement has come about that believes that you can apply the Law of Attraction to create a body they've always dreamed about. They think they'll look lean and muscular without effort through 'attracting' their dream bodies by visualizing how they want to look. I kid you not.

Let's reintroduce some common sense. Butt sitting never got anyone anywhere. The Law of Attraction that the movie 'The Secret' and other sources are about is real, but to reap its benefits and seize its fruits, you need to know how to apply it in your life, and you need to know the nuances to its application.

You can't just start thinking positive thoughts and feeling positive emotions and wait for all your desires to magically pop up while doing nothing. That's the missing link to achieving your success from the knowledge of the movie 'The Secret' and other films and books. The true secret is 'inspired action'.

Doing nothing doesn't help you. You need to act. You can get clear on your intention and then go do something else to get your mind off it. It's during those moments of 'silence', the moments that you're not obsessed with what you want, that you suddenly get ideas, inspirations, hunches and so on. You must act on those inspirations.

The 'act of acting' alone will make you turn on the switch of the Law of Attraction, so to speak. Then, through an interplay of other Universal Laws that the movie 'The Secret' and a whole range of books on the Law of Attraction forget to mention, the Universe will start rearranging itself according to your thoughts, emotions and actions. You'll get new ideas, meet new people, stumble upon new knowledge, and so on, all of which you can use in your actions that lead you to your envisioned goal step by step, through a chain of events.

And that's how the changes you desire come about.

Your job is to recognize what exactly to act upon. For that, you need to know exactly how the Law of Attraction works in reality, in conjunction with other Universal Laws, and how things actually manifest into your life so you actually recognize your opportunities. There's not a great number of other Universal Laws, only a few main Universal Laws that automatically cover all minor and subsidiary Universal Laws.

By understanding the nuances of the application of the Law of Attraction in conjunction with some few other universal principles (or Laws) as boundary conditions, you can make all your dreams come true. You just need to overcome your 'selective retention' and acquire the knowledge of just the few additional nuances you must understand to really achieve the things that the movie 'The Secret' and others talk about.

True enough, it does require some effort, but by applying these Laws correctly you make the Universe work with you, instead of against you. And as you 'get the hang' of this application, the conscious effort required from you will keep on decreasing.

But you'll always need to act. Nothing is going to happen if you don't act. That's the additional secret to the movie 'The Secret'. You just need to learn how to bring those inspirations about, how to recognize them, and then what to act upon.

And there are simple ways to do that.

Welcome to the Revolution.

Nicholas P. Kidd and Henk J.M. Schram are the instigators of the alleged 'Great Revolution', which provides the members with truthful instructions regarding the universal principles of life.

The Revolution is receiving increasingly widespread attention for its straightforward explanations and instructions with regard to complex issues, which are made understandable for people from all walks of life. In essence, the true secrets of the 'Law of Attraction' and the other 'Universal Laws' are explained in much clearer and practical ways than the 'enigmas wrapped in riddles' that usually characterize the descriptions of the Law of Attraction and its application.

More information on the Great Revolution, on joining and on the 'universal principles of life' (the true 'Universal Laws') can be found at Revolutioniz: Harness The Hidden Laws Of The Universe.



Self-Discipline for Success

Author : Brian Tracy

There is one special quality that you can develop that will guarantee you greater success, accomplishment and happiness in life. Of a thousand principles for success developed over the ages, this one quality or practice will do more to assure that you accomplish wonderful things with your life than anything else. This quality is so important that, if you don't develop it to a high degree, it is impossible for you to ever achieve what you are truly capable of achieving.

The quality that I am talking about is the quality of self-discipline. It is a habit, a practice, a philosophy and a way of living. All successful men and women are highly disciplined in the important work that they do. All unsuccessful men and women are undisciplined and unable to control their behaviors and their appetites. And when you develop the same levels of high, personal discipline possessed by the most successful people in our society, you will very soon begin to achieve the same results that they do.

All great success in life is preceded by long, sustained periods of focused effort on a single goal, the most important goal, with the determination to stay with it until it is complete. Throughout history, we find that every man or woman who achieved anything lasting and worthwhile, had engaged in long, often unappreciated hours, weeks, months and even years of concentrated, disciplined work, in a particular direction.

Fortunately the quality of self-discipline is something that you can learn by continuous practice, over and over, until you master it. Once you have mastered the ability to delay gratification, the ability to discipline yourself to keep your attention focused on the most important task in front of you, there is virtually no goal that you cannot accomplish and no task that you cannot complete.

Successful people engage in activities that are goal-achieving. Unsuccessful people engage in activities that are tension-reliving. Successful people discipline themselves to have dinner before dessert. Unsuccessful people prefer to have dessert most of the time.

Successful people plan their work, and work their plan. They take the time to think through their responsibilities before they begin. They make clear decisions which they then implement immediately. They get a lot more done in a shorter period of time than the average person. And it all has to do with their disciplines.

Perhaps the most important benefit of self-discipline is the personal benefit that you receive. Every act of self-discipline increases your self-esteem. It gives you a feeling of personal power and accomplishment. Each time you discipline yourself to persist in the face of distractions, diversions, and disappointments, you feel better about yourself. As you continue to discipline yourself, you achieve more and more in life. As you achieve more things, you feel more like a winner. Your self-confidence goes up. You feel happier about yourself. You get more done and you have more energy. You earn the respect and esteem of the people around you. You get more rapid promotions and are paid more money. You live in a nicer house, drive a nicer car, and wear nicer clothes. You get a natural high from the thrill of achievement. And the more things that you achieve as the result of employing your personal habits of effectiveness and productivity, the more eager you are to achieve even higher and better tasks. Your life gets onto an upward spiral of success and happiness. You feel great about yourself most of the time.

Every act of self-discipline strengthens every other discipline in your life. Every weakness of self-discipline weakens your other disciplines as well. When you make a habit of disciplining yourself in little things, like flossing your teeth every night, you'll soon become able to discipline yourself to accomplish even larger things, like working long, long hours to bring a major task to completion.

Your entire life is an on-going battle between the forces of doing what is right and necessary on the one hand and doing what is fun and easy on the other hand. It is a battle between the forces of discipline and the forces of ease or expediency. And when you develop the strength of character that gives you complete self-mastery, self-control and self-discipline, you feel wonderful about yourself. You develop a deep inner sense of strength and confidence. You replace positive thinking with positive knowing. You reach the point inside where you absolutely know that you can do whatever it takes to achieve any goal that you can set for yourself.

Self-discipline is its own reward. Not only does it pay off in terms of greater self-esteem and a more positive mental attitude, but it pays off throughout your life in terms of the goals that you achieve and the success that you attain in everything you do.

Self-discipline is a skill and a habit that can be learned by practice. Every time you practice a little self-discipline, you become stronger and stronger. Bit by bit, you become more capable of even greater disciplines. As you become a totally self-disciplined individual, your entire future opens up in front of you like a broad highway. Everything becomes possible for you and your future becomes unlimited.

Accomplish More in a Month Than Most People Accomplish in a Year. Take complete control of your life. Get more done today!



What is Spiritual Healing?

Author : Julia Ahlers Ness

Spiritual Healing is a self-growth tool that expands your awareness of yourself as a spiritual being and helps you live your life from a stronger, more expanded, more empowered level of consciousness. Spiritual Healing is a tool that available to everyone regardless of religion or creed or level of spiritual awareness.

Healing from a spiritual perspective is grounded in the Universal Truth that your essential Self, the foundation of your beingness, is spiritual in origin and nature. Spiritual Healing acknowledges the fact that you are a Soul, an eternal, individuated spark of Light and Consciousness who has come out of the Source (God) to experience reality at all its many levels and dimensions.

All the rest of who and what you are flows from your spiritual nature. Your mind, your emotions, your ego, your personality and your physical body are extensions of your spiritual nature. They are the formed vehicles through which you, as an embodied Soul, experience life and through which you grow and mature to your full capacity and abilities as a spiritual being.

In practical everyday terms, Spiritual Healing helps you to be clearer about what is important to you, to be free, confident and empowered to live your life with authenticity, to know your true self-worth, to be compassionate toward self and others, to be a positive force within your own life and for others, and so much more.

Why is Spiritual Healing Necessary?
Just as your physical body has a particular structural makeup, so do your other energy bodies -- your spiritual body, your mental body, your emotional body and your etheric body -- the formed parts of you that aren't readily detected with your five senses. Think of your spiritual anatomy is a vibrational continuum of formed energy that runs from the deepest and most subtle level of your energy system, which is your spiritual body, to the most outwardly detectable and dense level, which is your physical body.

And, just as your lived experiences can cause damage, weakness, dysfunction or stuckness in the structures of your physical body, your life's experiences can also cause damage in your other energy bodies. In fact, dysfunction at the physical level is really just the indication and outward manifestation of some kind of dysfunction or weakness at the other, more subtle levels of your makeup. But regardless of their cause, blocks at any level will impede your development as a Spiritual Being and ultimately make it harder for you to function at your full spiritual capacity.

Here's another, even more compelling reason why Spiritual Healing is a necessary part of the spiritual development or "self-growth" process. As an eternal Being you have experienced many different "lifetimes" and at many different dimensions and levels of formed reality. In other words, you've had many opportunities to experience the bumps, bruises and hard knocks that life lived in form and with Free Will can throw at you.

Every unhealed, unresolved experience you've had as a Soul is still with you, being held somewhere within your energy system waiting for you to reach the level consciousness and personal power needed to be able to look at those unhealed parts of self, those unhealed experiences and to bring them up for healing and release.

A "healed experience" is one that no longer limits you in anyway. When an experience is healed there is no need to hang onto any of the trauma and drama of that experience and the lessons and wisdom gain from healed experiences can be integrated into your consciousness. Yes, some of your experiences can be healed in Spirit, when you leave your physical body and go into the realms of Light. Many, if not most, of your experiences, however, can only be fully healed when you are in a physical body. The bottom line is that Spiritual Healing is a necessary and integral part of the spiritual development/self-growth process.

How Do You Know if Spiritual Healing is for You?
The simple fact that you're reading this article is a clue that you're sensing a need or desire to experience healing from a spiritual perspective. But often people are not consciously aware of the fact that they're seeking a spiritual level of healing. They just know that something is not working well in their life or they're seeking something more from life than the mundane activities of survival.

Perhaps you can relate to one or more of the many reasons people seek spiritual healing:

  • Do you feel stuck in a career that is no longer fulfilling, and yet are unable to see other options or feel powerless to change directions?
  • Do you have some kind of health problem that neither conventional or alternative medicine has been able to help you with?
  • Do you feel plagued by an addiction that not only jeopardizes your health but also leaves you feeling out of control of your life?
  • Do you feel restricted by societal or familial pressures to live your life -- and to think or believe -- a certain way even when you know deep inside that it's not in alignment with who you truly are or what you really sense as Truth?
  • Do you seek to be free of old programs, thought patterns and destructive behaviors that can feel set in so strongly that no amount of will power or positive affirmations seems to be able to break their hold?
  • Do you feel stuck in relationships that are unfulfilling or meaningless and are looking for healthy and empowering ways to get unstuck?
  • Do you feel unable to leave relationships that are harmful and destructive to your sense of self-worth or physical well-being?
  • Do you feel under the control or influence of another person around whom you feel weak, powerless and vulnerable?
  • Would you like to be able to stand up for yourself and get out from under the thumb of another person's abuse of personal power?

People who are consciously on the spiritual path will come for spiritual healing when other things they've tried don't seem to work. They may be employing all the success tools they know and still find that they are not able to draw into their life the positive experiences they are seeking, whether it's financial security, a good relationship or better health. Spiritual Healing can help reveal the missing keys and clear the obstacles to their success.

It's also not uncommon for the spiritually aware person to reach a point in their process where they feel like they've hit a wall or a road block that stymies their progress. They will seek Spiritual Healing to reveal what the block is and where it's coming from so that it can be cleared from their path.

Spiritual Healing is also sought by those who feel disconnected from God, who feel either unworthy of God's help or that God doesn't really care about them or the world's suffering. Spiritual Healing helps people break through whatever keeps them feeling separate from God and teaches them how to develop a powerful, strong and direct connection with God.

As the above examples show, nearly every issue in a person's life around which they feel the need for healing can be approached from a spiritual perspective.

How Can We Help You?
As Spiritual Healers and Teachers -- and the Official Guides to Spiritual Healing -- Adriene Wentworth and I are dedicated to helping sincere seekers like yourself find and strengthen your God Connection and heal all of the obstacles which are preventing health and fulfillment at all levels of your existence. We are very pleased to introduce you to the particular method of Spiritual Healing that Adriene and I work with: the Christa Healing Method, which Adriene developed from her extensive and intricate study of our energy system and her mastery of sacred, empowered sounds.

In a Christa Healing session, we look deep within the structures of your spiritual anatomy to find out the root causes of the particular concerns you are seeking to address, whether they are of a spiritual, mental, emotional or physical nature. These root causes can include things like energy cordings, imprinted beliefs or patterns, limited aspects of self, past-life traumas, karmic influences, outside negative interferences, dysfunctional codes and programs at the DNA, genetic and cellular levels, and more -- anything that has energetic form can be released with this method.

Our clients have found the Christa Healing Method to be one of the most powerful and deeply effective healing tools available today. Furthermore, they know it to be an essential spiritual development tool for growing into the fully empowered Being God intends for them to be.

If an approach to self-growth from a spiritual perspective attracts you, we invite you to visit for more information and to see for yourself what the Christa Healing Method can do to help you achieve your self-growth goals.

About the Author:

Julia Ahlers Ness is the founder of the Center for Healing Partnerships. She is a Spiritual Healer and Teacher and a Certified Advanced Practitioner and Teacher of the Christa Healing Method. In addition, she is the Official Guide to Spiritual Healing on along with Adriene Wenterworth, the developer of the Christa Healing Method..

Julia also calls herself a "Co-Creative Spiritual Gardener." She sees her life as a "garden within which to cultivate and grow as a spiritual being and to fulfill her soul's purpose." Julia has been studying and working with co-creative partnerships with Nature and Spirit since 1993. She began her study and work with soil-less gardening in 2002. Julia continues to be a life-long Seeker of Truth. She finds great joy in supporting people to feel more empowered, to find their true voice, to heal back to God and to create fulfillment at all levels.

Visit her website here.



Self Hypnosis & NLP Success Formula

Author : Alan B. Densky, CH

Did you ever try to eliminate a negative behavior, only to be unsuccessful? There is list of common problem behaviors that people often try to alter or eradicate using self-hypnosis. Perhaps the most common are: Overeating and weight loss; stop smoking; quit chewing tobacco; stop nail biting; increasing self-confidence; overcoming insomnia and sleeping better; improving memory; and managing stress.

WHAT THE MIND CAUSES, THE MIND CAN CURE: The motivation for our behaviors starts in our thoughts. If you mull it over, all of these harmful behaviors are the consequence of negative thinking. In other words, you think and motivate yourself into all of these behaviors. Or at least you think yourself into feeling stressed out, and that can be the reason for these behaviors. And in view of the fact that you think and motivate yourself into these behaviors, you can think and motivate yourself out of them. But in order to think and motivate yourself out of them, you will need to know specifically how to go about accomplishing it.

DESIRE: You are almost certainly reading this commentary because you want the motivation to change something about yourself. And that's convenient for the reason that the first element in the "Motivation Formula For Your Success" is that you must want or desire to change. If you have read this far, at least a little part of you wishes a change.

BELIEF IS REQUIRED FOR MOTIVATION: Before anyone can alter an unhelpful behavior, that person must be motivated to do so. Merely wanting a change is not adequate.

Our motivation comes from the things that we believe. If we believe that something very important to us will get better or "become enhanced" if we alter our behavior, we will become motivated. Conversely, if we believe that something very important to us will be placed at risk if we don't make a change in our behavior, we will also feel motivated to change.

Some simple examples of these motivational beliefs might be:

If I lose weight, then I'll be able to get a date or find someone to love me.

If I quit smoking cigarettes, then I will not have to worry about cancer.

If I quit biting my nails, then my hands will be a lot prettier.

TECHNOLOGIES THAT CAN CREATE THE BELIEFS THAT LEAD TO MOTIVATION: Neuro-Linguistic Programming - which is commonly known as NLP, provides strategies that can instantaneously create the element of belief. You can discover more about this by reading the articles "How To Get Motivated To Exercise Using Hypnosis And NLP" and "Motivation Theory - How To Quit Smoking Using NLP And Hypnosis For Motivation." These articles are both available in my free hypnosis research library.

DECISION: The dictionary definition of the word "Decision" is making up one's mind / a verdict or judgment. When you believe a concept that gives you a powerful feeling of motivation to alter your behavior, you will feel a compulsion to make a decision to eliminate a negative behavior. Decision is the key that unlocks the door to taking action.

ACTION: The dictionary definition of the word "Action" is an act or deed / to do or perform. Taking action means that instead of just daydreaming about making personal changes, you will actually take action and bring about your desired changes.

SELF-TALK: One of the many reasons that most people are unsuccessful at altering a negative behavior is because of the way that they talk to themselves. Self-talk is significant because time and again it is part of what caused the negative behavior to begin with.

I'd like you to consider this for a moment: Let us say that you want to break a cigarette addiction. The first thing that you may well say or think to yourself is: "I'm not going to smoke any longer."

It's common for people to tell themselves what they aren't going to do. Unfortunately, when we tell ourselves what we are not going to do, we are actually programming ourselves to do it!

SELF-TALK EXERCISE: Say the following to yourself: I can't see blue. I can't see polka dots . . . . . . .

I'll bet your mind showed you the color blue, and then it showed you polka dots. That's because when we tell ourselves what we do not want to do, or what we won't do, in order to make sense of it our mind must make an image of us doing whatever it is that we wish to stop doing. And when we see ourselves engaging in a behavior, our mind compels us to create that behavior.

SUMMARY: In order to alter a negative behavior, we must first want or DESIRE to get rid of it. BELIEF is the factor that leads us to MOTIVATION. MOTIVATION is the drive that compels us to DECISION. DECISION is the means to ACTION. NLP is a modality that we can use to facilitate beliefs, motivation, decisions, and actions.

When we tell ourselves what we are not going to do, we make a mental image of ourselves using the behavior that we want to modify. And that mental picture gives us a compulsion to create the unwanted behavior. So if we want to get rid of a negative behavior, instead of telling ourselves what we will not do, we must always tell ourselves what we will do.

To quit smoking say: "I can live without them."

To erase cravings for high calorie foods or to give up smokeless tobacco say: "I can live without it."

To manage stress say: "I'm relaxed and calm, both mentally and physically."

To eliminate insomnia say: "I fall asleep promptly, and sleep soundly throughout the entire night."

Alan B. Densky, CH is certified by the NGH. He runs the Neuro-VISION Video Hypnosis website and the Video Self-Hypnosis Blog. He offers Hypnosis CDs for motivation. Visit his site for his free MP3 downloads, newsletters, and his hypnosis research library.



Feeling Confidence Can Change Your World

Author : Alan B. Densky, CH

Imagine Yourself Feeling Complete Self Confidence

Self-confidence can be defined as the capacity to have faith in oneself and one's skills. This characteristic is crucial to a person's accomplishments throughout one's lifetime. This characteristic allows people to know in their self-worth and that they can succeed in their undertakings. Even individuals who do not possess this attribute can understand how to boost their self confidence.

Without this attribute, a number of persons become powerless to achieve life dreams. They frequently are ineffective in relationships, academic endeavors, and job situations. They may develop a social phobia, and are ill at ease in social settings. Individuals who do not possess self-confidence sometimes be reluctant to try to aspire or labor toward goal achievement; these people are convinced that they will certainly fail. They know that they are inferior to or less successful than the people around them. They frequently do not succeed because of their lack of belief in themselves.

In comparison, the one capable of gaining self confidence will find himself or herself strong enough to correct this cycle of despair and learn to find a cure for this social phobia. This individual will find that improving self confidence results in sizable improvements in relationships and academic achievements. Often, a job promotion may occur because of steps taken to boost self-confidence.

Individuals might not develop self-confidence for many reasons. They may have had overbearing parents, or been teased frequently in school. Many struggled educationally or socially. Others simply did not have success at making friends or have the affirming backing of classmates, parents, or teachers. Frequently, these people struggle with a self-perception of inadequacy and incompetence.

Many times, those who were unable to boost self confidence as children have difficulty building self confidence in adulthood. They did not learn how to achieve this, and usually learn only when they look for the help and support of peers or trained professionals. Too many people are ashamed to admit that they are hindered by such difficulties, and merely continue to strain all their lives.

Several strategies are sometimes used to encourage people to gain self confidence. Quite a few styles of counseling techniques, such as cognitive therapy or group therapy, may be used to assist clients how to improve self confidence. Endless numbers of self-help books have been published to encourage people to gain self-confidence. Therapists even provide instructional sessions and retreats designed to help people boost self confidence.

Although all of these strategies can be successful, two innovative approaches that are not difficult to learn and very useful for a majority of persons who try them are confidence hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Specialists who utilize confidence hypnosis are usually able to coach clients to develop self confidence and drastically upgrade both their perspectives and their chances to achieve in life.

Classic hypnosis (employing post-hypnotic suggestions) is often very useful. This approach is best with those who are suggestible and easily directed. This type of therapy usually is not helpful for persons who tend to be methodical or think critically.

Individuals described by the latter group, Ericksonian hypnotherapy or NLP approaches work much better. These approaches are effective for successfully communicating with the unconscious mind, which is the center of our thoughts and feelings. This is because the resistance to suggestiveness usually presented by analytical people is bypassed.

A tool offered through that people are often taught for improving self confidence is called anchoring. This is a natural experience. For instance, if you hear a song from the past, and experience sensations of deja vu, this is because your unconscious connected the feelings in a past situation, with the lyrics of the song you were listening to during that time. So now when you hear the music again, the unconscious triggers the memories connected with it. For this reason the song anchors those sensations.

Through anchoring, people are reminded of a time that made them feel the emotions of confidence. As they remember and relive those sensations, they are taught to touch two fingers together. The unconscious then connects the feelings of confidence with the two fingers touching together. If the individual argues that he or she has no memory of ever feeling confident, the person is encouraged to construct a fantasy where they do see themselves being confident, and then anchor that perception of confidence.

When the client has anchored the feelings of confidence, when they find themselves in situations that require self-confidence, anchoring triggers the feelings of confidence that can be used in the current situation.

A very useful NLP too called the "Flash" is sometimes used to instantly substitute stressful emotions, which are sometimes connected with low self-confidence. Through this method, the person uses the visual images that cause a negative feeling, to trigger mental images to create a constructive response.

For instance, the person directs the unconscious to utilize the visual cues that cause feelings of uncertainty, as triggers for visual images that trigger feelings of confidence. Mental images trigger an individual's emotions.

Every person has goals, and aspirations. A number of persons can strive toward these to achieve their aspirations. Others, however, let their low self-confidence to overpower them. Even though NLP does not work for all clients, the overwhelming majority of persons who attempt this strategy describe astonishing success in building self confidence. This therapy is in fact, much more successful than other approaches for the majority of people.

Summary: Individuals who lack self-confidence often have difficulty succeeding in most areas of life. Several factors cause persons to develop social phobias or the feeling of incompetence. Many strategies have been developed to assist clients to boost self-confidence. NLP has often been reported to be highly successful by a large percentage of people who have used this strategy.

Alan B. Densky is a hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner. He offers self hypnosis CDs for social phobias and confidence. His hypnosis for confidence CDs were reviewed by independents in the UK. Visit his Neuro-VISION hypnotherapysite to enjoy free hypnosis videos.


50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind

Author : Marc & Angel

These questions have no right or wrong answers.

Because sometimes asking the right questions is the answer.

  • How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?
  • Which is worse, failing or never trying?
  • If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don't like and like so many things we don't do?
  • When it's all said and done, will you have said more than you've done?
  • What is the one thing you'd most like to change about the world?
  • If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
  • Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
  • If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
  • To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
  • Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
  • You're having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?
  • If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
  • Would you break the law to save a loved one?
  • Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
  • What's something you know you do differently than most people?
  • How come the things that make you happy don't make everyone happy?
  • What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What's holding you back?
  • Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
  • If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
  • Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
  • Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
  • Why are you, you?
  • Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
  • Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
  • What are you most grateful for?
  • Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
  • Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
  • Has your greatest fear ever come true?
  • Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?
  • What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?
  • At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
  • If not now, then when?
  • If you haven't achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
  • Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
  • Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
  • Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
  • If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
  • Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
  • Do you feel like you've lived this day a hundred times before?
  • When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
  • If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
  • Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
  • What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
  • When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
  • If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
  • What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  • When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
  • What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
  • In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?
  • Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?

Photo by: Sanctuary


What are you Tolerating in your Life

Author : Michael Angier

Making the principle of vacuum work for you:

In order to be successful, it's critical we become clear about what we really want and why we want it. And the flip side to that is to also be clear about what we don't want.

We all have things in our lives that, at best, don't serve us. Many of these things actually detract from the quality and satisfaction of our lives. What we've found to be helpful is to create a toleration list.

By simply listing the things we don't want, we begin the process of their removal. I'm not advocating we dwell on these things-only that we identify them and begin to eliminate them. I'm a firm believer in keeping our focus on what we want because we tend to find what we're looking for. But we must also discern that which we don't want as part of our experience.

Much time and energy is frittered away by small but annoying things: a dent in our car, a window in the house that doesn't shut easily, a towel rack that's bent, a squeaky door, a button missing or a phone with an unpleasant ring. They may not sound like much, but added together, they reduce our creativity, sap our production ability and detract from our enjoyment of everyday living.

Identifying and writing these things down is the genesis of their eradication.

I just looked at a toleration list my wife and I made a few months ago and was surprised to see how many items had been handled-seemingly without effort. One by one we knocked them off because we'd identified them as worthy of elimination. As a result, we have a greater sense of accomplishment and things run more smoothly.

Of course, there are now other things we've added to our list. We've also found that our tolerance level has been elevated. We no longer put up with things we used to accept.

As you get rid of things, you're using the principle of vacuum-making room for what you want by getting rid of what you don't. If your life is filled with things that no longer serve you, there's no room for the things that can.

And there's no need to make these items on our list bad or wrong, either. Handling the things on your toleration list is just another way of taking out the trash.

Start a list of tolerations. Write down all the things that don't work, don't look good-that you don't like using, looking at or having around. Go through your wardrobe and give away what doesn't work for you anymore-if it ever did. Walk through your house and list things that are broken, shabby or create clutter.

Start your toleration list today, begin to eliminate each item and watch the quality of your life, your creativity and your productivity soar.

Michael Angier is founder and CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of SuccessNet--a support network helping people and businesses grow and prosper. For a free subscription to "SuccessNet Strategies" along with you free copy of "10 Keys to Personal Effectiveness" go to

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Put Your Painful Past Behind You (Where It Belongs!)

Author : Guy Finley

There lives nothing real in our past -- regardless of how disappointing or painful it may have been -- that can grab us and make us its captive, any more than a dark shadow has the power to keep us from walking into the sunlight.

Claim the Higher Vantage Point of Conscious Presence

A father once took his young daughter to a nearby old growth forest. He knew that the stillness and beauty of the massive trees would work their enchantment on her, as it had always done upon him. And he was right; her little heart was at home in the quiet depths of these ancient trees. All was well for the first several moments, but then something broke into the peace of the place.

As they walked farther into the forest, he could see that his daughter was becoming overwhelmed. She would be looking at a particular tree when the sun would pass behind a cloud, giving rise to a great shadow that would move through the woods. Everywhere dark shapes stretched out, as if to touch her, and then the light would shift, creating motion somewhere else. On and off went this shadow show, so that one minute she would be absolutely captured with enthusiasm for the beauty of the light, and the next minute she would be scared by the encroaching shadows.

As her emotional state escalated, her father realized that her limited understanding was not enough to correct the developing negative condition within her. And so, taking action before she became any more frightened, he took his little girl by the hand.

"Come on, sweetheart," he said, and they walked back out of the forest and headed for the place where he knew a special lesson awaited her.

They walked hand-in-hand for twenty minutes or so, got outside the trees, and climbed a gentle hill to its crest where they could get a panoramic view of the forest. They sat down on the edge of the little bluff together and quietly looked down on the woods spread out beneath them. What a magical sight!

The little girl saw dozens of shadows caused by the clouds as they moved beneath the sun, even as she saw that the sunlight passing over the crown of the forest would create tree shadows within the woods that reached out and then raced back into nothingness.

She saw the whole of the forest and its invisible relationship with the world around it. Wordlessly, she realized that no event happened by itself. And most importantly, from her new vantage point, none of the things that had troubled her within the forest troubled her now. She grew very still. Peace returned to her. Her new view of reality had granted her this gift. From that day on, whenever they went to the woods, she was no longer afraid.

We, too, have within us a new, higher vantage point -- a very special part of ourselves within which we may be at peace regardless of what goes on around us. This yet-to-be realized state of ourselves may be called conscious self-awareness. Through its power, instead of being pulled down into painful identification with the passing shadows of life, we can discover a life in a peace far above the reach of any fear.



The Law of Attraction and Quantum Physics

Author : Kate Corbin Platinum Quality Author

"If thoughts can do that to water, imagine what our thoughts can do to us." - from the movie, What the Bleep Do We Know!?

The Law of Attraction teaches that we attract into our lives whatever we focus on. Quantum Physics teaches that nothing is fixed, that there are no limitations, that everything is vibrating Energy. By understanding that everything is Energy in a state of potential and by applying the Law of Attraction to bring into our lives what we focus on, it is never necessary to feel stuck with an undesirable life.

We are Creators of the Universe. The classical physics of Newton takes a material perspective in which the Universe is composed of discrete building blocks, solid and unchangeable. Quantum physics takes a spiritual perspective in which there are no separate parts, in which everything is fluid and always changing.

The physical world is a sea of Energy constantly flashing into and out of existence. It is through our thoughts that we transform this ever-changing Energy into observable reality. Therefore, we can create our reality with our thoughts. With quantum physics, science is leaving behind the notion that human beings are powerless victims and moving toward an understanding that we are fully empowered creators of our lives and of our world.

With Newton, we were insignificant cogs in the Universal Machinery. With quantum physics, we are Creators of the Universe.

Everything is Energy. Einstein's 1905 formula E = mc2 explains the relationship between Energy and matter, i.e., that Energy and matter are interchangeable - that, in reality, everything is Energy - dancing, fluid, ever-changing Energy.

This Energy is influenced by our thoughts. It is shapeable, formable, and moldable. As Creators, we shape, form and mold the Energy of the Universe through our thoughts. We transform the Energy of our thoughts into the Energy of our reality.

The Physics of Possibility. The popular movie, What the Bleep Do We Know!?, clarifies that quantum physics is the physics of possibility. We have been conditioned to believe that the external world is more real than the internal world. Quantum physics says just the opposite. It says that what's happening on the inside determines what's happening on the outside. It says that our world is shaped by our thoughts.

Since nothing is fixed and everything is in a state of potential, everything is possible. As we understand that everything is possible, and as we focus our thoughts on what we want to attract, we can literally call into existence whatever we desire.

My ten-year old neighbor loves the expression - "It could happen!" He probably doesn't know much about the physics of possibility, but he practices it with his great attitude. He reminds me to entertain possibility. He reminds me that nothing is impossible.

Dreams into Reality. The Universe exists as infinite potential in infinite abundance. As we focus our thoughts, we have the power to bring our desires into existence, our dreams into reality. As we focus our thoughts, we have the power to be and do and have whatever we desire.

Kate Corbin is a Law of Attraction Life Coach and the creator of Gold Star Coaching. Both her coaching practice and her e-book, Dining at the Cosmic Café: How to Be and Do and Have Whatever You Desire, are designed to help people move from where they are to where they want to be and truly live the life of their dreams. To contact Coach Kate, learn more about the Law of Attraction, and to check out her e-book, visit

Quotes Worth Consideration: Exert your talents, and distinguish yourself, and don't think of retiring from the world, until the world will be sorry that you retire. - Samuel Johnson



How to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition

Author : Dr Judith Orloff

Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's new book "Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life" (Harmony Books, 2009)

In "Emotional Freedom" my approach to transforming fear has two stages. First, take stock of what makes you afraid and distinguish irrational fears from legitimate intuitions. Second, take appropriate steps to heed protective fears and transform the others with courage. At times you may foresee real danger, but more frequently unproductive fears clobber you. Therefore as a general rule, train yourself to question fears tied to low self-esteem; we're all worthy of what's extraordinary. For example, it's right to question the fear that you're too emotionally damaged to love; even the severely wounded can have their hearts opened again. True intuitions will never put you down or support destructive attitudes or behavior. Here are some guidelines for distinguishing legitimate fears from irrational ones:

How To Tell Fear From Intuition

Signs of a Reliable Intuition

  • Conveys information neutrally, unemotionally
  • Feels right in your gut
  • Has a compassionate, affirming tone
  • Gives crisp, clear impressions that are "seen" first, then felt
  • Conveys a detached sensation, like you're in a theater watching a movie

Signs of an Irrational Fear

  • Is highly emotionally charged
  • Has cruel, demeaning, or delusional content
  • Conveys no gut-centered confirmation or on-target feeling
  • Reflects past psychological wounds
  • Diminishes centeredness and perspective

For comparison's sake, I'll share radically different examples of how I use the above criteria. One morning I got two calls from frightened patients who both claimed to be hearing voices. Truly a typical day in my office! The first came from Bill, a schizophrenic who'd been skimping on his meds. Bill's inner "voice" kept haranguing him, insisting he was a bad person, that his food was poisoned, that his son was being raped again by the grandmotherly babysitter. Believing these "delusions" (false beliefs unsubstantiated by fact), he was absolutely unhinged. So Bill kept calling the cops, who sent a squad car out twice, but found no threat. Tolerant but tiring of this, the officers warned that if he contacted them again, they'd haul him off to a psychiatric hospital. My other patient, Jean, had been coping with despair about her brother suffering from end-stage AIDS. Jean's inner "voice" said to immediately fly to New York to join him, though he'd recently been stable. True of authentic intuitions, it came through clear-as-a-bell, oddly matter-of-fact and followed the typical progression of being "seen first," then felt.

Both patients asked me, "What should I do?' I urged Bill to take his meds and offered reassurance about his safety, a tack that had lessened his fear many times in our decade of working together. Jean, however, I supported in buying a plane ticket because her intuition felt so imminent, so right. Fortunately, she did, despite the expense and inconvenience to her job. That week her brother took a sudden turn for the worse, slipped into a coma and died within hours. Heart-breaking as witnessing his death was for Jean, she was able to be at her brother's side in those precious last moments.

Try to separate unhealthy fears from intuition. Though Bill's case was extreme, you may also have some fears that belittle you or cause you to misinterpret danger. Perhaps in a fit of anger your ex-wife called you "useless" and you believed it. This is not intuition. Nor is being frightened of having cancer whenever a brown spot appears on your skin. Also, be skeptical of long-standing fears, say of heights; these are typically not premonitions.

If you're en emotional empath, it can be especially tricky to ascertain which fears are authentic, helpful intuitions. Because you tend to absorb other people's emotions, you may pick up their fear and think it's your own. To avoid this, always ask yourself, "Is the fear mine or someone else's?" One dependable way to find out is to distance yourself from the source. Move at least twenty feet away. If you experience relief, it's likely you're perceiving another's fear. Although it's fine to absorb courage and all positive emotions from others because they'll strengthen you, you don't want to absorb negativity. Move away, and keep releasing extraneous fear by exhaling it until the feeling passes.

While some apprehensions may be empathically linked to another's feelings or, like Jean's, are distinct intuitive warnings, the more garden variety ones reflect ingrained negative psychological patterns. To resolve these, you must know where they come from and do what's necessary to loosen their hold.


Awaken the New Perception that is Pressure-Free

Author : Guy Finley

When we turn on a faucet connected to a hose with a small nozzle at its other end, we know from experience that we have to keep the hose in hand, otherwise we will likely get soaked chasing down the runaway end. What happens is that the water pressure, as it passes through the nozzle, transforms our ordinarily tame garden hose into the equivalent of a tethered rocket.

With this picture in mind, can you also see that when we are angry or anxious, the same principle holds true in us, as it does in the hose example, of too much pressure and too little release? Heated thoughts or runaway emotions flood through our psychic system, pick us up, and cause us to careen wildly until we crash into whatever unfortunate thing may be in our path.

Now, when it comes to our chores, and the hose runs wild, we can either turn off the water or simply widen the spray of the nozzle and our problem is solved. But when our constricted consciousness reaches critical mass and starts throwing us around, how do we resolve this pressure?

It should be clear by now that our usual approach to venting this pressure provides, at best, only temporary relief. What we really need isn't a Band-Aid, but an inner healing. This need brings us, once again, and yet in still another way, to the time-honored truth of "Know thyself." Only the understanding of our actual inner condition shows us what can free us, otherwise we wind up the servant of our own inner pressure, doing what it bids us do instead of being its master.

Commanding the pressures of this life begins with understanding that the stress we feel is first an inside job. In and of itself, there is no such thing as a "pressurized" moment. Try to see the truth of this.

The present moment flows along freely. Nothing can possibly restrict what is ever refreshing itself in the ever-new Now. This finding reveals that any pressure we come to feel in any given moment is the unhappy effect of some hidden agent within us acting on the ordinarily free-flowing content of each of these moments. In no time at all, the quiet and naturally unrestricted stream of events around us becomes a jet engine within us, rocketing us out of peace.

Now, in our physical world, whenever the garden hose gets "charged" and starts to whip around, we simply realize what has happened, reach down, and turn off the water. But in the spiritual world within us, we can't "turn off" life! It pours itself out in an eternal outflow, which brings us to an important question. If it is not the movement of life itself that restricts us, where then is the hidden bottleneck wrecking our inner world? There can only be one answer to this timeless question, although it may be stated in different ways.

It is our own narrow mind, with its narrow view of life, that pressurizes our events and their moments. This small mind, which can't be separated from the narrow world it perceives, tends to see life's events not as they are, but as what they are not according to its own unconscious demands.

In other words, the punishing pressure we feel in this life is not because of what life is but because of what we perceive life isn't -- a judgment that could neither be reached nor sustained were it not for there being within us an unseen "board of governors" that had already concluded what "best" serves us and what won't. But see the contradiction in this discovery and you will free yourself of the pressure created in its undetected presence.

Whenever you "serve" this painful pressure within you, to somehow release yourself from it by doing the dance it prescribes, it is not your interests you serve, but the hidden interests of some small self -- the one that has been "telling" you all along what your real pleasures are by punishing you when they seem out of reach!

The next time some pressure starts to build within you, learn to use it to shake yourself awake. Rouse yourself to the pure fact that whatever stress you are starting to feel doesn't really belong to you. Stand back from yourself long enough to see that pressurized thoughts and feelings can only arise from a narrow view of life that belongs to a narrow self -- a false self that you had momentarily and mistakenly taken as your own. Then just quietly drop this formerly unconscious conclusion. This same moment of letting go releases you from this restricted sense of self and the narrow life it creates.


So You Want to Win the Lottery

Author : Michael Losier

If we all got everything we wanted, most of us would have won the lottery by now. So what happens when we notice that we aren't getting what we want, even when we've been using Law of Attraction to manifest a particular desire for an extended period of time?

Wanting to win the lottery is a clear desire, therefore, you need to use Law of Attraction deliberately. If you're not getting evidence that your desire to win the lottery is manifesting, then you need to review the Law of Attraction formula and check to see if all three conditions for Deliberate Attraction are being met. All the desires you may have, for example, attracting an ideal mate, an ideal client base, ideal health or an ideal abundance of money require these same three conditions:

Step 1: Clearly identify your desire
Step 2: Raise your vibration (Give Your Desire Attention)
Step 3: Allow it

So let's examine these three conditions with respect to manifesting a winning lottery ticket.

Step 1: Clearly identify your desire (you bought a ticket and you WANT to win). Step 1 is done.

Step 2: Raise your vibration (you talk about and daydream about all the things you'll do with the money you win). Step 2 is done.

If the only thing we needed to do is Step 1 and Step 2, most people would have everything they've ever become excited about. So as you observe that you've NOT attracted what you've been desiring (in this case, a winning lottery ticket), you'll need to check the three-step process to find out what step needs your attention more often. In most cases it's Step 3 - Allowing.

Allowing is the absence of doubt. Doubt is a negative vibration that cancels out the positive vibration of your desire, so removing doubt will allow your desire to come to you. Removing doubt will speed up the manifestation of your desire.

One of the best tools for removing doubt is to start keeping a log or journal of all the ways in which you are attracting more abundance into your life, thereby you are finding proof! Abundance is simply energy and the more often you discover that you are aligned with the energy of abundance, the more often you will be removing doubt that you are Allowing your desire to win the lottery. For example, if you find money or someone buys you lunch or you find a great sale on an item you want to buy - this is all evidence that you are in alignment with abundance. Logging this evidence or tracking it in a journal will help you to prove to yourself that you are aligning yourself more and more with abundance.

In short, how soon you'll win the lottery is determined by how much doubt you have about winning, and winning is all about removing that doubt thereby aligning yourself with the energy of abundance.

Michael Losier, a Law of Attraction Trainer and author, supports people in understanding and practicing the Art of Deliberate Attraction, so they can have more of what they want and less of what they don't. Michael has been applying the principles of Law of Attraction for many years and enjoys a wonderful and rewarding life in the city of Victoria, BC, Canada. He facilitates a number of in-person Law of Attraction seminars as well as Teleseminars to a worldwide audience.

For more articles by Michael Losier, Teleclass information or to purchase the book, Law of Attraction, The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don't, visit



Continuous Learning

Author : Michael Losier

Brian Tracy University - Online Learning Courses

Throughout the developed world, we have moved from an era of manpower to an era of mind power. We have moved from the use of physical muscles to the use of mental muscles. Today the chief sources of value in our society are knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge in a timely fashion. In the information age, knowledge is king, and those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.

When you learn and practice the techniques for rapid learning, when you join the learning revolution, you will learn how to unlock the incredible powers of your mind. You will learn how to become smarterfaster than ever before. You will learn how to become a master of your fate rather than a victim of circumstances. You will learn how to take complete control of your present and future destiny so that you can accomplish and achieve anything you want in life.

The answer to almost every question and the solution to almost every problem in the world of work is to learn and practice something new and different. When you learn how to use the incredible power of your brain to absorb and apply new ideas and information, you will be able to lead the field and rise to the top of any profession or occupation.

Here's another question for you: What is your most valuable asset? In terms of cash flow, what is the most valuable thing you have? Well, unless you are very rich, or have a family trust account, your most valuable asset is your "earning ability." It is your ability to earn money. It is your ability to apply your knowledge and skill in a timely fashion to get results for which others will pay.

Specific knowledge and specific skills will become obsolete with the passing of time, but learning how to learn is a permanent skill that you can use all the days of your life. The people who join the learning revolution, and who learn how to learn faster, like those people who first learned how to operate computers, or learned how to become excellent in their fields, will be able to earn more in one or two years of work than the average person earns in perhaps five or ten years.

By joining the learning revolution, you will enhance every area of your life. You will be able to help your spouse and your children unlock and realize more of their individual potentials. You will be a better friend in helping your friends use more of their abilities. And you will be a better manager, developing the skills that will enable you to get far more out of yourself and other people than ever before.

Brian Tracy University -- where you can learn exclusively from Brian Tracy to reach your goals faster -- Enroll Today!



Do You Make These 7 Common Mistakes and Bore People Half to Death?

Author : Henrik Edberg

Brian Tracy University - Online Learning Courses

"You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere".
Lee Iacocca

"The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out."

One way to make conversations a lot more awkward and unfulfilling is to bore people to half to death. Sometimes you don't even know you are doing it (that's at least what I have done). So today I'd like to list 7 common mistakes that I have made in conversations to help myself - and maybe someone else too - to avoid them in the future.

1. Babbling on.

I have found it to be helpful to be reasonably brief when, for example, telling someone a story. The long and very convoluted version seldom seems to be as appreciated as the shorter and snappier one.

Babbling on too much is, at least in my opinion, something that often comes from being too focused inward. Being too focused on yourself in a conversation.

If you instead focus more outward you'll be less self-conscious. This reduces nervousness and slightly nonsensical babbling.

And if you focus more outward, on the people you are talking to and less on your own glorious voice and golden words you'll be more aware of what you are saying and how the conversation is going. If you focus on the other guy/gal you'll be more focused on getting through and you are more attentive to how your message comes across and what reactions you bring out.

2. Clinging to a topic like a drowning man.

Hanging on to a topic for too long can make a conversation boring and awkward. Often there is a natural transition from topic to topic. But if you keep coming back to the same topic over and over again or cling to it while the other(s) want to move on then you are interrupting the flow.

This can also evolve into a situation where you feel you need to be right at all costs. That's when things tend to get really awkward. Try lightening up and letting go if you feel that is a common problem you are experiencing.

It can be interesting to listen to someone talking a lot about their passion in life. But you still have to be flexible, let the conversation flow back and forth and be mindful of the fact that not everyone will be so interested in something as you are.

A lot of the time people just want to share moments, exchange positive emotions and feel like they are connected by for example being able to relate to you in some way. I still think you talk about a hobby or passion no matter how odd it may be but it is helpful for you and the other person to avoid technical jargon, acronyms and details that only you and other enthusiasts understand.

Try to keep it simple and understandable instead. No one wants to listen to a topic that they can't relate to in some way. Not for too long at least.

3. Being negative and whiny.

Now, it's normal to have a bad day or just be in bad or whiny mood from time to time. But if you do it a lot or pretty much all the time, if you spend most of your time in that headspace then simply put people will probably not just be bored. They will start to avoid hanging out/talking to you.

We all have a lot going on today. And as I grow older it seems to me that people simply don't have time or patience to listen to that negative stuff. They have more exciting things to do and more positive people that they will choose to hang out with and talk to instead.

I'd say that one of the most attractive qualities a person can have is a positive attitude and energy. It is attractive to people at your job/school, family, friends or just that cute girl/guy in the bar. And as I mentioned above, I think that one of the big things people want in any relationships is positive emotions. On a fundamental level people simply want to create a flow back and forth with people where all of you exchange positive emotions and feel good.

It is often said that enthusiasm is contagious. So is every other feeling. So not just the words you say but the mood you are in has a big effect on how people react to you and interactions and relationships develop. So be careful with your emotional states. Here is a guide to how I have improved my own attitude and maintain it at a more positive level than I used to.

4. Not listening.

Not really listening is perhaps one of the biggest mistakes people make. It has certainly been one of my biggest issues in conversations and although I think I have improved it still is.

If you are just waiting for your turn to talk instead of listening then you'll often miss much of what is said (verbally or non-verbally). There will be a lack of genuine understanding and disconnect that makes the conversation less exciting than it could be.

Just like I mentioned in tip #1, focusing outward and on the other person and not on yourself makes it a lot easier to be a better listener.

5. Thinking it's all about me, me, me!

So it's pretty obvious from what you have already read so far in this article that if you focus too much on yourself then a conversation or any sort of relationship will probably become pretty boring. You will become a bad listener. You will tend to prattle on endlessly about what you like to talk about.

People are interested in themselves. That is one big reason why for example a lot of people always think everyone is thinking or talking about them and so they become shy or they don't experience the sort of social freedom that they could.

People want to be understood and feel a connection. If you can shift your focus away from yourself, away from having your focus split between yourself and the person you are talking to then you will be a powerful and exciting exception in their week, month or life.

6. Asking a million questions.

This can become really boring pretty quickly.

A few ways to avoid this is to:

  • Make statements. Mix things up and instead of asking what someone's favorite sports team is, just declare what yours is and see what they have to say about that. And don't be worried about making a statement the other person may not agree with. That's ok, they won't get mad. Instead they probably like that you are being proactive and open and are sharing what you really think instead of putting up a front to avoid a confrontation and to get them to like you.
  • Try being quiet if there is a pause. There are sometimes pauses in conversations. You don't have to be the one to always dive in and ask a new question to get thing rolling again. Try just being at ease with being quiet and let the other person continue instead.

7. Not being right here, right now.

This is perhaps the biggest mistake one can make. And if one can avoid it then many of the other problems above tend to reduce themselves.

Being present is not a magic pill but in a conversation it can be huge.

You are right there and you are listening just to what the other person is saying. You focus is not split. You are not thinking about what to say. Instead you let the conversation evolve naturally as you say what comes to mind. You are more relaxed, positive and open because you are not somewhere in the past or future reliving bad experiences or imagining some horrible scenario.

In this headspace people also tend to be funnier, more fun and exciting and playful in general. It's like bringing out a better self but not having to rely on "having a good day" to do it.

My top three ways to reconnect with the present moment right now are:

  • Paraliminals. I reviewed these guided meditation cds a few months ago on the blog and they have become my favourite way to reconnect with present. I just plop down on my bed for 25 minutes or so to relax and listen. Afterwards I feel relaxed and energized and my self-talk tends to shut down or decrease significantly for maybe half a day. This makes it a lot easier to be in the present moment and just focus on what is going on right now.
  • Focus on your breathing. Take belly breaths for a minute or two and just focus on them and nothing else.
  • Focus on what's right in front of you. Or around you. Or on you. Use your senses. Just look at what's right in front of you right now. Listen to the sounds around you. Feel the fabric of your clothes and focus on how they feel. You can for instance use the summer sun or rain and how it feels on your skin to connect with the present.

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The Secret for Effortless Living

Author : Guy Finley

Brian Tracy University - Online Learning Courses

Everyone wonders whether or not there is one Great Secret for truly successful living. There is. And it is not a secret. It has been quietly, steadily telling itself right in front of us all along. We just couldn't hear it over the clatter and chatter of our own secret demands. Listen quietly for a moment. Everything can change right now. Learning to hear this Supreme Secret is no more difficult than choosing whether to swim against a current or to let it carry you safely to the shore. Let it speak its wisdom to that secret part of you that cannot only hear what it is saying but that is, in reality, its very voice. Listen to it now. It is saying, "Want What Life Wants." Think about it. Locked within these four simple words is the secret of an uncompromising power for effortless living; a new kind of power that never fails to place you on the winning side of any situation. Why? Because when you want what Life wants, your wish is for Life itself.

"What if I don't like what Life brings to me?"

"Try to see that it is not what Life has brought to you that you don't like. It is your reactions that turn the gift of Life into the resentment of it."

"I don't want to sound ungrateful but speaking plainly, I'm tired of being unhappy. What difference does it make why I feel this way?"

"Because these unhappy feelings are born out of Life failing to conform to your ideas of what you need to be happy. This shows you, if you will see it, that Life itself isn't denying you happiness. It is your ideas about Life that have failed you. Give up these wrong ideas instead of giving up on Life. Be increasingly willing to see that they are nothing but a constant source of conflict. Your false nature will tell you that you must have these self-protecting ideas; that you can't live without them or you will lose something valuable. What you must do, in spite of any such protest to the contrary, is to see that you can't live with them. All you will lose is your unhappiness."

"Is there a simple guideline to follow when it comes to distinguishing between what Life wants and what I want? How can I easily tell which is which?"

"Always remember the following. If any want is the source of anxiety or sorrow, that want is yours and not Life's. If the want has pain, it is in vain. To let Real Life flood in, pull yourself out of the flood of self-wants that promise a future pleasure but only deliver a present pain."

"How do I pull myself out of the flood of my own wants?"

"See that you are being washed away by them and you will grow tired of being bounced along. Here is a key. Never accept the presence of any mental or emotional suffering as necessary no matter how much importance these impostors lend to a particularly pressing want. By refusing their dark presence, you make space for the real Present. This is where the Life you want and that wants you is waiting."

Let Life bring you itself. Welcome it. At each instant, it is new, full -- untouched and undiminished by any moment before it. To enter into this full relationship with Life is to give yourself to your Self. Fulfilling the true purpose of Life is fulfilling yourself. They are one and the same. Want What Life Wants.



My Wonderful World

Author : Pamela Smith

I awoke this morning with a revelation. The time I have will one day be at an end. AN END? Like, one day I won't be here any more?

That's a pretty daunting thought, one most of us really don't want to think about too much. But it's an uncompromising fact. Life does not go on forever - at least on this earth it doesn't.
I lay in bed thinking about this. I didn't have much choice because once the train of thought had begun it wouldn't stop. So at some stage, I thought, there will be things I haven't done, said, or experienced because I'll have run out of time. Shudder.

That got me out of bed. I realised I hadn't time to waste, lying around doing nothing. Every moment had suddenly become important to me.
I have always thought our world is a wonderful place and it was becoming more wonderful by the moment as I considered a time when I would no longer be a part of it. No time left to make a difference. So what do I do?

I think of how the little things dictate how we should live our lives. And, suddenly, I become aware of the importance of each day - how it is a gift to be treasured, nurtured, and thankful for. I wonder how I would feel if I woke one morning knowing it was to be my last day on earth? In my current state of being I know I would be gutted - and that's putting it mildly. I can feel the flood of regret for all the things I said I wanted to achieve and didn't; the people in my life I said I would spend more time with and didn't. I think about how the trivia of life has ruled me when what's really important are people and experiences.

A small example. The girls, myself included, in my office are currently on an en masse weight loss binge. It began with one, who had been on leave and returned after two months a slimmer model of her former self. That's it! we all cried, bemoaning the extra kilos we had gained. Not good enough, we chanted, it must be dealt with. So off we all trot to the local Weight Watchers' meeting, not thinking how we had all been there before - many times - and ended up where we are today, with the kilos stacked back on plus a bit more for good measure.

It's so true. VERY few of my acquaintance have managed to keep it off permanently. And this includes me. I've been a weight loss yoyo since my last child was born, nearly 33 years ago! Where will it all end, I wail? Obviously not the way I've been doing it. Not by fretting and weighing and counting points and doing mad dashes along the beach so I can have a glass of wine that night. No matter how determined I have been at the beginning, long term IT HASN'T WORKED!!
So, back to my revelation. If a day is a gift then shouldn't we be grateful for it? Shouldn't we take it and use it and enjoy it and create from it? Shouldn't we glory in it and make the most of every moment of it?

Starting today I plan to dump the etiquette book - the one that tells me I must look like Posh Spice to wear the latest trendy jeans; my living room must be kept looking like a show place at all times - meaning my tired, over-worked husband MUST NOT relax on the living room couch to watch the 6 o'clock news until he has showered and changed; my grand daughter MUST have ballet and piano lessons because these are necessary skills she needs to make her way in the world - even though she is three and prefers to climb trees; I must book a cruise for our annual holiday because it's what EVERYONE is doing and talking about to those of us, who haven't experienced the absolute sophistication of such things. And so on and on and on.

I have decided that FROM NOW ON I will cherish each day; relax more; stop trying to organise my family (for their own good). I will banish the word DIET from my vocabulary and I will accept that I am the master of my own destiny and entitled to enjoy and revel in my gift of each day.
It is a wonderful world out there and I am going to make the most of it.

Today I am going to send my apologies for my weekly business meeting and walk along the beach instead. It's a small start but I owe it to me - and my gift giver.



7 Questions To Finding Your True Passion

Author :Frederic Premji

According to a recent survey, about 75% of the population do not know what their true passion is. Clearly, almost everyone seems to not be doing what they were meant to do. This is an eye-opener because doing what we really love is absolutely necessary if we want to be fully happy. Perhaps this is why there is so much unhappiness going on in our society, people just aren't doing what they are here on Earth for. Finding your true passion isn't as simple as it may seem. For some, yes it does come naturally, but most of the time, you have to ask yourself some questions to pinpoint exactly what you were born to do. Here are my 7 questions that can guide you to finding your ultimate passion:

What puts a smile on your face?
Is there a particular event, a particular topic that makes your whole face just lighten up? Whatever it is that makes you smile, and makes you happy whenever you encounter it, this is a sign of something you are passionate about. I truly believe that happiness and passion walk hand in hand. Both require each other. So following what makes you truly happy is a wonderful way to figuring out what you were put on Earth for. Think about something that you do or that perhaps you used to do that brings total peace to you when you do it. Peace is happiness, and happiness is passion.

What do you find easy?
Usually, what we find easy for us to do, will be related to what we are passionate about. It's very hard to hate something that is very easy for us! For example, let's say you are naturally good at playing the piano, you will find the activity easy, and this ease makes it much more fun for you. Fun leads to happiness and happiness is synonymous with passion :) So assess everything that you do, whatever it is that you find really easy and fun, this may very well be your passion. And don't think that anything is off limits or silly. Some people have taken their passion for skateboarding, drawing, or collecting to full fledged careers. Remember this, you can make a career out of anything you are passionate about.

What sparks your creativity?
One of my passions growing up was hockey. It's not too surprising, being Canadian and all ;) But I remember playing for hours and hours, and always coming up with different plays, and different methods to score goals. I was always full of creativity when playing hockey. Later in life, I developed similar creativity in business. Think about something in your life where you seem to always expand its horizon, always coming up with new, fun, and exciting ideas relating to that subject. Whatever makes you creative, is probably something that you are very passionate about.

What would you do for free?
In this society, we are ruled by the almighty dollar. That's the way the system works, and that's the game we have to play. The problem is, this leads many people to seek making money first, instead of what makes them happy. I have read countless number of stories about stock brokers and doctors for example, leaving their high paying positions to follow what they really love. There is a reason for that. I truly believe that if you follow what you are passionate about without thinking about if it will make you rich or not, you will end up being successful. Doing what you have a passion for brings out your best, and this leads to greatness. Greatness breezes to success. Do you think that the most successful people in the world got to where they are because they wanted to get rich? Absolutely not, they did what they were so passionate about, and their immense success was just a byproduct of their dedication. So think about something that you would just love to do, even if you were not getting paid. Think about something that you look forward to do, something that you wish you could do all the time.

What do you like to talk about?
The topics of conversation we have can definitely tell what we are interested in, and this is a good way to find out what we really enjoy in life. Most of the time, we aren't totally aware of this. This is why, a very good way to figure this out properly, is to ask your friends. Ask them what they believe you like to talk about the most. Ask them what topic makes your eyes brighten up, and changes your entire behavior. I can guarantee you that some of their answers will be surprising to you. Some of these things weren't that clear to you, but your friends can see the reaction on your face that you can't see yourself. Try it out, it's a very insightful exercise, and one that can direct you closer to figuring out your passion.

What makes you unafraid of failure?
When we do what we are passionate about, we have total confidence in our abilities. This makes us not worry about failing, because in our mind, how can we fail when we do what we love? Doing what you love is a success in and of itself, so failure is like an impossibility. Think of something that you just do or want to do, no matter what. Something that you do not have second thoughts about. Think about something that you feel you must do and that failure is not even a concern of yours, because the mere act of doing it is like the journey and the destination all wrapped up in one. This may very well be your true passion.

What would you regret not having tried?
We all have these dreams, and somehow, life pushes us in another direction, and next thing we know, we are far from those dreams we used to have. If you were at the end of your life, what would you regret not having pursued? What would you have liked to do, that you didn't get a chance to? Think about what that might be. Whatever it is that you may experience regret now or later on for not having tried, this is a good chance to be your true passion. There is nothing worse than arriving at the end of the journey and having regret. This is why finding your passion, and following it is so important. Live your life so that you do not have regrets.

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Stinking Thinking: Do These 8 Patterns of Limited Thinking Apply to You?

Author :Peter Clemens

"Whatever your mind can conceive and believe it can achieve." - Napoleon Hill

The way you think has the ability to turn your deepest desires into reality or, alternatively, keep you chained to mediocrity. This article looks at eight patterns of limited thinking - as identified by Dr. S McKay, Davis, and Fanning in their book, Thoughts and Feelings: Taking Control of Your Moods and Life - and how they can be resolved. Breaking these patterns of limited, habitual thought will free you to realize your full potential in life.

1. Overgeneralization

This pattern is characterized by broad, general conclusions based on a single incident or piece of evidence. Overgeneralization often takes the form of absolute statements and uses words such as all, every, none, never, always, everybody and nobody. For example, if you read too many personal development articles you may believe all television is a waste of time.

You can stop thinking in absolutes by using words such as may, sometimes, most and often. Saying some, or even most, television is a waste of time is far easier to take seriously than simply saying all of it is.

2. Polarized Thinking

This is black-and-white thinking, with no room for shades of gray. People and things become either good or bad, smart or stupid, brave or cowardly. President Bush's declaration in the aftermath of 9/11, "You're either with us, or against us" is a famous example of such thinking. And we all know know what has happened since....

Fight the urge to make black-and-white judgements by accepting people and things are too complex to be reduced to "either/ or" judgements. This is especially important in regards to judging yourself. Allow yourself some room to make mistakes without automatically labeling yourself a failure.

3. Filtering

Filtering can be thought of as a type of tunnel vision - focusing on one element of a situation to the exclusion of everything else. For example, you may write an article that hits the front page of Digg. But rather than focusing on this success, your thoughts are distracted by a handful of negative comments.

To break this pattern, make a conscious effort to shift your focus to the opposite mental theme. In this case, focus on the positive feedback and enjoy the moment as it is not every day your blog hits the front page of Digg (unless you are Arianna Huffington).

4. Mind Reading

This pattern occurs when you make snap judgements about others. You may, for example, assume a girl who is not paying attention to you is thinking, "He is not up to my standards". This may be based on intuition, past experiences or a process called projection, whereby you imagine people feel the same way you do and react to things the same way you do. And while your assumptions may be true, often they will turn out to be completely wrong. Perhaps she is very interested in you but is simply shy?

One way to tackle this pattern is to treat assumptions about people as hypotheses to be tested and checked. Gather evidence before making inferences about people. And if you do decide to follow your intuition, be aware your assumptions may reflect yourself rather than the reality of someone else.

5. Catastrophizing

Catastrophizing occurs when your imagination focuses on the potential for tragedy and disaster. Just as Chicken Little worried the sky was falling after an apple fell on her head, you may fear swimming in the ocean after reading a news report of a shark attack on the other side of the world. Catastrophic thoughts often start with the words "What if?" What if I injure myself playing sport? What if this plane crashes? What if I lose my job? Such catastrophizing creates anxiety and can result in you missing out on some of life's greatest pleasures.

The most effective way to deal with this pattern is to evaluate a situation in terms of odds or percent of probability. Are the chances of disaster one in 1,000,000 (0.00001 per cent)? Or, are they closer one in a thousand (0.1 per cent)? When it comes to sharks, there were 71 unprovoked attacks worldwide in 2007. Perhaps you should be more concerned about the car ride to the beach than swimming in the ocean....

6. Magnifying

This involves emphasizing things out of proportion to their actual importance. Minor suggestions become scathing criticism. Small mistakes become tragic events. Slight obstacles become overwhelming barriers.

To overcome this pattern, pay attention to the language you use. Stop using words such as disgusting, awful and terrible. Also, toss out phrases such as "It's unbearable". Guess what? It is bearable. History has shown time and time again that human beings can cope with almost any psychological blow and can endure incredible physical pain.

7. Personalization

Personalization can take two forms. First, you can directly compare yourself to other people, eg "He writes far more eloquently than I do". Such comparisons may actually be favorable to you, eg "I am better looking". Either way, there is an underlying assumption here that your worth is questionable. Consequently, you seek out ways to test your value and measure yourself against others. Personalization can also take the form of relating everything back to yourself. If you're partner tells you she is bored or depressed, you may automatically think you are the cause of this feeling.

This pattern of limited thinking can be broken by recognizing most comparisons are meaningless. Each of us has our strong and weak points. Matching your strong points to other people's weak points usually has little purpose except to feed your ego.

8. Shoulds

In this final pattern, you live according to a set of inflexible rules about how you and other people should act. You have a fixed view of what is right, and those who deviate from your particular values or standards are bad. And you are just as hard on yourself. Some common and unreasonable "shoulds" include:

  • "I should never be tired or get sick"
  • "I should always be totally self-reliant"
  • "I should never make mistakes"
  • "I should always be happy"

To overcome this pattern, try to have greater flexibility in the rules or expectations you feel compelled to live by. And when it comes to other people, it is important to accept their individuality and uniqueness. You should accept that other people won't necessarily live according to your values. After all, your personal values are just that - personal.

If you enjoyed this article, you may wish to read Peter's free e-book A Year of Change.

Peter writes about how to enjoy life at The Change Blog. If you enjoyed this article, you may wish to download his free e-book, A Year of Change.



7 Questions To Finding Your True Passion

Author :Frederic Premji

According to a recent survey, about 75% of the population do not know what their true passion is. Clearly, almost everyone seems to not be doing what they were meant to do. This is an eye-opener because doing what we really love is absolutely necessary if we want to be fully happy. Perhaps this is why there is so much unhappiness going on in our society, people just aren't doing what they are here on Earth for. Finding your true passion isn't as simple as it may seem. For some, yes it does come naturally, but most of the time, you have to ask yourself some questions to pinpoint exactly what you were born to do. Here are my 7 questions that can guide you to finding your ultimate passion:

What puts a smile on your face?
Is there a particular event, a particular topic that makes your whole face just lighten up? Whatever it is that makes you smile, and makes you happy whenever you encounter it, this is a sign of something you are passionate about. I truly believe that happiness and passion walk hand in hand. Both require each other. So following what makes you truly happy is a wonderful way to figuring out what you were put on Earth for. Think about something that you do or that perhaps you used to do that brings total peace to you when you do it. Peace is happiness, and happiness is passion.

What do you find easy?
Usually, what we find easy for us to do, will be related to what we are passionate about. It's very hard to hate something that is very easy for us! For example, let's say you are naturally good at playing the piano, you will find the activity easy, and this ease makes it much more fun for you. Fun leads to happiness and happiness is synonymous with passion :) So assess everything that you do, whatever it is that you find really easy and fun, this may very well be your passion. And don't think that anything is off limits or silly. Some people have taken their passion for skateboarding, drawing, or collecting to full fledged careers. Remember this, you can make a career out of anything you are passionate about.

What sparks your creativity?
One of my passions growing up was hockey. It's not too surprising, being Canadian and all ;) But I remember playing for hours and hours, and always coming up with different plays, and different methods to score goals. I was always full of creativity when playing hockey. Later in life, I developed similar creativity in business. Think about something in your life where you seem to always expand its horizon, always coming up with new, fun, and exciting ideas relating to that subject. Whatever makes you creative, is probably something that you are very passionate about.

What would you do for free?
In this society, we are ruled by the almighty dollar. That's the way the system works, and that's the game we have to play. The problem is, this leads many people to seek making money first, instead of what makes them happy. I have read countless number of stories about stock brokers and doctors for example, leaving their high paying positions to follow what they really love. There is a reason for that. I truly believe that if you follow what you are passionate about without thinking about if it will make you rich or not, you will end up being successful. Doing what you have a passion for brings out your best, and this leads to greatness. Greatness breezes to success. Do you think that the most successful people in the world got to where they are because they wanted to get rich? Absolutely not, they did what they were so passionate about, and their immense success was just a byproduct of their dedication. So think about something that you would just love to do, even if you were not getting paid. Think about something that you look forward to do, something that you wish you could do all the time.

What do you like to talk about?
The topics of conversation we have can definitely tell what we are interested in, and this is a good way to find out what we really enjoy in life. Most of the time, we aren't totally aware of this. This is why, a very good way to figure this out properly, is to ask your friends. Ask them what they believe you like to talk about the most. Ask them what topic makes your eyes brighten up, and changes your entire behavior. I can guarantee you that some of their answers will be surprising to you. Some of these things weren't that clear to you, but your friends can see the reaction on your face that you can't see yourself. Try it out, it's a very insightful exercise, and one that can direct you closer to figuring out your passion.

What makes you unafraid of failure?
When we do what we are passionate about, we have total confidence in our abilities. This makes us not worry about failing, because in our mind, how can we fail when we do what we love? Doing what you love is a success in and of itself, so failure is like an impossibility. Think of something that you just do or want to do, no matter what. Something that you do not have second thoughts about. Think about something that you feel you must do and that failure is not even a concern of yours, because the mere act of doing it is like the journey and the destination all wrapped up in one. This may very well be your true passion.

What would you regret not having tried?
We all have these dreams, and somehow, life pushes us in another direction, and next thing we know, we are far from those dreams we used to have. If you were at the end of your life, what would you regret not having pursued? What would you have liked to do, that you didn't get a chance to? Think about what that might be. Whatever it is that you may experience regret now or later on for not having tried, this is a good chance to be your true passion. There is nothing worse than arriving at the end of the journey and having regret. This is why finding your passion, and following it is so important. Live your life so that you do not have regrets



When is Doing Nothing a Good Idea?

Published by Paul Chek

The industrialized nations are home to societies of doers. Our educational systems ingrain the need to think, complete, and meet deadlines. Our childhood life seldom offers or encourages us to simply be. I know that in my childhood it was very dangerous to be seen playing or doing anything that my parents may have perceived as non-doing, for an idle child on a farm is often considered a useless child. Then and now, children typically have to escape the views of their parents to have the freedom to do what they want. And what do they want other than to play, explore, and enjoy themselves -- to be creative?

Just as those of us in this country have been conditioned to achieve what we call the American Dream, we've been conditioned to believe that such dreams can only come by way of hard work, sacrifice, discipline, and even blood, sweat, and tears. Most young males, and now more than ever, females, have had this kind of conditioning driven deeper into their psyche through sports training. It is natural to ask someone, "What sport do you play?" yet our play, more often than not, turns out to be yet another form of tasking.

We are all bound up in our need to do, and often this is the problem. Sometimes the right thing to do is to do nothing. This article investigates when and why doing nothing is the best strategy for your health and happiness.

Three Choices

I teach my students that there are always three choices to make in every relationship:

1. The optimal choice -- the choice that produces the most favorable result for everyone involved.

2. The suboptimal choice -- the choice that doesn't get the best results for everyone involved. While we often make that choice because there is something in it for us, it leads to discomfort or pain more often than not.

3. Doing nothing -- the opposite of love is not hate; it is indifference. Indifference, in my observation, is the result of the apathy that often results from repeatedly failing. As one repeatedly fails, if they do not learn how to make better choices, they become paralyzed. First, this occurs as an emotional response that emerges from the fear of failure. This emotional response can commandeer one's mind. When it does, anxiety typically emerges because now you become a deer staring into the headlights of an oncoming car. Instead of responding naturally and instinctively, the intellect becomes crippled. The kind of apathy I describe here isn't helpful, but there is another kind of "doing nothing" that can be the right thing to do.

When is Doing Nothing a Good Idea?

It isn't uncommon to feel challenged by a situation in life, and it is quite natural to fear making a suboptimal choice. But typically, we feel pressured into making a decision by our perception of what others want. Our programming typically wants us to rush things as well. For example, how many times have you gotten into an argument with someone you know is typically emotional, yet instead of biting your lip and letting them settle into a state more conducive to rational thought, you find yourself engaged in battle? Over what, milk and eggs? A missed homework assignment? Was it really worth it?

Now what if you took the time to sit on the decision or problem for a while? Hens sit on their eggs until just the right time for hatching. Mothers gestate and they know naturally that this is a nine-month process, so naturally they don't try to rush it. A good coach knows it takes time to create a great athlete. Good coaches don't rush it because they know that if they do, more often than not, the athlete ends up injured. With experience, we all come to know the natural gestation period for the ideas we commonly work with. So sometimes, the best thing to do is really nothing at all!

The best time to do nothing is:

1. When you don't feel you can make an optimal decision because you either don't have the knowledge or the information you need. If the information can only come forth through time, experience, or through the assistance of someone else, then simply do your part and then be patient enough to do nothing while the idea gestates.

2. When your emotions or the other party's emotions are flaring and neither of you can be rational, doing nothing is a great idea!

3. When you don't have the energy to act optimally, then doing nothing while you accumulate energy is a great idea!

4. When you are being coerced into doing something that you are confident is going to produce detrimental results, doing nothing is a good idea! For example, I recall Osho saying in one of his lectures that in Vietnam, 30% of soldiers returned all their ammunition at the end of each day in the battlefield. Though they were drafted into the war, they did not believe that their actions would produce a favorable result for anyone involved, so rightly, they did nothing.

5. When you want to make a statement about your opinion, be it on war, abortion, gay rights, or anything else and your natural urge is to attack those with opposing views, it is a great idea to do nothing!

6. When you are aware that making a decision will disturb the natural gestation period for a given idea, not making the decision -- doing nothing -- becomes a great idea.

7. When you realize that all ideas have a shelf life and that the lifespan of an idea depends on how many people energize it with either positive or negative energy, doing nothing may well be the best statement you can make. After all, to the very degree that your actions support what you don't want, your actions also support what others don't want. Unless you are alone on an island, where forcing your opinion won't create a loser, you may make the greatest possible offering by -- you probably guessed it -- doing nothing.

Sometimes, it's best to just do nothing. So next time someone sends you a flamer of an email, do nothing and you'll probably be helping the hothead cool down. The next time your child is stressed because they've been thrown into the world of an adult and they are reacting emotionally -- do nothing. If you have too much "Do! Do!" with your "Don't do!" what you've got for sure is more stress. It's better to do nothing. After all, there is another name for this kind of doing nothing. It is patience -- and patience is a virtue.

About the Author:

Paul Chek is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of holistic health and personal, professional, and spiritual mastery systems addressing all aspects of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. For over twenty-five years, Paul's unique, holistic approach to treatment and education has changed the lives of countless individuals worldwide. As a walking, talking definition of success, Paul is above all an educator, teaching and applying his methods to benefit others. He has produced more than 50 videos, 6 books, 2 e-books, and 16 advanced-level home study courses while regularly contributing to many diverse publications and websites. Paul is the founder of the C.H.E.K Institute and the P~P~S Success Mastery Center, in San Diego, California, USA.

Check out the Experts page for Paul Chek, the Official Guide to Personal Development.



10 Ways to Become More Charismatic

Published by John Leonard

In the foreword to his book Top Performance, Zig Ziglar cites research done by the Stanford Research Institute, Harvard University, and the Carnegie Foundation which finds that 85 percent of the reason you get a job, keep that job, and move ahead in that job has to do with people skills and people knowledge, not technical skills and technical knowledge. On a less scholarly level, Lou Holtz, head football coach at the University of Notre Dame, has said that when someone meets you, that person wants to know three things: Can I trust you? Are you committed to excellence? and Do you care about me as a person? Some believe that only after that third question is answered, do the first two take on any significance.

It is an intangible quality that makes people admire you, follow you, and just want to be around you.

What is it that causes people to respond warmly to some, while recoiling from others? What is it that enables people to get others to do things, even things they didn't believe they would do? Some call it power; others, persuasion; and still others, influencing without authority. It is an intangible quality that makes people admire you, follow you, and just want to be around you. Many term this quality charisma. Regardless of what it is called, or how it is defined, it is absolutely essential.

When people think of charisma, they think of John F. Kennedy. You could say that he was charismatic because he was handsome, charming, and powerful. But what about Lou Holtz, who is not particularly attractive, and speaks with a slight lisp? He was a guest on Johnny Carson's Tonight show after his Notre Dame team had just lost a heartbreaker to the University of Colorado in the Orange Bowl. He followed top screen star Kevin Costner, who was flushed with the success of Dances With Wolves, and he had endured a slight riposte during the introductions by Johnny about his "sex appeal."

Nonetheless, Holtz was funny, charming, self-effacing, but never self-critical, and boyishly gracious in the face of a sincere compliment. When the camera panned away for a final commercial break after his brief stint, there was Holtz patting the knee of "one of his boys"--Costner. Who was in charge? Clearly it was Coach Holtz. This obviously had to do with more than looks.

Are there some things you can learn to do to project charisma? I think the answer is "yes." First, you must feel good about yourself and exhibit self-confidence; second, you must make other people feel good about you.

Don't interrupt. Don't mentally cut off the other person. Don't reload while he or she is speaking.

The following are ten how-to's:

  1. Build up your self-esteem and self-confidence. Take an inventory. What do you want to improve or change about the way you interact with others? Try to make only one change at a time.

  2. Set goals for yourself before every interaction. Know what you want. Think about how the people you will be meeting can help you reach those goals. Then decide how to approach each person accordingly.

  3. Be proactive. Take the initiative. Be decisive. Let the other person know exactly how he or she can help you.

  4. Treat each person you meet as if he or she is truly important. You'll be amazed how this works.

  5. Give a firm handshake; look the other person straight in the eye. Practice both of these. Train yourself to notice something you like or find attractive in the person.

  6. Listen! Listen! Listen! Teach yourself to develop good listening skills. Learn a way to remember the other person's name.

  7. Visibly respond to the other person. Smile, nod agreement, and address him or her by name.

  8. Pay more attention to the other person than to yourself. Are you responding to what may be going on in his or her life? Don't filter out bad news. Put yourself in the other person's shoes. Be caring.

  9. Use sincere flattery. People do respond to flattery. But if you don't feel it, don't say it.

  10. Sum up or restate often to make sure you understand what has just been said. This allows the other person to correct wrong assumptions right away, and lets him or her know that you are processing new information and are on top of the situation.

Charisma is a combination of how you feel about yourself and the impression people have of you.

Don't go overboard. Be sure that your self-confidence does not come off as arrogance, and that your approaching others for their expertise does not come off as obsequiousness.

Charisma is a combination of how you feel about yourself and the impression people have of you. Even if you aren't born acting like a John Kennedy--or Martin Luther King, Jr., a Hepburn (Audrey or Katharine), Robert Redford, Eleanor Roosevelt, or Oprah Winfrey--there is hope. A large part of charisma involves good communication skills, which can be learned by anybody--including you.

John Leonard is a career counselor with The Five O'Clock Club.

"Until you know that life is interesting
--and find it so--
you haven't found your soul."

Geoffrey Fisher,
Archbishop of Canterbury



Acceptance of our Angry Self

Published by Elsa Joy Bailey

Something happens that seems unjust, or cruel, or unreasonable, and whatever it is has impacted us or someone we care about. The thing makes us mad, no question about it.

The question is, what do we do with that feeling? Is it possible to accept it in without causing damage? It's possible. Actually, it's more than possible: it's smart.

Just like all the other visitors that stop by our home to say hello, anger is a temporary caller. Most of us have no problem accepting visitors as they are; manners and affection have taught us to pay kind attention to them during their stay. We welcome them in, take their coat, show them to a chair.

What we don't do, of course, is hand over our keys to them and tell them they can have the run of the place. We listen to them, feed them snacks, extend them hospitality. We spend our moments with them and then send them on their way.

So this is precisely the way to deal with any uncomfortable visitors that stop by our mind for a brief while. Irritation, anger, impatience, resentment ?? you know their names. They've all come to raise hell, and if we are smart, we will bring them in, sit them down and listen quietly to their story. We may even comfort them: "Sure, I can see why you're feeling that." Because we are generous hosts, we give them a chance to breathe and feel acknowledged. Then we send them on their way ?? because they don't, after all, live in our home. They're only visiting.

If, on the other hand, we haven't yet learned that anger is merely a wave of energy ?? one that will pass?? we may sometimes confuse our feelings for our identity. If we think the anger is who we are, it is inevitable that we will step into it full force. It is this kind of mis?identity which can do harm. If, after all, I have become the anger that is visiting me, there are all kinds of havoc I may cause ?? without noticing that I have handed over the contents of my mind to a distraught and temporary caller.

So the secret of dealing with anger is to receive it without judgment: to neither resist it, or give it ownership of my house. Anger, as all of us know, is a very powerful energy: very persuasive and very contagious.

What I do when heat catches hold of my consciousness is to step out of its noose as soon as I notice it, and invite it to sit down with me for a cup of tea. Deep breath, deep breath, and then I just listen. I let it know I understand why it is there. I even tell it to take its time; hang around as long as it needs to hang around. But in the process of this acceptance, I am becoming free. I am becoming the host, not the victim, of my visitor. And when I am safely out of its fiery clutch, I take steps to address its complaint in a neutral way.

Does this sound like it's too much work?

Perhaps you think it is. Once upon a time, so did I. We all have. For now, I prefer to remain in charge of the house, and keep anger in the role of temporary guest. I honor it, I give it the gift of quiet attention, I may even surround it with Love. But I never, ever let it near the breakable dishes.

Elsa Joy Bailey
Elsa Joy - A Chapel Without Walls


21 Ways We Waste Our Vital Life Forces

Published by Guy Finley

21 Ways We Waste Our Vital Life Forces

All creatures in life are created to reach their natural fruition. The Great Life generously provides all of them with everything they need to fulfill their promise. This same abundance holds true for our spiritual awakening as well. Everything we need to succeed is forever raining down upon and within us.

The spiritually awakened life is not something that one achieves, like an award for fine art or some other measured performance. The true Higher Life comes to us naturally and reveals and expresses itself in anyone who realizes that, like the sun above us, this Living Light within us is always present.

It is we who are absent from this eternally indwelling Life, not because these vital forces are withheld from us, but because we waste them. Following are 21 Ways We Waste our Vital Life Forces, and for whose loss we remain sound asleep spiritually. Study these thieves closely and catch them in the act of stealing your chances for Higher Life as they drain away your vital life forces.

  • All forms of useless talking
  • Being wrongly involved in the life of anyone else
  • Daydreams of any nature
  • Using excessive emotions
  • Keeping "accounts" on those who have displeased you
  • Sitting in judgment of anyone for any reason
  • Becoming identified with anything
  • Useless thinking, such as speculating "why?"
  • Overindulging yourself
  • Resisting your environment or the unpleasant manifestations of others
  • Being concerned with how others see you
  • Defending yourself from imagined enemies, as with quips or sarcasm
  • Puttering around in order to keep yourself feeling productive
  • Any form of sexual imagination
  • Rushing through or to anything
  • All forms of frustration, including impatience and anger
  • Doing anything in half measures, or leaving things hanging
  • Telling "little" lies
  • Taking part in any dialogue with yourself
  • Seeking any form of vengeance or retribution, embracing resentment
  • Wrestling with anxious feelings and trying to think your way out of pain

For extra benefit, make a list of ways you suspect your own vital forces are being wasted. Then stop throwing away your chance to know Real Life!


4 Ways to Finding Purpose in Life

Published by Stephen Martile

Finding purpose in life gives you direction and guidance. It channels inner forces and energy to overcome outer circumstances and conditions. It's at the crux of leading your life, instead of having life lead you.

Are you doing what you love? Are you living on purpose?

Here are 4 ways to finding purpose in life:

.1. Introspection..

Spend some time with yourself. Examine your life and get in touch with those thoughts and feelings that are important to you. Reflect on past experiences and ask yourself:

* When do I feel that my life is most meaningful?
* What do I enjoy doing the most?
* What activities bring me the most passion and energy?
* What are my true priorities?
* What is the deepest purpose I would like to express in my life?

Write down the answers to these questions. Just reading this is not going to cut it.

Find a quiet space and take 15-20 minutes to really answer these questions. Spend some time and really think about what brings you joy and happiness in your life. Reflect back on your life and write down the answers that come to you.

.2. Environment..

You see, you occur to people a certain way. The way you see yourself may be different than the way others see you. The way you occur to others is a reflection of your inner self.

The people in your life are reflective of your way of being. They see things that you don't. The clues to finding purpose in life can be found in the people that are closest to you.

Consider 5 people in your life that are close to you: your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or other important friends or family members in your life. Sit down with them and ask them these questions:

* What do you think comes most naturally to me?
* What do you think are my special talents and gifts?
* What do you think I am really good at?
* What do you think is really important to me?
* When do you find that I'm the happiest and what am I doing?

Again, just reading this is not going to cut it. Write out the answers and review them. Compare the answers you received from the introspection method to the environment method, then look for patterns.

* What are the similarities?
* What patterns do you see?
* What qualities, character traits and values seem to be repeated over and over again?

This is a clue. Your patterns are an indication of what is unique and special about you.

.3. Natural Ability, Not Skill..

When looking for answers, consider natural ability and not skills. Skills are those actions that you've perfected over time; they're external and not necessarily unique to you. Skills are important to executing a well crafted life purpose but are secondary to natural ability.

Look for natural ability; this comes from the inside. Everyone's got it - you've got it. Your natural ability is an act of creative contribution that ignites you. It's natural to you because it's part of who you really are. Look for natural ability when examining your life with the questions above.

.4. You're Inspired..

When you're inspired, your "in spirit," and spirit is who you really are. Inspiration is the act of expressing that which is within you.

Again, your environment is a reflection of who you are. Consider the people, mentors, heroes and superstars in your life that are an inspiration. The reason they are inspiring to you is because you see some of yourself in these other people.

When I watched Rocky II recently it really touched me. It really stirred some strong emotions in me; emotions of love, passion and purpose. I love the Rocky movies because they demonstrate the power of the human spirit and the human heart. And that's what I'm all about. My purpose is to teach and inspire others to love and live life by following their hearts desires.

What is your purpose? Consider these questions:

* Who are some of your heroes and what is inspiring about them?
* Who are the teachers, coaches or mentors that inspire you the most?
* Which movie stars, musicians or performers are inspiring to you?

Again, it's all about recognizing the patterns. Look for those areas in your life where you see a common thread. These are the clues to realizing and finding purpose in life.

Author's Bio
You know how some people are unhappy, wasting time and energy married to their job? What I do is provide coaching and tools to help people take the right steps towards a new career or business.

My ebook, The Genius Within You will show you how to do just that. It's free.

Get Instant Access! Download the Genius Within YOU


Daddy it Hurt's

Published by Unkown

This poem was sent to me recently and I felt that I must post it for everyone to read.

Daddy it Hurt's

My name is Chris I am three,

My eyes are swollen I cannot see,

I must be stupid I must be bad,

What else could have made My daddy so mad?

I wish I were better I wish I weren't ugly,

Then maybe my mommy Would still want to hug me.

I cant do a wrong I cant speak at all

Or else I'm locked up All day long.

When I'm awake I'm all alone

The house is dark

My folks aren't home

When my mommy does come home

I'll try and be nice,

So maybe ill just get one whipping tonight.

I just heard a car

My daddy is back From Charlies bar

I hear him curse My name is called

I press myself Against the wall

I try to hide From his evil eyes

I'm so afraid now I'm starting to cry

He finds me weeping

Calls me ugly words,

He says its my fault

He suffers at work

He slaps and hits me

And yells at me more,

I finally get free

And run to the door

He's already locked it

And I start to bawl,

He takes me and throws me

Against the hard wall

I fall to the floor

With my bones nearly broken,

And my daddy continues

With more bad words spoken,

I'm sorry!, I scream

But it's now much too late

His face has been twisted

Into a unimaginable shape

The hurt and the pain

Again and again

O please God, have mercy!

O please let it end!

And he finally stops

And heads for the door

While I lay there motionless

Sprawled on the floor

My name is Chris I am three,

Tonight my daddy

Murdered me.

And you can help

Child abuse is endemic today. Throughout the world many children are murdered by their own parents every day. Please pass this poem on to make people aware of what is happening to our children.



Let Go!

Published by Henrik Edberg

April 1st, 2009 in Personal Development.

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be"
Lao Tzu

"We need to learn to let go as easily as we grasp and we will find our hands full and our minds empty."
Leo F. Buscaglia

We often carry with us a lot of stuff. Not in our hands perhaps. But in our minds. It can become like you are carrying half the world on your back. Not very helpful. So you need to let go of things. Not only to move lighter and more freely. But also to be able to fully move forward in life.

So how do you let things go?

I am certainly not expert at this but here are few tips that have made it easier for me to let go.

  • Ask yourself helpful questions. Questions like: is this helping me or is it just some nonsense or something I'm reliving from the past? Or am I clinging to it because it's what I have known for such a long time and it seems comfortable and safe even though it is holding me back?
  • Give up "being right". Realize that you may cling to things because they might make you feel right as you replay an argument or conflict over and over in your mind. It gives you a certain sense of satisfaction as the other person is wrong. But you have to give up that kind of satisfaction to move on.
  • Understand that you get better at letting go as time passes. Not just because what you are carrying gets lighter with time and less painful. But also because your mind over time - for me it took months of practise - becomes more and more open to letting things go. It understands that letting go is something you can do nowadays. That it's just a mental habit.
  • Accept it. Then let it go. If you have read this blog for a while you know I like acceptance. I like it because when you accept something instead of resisting it you stop feeding more energy into your problem and making it even bigger. A bit counterintuitive. This is also useful when it comes to letting go. If you first accept what you want to let go you aren't so emotionally attached to it and still feeding it with your focus and energy. And so it becomes less powerful and easier to just drop. As long as you resist it then it will be hard to let it go.
  • Let it go if it shows up again. In my experience it's pretty common that what you let go shows up in your thoughts again. And that's ok. Just let it go each time it shows up. After a while it stops showing up.

What to let go?

Here are a few things you might want to let go of.

Let go of negative, small, petty and unimportant stuff.

If you dwell on that stuff - like how someone cut in front of you while you were driving or something negative your boss told you - and blow it out of proportion all the time how will you be happy? How will you be able to focus? And how will you be able to handle something really big when it comes along like a serious disease, a break up or getting laid off? Be smart about that stuff.

Don't make yourself weak by making mountains out of molehills. Let that stuff go and focus on the more important and positive stuff you have and want in you life.

Let go of distracting stuff.

It's easy to get caught up in checking your inbox all the time. Or filling your time with tasks that are kinda important but in the end are mostly distractions.

Letting that distracting stuff go from your life and thoughts as best you can makes is a lot easier to focus, find free time and remain on track to do what is most important for you in life.

Let go of trying to control the results of your actions.

I have already written about this in One Timeless Tip That Can Make Your Life a Whole Lot Easier. The post is about this quote from the ancient Sanskrit Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita:

"To action alone hast thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction"

This quote tells me to understand that I cannot control the results of my action. I can't control how someone reacts to what I say or what I do. And that I should do what I do just because it is something I want to do rather than because of some outcome I'd like. But at the same time I should not let these two ideas lead me to become passive and get stuck in sitting on my hands and not taking action at all.

Basically, I do what I think is right and that is my responsibility. And then the rest (the possible results), well, that is not up for me to decide about or try to control. I let it go.

Let go of information you don't need.

If you have read a lot about personal development then you might have a lot of tips on different topics in your head. To simplify your life and thinking you might not need 25 ways to handle nervousness.

Now articles with that many tips can be helpful but it's important to try that stuff out for yourself and see what tips that work most effectively for you. And then simplify so you always know what action to take if you get nervous for example. Instead of having your mind so cluttered with information that you become paralyzed and take no action at all.

Let go of the past and old self-images.

I think this can be a big problem for many people. They get caught up in the past and relive it over and over (perhaps in their minds as old conflicts are on replay or by making the same negative decisions over and over again). Or sometimes they become trapped in their current circumstances as they think that they are what happened to them in the past. Of course, our self-images are fluid.

A few years ago I for instance saw myself as someone who didn't eat healthy food or was athletic and worked out. Even when I started to do that a bit more I still kinda felt like the person I used to feel like when I was living in an unhealthy way.

Over time I started to think more and more of myself as someone who was healthy. But still shifted between the two self-images of being a healthy person and an unhealthy person. So since sometime around the beginning of this year I let go of that reassuring past image of myself that felt kinda comfortable. Since then, as my self-image as a healthy person has become consistent in my mind, I find it much easier to work out and eat healthy food. It seems like the natural thing for me to do now.

I think at some point you have to make a shift and let your old identity go if you want to grow. It may be your identity when it comes to health. Or money. Or socially.

If you try to improve but still cling to that old identity of who you were it will be very hard to move forward at your full capacity. And also harder work than it needs to be. When you are not holding on to that past image, when you stop working against yourself, then your current work to improve some part of yourself become more natural and many of the mental obstacles just disappear.

You will still be you if you let your past or an old self-image go. But it's a new you, a simpler and lighter you.

What is your best tip for making it easier to let go of things?


50 Ways To Make Yourself Miserable

Author by Vincent

What Not To Do/be

Most of the articles in are how to articles that teaches you how to set things right but today I will be writing on things that you should avoid instead of doing.

So here goes the 50 ways to make yourself miserable.

50 Ways To Make Yourself Miserable

  • Compare yourself frequently with others.
  • Belittle yourself.
  • Don't believe in dreams, you think dreams only happen when you are sleeping.
  • Say yes to everybody and everything.
  • Work in a job you hate.
  • Complain about everything.
  • Complain about everything to your friends.
  • Suspicious of everything.
  • Counting your troubles.
  • Harbor negative thoughts.
  • Trying to please everyone and let everyone walk all over you.
  • Constantly think about the past.
  • Constantly think about the future.
  • Focusing on what you lack.
  • Focusing on what you don't want.
  • Need others to validate you constantly.
  • Think of everything that can possibly go wrong in your life.
  • Being jealous easily.
  • Always envy others and never grateful of what you have instead.
  • Imitating others due to lack of self confidence.
  • Lacking self esteem and cause others to dislike you.
  • Think the world revolves around you.
  • Constantly judging others.
  • Absorbing all the bad news daily in the papers.
  • Junk food is your best companion.
  • Exercise is your worst enemy.
  • Think that things can only go your way.
  • Do not accept others opinion.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Lack of goals.
  • Worry consistently about the sky is falling.
  • Plan but never take action.
  • Fail to plan.
  • Feel that people around you are all jerks.
  • Thinking there is no purpose in living.
  • Being the "If Man". If my father is the president, then I will be successful. If ____ then I will be _____. (fill in the blanks)
  • Lottery is the only way to success.
  • Try to control everything that you can't control.
  • Expect to be appreciated.
  • Expect others to be grateful to you.
  • You will not forget about criticism.
  • Hate people around you to be successful.
  • Shirk responsibilities.
  • Receive and never give.
  • Do things that are easy.
  • Overwork.
  • Never forgive.
  • Never give your best effort in things you do.
  • Perfectionism.
  • Choosing to be miserable.

Parting Words

These are 50 ways that can definitely make ourselves miserable and are you committing any mistakes in the list above?

Personal Development Blogger

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Break Through the Barrier Between You and Real Peace

Published by Guy Finley

The Warrior's Soul

Dreams of greatness are formed by life undigested,
The fleeting stuff of souls untested...
Who'd sooner sleep in a fitful peace
Than leap into Life's cleansing fires.

For there already dwells Greatness uncontested,
A Gift beyond time, a Title vested...
In the waking hearts of warrior souls
Enflamed alone by what God inspires.

- Guy Finley

If we wish to find peace we must understand something of its life. Here are a few such facts: Peace is the natural radiation of a living Now; it is one with that Light whose life is the eternal present itself, even as the emanations of light and warmth are one with the sun from which they radiate. If our intuition can perceive that the above ideas are based in truth, then we should be naturally moved to ask the following question: If this peace we long for is inherent in this perfectly present moment we call the "Now," what is it that keeps us from knowing the fulfillment of its promise within us? Let's look.

Through even casual observation, we can see that the primary governing body of our present self seems to be a mental and emotional construct whose sole occupation in life seems to be an ongoing consideration of what was and what will be. This activity amounts to what we experiences as an endless weighing of our past and subsequent planning of our future. Stated in another way, our lives are currently made up of what we name for ourselves as being good days or bad days. Of course these "good" and "bad" days are labeled as such based on how they measure up to our desired expectations. Good days "happen" when we get what we desire, and bad days are... well, you know!

Now, one of the strange features about this present nature of ours is that even on "good" days -- when we manage to achieve what we desire and feel a sense of satisfaction -- this conditional peace often turns against us; triumph becomes a kind of torment as we end up fearing we will lose the thing just gained. Poof goes our peace! There is no profit in it, and its promises are equally empty.

We have another nature, one whose life and whose peace are the same character. This order of Self, and the Now that is the backdrop of its being, are as the branch is to the life-giving vine. No true peace can survive apart from this relationship. Any other form of peace is its earthly expression. But to make the point: No order, no peace. Order is peace.

This peace confounds the lower level of mind that only knows stillness by what it imagines its qualities to be. The mind asleep to itself -- and hence to the reality of the stillness spoken of earlier upon which life is seen dancing -- cannot conceive how its own images of winning in life deny it the victory over life for which it longs. In order to know peace and its promise, we must release ourselves from this sleeping self that is always struggling to put pieces of peace together in the vain hope they will stay united!

We have all tried sewing pieces of peace together, thinking through what we must do to rid ourselves of whatever nags at us. You know the dialogue one is ever having with oneself.

"Hopefully this career change will make things better; maybe going to the gym will get my love life going; once I make him understand my point of view..." "As soon as" becomes the chant and the source of our confidence. We all know how this goes. The chattering is as endless as one's fear of feeling empty. And the more of these "pieces of peace" we juggle, the more anxious we become, all the while hoping that life won't break up what we would assemble. Even through this approach has proven itself fruitless, still we cling to the hope that next time things will be different. What we must see is that our lives cannot change until we do -- from the inside out.

To succeed in our quest, we need a new and higher understanding of our own being. For this peace that we seek resides within us; it is not to be found anywhere else, which leads us to the next step in our search. To enter the silent world of peace requires that we learn the secret of being still. We must discover and enter into our own still being.

The task before us is not an easy one, and anyone who tells you differently lies; but we are not asked to make this journey without a guide. Before us goes the Light of Truth. It reveals the Way by opening our eyes to see among other truths, that the peace we seek is not a thing created by us. We learn that admission into its celestial kingdom is by mutual consent only, even though this peace agrees to no terms other than its own. It makes the rules, not us. Yet we are eventually made grateful for these unyielding laws, for whatever soul agrees to bend its will to these terms of eternal peace not only finds God's peace revealed, but also that this providence has now become a permanent presence within his or her heart.



Why some people almost always are successful

Published by Henrik Edberg

Like everyone else I've spent some time thinking about why some people are so successful in life. And what factors in success that are under more personal control than others.

Successful people might be intelligent. Or have had a socially well connected upbringings. Or be naturally energetic and open and positive.

But a lot of the factors that make some people more successful at almost anything in life are very much under their control. And much can be improved in anyone's life by learning from the people that have gone before us.

Here are some of the thoughts on success that I've come up with from reading/watching documentaries throughout the years about people such as Michael Jordan, Thomas Edison, Eleanor Roosevelt and Henry Ford. The following factors of success are just a few and I'm quite sure there are a lot more.

They make decisions and take action
Right or wrong action, they take it. Either way it's always better than making no decisions and taking no action at all. As Franklin Roosevelt said:

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something."

They do things even when they don't feel like it
I think this is a pretty huge factor. A lot of us back down when we don't want to do something, even though it may eventually bring us to a wonderful experience or goal. Successful people may not always like doing some of the things they have to do. But they do them anyway. And in the longer run that makes all the difference.

They do the most productive thing right now
Instead of trapping themselves in doing productive but not so important tasks or projects they realise what's most important and do that. And after they're done with that they do what's most important again. Instead of just doing a lot of things, they think and plan before they act and try to focus as much as possible of their thoughts and actions on those few very important things.

They do one thing at a time
Many of them don't seem to multi-task. Some reasons for avoiding that may be that it creates internal confusion, wastes time and spreads the multi-tasker too thinly. Instead, they do one thing and focus on that until it is done. Then they do the next thing until it is done. Focusing 100% on one task at a time will get it done quicker and better.

They have a positive attitude
A negative attitude can be very damaging and limiting to one's life. A positive one can open new doors every day. It can open your mind to new ideas and input and create or sustain great relationships. It helps you through the hard times as a successful person often sees an opportunity within what others would merely see as a problem.

Have a look at Take The Postivity Challenge for more thoughts and practical tips for creating a more positive attitude.

They have redefined failure
While a lot of people see failure as a way to rationalizing the feeling of wanting to giving up or as a sign that it's actually time to do something else successful people tend to see it more as useful feedback. They may not like to fail, but they don't fear it - or at least they have little fear of it - and they know that if they fail they've been there before and they can start over again and succeed. This is of course a very useful belief and keeps successful people going while the rest have already given up.

They don't let fear hold them back
They overcome fear and slay that dragon whenever they face it. Or they may have defined or redefined reality so that fear is substantially decreased or even gone in some areas of their life.

Doing this enables you to take action on your thoughts. This pulls down the barriers in the mind and create new roads and opens up to whole new possibilities. Have a look at 5 Life-Changing Keys to Overcoming Your Fear for more on both slaying your dragons and redefining your reality to contain less fear.

They have found a purpose in life
They are internally driven rather than externally driven. They do what they have a burning desire to do rather than conforming to what others think they should do. Even if what the others think may be positive and successful stuff.

The Michael Jordans, the Edisons and the Stephen Kings have figured out what they want to do in life and are doing it (or did it).

The purpose, I think, is largely why they can keep on going and be motivated while others may tire or just go and do something else that they find more purposeful. The successes love their purpose and when they aligned with it then it seems to push them forward with enthusiasm and energy through life.

They don't get distracted
When others get too caught up in everyday life to do what they really want to do the successes don't. They can really focus on actually doing what's important and what needs to be done. Again, this seems to go back to having a purpose and more clear sense of direction in life.

They value their time highly and plan it out well
A lot of people don't value their time that much. Successful people have a purpose in life and therefore they do. They have so much they want and an inner urge to do it and therefore need to plan well to use their days effectively.

They've got awesome communication-skills
So very much of what we do in life has to do with other people. So it seems quite obvious that to be successful you'll probably have to have good or great communication-skills (or hire someone that has such skills).

People skills is fortunately something anyone can improve and develop. Have a look at Do You Do these 10 Mistakes in a Conversation and How to Make a Great First Impression for some useful tips.

They have an open mind and are willing to learn
Successful people take the time to study and learn - and often seem to really like doing it - what is necessary to improve their skills. They are open to thoughts, suggestions, solutions, new information and change rather than thinking they already know everything, that there is not much more to learn and that everything should be as it has always been.

What to focus on?
Now, what factors are the most important ones, where should one focus the energy? I am currently focusing on improving my ability to take action, doing what I may not feel like doing and doing the most productive thing right now. To me it seems like these three factors are very important and since they are pretty interconnected they are easy to combine.

I think what you should focus on varies a lot. And it's up to everyone to figure that out for themselves. But if you're anything like me you probably already know what areas you need to work on.



Personal Growth and Self Realization

Published byJohn Halderman

Personal growth and development is a process and those seeking to effect changes in their lives know that real success comes from changing their thought first. However, many find this not to be quite as simple as it first appears. The movie, "The Secret" brought much attention to the Law of Attraction and many people have embraced the concept, but the movie was not intended to be a full course on how to change your life, rather just an introduction to the Law of Attraction concept.

After watching the movie many were thinking that all they needed to do is think their way to a new life and success. The management of your thinking is key to your ability to make changes but certainly not all there is to it. It doesn't help that their are self improvement teachers focusing mainly on the changing of your thought without delving into the other deeper aspects. This simplified version of The Law of Attraction focuses only your conscious thought, and does not delve into the power your unconscious thought holds over your everyday thought, feelings and behavior.

Your unconscious thought plays a major role in your overall thinking, and most influential are your beliefs. You hold deep seated beliefs that were set up usually without your conscious awareness, and are deeply integrated into your automatic operating system. These beliefs define exactly how you view yourself, the world around you, people and anything else you are in contact with. How you perceive everything, how you react to it and the actions you take are totally regulated by a set of firmly anchored unconscious beliefs.

If like most, you know some of your beliefs, but there are others directing your every thought and move that you are not aware of. Many individuals working to improve their life are either not aware of the breadth and influence of these beliefs or perhaps choose to ignore them hoping they can override them with affirmations or positive thinking, it rarely works this way. I'm not bashing affirmations or positive thinking, they just can't usually alone change your beliefs.

There is one key belief that can hold a profound influence over your ability to bring about changes for yourself. If you have been finding it difficult making the changes you want, most likely you getting blocked by your beliefs linked to your ability to change or experience something better. Your beliefs are ingrained in to your automatic unconscious operating system, so everything you do must pass through the filters of those established beliefs. You can't fool or sneak around them.

Some important questions to ask yourself about your beliefs in making change, and you may know the answers by some feelings you have had without knowing exactly why you have had them.

* Do you really believe that you can instigate changes in your life or do you feel it's up to someone or something else?

* Do you really believe that you are deserving of the changes you say you want?

If you answered yes to either or both of those questions with conviction then your beliefs support your ability to direct change. If not, your beliefs are preventing your desired change. In giving those questions some deep thought, you should feel deeply that they are true for you, as you will likely have experienced related feelings in different areas of your life. And similarly, you should know if you have long held doubt about your ability to change.

In short, both your thoughts and beliefs always determine the outcome of your efforts. The difference is that your conscious thoughts are basically visible to you and the unconscious is not. And the unconscious thoughts such as beliefs are so powerful in your mind because hey have been verified with strong references many times in your life, these are 'known facts' to your unconscious mind.

Every day such beliefs are there to filtering and directing your thoughts, feelings and actions by their rules. As you behave in accordance with these automatic beliefs you are continually validating them, thus providing them with ever increasing proof and power.

All the efforts you undertake to make changes to your life experience will go in vain as long as you hold beliefs that you can't instigate change, that you are not worthy of the changes you desire, or that you are subject to it being done to you or for you. If this is the case, you will need to address this core belief before you can have, do or be anything different from what you have in your life today. Your current life experience is the result of all of your thinking including your unconscious beliefs. Your are living evidence of what caused it.

So, if your desired results for change have been elusive after much effort, there must be a reason. This may even be a relief to you knowing there is nothing wrong with you, that you just may need to address something you didn't know about. That your unconscious beliefs have been the roadblocks to your change efforts.

You can in essence believe anything you want, you just need to know clearly that it's possible that you can. Changing your thinking, even your beliefs is a choice, you just need to know that you have this choice. You can begin discovering your deep driving beliefs by using the most powerful self help technique known, ask yourself questions. Of course you will want to calm down that incessant mind chatter so that you can hear or feel your answers.

"Why do I think this?"
"Why do I feel this way about ___ ?"

Then continue to ask why with each answer, probing deeper and deeper until you find a root cause. They all start somewhere with some event and build from there. Now you can consciously deal with something you are aware of and see that it no longer serves the life you want.

Your continued personal growth and self realization depends on a total belief in your ability to bring about change yourself, and that all the power in the universe will follow the command of your thoughts just as it does the commands contained in the tiniest seed. You, however have the ability to change your thought, the seed must stick with what it came with.

About Author John Halderman :

John Halderman, I write about effective self improvement methods, more specifically how you can bridge the gap between information and creating effective results. To learn more about what you just read here and to discover how this can help you change your life, follow this link- Effective Personal Development Blog

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Why can't I own the Canadians?

Published by Unkown

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show.

Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22

and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by an East Coast resident.

It was posted on the Internet and is both funny and informative.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them.

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19-24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this only applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight.. I am pretty bad near sighted and also have to wear a bifocal. I'm useless without my glasses, but can see 20/20 with them. Does my vision have to be 20/20 without glasses, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they be put to death?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm and plants climbing beans to run up his corn stalks. He obviously violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field. Also, so does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (a cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted fan, Moishe



8 Harsh Truths that Will Improve Your Life

Published by Glen Allsop

They say life is what we make of it. By the end of this post, I hope to have helped you decide whether that statement is true or not.

There is no doubt that life has its ups and downs. However, how we deal with them can sometimes make all the difference. Today I want to share eight harsh truths that I've come to learn from life. There's also a message in each that I think we can all learn from, and when applied, will improve our lives infinitely.

Some of these lessons may be old-hat for you. If so, look for ways to refine the idea to ensure your getting the most out of it. On the other hand, you may completely disagree with an idea or two and that's great! Let us know your thoughts so we can all learn from each other.

  • Friends Come and Go
    When I was in high school, I always imagined spending most of my life with the same people. Then when I realized I had to move to college, that all changed. Once again, I made some close college friends but left them all behind when I moved from the UK to South Africa.

    Friends will always come and go in your life; even though I'm back in the UK now, all my friends are in university around the country and not exactly in meeting distance. It can be a hard thing to accept, but many of the friends you spend time with now, might not be around in the next few years.

    Important Lesson: There are an abundance of amazing people out there for you to meet and build relationships with. If you don't have many friends, don't stress, there are literally billions of friendship possibilities.

  • You Won't Always Get What You Want
    I remember one Christmas when the only thing I had asked for was some second hand turntables for DJ'ing. I didn't ask for anything else so I was pretty sure I would get them. However, they didn't come and I ended up having to save for 10 months on my own in order to purchase them.

    You won't always get what you want in life: people are going to be late, people will let you down, items you want won't always be available.

    Important Lesson: Don't look for happiness in material possessions and if things don't go your way, learn to accept them. Life's too short to stay miserable.

  • Many People Will Love You, but Many Will Not
    Whether you are a celebrity, a charity worker or just a normal guy, there are going to be people that love you and what you do, but there's also going to be plenty people that don't like you. There are many possible reasons such as jealousy, similarities to them, or just not being someone's 'type'.

    Important Lesson: Not everyone is always going to like you, and that's fine. If people want to spend time talking about you then that is their problem. You are perfect as you are. You shouldn't need everyone to like you to have some form of self-esteem.

  • Nobody Can Transform Your Life Like You Can
    Wouldn't it be lovely if we didn't have to go up on stage, but we could just read a paragraph of a blog post and become a perfect public speaker? Or, wouldn't it be nice if our friends could do daring things, and we would benefit from them as well?

    The support and help of others can only take you so far, you're going to have to do your own thing to make big changes in your life situation.

    Important Lesson: Do things for yourself and learn to stand on your own two feet. People you rely on won't be around forever, and you don't want to have to use others as a crutch to get anywhere in life.

  • You Are Going to Fail
    I built more than 7 websites before I created one that actually started making me any money. I even put hundreds of hours into my own company that I actually closed down last month. Whether it is exams, projects, companies, or even the odd pub quiz, there are times when you will fail to meet your goals.

    As the saying goes - "Only those who are asleep make no mistakes".

    Important Lesson: You can learn a lot from others, but it is your own failures that are going to teach you the most valuable lessons in life. Learn from your failures, embrace them, and use them to drive you on to success.

  • Rain Will Sometimes Cancel Play
    On some occasions when you have your shorts on and you're ready for the beach, it's going to rain. Or, when you get to that first hole and you're ready to tee off - the clouds will open. Things aren't always going to go how you would like them to.

    Important Lesson: Don't stress about the things that you can't control. Learn to live with things that happen. You can't change the past, but you can change how you react to things.

  • There May Be No Tomorrow
    At least, not for you anyway. We never know what is around the corner, a car crash, a heart attack; heck...even the end of the world is possible. Let's face it, although we would all like to live till we are 70 years old, that's certainly not always the case. There will be one day that is our last.

    Important Lesson: Make the most of each day. Make sure the people you care about actually know it, don't worry about little matters, just make sure you spend time doing the things you love.

  • Someone Else Will Always Have More
    Whether it is money, partners, friends or even blog subscribers, there will always be areas where other people have more than you. That isn't to say you can't become abundant in whatever you want (i.e. someone always had more money than Warren Buffett until 2008 when he was noted to be the richest man in the world).

    The wanting of more actually holds a very important lesson...

    Important Lesson: Just because someone has 'more', that doesn't mean they are happy. Read the biography of any celebrity and they will tell you they enjoy their process of earning money, rather than what money can do to make them happy. In other words, focus on what you love, not what the thing you love can get you.

BONUS: Linking all the lessons here together is actually quite simple, and I can share the majority of what you need to know to enjoy life in a few simple bullet points:

  • Live life for the moment
  • Accept what is, even if things don't go your way
  • Happiness is here, right now if you stop resisting and start accepting

I hope you all enjoyed my slightly unique take on the topic of improving your life. I would love to hear some harsh (but necessary) truths in the comments below!

Written on 2/26/2009 by Glen Allsop. Glen writes on the subject of Personal Development at PluginID. His site's main aim is to help people Plug into their Identity, be who they want to be, and live the life they want to live.



Lift Yourself Into a Brand New World

Published by Guy Finley

Within each of us there is an expansive world of thoughts and feelings whose movements determine how we perceive and experience the world outside of us. While this inner-world of thoughts and feelings may not directly bring us what we see, it does profoundly influence how we see our world of relationships and events. The inner determines the outer. In other words, we are seeing the exterior but experiencing the interior.

One simple example of how this works is when our heart is heavy or troubled. Whenever we happen to feel this way, everything else around us tends to appear equally dark. But there are far deeper implications to this important insight. With patient self-study, we can turn it into a personal breakthrough of the most freeing kind that can lift us to a brand new world. Let's get started.

All of us have felt, at one time or another, trapped in our own life. During these periods of heightened unhappiness one thing seems clear: the only reason we haven't realized our great potential is because we're being held back. There is some unpleasant person, an inescapable condition, some unwanted place in life where we got "stuck."

So, over and over again we plan our great escape. And over and over again we find ourselves either having gone nowhere, or back where we started from, both results being the same. For all of our efforts, nothing really changes. New loves, new jobs, even new homes change only the walls that surround us -- not our feelings of being imprisoned. We sense that all we have done is changed cells!

We mustn't fight with or in any way fear this shocking conclusion. Why? Because this temporarily disturbing discovery about our actual condition contains a crucial insight. It was never that person or circumstance that was blocking our moment in the sun. No! In spite of how things may appear to us, we are never trapped by where we are. The trap is always who we are. Here is a short summary of this new and unusual self-discovery:

When you run into a personal obstacle, you have not run into an outer condition that is denying you happiness. You have run into your own present life-level.

Your level of being is what determines where you are at any given moment because your experience is always who you are. Let me repeat this. For better or for worse, you experience who you are, not where you are.

Here are a few more examples to help you see this important idea.

All of us have felt:

  • Lonely in a crowd.
  • Out of place at a family gathering.
  • Frightened in a loved one's arms.
  • Depressed at a party.
  • Crowded even though alone.

When you hear someone say, "I'm sick and tired of it," what he is really saying without realizing it is that he's sick and tired of suffering from his own lack of understanding. This all becomes clear once we understand that unhappiness does not come at us, it comes from us.

For instance, impatience with our level of understanding is the very level of understanding we are impatient with. The understanding of this spiritual principle allows us to disconnect ourselves from our impatience. Life becomes instantly better. For one thing, the frustration fades. In its place, learning flowers. And the more we inwardly grow, the easier our whole life flows.

This new idea of acting to deliberately disconnect ourselves from whatever we think has us blocked leads us to true self-liberation because we have never been trapped by anything outside of our own lack of understanding. This is why even the attempt to disconnect ourselves from the limitations of our present life-level already belongs to a higher level of understanding.

This conscious action on your part "works" by gradually breaking down the painful circle-of-self that is repeatedly formed by asking the problem for the solution. Barriers begin to crumble and disappear, because you have stopped creating them. In the truest meaning of the words, you are getting out of your own way!

Practice self-disconnect as often as you can. The more you work at this special kind of letting go, the freer your days will flow and the higher your life will go.

Persistence is everything in your personal work. You must persist even if it is only with your wish to be persistent. You must persist in spite of all forces that seem to be against your wish to break through to a new you. Believe me, there are no real obstacles between you and the brand new life for that you long for. You can (and must) prove this kind of freedom to yourself, starting with this understanding and implied action:

The greater the doubt you will dare to step through, the greater your possibility to grow beyond yourself. Here's why this axiom always holds true. The only barriers between yourself -- and a life without limits -- are the powers you've mistakenly given to your doubts and fears. On the other hand, every time you walk past these false powers -- by disconnecting yourself from the false concerns they cast at your feet -- here's what happens: spiritual strength is increased.

What is spiritual strength? It can be said in dozens of ways, but for now let's put it like this: it's knowing you don't have to compromise yourself in any way -- with anyone, over anything -- in order to be content, confident, and secure in life.

Here are seven proven ways to increase this new kind of spiritual strength. Study them with the wish to uncover the secrets hidden in their empowering instructions. Practice each one -- or all of them -- every day. You'll see that with the very act of disconnecting yourself from the fears and doubts that compromise your life, you are re-connecting yourself to a new kind of power that never leaves you alone in your hour of need.

  • Refuse to revisit your own past for a way out of any present problem you face.
  • Say "No" to anyone or anything that you fear saying "No" to.
  • Never explain yourself to anyone out of fear they may misjudge you.
  • Learn to see your own defensiveness towards others as an offense against your own right to be free of fear.
  • Whenever possible realize that the person you are about to argue with is in as much pain as you are.
  • Never accept any negative reaction you may have as the only possible answer to your present challenge.
  • Remember that everything you resist in life increases its weight by the magnitude of thought spent in not wanting it, so you accept all that you can, and quietly drop the rest.

Persist with these spiritual practices and you will see old doubts turn into new certainty, and dark fears replaced with a bright fearlessness.



A time comes in your life when you finally get it . . .

POSTED BY ~by SunSign8~ ON OUR GUEST BOOK - so good I've decided to put it on the site

Hello. I live in California. I have just finished reading "Embracing Your Inner Critic" by Drs. Hal & Sidra stone. I was helped a great deal. I would like a share a recent e-mail I received from one of my cyber friends, which I shall read daily to help me in developing my 'aware ego'.

The Awakening

A time comes in your life when you finally get it . . . When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere, the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying, or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes, you begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening...

You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world, there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you and in the process, a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are . . . and that's OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process; a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself and in the process, a sense of safety & security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties and in the process, a sense of peace & contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself and the world around you, is a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. You begin to sift through all the junk you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look and how much you should weigh, what you should wear and where you should shop and what you should drive, how and where you should live and what you should do for a living, who you should marry and what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children or what you owe your parents. You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with and in the process, you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive and that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a by gone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don't know everything; it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing. You learn to distinguish between guilt, responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love, romantic love and familial love, how to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name.

You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes.

You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love; and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms, just to make you happy.

You learn that alone does not mean lonely. You look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10 and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up."

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK and that it is your right, to want things and to ask for the things that you want and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity, respect, and you won't settle for less. You allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you, to glorify you with his touch and in the process; you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple. And you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. Just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul; so you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that for the most part in life, you get what you believe you deserve and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen.

More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help.

You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time; FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears, because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear, is to give away the right to live life on your terms.

You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions, you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers; it's just life happening.

You learn to deal with evil in its most primal state; the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted; things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about; a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself, by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart's desire. You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind, and you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side you take a stand, you take a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

~posted by SunSign8~



Five Important Lessons

1 - Most Important Lesson

During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.

Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello'."

I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

2 - Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain

One night, at 11:30 PM, an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride.

Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxi cab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him.

Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read:

"Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others. Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole."

3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

"How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked. "Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

"Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away.

The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies -You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

4 - Fourth Important Lesson - The Obstacle in Our Path

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock.

Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand.

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.

The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save her."

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks.

Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?"

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

You see, after all, understanding and attitude, are everything.

"Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt and dance like you do when nobody's watching."



Solving the Mystery of Letting Go

Published by Guy Finley

Sometimes the greatest truths are laid right before our eyes, in the simplest of things, and yet we just can't see them. Take for instance our own hands: what a miracle they are. If we consider for even a moment all they are capable of doing, it's evident that a great wisdom sits hidden behind their incomparable design. But, with this thought in mind, permit me to add one other to help us see another part of their special purpose that lies "hidden" in plain sight.

What good would our hands be to us or, for that matter, to the world they are made to help shape, if all they could do was close down around something and cling to it? How stale and old everything would soon be for us if the act of "holding on" to things were all our hands had the power to do? Just imagine what life would be like if we were unable to touch anything new.

To be able to touch and appreciate what is new, our hands are also created to open up -- and, as needed -- to let go of whatever is in them that is no longer useful.

This same basic truth applies, even more so, when it comes to our need to release those old feelings and worn out thoughts that first clog up, and then compromise our heart and mind. These tiresome states of ourselves have become "stuck" within us because we haven't learned how to release them.

Once we understand that letting go is the missing half of the whole happiness our heart longs for -- that it is a necessary and full partner in the power to discover and complete our True Self -- everything about our life grows easier. Old regrets dry up and blow away. We awaken to a quiet kind of faith that fears nothing. New possibilities for us appear almost moment to moment because we've hung an "open for business" sign on the door of our life. And, as our contentment grows with who we are -- within ourselves -- we stop compromising ourselves in order to win the approval of the world around us.

And best of all, as a result of our growing discoveries about the secret of letting go, we find ourselves on the threshold of solving the greatest mystery on earth: who are we? Why are we here? And what is our true role in this world? For as we start to see reality -- as it is -- in its timeless expression of creating life, perfecting it, and then letting it go, only to start all over again, we realize that we ourselves are an integral part of this Great Endless Story. And if the whole of Life is being made new in each and every moment -- and we ourselves are a part of its never-ending process of perfection -- then letting go isn't some distant and difficult faculty to be acquired. To the contrary: letting go is an effortless state of our own consciousness; it is a natural power of ours needing only to be actualized in order for us to realize the freedom that it alone can grant.



How to Think Better: The Top 8 Tips from the Last 2500 Years

Published by Henrik Edberg

Article by Henrik Edberg. Follow me on Twitter.

"Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?"
Winnie the Pooh

"The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking."
Albert Einstein

When I was younger I used to think that thinking was the best thing since sliced bread. So I thought. And though and thought. And then I thought some more. It had some wonderful and positive effects such as helping me to get good grades in school.

But on the other hand this thinking was also trapping me and limiting me in various ways. One of my biggest insights in recent years is that there are a lot of both positive and negative sides to how you think. So learning to use my thinking in a better way has become a main focus and also one of the most beneficial things I have ever done.

Now, this may sound a little vague so I let's explore some of the facets of thinking with the timeless help from clever people that have gone before us.

1. You are what you think.

"As you think, so shall you become."
Bruce Lee

Understanding this is essential to start thinking in more useful ways.

It's perhaps the most basic statement of how we work. Think about what you are thinking today. What do those thoughts say about you? About your life? And how well do they really match your plans for your life and your image of yourself?

It's easy to forget about this simple statement in everyday life. It's easy to be quite incongruent with what you think on an ordinary day compared to how you view yourself and your goals. A simple external reminder such as a post-it with this quote can be helpful to keep you and your thoughts on the right track. A brilliant and beautiful expansion on this thought can be found in James Allen's "As a man thinketh" (that can be downloaded for free here).

2. Thinking has its place.

"Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in."
Napoleon Bonaparte

"Chi Wen Tzu always thought three times before taking action. Twice would have been quite enough."

Thinking has its place. But it can never replace action. I sometimes think there is some kind of wish when overthinking that thinking will somehow replace action. A wish that if you just think enough you can find some easy way out. Or get what you want without having to actually do something.

Without taking action you'll most likely not get what you want. Thinking is however seldom as scary or uncertain as taking the leap into the unknown and taking action.

So it can become a place where you hide from taking action and then rationalize to yourself in different ways how all this thinking will help you. Even though you know deep down that what you really want and need is to take action and get going.

If you're having trouble taking action then you may also want to check out Do You Make These 5 Mistakes When You Try to Take Action? and How to Take More Action: 9 Powerful Tips.

3. Your mind can become a prison.

"Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds."
Franklin D Roosevelt

"It is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so."
William Shakespeare

"Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world."
Wayne Dyer

Thinking isn't always all it may be cracked up to be.

What you believe about yourself and the world is what you will see and find. Here's the big problem though: when you are in your prison cell you can't see it. You think your beliefs and what see is reality and that it has you boxed in. But it's just a perspective.

So you have to take a leap of faith and try out a new belief and viewpoint to actually experience a change in your world. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking: "well, when I see some proof of this being true then I might make a change in how I think".

Such reasoning doesn't really work that well because it's just theory and it's seen from your current perspective. Your mind won't allow you to see what isn't aligned with your current beliefs. Or you will just disregard it as nonsense or something that may work for someone else but not you. You mind wants to keep your perspective of the world stable.

I think it's better to think about what would be most beneficial for me. Yes, you may see a lot of proof in the world that your current negative attitude is the correct one to have. But don't you think a positive attitude would be even more useful to make you happy and successful?

If you do, check out 8 Awesome Reasons to Blast Negativity Out of Your Life, and How To Do It.

4. We are emotional creatures.

"People mistakenly assume that their thinking is done by their head; it is actually done by the heart which first dictates the conclusion, then commands the head to provide the reasoning that will defend it."
Anthony de Mello

"When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion."
Dale Carnegie

It's alluring to think you are someone in complete control. Someone who controls his/her life with a good head on those shoulders.

But your emotions play a huge role. Sure, everyone likes to think of themselves as smart and in control. And the mind is fond of thinking that it's in pretty much complete control too.

The thought that what we do is often based in an emotional response to something that happens to us and we later on rationalize as the right thing to do isn't as appealing. The ego that is based in the awesomeness of human thinking doesn't like that. Such theories may make us seem just a bit too much like animals for the ego to be happy about it.

This may sound a bit depressing but I also think it is very important to keep in mind. So you don't blindly follow what your thoughts are telling you. So you become more attentive to your emotions (and other people's emotions too). And so you can make decisions that are more based in what's helpful and positive rather than for example based on old emotional fear patterns you may have.

Word and thoughts are important in our lives. But don't underestimate the importance and power of emotions.

5. Think for yourself.

"Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too"

This is not always easy though. But it is very important to learn to trust your own judgement and thoughts.

It's easy to assume that someone that you view as an authority is telling is the truth. There is however just opinions, no matter who is speaking. Sure, it can sometimes be easier to just do what someone else says. It takes some of the responsibility off you for your life (you can always blame them when things go wrong). And taking it the other way and becoming totally unreasonable is of course not helpful either.

But you have to make yourself the highest authority in your life. It can't be your parents, boss or some personal development guru.

Let other people think for themselves. Listen to what they have to say.

But find a lot more freedom within and in your world by holding your own opinion the highest.

6. Don't worry what others are thinking about you.

"At the age of 20, we don't care what the world thinks of us; at 30, we worry about what it is thinking of us; at 40, we discover that it wasn't thinking of us at all."

"I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinions of himself than on the opinions of others."
Marcus Aurelius

The biggest part of thinking and doing what you really want is to stop caring so much about what other people think of you.

A lot of the actions you take - or do not take - may be because you need approval from other people. When we are young we get grades in school that tells us that we are "good". This makes it very easy to create a life where you always go looking for the world to give you the next hit of approval. It may be from your family, boss, friends, co-workers and so on.

But this need creates neediness. And the stronger the need the stronger the neediness. And so other people will sense this. And approval may be withheld or used to manipulate you. Or they may just not like your neediness.

The people on the other hand that does not care that much about getting approval often do more of what they want deep inside. They may be considered courageous for instance. So the way they live their lives will gain appreciation and approval from the people around them. It's a bit counterintuitive.

7. When you think, think in a constructive way.

"The 'how' thinker gets problems solved effectively because he wastes no time with futile 'ifs'."
Norman Vincent Peale.

It's very easy to spend your time thinking and imagining all the horrible things that may happen if you stand up and face the obstacles and troubles in life. But if you actually do that those negative images seldom come into life. They are just huge monsters that you build in your mind. Just like you did when you were a kid and imagined monsters in the closet or under your bed.

When you actually stand up and face your obstacles you may find that the experience isn't as bad as you imagined. Sometimes it's actually a bit anti-climatic. You think to yourself: "What?! Is this it?".

So, after having done some thinking about how to go about doing something don't fall into the trap of overthinking and monster-building. Just go and do what you need to do instead.

8. Don't think. Just be here now.

"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life."
Eckhart Tolle

"True salvation is freedom from negativity, and above all from past and future as a psychological need."
Eckhart Tolle

Many times the best thing you can do is to not think at all. Well, maybe it's a bit of thinking, I don't really know but it's like your mind is empty. You are fully present in this moment. Without dozens of thoughts running through your mind like a wild river. There is stillness within. This is not just a very enjoyable state of mind. It is also practically perhaps the most useful state of mind.

Because when you are present your focus is not split. Your thoughts are not in the past or future. And so there is very little fear or negative emotions inside of you.

This is the perfect state of mind to take action. When you do something while being present the anxiety or fear that comes from thinking about for example the future ("will I lose this race?") disappears. This increases the quality of whatever you do while being present.

Being present also makes you more creative because you let your subconscious puzzle together impressions and concepts until you get an idea. Often in the shower or someplace like that. Because there you aren't actively thinking about a solution. Your subconscious gets some space to work while you focus your conscious mind on not getting soap in the eyes.

Finally, being present makes any activity more enjoyable because the suffering you may feel often comes from a split focus or just too much thoughts running around in your head.

My favourite way to reconnect with the present moment right now it to see everything as I was seeing it for the first time. I imagine it like that, I take that role.

Like someone who has never experienced this before. Like a child or someone who has never been here before. I like this one and I have been doing it from time to time for years (although back then I didn't really understand why it felt nice when I did it).

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How To Walk On Water

Published by Marc & Angel

This past Sunday I was relaxing at the water's edge of a local beach when a young boy ran full speed right by me and into the shallow surf. He continuously hopped up and down as he was running forward, kicking his little legs in the air and across the surface of the water before inevitably falling face-first into the waves. He got back up and repeated this act several times, each time with more determination than the previous attempt. It became obvious that he was trying to run across the surface of the water. I couldn't help but to laugh. His level of determination and exertion were priceless.

After several attempts, he noticed my laughter and walked over to me. "What's so funny?" he asked.

"You remind me of me, and it makes me smile." I said.

"Do you know how to walk on water?" he asked. "Like a superhero?"

"Well, I think I can help you out." I said. "Let me give you a few pointers."

Curious, the boy sat down on the sand next to me. His mother scurried over, worried... but I reassured her that her son wasn't bothering me. Relieved, perhaps, to have her son sitting safely on the sand instead of flying face-first through the air, she went back to her beach chair 20 feet away and continued a conversation with another lady.

"So, you want to walk on water, eh?" I asked. He nodded his head anxiously.

A Rough Summary of What I Told Him

  • Make sure you were born to walk on water. - You must follow your heart, and be who you were born to be. Some of us were born to be musicians... to communicate intricate thoughts and rousing feelings with the strings of a guitar. Some of us were born to be poets... to touch people's hearts with exquisite prose. Some of us were born to be entrepreneurs... to create growth and opportunity where others saw rubbish. And still, some of us were born to walk on water... to invent the capability of doing so. If you're going to walk on water, you better feel it in every fiber of your being. You better be born to do it!
  • Decide that nothing can stop you. - Being born to walk on water isn't enough by itself. We must each decide to accept our calling. Unfortunately, most of us make excuses instead. "But I might drown trying," we say. Or, "But I have a family to think about first." Walking on water, or doing anything that hasn't been done before, requires absolute, unconditional dedication. The only person who can control your level of dedication is you. If you're serious about walking on water, you must decide that nothing... not gravity, not a group of naysayers, NOTHING... can stop you!
  • Work on it for real. - While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling... to accomplish our own version of walking on water, only an astute few of us actually work on it. By "working on it", I mean truly devoting oneself to the end result. The rest of us never act on our decision. Or, at best, we pretend to act on it by putting forth an uninspired, half-ass effort. But to truly walk on water, you'll have to study physics, rheology, hydrophobic substances, etc... and then you'll have to define and redefine next-generation theories and complex hypotheses, which must be tested relentlessly. When the tests fail, you must be ready to edit your theories and test them again. This kind of work, the real kind, is precisely what enables us to make the impossible possible.
  • Let the whole world know what you're up to. - When you're trying to walk on water, or do anything that nobody else has done before, life can get lonely pretty quickly. To keep your motivation thriving, it's important to let others know that you're attempting to defeat the formerly impossible. Don't be shy! Let the whole world know that you're trying to walk on water. No doubt, it'll place a bit of extra pressure on your back, and you'll almost certainly hear some laughter in the crowd. But this kind of pressure fuels motivation, which is exactly what you'll need to accomplish such a colossal undertaking. And when you finally do succeed, the last bit of laughter heard will be your own.
  • Value the people who value your ambitions. - When most people hear about your "mission impossible" aspirations, their natural reaction may be to roll their eyes, call you crazy, and tell you to quit being foolish. But fortunately, the world is also inhabited by pioneers and believers who see the value in your dreams. These people understand that achieving the formerly impossible is one of the greatest gifts human beings possess. They'll likely give you tips, bits of assistance, and the extra push you need to succeed. These are extraordinary people, and you'll want to surround yourself with them, because they will ultimately assist you over the hurdles and across the surface of the water. Think of them as an influential, personal support team. Without them, walking on water will be a far more difficult feat, if not completely impossible.
  • Ignore the negative naysayers. - No matter how much progress you make, there will always be the people who insist that walking on water is impossible, simply because it hasn't been done before. Or they may incessantly suggest that the idea as a whole is simply ridiculous because nobody really cares about walking on water anyways. When you come across these people, don't try to reason with them. Instead, forget that they exist. They will only waste your time and energy.
  • Prepare yourself for the pain. - Even though you're no longer mindlessly running face-first into oncoming ocean surf, but instead forming complex theories based on the studies of rheology and fluid viscosity, it doesn't mean you won't experience your fair share of pain. You're in the business of walking on water, of doing something that has never been done before. You'll likely get a waterlogged, lungful of water on a regular basis. But the pain will seem like a small price to pay when you become the first person to jog across the rapids of the Mississippi.
  • Enjoy the pain of your greatest challenge. - Superheroes aren't real. In real life nobody has ever walked on water. But lots of people have achieved formerly impossible feats, and continue to enjoy the possibilities of new challenges. These people will all tell you there's nothing more gratifying than the thrill of your greatest challenge. The inherent pains along the way are simply mile markers on your trip to the finish line. When you finally do finish, you may actually find yourself missing the daily grind. Ultimately, you'll realize that pleasure and pain can be one and the same.
  • Never give up! Never quit! - The reason nobody has walked on water isn't because people haven't tried. Remember, you just tried several times in a row, and I'm sure many others have too. The reason nobody has succeeded is, simply, that within the scope of modern science and physics, it's currently impossible. But this doesn't mean that with your help it won't become possible in the future. If you were born to do it and truly dedicate yourself to the end result, anything, including walking on water, is entirely possible!

Just a Chance

When we were done talking, the young boy got up and ran back over to his mother. He pointed over to me and I smiled and waved back. Then he said to her, "Mommy, mommy! That guy just taught me how to walk on water!"

A few moments later she walked over to scold me for supposedly giving out reckless advice. She  told me I was giving her son a false sense of hope. I told her that all I was giving him was a chance.



Mind Over MemoryMind Over Memory

Author: Heather Salon - The 700 Club - GUINNESS BOOK MEMORY

Dave Farrow broke the Guinness Book of World Records by memorizing 52 decks worth of cards with focus and memorization techniques. Late in 2008, Dave broke his record by memorizing 59 decks of cards. He had to learn to organize time, schedule time and trigger focus - it was 14 hours of straight memorizing for 2 days (with breaks for sleeping and eating). He was allowed to get some wrong, .05 percent. Out of the 3,068 cards he was allowed to get 18 wrong, and he only missed one.

Dave wanted to prove that anyone can improve their memory, improve their reading and learning capacities. You don't need special skills or abilities; these skills can all be developed.

Recently, Dave worked with a group of fourth graders. They memorized 15 objects a day for several weeks using Dave's techniques. The children memorized 78 objects and wanted to keep going.

Dave was not considered an intellectual growing up. In fact, he was told he was the opposite. At 14, he was diagnosed with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder. Dave's mother, Virginia, has been a great influence in his life. Her great faith in God helped strengthen and encourage him through his turbulent early years. Instead of listening to the doctors who wanted to put young Dave on prescription drugs, she opted not to medicate her son. She believed God could heal him. She also believed in finding natural remedies to deal with these disorders.

At the age of 14, Dave also was determined to overcome his learning disabilities on his own. He started studying memory techniques. This pursuit made him good at learning. When he was 16, a teacher asked Dave why he was trying so hard to learn because there was no point in it. This comment didn't discourage Dave from continuing his endeavor. With the techniques Dave studied, there started to be improvement in his schoolwork. He would complete tests in 15 minutes and get every answer right. One of Dave's teachers thought he was cheating and always had Dave take tests by himself in the classroom with his shoes off (the teacher thought Dave was writing the answers on his sneakers in code). However, some teachers supported Dave and took him seriously.

By the time Dave was a senior in high school, many people were asking him about the memory techniques that helped him. He started a memory club at lunch to share the techniques he learned.


After Dave graduated high school, he went to college and took business courses. He was running a business on the side of teaching memory techniques. He knew he wanted to take himself to the next level and put himself on the map. At the age of 20, he decided to break the Guinness Book of World Records for memory, which is a very prestigious title to hold. In 1996, at the age of 21, Dave broke the record. In 2008, he beat his own record by memorizing 59 decks worth of cards. He wants to encourage people to develop their memorization, reading, and learning skills by showing through his own experience that using the right techniques can help you accomplish what you want in life. He started his own consulting business where he teaches these techniques.

Dave also had an interest in nanotechnology and has become a respected expert in the field (without a degree). With his knowledge in nanotechnology, he developed a portable medical device that will test for H.I.V. in countries like Africa that might not be able to have labs to test for the virus.

In October 2008, Dave did a promo for Sony to promote reading, Reader Revolution. He read in a Manhattan window for 30 days straight.

Dave acknowledges the important role memory plays in early childhood learning. He is developing a special cartoon series called The Animated Adventures Of Pom Pom and The Professor, inviting children to join our heroes as they travel to different worlds using memory techniques to defeat the evil "Forgetters." He has acquired celebrity endorsement to market the product in North America. He is developing Jack Smart Adventures, a series of children's books centering upon the story of an 11-year-old boy who wins a memory competition and is recruited by an international spy agency. He must use his superior memory skills to save mankind.


Here are Dave's tips on study and focus (including ADHD):

  • Don't see a task as one big job; break it up into small tasks.
  • Use a timer for small tasks. Work as fast as you can until the timer goes off, and then stop. This will eliminate creative blocks.
  • Don't focus on critiquing your work (spell checking, editing) until you have put all the ideas down. Then go over to correct it. Correcting and editing use a different part of the brain than being creative, so you can't do both at the same time. If you try to, then your mind will bounce back and forth and not do either very well.
  • Focus is a skill that anyone can learn. Don't rely on drugs (Ritalin, Paxil, etc.) for your focus; they become less effective as time goes on. Eventually, they won't work at all. Focus skills, like working under a time limit and thinking under pressure, get easier and more powerful the more you use them.
  • Take short breaks. Think of the story of the lumberjack who worked all day but his friend who worked half the day chopped twice as much wood. His secret was he took regular breaks to sharpen his ax. Even if it is closing your eyes for a second or having a sip of water, take a second out of work and then come back to it fresh.



Nelson Mandela's Top 9 Fundamentals for Changing Your World

Author: Henrik Edberg

"In my country we go to prison first and then become President."

"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."

"It always seems impossible until its done."

Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela needs no long introduction. He was a prominent activist in the struggle against the oppression in South Africa and spent 27 years in prison because of that. Finally, in 1990 he was released and went on to become a president that helped to change and unite South Africa.

Here are nine of my favourite fundamentals from Mandela for bringing about change in yourself and in your world.

1. Don't shrink yourself or your ambitions.

"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."

It's tempting to play small. To just settle and take it easy. It would definitely be easier, at least in the short run. Because going after what you really want demands so much time, effort and possible pain along the way. But it's also there where you grow and can live fully.

While playing small might be easier it also comes with nagging thoughts at the back of your head that say "Is this all there is? Could I have done more?". Taking the tough road is of course harder in many ways. But it is also there you find the truly awesome triumphs and wonderful times that you may never have experienced otherwise.

2. Move towards your fear.

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

What you really want in life is also often what you fear the most to go after. Moving towards fear is often a pretty good - but terrifying - piece of advice. So how can you overcome the fear that holds you back? Here are three tips:

  • Fear is often based on unhelpful interpretation. As humans we like to look for patterns. The problem is just that we often find negative and not so helpful patterns in our lives based on just one or two experiences. Or by misjudging situations. Or through some silly miscommunication. When you get too identified with your thoughts you'll believe anything they tell you. A more helpful practise may be to not take your thoughts too seriously. A lot of the time they and your memory are pretty inaccurate.

  • Be curious. When you are stuck in fear you are closed up. You tend to create division in your world and mind. You create barriers between you and other things/people. Curiosity on the other hand is filled with anticipation and enthusiasm. It opens you up. And when you are open and enthusiastic then you have more fun things to think about than focusing on your fear. Curiousness also opens you up to gain understanding of something. And with understanding vague, fog-like fears disappear.

  • Don't cling to your illusion of safety. Why do people sit on their hands? Is it just because they become paralyzed with fear? I'd say no. One big reason why people don't face their fears is because they think they are safe where they are right now. But the truth is that safety is mostly a superstition. It is created in your mind to make you feel safe. But there is no safety out there really. It is all uncertain and unknown. When you stop clinging to your safety life becomes a whole lot more exciting and interesting. You are no longer as confined by an illusion and realize that you set your limits for what you can do and to a large extent create your own freedom in the world.

3. Be patient and persist.

"After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb."

It would be nice if we got anything we wanted right now. That seldom happens. One of the key traits of successful people is that they persist and have patience where others simply have had enough and go home.

The problem is often that the time-frames we set up for success in our minds are a bit too optimistic. Advertising tells us that we will have success quickly. The idea of quick and easy success permeates society. Why? Because it's easy to sell. It's appealing to the mind that is in itself often lazy and wants shortcuts. And it's easy to get people to buy another "magic pill" that they hope will solve the problem since the first product will probably leave them unsatisfied.

Now, I'm not saying that you sometimes can have great success quickly. But often it takes time. More time than you may have hoped for.

How can you set up realistic time-frames with possible obstacles mapped out reasonably well? Well...

4. Educate yourself.

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

By educating yourself about whatever you want to achieve or overcome you can gain a lot of power.

So read books - a good tip is to check out the reviews at before buying - and blogs. Ask people who have already done what you want to how they did it. And try to help someone like someone else helped you. It's an awesome way to gain greater understanding of what you are doing/talking about. Plus, you get to help someone out.

Educating yourself can also, like curiousness, be a great way to get rid of many of the foggy fears you may have and that are holding you back from taking action and moving towards what you want.

5. Make a friend out of an enemy.

"If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner."

Turning an enemy or someone we don't like into a friend is difficult because first impressions can be powerful. Our concept of a person can remain intact if we don't push further and question and explore it.

Of course, since the ego needs to tell you that you are right and someone else is wrong then it can be hard to change your opinion of someone. That opinion of him/her is tied up in your ego and fuels your sense of being "right". The key and the way out here is to not take your thoughts or emotions too seriously. To stay on top of them instead of letting them overwhelm and control you.

This can allow you to open your mind to a change in the relationship.

Now, how can you make him/her your friend? One quick suggestion would be to start looking for the positive in the person. Then to take the first step and give some kind of value - like help for instance - to that person. And then to take more steps if s/he is not convinced that you want to change the relationship.

6. You haven't lost until you don't get up.

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

"There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires."

Your road to success may not be as bad as it was for Mandela and the people in South Africa. But you will probably have some bad times and some difficult and painful times. There will be bad days and bad weeks (or even months).

When you first get started with something you can be filled with enthusiasm and perfect dreams. Somewhere down the line it can become a bit messier and more uncertain.

Should you give up at such a point? Well, sometimes maybe it is time to quit and find a something new to focus on. But oftentimes it's like the world is testing you. It wonders if you really want this bad enough. That's when you need to push forward and not let temporary obstacles - no matter if they are real or just in your mind - stop you.

Failing is normal. Making mistakes is normal. The people with most success are often the people who failed the most. They learned from their mistakes and failures, grew stronger and more resilient and persisted while the rest of the people gave up.

7. Do it now.

"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right."

Circumstances will never be perfect. If you wait for that perfect day to finally take action, you might wind up waiting for your whole life. Some day most often never comes at all.

Don't get stuck in that all too common thought trap of thinking that you will do some special thing, but always someday in the future. The right time to take the first step and begin is pretty much always right now.

And if you don't feel like doing it and getting started, don't let that inner resistance - if it's not there for some very good reason - stop you. Your emotions and thoughts are not in control of you even though they may want to fool you into thinking so. You can take action despite what they are telling you.

8. Don't stop moving now.

"When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat."

I think this is an aspect that is often a bit overlooked.

When you have achieved some success, what do you do? A common approach is to just lean back and enjoy your own awesomeness and what you've accomplished. Nothing wrong with that. However, if you lean back for too long you lose your momentum. And then you have to start over again (or at least start moving again from a worse place than right after the success).

Mandela has an awesome point here. Just like you don't turn off the heat as soon as the water starts boiling you should not retreat or stop moving as soon as you see some success. Because this is the time where you can enjoy what you have accomplished but also should keep on moving and use that momentum and positive, upward spiral of action and results that you have created.

9. Understand that everyone is just human.

"That was one of the things that worried me - to be raised to the position of a semi-god - because then you are no longer a human being. I wanted to be known as Mandela, a man with weaknesses, some of which are fundamental, and a man who is committed."

When you start to make myths out of people - even though they may have produced extraordinary results - you run the risk of becoming disconnected from them. You can start to feel like you could never achieve similar things that they did because they are so very different. So it's important to keep in mind that everyone is just a human being no matter who they are.

And I think it's important to remember that we are all human and prone to make mistakes. Holding people to unreasonable standards will only create more unnecessary conflicts in your world and negativity within you. Something one may want to keep in mind right now as Barack Obama begins his presidency.

It's also important to remember this to avoid falling into the useless habit of beating yourself up over mistakes that you have made. And instead be able to see with clarity where you went wrong and what you can learn from your mistake. And then try again.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it on Stumbleupon or vote for it on Digg. Thanks a lot! =)



Be Stronger Than Anything That Frightens You

Author: Guy Finley

The seemingly scary condition, whatever it may be, is not the problem. It is your reaction that is fearful. This is why if you will become conscious of your condition instead of afraid of it, you will change forever your relationship with fear.

To be consciously afraid means that you know you are frightened, but at the same time you know that these very fears, as real as they may seem, are not you. And no wrong reaction can keep you captive once you begin to see it for what it is. Fear is, and has always been, nothing but a self-limiting reaction that we cling to in the darkness of our present life-level, having mistaken it for a shield of self-protection.

You can prove this powerful principle to yourself anytime you want. Just dare to proceed even while being afraid. But remember, your new aim isn't to be courageous or to try and act strong in the face of fear. No. This won't work. You simply want to be more curious about your frightened thoughts and feelings than you want to believe in them. If you will follow this simple but higher instruction, not only will you start to see these habitual reactions that have been keeping you scared and running, you'll actually start seeing through them. This is where the real miracle occurs. Each new insight into the actual nature of these negative reactions removes some of their power over you. And their loss is your gain. You are stronger now, and you know it. You also know this new strength will never fail you because it isn't just the temporary appearance of a bold opposite. This new strength of yours is the absence of an old weakness.

Let's look at just one of the ways in which this principle of putting self-illumination before psychological self-protection can turn fear into fearlessness. Do you know someone whom you would rather run from than run into? Most of us do! Nevertheless, starting right now, resolve never again to avoid any person that scares you. In fact, go ahead and walk right up to that critical man or aggressive woman and say or do exactly what you want instead of letting the fear tell you to do what it wants. Have no ideas at all about the way things should or shouldn't go. You are there to watch and learn about yourself, not to win an ego victory. Let that person see you shake if that is what starts to happen. What do you care? Besides, it is only temporary. That unpleasant person before you can't know it, but you are shaking yourself awake.

For the first time, you are letting your reactions roll by instead of letting them carry you away. As you stand there, momentarily apart from your usual self and working hard to remain as inwardly watchful as you know how, you can see that this flood of previously unconscious reactions has its own life story -- a shaky sort of story that up until now you had embraced as your own. But now you are beginning to see the whole story. The fears do not belong to you. Here is the explanation.

You have never been afraid of another person. The only thing you have ever been frightened by is your own thoughts about that person. Yes, you did feel fear, but it wasn't yours and it wasn't toward someone stronger than you. The fear you felt was in what you thought he or she was thinking about you. Amazing, isn't it? You have been afraid of your own thoughts! And seeing this ends this. Now you can let this thought-self go, because no one holds on to terror.

You no longer let fear dictate to you how to act or what to do. Instead, you are aware of the fear. You have learned to quietly observe and study it. And, each day, as you discover something new about the strange and shaky nature of your own fearful reactions, they begin to lose their power over you. You are at last seeing them for what they have always been: unintelligent mechanical forces. You are slowly becoming stronger than they are, because by seeing them as they are -- not as they would have you see them -- you have helped yourself to climb above and outside of their influence. This self-insight is real safety; it is the difference between trembling through your life and being in command of it.


Fun New Year's Family Resolutions that Work

Author: Dr. LeslieBeth Wish

Leftovers are gone, weight gain is on, favorite presents used and worn. No more holiday cookies to bake, just New Year's Resolutions to make -- and later not forsake!

Here is a brief, fun, and innovative list of resolutions that not only involves the whole family, but can also change how you relate to each other.

1. Take more responsibility for yourself in the family. Every family member can offer a New Year's Resolution for another person in the family!

For example, a daughter can make the resolution for her older brother that he won't eat up all her favorite snacks. Or, a wife can say her husband must resolve to put his laundry in the basket and not on the closet floor. If the person accepts the resolution, then that person gets to make a resolution for the family member who made it. Perhaps the husband, for instance, says he'll be more careful about his laundry if his wife promises to watch a favorite television show with him.

2. Build in family rewards for keeping the resolutions. Decide on a family reward if everyone cooperates. Some families agree to go on a vacation. Others decide to get a pet, redo a room, or buy a family item such as a television, DVD player, or computer. Determine how many stars or points each person must have by a specific time in order for the whole family to redeem the reward. Keep a chart of stars or points for each member's successes.

3. Build cooperation by mutually helping other family members with their resolutions. Helping each other with these promises promotes teamwork, openness, and caring amongst all family members. If you offer help, you must agree to receive help from someone in return.

4. Maintain the Golden Rule through kindness and not criticism. Pay attention to the tone and words you use with other family members. Be sure you are speaking and acting toward others as you would like others to speak and act toward you.

5. Apologize so you can sustain an atmosphere of mutual respect. When families value and support saying "I'm sorry," they teach everyone that apologies are more valued than being right. We learn from mistakes, not from being defensive or insensitive.

6. Plan specific ways to spend quality time with each family member so that you can teach your family that there is enough room in everyone's heart to love all. Sibling squabbles often stem from lack of quality time with each parent or caregiver. Spouses and partners can also feel disconnected from each other when work and family needs override their intimate time. Think about what each family member needs from you -- and what you need from each family member. Some families do something as simple as go for walks together or watch a favorite television show and talk about it. Other families pair up with someone whom they haven't spent very much time with. For example, if Dad is always going to soccer games, make sure Mom goes to some too. Spouses and partners should make a resolution to establish private time together at least once a week.

7. Promise to focus on solutions instead of who-did-or-said-what. When a problem arises, recruit the necessary family members to get solution-oriented instead of wasting time reviewing whose version is right.

8. Prioritize so that you can be in charge of your time at home. Observe how you are spending your time, especially at work. Are you chatting, e-mailing, surfing the Internet too much? Use your time wisely so that you don't have to bring your work home.

9. Plan a community-giving activity. Choose a charity or charitable event where everyone in the family participates. You might go through the cabinets and pack up all your unwanted food items to give to the local food bank, for example. Integrating community responsibility builds empathy and social responsibility.

10. Include laughter, learning, and silly times. Do something fun, silly, and out of the ordinary or something where another member can feel the family support when he or she tries something new. Teach Dad how to snow ski. Bring little sister to the bowling alley. Rent funny movies or go to the children's museum and local weekend events. Get everyone to paint each other's faces!

Happy New Year!

About the Author:

Dr. LeslieBeth Wish is a psychologist, clinical social worker, and author who is nationally recognized for her contributions to women, love, relationships, family, career, workplace, and organizations.

LeslieBeth is writing her next book, "Strong Women and Love," to help women get over their mistrust, fears, and unhappy, unhealthy dating patterns and learn to date and love smart! To participate in the research for this book project, to read her articles, or to send her a question, visit



Loving God, Loveless Christians

Author: David Gushee

It's Christmastime, so it seems especially appropriate to begin with reminders of the amazing love of God to the world in Jesus Christ:

"Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." --Luke 2:10-11

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him would not perish but would have everlasting life." --John 3:16

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will someone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." --Romans 5:6-8

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" --I John 3:1

It's Christmastime, so it seems especially appropriate to continue with reminders of the Bible's demand that followers of Christ be characterized by godly love:

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. " --1 John 4:7-11

"'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?' Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." --Mt. 22:36-40

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." --John 13:34-35

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have no love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." --1 Cor. 13:1-3

It's Christmastime, so it seems especially sad to be reminded of the hatefulness that Christians demonstrate toward those whose lifestyles they disapprove of, whose politics they reject, or whose doctrine or moral beliefs they believe erroneous:

Grieve for every Christian leader pushed out of his or her job because they did not quite hit the right notes for some fellow Christians in their church, school or organization, and for every Christian who somehow finds it in their heart to rejoice at the downfall of their perceived Christian enemies.

Grieve for homosexuals, so often the recipients of Christian rejection and hatred.

Grieve for every Christian who in 2008 was treated as some kind of pagan by other Christians because they supported Barack Obama, and every Christian treated as some kind of Neanderthal because they supported John McCain.

Grieve for a Christian community in which orthodoxy rather than orthopraxy defines what it means to be right with God, which produces a community with an abundance of right-thinkers filled with contempt for those who do not see the world as correctly as they do.

"The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians...who acknowledge Jesus with their lips then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. This is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." --Brennan Manning

"Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love." --1 John 4:8


-- David Gushee is distinguished university professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University.



Wayne Dyer's Top 8 Tips for Building a Better Social Life

Author: Wayne Dyer

"Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed."

"Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you."

One of my favourite personal development people is the psychologist Wayne Dyer.

He seems to be a very warm person but he also someone who takes a lot personal responsibility and is assertive.

This is reflected in his work. He's kind but he's not here just to make you feel good. Through a no-nonsense approach he makes you realize obvious - but sometimes uncomfortable - things about how pretty much all of this is up to you. And how many things are quite simple but you are standing in your own way and overcomplicating it all.

Dr. Dyer's advice can be applied to just about any part of life. Today I'd like to take a few of his thoughts and see how they can help you improve your social life. If you would like to read more from Wayne Dyer then two really solid books to start with are Pulling Your Own Strings and Your Erroneous Zones.

1. Your relationships are in your mind.

"As you think so shall you be! Since you cannot physically experience another person, you can only experience them in your mind. Conclusion: All of the other people in your life are simply thoughts in your mind. Not physical beings to you, but thoughts. Your relationships are all in how you think about the other people of your life. Your experience of all those people is only in your mind. Your feelings about your lovers come from your thoughts. For example, they may in fact behave in ways that you find offensive. However, your relationship to them when they behave offensively is not determined by their behavior, it is determined only by how you choose to relate to that behavior. Their actions are theirs, you cannot own them, you cannot be them, you can only process them in your mind."

"Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world."

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."

How you choose to interpret people and your relationships makes a huge difference. So much of our relationships may be perceived to happen out there somewhere.

But your underlying frame of mind - for instance an open one or a protective and closed up one - will determine much about your interactions with new people and people you know.

So you really have to go inside. You have to realize that your interpretations from the past are interpretations. Not reality. You have to take a look at your assumptions and expectations and thought habits. Find patterns that may be hurting you (and others). This isn't easy. Or always pleasant. You may discover that you have had some negative underlying habits of thought for many years.

But to change you have to do it. Instead of just keep looking at yourself as some sort of unmoving and objective observer of the world and reality. A change in you could - over time - change your whole world.

2. Let go of the need for approval.

"People who want the most approval get the least and the people who need approval the least get the most."

A lot of the actions you take - or do not take - may be because you need approval from other people. When we are young we get grades in school that tells us that we are "good". This makes it very easy to create a life where you always go looking for the world to give you the next hit of approval. It may be from your family, boss, friends, co-workers and so on.

But this need creates neediness. And the stronger the need the stronger the neediness. And so other people will sense this. And approval may be withheld or used to manipulate you. Or they may just not like your neediness.

The people on the other hand that does not care that much about getting approval often do more of what they want deep inside. They may be considered courageous for instance. So the way they live their lives will gain appreciation and approval from the people around them. It's a bit counterintuitive.

But it seems to me like this is how things work. If you really want approval in your life try letting go of that need - as best as you can of course, this is not easy - for a while. See what happens. You'll probably be surprised by how much better you feel inside and the reactions you may get from the outside world.

3. Let go of judgement.

"When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself."

"Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others."

"Judgement prevents us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances."

Judging can have a sense of fun to it and make you feel better about yourself as you put someone else down. So why give it up? Here are three reasons:

  • People don't like judgemental people. People don't like to be judged. So there will be a resistance towards someone who is judgemental.
  • Waste of time. You can spend your time doing more fun, constructive and positive things.
  • The more you judge people, the more judge yourself. What you see in other people is often what you see in yourself. So if you judge them all the time for their looks or intelligence then you probably judge yourself often about these things too. To let go of judging others can lead you to letting go of judging yourself too. As you lift the limitations you put on others, you lift the limitations you put on yourself.

4. Enjoy the moment.

"When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It's to enjoy each step along the way."

One technique that can help you improve your social skills is assuming rapport.

Basically, instead of going into a conversation or meeting nervously and thinking "how will this go?" you take different approach. You assume that you and the person(s) will establish a good connection (rapport).

How do you do that? You simply pretend that you are meeting one of your best friends. Then you start the interaction in that frame of mind instead of the nervous one.

But why does it work? Well, I'd say it works because it puts you in the same mental state as when you are with your friends. When you're with your friends you are relaxed, positive, in the present moment and without many cares in the world. This is a great place to be socially. You are just enjoying yourself and your moments with your friends without much thought of the past or future. You are just there. The more you can bring yourself into this mental headspace the more fun you will have with people. And the more fun they will have with you.

So try out assuming rapport. And explore other ways to bring yourself back into the present moment through articles like this one or by checking out Eckhart Tolle's books (two good are A New Earth and Stillness Speaks).

5. People like positive people.

"Unhappiness is within."

"Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy, but this is not accurate. You make yourself unhappy."

Now we are back in the same territory as in the first tip in this article. How you feel is up to you. You control you.

This is important to understand to be able to create and keep a more stable positive attitude. If you let what other people do control - or at least control you too much - then you are on a mental rollercoaster where your thoughts and feelings go up and down all the time. You have to look within to find a great stability to how you think and feel.

I'd say that one of the most attractive qualities a person can have is a positive attitude and energy. It is attractive to people at your job/school, family, friends or just that cute girl/guy in the bar. I think that one of the big things people want in any relationships is positive emotions. People simply want to create a flow back and forth with people where all of you exchange positive emotions and feel good.

Building yourself a more positive attitude will of course not only make you more likeable. It can also improve every other part of your life. Check out Take The Positivity Challenge! for more tips on how to create a positive attitude.

6. You teach them.

"Maxim for life: You get treated in life the way you teach people to treat you."

This is a very important point and something I think is perhaps often missed by people who want to improve their social lives and make it more positive. They may think "well, I have been so nice towards everyone for the last few months but it doesn't seem to have changed their behaviour towards me much".

This is the "nice guy/girl" problem. S/he is very nice but there is no assertiveness. There is no changed feeling within about how you feel you deserve to be treated. You may still be nice just to get approval from other people. You feel the craving need. And as point # 2 explains, you won't get the approval.

We do to a large extent choose how we want to be treated. How you expect people to treat you can have a big effect on how you allow yourself to act and how people around you view and treat you. If you start creating a role for yourself where you always let people do what they want to you then you may create some pretty destructive and negative things.

  • You may create an identity for yourself where you get used to always taking whatever anyone doles out. You create a kind of victim identity where you may look happy on the outside but don't feel so good on the inside. But since you have gotten used to it after a while you may accept it and think that: this is just who I am.
  • You may create a concept in the minds of the people around you that it's OK to treat you this way. Either because you seem so positive despite what they are doing so they think it's OK. Or just because you aren't saying no and some people may take advantage of that.

Look, you can't please everyone. I think both Eleanor Roosevelt and Buddha have mentioned something along the lines that whatever you do there will always be people who don't like what you are doing. And that's OK. That's normal.

Going around trying to please everyone at your own expense isn't healthy though. Or even a realistic thing to attempt. It eats away at you both mentally and physically.

So be nice. Be positive. But make sure you set your own standards, rules and limits too. And remember that you might as well do what you want because there will always be critics.

7. Take responsibility for your social life.

"Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice."

I really like this quote from Nathaniel Branden's excellent The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem: "No one is coming".

You can look for the next big thing that will fix you. Read more blog articles. Read more personal development books. Look for people to help. And yes, some articles or books or people will give you insights that resonate deeply with you. But in the end, if you are an adult then no one is coming. No one is coming to save you. You have to take responsibility for your own life and what happens in it. Other things and people can certainly aid you quite a bit. But you are responsible.

You can go around blaming society or some people for your problems in your social life (or finances or health). You can always find scapegoats to judge and thought that feel better about yourself. For a while. You can look for people that will "fix you". You can do this for the rest of your life if you like. It won't change much. Whatever has to be done, it's you who have to take responsibility and do it.

Yeah, things might always not go your way and you will probably have bad luck from time to time. But you still have to focus on yourself and doing what you can do in whatever situation may arise in the outside world.

8. Like yourself.

"You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with."

Liking yourself is vital to live a happy life. If you like yourself people will of course like hanging out with your more too. A person who likes him/herself, who is positive but also assertive is a lot better than the opposite.

Obvious, yes but the hard thing is how to go about liking yourself more. This is a topic that has filled many books but here are few tips that have helped me.

  • Follow the rest of tips above. For example, taking more personal responsibility, working on your attitude and being more assertive consistently will make you feel better about yourself.
  • Do the right thing as much as you can. When you do the right thing you lift your own self-esteem. When you don't do the right thing you tend to stay at the same self-esteem level that you are at the moment (or perhaps even lower it).
  • Be appreciative of yourself, don't just look at your flaws. By appreciating the positive and good things that you think and do you can replace the need for approval from outside sources. You are giving yourself approval instead. This is a lot better than the alternative, because this is an unlimited source that you are in control of.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it on Stumbleupon, vote for it on Digg or bookmark it on Thanks a lot! =)



Stop Begging! Start Manifesting

Author: Brian Wong

Do you remember that first spark of hope you felt when you watched The Secret? I clearly remember the desire that filled my heart, knowing that... Yes, I can make my dreams come true--FINALLY!

But how many of you soon saw that hope dwindle into frustration? How many of you (and be honest now) started muttering things like:

  • "It seems to work for other people, but I just can't get it right."
  • "I'm frustrated that sometimes I can get it to work, but sometimes I can't. What's the trick?"
  • "Why am I having so much trouble?"
  • "I think the universe is against me."
  • "I'm trying very, VERY hard but still nothing is happening!"

Don't worry, you're not alone. About 97% of people also couldn't make the Law of Attraction work for them the first time round. Think about it, just like anything else, you have to practice many times before you see success. A child doesn't learn to walk without falling over a couple of times, right?

But in practice, everything is easier said and done. When you're frustrated, it's hard to stay positive. And it's especially harder to stay positive when the evidence all around you is screams negativity like the unstable economy or senseless acts of violence such as those recently seen in Mumbai.

And do you know what happens when you fail to stay positive? That's right! You start attracting negative things in to your life.

So how can you make the Law of Attraction work for you--without getting frustrated? How do those who successfully implement the Law of Attraction do it with such confidence and finesse?

Well, here's three quick tips so you will never feel frustrated or tired of begging from the universe, because you know how to start manifesting like a pro.

1. Allow yourself to receive.

Just like a lost child who approaches a police officer and asks, "Excuse me Sir, can you tell me how to go to the post office? Can you? Can you? Can you? Can you? Can you?" Well, if the child goes on and on asking, the police officer can't even give an answer, right?

Well, it's the same thing with your mind. If the only thing your mind is doing is transmit, transmit, transmit, the universe--which is trying to respond--can't give you a single thing because you're not allowing yourself to receive!

So, have the confidence in yourself and stop exhausting yourself by running around person to person begging for riches, and then wondering why nobody is dropping a penny in your cup. (Hint: It's because you're running away too fast for them before they can even reach for their wallets).

Just think of your desires and leave it out there, go away, and trust that your cup will be filled with gold coins (or whatever it is you asked for) when the time is right.

2. Be patient with yourself.

Receiving takes time.

Sadly, many people give up just a couple of steps before the finish line because they've decided that if it's not working by now, it's never going to work at all. Worse still are those who throw in more and more energy because they think that with more resources, the results will come faster.

This is like expecting 9 mothers to conceive and deliver a baby in 1 month. You also can't bake cookies in half the time by doubling the temperature. You'll incinerate those cookies to ashes!

In simple terms: Everything in this world has a natural development time, and this fact will not change no matter what resources you throw at it.

So relax and be patient. Remember that you too, as part of the universe, are also governed by the laws of the universe, and you cannot change the natural development time.

If you remember this, you will less likely work yourself up into frustration, or worse, push yourself into a downward spiral of negativity.

3. Support and educate yourself.

Like the child who is learning how to walk, you need support. You also need guidance on how to do it, and the role models to look up to.

Many people give up because they think that "The Secret" is the "be all and end all" solution. Well, it's NOT. "The Secret" is just a small portion. It was never intended, and has never been, the whole answer.

Coming to the conclusion that the Law of Attraction doesn't work when all you ever did to educate yourself was watch "The Secret" 19 times (without looking at changing the habits of other areas of your life) is like coming to the conclusion that exercising is not an effective way to lose weight because all you did is run on the treadmill for 2 hours a day (but you're still stuffing yourself with fried foods and cheesecakes).

So seek and be hungry for new knowledge. Also, make an effort to be amongst people or communities where you can support each other, learn from each other and also share new knowledge that you have found.

While the Law of Attraction is not an overnight delivery service, it will indeed deliver, if you do your part too!

Credits: Photo by Petr Kratochvil, courtesy of Public Domain Pictures.

The author is a self-made successful entrepreneur, established blogger and personal development enthusiast whose mission is to help more people learn how to achieve their life dreams by applying the Law of Attraction correctly.



34 Reminders to Help You Find Your Way

Author: Marc & Angel

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn't your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgment upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He's the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,
And think you're a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the guy in the glass.

  • Everyone and everything seems normal from a distance.
  • When you die you can't take anything or anyone with you. This includes your family, friends, money and belongings. Memories are all that remain. Make them count.
  • If you are breathing now, congratulations! You still have a chance to fulfill your bucket list. Don't hesitate.
  • Don't make public generalizations about sex, race or age. Doing so will almost certainly bite you in the ass.
  • When something is troubling your worried mind, ask yourself this question: "Will this issue really make a difference in my life one year from now?" If the answer is no, move on.
  • The key to saving and maintaining a relationship starts with two simple words: "I'm sorry."
  • Never underestimate the joy of life's simple the pull-through parking spot.
  • Live in a few different cities, states, or even countries before your time is up. The life experiences gained in each location will open your eyes again and again for the first time.
  • Beginnings and endings... Both are powerful. Both are memorable. Both are necessary. Don't be afraid to start. Don't be afraid to bring something to an end.
  • Alcohol fogs your judgment... Sometimes for the best, and sometimes for the worst. Use accordingly.
  • Why wait to look back on it and laugh? You may as well laugh about it now.
  • You will appear far smarter in the eyes of others if you simply pay attention to the details they care about, rather than attempting to impress them with your wits. For example, if your boss always has Johnny Cash playing in the background when you walk past his office, mention it to him. Ask him what his favorite album is. Share your favorite song, etc.
  • Lessons cannot be taught, they can only be learned.
  • Compliments go a long way. When given the chance, always make people feel good about themselves.
  • True wisdom is achieved through life experience. No book or classroom can teach this.
  • Don't give other people advice in the gym unless they ask for it.
  • Don't argue or flirt with someone via email or text messaging. Most people are not poets. The message will get lost in translation, and may end up in the wrong hands altogether.
  • Appearance isn't everything, but it's something. Purposely neglecting your appearance for the sake of it is just as foolish as judging a book by its cover.
  • A little preparation will always save you a lot of grief.
  • The better mood your boss is in at work, the better mood you're in at work. Help him or her help you.
  • You cannot do everything, but you can do something. Make it count.
  • A small gift from the heart is always better than a large gift from a shopping list.
  • Dreams will remain dreams forever if you don't take action.
  • As long as you are alive, there is always more to learn.
  • Enjoy yourself. The situation is always lighter than you think.
  • What you learn in school does matter. While you may not use the specifics of every classroom lesson, every lesson does expand the core thought process of your mind. Over time you will develop problem solving skills that are universally applicable. No single classroom lesson can teach this, and no single classroom lesson is more important.
  • Own up to your mistakes the instant you realize you've made them. People will respect your honesty, and your conscience will thank you.
  • Concentrate on the things that you can change, forget about the rest.
  • Maintain your body, but never be ashamed of it. It's the greatest tool you'll ever own.
  • Don't let mistakes from the past corrupt your future ambitions.
  • In life and in love, you get what you put in.
  • Don't spend your whole life waiting for the 'right time'.
  • In many cases you will learn more from failure than you will from success.
  • Become a critical thinker and always be skeptical of those who dish-out advice. As such, weigh each of these tips against your own experience and judgment.


Building Unshakable Self-Confidence

Author: Brian Tracy

The Greatest Obstacle to Success
The fear of failure is the single greatest obstacle to success in adult life. Taken to its extreme, we become totally pre-occupied with not making a mistake, with seeking for security above all other considerations. The experience of the fear of failure is in the words of "I can't", "I can't." We feel it in the front of the body, starting at the solar plexus and moving up to the rapid beating of the heart, rapid breathing and a tight throat. We also experience this fear in the bladder and in the irresistible need to run to the bathroom.

The Fear of Rejection Holds You Back
The second major fear that interferes with performance and inhibits expression, is the fear of rejection. We learn this when our parents make their love conditional upon our behavior. If we do what pleases them, they give us love and approval. If we do something they don't like, they withdraw their love and approval -- which we interpret as rejection.

The Roots of Type A Behavior

As adults, people raised with conditional love become preoccupied with the opinions of others. Many men develop Type A behavior which is characterized by hostility, suspicion and an obsession with performance to some undetermined high standard. This is expressed in the attitude of "I have to," I have to," and is associated with the feeling that "I have to work harder and accomplish more in order to please the boss" who has become a surrogate parent.

The Most Common Trap
More than 99 percent of adults experience both these fears of failure and rejection. They are caught in the trap of feeling, "I can't," but "I have to," "I have to," but "I can't."

The Key to Peak Performance
The antidote to these fears is the development of courage, character and self-esteem. The opposite of fear is actually love, self-love and self-respect. Acting with courage in a fearful situation is simply a technique that boosts our regard for ourselves to such a degree that our fears subside and lose their ability to effect our behavior and our decisions.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do to increase your self-esteem and self-confidence and overcome your fears.

First, realize and accept that you can do anything you put your mind to. Repeat the words, "I can do it! I can do it!" whenever you feel afraid for any reason.

Second, continually think of yourself as a valuable and important person and remember that temporary failure is the way you learn how to succeed.

Build Unshakable Self-Confidence
You probably already know that the most successful people have incredible levels of self-confidence. They've accomplished great levels of success and happiness in their lives and seem to be unstoppable in everything that they do. The fact is that when you develop unshakable self-confidence your whole world will change for the better. Learn how with Brian Tracy's [The Science of Self-Confidence Training Kit]
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How to Handle Criticism: The Top 7 Tips from The Last 2500 Years

Author: Henrik Edberg

"Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting."
Emmet Fox

"Before you go and criticize the younger generation, just remember who raised them."

Criticism can be a painful thing. When it's valid it can also provide you with new insights about yourself and your life.

Many of the tips in this article can be used to learn to handle criticism aimed at you in a better way. But I'd also like to point out that it can be very useful to examine your own reasons for feeling like you have to criticise someone. It can tell you quite a bit about your own life at this moment and what you think about yourself.

1. Understand through experience.

"Don't criticize what you don't understand, son. You never walked in that man's shoes."
Elvis Presley

"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do."
Benjamin Franklin

It's easy to fall into the trap of criticizing things because, well, you feel like it's wrong. But do you really understand what you are criticising?

From my own experience I have found that one tends to become less critical of things when you have experienced it for yourself and have an understanding. Instead of just knowledge about it.

It's easy to be the armchair general, knowing what is always right. Especially in hindsight. It makes you feel good and like you are right.

But in the end the credit does not belong to this person.

2. Remember who the credit belongs to.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
Theodore Roosevelt

Awesome quote and a thought that you may want to keep in mind. It is of course the wo/man actually out there in the arena who takes the difficult path. The path one doesn't really have to take. You could just stand on the sidelines criticising which would be easier.

But watching life instead of living it may not be the best option. Because anytime you are on the sidelines just watching you are probably not doing what you deep down think is the right thing to do. Such behaviour makes you not feel good about yourself or your life.

3. Keep your focus on what's helpful for you.

"The artist doesn't have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don't have the time to read reviews."
William Faulkner

If you're in the arena you are doing, failing, learning and repeating that all over again and again. You doing something you think is worthwhile.

It's helpful to use your focus selectively. If you look at the sides of the arena you may see people booing and some people cheering you on. But to really get the results you want you have to focus. Focus on what you are doing in the arena. Keep your eyes on the ball.

The thing is if you take in the positive voices and let them define you then you have to take in the negative voices too.

How can you get past that problem? You can listen to them all, but don't have a need or craving deep inside for any of them. Don't seek yourself on other people's opinions. Instead, validate yourself by focusing on the positive things you think and do. And get to know who you really are, not what other people think you are.

My mindset for praise - that I try to stick to as much as I can - is that it's cool and I appreciate it. It's great to get praise, but I seldom get overly excited about it and jump and down shouting enthusiastically.

A great upside of this mindset is that when you receive the opposite - negative criticism - you can often observe it calmly without too much wild, negative emotions blocking the way. This allows you to appreciate that piece of criticism too (if there is something to learn from it).

Basically this mindset is about not caring too much about what other people think. If you do then you easily become pretty needy and let others control how you feel. Both how good and bad you feel.

4. Don't accept the gift.

"A man interrupted one of the Buddha's lectures with a flood of abuse. Buddha waited until he had finished and then asked him, "If a man offered a gift to another but the gift was declined, to whom would the gift belong?"

"To the one who offered it," said the man.

"Then," said the Buddha, "I decline to accept your abuse and request you to keep it for yourself."

Simply don't accept the gift of a criticism. You don't have to. Then it still belongs to the person who offered it.

This is of course easier said than done. To have everyone own their own feelings and opinions instead of letting them be a part of you or something you feel responsible for isn't easy.

Still, one can do it if one is aware of what Buddha describes. You can then choose to decline the gift rather than thinking that you have to accept it. Now, this might not work every time, especially if you are feeling very emotional and vulnerable. Still, it can be helpful to keep in mind.

This also ties into the previous tip. When you really need and crave other people's positive - and perhaps negative -- opinions to define yourself it becomes hard to reject the gift since you don't see/don't want to see it as something separate from yourself. You are all wrapped up in it.

5. Who are you talking about?

"When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical."

When you criticize someone what does that say about you? And when someone is criticising you who are they really revealing?

If someone makes a personal attack or just let's the destructive words flow then remember that criticism isn't always about you. Criticism can be a way for the one critiquing to release pent up anger, frustration or jealousy. Or a way to reinforce that his/her viewpoint or belief is the right one. Or s/he may have habit of getting others involved emotionally - baiting them - to build a negative spiral, an argument/fight or to get attention. It's about him/her. Not about something you did.

It can have a calming effect to remember this. And to remember that the other person is still human and might just be having a bad day or week.

This does of course not just go for "the other people" out there. It goes for you and me too. Whenever you feel a need to be critical, ask yourself why. Whenever you have been critical towards someone who didn't deserve it remember that you are hurting yourself and reinforcing your current state of mind and self-esteem level by this behaviour.

6. There is a better choice.

"I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism."
Charles Schwab

So, what can one do instead of criticising someone to get them to improve? One way is by lifting them up instead. By focusing on what they are doing well. And on how they can improve, rather how they are screwing things up.

As Schwab says, and as you probably have noticed in your own life, the spirit of for instance the workplace can have a great effect on your on your own mood, productivity, enthusiasm and motivation.

Energy flows where attention goes. So whatever is focused on - criticism or lifting people up - will expand and become stronger. One may think that harsh criticism may help and get results. It may just bring people down though and pollute the emotional environment.

7. Accept that it will always be there.

"Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing"

Since criticism often is a form of self-expression for the one critiquing or based in a lack of understanding there is little you can do to escape it. You can of course minimize your interactions with highly negative and critical people. Or keep your focus on what you are doing rather than the critics.

But whatever you do some people will probably feel a need to criticise.

Whatever you do there will always be people who don't like what you are doing.

And that's OK. That's normal.

As Eleanor Roosevelt says:

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't."



The Real Secret of Success

Author: Brian Tracy

More than 5,000 years ago, in the ancient mystery schools of Egypt, the mental and spiritual laws and principles of success were taught to students who dedicated their entire lives to learning in what was called the "Esoteric Arts."

One of these "secrets" was the Law of Attraction, which said that your mind is a magnet and that you invariably attract into your life people and circumstances in harmony with your dominant thoughts, especially your dominant thoughts emotionalized.

Today we say, "Like attracts like" and "Birds of a feather flock together." From ancient times, it was known that your mind sends out vibrations, like radio waves, that are picked up by the minds of other people who are tuned into the same rate of vibration.

The force that determines the sending power of your mental vibrations is the amount of emotion, positive or negative, that you put behind a thought. If there is something that you intensely desire, something that excites you and enthuses you, you will send out powerful, high-frequency vibrations that can travel large distances in split seconds and cause your phone to ring from someone you have not heard from for months or even years.

Because your mind is so powerful, especially when backed by emotionalized thoughts, you must handle it carefully, like a child handling a gun. The Law of Attraction is neutral. It works on both positive and negative thoughts. It brings into your life whatever you are thinking about on a regular basis with either fear or desire.

When the book, "The Secret" came out, along with the movie, I was happily surprised to see that the first half of the movie comes from my audio program and seminar, "The Psychology of Achievement" which was produced initially in 1981. We videotaped the live seminar which explains the Law of Attraction along with thirty-one other laws, plus how this law is applied in every area of life, and then distributed the video seminar world wide, including New Zealand, where the Author of The Secret comes from.

The weakness in The Secret is that it is "necessary but not sufficient." Of course, it is important that you think positive thoughts and that, by so doing, you will attract positive people and circumstances into your life. But it is not enough.

In response to The Secret, I decided to write a book which is called "Flight Plan -- The Real Secret of Success." In this book, I explain that life is very much like a long distance flight. When the plane takes off, it will be off course 99% of the time. But nonetheless, the plane will eventually arrive at its destination, even thought it was off course most of the time.

In my experience, the real secret of success consists of three major factors: First, you must be absolutely clear about your destination. By this I mean that must have clear, written, specific, measurable goals, committed to paper and organized into specific, step-by-step plans of action.

Before you can set your goals, you must know exactly who you are and what you want. You must do a thorough analysis of yourself, your life, your hopes, your dreams, your ambitions, and where you want to be sometime in the future. Then, you create a "Flight Plan" to get you from wherever you are today to wherever you want to be in the months and years ahead.

The second part of Flight Plan is that you must "take off!" You must have the courage to step out in faith with no guarantee of success. You must be prepared to launch in the face of your fears, doubts and natural reluctance to break out of your comfort zone. "To achieve something that you have never achieved before, you must be prepared to do something that you have never done before." (Les Brown).

Once you have launched toward your goal, like an airplane, you will meet with unexpected turbulence, headwinds, updrafts and downdrafts, lightning, storms and every sort of mechanical problem. You must be prepared to make continual "course corrections" as you move toward your goal.

Perhaps the most important quality for success is, and always has been, the quality of persistence. You must resolve in advance to persist in the face of any difficulty or problem that you experience. You must resolve in advance that you will never give up. You must resolve in advance that you will view every temporary setback or difficulty as merely a signal that you need to make a "course correction" as you move inevitably toward your goal.

This is a great time to be alive. The very best days of your life lie ahead of you. The highest income of your life is still to come. The greatest experiences of your life are still to be experienced.

There is very little that you can not accomplish if you will file your flight plan. Determine exactly what it is that you want to achieve, take off toward your goal with no guarantees of success, and then make continual course corrections until you finally succeed. If you resolve to do these things, nothing can stop you from creating an extraordinary life.

Want to know the REAL secret of success?
You need a flight plan to succeed. And having a plan isn't enough. Just like an airplane pilot you must make course corrections to arrive at your destination -- your goals. With Brian Tracy's Flight Plan, you can discover a how to achieve more, faster than you ever dreamed possible. You also receive 2 BONUS CDS! Learn more here



Chart a New Course Through Any Dark Moment

Author: Guy Finley

At all times everything, everywhere, is unfolding as it must. Getting stressed and struggling to change the outcome of any past event is like arguing with an echo to make it see your point of view. In down-to-earth terms, to resent the person who cuts you off in traffic does nothing to change either that scary moment now passed, or the sleeping nature of the one who endangered you. Yet, we believe that our negative reaction has something of a corrective nature to it. The truth is that negative reactions of any kind do not correct the condition seen as being at fault, they actually serve to continue that unwanted experience.

Let us ask ourselves: have we ever made somebody like us by resisting his disapproving look? Wars don't end by fighting; fighting of any kind breeds the seeds of hatred and mistrust, whose harvest is always more conflict. Be assured: disapproving looks are always going to be on the faces of people for as long as they remain in the dark about the true purpose of life. But we can be different, providing we are willing to reconcile this rather extraordinary question:

What are we to do with what life brings to us -- that we are sure just isn't "right" -- especially when we can look out and see so many horrible things taking place on our planet? This is not to say that we should disregard negative conditions, only that things are the way they are in the moment in which we see them unfold. And let there be no doubt about this: negative reactions make nothing better. In fact, we serve to accelerate the unwanted effect of any condition that we resist because -- by our identification with it -- we unknowingly become a part of what we don't want!

This much should be obvious: something that lives in the "dark" of us is hard at work, creating the illusion that the way to change or control what disturbs us is to not want it. But now we are shedding light on this negative nature (and its lies), which means our world can begin to grow brighter. So, let's summarize:

No moment can be different than it is; whether we like it or not means nothing, and our distaste for it changes nothing in what takes place before us. However, what does mean something is what we allow to happen within us in that moment, because as we are changed -- by what we see about ourselves -- so changes the moment itself.

Not only are events unfolding as they must, but they also serve a higher purpose. Life itself, each of its "waves," is a kind of "window" through which we see what "is" -- including the reality of how our awareness interacts and transforms all that is becoming moment to moment.

It's what we do inwardly -- with what takes place outwardly -- that alone has the power to transform both of these worlds in a way that's truly positive for all. And when we are aware of this truth, and its vital relationship with all that is taking place, we begin to see how our true human responsibility and the higher purpose of this life are really one movement. It's why our interior work is so important, crucial really, to the enlightenment of human consciousness. Our world is transformed according to our ability to take part in it this way, just as we ourselves are transformed with the world as it reveals to us the truth of ourselves.

Will we choose to be a part of life's endless beginning? Shall we enter into the incorruptible present moment -- or continue to live from a nature that clings to imagined endings so that then it can complain about whatever disturbs that dream? Can we realize, as we have discovered, that everything that happens to us does so for the one purpose of revealing to us something of our present nature . . . and, in so doing, invites us to transcend who we have been? To know this is to see that everything in existence serves what is Good, leaving us free to choose to participate in life as it is.



Affimations On Over-Drive - The Power Of The Subliminal Message

Author: Michael McGrath

Before the invention of modern techniques such as binaural beats, subliminal technologies and mind machines millions of people have used the power of affirmations to create a better life for themselves, earn more money, attract satisfying relationships and build a better healthier mind and body. I am sure you have read many stories about how people have transformed negative situations and circumstances into positive life experiences through the power of auto-suggestion. Affirmations can be used for anything that needs changed in your life and it has been proven to help change psychological aspects of the human character.

Now it's time you learned how to use the same powerful techniques that have created multi-millionaires and avatars and then super-charge them!

There is little doubt that exposing yourself to positive affirmations repeatedly over time has a great beneficial impact on your thoughts, feelings, actions and therefore your life.

By creating an affirmation that states what you want to be, do or have as though it were already in existence you can create almost anything in your life. The process is very simple. You merely identify what it is that you want from life and write a sentence describing your life as though you already have it. Then three times a day you repeat this statement to yourself and visualize the scene as though you were experiencing it then and there.

Research has shown that the most effective times for using affirmations are in the early morning, not long after waking, and late at night, just before you go to bed. At these times your subconscious mind is much more open and receptive to the suggestions because your conscious mind is tired and off-guard. Then during the day you would state your affirmation to reinforce your intent.

Unfortunately there are a great many people who fail to get any real affects from using affirmations because they fail to realise a vital key to using them.

It not enough to just fill your subconscious mind with positive affirmations. It is also important that you first remove the negative resistant thoughts and feelings that are working against your success! It is necessary for you to remove the negative programming that is already installed in your brain before you can get new positive programming to work. If this is not done then the old programming will work against the new thought patterns that you're attempting to install. When this happens you get frustrated and impatient and the positive affirmations you are using can then actually work against you.

The best way to get the most of affirmations is to completely remove the negative programming that is currently working against you. There are many different methods for doing this from EFT to The Sedona Method and Release Technique. These techniques work with the energy system of the body and through some simple exercises you can remove the energy associated with the emotions that lie behind your negative thoughts.

Using these techniques, or others, to release the old negative and unproductive patterns of belief does require some effort and commitment but anything worthwhile does. However, they are extremely efficient and quick working.

There is an easier way to remove these destructive patterns and also install new positive beliefs simultaneously. It is a technique that involves bypassing the conscious rational thinking mind and gaining access directly to the powerful subconscious mind. Within your subconscious mind are held all your thoughts, feelings and beliefs. It makes sense to assume then that by gaining direct access to the subconscious mind is the best way to make changes quickly and most effectively! I am referring to Subliminal Messages and the use of subliminal technologies for mind reprogramming.

Through the use of subliminal technologies it is possible to remove old negative thought and patterns and replace them with positive affirming beliefs. Simply by listening to a subliminal recording or using subliminal computer technologies you can go about your everyday activities and allow the new affirmations to effortlessly saturate your mind. If it is your desire to investigate the power of using affirmations I would strongly suggest that you encorporate them into a subliminal program as this will add so much more power and speed to you goal-attainment. Thus you can eliminate the need to consciously make an effort and allow the entire process to be dealt with unconsciously. Through a carefully chosen program you can also chose and install your very own affirmations that are important and relevant to you and your life.




Leonardo Da Vinci's Top 6 Tips for Getting Things Done

Author: Henrik Edberg

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."

"A well-spent day brings happy sleep."

If you want tips on how to become more productive, one good source would be Leonardo da Vinci.

He painted a whole bunch of classic paintings such as the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. His journals contain ideas for inventions like hydraulic pumps, steam cannons, helicopters and hang gliders.

He was also, among other things, an anatomist, sculptor, botanist and musician.

Da Vinci got stuff done. A lot of stuff.

How did he do it? Well, here are six of his tips for getting things done.

1. Do.

"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things."

If you want to get things done you have to do things. If you want big results you often have to take massive action. There is no way to get around taking action if you want real life results.

But it's easy to get stuck in a mindset where you in way substitute thinking for action. You think and think and take action just once in a while.

One thing that gets you stuck in this mindset is that you may see other people doing the same thing. And so your habit of taking action once in a while gets reinforced since it feels like the "normal" thing to do. The fear of failure and what people might say if you try, fail or succeed are powerful factors too.

But to get what you want you need to break out of that. You need to take a lot of action. And if you are an overthinker or procrastinator then there is probably room for a lot more action every week.

I think the first step is just to be aware of how much action you are actually taking. To be aware how much time you are spending thinking or planning. And catch yourself when you get stuck in unproductive thought patterns. And then adjust to take more action.

How can you snap yourself into action? Three tips:

  • Pump your enthusiasm.One way of doing that is to see what's positive in any situation. Then build on that to get your enthusiasm going. Perhaps it's just a thing or two. But that glimmer of positivity can be a starting point to change your perspective to a more positive one where you can find enthusiasm. And whatever the situation you are in will often be easier and more pleasurable to handle.
    Another tip is to get an enthusiastic vibe from other people. Listen to CDs with enthusiastic people - Brian Tracy and especially Tony Robbins is two helpful guys - for perhaps 20 minutes. When you are done listening you'll probably feel a lot more enthusiastic. Or hang out with enthusiastic people and get them to talk about what they are enthusiastic about. Enthusiasm is contagious, so use that fact to help yourself (and others when you are feeling enthusiastic).
  • Just do it anyway. If you don't feel like you could pump up your enthusiasm, just go and do what you want to do anyway. If you do it even if you don't feel like it, you are acting as you would like to feel. You may not want to go to the gym. But you do it anyway. And after you've been there for a while you are glad you went there, because now you are getting your workout done. And you are feeling proactive, enthusiastic and good about yourself.
  • Realize that the world doesn't revolve around you. People will probably not care as much as you think if you try, fail or succeed with something. They have their own lives to worry about.

2. Do. Experience. Learn.

"Experience does not ever err. It is only your judgment that errs in promising itself results which are not caused by your experiments."

"Although nature commences with reason and ends in experience it is necessary for us to do the opposite, that is to commence with experience and from this to proceed to investigate the reason."

If you take little action it's easy to overestimate the value of the results. A failure or a mistake might feel like the end of the world. You may perhaps you beat yourself up about it for the rest of the week.

That won't help much though. As you learn to take more action, the results contain less emotional power. You don't get overwhelmed and lost in a sad funk.

Instead you can learn to take the lessons from a mistake or failure. To not take the failure so seriously but instead see it - just like everything else - as a valuable experience. Then you focus on the future to make some plans and adjustments based on what your experiences have taught you. And then you snap back into the present moment to take more action again. Just like when you first learned to ride the bicycle.

So dive into life. Get experiences, because it is only here you will get some real understanding.

3. Be consistent.

"Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind."

It's easy to get riled up and get going with something new on an enthusiastic high. But that initial enthusiasm tends to dissipate. That's when you hit a plateau. That's when you need to keep moving. Doing everything in small spurts and then turning to the next thing when something loses it newness makes it hard to get what you want.

You have to be persistent. And consistent. Then you can get pretty much anything done. One of the big reasons why people don't get what they want is simply that they won't keep going. Or that they go, stop, go, stop. Persistence and consistency isn't exactly the sexiest things in personal growth. But they are ridiculously helpful.

Because the results you want may not come to you tomorrow or next week. Improving your life is often hinges on the ability to not go running around for new magic pills all the time or choosing the instant gratification option every time.

So, how do you become more consistent?

  • Be aware. Just by being aware of what you are doing - and not doing - you can stop and change how you think and act in your everyday life. This will take time, but little by little you can avoid your own pitfalls - such as for instance the instant gratification route - more and more.
  • Set the context. What you do early in the day often sets the context for your day. And your days are your life. We have a tendency to want to be consistent with what we have done before. You can use that your advantage. One thing that can give you a good start is to do the hardest and/or most important thing first. If you start your day like this then you don't have to worry about that special task for the rest of the day. Taking this route makes the day feel easier and you'll have less inner resistance to getting the rest of the tasks of the day done. Also, try to working out early in the day. It will make you feel energized for the rest of the day. This can be crucial on days when you feel tired and only half awake.

4. Move over, through or around obstacles.

"Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind."

Obstacles are tricky. They can easily discourage you. But they are seldom as scary as they look. If you actually start to smash them or move around them you may find that it is easier than you may have thought. The biggest obstacles are often the ones you put up in your mind. Not just in the form of how you perceive external obstacles and make them bigger than they are. But also in how you create obstacles that aren't even out there. They exist solely in your mind.

Be careful of them. Realize that you may be making things harder than they actually need to be. Realize that you to some part decide how hard or easy something is. By diving into reality and taking action you get real life experience of how things are. Then you may see how the obstacles were just in your mind. Or how you can move over, under or through the obstacle by learning and adjusting. Or just by being persistent. The obstacle will yield if you know what you want and keep going.

Look at an obstacle as a way for the world to test you and teach you. Instead of a solid brick wall.

5. Know what's important.

"Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it."

There is always enough time. You have the same amount of hours in the day that da Vinci had. But the thing is to know what is important to you. And to take action based on that.

Knowing what you want and following that path is important for the rest of the tips above. To be able to take all that action, to do it consistently and to crush internal or external obstacles you need to know what you want. That will give you the motivation to keep going. And I'm talking about what you really want. What is most important to you (not what your parents, teachers or society may tell is important).

How do you find out what you really want? I think you need to really think about it. But that's not all. I also think you need to just experiment and try things. From all that doing and all those experiences you learn things. Not just about the world but also about yourself. Experience makes it clearer in your mind if what you thought you wanted is really what you want.

Over time your map becomes more accurate. And you can readjust your path if appropriate. Getting things done can be kinda messy, wobbly and uncertain at times. Such is life.

But in any case it's a lot better than sitting around waiting or just sitting on your own hands with a vague sense of unease somewhere inside your heart and mind.

6. Focus.

"As every divided kingdom falls, so every mind divided between many studies confounds and saps itself."

You need to know what's important. You also need to focus on it. And focus on it consistently.

And this is not just about a focus on what you are doing and what you want. It's also the focus of your attitude. To for instance keep your focus on the positive, on your curiousness and your enthusiasm. On what gets you where you want to go.

Instead of negative doubts, beating yourself up or other things you may focus on from time to time for some reason. That stuff will seldom help you. Of course, if there is a real problem then that needs to be handled. But oftentimes it's easy to get stuck in negativity because of old habits, what other people may say or just to strengthen a victim identity and get a strange sense of satisfaction and familiarity out of the negativity.

Finally, here are three practical tips that I have found to be very helpful to improve my focus.

  • Exercise. This is key. Regular exercise makes me more focused, positive and energized. It can make a huge difference.
  • Singletask. Do just one thing at a time. To get things done quicker and better focus just on what's in front of you instead of trying to multitask.
  • Work in a cone of silence. Try to minimize possible distractions. Suggestion for doing that could be to unplug your internet cable, shutting of your phone and closing your door.

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The Practice of Discipline

Author: Brian Tracy

Discipline yourself to do what you know you need to do to be the very best in your field. Perhaps the best definition of self-discipline is this: "Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not."

It is easy to do something when you feel like it. It's when you don't feel like it and you force yourself to do it anyway that you move your life and career onto the fast track.

What decisions do you need to make today in order to start moving toward the top of your field? Whatever it is, either to get in or get out, make a decision today and then get started. This single act alone can change the whole direction of your life.

Seven Steps to Success
There is a powerful seven step formula that you can use to set and achieve your goals for the rest of your life. Every single successful person uses this formula or some variation of this formula to achieve vastly more than the average person. And so can you. Here it is:

Decide What You Want
Step number one, decide exactly what it is you want in each part of your life. Become a "meaningful specific" rather than a "wandering generality."

Write it Down
Second, write it down, clearly and in detail. Always think on paper. A goal that is not in writing is not a goal at all. It is merely a wish and it has no energy behind it.

Set A Deadline
Third, set a deadline for your goal. A deadline acts as a "forcing system" in your subconscious mind. It motivates you to do the things necessary to make your goal come true. If it is a big enough goal, set sub-deadlines as well. Don't leave this to chance.

Make A List
Fourth, make a list of everything that you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal. When you think of new tasks and activities, write them on your list until your list is complete.

Organize Your List
Fifth, organize your list into a plan. Decide what you will have to do first and what you will have to do second. Decide what is more important and what is less important. And then write out your plan on paper, the same way you would develop a blueprint to build your dream house.

Take Action
The sixth step is for you to take action on your plan. Do something. Do anything. But get busy. Get going.

Do Something Every Day
Do something every single day that moves you in the direction of your most important goal at the moment. Develop the discipline of doing something 365 days each year that is moving you forward. You will be absolutely astonished at how much you accomplish when you utilize this formula in your life every single day.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do to put these ideas into action immediately.

First, decide exactly what you want, write it down with a deadline, make a plan and take action -- on at least one goal -- today!

Second, determine the price you will have to pay to achieve this goal and then get busy paying that price
-- whatever it is.

Want to know how to accomplish more in a month than most people accomplish in a year?
Brian Tracy's audio program, The Miracle of Self-Discipline, will show you how! Training yourself to complete important tasks -- even when you don't want to -- is a vital skill that every Top Achiever should master. To get your copy today, click here.



Step Out of the Dark Cycle of Discontent

Author:Guy Finley

Our real "problem" with others isn't that they won't or can't give to us what we want from them. As we're about to discover, the true seed of discontent lies deeper than this. The short writing you're about to read is intended to help shed light on the real source of our unrest in our relationships.

The less we learn to long for -- or depend upon --
Special understanding from others,
The less we will suffer for not receiving this.

The less we suffer over what others
Seem incapable of giving to us,
The less unhappy will we find ourselves
In these unanswered moments of our lives
Spent in the company of friends and foes alike.

The less pain we have over what life appears to deny us,
The more at peace we naturally become with ourselves.

The more of this serenity we grow to know within ourselves,
The easier it becomes for us to give to others
This harmony founded in our New Understanding.

Whenever we give others this new order of Understanding
Without asking for anything in return,
Those we greet with this Gift are silently touched;
They are moved by this willingness to put their concerns before our own.
And it is this one action that awakens in them...
Their sleeping need to respond in kind.

Happiness is the wholeness found in conscious kindness.
This is the secret of perfect relationships.

- Guy Finley


How the Energy Inside of You is Built Using the Law of Attraction

Author: Dick Ingersoll

Many individuals do not realize that the Law of Attraction means more than just thinking about something and going for it, it has to do with the entire universe. You will be able to make a huge difference in the way that you take on life and experience life if you just give the Law of Attraction a chance. First, know that the Law of Attraction simply means that you can achieve what you want when you surround yourself with good energy and you see it, believe it, and be it.

The basics of the Law of Attraction are that you have to first figure out what it is that your heart desires. You will also need to take into consideration the fact that negative energy is what will set you back and you need to learn how to encircle yourself with positive energy. Also, if you really believe that you can utilize the Law of Attraction to assist you in getting what you want, you will need to act as if you have already reached your objective. Then you need to permit yourself to be open to the positive energy and then you will have reached your objectives.

The key to the Law of Attraction is the energy that you utilize to get what you want. Don't forget that when you have positive energy you will be able to attain your goals because it will push you forward, however, negativity seems to prevent others from moving forward. You may want to consider the type of energy you are building so that you can make a good first start. With the positive energy, you will be able to pick yourself up from discouragement and learn how to nudge yourself forward.

You will find that the old saying, "I'm my own worst enemy", is completely true. You will find that if you allow the negativity you will only be causing yourself harm. You will not only hold yourself back, but you will completely damage your self-esteem. You will also discover that you have to work on yourself from the inside out to be able to accomplish the things that you long for.

You will discover that the Law of Attraction will assist you in meeting some of your objectives and you will also discover a lot of motivation from the Law of Attraction. This has aided a lot of people in meeting their objectives, however, you will need to think about the fact that the energy that you receive from others is what can discourage you as well. So, you must make sure that you take the steps to eliminate the negativity and you learn how to accept the positive aspects of life in general, but also learn how to encircle yourself in positive energy too.

There is a lot of hard-work that you are going to have to put into your objectives, but if you would like to get some professional advice on how to utilize the Law of Attraction and positive energy to assist you in meeting your goals, then you may want to seek the advice of an expert. A professional will give you the chance to fix yourself from the inside out. It is very important that you attempt to make some sense of the mess before you go digging through the emotional baggage. When you go to see a mental health professional you will want to make sure that you take the time to deal with the underlying issues that you have and that will help you to let go of the negativity and allow the positive energy to come into your space.

You will need to take the time to consider how the Law of Attraction will help you to reach your objectives.

This article is only the tip of the iceberg! You can find a lot more research, resources, and ideas related to metaphysics, philosophy, and spirituality that Dick Ingersoll has gathered together by going to: Applying the Law of Attraction Library.




18 Means of Living Below Your Means

Author: Marc & Angel

Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one. Do not spend to impress others. Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects. Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you. Always live well below your means.

A penny saved is a penny earned.
- Benjamin Franklin

  • Redefine your definition of "rich". - "I remember sitting in a cubicle at my first professional job staring at a picture of an SUV I wanted to buy (and eventually did). Now, I sit in my office and look at the pictures of my kids, and just outside my window I can see the beater I drive sitting in the company parking lot. What a difference a decade makes! To sum things up, my definition of being rich is having enough money to meet my family's basic needs, a few of our wants, and to be able to give some away to others." - via Frugal Dad
  • Borrow and share. Everyone wins! - "We borrowed a DVD from a friend instead of renting or buying and had a little snack from our own fridge! Way cheaper than using gas to drive to the theater/rental place, paying for a movie, and paying for a snack." - via My Dollar Plan
  • Avoid the mall. - "Going to the mall is not entertainment! We used to go when we were bored. Of course, we usually ended up spending money while we were there. If you need clothes, then shop sales or go to stores that offer name-brands at a discount. You can save a ton on these items if you are a smart shopper. Dave Ramsey says, "Never pay retail!" We probably save $15 to $30 per month by staying away from the mall." - via My Super-Charged Life
  • Limit your intake of advertisements.- "Advertising sucks. That's the cold, hard truth. It's engineered to make you feel like you're incomplete, that you have an unfulfilled need, that you're not good enough." - via On Simplicity
  • Buy with cash. - "You can't spend money you don't have. Many bank accounts provide overdraft protection, so even with a debit card, it's easier to go over your account balance than you think." - via Simple Mom
  • Find a better deal and actually SAVE the difference. - "Regardless of what they sell, if you've switched companies for price reasons, save the difference. Think of phone companies, internet access, cell phones, credit cards, and others." - via The Wisdom Journal
  • Adhere to a long-term investment strategy. - "I'm a long-term investor. The stock portion of my portfolio is spread over several mutual funds, a few ETFs and a few individual stocks. Each and every one of these holdings was carefully chosen, after thorough research. I believe in these stocks and funds. I consider them as my best bet in growing my money - LONG TERM." - via MomGrind
  • Curb your consumerism! - "Have you ever watched how a child can play with a cardboard box for hours, and leave the toy that came in it by the wayside? How is it that children can enjoy themselves without a lot of "stuff", but we as adults feel the need to reward ourselves by buying more stuff?" - via Billionaire Woman
  • Stay Healthy! Medical problems drain bank accounts. - "James M. Rippe, M.D is a best-selling author, world-renowned cardiologist, and founder of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute. He explains that if you look at all the risk factors for dying, the one that is most predictive is fitness level. In addition, an older person with high cardiovascular fitness is healthier than a younger person who is physically inactive. By increasing your fitness level, you can actually roll back your biological clock." - via Abundance Blog
  • Stay in and relax. - "So, think about it the next time you go out. Are you going for with a purpose? Maybe the solution is to not go out at all. Stay home and save! Save up for something you really want or need." - via The Jungle of Life
  • Gradually prepare yourself for a rainy day. - "Even when things are going great, and you feel on top of the world, you must always be prepared for a change. If you take the time and patience to set yourself up properly, then when things to take a turn for the worse, you will be prepared to handle it. If you live above your means, then when the slightest change occurs, you will not be prepared to adapt. Financial flexibility is more important then keeping up with the Jones'." - via Yin vs. Yang
  • Stop competing. Forget about the Jones' altogether. - "If getting rich makes us happy, then why don't countries as a whole get happier as they grow wealthier? They discovered that as a country gets wealthier there's no overall increase in happiness. Why? We continually compare our wealth against that of others. We are competitive and envious Add to that the fact that Western countries encourage people to strive for more and more, and you have a formula that spins many into depression." - via Color Your Life Happy
  • Get out of the "easy street" mentality. - "I think there is too much emphasis on the quick fix or the easy option in today's society. For example taking diet pills to lose weight instead of the "hard option" - exercising and eating well.... money is sometimes being used as a substitute for hard work. Do you think there is an increasing expectation that you can get want you want by throwing money around instead of working hard and "earning" it? - via Forever Change
  • Avoid impulse buying. Buy things you truly need. - "Don't you just love the excitement you feel after coming home with a new TV? Driving home in a new car? Opening the box on a new pair of shoes? I sure do. But, from watching the behavior of myself and my friends I've found that the new quickly becomes just another item. The excitement of novelty passes quickly." - via Think Simple Now
  • Time is money. Properly manage your time. - "The fewer tasks you have, the less you have to do to organize them. Focus only on those tasks that give you the absolute most return on your time investment, and you will become more productive and have less to do. You will need only the simplest tools and system, and you will be much less stressed. I think that's a winning combination. Focus always on simplifying, reducing, eliminating. And keep your focus on what's important. Everything else is easy." - via LifeDev
  • Find ways to give without spending. - "Want a quick, easy and (almost) free way to be guaranteed that you'll make someone's day special? Send them a letter. Why not set aside some time this weekend to sit down and write to a few people? If you don't enjoy writing, try buying some nice postcards of your home town. If you've got an artistic streak, why not design your own note cards? You don't have to write a long letter for it to be effective. It's the thought that counts and the personal touch that makes it special." -via Dumb Little Man
  • Don't let greed and deceit get the best of you. - "According to Stephen R. Covey, if you reach an admirable end through the wrong means it will ultimately turn to dust in your hands. This is due to unintended consequences that are not seen or evident at first. The example he gives in The 8th Habit is: The parent who yells at their kids to clean their rooms will accomplish the end of having a clean room. But this very means has the potential to negatively affect relationships, and it is unlikely the room will stay clean when the parent leaves town for a few days. Now, to return to the topic of wealth, I think it is possible to see much of the world's current financial problems as stemming from people who wrongly believe the ends justify the means. My advice? It is fine to aspire to wealth, but don't lose sight of the means to accomplishing it." - via The Change Blog
  • Never ever pay retail. - "You can easily save hundreds of dollars a year on clothing purchases by waiting for sales or shopping at discount retailers like Marshalls.Better yet, avoid name brand clothing all together." - via Marc and Angel Hack Life




Law of Attraction Illustrated

Author: Paul Piotrowski

Would you like a simple way to understand Law of Attraction?

I used to spend a lot of time in forums, discussing and debating the topic of Law of Attraction and how it works. Some of the constant arguments that would continuously pop up over and over again were mostly due to people's misunderstanding of the Law of Attraction.

On one end you'd have Law of Attraction Skeptics who would insist that Law of Attraction is a giant scam perpetrated by the creators of the movie "The Secret" for monetary gain, not realizing that the concept of the Law of Attraction was not invented by the creators of "The Secret", but actually has been around for thousands of years in scriptures and texts from various cultures all around the world. I have read almost a thousand personal development books in the last 15 years or so, and the Law of Attraction is talked about and present in practically every single one of them, except that most of them don't call it by that name.

On the other end of the spectrum, you'd have Law of Attraction enthusiasts who saw the movie "The Secret" and got really excited by the idea, not completely understanding the full concept of how it works. They ran out, cut out a picture of their dream car and pasted it on the wall, and then went on with their life as usual. Two days later they wondered why they haven't manifested this car yet.

The truth is that Law of Attraction is always working in your life. You are always attracting everything that's in your life, whether you are aware of it or not.

Let me illustrate a simple way to understand the Law of Attraction.

I'm going to use the example of attracting a career path where you are Making Money Doing What You Love as an example, since it is the theme of this Blog.

Let's start with this illustration (Figure 1):

Let me explain what's what in this illustration so that you can understand it better.

Imagine that Point A is where you are right now - not making money doing what you love.

Imagine that Point B is where you'd like to be - the place where you are now making money doing what you love.

So, since most of our education and social conditioning is purely centered around the physical world, we are taught that the most important thing we need to focus on is ACTION. So, we blindly follow the advice of the masses and we start to take action from where we are (Point A) towards our goal (Point B).

Unfortunately, what we don't realize is that Law of Attraction is always working, and if our Thoughts, Beliefs and Desires are not properly aligned with our action, we are simultaneously PUSHING AWAY our goal (Point B). What does this look like? Well, let me break down what I might typically see. These may be a few of the things this person might be doing:

Action Steps:

  • Looking around for business opportunities, talking to people about ways to make money
  • Taking on part-time work or after-hours projects to try making money doing what they love
  • Reading books, Blogs and going to seminars related to doing what they love
  • Taking action towards making their first few dollars doing what they love
  • Seeking out examples of other people who are making money doing the same thing they love
  • etc.

Thoughts, Beliefs and Desires:

  • It's not really possible for me to make money doing what I love
  • I don't have enough money to pursue my dreams
  • My family won't support me
  • The universe is a scary place
  • The economy is failing, I'm lucky to even have a job
  • Things are getting worse
  • I'm never going to amount to anything
  • etc.

This person may very well be taking some of the action steps someone would take in order to get from Point A to Point B, but at the same time their Thoughts, Beliefs and Desires are working against them. What happens then is that Law of Attraction literally pushes away Point B. Meaning, when you think and believe things like "It's not really possible for me to make money doing what I love." then those kinds of thoughts and beliefs create a very specific vibration and the universe attracts events, people and circumstances into your life which MATCH that vibration. You will literally start getting PROOF that this belief is true.

For example, you may start to attract people into your life who are examples of this belief. All of a sudden you find yourself at a social event and when you share your idea of making money doing what you love to do with someone, that person completely shuts down your idea saying something like "Oh yeah, I used to have a cousin that tried to make money doing that exact thing, but it was a complete disaster."

The bottom line is that while you're so focused on taking the action steps you think are necessary to get you to your desired Point B, the whole universe is aligned against you. You grit your teeth and exercise incredible feats of willpower and bravery, trying your hardest to take three steps forward in your actions, and then your elusive goal of reaching Point B takes three steps forward as well.

It's the typical "Carrot on a Stick" metaphor where you keep running for the carrot but you don't realize that the carrot is hung on a string, attached to a stick that's attached to your back. It seems obvious that the proper action to take is to run forward towards the carrot, but if you look at the issue from a broader perspective you'll realize that you will never catch the carrot!

This is, unfortunately, where I find most people STUCK on their path of trying to Make Money Doing What They Love. They are either taking some action, or a lot of action towards their goal, but they are completely ignoring the mental / spiritual side of getting aligned with your goal and so they never reach it. After an extended period of time pushing and pushing towards their goal, they start to feel burned out and intuitively they start to sense that IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. That's where most people give up. You'll find millions of them working at dead end jobs, bitching and complaining about how they hate coming to work, but completely paralized and given up on their dreams. They're simply tired of chasing the carrot.

Let's take a look at the next illustration (Figure 2):

Here, in this illustration we see someone who is taking the right action steps towards their goal, and they have managed to start aligning some of their thoughts, beliefs and desires in the right direction, but still the majority of their other thoughts, beliefs and desires are actually working against them.

Using the same example as above, lets imagine that this person changed just a couple of their beliefs. They now look like this:

Thoughts, Beliefs and Desires:

  • It's possible for me to make money doing what I love
  • I don't have enough money to pursue my dreams
  • My family won't support me
  • The universe is a scary place
  • The economy is failing, I'm lucky to even have a job
  • Things are getting worse
  • I'm destined for greatness
  • etc.

You see that this person has cleared a few of their limiting beliefs and now believes that it IS possible for them to make money doing what they love. However, some of their other beliefs, such as "The economy is failing" or "Things are getting worse" are still holding them back. In this example, Law of Attraction is still in effect working against them, pushing their goal away from them as they take action towards it.

However, given enough time and enough action, as long as this person doesn't give up, it IS possible that they will one day reach their goal, because the Law of Attraction is no longer completely stacked against them. The tangent path they have to take is a lot longer than if they were aligned or at least neutral in their beliefs, but it is still a path that is possible.

Here's the next illustration (Figure 3):

Here the person has started to realize that their thoughts, beliefs and desires affect the results they get from their actions. They aren't fully aligned yet, but the number of negative beliefs that repel their goal is now balanced out by their positive beliefs that attract their goal. This is a person who has conflicting beliefs.

Their beliefs may look a bit like this:

Thoughts, Beliefs and Desires:

  • It's possible for me to make money doing what I love
  • I don't have enough money to pursue my dreams
  • My family won't support me
  • The universe is a friendly place
  • The economy is failing, I'm lucky to even have a job
  • Things are getting better
  • I'm destined for greatness
  • etc.

Sometimes you'll find that these individuals have a split-mind where they are actually completely positive in their beliefs when they are around positive people, but they are not strong enough to stay positive when they get around negative people. One minute they're talking to a friend about their grand business plans and how awesome it's going to be for everyone involved once they are doing what they love, and then the next minute they are talking to someone else who is a complete pessimist and they are starting to doubt themselves, thinking "Who do I think I am? I can't do this!".

As their mind plays tricks on them and they flip flop between a positive vibration which attracts their desired goal and a negative vibration which repels it, as long as they continue to take action towards their goal, they WILL eventually achieve it. The path is still going to be a much longer path than necessary, but at least they are now balancing out their negativity with a fresh dose of positivity.

Here's a better place to be (Figure 4):

Now you're starting to see the Law of Attraction work in your favor. The majority of your Thoughts, Beliefs and Desires are now in alignment with your goal and except for the occasional hiccup perhaps when you get around really fearful and negative people, you're now starting to really live your days believing and knowing that your dreams are on their way. Even if you haven't reached them yet, you are now living with a deep knowing that everything will be alright and you're going to reach your goal.

Here, the Law of Attraction is working in partial harmony with you, making some of the resources you'll need available to you, introducing you to people you'll need to meet and harmonizing you with the events you need to experience in order to bring you closer to your goal. This is usually the place where you start to experience some synchronistic events, and you generally walk around with an inner smile of knowing that the only thing seperating you from your dreams is a bit of time.

As wonderful as this place can be, there is an ever better place you can be which is this (Figure 5):

Here in this example, you are now fully aligned. Your actions, your thoughts, beliefs and desires are all in alignment and Point A and Point B are fully attracting each other. You begin to experience massive synchronicities where resources, people and events required for you to reach your goal are "magically" starting to show up in your life. Even when you're not seemingly taking action towards your goal, such as for example when you're grocery shopping, watching TV or even sleeping, you are in fact bringing it closer.

You go grocery shopping and you meet an old friend you haven't seen in years that helps you achieve your goal even faster. As you're watching TV, a character in a movie says something that helps you solve a problem you were having related to your goal You go to bed and wake up remembering dreams that have given you ideas towards reaching your goal even faster.

When you're fully aligned like this, EVERYTHING you do is massively attracting your desired goal. When we're in this state, things are attracted to us so quickly and with such force it's amazing to watch. Outsiders who may witness this happening in the life of someone they know typically label this as "Luck." All of a sudden, everything goes right for the person.

It's not luck. It's Law of Attraction working with you. Or more accurately, you're now working aligned with IT, instead of against IT.

I hope this will help you guys understand a little bit better how the Law of Attraction works in your life and maybe it'll become more clear why I spend so much time on this Blog talking about "Thoughts, Beliefs and Desires". For most of you, that's the only thing still holding you back.



How Meditation Improves Your Health

Author:Seamus Anthony

Fact 1: Meditation assists healing. If you have any kind of health complaint at all then meditation can help you to get better.

Fact 2: Meditation can help you to stay healthy. If you are in good shape and want to stay this way, then regular meditation is a good idea.

Twenty years ago these would have been considered fringe ideas rather than facts, but not anymore...

Meditation Goes Mainstream

Meditation no longer belongs solely to the worlds of pseudo-science and spirituality, but has now been embraced by modern science as well.

Good western doctors know how meditation works to relax and heal. A recent survey of General Practitioners found that up to 80% of doctors had referred patients to practitioners of the three most popular Complementary Therapies - which included meditation, along with acupuncture and hypnosis.

Meditation has been extensively tested in laboratories around the world and is proven to help heal the body and mind of illnesses and disorders. As a result, more and more people are turning to meditation as a simple, cheap, and effective method of self-therapy.

In August 2003, Time Magazine (U.S. edition) ran a cover story on meditation in which they reported that over ten million U.S. citizens say they regularly practice some form of meditation, an increase of 100% in the ten years prior. Furthermore, Time went on to say that "it's becoming increasingly hard to avoid meditation. It's offered in schools, hospitals, law firms, government buildings, corporate offices, and prisons."

Meditation is recommended as a way to cure or improve many disorders. Key to this is the fact that meditation helps lower blood pressure and strengthens the immune system. It is effective both as means to prevent disease, and as a means to cure, manage or slow the effects of existing conditions. It is used as treatment for "heart conditions, AIDS, cancer, and infertility ... depression, hyperactivity, and Attention Deficit Disorder" (Time).

Eric Harrison, Australian meditation teacher and founder of The Perth Meditation Centre, claims to have received around a quarter of his 15,000-plus clients as referrals from the medical profession. In his book 'How Meditation Heals the Body and Mind' (1999, Perth Meditation Center), Harrison claims that an even wider array of ailments can be managed with meditation. He suggests that by initiating the popularly cited 'Relaxation Response', the body is able to ward off or effectively slow and manage the effects of not just high blood pressure, but insomnia, fatigue, headaches, gastro-intestinal problems, infertility, sexual problems, and anxiety attacks.

Another respected Australian meditation teacher, Dr Ian Gawler, who used meditation to defeat a diagnosed terminal cancer, also cites the Relaxation Response as being a powerful tool for self-healing (we'll look at exactly what the Relaxation Response is later in these articles). His work promoting meditation as therapy for cancer and other illnesses earned him an Order of Australia Medal. In his book 'Peace of Mind' (1987, Hill of Content) he says that meditation "rapidly and reliably brings immediate physical and psychological benefits."

Stress - The Dark Side of Our Connectivity Culture

Modern humans are, in the majority, perpetually stressed out. An article on depression in the Medical Journal Australia** recently cited that stress levels "...among people living a Western lifestyle have risen by approximately 45% over the past 30 years."

Practitioners of meditation believe this springs from the average person's inability to disconnect from the stress of past events or perceived future threats. Whilst walking down the street, a person may not be doing anything stressful in that moment but may nonetheless be highly agitated due to the tendency of the mind to constantly mull over past or future problems. This occurs even though none of these problems may have anything to do with walking down the street.

In short - we are a society of perpetual 'worry warts', and many people fail to recognize this as fact, or indeed simply lack the skills to do anything about it. Even those who would not be described as 'highly agitated' or 'chronically stressed' are often still afflicted by a subtle level of tension which inhibits the mind from switching back into the Relaxation Response.

Our modern culture of 24-hour connectivity has made this even worse. Even low-tech hippies like me still compulsively check work emails "just quickly" before dinner and get interrupted on weekends by work related calls. This might be part-and-parcel of an interesting and otherwise rewarding career, but nevertheless it takes its toll on our ability to deeply relax. If you are always contactable, then you are never really "switched-off", and yet, as you will see in my next two articles, this is a vital requirement in the quest for good health.

In the second post in this three-part series we will look at what the Relaxation Response is, how your body reacts to stress and why it's bad for you.

Seamus Anthony is a musician, writer and entrepreneur who lives in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, near Melbourne, Australia. You can check out more of his personal development writing at




How to Fortify Your Friendships

Author:Debbie Mandel

( - Do you find that your friendships are dwindling, using your fingers to count them? Perhaps, you are disappointed in the remaining friends that you still have and consider ending some of them. You might say that you don't care, "Good Riddance to bad rubbish!" However, you do care. You care deeply in that sensitive heart of yours. You might have read the latest research about how important friends are to your health. An interesting new study claims that lonely people feel colder than those who have warm friendships and in this economy who doesn't want to save money on heating bills?

It's time to take an honest, personal inventory: Is it them or is it you?

Look at some of these traits and see if any apply to you:
You have high expectations for friendships.
You have trouble accepting any criticism from others.
You criticize others - a lot.
You have become irritable.
You can't say no to anyone.
You give a lot and then feel angry afterwards.
You wear a mask to please others and they don't really know you.
Obviously, these statements will facilitate introspection, since I don't know your friends and perhaps you don't either. Do you know yourself? In my workshops I have seen a pattern emerge for lonely hearts: the betrayal and loss of one's best friend, the self. If you are unhappy with yourself and run away from being with yourself by distracting yourself with busyness, then how can you relate to a friend sharing intimacies? What confidences and vulnerabilities could you possibly share because haven't you lost your intimate relationship with yourself?

If you do not value yourself, won't many of your friendships become parasitic - where your friends take advantage of your time and money? You will be attracting this type of "friend" because you need to feel worthwhile as the go-to person. However, this depletes you as opposed to energizing you. Even if your friends do meet your needs (demands), when you are stressed, your perception shifts to the negative because of the adrenalin surge. Stress causes you to feel uneasy, hyper-vigilant and ready to fight or flee, which includes your friends. You begin to keep score about phone calls, cards and gifts, car pooling, etc. You find yourself growing sarcastic and gossiping about people. Could this be you?

Friendships inevitably change because you change. Note, that sometimes when you are successful, you lose a few friends. It is easier for people to befriend you when you are down, but to be your friend when you are a success is more difficult for them. Affirm them!

To restore your relationship balance, rediscover your personal rhythm. When your rhythm is more natural, you slide into step with others without much effort. Relationships grow easier as your relationship with yourself improves.

To replace or revitalize your treasure trove of friends, here are some questions to consider:
What common interests do you share?
Are you focused not only on talking, but listening?
Are you speaking naturally and honestly - being yourself?
Do you paraphrase their comments before you assert your opinion?
Do you ask questions which show interest like, "Tell me more about that"?

Do you stand too close? It's important to observe boundaries.
Do you maintain eye contact? It's hard to relate to a person not looking at you when he or she speaks.
Do you know the purpose of your conversation, or do you just ramble on? Do I want to persuade, sell, motivate, challenge, argue or create harmony?

Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit:



Our Life Journey: Break Free From Limiting Beliefs

Author: Evelyn Lim

Transformation usually occurs when you are able to break free of your limiting beliefs. Limting beliefs hold you back from being the best that you can be and from being open to unlimitied possibilities. One of the most empowering thing to realise is that your belief system can be changed. Many times, you probably feel as if your beliefs are fixed. You are dead sure that you are right and would stubbornly hold on to them. You feel outraged when someone dares challenge your "truths" and distort your reality. However, what you fail to see is the possibility that your beliefs may be flawed, giving you a false representation than what is truly the case.

Beliefs are essentially made up of thoughts. When you habitually think of the same thoughts and when they become "real" in your mind, they form your beliefs. Beliefs can be positive and empowering; or negative and limiting. Positive beliefs can propel you to greater heights, while negative ones can send you spiraling downwards!

Sadly, most of us, perhaps including yourself, grew up with several limiting beliefs. Perhaps it was that when you were young, you were told that you were lousy at art, music or dance. The beliefs became self fulfilling in a way because you gave up your dream in pursuing any one of these interests. If anything, when you were 5 years old, it was easy to accept what an adult or an authorative figure tell you.

"People can, and do believe all kinds of utterly idiotic thoughts." - Quote by L Michael Hall.

What Are Limiting Thoughts and Beliefs

According to a research into beliefs done by Dilts and DeLozier (both NLP innovators and authors), there are 3 main ways that people limit themselves. They are:

Hopelessness. You feel as if there is no hope because you do believe it is possible to achieve anything.

Helplessness. You believe that something is possible but you are not personally capable of achieving it.

Worthlessness. You do not believe that you deserve to attain success whatsoever.

Ask yourself if you have any of these limiting thoughts:

"I am allergic to homework." (See above photo illustration.)
"It is hard to reach the top".
"Others can do it better than me."
"It is difficult to be successful."
"Trying something new is too scary."
"It's impossible to lose weight."
"I am just not genetically wired to be creative."
"I am unattractive and cannot attract a good man (or woman) into my life."

You are a victim in life, when you refused to let go of your negative thoughts. In the face of a financial disaster, you believe that you are not worthy of having money. When you find yourself with no friends, your perception is that "no one loves me" or that "it is hard to make friends". When you encounter problems at work, you say that "I am not good enough". (More examples of mental viruses that prevent you from attaining success can be found here.)

On a more horrifying scale, terrorists were motivated by their beliefs, to kill and die with others, by hijacking and crashing two American aeroplnes into the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001. And it was the belief that terrorism must be defeated at all costs that prompted President Bush to respond by attacking Iraq and Afghanistan.

How Are Beliefs Formed?

- Childhood Imprints. The imprint stage is usually up to 7 years of age. Major events can affect your view of the world.

- The environment in which you grew up. Your parents, your school and the community that you are exposed to play a part in shaping your belief system. How you encounter difficulties now is largely determined by the stories that you have been told as a child.

- Modelling. You may unconsciouly take on the beliefs of someone you deeply admire. If the model in your life says so, then it must be so.

- Significant Experiences. You may go through certain life-altering experiences that shape your beliefs. If the experiences turn out to be triumphs, you are likely to believe that anything is possible. If the experiences are horrid ones and your attitude is negative, you are likely to adopt a lot of disempowering thoughts and fears.

A Story On Beliefs

Perhaps one of the most-told story about the power of beliefs was provided by Abraham Maslow. A patient refused to eat because he believed that he was a corpse. In exasperation, the pyschiatrist finally asked him if corpses bled. The patient said that he did not believe so.

The psychiatrist then proceeded to prick him with a pin, after asking his permission to. At which point, the patient started to bleed. In amazement, he declared, "Wow...corpses do bleed after all!"

Why Do You Need To Break Free From Limiting Beliefs

Explained using NLP terms, beliefs are perceptual filters. They determine how you view the world. They also act as confirmations in your reality of the environment. However, problems arise when they are flawed, distorted or steeped in unhelpful ways. Only when you become consciously aware about your assumptions, can there be the possibility of you breaking free.

Whatever makes up your beliefs, becomes true for you. Thoughts that are disempowering wears you down and puts you in a constant struggle. Instead of a smooth easy path, you find yourself facing more difficulties than others. With limiting beliefs, you are thwarting the process of personal growth for yourself. According to the Law of Attraction, it will also be hard for you to attract the outcomes that you desire, since you are not in alignment with your inner Being (and also, the Universe).

It is crucial that you deal with these self sabotaging thoughts. When the beliefs are deep rooted, they are usually in the form of black or white thinking. This simply means that you think in terms of extreme pole ends such as "should" and "should never", "can" and "cannot"; and "a piece of cake" and "way impossible". For myself, my pet words have been "never" and "always", which limited me in several situations in the past.

The life that you create is largely determined by your beliefs. When you hold on to your beliefs that you are not capable of achieving something, you do not try hard enough and sabotage your efforts in some way. You also prevent yourself from finding evidence to disprove them.

What you perhaps do not realise often enough is that when you do learn how to do the things that you initially have no faith over, your beliefs start to change. Suddenly, from a feeling of failure and hopelessness, you feel more positive and empowered! The paradigm shift that you experience can be a very liberating experience! And when you do have this shift, you experience a Oneness with your inner Being. You are in alignment with who you really are. The Law of Attraction works in your favor and best at this stage!

"That a man can change himself, improve himself, re-create himself, control his environment, and master his own destiny is the conclusion of every mind who is wide-awake to the power of right thought in constructive action."
- Quote by Larsen

Be Open To Change

Let go of your rigid beliefs. Be flexible. Open yourself up to more possibilities.

Your belief system is not cast in stone. Recognise that it can be changed. Consider stepping out of your comfort zone and make room for more a more positive and healthy belief system. When someone challenges your beliefs and instead of feeling righteous or the need to defend your stand rightaway, take a step backwards. Question your beliefs. Ask yourself if your beliefs are flawed. Put yourself in the other person's shoes and see if you may have unconsciously assumed certain things.

Admittedly, certain beliefs may have served the purpose of protecting you from harm while you were young. However they may not be thoroughly relevant now. An appropriate question to ask yourself: Is the belief still a useful one for you?

Here is a good illustration. In your younger days, your family may have taught you the virtues of hoarding because there was never enough food to pass around. Into adulthood, you continue to hold on to the belief that resources are scarce, even thought it may not be truly the case right now. You become selfish and miserly, always counting the pennies. This feeling of scarcity also affects your ability to give love, because you suffer from a sense of lack in your life.

If you find yourself being held back by your limiting thoughts, recognise that it is possible to change your belief patterns. In fact, the more tenaciously you hold on to a belief, the more it signifies something valuable that you may need to let go of.

Your beliefs are made up of thoughts, which are essentially energy. In metaphysical terms, they are statements of desires to to the Universe. As a human being, you originate thought in a creative process. So think of it this way: If you can create thoughts, you can definitely change them. It would be useful to think and behave in a way that is in alignment with your inner Being. Your energy vibration shifts, allowing you to effectively attract the outcomes that you so desire, with much less struggle.

"Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your beliefs." - Quote by Dr Maxwell Maltz

My Life Journey and Yours: Transcend Early Limiting Beliefs

In a healing session with my therapist this morning, I wanted to seek more clarity about my life's purpose. While I already knew that my purpose was to be in the area of self help, I was hoping for clear answers on where my path was leading to. A motivational speaker? An author to a life-changing book? What? I wanted to see if was possible to know a clear end state.

Instead, I got this revelation from my Higher Guides: To Know the Purpose Now is to Defeat the Purpose. The message, it seems, is that my purpose is to be found in walking my life journey itself. I am already on the right path; part of what I need to do is to transcend my early limitations. It appears that I am here to recognise my magnificence and to explore my divinity.

What an interesting insight! With this answer, I am pretty sure it would apply to you too - Break Free from Your Limiting Beliefs and Work Towards Being One with Your Inner Being!




How Do We Really Judge Other People?

Author:Jeff at My Super Charged Life

We all like to believe that we judge people fairly. It is obviously frowned upon in our society to think that a person is discriminated against based on external factors. However, study after study seems to reiterate that we do make such judgements about people. The first impressions we get of people are very strong and it is often difficult for us to change our minds.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we usually draw a conclusion about a person from their looks. This then affects how we treat that person. This is obviously unfair and deserves our utmost attention to correct. We have to be honest with ourselves about how we discriminate and make a conscious effort to correct this bad behavior.

External factors that we so easily use to judge people.

It is very easy to jump to conclusions about people based strictly on how they look. We all do it even though we don't like to admit it. Here are some ways that we judge people that seem unfair.

  • The color of a person's skin.
    It has been shown time and again that people favor others based on the color of their skin. One study found that light skinned blacks were more likely to be described as intelligent, attractive, or wealthy while darker skinned blacks were often labeled as poor, criminal or tough/aggressive. We often don't even realize or acknowledge that we hold such biases.
  • A person's weight.
    We've probably all heard or seen the stories about skinny actresses dressing up in fat suits and finding that people blow them off because they appear obese. This test has been conducted many times. There truly is a weight bias in America. Overweight people are often seen as undisciplined, disorganized, and unattractive. They are discriminated against when competing for jobs, made fun of on television, and rejected by the trendy. Does a person's weight really mean so much?
  • The clothes on a person's back.
    I remember feeling pressure to wear the right thing in high school and although the discrimination is much more subtle now, I think it still exists. Right or wrong, people judge you on the clothes you wear. We jump to conclusions about a person's success, professionalism and even talent based on their wardrobe.
  • The age of a person.
    America is growing older, but as a society we fail to respect our elders. I don't know if it is because we all are in denial of growing older or what, but those above a certain age are often treated as though they don't have a brain. Few people in the United States seem to give older folks credit for their wisdom and experience. Instead, we judge them harshly and chuckle behind their backs about their failings.
  • Whether a person is male or female.
    It is true that in certain situations it pays to be one sex over the other. There are jobs where biases against one sex clearly exist. Women have long felt that men often get paid more to do the same work even at executive levels. At a more practical level, my wife realizes that she judges people based on their sex. She tells me she is more likely to open our front door if a visiting stranger is a woman versus a man. How does this bias spill over into other areas of judgement?

Is it possible to stop judging people on external factors?

Clearly it is difficult to discern when our personal biases are impacting our judgement. These biases are burned into our psyche at an early age. Our minds tend to quickly jump to conclusions about people with little real evidence.

However, discrimination of this type is not good for us. It robs us of opportunities to build relationships with healthy, loving, intelligent people. We have a choice and I believe it is possible for us to override these biases if we consciously choose to do so. It takes effort, but this is what separates humans from other animals. We can choose our behavior. We do not have to react without choice to our tendencies.

A better list to use to judge people.

Rather than relying on false first impressions, it is better to suppress this urge and delve deeper into more accurate indicators of a person's true worth. Here is a better list of questions to consider when sizing up another person.

  • Are they a person of integrity?
    A person's actions should match their words. How do they act when they think no one is watching? If they don't do the right thing, then you may want to avoid getting involved in a relationship. A person should be trustworthy. They should have a proven track record of honesty, authenticity and openness. They may look good on the outside, but if they lack integrity, then trouble is likely not far over the horizon.
  • How do they treat others close to them?
    A person should demonstrate they care about other people in their life. You want to look at how they react when others are ill, in need, or have a problem. This is a great time to get a glimpse into what kind of heart the person has. Are they involved in anything bigger than themselves? Do they make any kind of meaningful contribution to the world for which they volunteer or earn very little? These kinds of actions will tell you something real about a person's worth.
  • Where have they applied their skill and talent?
    Look at what a person has actually done with their life to get an idea of who they really are. Where did they go to school? What did they study? What are they passionate about? Engage them in a conversation on a topic they enjoy. This will expose their intelligence. Listen for their sense of humor and wit. Find out what they consider their greatest accomplishment. These things will reveal a lot about a person.

A person is more than their outsides reveal.

It takes more time and effort to really get to know a person before judging them. I'm not sure if we can totally override our preconceptions, but I think we must try to quiet them while we delve deeper. The color of a person's skin shouldn't matter nor should their age, sex, weight, or what clothes they wear. There are many interesting, smart, and valuable people that don't fit the mold that our society has created. It is up to us to decide how we will judge people.

How do you judge people?




How To Live The Good Life

Author: Marc

Living the good life means different things to different people. There is, however, a slightly ambiguous, mutual understanding. "The good life" is the life that you would like to live broken down to its most basic form. It deals with the simple pleasures that make you happy, the compassionate deeds you perform, the personal goals you strive to achieve, the relationships you nurture and the legacy you leave behind. Sincere personal fulfillment is generally the collective end result.

"The good life" is also about appreciating all your time, not just your leisure time. Far too many people get caught up in the mad rush of a corporate lifestyle and grow completely numb to the little moments, the simple building blocks of time that make life magical. Time, after all, is the single greatest element of life.

This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle; wonderful, magical and more, to whosoever will think of it.
- Thomas Carlyle

  • Slow Down - Urgency and haste instantly diminish accuracy, awareness and happiness. There is a big difference between getting things done and getting things done effectively.
  • Appreciate Life's Simple Pleasures - The best things in life are free. From a quiet lakeside sunset to sleeping in on a rainy day, life's greatest simple pleasures can only be purchased with mindful awareness.
  • Foster and Nurture Relationships - A happy, fulfilling life is a life shared with family and friends.
  • Be Self Sufficient - Freedom is the greatest gift. Self sufficiency is the greatest freedom.
  • Learn About Different Things - In life, a jack of all trades is far more equipped than a master of only one. Combining the two is the key.
  • Concentrate on Your Passions - True wealth comes naturally to those who are passionate about their endeavors.
  • Travel to Distant Places - There are places in this world that will open your mind to realities you've never imagined in your wildest dreams. These realities will inject your conscience with healthy, new perspectives.
  • Talk to Strangers - Quite simply, this is how you will meet great people.
  • Exercise Your 5 Senses - Sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Each provides a gateway to rewarding personal experiences.
  • Use What You Have - Success is not the byproduct of limitless resources. Success happens when you stretch the limits of the available resources.
  • Assist Others - What goes around comes around. Nuff said.
  • Be Clear on Your Goals - You will never get where you want to go if you don't know what you want.
  • Make a Decision - Indecision is the leading cause of missed opportunity and wasted time.
  • Practice General Time Management - Trying to achieve your goals without doing a little time planning is like sailing the open ocean without a compass and map.
  • Leave Time for Spontaneous Excursions - Opportunity sometimes knocks at unexpected times. Make sure you have enough flexibility in your schedule to respond accordingly.
  • Educate Yourself on the Facts - Ignorance is only bliss in a vacuum. In the real world you will eventually be confronted with the facts, and by then it may`be too late. Be aware of reality, get your facts straight and make educated decisions.
  • Think More, Talk Less - The more you think and the less you talk, the more you will learn and the less you will miss.
  • Own Up to Your Actions - Either you own up to your actions or your actions will ultimately own you.
  • Keep Your Promises - Not doing so guarantees loneliness and failure.
  • Always Find the Positive Lesson - Every negative outcome holds a positive lesson. Finding it is the key to greatness.
  • Forget Perfection, Find Satisfaction - Perfect is the enemy of good. The idea of perfection is based primarily on personal opinion, circumstance and flexibility. Instead of searching for perfection, find something that satisfies your needs.
  • Eat Clean - Never doubt the old adage "you are what you eat".
  • Sleep Well - A tired mind is inefficient and unhappy.
  • Laugh - Some of the most memorable moments in your life will be moments spent in laughter.
  • Be Here Now - Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. Don't miss it.



Using The Power Of The Mind For Success And Prosperity

Author: Jules Hawk

Looking back through history, it is evident that the power of the mind has been known for aeons. Many ancient civilizations show evidence of there knowledge. Unfortunately, some of the ancient knowledge has been lost over the many years, but it is now being rediscovered.

It is much easier to take control over your life than you think. Often times we mould ourselves to be what we think others think we are. By imagining yourself as a successful and prosperous person you can actually become successful. By using positive affirmations we are able to become who we always wanted to be.

The most successful people have many of the same attributes in common. Most successful people are goal oriented, are very ambitious and think positively. Persistence and determination are also found in most successful people. However, true success cannot be achieved without happiness. Happiness can be created by positive thinking. When you think positively about yourself and the world around you then you have the ability to take control of your life.

What we think has a direct effect on where we go in life. If you are constantly thinking negative thoughts then your life will go towards negativity. When things are constantly going wrong for you this is generally because you are thinking very negatively. This can be a hard cycle to break but is something that you have to do to achieve success.

A money mindset for prosperity can include the use of success affirmations. It is best to review affirmations daily and early morning upon waking, and late evening before sleep are good time to access the deeper and more powerful regions of the subconscious mind.

If you want to break the cycle of negative thinking you can try an experiment. Choose a day to change your thought habits When you wake up you will only focus on positive things. Be happy that the sun is out or that you have a warm home. Every minute you need to think about good things and dwell on the positive. Have gratitude for all the wonderful things in your day.

By keeping negative thoughts at bay you will then only have room for positive thinking. This will help to create a positive environment around you. At the end of the day think back on the day and you will realize how much thinking positively helped. As you increase the your positive energy vibration you attract more positive things into your experiences.

It can take time to really start to think positively throughout the day. It is a learned behavior just like thinking negatively is a learned behavior. That is why we use affirmations to help re-train our brains to think positively. Before you know it your brain will be thinking positively on a subconscious level and you won't even realize it. It will take a lot of time and hard work though to achieve this level, but the benefits are so worth it.

As your mind starts to think more positive thoughts the negative thoughts will disappear. This will also be reflected in your life and the people around you. When you have a positive aura you will attract things to you. People will notice a change in you, and people will start to view you differently.

If you are stuck in a negative thinking rut then it is time that you use affirmations to break the cycle. Start off each day with positive affirmations and before you go to bed at night. By practicing thinking positively you will get better and better at it. Before you know it your mind will be trained to think positive thoughts. This will have an affect on your whole life.

You can develop your money mindset for prosperity by using prosperity affirmations. It is becoming more and more understood how the power of the mind can attract things to us. By using prosperity affirmations we can attract wealth and abundance into our lives.

Affirmations are like excercies for the mind to develop its happiness and manifestation muscle. Affirmations work almost as a magic potion if you will that can bring about peace of mind, happiness, success, freedom from worries and spiritual prosperity.

The human brain has great capacity and we only use a small percentage of our brain power in our daily lives. Our brains are never fully utilized because we are not programmed in the right way. However, through affirmations we can open up parts of our potential that weren't there before.

In the book Rich Dad Poor Dad it is explained that what a child learns during childhood is what has the greatest influence on his or her life. Therefore, by saying affirmations at a very young age you can get more of what you desire. And affirmations can also be used to help change the programs that were embedded in the mind in previous years.

If you did not start at a very young age you can still start now with prosperity affirmations. You are able to reprogram your brain and therefore your life. Once you continually say your positive affirmations you will believe them on a conscious level and implant them at a subconscious level. You will find that in daily activities you will be putting these affirmations into practice.

When you achieve the mental state of believing that you want prosperity in your life, that you can have prosperity in your life, and that you are deserving of prosperity in your life, then you will be able to attain it.

The longer you think about being prosperous and repeat your affirmations in your head the quicker this will be able to come true. But it is important also to feel the emotion of the attainment of your outcomes. Rote repetition of words alone is not enough. Feel the feeling as if you have already attained the desired outcome.

Repeating affirmations is essentially programming your mind with positive thoughts. So many people dwell on the negative and it is these negative thoughts that govern their lives. If you can identify these negative thoughts and other factors that are preventing you from achieving prosperity then you will be able to control them better.

The more you believe in your ability to do great things and gain prosperity the more able you will be to actually achieve it. The power of your mind will allow you to overcome any obstacles no matter how big.

It is easy to let negative thoughts control our lives. A person who is constantly thinking about losing money and is afraid of it reflects this in their actions. This is why it is so important to control your thoughts and emotion in order to gain prosperity.

The words that you say to yourself everyday are what your mind will believe. If you keep all negative thoughts away then your mind will only be able to create a reality out of positive thoughts.

If you notice a negative thought or statement crossing your mind, just say Cancel That and as your say it, you can release that negative thought.

You can use a variety of techniques to help you with your affirmations. One technique is autosuggestions which are specially targeted affirmations. These are posters, audio messages or visual clippings that you can surround yourself with. This way you will be thinking about your prosperity all the time. Be sure that your prosperity affirmations have only to do with you and do not try to manipulate other people 's lives, even towards apparently positive outcomes.

Keep your affirmations in the present tense. If you are stating your affirmations with future tense they will always be reamining out there in the future. Bring your positive outcomes into the present by using present tense statements with your positive affirmations.



5 Ways To Calm Your Thinking And Deal With Adversity

Author: My Super Charged Life

Life is going to throw us some curve balls. There is no question about it. We are going to have to face some tough times. If you have lived more than a few years, then you have probably had to deal with some adversity in your life. How you handle adverse situations will determine a lot about how your life turns out.

Randy Pausch taught us a lot about adversity.

A great example of this is Randy Pausch. Randy could have curled up in a ball and given up when he learned that he had pancreatic cancer, but he didn't. Instead, he decided to live out the days he had remaining with the best attitude he could muster. As a result, he made a difference for himself, his family, and millions of others that have watched, heard, and read his Last Lecture.

Randy inspired numerous people to achieve their dreams. What an incredible legacy to leave and he did it all in spite of the cancer that was killing him. What kinds of things helped Randy handle his adversity so well? Although Randy didn't exactly put it in the same words, I think he would agree with the ideas below.

Survival skills to help you weather adversity.

Staying alive in an adventure survival situation depends on a number of factors, but researchers are discovering that a lot of it has to do with the way a person thinks. You have to be able to stay calm and think clearly despite the stress if you want to be a survivor instead of a statistic. These same skills will translate to help us handle other types of stressful situations.

Recently, I read a great article about Everyday Survival in National Geographic Adventure magazine. In this article, Laurence Gonzales points out that things like character, emotion, personality, thinking style, and ways of viewing the world contribute significantly to the way people survive to be rescued.

I 'd like to highlight a few of the things mentioned in the article and how I think these can help us cope with any adversity in life.

  • Do the right next thing.
    Survivors have to be able to break down complex situations into smaller, more manageable tasks. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! The smaller the steps you take in a difficult situation, the better. This allows you to build confidence and regain your composure. A little success can go a long way toward helping you to regain your senses. The article points out that even unassociated tasks can help restore more organized thinking. For instance, when a problem situation arises you might do a little house work. This will help you calm yourself and restore some order to your thinking. Once your brain is back on track you will make better decisions about your next move.
  • Deny denial.
    One of the first stages of grief and other forms of adversity is usually denial. We refuse to accept that bad things are happening to us. This denial can be detrimental to a quick recovery. When we fail to accept our reality, we delay taking positive action to recover from the circumstances. My optimism makes me especially susceptible to this. I do not want to believe that bad things are happening. When my home was being threatened by a tornado, I didn't want to believe it was going to hit us. If I had continued in this denial, then I might not have taken cover soon enough. We have to learn to recognize when we are denying the reality of our situation and move past it quickly.
  • Trust your instincts.
    Our brains are able to gather and process a lot of information. In crucial moments, our bodies automatically adapt very rapidly prioritizing resources where they are likely to be needed to survive. In these moments, learn to trust your instincts. Listen to that small voice in the back of your head. Instead, we often let our emotions take over. We convince ourselves to do some really dumb things because of fear. Generally, we would be much better off to trust our instincts right from the beginning. Intuition can go a long way toward saving your skin and helping you to cope with adversity.
  • Know Plan B.
    When attempting a risky undertaking, always have a bailout plan. In business, we call this an exit strategy. You should have this plan figured out before you need it. Define the parameters by which you will decide to bail, discuss it with any partners, and then stick to your plan. Once things get heated, you may get caught up in the momentum of the situation which usually seriously impairs judgement. In its simplest form, you can witness this by watching the television show Deal or No Deal. Contestants take unnecessary risks because they get carried away by their emotions and fail to follow logic. A well thought out bailout plan might save you from a catastrophe. This is why firemen encourage us to have fire drills!
  • Surrender, but don't give up.
    This is a way of saying, "Accept your situation, but don't give up." I have heard many people profess that in adverse conditions we should examine our situation, imagine the worst possible outcome, and then accept it, but don't give in to it. By accepting the worst possible outcome, we can relax. In a survival or terminal illness situation, many learn to accept that they may die. Once they do, they find a sense of peace about it. They stop trying to control things they have no power over and focus on those actions they can take. This actually increases their chance of survival. It sounds almost contradictory, but by accepting your limitations, you diffuse the emotions that can work against you.

Adversity is tough, but you can survive!

In adverse situations, we need to calm ourselves down so we can think clearly and make good decisions. This is crucial. You can train yourself for the big event, but applying these ideas in smaller scenarios. Use these same techniques when difficult times occur at work. By doing this, you will build confidence and train yourself so that you automatically react in the right way in a more intense situation. This will significantly increase your chances of surviving anything life can throw at you!

How do you deal with adversity?



Trust Your Intuition

Author: Brian Tracy

The Essence of Business Success
The essence of a successful business is really quite simple. It is your ability to offer a product or service that people will pay for at a price sufficiently above your costs, ideally three or four or five times your cost, thereby giving you a profit that enables you to buy and to offer more products and services.

Add Value in Some Way
The key to a successful business is to add value by bringing the product or service from another place to where you're selling it, or by creating the product or service and selling it at a price higher than your total cost of production. You become wealthy by either selling a few products or services at high prices, or by selling many products or services at lower prices with smaller profits.

The Best Strategy of All
The best strategy, of course, is to aim to sell a larger volume with a smaller profit on each item. Most great fortunes in America have been made selling large quantities of products over a wide area, thereby broadening the market and reducing your dependency on just a few customers.

Go From the Known to the Unknown
Early in my business career, I learned another key rule for business success and it's simply this. Start off in an established field and only experiment with new products or services out of your profits from your established business.

Success Leaves Tracks: Follow Them
One reason many entrepreneurs fail is that they have grandiose ideas of being the first into the market with a brand new, untried, unproven product. Don't you fall into this trap. As you begin to magnetize your mind with visual images of wealth and success, as you begin looking everywhere for profitable ideas, you will begin to attract into your life the people and opportunities you need to achieve your goals. I've learned from long experience that you must learn to trust your intuition, your gut feeling concerning any business decision.

Flood Your Mind With Ideas
Read every publication, explore every opportunity. Remain open to all ideas. But in the final analysis, trust yourself. Trust your inner voice to tell you the right thing to do. All great businesspeople become great by listening to their inner guide. It will never fail to lead you to your highest good and heaven help the person who refuses to listen to it.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do to start a successful business by trusting your intuition before you make a final decision:

First, always remember that the key to success in business is your ability to add value to your customers by providing them with something they want and need at a price that enables you to make a profit. Keep your thinking focused on the benefit that your customer will enjoy from what you are offering.

Second, get all the information you possibly can. Speak to as many people as possible. And finally, sit down quietly by yourself and listen to your intuition before you make the final decision. This is the best investment of all.

"Brian Tracy is the most listened to audio author on personal and business success in the world today. His fast-moving talks and seminars on leadership, sales, managerial effectiveness and business strategy are loaded with powerful, proven ideas and strategies that people can immediately apply to get better results in every area. For more information, please visit Brian on the web at:"



Optimist Creed

Author: Christian D Larson

Promise yourself...............

"To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace
of mind.

"To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to
every person you meet.

"To make all your friends feel that there is
something worthwhile in them.

"To look at the sunny side of everything and make
your optimism come true.

"To think only of the best, to work only for the
best, and to expect only the best.

"To be just as enthusiastic about the success of
others as you are about your own.

"To forget the mistakes of the past and press on
to the greater achievements of the future.

"To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and
give every living creature you meet a smile.

"To give so much time to the improvement of
yourself that you have no time to criticize

"To be too large for worry, too noble for anger,
too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the
presence of trouble.

"To think well of yourself and to proclaim this
fact to the world, not in loud words but in great

"To live in the faith that the whole world is on
your side so long as you are true to the best
that is in you."



Thinking Like a Winner

Author: Brian Tracy

After studying the research done in cognitive psychology over the last 25 years, I've come to a simple conclusion: The degree to which you feel in control of your life will largely determine your level of mental well-being, your peace of mind, your happiness and the quality of your interactions with people. Cognitive psychologists call this a "sense of control." It is the foundation of happiness and high achievement. And the only thing in the world over which you have complete control is the content of your conscious mind. If you decide to exert that control and keep your mind on what you want, even when you are surrounded by difficult circumstances, your future potential will be unlimited.

Your aim should be to work on yourself and your thinking until you reach the point where you absolutely, positively believe yourself to be a total winner in anything you sincerely want to accomplish. When you reach the point where you feel unshakable confidence in yourself and your abilities, nothing will be able to stop you. And this state of self-confidence comes from, first, understanding the functioning of your remarkable mind and, second, practicing the techniques of mental fitness over and over, until you become a completely optimistic, cheerful and positive person.

Italian psychologist Dr. Roberto Assagioli left us two remarkable pieces of writing, Psychosynthesis and The Act of Will. In those books, Assagioli brought his remarkable intelligence to bear on the entire subject of human potential and human happiness. He studied the mind and personality for his entire lifetime, and he came up with several ideas that are profoundly simple and powerfully effective in helping you and me to lead happier, more satisfying lives. In The Act of Will, he laid out a series of psychological principles, or laws, that can be very helpful to you in understanding the way your mind works and how you can take control of it.

Assagioli's first law explains that the third of Assagioli's laws is that images or pictures, either from within or from the outside, will trigger thoughts and feelings consistent with them. In turn, those thoughts and feelings will trigger behaviors that lead to the realization of the pictures.

For example, when you become absolutely convinced that you are a total winner and you are meant to be a complete success in anything that you really want to do, every picture or image that you see that somehow represents winning to you will trigger thoughts of what you could do to achieve that same state. The picture will also trigger the feeling of excitement that will motivate you to take action.

A friend of mine who was a sales manager had a simple technique to make new salespeople successful, and it worked in more than 90 percent of cases. When he hired a salesperson, he would take that person to a nearby Cadillac dealership and force the person to trade in his current car on a new Cadillac. The payments on the Cadillac would be substantially more than the new salesperson had ever imagined paying, and he would strongly resist getting into the commitment. However, the sales manager would insist until, finally, the salesperson bought the new Cadillac and drove it home.

No matter how unsure or insecure the salesperson felt, when his spouse and friends saw the new Cadillac and he experienced the pleasure of driving it down the street, he began to think about himself and to see himself as a big success selling his product. And in almost all cases, it turned out to be true. Those salespeople went on to become great successes in their field.

Take every opportunity you can to surround yourself with images of what success means to you: Get brochures on new cars; get magazines containing pictures of beautiful homes, beautiful clothes and other things that you could obtain as a result of achieving the success that you are aiming for. Each time you see or visualize those images, you trigger the thoughts, feelings and actions that make them materialize in your life.

Assagioli's fourth law is that thoughts, feelings and images trigger the words and actions consistent with them. This is another way of saying that your inner impressions will motivate you to pursue the outer activities that will move you toward the achievement of your goals.

Assagioli's fifth law is that your actions will trigger thoughts, emotions and images consistent with them. That has been referred to as the Law of Reversibility. It is one of the most important success principles ever discovered.

Simply, that law says that you are more likely to act yourself into feeling than you are to feel yourself into acting. On many days, you wake up feeling not as positive and optimistic as you would like. However, if you act as if you already have the feeling that you desire, the action itself will trigger the feelings and the thoughts and mental pictures consistent with them.

In her book Wake Up and Live, Dorothea Brande said that the most important success secret she ever discovered was this: "Act as if it were impossible to fail, and it shall be."

In the book, she goes on to explain that you need to be very clear about the success that you desire, and then simply act as if you already had it. Act as if your success were inevitable. Act as if your achievement were guaranteed. Act as if there were no possibility of failure.

The wonderful thing is this: You can control your actions easier than you can control your feelings. If you choose to exert control over your actions, those actions will have a "back flow" effect and trigger the feelings, thoughts and images that are consistent with those of the person you want to be, of the person who lives the life you want to live.

There is a principle called the Law of Expression, which says that whatever is expressed is impressed. This means that whatever you say, whatever you express to another in your conversation, is impressed into your subconscious mind.
The reverse of this law is that whatever is impressed will, in turn, be expressed. It will come out. Your conversation reveals an enormous amount about you, the kind of person you are and the things that you believe about yourself and others.

In identifying those laws, one of the most important facts I discovered is that your brain is a multisensory, multistimulated, extremely complex, interactive organ. Everything that you think, imagine, say, do or feel triggers everything else, like a chain reaction, or like a series of electrical impulses going out in all directions and turning on lights everywhere.

Let's say that you are driving down the street, listening to the radio and thinking about a variety of things. Suddenly, you hear a song that you associate with an old romance that you had many years before. Instantaneously, your brain reacts and re-creates all the sensations that were present when you were with that person a long time ago. You instantly get a mental picture of the person. You see and remember where you were and what you were doing when the song was playing back then. You feel the emotion that you experienced at that time. You recall what was going on around you-the sounds, the season, the lights, the people and the activities. You temporarily forget whatever you were thinking about and are transported, in a split second, back across the years. Sometimes, the emotion that you recall is so intense that it brings you close to tears or fills you with happiness.

That is the way your mind works. By understanding that, you can make your mind work for you as a powerful engine of growth and development. You can consciously surround yourself with a series of sensory inputs that bombard you with messages and cause you to think and feel like a total winner.

Thinking like a winner is the first step to living like a winner. You do become what you think about most of the time. You are not what you think you are; but what you think, you are. In fact, you are what you most intensely believe. And if you think like a winner and do the things that winners do to keep their minds positive and optimistic, you will be a winner.

"Brian Tracy is the most listened to audio author on personal and business success in the world today. His fast-moving talks and seminars on leadership, sales, managerial effectiveness and business strategy are loaded with powerful, proven ideas and strategies that people can immediately apply to get better results in every area. For more information, please visit Brian on the web at:"



Transforming Bad Habits

Author: Brian Tracy

Your habits have been developed from early childhood as the result of things that you have chosen to do, or not to do. Your entire life is the result of your past choices and decisions. And like all of us, you probably have some bad habits that have held you back from your true potential. But here's the good news: Since you are always free to choose, you can make new choices and decisions today that will determine what happens to you in the future.

One of your main objectives in life is to develop new habits and make them your masters, while at the same time overriding and setting aside old habits that may be interfering with your progress.

You have two major types of habits. You have habits that revolve around your desires and you have habits that revolve around your fears. The habits that revolve around your desires for health, happiness, financial independence, and success are life-enhancing. They are the habits that have brought you the success you enjoy today. The habits that revolve around your fears, on the other hand, act as brakes on your potential. They hold you back. They interfere with your success. They trip you up on a regular basis. They cause you to sell yourself short and settle for far less than your potential.

Dr. Martin Seligman, in his book, Learned Optimism, wrote about the chief psychological phenomenon of modern life. He called it "learned helplessness." Based on his 25 years of research, he discovered that virtually every person has one or more areas where they feel helpless and unable to do something that they really want to do.

Seligman's research demonstrated how animals can be trained to feel that they are helpless. In one example, he put a dog into a cage with a glass wall in the middle that separated the dog from a bowl of food. The dog was hungry and tried to get at the food but kept banging his nose on the glass. After several hours, Seligman removed the glass. And what happened then? The dog, who was still hungry, sat only a few inches away from the food and never even attempted to eat it. The dog had learned to feel helpless. The had become so convinced that he was incapable of getting to the food that even when the obstacles were removed, he just sat there with his stomach growling.

There are dozens of experiments like this. In every case, it is clear that animals, and human beings for that matter, learn to feel helpless. They develop habits of thought that hold them back from reaching their full potential.

If someone were to tell you that you could learn to type 30, 40, or 50 words per minute by taking a typing course and practicing an hour each day for the next few months, you would shrug your shoulders and say, "Of course!" Everybody knows that you can acquire a particular physical skill by learning how it is done and then repeating it over and over again until it becomes automatic.

But when it comes to mental habit patterns, most people are a little baffled. They don't realize that you can learn mental habit patterns by following exactly the same process that you would use to learn physical habit patterns. And mental habit patterns will have a far greater impact on your life and happiness than any physical habit pattern ever could.

Once you have recognized the old, negative habit patterns that do not serve your purposes, you can determine what new habit patterns you would like to adopt. Begin this process by looking around and determining the people that you admire the most, both living and dead. Ask yourself: What qualities do they have? Which of their characteristics do you most wish to have for yourself? Then make a plan to incorporate those ideal habits into your own character and personality.

You know that you can shape a piece of clay into any desired form. You can also shape your own character and personality by simply deciding to do so. I won't say that it is easy. Changing your beliefs and attitudes about yourself is one of the most difficult undertakings you will ever face. But it is definitely possible and achievable if you dedicate the necessary time and effort.

How long does it take to develop a new habit pattern? It depends on how complex the habit pattern is. You can develop a simple habit pattern in 14 to 21 days. For example, if you want to begin getting up half an hour earlier so that you can plan and organize your day, it might take just two to three weeks to develop the habit. If you want to develop a new habit pattern of behavior that does deeper into your character, it might take several months or even a year or more. The most important point is that, no matter how long it takes, the end result is achievable if you are really determined.

The habits of success have been studied by the great thinkers and philosophers for at least 2,500 years. After personally studying the subject for more than 30 years, I have found that the very best people have the very best habits. Based on these findings, I have identified seven habits that you need to develop if you want to perform at your very maximum in everything you do.

The first is goal orientation. You need to become a habitual goal setter, and dedicate yourself to working from clear, written goals every day of your life.
The second habit you need to develop for success is result orientation. Result orientation is made up of two practices. The first is the practice of continuously learning so that you become better at what you do. The second practice is that of time management, which means setting very clear priorities on what you do and then concentrating single-mindedly on the most valuable use of your time.

The third major habit you need to develop is that of action orientation. This is really the most important habit for material success. It is the ability to get on with the job and get it done fast. Fast tempo in whatever you do is essential to your success. You need to overcome procrastination, push aside your fears and launch 100% toward the achievement of your most important goals.

The fourth habit you need is people orientation. This is your decision to cultivate within yourself the habits of patience, kindness, compassion, and understanding. Virtually all of your happiness in life will come from your ability to get along well with other people. And getting along well with other people is based on a set of habits that you have learned, or failed to learn, from childhood. But it is never too late to become a wonderful human being in your relationships with other. The more you practice being a truly excellent person in your relationship with others, the more you will internalize those qualities and actually become that person.

The fifth habit you need for great success is health orientation. This means that you must make a conscious effort to eat the right foods in the right proportions. You must exercise on a regular basis, continually using every muscle and joint of your body to keep it young and fit. And finally, you must have regular habits of rest and recreation that will enable you, in combination with diet and exercise, to live a long, full life. Remember, your health is the single most important thing you have, and it is completely dependent upon the habits you develop with regard to the way you live.

The sixth habit is an orientation toward honesty and integrity. In the final analysis, the character you develop as you go through life is more important than virtually anything else. Honesty means that you practice the "reality principle" in everything you do. You are completely objective with yourself and with the world around you. You set very clear values for yourself and you organize your life around your values. You develop a vision for yourself and then you life your life consistent with your highest ideals. You never compromise your integrity or peace of mind for anyone or anything.

This attitude of honesty will enable you to enjoy all of the other success habits that you are developing.

The seventh habit-the one habit that guarantees all the others-is that of self-discipline. Your ability to discipline yourself, to master yourself, to control yourself, goes hand in hand with success in every area of life.

My favorite definition of self-discipline comes from Elbert Hubbard. He said, "Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not."

Every one of these habits-goal orientation, result orientation, action orientation, people orientation, health orientation, honesty, and self-discipline-can be developed. The following is a seven step method you can use to internalize any habit or group of habits that you want to make a permanent part of your character and personality.

1. Decide clearly on the new habit. Write it down as a goal in the form of a present tense, personal, positive affirmation. For example, if you want to develop the habit of self-discipline, you write, "I am an extremely well-disciplined individual in everything I do."

2. Repeat your affirmation as often as possible, and with as much enthusiasm and conviction as possible. The more times you repeat this command, the more likely it is that your subconscious mind will ultimately accept it and begin to adjust your thoughts, words, and behaviors to be consistent with it.

3. Visualize yourself as if you already had the new habit pattern. Imagine yourself as already being exactly the person that you want to become in the future. Remember, your subconscious mind is activated and programmed by mental pictures. All improvement in your life and character begin with an improvement in your mental pictures. Use visualization on a regular basis in conjunction with your positive affirmations.

4. Emotionalize the affirmation and the visualization. Take a few minutes each day to actually experience the feeling of being the excellent, outstanding human being that you have decided to become.

5. Launch into your new habit with conviction. Assume the role, acting as if you had been hired to perform this role in a movie or play. The more you behave exactly as if you already had the habit, the more you actually become the person that you desire to be.

6. Tell others that you have decided to develop this habit. When you tell others, you motivate and encourage yourself. You also force yourself to consistently act in accordance with your new resolutions because you know that others are watching.

7. Continually review your progress on a day-to-day basis. When Benjamin Franklin developed his own process for character formation, he would review his behavior every single day to see if he was living consistent with the values that he had determined were important. You can do the same thing. At the end of every day, do a brief recap of your behavior during the day relative to the values and habits you are trying to develop. Give yourself points when you are strong, and be patient with yourself when you slip from time to time.

The most important keys to developing new habit patterns are patience, determination, and persistence. When you begin to change yourself, you will find that it is not particularly easy. But it is possible if you continue to work at it.

You can take complete control over the shaping of your character and personality, and everything that happens to you in the future, by making the decision, right now, to define and develop the habits that will lead you to great success. And when you develop the habits possessed by other successful people, you will enjoy an equal, if not greater, level of success.

"Brian Tracy is the most listened to audio author on personal and business success in the world today. His fast-moving talks and seminars on leadership, sales, managerial effectiveness and business strategy are loaded with powerful, proven ideas and strategies that people can immediately apply to get better results in every area. For more information, please visit Brian on the web at:"



77 Keys to Living Well Before You Die

Author: Marc and Angel

Time flies. Life is what you make of it. Everyday is a day of opportunity.
Think it. Seek it. Find it. Live it.

Life is too short not to make the best and the most
of everything that comes your way everyday.
- Sasha Azevedo

  • Do something everyday that excites you.
  • Read classic novels.
  • Travel somewhere you've never been with someone you'll never forget.
  • Settle on a reasonable long-term goal and do 3 things everyday that bring you closer to your goal.
  • Avoid TV.
  • Buy happiness with a smile.
  • Get involved in your community.
  • Talk to perfect strangers. Make new friends.
  • Help others when you're able.
  • Get in shape. Walk or jog a mile every morning.
  • Learn one simple skill every week.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Take notice of the simple joys life has to offer.
  • Be creative. Build something from the ground up, no matter how small.
  • Learn a new joke everyday and tell it to someone else.
  • Spend a few quiet minutes alone each day... think.
  • Dedicate yourself to discovering solutions in the face of problems.
  • Surround yourself with positive people who share goals similar to your own.
  • Study for a degree that intrigues you or take a few classes in your field of interest.
  • Organize a monthly game of poker (or any game) with your best friends.
  • Watch the sunrise at least once a week.
  • Watch the sunset at least once a week.
  • Engage yourself in a meaningful hobby.
  • Ask your spouse or best friend to be your business partner and get something fun started on the side.
  • Express your creativity in art, photography, music, film, etc.
  • Try something completely new every chance you get.
  • Listen to a variety of music on a regular basis.
  • Study the people you admire. Analyze their habits and duplicate them.
  • Tend a small garden and eat your own produce.
  • Have incredible sex at least once a week.
  • Pull the trigger on doing something you've been thinking about for a long time, but haven't yet had the guts to do.
  • Socialize, socialize, and socialize!
  • Visit friends and family you haven't seen in years.
  • Stop tip-toeing around like a little pipsqueak. Own your ideas. Follow them through to fruition.
  • Throw a quarterly blowout party at your place. Invite all your favorite people and let them bring someone along.
  • Spend more time outdoors entwined in Mother Nature.
  • If you hate your job, find a new one. Life is short. Don't be scared to bounce around until you find a job you enjoy doing.
  • Get into the habit of realizing that it is never too late.
  • Stop being so serious. Lighten up. Laugh.
  • Go after as many life experiences as time permits. Explore the world around you.
  • Learn to surf... and surf. It truly is a remarkable experience.
  • Rise earlier. Take on the world when your mind is fresh.
  • Be compassionate. Be a friend every chance you get.
  • Organize yourself and your living space. It will save you precious time.
  • Stop worrying about what you don't have and start enjoying what you do have.
  • Set 3 priorities each morning and accomplish them by nightfall.
  • Focus on the positives. Never dwell on the negatives.
  • Be romantic. Surprise her.
  • Challenge yourself. Don't take the easy road to mediocrity.
  • Stop wasting time on non-essential chores.
  • Learn to get things done effectively.
  • Shit happens. Move beyond your mistakes immediately.
  • There's a big different between being scared and being prepared. Always be prepared.
  • Educated yourself every chance you get. Be a jack of all trades and a master of few.
  • Eat slower. Enjoy your food.
  • Be slower. Relax.
  • Use time-saving tricks and properly manage your time.
  • Leave work at work.
  • Perfect is the enemy of good. Shoot for living the good life.
  • Eat at least one meal a day with family or friends.
  • Ask for help. You'll never get what you don't ask for.
  • Always ask questions. Doing so will save you time and grief.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Always keep your eye on the prize. Maintain your focus on the outcome, not the current road block.
  • Play hard. You only live once. Live it up!
  • Spend less than you make.
  • Do one thing at a time... and do it well.
  • Simplify... Simplify... Simplify.
  • Be efficient while giving your mind a rest: Write stuff down.
  • Own less. Do more.
  • Avoid the common cold. Wash your hands before eating.
  • Stop driving like a maniac. It's less stressful and far safer.
  • Practice self-sufficiency. Once you attain it, nobody can take it away from you.
  • Be spontaneous.
  • Always keep your promises.
  • Sleep well.
  • Remain approachable to others. The more people you meet, the more opportunities you will receive.
  • Make a continuous habit of realigning your habits with the things that make you happy.



Unlocking Your Creativity

Author: Brian Tracy

April 23, 2008

Excerpt From: Entrepreneurial Success

I began studying creativity more than 20 years ago. I thought it was an ability that was possessed by a few, especially intelligent people, such as artists and writers and scientists. But as I delved further into the subject, I came to a remarkable conclusion: I am a genius! Not only that, but you, too, are a genius! In fact, probably 95 percent of the population has the capacity to function at exceptional levels. Creativity is as natural to human beings as is breathing in and out. Everyone is creative to a certain extent. People are highly creative because they decide to be highly creative. It's no miracle. Creativity is like any human faculty; it can be developed with practice and strengthened with constant use.

If you improve things in small ways, you are engaging in small acts of creativity. If you make major breakthroughs, and improve parts of your life in extraordinary ways, you are demonstrating high levels of creativity. And the amount of creativity you use in your life is largely up to you.

If creativity is improvement, in what areas do you want to use it? The answer is simple. You want to use your inborn creativity to improve the parts of your life that are most important to you. You can use your creativity to improve your relationships, to increase your income and improve your business, and to assure yourself higher levels of health and happiness. With that definition, you can see clearly that you have opportunities to be creative from the time you get up in the morning to the time you go to bed at night.

Creativity is like a muscle. If you do not deliberately and consciously flex your creativity on a regular basis, it becomes weak and soft. It loses its strength.

If people criticize you for your ideas, or if you have concluded that you are not particularly creative, you will tend to be more passive and submissive and look to others for new and better ways of solving problems and achieving goals. However, if you start to practice creative thinking, along the lines that I'm going to share with you, you will be absolutely amazed at how smart you really are.

I used to think that you had to be highly intelligent to be creative. Then I found that intelligence is not just a matter of IQ. There are many people with high IQs who got excellent grades in school but who are doing very poorly at life. They are working at jobs they don't like and earning salaries that are far below their potentials. They probably haven't come up with a creative idea in years.

Intelligence is a way of acting. If you act intelligently, you are intelligent. If you act stupidly, you are stupid. That's all there is to it. You can decide to be highly intelligent and highly creative simply by doing the things that highly intelligent and highly creative people do. If you do these things over and over, you'll soon get the same results. People around you will be talking about how bright and full of ideas you have become.

There are three basic qualities of genius. Since you are a genius, you should know what they are and apply them regularly.

The first quality of genius is open-mindedness. People who are fluent, flexible and adaptive in their thinking are far brighter than those who are rigid, mechanical and straitlaced. The more open you are to new ideas and possibilities, to new approaches and solutions, the more creatively you will function.

Most people tend to fall into what are called "thinking traps." They assume that there is only one right answer to a problem; in reality, there could be several right answers. They jump to conclusions, assuming that because one thing happens, it is the reason for another thing's happening; there may be no relationship at all between the two events. Sometimes people think that the problem has to be solved immediately; often, the problem can be deferred for some time, and often it will solve itself if left alone. People think that certain problems have to be solved without spending any money; often, if the solution is important enough, it is a good idea to spend money on it. Another thinking trap people fall into is thinking they have to solve the whole problem; sometimes, solving just one part of the problem is enough for the time. A final thinking trap is thinking that it is your problem and you are the one who must solve it; often, it is someone else's problem, and the very best thing for you to do is to turn it over to that person and refuse to get involved.

The second quality of genius is the ability to concentrate single-mindedly on one thing at a time, on one problem at a time. And to stay with it until it's solved. Highly creative people practice focusing on single questions and single problems, while uncreative people diffuse their mental energies by trying to do several things at once. They work on this and work on that. They pick something up and put it down. Then they go on to something else and come back. Often, they are scatterbrained, and if they do come up with ideas, their ideas are shallow and poorly thought-out.

The difference between diffusion and concentration in creativity is the difference between gentle sunlight and sunlight concentrated through a magnifying glass. It is the difference between light and a laser beam. It is the difference between a small flame and a welding torch. Your job, in increasing your creativity and enhancing your intelligence, is to concentrate your powers where they can do the most good.

The third quality of genius is the ability to approach problems systematically. People who throw themselves at their problems often become frantic and confused. They take a haphazard approach to thinking, and then they are amazed when they find themselves floundering and making no progress.

In his book Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Peter Drucker makes the point very clearly that innovation must be a systematic process. It must be planned and organized. It is too important to be random and haphazard.
Here is a 10-step method you can use to think systematically. With this method, you develop your creativity to genius levels.

1. Change your language from negative to positive. Instead of using the word problem, use the word situation, or call it a challenge or an opportunity. If a sale falls through, you can say something like, "This is an interesting challenge. It is an opportunity for me to improve my sales effectiveness so this doesn't happen again in the future."

The more positive your language is, the more confident and optimistic you will be when approaching any difficulty. The more creative and insightful you will be in identifying solutions and breakthrough ideas.

2. Define your situation or difficulty clearly. What exactly is the challenge you are facing? What is causing you the stress and anxiety? What is causing you to worry? Why are you unhappy? Write it out clearly in detail.
Sometimes what you are worrying about is what is called a "cluster problem." It is a series of small problems clustered together. You need to sort them out and define them separately.

3. Ask, "What else is the problem?" Don't be satisfied with a superficial answer. Look for the root cause of the problem rather than get sidetracked by the symptom. Approach the problem from several different directions.
For example, if your business is slow, you could ask, "What exactly is the challenge facing me?" Your first answer might be that sales are down. But what else is the problem? How else could you phrase your answer to make the problem more amenable to a solution?

Here are some different ways of answering that question. You could say that sales are down. You could say also that you are not selling enough. Or you could say that people are not buying enough. Or you could say that people are buying too much of your competition's product. Or you could say that people are not buying your product the way it is currently produced or packaged. Or people are not buying your product the way you are selling it, or for the reasons you think they should, or in the quantity you need them to buy it for you to be financially successful.

In each case, by changing your definition of the problem, you change your possible approach to the solution. You expand your possibilities. You become more creative. You unlock more of your inner genius.

4. Ask, "What are my minimum boundary conditions?" What must the solution accomplish? What ingredients must the solution contain? What would your ideal solution to this problem look like? Define the parameters clearly.

5. Pick the best solution by comparing your various possible solutions against your problem, on the one hand, and your ideal solution, on the other. What is the best thing to do at this time under the circumstances?

6. Before you implement the decision, ask, "What's the worst possible thing that can happen if this decision doesn't work?" I remember once spending all the advertising money of the company I was working for on a single advertising campaign. I was convinced that, even at a low rate of return, sales would more than justify the expenditure. I failed to ask that question about the worst possible outcome. I got blindsided by the "fallacy of large numbers," which says that if you advertise to an enormous number of people, the odds are that you will get a certain number of sales. What happened was that I got no sales at all from the advertising. As a result, I almost ruined the business. I should have asked, "What effect would there be on the business if the advertising did not work at all?"

In fact, before you make any expenditure of money or effort in trying to achieve your goal, you should evaluate what would happen if your decision were a complete failure.

7. Set measures on your decision. How will you know that you are making progress? How will you measure success? How will you compare the success of this solution against the success of another solution?

If you decide to sell or market in a particular way, how will you know that you have made the right decision? How will you define a success? Make it measurable. Then monitor it on a regular basis.

8. Accept complete responsibility for implementing the decision. You might want to delegate responsibility for the implementation of the action steps to someone else. Many of the most creative ideas never materialize because no one is specifically assigned the responsibility of carrying out the decision.

9. Set a deadline. A decision without a deadline is a meaningless discussion. If it is a major decision and will take some time to implement, set a series of short-term deadlines and a schedule for reporting. If you have a one-year goal to increase your income, break down the goal into months, and then break down the months into weeks. Break down the weeks into days and the days into hours. Then discipline yourself to do the things you need to do, every hour of every day, to assure that you achieve your weekly and monthly goals and your annual goal on schedule.

With the deadlines and subdeadlines, you will know immediately if you are on track or if you are falling behind. You can then use your creativity to alleviate further bottlenecks or choke points.

10. Take action. Get busy. Get going. Develop a sense of urgency. The faster you move in the direction of your clearly defined goals, the more creative you will be. The more energy you will have. The more you will learn. And the faster you will develop your capacity to achieve even more in the future.

The world is full of creative individuals who have wonderful ideas. But almost all of them fall down when it comes to implementation. And this is where you can excel. The future belongs to the creative minority who can not only think but also take action and put their ideas into effect.

You can solve any problem, overcome any obstacle or achieve any goal that you can set for yourself by using your wonderful creative mind and then taking action consistently and persistently until you attain your objective. Success is a mark of a creative thinker, and when you use your ability to think creatively, your success can be unlimited.

"Brian Tracy is the most listened to audio author on personal and business success in the world today. His fast-moving talks and seminars on leadership, sales, managerial effectiveness and business strategy are loaded with powerful, proven ideas and strategies that people can immediately apply to get better results in every area. For more information, please visit Brian on the web at:"



20 Things The Millionaire Next Door Does NOT Do

Author: Marc & Angel

The millionaire next door does a lot to get ahead, but you can be pretty sure the list excludes the following 20 points.

The millionaire next door does NOT:

  • Pay for Lawn Service - You could save $150 a month, get some healthy exercise and maybe even a bit of a tan just by mowing your own yard.
  • Go to a Hair Stylist - Even the cheapest barber shops charge men $15 - $20 for a haircut these days. If you're a woman, it may cost well over $50 a visit. Dying your hair? You're broke!
  • Use Time as a Measurement for Success - The millionaire next door measures success based on output quality, the results. The amount of time spent on something means nothing if the results do not meet the expectations.
  • Buy Brand New Cars - Why would anyone pay the full retail price worth half a year's salary for the fastest depreciating assent on Earth? We are brainwashed!
  • Carry a Monthly Credit Card Balance - Carrying a monthly credit card balance only makes sense if you enjoy poverty. Monthly interest payments can add up to hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. Do not buy "stuff" right now that you cannot afford to pay for in cash right now!
  • Eat Out on a Regular Basis - With the recent price increases in corn, wheat and dairy products, preparing your own food is already expensive enough. If you eat out you will pay triple the price. If done on a regular basis you will waste a few thousand dollars a year.
  • Think He Knows It All - People who think they know it all stop learning and thus become unaware of new opportunities. Once you lose awareness, you lose.
  • Socialize with People Who Waste Money - The people you socialize with influence your habits. It is impossible to save money if you constantly hang around people who blow it all.
  • Desire Instant Gratification - You have to think long-term to attain long-term success. The millionaire next door desires long-term deferred compensation over instant gratification.
  • Pay Retail for Name Brand Clothing - You can easily save hundreds of dollars a year on clothing purchases by waiting for sales or shopping at discount retailers like Marshalls. Better yet, avoid name brand clothing all together.
  • Keep His Money in a Checking Account - If you want to increase your wealth you have to set your money up to make more money. Most checking accounts yield little to nothing in interest. Think long-term (5 years +). Invest in quality stocks, bonds and mutual funds, especially those with high yield dividends and interest. Or buy some land in an area with growth potential.
  • Replace What is Not Broken - The millionaire next door fixes things. Fixing something is usually significantly cheaper than buying a brand new replacement, especially if you fix it yourself.
  • Visit the Tanning Bed - $25 a month for skin cancer? Where do I sign up? If you want a tan, move to Florida. For those that live in Florida and still go to the tanning bed... WOW!
  • Impulse Buy - Impulse buying wastes money and leads to a cluttered house full of "stuff" you don't need or use. If you see something you like at the mall, walk away. Think on it for a day or two. If it still holds value in your mind, maybe it's worth buying. Never buy something the first time you see it.
  • Waste Time on Senseless Activities - They say time is money. In actuality, time is far more important than money. Time is your life. If you waste it, you will fail.
  • Focus His Attention on Negative Obstacles - If you focus all your attention on negative obstacles, you will lose sight of the finish line. You can't get there if you can't see it.
  • Bet The Farm - The millionaire next door takes evenly weighted, calculated risks on long term investments. If you go "all in", you're gambling, not investing.
  • Fly First-class - Would you pay $400 to sit in a leather chair for a couple of hours? That's exactly what you do when you fly first class. Huge waste of money!
  • Rent - The millionaire next door has a long-term mindset. In the long-term, owning something is always more cost effective than renting it. The key is to purchase quality products for long-standing use.
  • Earn Every Dollar He Makes at His Day Job - Two words: Passive Income. You can be sure the millionaire next door invests his money wisely. These investments create a solid passive income stream that grows over time. If your money isn't making you more money, you'll never be wealthy.



Reducing the Stress Factor

Author: Mike Smith

Each century has had its problems. In centuries past the average person lived a shorter life with war and disease responsible for the killing of millions, often in one hard hit. And it wasn't only plagues and flu epidemics. Many times it has been a country's leader having thousands and even millions of his own people slain because of personal warped idealistic beliefs. With Hitler it was his desire to create the perfect (blonde, blue eyed, Arian) race and so the Jews, who he hated, were murdered in their millions. Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin were among other such monsters.

Around the mid 20th century general health was improving with new medicines prolonging expected life spans and overcoming the threat of such dreaded diseases as polio and TB.

In the 1970's knowledge and technology were accelerating and by the 1990's the internet had a firm grip on the world. Internet businesses were springing up and many homes and most companies had at least one PC or Apple Mac. The way of business was changing. Speed was everything, faster service, businesses opening seven days a week to gain a lead on their competition, staff cut or moved sideways, replaced by automated machinery, all in the name of growth and profit lines.

Inevitably families were affected. The need to keep up with the new global perception of success with bigger houses, boats, designer wardrobes, overseas trips, all the outer trimmings that scream to the world, "WE ARE SUCCESSFUL, WE CAN HAVE AND DO ANYTHING WE WANT."

The result? We have a higher rate of divorce as both parents strive to support their debt-laden life style and more delinquent children (and adults) are turning to drugs and crime. The `Have it all' generation is slowly becoming the `Unhappy' generation with the emergence of the newest, most insidious disease - Stress.

We see it on our television sets, reality shows displaying the rich and famous in their homes, on the beaches of Europe, in Paris and Rome - and so often in rehab, in hospital after an overdose, or breakdown, or run down from trying to maintain their high profile lifestyle, and we see them on suicide watch, in court, in prison. Where did the glamour go?

In 2007 many positive world trends began to head backwards with wars escalating and millions starving to death. Now, in 2008, Russia has begun once again to flex its muscle. The USA is holding back more and more as its time as world leader draws to a close and new powers prepare their bid for the ultimate spot. Who will it be? Russia? China? India, perhaps?

Foreign experts tell us that the Middle East will continue to be the hot spot with Israel in the middle unable to convince its enemies to leave it in peace. Palestine continues to fire missiles into Israel on a daily basis while Israel, with so much world opinion against them, holds back. In the meantime the US, UK, and others continue long and costly battles in the Middle and Far East, weakening the economies of the western allies.

All these are just the tips of the icebergs that are the stresses of the 21st century - and we all know that the bulk of the iceberg (90%) is hidden beneath the surface.

Stress is one of the major causes of disease, strokes, and heart failure in the western world. We need to control it before it controls and destroys us. We should be embracing the 21st century in all its wonder and opportunity, not fearing it.

So, I think, is there something I can do? Obviously one person isn't going to solve such a massive global problem, but maybe I could make a small difference in my own life that will positively affect those around me? But where do I start? Maybe if I first tried to define my values, find out what is really important to me? Is it my family, my friends, people I work with, the old lady down the road whose family haven't visited her in years? Yes, they are all important. So what would happen if I began considering their needs before my own? What if I visited my daughter and grandchildren in another town on a more regular basis rather than just the usual Christmas plus one visit a year? And what if I put my newspaper down for an hour on a Saturday afternoon and went and passed the time with Mrs Brown down the road? What if I just started appreciating more and condemning less? Would it make a difference? Looking back I think there was more to the 70's TV programme, `The Good Life,' than just a good chuckle. I'm inclined to think, from my own perspective, that such a lifestyle would make a difference. And I'm going to try.

I was sent an email recently, one of those little stories that make you think. Here it is, take what you want from it.

One day a wealthy gentleman took his son to the country to show him how the poor lived.

Upon returning to his luxurious mansion the father asked the son if he learned anything.

"Well," the son began, "I saw we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the garden, and they have a creek that has no end. Our patio reaches to the front yard, and they have an endless horizon. We have lanterns in the garden and they have the stars at night. We have servants who care for our needs, and they serve others. We buy our food, they grow theirs. We have walls to protect our property, and they have friends to protect them."

By this time the rich man was speechless.

"Thank you, father," the boy said, "for showing me how poor we are."

Mike Smith Company Director Sales Marketing and Services
Speciality: Controlling Stress.

Article Source:



Twenty Unique Ways to Use the 80/20 Rule Today

Author: Scott H Young

I'm sure most people are familiar with Pareto's principle, developed by an Italian economist and most commonly known as the 80/20 Rule. While Pareto originally used the rule noticing that 80% of the wealth was owned by 20% of the population, the rule has applications in almost every area of life.

There are many ways you can use this rule. Here's twenty:

  • Work Tasks - Write down all the broad categories of tasks you do at your job. You can make a little table that shows the amount of hours spent at each category (say, 1 hr for E-mail, 1 hr for contacting clients, etc.) and on another column write down a value estimate for what percentage you believe it contributes to your productivity. Eliminate, simplify or delegate low %'s and focus on high %'s.
  • Food - Record your eating habits for a week. Calculate up the calories of the different items of food. I've done this before and I've found it surprising how some treats contribute a high percentage of your calorie pie for no nutritional value, when other vices consumed in smaller portions take up only a sliver but still offer a tasty treat.
  • Daily Time Log - Do a time log on your activities for an entire day. Record the stop and start point for any activity. Then broadly shuffle the different activities into categories. Figure out what parts of your day aren't contributing to either productivity, entertainment or personal happiness and cut them out.
  • Reading - Look at the last few dozen books you've read. Rate them according to the amount of useful info or entertainment value. Look for trends and use that info to skim or skip future books to save time.
  • Relationships - Look at your social circle and friends. Do a rough estimate of the amount of time and energy you invest in each relationship. Compare that to the amount of stress or satisfaction. You might find that certain relationships are toxic and others are valuable and should be invested in more.
  • RSS Feeds - Look through your feed list. Write down the percentage of articles you enjoyed out of the last ten in the feed. Eliminate the lowest %'s. You may want to take into account article length or posting rate, but quality is probably the best measurement of all.
  • E-Mail - Group the types of e-mails you answer into basic categories. Consider developing a template for the most common e-mail responses that contribute the least potential value for answering personally.
  • Magazine Subscriptions - Same as RSS feeds. Go through all your subscriptions and give a percentage scale of what you perceive to be the value of the last several editions. Cancel subscriptions to the bottom and leave the top.
  • Television Shows - Record your television watching habits for a week or two. After watching give a subjective rating of the television show. After your done, total up the amount spent on different shows or channels. If you have a special subscription service, cancel the channels that you don't watch or have little value. Otherwise, consider eliminating live television entirely and recording the shows you feel are valuable to watch later. I've done this before and it can be a big time saver while still allowing you to enjoy some passive entertainment.
  • Web Surfing - Record your web usage for a day or two. Write down the sites you visited or tools you used to get there (StumbleUpon, Digg, etc.) Figure out sites took up the most time and which had the least value. You'd be surprised how often they are the same thing.
  • Spring Cleaning - Although it's only a few weeks from summer, you can use this on any organization attempt. Go through your items and trash all the items that you haven't used recently (except for important documents). Just because you have storage space, doesn't mean it should be filled with garbage. Eliminate clutter and it becomes far easier to find and use the things you actually need.
  • Clients/Customers - This one comes from Tim Ferriss, in the Four Hour Workweek. Figure out which customers contribute the most complaints and the least revenue. Notify them that things will need to change and set down some guidelines. Then fire the ones that don't comply. Goes against the doctrine that the customer is always right, but some people just aren't worth the trouble they cause.
  • Hard Drive - Sort through your computer documents, comparing the last modified date for various major folders. Create a separate folder system where you can move these rarely used files. This will eliminate your computer clutter and make it far easier and faster to find the stuff you actually use.
  • Desktop - Same thing as the hard-drive, but I do it every week or two. Just go through your desktop and delete any short-cuts or move documents that haven't been used in the last two weeks. You don't have to completely eliminate everything, but it will make your desktop a more efficient workspace.
  • Applications - Go through all your computer applications. Figure out which ones are distracting and are either rarely used or contribute little value. Uninstall those. If this seems like too much work, a complete computer reformat can get rid of the trash.
  • Home Appliances - Determine which appliances cause the most frustration, stress and break down the most. Once you've done this you have three options: learn to use the tool better to understand it and prevent stress, buy a new one or find a substitute that is less damage prone. Save yourself the headache and 80/20 your lawnmower.
  • Budget - Calculate all your discretionary expenses (after taxes, food and necessities). Now compare the money value of each expense with the utility of the purchase. If you wanted to compare different entertainment items in your budget, you could value each expense on the pleasure it brought you. If you wanted to compare different investments or tools you could compare return rates or productivity gained.
  • Blogging - Classify the types of posts you write into different categories. I've done this grouping by, post length, subject, format, style, images, etc. Multiply each by the amount of time to write each type of post. Then compare that data to your estimate of traffic gained from each. Use this as a guide for future writing.
  • Habits - Figure out which behaviors (or lack thereof) contribute the most to your life. Exercise? Rising Early? Family Dinners? Use this as a basis for making new habits.
  • Goals - It doesn't matter whether you have them written down or just in your head. Look at all your goals and compare the resources required to accomplish each (time, money, energy, etc.) with the benefits gained. Benefits could be physical rewards, purposeful work or emotional quality. Pursue the goals with the highest value.



10 Things We All Must Figure Out for Ourselves

Author: Marc & Angel

Learning is merely a component of life, like the limbs of the human body. We can learn a lot from others, but some things in life must be experienced to be truly understood. Below you will find a list of 10 such things, the things we all must figure out for ourselves.

If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things
you cannot learn any other way.
- Mark Twain

  • Love - There is no official guide for falling in love, falling out of love, or dealing with the emotional intricacies of love. Love cannot be taught and it certainly cannot be forced. Love is an instinctual feeling, a powerful sentiment, one we will all find under different circumstances and must each figure out for ourselves.
  • Friendship - Some personalities simply click and others clash. Just like love, friendship is a natural process that cannot be forced. Other people can select our acquaintances for us, but over time we will find true friendship on our own. When the conversations are comfortable and relaxed and a mutual feeling of trust is apparent, true friendship has been found.
  • Loss - At some point each one of us will experience a loss in life. It could be the death of a loved one, the devastation of personal belongings, or a vicious rejection in our career. Each of us is going to naturally deal with loss in our own unique manner, some taking more time to reflect on it than others. While suggestions can be made, we must figure it out for ourselves, morn if necessary, and move on when we are ready.
  • The Short vs. Long Catch-22 - There is a paradox found in various situations where we must choose between short-term and long-term fulfillment. It governs the path we take concerning our aspirations, desires, and available opportunities. Things that seem positive in the short-term can turn sour in the long-term. Likewise, disciplined efforts to meet long-term objectives can lead to a more dull short-term existence. People can try to advise us in specific situations, but we must ultimately figure out how to manage this catch-22 for ourselves across the broad scope of our lives.
  • Self-Forgiveness - We all make mistakes. It is an inevitable element of being alive. Since we are undoubtedly our own toughest critic, we sometimes inflict unnecessary self-guilt on our conscious for certain actions we did or did not take. This typically hinders our productivity and happiness. Many self-help instructors attempt to teach self-forgiveness, but every circumstance and individual is slightly different than the next. Experience is the key. General experience in dealing with the process of trial and error across various life circumstances is really what increases our comfort level with making mistakes.
  • Life Balance - Living a healthy, rewarding life involves the simple art of balance. We must balance risk vs. reward, family and friends vs. career goals, quantity vs. quality... the list could continue indefinitely. Over time, and with enough experience, we will be able to evaluate any situation, decipher the boundary extremes and find a happy, healthy medium between these extremes.
  • Responsibility and Independence - Responsibility is not a quality instinctually instilled in all human beings. Some of us have to work really hard at leading a responsible life. The key is to realize that it is okay to assist someone, but the full burden of a responsibility should never be taken away from its owner. If it is, the owner will never learn, thus becoming forever dependant on others. Cause and effect is the ultimate guide to responsibility. "If I don't get a job, I won't have money to buy food." Our success with responsibility will eventually lead to complete independence.
  • Character Identity - "Who am I?" We all have to figure this out for ourselves. Character identity is incredibly difficult to define. We all have ideas in our minds of who we are, who we want to become, or how we want to live. The single greatest gift a human being possesses is free will... our ability to think, make choices, and take action with the decisions we make. These decisions eventually mold the person we are, our character identity.
  • Betrayal - Dealing with betrayal usually sends a person on an emotional rollercoaster ride. There is no practical way of preparing for it because every act of betrayal contains a different set of variables. When it happens, we are usually left asking a series of questions. Why? Is there another side to the story? Can we work through this? These are questions only the people involved can answer and deal with.
  • Happiness and Success - As I stated in my last post, happiness is doing what you love, and success is excelling at doing what you love. Nobody else can tell us how to be happy or what to love. As we progress through life we uncover these mysteries on our own. Once we have happiness figured out we can map out a course for achieving our own personalized version of success.




Author: Unkown

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to others is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken,
because the greatest hazard in life is to do nothing.

The person who risks nothing,
does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.

They may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.

Chained by their attitudes, they are a slave,
they forfeited their freedom.

Only the person who risks can be free



You've got to find what you love

Author: Steve Jobs

This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5 deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky - I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation - the Macintosh - a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me - I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.



10 Skills You Need to Succeed at Almost Anything

Author: Dustin Wax

What does it take to succeed? A positive attitude? Well, sure, but that's hardly enough. The Law of Attraction? The Secret? These ideas might act as spurs to action, but without the action itself, they don't do much.

Success, however it's defined, takes action, and taking good and appropriate action takes skills. Some of these skills (not enough, though) are taught in school (not well enough, either), others are taught on the job, and still others we learn from general life experience.

Below is a list of general skills that will help anyone get ahead in practically any field, from running a company to running a gardening club. Of course, there are skills specific to each field as well - but my concern here is with the skills that translate across disciplines, the ones that can be learned by anyone in any position.

  • Public Speaking
    The ability to speak clearly, persuasively, and forcefully in front of an audience - whether an audience of 1 or of thousands - is one of the most important skills anyone can develop. People who are effective speakers come across as more comfortable with themselves, more confident, and more attractive to be around. Being able to speak effectively means you can sell anything - products, of course, but also ideas, ideologies, worldviews. And yourself - which means more opportunities for career advancement, bigger clients, or business funding.
  • Writing
    Writing well offers many of the same advantages that speaking well offers: good writers are better at selling products, ideas, and themselves than poor writers. Learning to write well involves not just mastery of grammar but the development of the ability to organize one's thoughts into a coherent form and target it to an audience in the most effective way possible. Given the huge amount of text generated by almost every transaction - from court briefs and legislation running into the thousands of pages to those foot-long receipts you get when you buy gum these days - a person who is a master of the written word can expect doors to open in just about every field.
  • Self-Management
    If success depends of effective action, effective action depends on the ability to focus your attention where it is needed most, when it is needed most. Strong organizational skills, effective productivity habits, and a strong sense of discipline are needed to keep yourself on track.
  • Networking
    Networking is not only for finding jobs or clients. In an economy dominated by ideas and innovation, networking creates the channel through which ideas flow and in which new ideas are created. A large network, carefully cultivated, ties one into not just a body of people but a body of relationships, and those relationships are more than just the sum of their parts. The interactions those relationships make possible give rise to innovation and creativity - and provide the support to nurture new ideas until they can be realized.
  • Critical Thinking
    We are exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of times more information on a daily basis than our great-grandparents were. Being able to evaluate that information, sort the potentially valuable from the trivial, analyze its relevance and meaning, and relate it to other information is crucial - and woefully under-taught. Good critical thinking skills immediately distinguish you from the mass of people these days.

  • Decision-Making
    The bridge that leads from analysis to action is effective decision-making - knowing what to do based on the information available. While not being critical can be dangerous, so too can over-analyzing, or waiting for more information before making a decision. Being able to take in the scene and respond quickly and effectively is what separates the doers from the wannabes.
  • Math
    You don't have to be able to integrate polynomials to be successful. However, the ability to quickly work with figures in your head, to make rough but fairly accurate estimates, and to understand things like compound interest and basic statistics gives you a big lead on most people. All of these skills will help you to analyze data more effectively - and more quickly - and to make better decisions based on it.
  • Research
    Nobody can be expected to know everything, or even a tiny fraction of everything. Even within your field, chances are there's far more that you don't know than you do know. You don't have to know everything - but you should be able to quickly and painlessly find out what you need to know. That means learning to use the Internet effectively, learning to use a library, learning to read productively, and learning how to leverage your network of contacts - and what kinds of research are going to work best in any given situation.
  • Relaxation
    Stress will not only kill you, it leads to poor decision-making, poor thinking, and poor socialization. So be failing to relax, you knock out at least three of the skills in this list - and really more. Plus, working yourself to death in order to keep up, and not having any time to enjoy the fruits of your work, isn't really "success". It's obsession. Being able to face even the most pressing crises with your wits about you and in the most productive way is possibly the most important thing on this list.
  • Basic Accounting
    It is a simple fact in our society that money is necessary. Even the simple pleasures in life, like hugging your child, ultimately need money - or you're not going to survive to hug for very long. Knowing how to track and record your expenses and income is important just to survive, let alone to thrive. But more than that, the principles of accounting apply more widely to things like tracking the time you spend on a project or determining whether the value of an action outweighs the costs in money, time, and effort. It's a shame that basic accounting isn't a required part of the core K-12 curriculum.

What Else?

Surely there are more important skills I'm not thinking of (which is probably why I'm not telling Bill Gates what to do!) - what are they? What have I missed? What lessons have you learned that were key to your successes - and what have you ignored to your peril?



The Interview with God

Author: Unknown

I dreamed I had an interview with God. "So you would like to interview me?" God asked. "If you have the time" I said. God smiled. "My time is eternity." "What questions do you have in mind for me?"

"What surprises you most about humankind?" God answered... "That they get bored with childhood, they rush to grow up, and then long to be children again." "That they lose their health to make money... and then lose their money to restore their health." "That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live in neither the present nor the future." "That they live as if they will never die, and die as though they had never lived."

God's hand took mine and we were silent for a while. And then I asked... "As a parent, what are some of life's lessons you want your children to learn?" "To learn they cannot make anyone love them. All they can do is let themselves be loved." "To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others." "To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness." "To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in those they love, and it can take many years to heal them." "To learn that a rich person is not one who has the most, but is one who needs the least." "To learn that there are people who love them dearly, but simply have not yet learned how to express or show their feelings." "To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it differently." "To learn that it is not enough that they forgive one another, but they must also forgive themselves."

"Thank you for your time," I said humbly. "Is there anything else you would like your children to know?" God smiled and said, "Just know that I am here... always."


16 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School

Author: Henrik Edberg

I am 28 now. I don't think about the past or regret things much these days.

But sometimes I wish that I had known some of things I have learned over the last few years a bit earlier. That perhaps there had been a self-improvement class in school. And in some ways there probably was.

Because some of these 16 things in this article a teacher probably spoke about in class. But I forgot about them or didn't pay attention.

Some of it would probably not have stuck in my mind anyway. Or just been too far outside my reality at the time for me to accept and use.

But I still think that taking a few hours from all those German language classes and use them for some personal development classes would have been a good idea. Perhaps for just an hour a week in high school. It would probably be useful for many students and on a larger scale quite helpful for society in general.

So here are 16 things I wish they had taught me in school (or I just would like to have known about earlier).

1. The 80/20 rule.

This is one of the best ways to make better use of your time. The 80/20 rule - also known as The Pareto Principle - basically says that 80 percent of the value you will receive will come from 20 percent of your activities.

So a lot of what you do is probably not as useful or even necessary to do as you may think.

You can just drop - or vastly decrease the time you spend on - a whole bunch of things.

And if you do that you will have more time and energy to spend on those things that really brings your value, happiness, fulfilment and so on.

2. Parkinson's Law.

You can do things quicker than you think. This law says that a task will expand in time and seeming complexity depending on the time you set aside for it. For instance, if you say to yourself that you'll come up with a solution within a week then the problem will seem to grow more difficult and you'll spend more and more time trying to come up with a solution.

So focus your time on finding solutions. Then just give yourself an hour (instead of the whole day) or the day (instead of the whole week) to solve the problem. This will force your mind to focus on solutions and action.

The result may not be exactly as perfect as if you had spent a week on the task, but as mentioned in the previous point, 80 percent of the value will come from 20 percent of the activities anyway. Or you may wind up with a better result because you haven't overcomplicated or overpolished things. This will help you to get things done faster, to improve your ability to focus and give you more free time where you can totally focus on what's in front of you instead of having some looming task creating stress in the back of your mind.

3. Batching.

Boring or routine tasks can create a lot of procrastination and low-level anxiety. One good way to get these things done quickly is to batch them. This means that you do them all in row. You will be able to do them quicker because there is less "start-up time" compared to if you spread them out. And when you are batching you become fully engaged in the tasks and more focused.

A batch of things to do in an hour today may look like this: Clean your desk / answer today's emails / do the dishes / make three calls / write a grocery shopping list for tomorrow.

4. First, give value. Then, get value. Not the other way around.

This is a bit of a counter-intuitive thing. There is often an idea that someone should give us something or do something for us before we give back. The problem is just that a lot of people think that way. And so far less than possible is given either way.

If you want to increase the value you receive (money, love, kindness, opportunities etc.) you have to increase the value you give. Because over time you pretty much get what you give. It would perhaps be nice to get something for nothing. But that seldom happens.

5. Be proactive. Not reactive.

This one ties into the last point. If everyone is reactive then very little will get done. You could sit and wait and hope for someone else to do something. And that happens pretty often, but it can take a lot of time before it happens.

A more useful and beneficial way is to be proactive, to simply be the one to take the first practical action and get the ball rolling. This not only saves you a lot of waiting, but is also more pleasurable since you feel like you have the power over your life. Instead of feeling like you are run by a bunch of random outside forces.

6. Mistakes and failures are good.

When you are young you just try things and fail until you learn. As you grow a bit older, you learn from - for example - school to not make mistakes. And you try less and less things.

This may cause you to stop being proactive and to fall into a habit of being reactive, of waiting for someone else to do something. I mean, what if you actually tried something and failed? Perhaps people would laugh at you?

Perhaps they would. But when you experience that you soon realize that it is seldom the end of the world. And a lot of the time people don't care that much. They have their own challenges and lives to worry about.

And success in life often comes from not giving up despite mistakes and failure. It comes from being persistent.

When you first learn to ride your bike you may fall over and over. Bruise a knee and cry a bit. But you get up, brush yourself off and get on the saddle again. And eventually you learn how to ride a bike. If you can just reconnect to your 5 year old self and do things that way - instead of giving up after a try/failure or two as grown-ups often do - you would probably experience a lot more interesting things, learn valuable lessons and have quite a bit more success.

7. Don't beat yourself up.

Why do people give up after just few mistakes or failures? Well, I think one big reason is because they beat themselves up way too much. But it's a kinda pointless habit. It only creates additional and unnecessary pain inside you and wastes your precious time. It's best to try to drop this habit as much as you can.

8. Assume rapport.

Meeting new people is fun. But it can also induce nervousness. We all want to make a good first impression and not get stuck in an awkward conversation.

The best way to do this that I have found so far is to assume rapport. This means that you simply pretend that you are meeting one of your best friends. Then you start the interaction in that frame of mind instead of the nervous one.

This works surprisingly well. You can read more about it in How to Have Less Awkward Conversations: Assuming Rapport.

9. Use your reticular activation system to your advantage.

I learned about the organs and the inner workings of the body in class but nobody told me about the reticular activation system. And that's a shame, because this is one of the most powerful things you can learn about. What this focus system, this R.A.S, in your mind does is to allow you to see in your surroundings what you focus your thoughts on. It pretty much always helps you to find what you are looking for.

So you really need to focus on what you want, not on what you don't want. And keep that focus steady.

Setting goals and reviewing them frequently is one way to keep your focus on what's important and to help you take action that will move your closer to toward where you want to go. Another way is just to use external reminders such as pieces of paper where you can, for instance, write down a few things from this post like "Give value" or "Assume rapport". And then you can put those pieces of paper on your fridge, bathroom mirror etc.

10. Your attitude changes your reality.

We have all heard that you should keep a positive attitude or perhaps that "you need to change your attitude!". That is a nice piece of advice I suppose, but without any more reasons to do it is very easy to just brush such suggestions off and continue using your old attitude.

But the thing that I've discovered the last few years is that if you change your attitude, you actually change your reality. When you for instance use a positive attitude instead of a negative one you start to see things and viewpoints that were invisible to you before. You may think to yourself "why haven't I thought about things this way before?".

When you change you attitude you change what you focus on. And all things in your world can now be seen in a different light.

This is of course very similar to the previous tip but I wanted to give this one some space. Because changing your attitude can create an insane change in your world. It might not look like it if you just think about it though. Pessimism might seem like realism. But that is mostly because your R.A.S is tuned into seeing all the negative things you want to see. And that makes you "right" a lot of the time. And perhaps that is what you want. On the other hand, there are more fun things than being right all the time.

If you try changing your attitude for real - instead of analysing such a concept in your mind - you'll be surprised.

You may want to read more about this topic in Take the Positivity Challenge!

11. Gratitude is a simple way to make yourself feel happy.

Sure, I was probably told that I should be grateful. Perhaps because it was the right thing to do or just something I should do. But if someone had said that feeling grateful about things for minute or two is a great way to turn a negative mood into a happy one I would probably have practised gratitude more. It is also a good tool for keeping your attitude up and focusing on the right things. And to make other people happy. Which tends to make you even happier, since emotions are contagious.

12. Don't compare yourself to others.

The ego wants to compare. It wants to find reasons for you to feel good about yourself ("I've got a new bike!"). But by doing that it also becomes very hard to not compare yourself to others who have more than you ("Oh no, Bill has bought an even nicer bike!"). And so you don't feel so good about yourself once again. If you compare yourself to others you let the world around control how you feel about yourself. It always becomes a rollercoaster of emotions.

A more useful way is to compare yourself to yourself. To look at how far you have come, what you have accomplished and how you have grown. It may not sound like that much fun but in the long run it brings a lot more inner stillness, personal power and positive feelings.

13. 80-90% of what you fear will happen never really come into reality.

This is a big one. Most things you fear will happen never happen. They are just monsters in your own mind. And if they happen then they will most often not be as painful or bad as you expected. Worrying is most often just a waste of time.

This is of course easy to say. But if you remind yourself of how little of what you feared throughout your life that has actually happened you can start to release more and more of that worry from your thoughts.

14. Don't take things too seriously.

It's very easy to get wrapped up in things. But most of the things you worry about never come into reality. And what may seem like a big problem right now you may not even remember in three years.

Taking yourself, your thoughts and your emotions too seriously often just seems to lead to more unnecessary suffering. So relax a little more and lighten up a bit. It can do wonders for your mood and as an extension of that; your life.

15. Write everything down.

If your memory is anything like mine then it's like a leaking bucket. Many of your good or great ideas may be lost forever if you don't make a habit of writing things down. This is also a good way to keep your focus on what you want. Read more about it in Why You Should Write Things Down.

16. There are opportunities in just about every experience.

In pretty much any experience there are always things that you can learn from it and things within the experience that can help you to grow. Negative experiences, mistakes and failure can sometimes be even better than a success because it teaches you something totally new, something that another success could never teach you.

Whenever you have a "negative experience" ask yourself: where is the opportunity in this? What is good about this situation? One negative experience can - with time - help you create many very positive experiences.

What do you wish someone had told you in school or you had just learned earlier in life?


To Overcome Your Fears, Know When You're Projecting

Author: Layne and Paul Cutright

Whenever you have a harsh judgment of another, you're projecting. This means, according to Webster, that you're unconsciously "ascribing to another [your] own undesirable ideas, impulses, or emotions." In other words, you're criticizing in others whatever you're afraid to look at within yourself.

Projection is an insidious tendency in humans. People feel so righteous when they're doing it, not even realizing they're projecting. So how do you stop it? How can you control something you don't even know you're doing?

Just go back to sentence one up there: Whenever you have a harsh judgment of someone else, you're projecting. In this context, judgment is different from discernment. Judgment condemns rather than simply observes. It's one thing to discern that someone is lying, and it's quite another to want to punish the person for it. If you have an overwhelming urge to punish someone, you are projecting. Period.

Someone else's words or actions can trigger your self-doubt and unresolved fear from the past. Know that the force of your fury isn't driven by what's taking place right then, but by something that happened in the past-and you're afraid it will occur again in your future.

The next time you catch yourself criticizing, punishing, projecting, take a breath and observe your own mind. Ask yourself, "Is it possible that my reaction is really a reflection of my own dislike of something in myself? Is it possible for me to see this situation in a different light, one where I can bring discernment instead of judgment to my conscious thoughts?" Be honest with yourself.

In a close relationship, it's also wise to explain. You can tell the other person, "I reacted so strongly because what you said brought up my (fears, judgments, etc.) about myself, and I feel upset when that happens." Then apologize sincerely, and make it clear your reaction was really about something that happened in your past rather than about what the person said or did.



A Must read Obituary

Author: Unkown - London Times

London Times Obituary
of the late Mr. Common Sense

'Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Elastoplast to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; along with his daughter and son, Responsibility and Reason. He is survived by his 4 step-siblings; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.



25 secrets of success

Author: By Helen Hawkes

Contentment is not as difficult to come by as you may think.

When it comes to life, do you just wing it or do you have rules that will help you have better health, greater relationships, improved mental or spiritual health or more success?

"Pretty much everyone wants to feel like there is purpose and meaning in their lives, and to be a success," says Sheldon Grant Leon, yoga teacher, naturopath and motivational coach.

"But how do you do that? There are a lot of complicated formulas out there, and some of them are not only confusing, but a waste of time. Sure, they stroke the egos of the people involved, but they don't really concentrate on life skills."

What you really need, says Leon, are some basic rules for focusing your mind, caring for your body and finding more meaning in your life. If you're lucky, you might have learnt some of these rules already. If not, we asked people who have succeeded to share their secrets for a healthy mind, body and soul, as well as career and social life.


1 To be a genius, be silent and still.

"There is no room in a busy mind for thinking... disconnect, sit, be quiet, relax and think," says Gary Bertwistle, a keynote speaker and author of Who Stole My Mojo? (Allen & Unwin).

2 Expect every day to be the best day of your life.

"In life, the stresses will build up no matter what, so it's better to start off on a positive note and try to carry that through the day," Leon says.

Life coach Dominique Bertolucci, author of Your Best Life (Hodder Headline), agrees: "Enjoy the life you have today. Just because there are aspects of your life you would like to change, doesn't mean your life is a disaster."

3 Talk to yourself as though you were your best friend.

"If you wouldn't say it out loud to another person, under no circumstances say it in your mind to yourself," says motivational coach Mark McKeon, author of Life Tips (HarperCollins). Positive inner dialogue is crucial to happiness and success.

4 Don't worry. Ever.

Take action or wait optimistically for a result. If the worst happens, you'll deal with it.

5 Success really is a marathon not a sprint.

"Build resilience to get through the inevitable hard times," says Dr Tim Sharp, director of the Happiness Institute.


6 To get it, you have to be able to see it.

If you want a better body, believe in your ability to get it, says personal trainer Debbie Rossi, of Desire Fitness.

"Have a vision. That's what separates those who achieve their goals and those who don't." Rossi knows what she is talking about - she once weighed 90 kilograms. Imagine the new you. Use this picture in your mind when you feel tempted to slack off.

7 Build an energy/health reserve.

It takes physical and mental energy to achieve your goals, says Bertolucci. Don't think you're too busy to exercise or eat well.

8 Don't think fat, think fit.

Forget the scales. Muscle weighs more than fat anyway. Having a regular exercise practice that tones the body and calms the mind is more important than constant weigh-ins, says Leon.

9 No chocolate except on Wednesdays.

"No alcohol Monday to Friday, either, and no weekend bingeing," McKeon says. "Having a lifelong rule like this will help keep you healthy."

10 A salad a day keeps the doctor away.

Leon eats more than 50 per cent of his food raw or slightly cooked. While this won't suit everyone, eating at least one big salad a day - including green, red, purple and orange vegies for maximum antioxidants - is a great way to get fibre and the vitamins and minerals you need.


11 Regularly ask yourself what really makes you happy.

Questions like: "Why am I doing this job?" and "What's the bigger purpose in my life?" can help you stay on track to happiness, says performance coach Andrew May, author of Flip The Switch (self-published). "Making sure you are living a life of purpose is one of the best things you can do for your soul."

12 Forgive and forget, or at least forget.

Of course forgiveness is preferable but, no matter what, move on.

"Don't blame others or yourself for the past," says Luca Mora, CEO of Australian scientific skincare company Skeyndor. "You are the master of your life and what you are today is your own creation."

13 Believe in something bigger than yourself.

It doesn't matter whether it is God, Buddha or a lucky charm; a bit of faith can help you stay the course, says Leon.

"Pantanjali, one of India's great sages, developed a code for a successful life thousands of years ago. He called (the faith aspect) Samadhi: our connection to a higher being and consciousness."

14 Give love, get love.

"Open a door, offer a genuine compliment or make way in traffic," McKeon says. "Helping others comes back to us twice over."


15 Don't talk about work over dinner.

"Prioritise - this is a time to relax and spend with friends and family," says Sonia Rendigs, director of Media Moguls. Work will always come later, but being obsessed with it can destroy relationships.

16 Never let the sun go down on an argument.

"My mother told me this and it's one of my marriage maxims," says Nikki Goldstein, author of the Girlforce series, who has been married for nearly 20 years.

17 Take time to focus on the positive.

"Once a week, think about the people you rely on. You might write them an email or a letter to say how much you appreciate them," says Danin Kahn, owner of Todae, a business that sells lifestyle products for a sustainable future. "This will go a long way towards building strong relationships."

18 Never borrow clothes, cars or money.

Don't be tempted unless you want to end a friendship, says Amanda Thompson, who deals with celebrities and heads of state as executive assistant manager of The Langham hotel in Melbourne.


19 Do what's most important first.

"Most people greatly underestimate the time it takes to get something done," Bertolucci says. Prioritising means you'll meet your most important commitments even if your schedule is tight.

20 Always be curious.

"Ask questions and don't accept just one way of doing things," says Bertwhistle. "True advancement is achieved by those who ask different questions and think in different ways."

21 Email with caution.

"Never send a response to emails when you're tired or you have relaxed with a glass or two of wine," Thompson says.

22 Winning isn't everything.

"A mediocre effort can win and a magnificent effort can lose," Bertwistle says. "Set a higher standard - your personal best."

23 Sometimes the best help comes from unexpected places.

Instead of asking someone similar to you to solve a problem, try someone with a difference set of skills, says Wendy Visontay, owner of Fruit At Work, which began as a one-woman operation and now delivers fruit to 2000 workplaces across Australia.

24 Never compete, never compare.

"Run your own race and soon others will be chasing you," Bertwistle says.

25 Remember that work is what you do, not who you are.

"Evaluate your work values at regular stages, as well as assessing whether your work measures up against your values," Bertolucci says.



21 Keys to Magnetic Likeability

Author: Marc & Angel

Your true potential is enhanced by the sum of all the people who like you, and thus would go out of their way to assist you in a time of need. Unfortunately, there is no quick-fix guide for becoming extremely likeable. Likeability is tied deeply into some of your most stubborn, long-standing habits and behaviors. As with conquering any major personal change, it takes time and practice.

Here's what you should practice:

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster. Your life will never be the same again.
- Og Mandino

  • Be Attentive to Others and Never Stop Listening - Self-centered people are usually unlikable. When you're involved in a conversation, it's important to focus more on the other person and less on yourself. If you genuinely concern yourself with others and listen to them closely, you'll make scores of friends with little effort. Remember, everybody loves a good listener.
  • Compliment People Who Deserve It - Go out of your way to personally acknowledge and complement the people who have gone out of their way to shine. Everybody likes to hear that their efforts are appreciated.
  • Make Yourself Available and Approachable - If people cannot get a hold of you, or have trouble approaching you, they will forget about you. Your general availability and accessibility to others is extremely important to them. Always maintain a positive, tolerant attitude and keep an open line of communication to those around you.
  • Speak Clearly so People Can Understand You - Most people have a very low tolerance for dealing with people they can't understand. Mystery does not fuel strong relationships and likeability.
  • Never Try to Be Someone You're Not - All people have the subconscious ability to detect bullshit. Even academy award winning actors slip up every now and then. Fake people are not likeable. Ask yourself this: If you don't like who you really are, why the heck should I like you?
  • Address People by Their Name - People love the sight and sound of their own name, so make sure you learn to remember names. Use them respectfully in both oral and written communication.
  • Mirror the Person You're Conversing With - You can mirror someone by imitating their body language, gestures, movements and facial expressions during a one on one conversation. The other person will unconsciously pickup on the familiarity of your mirrored actions, which will provide them with an added sense of comfort as they speak with you. The more comfortable you make them feel, the more they will enjoy being around you.
  • Always Ask to Help... and Help When Asked - Everyone appreciates the gift of free assistance and those who supply it. Highly likeable people always spare time for others, regardless of how busy their own schedules are. Remember, helping people get what they want is the #1 key to getting what you want.
  • Never Get Caught Lying - Everybody stretches the truth at times, but everyone hates a liar. Ironic, isn't it? Regardless, understand that your credibility and likeability will get crushed if you are caught telling a lie.
  • Say "Please" and "Thank You" - These 2 simple phrases make demands sound like requests and inject a friendly tone into serious conversations. It can mean the difference between sounding rude and sounding genuinely grateful.
  • Use Positive Language (Body and Verbal) - You can use positive language skills to exhibit yourself as a helpful, constructive person rather than a destructive, disinterested one. Positive body language involves the act of maintaining eye contact while speaking, using hand gestures to accentuate important points, leaning in closer while someone else is speaking, smiling, and mirroring the person you're involved in a conversation with. Positive verbal language concentrates on what can be done, suggests helpful choices and alternatives, and sounds accommodating and encouraging rather than one-dimensionally bureaucratic.
  • Smile - Everyone likes the sight of a genuine smile. Think about how you feel when a complete stranger looks into your eyes and smiles. Suddenly she doesn't seem like a stranger anymore, does she? Instead she seems warm and friendly, someone you wouldn't mind being around for a little while longer.
  • Keep Unqualified Opinions to Yourself - If you don't have all the facts, or you're uneducated on the topic of discussion, it's in your best interest to spend your time listening. Unqualified opinions just make a person sound foolishly arrogant.
  • Provide Tangible Value - Don't just follow in the footsteps of everyone else. Figure out which pieces of the puzzle are missing and put them in place. When you add tangible value, you increase your own value in the eyes of others.
  • Respect Elders, Respect Minors, Respect Everyone - There are no boundaries or classes that define a group of people that deserve to be respected. Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother. People will notice your kindness.
  • Make Frequent Eye Contact... but Don't Stare - There's little doubt that eye contact is one of the most captivating forms of personal communication. When executed properly, eye contact injects closeness into human interaction, which leads to likeability. The key is to make frequent eye contact without gawking. If you fail to make eye contact you will be seen as insincere and untrustworthy. Likewise, an overbearing stare can make you appear arrogant and egotistical.
  • Don't Over-Promise... Instead, Over-Deliver - Some people habitually make promises they are just barely able to fulfill. They promise perfection and deliver mediocrity. Sure, they do deliver something. But it's not inline with the original expectations, so all it does is drive negative press. If you want people to like you, forget about making promises and simply over-deliver on everything you do.
  • Stand Up for Your Beliefs Without Promoting Them - Yes, it is possible to stand up for your beliefs without foisting them down someone else's throat. Discuss your personal beliefs when someone asks about them, but don't spawn offensive attacks of propaganda on unsuspecting victims. Stand firm by your values and always keep an open mind to new information.
  • Make a Firm Handshake - There is a considerable correlation between the characteristics of a firm handshake (strength, duration, eye contact, etc.) and a positive first impression.
  • Keep Your Hands Away from Your Face - Putting your hands on your face during a conversation tells the other person that you're either bored, negatively judging them, or trying to hide something.
  • Dress Clean - "Clothes and manners do not make the man; but, when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance." Henry Ward said that, and he knew exactly what he was talking about. People will always judge a book by its cover. While a stylish dress code is not absolutely necessary, it can drastically alter another person's perception of you.



The Power of Simplicity

Author: Sri Chimnoy

In Modern Life there are a seemingly endless series of options and avenues. At each turn, life seems to present numerous complications. It becomes hard to resist the allure of doing more things and trying to solve a myriad of problems. However, often we are consciously or unconsciously yearning for a more simple approach to life. If we can make an effort to bring more simplicity into our lives, we will find many benefits arise.

  • Peace of Mind.
    Simplicity doesn't necessarily involve living in a Spartan hut. Real simplicity begins in the mind. If we have numerous anxieties and problems it is not possible to have peace of mind. Simplicity means we learn to clear the mind and not allow ourselves to be bombarded by an endless stream of needless thoughts.
  • Living in the present.
    Complication in life arises because often we are worrying and planning about the future. We can become so concerned about what may happen tomorrow or next year that we forget to enjoy the present moment. To have one's focus on the here and now, is to encompass life as it is supposed to be.
  • Less Planning and Thinking
    When we complicate life through our endless planning we bring tomorrow's problems into today. Yet it is always worth remembering that our worries and fears about the future often prove to be groundless.
  • Avoiding Judgement.
    It is part of human nature to criticise and judge other people. It is very easy to make a long list of complaints and suggestions about other people. But does it help us when we highlight the faults of others? We should feel that we are not responsible for other people's thoughts and behaviour. If we feel it is our bounden duty to change others, there can be no simplicity and peace in our life. Rather than try to change others, let us just try to focus on changing ourselves. Our own weaknesses are probably more than enough to deal with.
  • Focus and Achievement
    Simplicity enables more to be achieved. Simplicity means that we are focused on one thing at a time. Simplicity means we can put all our concentration on just one thing. If we perform an action with no distractions then we can fulfil it quicker and more successfully. Often when we simplify our life we find we can actually achieve more than when we juggled several things at once.
  • "The simpler we can become, the sooner we shall reach our destination. A life of simplicity is a life of constant progress. It is in simplicity that we can make the fastest progress, progress which is everlasting."

    - Sri Chinmoy

  • Simplicity and Beauty.
    Simplicity is often synonymous with beauty. For example, Zen gardens are at once simple, yet in that simplicity there is a beauty, which appeals to our soul. It is the same with Mother Nature; the essence of nature is its unspoilt beauty. Has man ever been able to improve on the beauty and simplicity of nature?
  • Happiness
    Be Happy with what we have. As George Bernard Shaw aptly said

"There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire; the other is to get it."

The nature of desire is that the more we get the more we want. When we get a new car, often after a while we are not satisfied and want to get something better. However real happiness comes when we are content with what we have and are free of desire.



Ten Financial Reasons To Turn Off Your Television - And Ten Things To Replace It With

Author: Trent

My wife and I have reduced our television viewing to roughly four hours a week: two hourly dramas and maybe two more hours combined throughout the week. I believe that it won't be too long before we turn the television off for good. Why? It's too expensive. Here are ten reasons why.

Cable / satellite bills Our cable bill used to cost us roughly $60 a month. That adds up to $720 a year spent just to get more programming. Three years worth of that and we're looking at a very nice vacation. Five or six years of that, put into a savings account, potentially replaces a car.

Electricity We had two televisions, and they would each be on an average of four hours a day. Given a cost of $0.10 per kilowatt hour, and the fact that the smaller television used about 100 watts and the larger one used about 160 watts, that meant we were using a bit over a kilowatt hour each day. There's another $40 a year that vanished.

Guilt Television programs often create a glamorous image of a life that is far outside the financial capabilities of most people watching. When viewers watch such programs then reflect on their lives, it creates a set of negative feelings. For me, the most prevalent feeling was guilt - I can't give my family this stuff, I would think. Thus, my sense of self-worth would go down. This would put me in a mindset to be more susceptible to the ....

Commercials Those wonderful short little programs that are designed to sell you stuff, period. Even better: they often work in concert with the programs to create a sense of guilt - and they offer a psychological way out. One commercial isn't powerful, but when you're inundated with them... very powerful.

Less time for other opportunities If the television is on for four hours a day, that's four hours where I could be doing something more constructive with my time, like starting a successful blog (*ahem*) or starting a business or working on a novel or getting household chores done and so forth.

Stress When we spend a lot of time watching television, we put off other things that we should be doing, like paying bills, playing with the kids, and so on. After a while, these things build up and we begin to feel stress in our lives that wouldn't be there if we didn't spend so much time watching television. Over time, elevated stress leads to health issues.

Poorer dining habits Instead of spending time preparing a healthy, inexpensive meal from scratch, we would hurry up and eat an more expensive prepackaged meal (or takeout) so that we could catch certain television programs. These costs added up, not only on our wallets, but also around our waists.

Poor health / obesity Television is almost always a sedentary activity. Over time, it begins to show. Television is the big reason for the "obesity epidemic," because Americans simply don't get the natural exercise from doing non-sedentary activities that they once got. The health costs from this can be tremendous.

Less communication When the television is on for hours each day, it's much more difficult to have real conversations with the people in your life. Over time, less communication means weaker relationships with the people you love, and this means that quite often you have to "supplement" the relationship with additional spending.

Less sex For a married couple, not only is it good exercise (and thus healthy), it's free and it can help heal a lot of costly relationship issues. With heavy television usage, particularly in the bedroom, couples can fall asleep watching television instead of in each other's arms. I know it's true from experience.

Ten Things To Replace Television With

If you take a one week challenge to turn off the television, several things will happen, chief among them boredom and a sense of having a ton of "empty" time. Here are ten things to do to fill that time.

Start an exercise plan. If you didn't watch Mad Money every night at six o'clock, you might be able to spend that hour walking around the block, doing leg lifts, or doing an aerobic workout. Most exercise routines cost nothing, though it can be more fun if you do something like a DDR exercise regimen (something I'd love to write about, but I can't really conceive of how it fits on The Simple Dollar).

Prepare meals. Learn how to cook at home. Prepare some interesting meals. Get a good cookbook and dig in.

Read a book you've always wanted to read. Something like Anna Karenina or The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (both were the "book I always wanted to read" for me at various times). Read something to educate your mind and your spirit.

Start a second business. I keep this blog running on less time than I used to spend watching television each night and it is earning some money. I also started a computer consulting business, where I fix people's computers locally. This has opened up two solid revenue streams for me that, added together, approximate what I made from my job before. This has made me feel much less stressed about work - I do my job, but it no longer has the paralyzing "Oh my God what if they downsize?" fear that it used to have.

Be social. Have healthy, focused conversations with your immediate family. Patch up bruised relationships and friendships. Go out to community events and meet people. Find a group connected to the things you're interested in and get involved (like a book club).

Take an evening class. Most universities offer degree programs towards a master's degree (or higher) in the evenings. See what's available and get into such a program. It will fill your evenings with food for thought and put you on a much stronger career path.

Learn a new skill or a new hobby. When my great grandfather died, my great grandmother spent her evenings learning how to paint, something she'd always wanted to learn how to do. She had a ton of natural skill, and as she learned the craft, it began to show. It was something that her married life and television watching had never left time for before.

Take on a major project. Do something huge that you've always wanted to do. I've done things like made a homemade bullwhip, learned how to speak Mandarin, and so on, just in my newfound spare time.

Get things done. When I finally turned off the television and looked around, I saw literally hundreds of little things that needed to be done that I simply hadn't done. So I started getting them done; I literally spent three days making a giant checklist of every task that would take longer than five minutes, then I just started going through them. I felt so productive while doing this that it was a huge endorphin rush just by itself.

Take care of whatever bothers you. For me, it was taking a little bit of time each day to meditate and get in touch with my spiritual side, and it made a huge difference in my life.

In short, by cutting out television, you can not only directly save money, but live a much more rich and fulfilling life.




This Moment Right Now

Author: Tom Murasso

Be aware of what is in your mind, and gently move to control it. If you are having negative thoughts, stop and restate them as positive affirmations. State the opposite. If you are full of fear, stop and breathe and fill yourself
with love instead. If you are full of doubt, stop and breathe and bring in faith...

The antidote to fear is action and love, action and choices which stem from a loving connection with your true self. The
antidote to doubt is faith, a deep belief in yourself and what you are capable of, as well as all of the help which
is there for you... Be aware also of your body. Realize that your body is a tuning fork, in tune with your higher self. Pay attention
to your center, your solar plexus. Learn to know its feelings. Learn how it feels when it is afraid. Learn how
it feels when it is settled and calm. For now, just pay attention... As time goes on, you will want to make all your decisions from a calm and settled place in your center. Begin by
learning your body, learning all of its signs. And then, stop before you speak. Stop before you make choices.
Stop and breathe and make sure you are in a calm place in your mind and in your body, make sure that all fear
is gone, make sure that your center is relaxed and open and settled. Make all of your choices from this place, and your entire life will begin to transform... Fear yells in your ears
and in your mind. Doubt is a loud, insistent whine. But truth speaks differently. Truth is strong and quiet, lying
inside your body with a settled strength, informing you of its presence. And angels whisper gently....

You must learn to quiet your mind, through the training ground of meditation, and through vigilant monitoring
of fear and doubt, sending them away. Quiet all of that noise down and then move into that calm and settled
place within you. Reach yourself down there. Learn to find that place. Train yourself, through daily exercise, to build up a connection to the truth which is you...

Create your life from the voices of fear and doubt and you will just repeat old patterns over and over and over.
Create your life from your center of truth and you will shed those old patterns and begin to move forward. Yes,
with baby steps. Yes, with occasional falling down and even a step or two backwards as you learn this new way
of being...

Just one foot in front of the other, slowly, slowly. If the way is clear or if it is shrouded in fog, still can you walk
forward, step by step, always moving with faith and courage, always feeling the truth within you in your center
and streaming into your mind from your higher self...

Make these connections. Consciously work on them. Pay deep and close attention to what is going on within
you and then gradually learn to bring it through, learn to bend it to the way you wish to be. And how is that? You wish to be full of love, for yourself and for life itself, and then let that overflow into a deep connection and love of others. And youwish to be full of peace, a deep peace which is focused in now, this moment only. Without worries over the future. Without regrets from the past. Just peace, right now, right here, inside an acceptance and understanding of things just as they are, in all their perfection. And you wish to be full of joy. And this joy will flow naturally out of the love and peace, when you have driven fear and doubt out ofyour mind and body...Joy. Yes, joy. You can have this. You can awaken each day greeting the dawn like a bird, singing away in the tree, glorying in each moment as it unfolds. This is the life you will create.... You can do this. It does not matter if you have tried before and think that you failed. It is a process, a process which will continue all of your life. No matter how well you begin to walk, there will be a next stage,
a next way of being which is even higher than that. Stay focused always on what is inside you. Pay attention.
Know that you create the external from the internal. And that the most important thing you can do for yourself
is learn to take dominion over yourself, over your mind and your body. This is the only control which matters.
You cannot control the world outside. But if you learn to control the world inside, you will begin to have great influence on the world outside.... You have great creative forces inside you. And they will out. Your personal expression wants to be seen and
to shine out in the world. But it begins with controlling the other forces which you have allowed to dominate
up until now... Right now, own this. Right now, take full responsibility for what you think and what you do. Take full responsibility
for everything that happens inside your world. Watch your thoughts and take responsibility for them. Take responsibility
for your actions. Take responsibility for what you do to and with your body... The past does not matter. All that matters is this moment right now. And the future will flow out of this. What you
think about right now, helps create the future which is moving toward you, flowing out of you. You are creating your future with your thoughts, with your choices, with all that you are... So get to know yourself. Get to know the creative organism you are. Begin to create a mind and body inside yourself which reflects the truth of what you are, the joyous truth, the loving truth, the peaceful truth. Create
yourself from the inside out....



Overcoming Your Fears

Author: Rev. Alan Rowbotham

Overcoming your fears does not consist in ridding yourself of various conditions in the outer. Many people think that fear is caused by outer conditions, dangers we may be facing, but this is not true.

We have been conditioned to fear over a period of time, so we tend to react to whatever occurs at that particular level of awareness. To a large extent we experience what we expect and therefore we create or attract whatever it is we fear.

A healthy child never needs to be told to play, or even how to play; the child runs, makes believe, climbs, creates, invents, attempts. The universal law of life moves within the organism and its indwelling intelligence to do naturally and easily that which is their nature to do.

Do you ever have to remind a fearful individual or worrier to become anxious about something or other? Hardly! She is a worrier; therefore she worries and is fearful. Thus, she can be relied upon to be afraid. She really knows better, and from time to time makes
a resolution to not react in such a way, but it is difficult for she is essentially that kind of a person and that is the way she justifies it by saying something such as "Oh, I suppose I'm just a worrier by nature!"

Jesus reminded us that we are not only human; we are children of God, spiritual beings, God's greatest possibilities. Yes, of course, we may have tendencies toward complexes and aversions and fears, but there is so much more in all of us.

Don't ever cover up or brush aside your fear or anxiety with such excuses such as, "I'm just that kind of person," or "It runs in my family," or whatever. Resolve to make a new beginning for yourself today in the matter of awakening the divine spark within you, your
God-self. Confucius once said, "A man filled with truth has power over heaven and earth, God and devils; nothing in the universe can influence him; water and fire cannot cause him to fear." All of us need to become filled up with truth. This will lead us to creativity, success, abundance, beneficial experiences. It will, in short, enable us to fulfill our potential.

Over the great entrance of a majestic European cathedral is carved this statement, "Fear knocked at the door; Faith opened it; no one was there." You must discipline yourself to confront experiences, to open new doors with faith. For there is in you something that is equal to anything that may happen in the world about you; so act with your entire strength. Stand tall, feel tall, and think tall. Consider yourself at all times covered with the protecting influence of divine love, because you certainly are.

Discipline yourself with positive, creative thinking in order to overcome fear. Turn away from and de-emphasize notions that you can't do this or that you are afraid what will happen. You have got to promote yourself. Say to yourself that you are the greatest.
This is not egoism; you are thinking of your potential and you will give actuality to your greatness by the way you go on to produce it. Fill your mind with truth.

Sometimes we go to bed at night with a head full of trouble, having read the newspapers and watched the television news and conversed with friends or loved ones. We need to take time before dropping off to sleep to reject the sordid, sinister complications that
exist and fill our minds with something positive to ruminate on, to give ourselves a mindful of peace.

A wonderful affirmation that I have found helpful the last thing at night is, "I release everything and everybody to God, and I am lifted into a new awareness of safety, security, and peace."

Perhaps you are fearful about your physical condition; if you are, this is unrealistic because the real of you is the dynamic, spiritual life of you. Fear is really a sense of separation, of thinking that you might run out of life or energy. But you can never be separated from life; life has hold of you and will never let you go.

Do you feel a sense of dismay over your increasing age? Maturity is a fact, and gray hair and wrinkled skin are normal. There's a lovely thought expressed by the poet Browning when he says, "Grow old along with me; the best is yet to be; the last of life for
which the first was made."He was not speaking debilitation and insecurity; he is talking
about maturity, about letting go of things we can very well get along without. The cult of youthfulness is somewhat unfortunate; people are starting earlier and earlier to fear age, not realizing that life is a process, not a station. It is important to grow up and to grow out of the conception of physical beauty as the absolute be all and end all of things.

Do you have a fear of lack? How often what is referred to as frugality is really fear. The recluse who hangs on to strings and old newspapers and keeps his money under his mattress is a person possessed with fear.

Our own fear of lack often impels us to save our best clothes for a special occasion, our best table linens for some as yet unplanned for party; and how often do the clothes go out of fashion or the table linens disintegrate before they are used?

One man having been retired from his job, sat all alone late at his desk on the evening of his final day of work. Feeling bitter, insecure, and fearful, he noticed a tiny spider tumble off a ledge into the air and instantly spin a silky filament, letting itself carefully and safely down to the floor.

The man suddenly realized that if such an unprepossessing creature could go off into the unknown dependent upon the security within it, then certainly a human such as he must have that capacity too.It altered his thinking; he went out and went on, never again to
be held down by fear. He shortly found a place for himself as a consultant, using his experience and know-how of so many years, and enjoyed life with far less tension and somewhat more of an income than ever before. A fulfilling process took place after he changed his entire attitude.

The fear of death is perhaps the ultimate fear. It is perhaps at the root of most, if not all, fears. It is the result of feeling that life is static, that one is born at a moment in time and that the end likewise comes at a moment in time.

There is a great need to realize the essential continuity of life, that life is eternal, without beginning, without ending; and there is a need to open our consciousness to a greater awareness of life where death is not real. Physical death is a fact and something
that comes to each of us, but it is not the truth of life; the truth is that life is eternal. When you dissolve fear of death, you take a giant step toward victorious living.

When a fear-thought comes, rely upon your consciousness of oneness with God; always remember that fear is the reaction to an illusion based upon thought separation. Keep your mind filled with truth; don't dwell in darkness and fear, always keep the lights turned on.

God is blessing you right now!



Money Is Not Wealth

Author: Prosperity Paradigm

If you ask people what they want, many will say "more money". But it is important to understand what money is and what it actually represents.

Money is not wealth. Money is an agreed upon legal tender which we use to assign value to goods and services provided. Money itself has little intrinsic value. It has been estimated that the cost of producing $1m in printed notes (paper, ink, plates and all distribution costs) is less than $100. Money is simply a form of exchange by which we assign value to the goods and services provided in the material world.

The "value" of these goods and services is an internal value, a notional concept which will vary between individuals. This is wh

y two people may disagree vehemently over the value of an original oil painting. Each has an entirely different internal value as to what they believe the painting represents. This is also why the value of house prices and share prices can drop significantly within a very short period of time. The internal values of the relevant part

ies may be adversely affected by fear, in light of alarming predictions in relation to the "economy" or "inflation".

When considering wealth, do not focus on the money. Money is not the cause of wealth, but merely a form of exchange. Creating wealth is achieved by developing internal value in yourself and others and finding innovative ways to flow and exchange this value between people.

Awareness of your internal value and your ability to develop it in yourself and others is often referred to as Wealth Consciousness. Wealth Consciousness is not something you need to get or acquire outside of yourself. It is simply the development of something you already have.

Wealth consciousness is the expansion of your own awareness of your own wealth capabilities. Instead of focusing on the status of your bank account, focus on the value you can give and help develop in others and wealth will flow automatically.

Wealth consciousness is not dependent on money; your flow of money is dependent on your wealth consciousness. As you conceive of more, more will flow into your life.



Church believes meditation helps mind, body, soul

Author: Holly J. Andres

Source: Daily News, Los Angeles

WOODLAND HILLS - Chairs surrounding a pile of stones will be the setting for interfaith and health-healing meditation circles at Woodland Hills Community Church this month.

"Meditation is a wonderful technique that, studies have shown, has profound health effects. When we're sitting, being quiet and focusing on breathing, we're making room for the Divine. It allows us to access wisdom," said Barbara Harris, a Woodland Hills Community Church member who will be ordained as an interfaith minister in September.

Besides studying for ordination, Harris is enrolled in the master's program in integrative health studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.

She is the co-author of "Shape Your Life," and for 15 years she was the editor-in-chief of a fitness magazine, "Shape."

Circles are traditionally considered symbols of eternity, unity, completeness or the soul.

These interpretations are the spiritual framework of the circles for Sunday's prepare-the-heart meditation.

"The stones in the center represent our core agreement, the stepping stones, to learn to be together again," Harris said. "The overall goal of the circles is to promote well-being, health and healing. My prayer, hope, is that each person is deeply moved and inspired."

To create a sacred space for the meditations, Harris will ask that people remove their shoes. A candle will be lit to symbolize the light that everyone shares.

Each group will develop a chant based on discussion in the group's particular circle.

"`What are those weirdos doing?' is what some folk may be saying. Some folk think it's `of the devil,"' said the Rev. Stephen Amsden from Woodland Hills Community Church.

"But quiet meditation is a lost art in Christianity. Western civilization is very activist. We want to do! People forget what the psalmist said: Be still and know that I am God."

The first prepare-the-heart meditation circle is set for Sunday, which is also Choir Sunday at the United Church of Christ-affiliated congregation, and Harris has chosen a psalm that talks about praising God in song.

Sunday's meditation circle will help churchgoers calm their minds before the main service.

"We're not good listeners in our culture. When does God get the chance to speak to us? We often don't let God speak," said Amsden. "Our soul, our spirit, might not be ready for the Sunday service because it's too activist. I think this meditation will help people get in touch with what God is going to be saying."

There will be two mind/body/spirit meditations, with the first to be held Wednesday.

This circle will include guided meditation, yoga breathing techniques and a "deep listening" exercise with a partner within the group.

People participating in the health-healing circles should be aware that there will be no physical exercise, and the meditation is neither Zen or Tibetan, Harris said.

Thursday's interfaith meditation circle will include readings from many faith traditions and secular writing, including poetry. There will be silent meditation, discussion and reciting of the chant that the group composes.

"We'll be asking, `Can other faith traditions shed new light on our own?' We'll be seeking harmony. The Divine might be in things I don't understand," said Harris.

"One of the things I love about the UCC is that we don't believe that Christianity has the monopoly on faith. It's one of many. That's what I believe."


How to Keep a Secret

Author: Alex as Behavior and Ethics Communication Society

Source: Lifespy

What do you do when someone tells you a secret? Do you share it with everyone else or are you like a select few, who really knows the value of keeping a secret? Being a tattletale is a disease, and for some people, keeping a juicy gossip is harder than it seems. So here's help for those who just can't help themselves. You still have a chance at being trustworthy.

What is your purpose? Whenever you want to share someone else's secret, think first. What is your purpose of sharing it? What do you hope to achieve by sharing it? Do you want to elicit other people's opinion about, and if you do, why do other people have to comment on it? Turning someone else's secret into a point of discussion with someone else is just not fair.

Add a lot of integrity to your character by being someone people know they can trust. Integrity is hard to earn. And the moment you let out a rumor, you lose that. If integrity doesn't mean anything to you, just look at it this way - if you are trustworthy, more people will trust you with their secrets. That means you'll know everyone's dirt. But the catch is that you shouldn't let it spill. Just enjoy the knowledge. Surely, that alone gives you much pleasure.

The next time you hear something you're just itching to disseminate, control your impulse. Do what you would when you're trying to control your anger by doing deep breaths at least 5 times. Ask yourself the questions I provided above and unless your answers sound rational to you, don't rush to the nearest person to do the bad deed.

Don't provoke people into squeezing the secret out of you. Do away with those stupid "I know something you don't" lines when you're with other peers. Sometimes, the reason you let a secret out is that you dropped hints, making other people know that you're just bursting to let the gas out. Just shut up and you'll be as trustworthy as you can ever hope for.



Four Inspirational Quotes That Changed My Life

Source: By Imran Rahman in Inspiration on June 12th, 2008

Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like if I was on planet earth thousands of years ago when language was somewhat non-existent, extremely elementary at best. Although our lives would have been much simpler, I am certain people were greatly challenged with their ability to effectively communicate their feelings and the beauty they witnessed in the marvelous world around them.

Fast forwarding thousands of year later, language today is quite comprehensive. Maybe it is a little bit too complex at times. The more complex language a person uses, the smaller their audience.

Anyhow, one absolutely amazing aspect of language is the ability to take a complex concept and put it into simple words which can be easily understood by the masses. For example, a metaphor can shortcut our understanding of concepts which may have taken years to understand otherwise.

One application of words which I have always been extremely touched by is inspirational quotes. It would have taken me a long time to come to the same conclusions on my own had it not been for certain quotes which I came across during specific times of my life.

Below are four inspirational quotes which simply changed my life. I can proudly say that I wake up every morning and live by these words. I hope for you to find them moving as well.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

Humans are total creatures of habit. We live our entire life in little chunks called days which seem to last forever between birth and death. As we perform certain actions daily over and over again, we unconsciously create patterns which will thoroughly run our lives whether we are aware of their existence or not.

If you wish you create the life of your dreams, start by creating the day of your dreams. If you can do what matters most to you everyday, your life is almost guaranteed to be a success. Don't worry too much about tomorrow. Definitely don't worry at all about yesterday because it is already gone. However, what you do today is most significant since it will become your past and will be your future.

"The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them." - George Bernard Shaw

One thing is for sure and that is; it matters not where one is coming from, but only where one is going. Since we do not have control of the circumstances we are born into or those present in our life for the first decade and half, it is crucial to realize that how we choose to interpret the circumstances in our early life will either make us or break us.

It is unfortunate to see people blaming everyone else for the circumstances in their lives. Their spouse, their boss, their parents, the government, and the list can go on and on. It is essential for an individual to realize that when they believe "a problem" to be out there in the external world, they are unconsciously giving up their power to find and reach a solution. Therefore, one must always believe in their ability to influence their life and circumstances though the power of choices, decisions, and beliefs.

"Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don't fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgment, repeated every day." - Jim Rohn

This quote by Jim Rohn is totally profound. It is profound because not only does it break down "failure" into a very simple yet comprehensive understanding; the same quote gives us the foundational understanding of success as well.

You see success is not a destination, it is a journey. That is why you hear people say "my overnight success took me 30 years."

Being a success is not an event, but rather a journey of living true to one's cause and values on a day to day basis. Once you have chosen and locked down your purpose in life, it is your day to day judgments which will serve as the vehicle to transport you to your destination. So, stick to your causes and what means the most to you daily and your lifetime success will take care of itself.

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill

Again, life changing words in my opinion. Each human must realize that at the core of their life lies the same thread which is present in everyone's life; service to others.

You see, we can spend our whole lifetime creating a legacy through our accomplishments. Fancy cars, huge estates, and marvelous material abundance are all fun and pleasure, and there is nothing wrong with them. These luxuries are our right if we so choose for the time and effort we have put forth in creating our lives and businesses.

However, if we wish to be a legend, what really counts is that which we give to others. Thus, as we pass on to an unknown realm of existence after life on earth, we continue to live through others by our donations of not just money and gifts but through the image of an extraordinary citizen who practiced a habit of giving to others less fortunate in mind and material life.

I hope you enjoyed the quotes and appreciated the profound lessons which they carry. It is words like these which have inspired the great spirit in others to do what was considered impossible, and achieve what was considered unachievable.

I wish for you to find plenty of inspirational quotes which carry profound meaning for you. When you do find such quotes or if you already have some, be sure to put them in places where you are likely to see them everyday such as your bathroom mirror, bedroom wall, car, or the inside of your wallet.

May your life be filled with meaning and accomplishment.

About the author:
Imran Rahman is a young entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, and author living in Tampa, FL. He has a deep passion for sharing the exact science of creating results and achieving dreams. He has chosen sharing knowledge with others in the areas of spirituality, success, happiness, health, relationships and finances as his life mission. He can be contacted at


Whose Energy Is In Your Soul Tank?

Source: A Woman's guide to Saner Living

How do you know when you are giving away too much of your self? We have a finite amount of energy that fuels our mind, body and spirit. When we give away more energy than we take in our Soul Tanks fill up with other people's energy. Soul Tanks are personal energy reservoirs, which can be drained by overdoing for others while not paying attention to personal needs. When our Soul Tanks are full of other people's energy then our true self is covered up and ignored. Ideally there needs to be a balance of energy exchange in giving and receiving in order to have a Soul Tank full of vibrant energy. When our Soul Tanks are full of vibrant energy we are happier and attract people and situations that enhance our lives and deepen our relationship with ourselves.

The chart below can be help you learn more about the concept of Responsive To vs. Responsible For. You can use these concepts to guide you towards having a Soul Tank full of vibrant life enriching energy.

When I Feel Responsible For Others

I... Fix, Protect, Rescue, Control, Carry their feelings, Don't listen

I Feel... Tired, Anxious, Fearful, Angry

I Focus On... The answers, Solutions, Being right

I am a manipulator and expect others to live up to my expectations

When I feel Responsive To Others

I... Show empathy, Share, Encourage, Confront, Listen, Am Sensitive

I Feel... Relaxed, Free, Aware, Good About Myself

I Focus On... Relating Person to Person, Feelings, The Person

I believe that if I just share myself the other person has enough information to make decisions

I am a guide

I expect the other person to take of themselves and be responsible for their own actions

I trust and let go


Boost Your Mind Powers

Source: Written by Prosperity Paradigm

Would you like to boost your IQ 20 points, become incredible more creative and learn the mental mastery tricks that all successful people use to stand out from the crowd?

If so, the first thing you need to do is ask yourself what you are paying attention to and why. How long do you pay attention to any one thing? How focused are you?

It is the focus of attention that enhances the power of the mind and boosts your ability to create the lifestyle you desire to have. If you look at successful people, you can easily see that they are very focused. They are not only focused on their goals. They are focused on playing at the top of their game. They are focused on enjoying what they do. They are focused on their internal reality picture rather than outer events and circumstances.

Intense focus is often called single-mindedness. It takes a certain level of single-mindedness to achieve anything great. Look in a thesaurus and you will see that synonyms for single-mindedness are commitment, dedication, determination, absorption, deep thought and contemplation.

So, if focus is the secret to success, how do you develop the ability to have laser-like focus? There are three simple and proven things you can do to dramatically increase your ability to focus and thereby boost the power of your mind.

So, if contemplation is a synonym for intense focus, then you must develop your ability to be contemplative. The easiest and most effective way to develop that skill is to practice some form of daily meditation.

You have approximately 60,000 thoughts running through your mind every day. This hyper-activity is not indicative of how powerful your mind is; it is indicative of an attention deficit. Meditation and intentional contemplation will still this random and mostly useless noise and allow you to develop your ability to focus on or pay attention to the things that are important to you.

The second thing you can do to increase your ability to focus is to write down your ideals and goals and then read them to yourself, preferably out loud, morning and evening. (See my article called the eleven basics of goal achievement).

And the third thing that you can do is to become passionate about what you do or do what you are passionate about. Anyone who has ever fallen in love with another person knows how focused you can become. So fall in love with your own success and you will find that you have magically gotten smarter, more creative and will be paying attention to the things that really matter.

Allowing yourself to be distracted inhibits your success. Get focused.


The Beautiful Flower In The Broken Pot


Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out patients at the clinic.

One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. "Why, he"s hardly taller than my eight-year-old," I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red and raw.

Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, "Good evening. I"ve come to see if you"ve a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there"s no bus "til morning."

He told me he"d been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. "I guess it"s my face... I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments..."

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: "I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning."

I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. "No thank you. I have plenty." And he held up a brown paper bag.

When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn"t take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.

He didn"t tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was preface with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children"s room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch.

He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won"t put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair." He paused a moment and then added, "Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don"t seem to mind." I told him he was welcome to come again.

And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning.

As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they"d be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.

Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly preciou s.

When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning.

"Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!"

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear.

I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend, who has a greenhouse, as she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, "If this were my plant, I"d put it in the loveliest container I had!"

My friend changed my mind. "I ran short of pots," she explained, and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn"t mind starting out in this old pail. It"s just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden."

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. "Here"s an especially beautiful one," God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. "He won"t mind starting in this small body."

All this happened long ago - and now, in God"s garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.


Fifty Habits of Highly Successful People

Author: Craig Harper

Success is really a profound individual perception. Not only is there the commercialized notion of success, bred by whatever culture you live in, but individually, success is different for everyone, and changes as you grow older.

It has been my observation that nearly all of us set our expectations too low. I have studied personal development literature for over 30 years now, and one of the more common themes is the agonizing thought of winding up on your deathbed not having at least tried for your dreams and goals.

The first step, of course, is to set your goals. I ran an article by Brain Tracy several years ago on goal-setting that is loaded with helpful tips on how to write your goals down to increase your chances of success.

But there are also certain habits and characteristics that more successful people display than others.

This is a great list created by LifeHack, ofqualities that successful people have, which have been noted in many books on the subject:

  • They look for and find opportunities where others see nothing.
  • They find lessons while others only see problems.
  • They are solution focused.
  • They consciously and methodically create their own success.
  • They may be fearful, but they are not controlled or limited by fear.
  • They ask the right questions -- the ones which put them in a positive mindset and emotional state.
  • They rarely complain.
  • They don't blame, and take complete responsibility for their actions and outcomes.
  • They always find a way to maximize their potential, and use what they have effectively.
  • They are busy, productive and proactive.
  • They align themselves with like-minded people.
  • They are ambitious.
  • They have clarity and certainty about what they want.
  • They innovate instead of imitate.
  • They don't procrastinate.
  • They are life-long learners.
  • They are glass half full people, while still being practical and down-to-earth.
  • They consistently do what they need to do, regardless of how they are feeling on a given day.
  • They take calculated risks.
  • They deal with problems quickly and effectively.
  • They don't believe in, or wait for, fate, destiny, chance or luck.
  • They take action before they have to.
  • They are more effective than most at managing their emotions.
  • They are good communicators.
  • They have a plan for their life and they work methodically to turn that plan into a reality.
  • They become exceptional by choice.
  • They work through the tough stuff that most would avoid.
  • They have identified what is important to them and they do their best to live a life which is reflective of those values.
  • They have balance. They know that money is a tool and ultimately, it's just another resource.
  • They understand the importance of discipline and self-control.
  • They are secure in their sense of self-worth.
  • They are generous and kind.
  • They are happy to admit mistakes and apologize.
  • They are adaptable and embrace change.
  • They keep themselves in shape physically.
  • They work hard and are not lazy.
  • They are resilient.
  • They are open to, and more likely to act upon, feedback.
  • They don't hang out with toxic people.
  • They don't invest time or emotional energy into uncontrollable things.
  • They are happy to swim against the tide.
  • They comfortable with their own company.
  • They set high standards for themselves.
  • They don't rationalize failure.
  • They know how to relax, enjoy what they have in their life and to have fun.
  • Their career is not their identity, it's their job.
  • They are more interested in what is effective than in what is easy.
  • They finish what they start.
  • They realize that not only are they physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well.
  • They practice what they preach.


Keep your brain healthy!

Author: Deborah Tucker

A big topic these days is brain health, especially for those of us who are, ahem, middle-aged. When we were in school, conventional wisdom said that our brains were largely formed by age 2, and that not much change happened physically in the brain after about age 7.

What a difference a few decades makes -- in the research, not in us! (Well, that too, but that's another topic.) Now we know that many things we do affect our brain health, including how we think and feel. So here are some tips, pulled together from various sources, that are supposed to contribute to better brain health as we age.

1. Recognize that chronic stress makes your body sick. Stress causes the release of hormones, especially cortisol, which impacts our whole body, including the brain. One of the areas of the brain especially impacted by these hormones is the hippocampus, which is responsible for our ability to remember new things. Anything that we do to reduce the amounts of chronic stress we have, and to heal its effects, is going to help with brain health.

2. Get enough sleep. I've posted elsewhere in this blog about the effects of chronic sleep deprivation. We need sleep for cells to rejuvenate on a physical level. Our brains need time spent sleeping to process our day, especially stressful events. Try to make sure that you're not burning the candle at both ends. Give your body and your brain some rest.

3. Exercise. There's no getting around. Our bodies need to move, and our brains benefit in so many ways. Hormonally, when we exercise, we produce hormones that are beneficial to brain health. Improved blood circulation is also a plus. And, if we're doing certain sports or other activities that require lots of hand-eye coordination or fancy footwork (think table tennis or dancing), we're engaging many different parts of our brain as well.

4. Avoid toxic substances. This means nicotine, caffeine and alcohol, but it also means pesticides, artificial flavorings or colorings, and heavy metals. We all take in varying amounts of these things, but as with so many other issues in life, it's a question of moderation and load. The less we put into our body that's damaging, the better off we're going to be, and this includes our brains.

5. Eat a healthy diet. Naturally, the more good things we put into our bodies, the healthier we will be. Our brains need lots of vitamins and minerals to function well. Omega 3 oil, essential oils found in a healthy diet and in supplements, contributes to brain health. And all those good colored fruits abd vegetables contain anti-oxidants, which help neutralize the free radicals released by toxins described above.

6. Learn new things. If we keep learning new things, we keep adding new neuronal connections, so that's a literal physical effect that helps explain why "use it or lose it" applies to our brains. At the same time, we can work on "un-learning" negative thought processes. The metaphor I use with clients is that our negative thoughts and beliefs "wear a groove in our brains", and it's not far from the truth. Scientists think that habitual thoughts form "neuronal pathways", so the more we think something, the more we strengthen that pathway. Make sure you're strengthening positive pathways.

7. Be social, and be flexible. It's very important to maintain social networks, and to develop new ones, at all times of life, but especially so as we age. Attrition takes its toll, meaning people in our lives move away, drift away, and eventually die. If we're going to live long and enriching lives, we need people in them, and that means meeting new people. If we're busy learning new things and keeping active, that should come fairly easily. All this "newness" should help keep us flexible, too. Just as we don't want our joints to become stiff, we don't want our thought processes to become "stiff", either. We all need to keep examining our opinions and our reasoning, and be open to at least hearing new arguments.

8. Keeping meaning in your life. It's not all about exercise and diet to just benefit ourselves. It's a long-standing wisdom to realize that the best way to feel good is to help someone else. If you want to keep your brain healthy, reach out and help someone. If you are physically healthy, there are endless possibilities. If you are less mobile, you may be able to help people in easy-to-get-to settings, or even over the phone. If you are a spiritual person, no matter what your religious persuasion, realize that you can make a prayer list and pray daily for the people on it. This is something we do practically until our last breath, and I believe it helps.

Happy aging, and good luck with all that new learning!


Debt Got Your Sleep?

Author: Dr. Michael J. Breus, Huffington Post.

Recently I was reading an article online about the health problems plaguing Americans as worries about mounting debt trigger extreme stress. Rather than blaming things like back pain, headaches, ulcers, depression, and even heart attacks on a specific underlying medical cause, all fingers are pointing toward plain old stress.

Stress is a fact of life ...
... and unfortunately debt has also become a fact of life for many of us.

Compounding the problem are recent economic woes as the real estate market sinks, cost of living expenses rise, and just driving the car to the gym or yoga class to work out those stress-related kinks is getting expensive.

According to an index tied to a recent AP-AOL survey, debt stress is 14 percent higher this year. Revolving consumer debt, almost all from credit cards, now totals $957 billion, compared with $800 billion in 2004, according to the Federal Reserve. Argh!

Debt, Stress and Sleep Problems
I don't have to outline all the statistics that point to our heightened stress level. It's obvious to everyone living in the 21st century, unless you're in denial or have miraculously found the cure to conquering stress. But what the recent article and survey did not indicate is how much this stress is affecting people's sleep.

I have no doubts that today's intense stress levels are adversely affecting the quality and quantity of our sleep. Not only do we take our worries to bed with us, fueling insomnia, but we also delay going to bed as we tool around the Internet late at night paying bills or seeking support through others on the Web.

This sets us up for feeling more stressed out when sleep deprivation lowers our thresholds for enduring high stress levels. Our moods dim, our immune systems plummet, our body's hormonal clocks tick a little off, our hunger and satiety signals change, our ability to learn new things weakens, our concentration dwindles, our physical bodies miss out on a much-needed time-out to fully recover for the next day, and on and on.

Sleeping More Can Help You Cope
I could list a litany of problems associated with chronic sleep deprivation. I can also create an even longer list of benefits that come with getting a good night's rest.

And one of them would be this: being able to cope with and manage something as difficult and stressful as serious debt.

With a good night's rest, you feel energized, upbeat, refreshed, and focused. You can problem solve more easily and find ways to work through your debt so it doesn't become a pain in the neck, the back, your head, your heart, and soul. That said, let me suggest ...

3 Ways to Conquer Debt through Sleep:

  • Set aside 15 minutes a day to focus on your debt and making plans to diminish it--but avoid doing this at night. Schedule it early in the day or first thing in the morning, and be done with it.
  • If your debt worries keep you up at night, start a Worry Journal. Have it by your bedside, and write in it as your stressful thoughts emerge. Then close the book and close your mind off those thoughts. If solutions or things to do in relation to those worries crop up as you write, record those.
  • Physical exercise is a great sleep promoter and stress
    If you find yourself avoiding exercise to "get more done"
    during the day, it's time to re-evaluate. Be sure to schedule in at
    least 30 minutes of physical exercise no matter what. It can be as
    simple as going for a brisk walk in the evening.

Don't let debt get your sleep. Becoming debt free will happen much more effortlessly if you have sweet dreams.

This post is cross-posted at Dr. Breus's blog, The Insomnia Blog.



Using The Power Of The Mind For Success And Prosperity

Author: Jules Hawk

Looking back through history, it is evident that the power of the mind has been known for aeons. Many ancient civilizations show evidence of there knowledge. Unfortunately, some of the ancient knowledge has been lost over the many years, but it is now being rediscovered.

It is much easier to take control over your life than you think. Often times we mould ourselves to be what we think others think we are. By imagining yourself as a successful and prosperous person you can actually become successful. By using positive affirmations we are able to become who we always wanted to be.

The most successful people have many of the same attributes in common. Most successful people are goal oriented, are very ambitious and think positively. Persistence and determination are also found in most successful people. However, true success cannot be achieved without happiness. Happiness can be created by positive thinking. When you think positively about yourself and the world around you then you have the ability to take control of your life.

What we think has a direct effect on where we go in life. If you are constantly thinking negative thoughts then your life will go towards negativity. When things are constantly going wrong for you this is generally because you are thinking very negatively. This can be a hard cycle to break but is something that you have to do to achieve success.

A money mindset for prosperity can include the use of success affirmations. It is best to review affirmations daily and early morning upon waking, and late evening before sleep are good time to access the deeper and more powerful regions of the subconscious mind.

If you want to break the cycle of negative thinking you can try an experiment. Choose a day to change your thought habits When you wake up you will only focus on positive things. Be happy that the sun is out or that you have a warm home. Every minute you need to think about good things and dwell on the positive. Have gratitude for all the wonderful things in your day.

By keeping negative thoughts at bay you will then only have room for positive thinking. This will help to create a positive environment around you. At the end of the day think back on the day and you will realize how much thinking positively helped. As you increase the your positive energy vibration you attract more positive things into your experiences.

It can take time to really start to think positively throughout the day. It is a learned behavior just like thinking negatively is a learned behavior. That is why we use affirmations to help re-train our brains to think positively. Before you know it your brain will be thinking positively on a subconscious level and you won't even realize it. It will take a lot of time and hard work though to achieve this level, but the benefits are so worth it.

As your mind starts to think more positive thoughts the negative thoughts will disappear. This will also be reflected in your life and the people around you. When you have a positive aura you will attract things to you. People will notice a change in you, and people will start to view you differently.

If you are stuck in a negative thinking rut then it is time that you use affirmations to break the cycle. Start off each day with positive affirmations and before you go to bed at night. By practicing thinking positively you will get better and better at it. Before you know it your mind will be trained to think positive thoughts. This will have an affect on your whole life.

You can develop your money mindset for prosperity by using prosperity affirmations. It is becoming more and more understood how the power of the mind can attract things to us. By using prosperity affirmations we can attract wealth and abundance into our lives.

Affirmations are like excercies for the mind to develop its happiness and manifestation muscle. Affirmations work almost as a magic potion if you will that can bring about peace of mind, happiness, success, freedom from worries and spiritual prosperity.

The human brain has great capacity and we only use a small percentage of our brain power in our daily lives. Our brains are never fully utilized because we are not programmed in the right way. However, through affirmations we can open up parts of our potential that weren't there before.

In the book Rich Dad Poor Dad it is explained that what a child learns during childhood is what has the greatest influence on his or her life. Therefore, by saying affirmations at a very young age you can get more of what you desire. And affirmations can also be used to help change the programs that were embedded in the mind in previous years.

If you did not start at a very young age you can still start now with prosperity affirmations. You are able to reprogram your brain and therefore your life. Once you continually say your positive affirmations you will believe them on a conscious level and implant them at a subconscious level. You will find that in daily activities you will be putting these affirmations into practice.

When you achieve the mental state of believing that you want prosperity in your life, that you can have prosperity in your life, and that you are deserving of prosperity in your life, then you will be able to attain it.

The longer you think about being prosperous and repeat your affirmations in your head the quicker this will be able to come true. But it is important also to feel the emotion of the attainment of your outcomes. Rote repetition of words alone is not enough. Feel the feeling as if you have already attained the desired outcome.

Repeating affirmations is essentially programming your mind with positive thoughts. So many people dwell on the negative and it is these negative thoughts that govern their lives. If you can identify these negative thoughts and other factors that are preventing you from achieving prosperity then you will be able to control them better.

The more you believe in your ability to do great things and gain prosperity the more able you will be to actually achieve it. The power of your mind will allow you to overcome any obstacles no matter how big.

It is easy to let negative thoughts control our lives. A person who is constantly thinking about losing money and is afraid of it reflects this in their actions. This is why it is so important to control your thoughts and emotion in order to gain prosperity.

The words that you say to yourself everyday are what your mind will believe. If you keep all negative thoughts away then your mind will only be able to create a reality out of positive thoughts.

If you notice a negative thought or statement crossing your mind, just say Cancel That and as your say it, you can release that negative thought.

You can use a variety of techniques to help you with your affirmations. One technique is autosuggestions which are specially targeted affirmations. These are posters, audio messages or visual clippings that you can surround yourself with. This way you will be thinking about your prosperity all the time. Be sure that your prosperity affirmations have only to do with you and do not try to manipulate other people's lives, even towards apparently positive outcomes.

Keep your affirmations in the present tense. If you are stating your affirmations with future tense they will always be reamining out there in the future. Bring your positive outcomes into the present by using present tense statements with your positive affirmations.



Ernest Hemingway's Top 9 Words of Wisdom

Published by Henrik Edberg

"The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it."

As you probably know Ernest Hemingway was a writer, journalist and Nobel Prize Winner. Some of his most famous stories include "The Old Man and The Sea" and "The Sun Also Rises". He also participated in both World Wars and worked as a correspondent during for instance the Spanish Civil War.
Now, here are 9 of my favourite words of wisdom from Ernest Hemingway.

  • Listen.
    "I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen."
    Learning to really listen to someone rather just waiting for our turn to talk can be a difficult skill to develop. Often we may have much on our mind that we want to say and so listening falls by the wayside.
    How can you become a better listener? Here are three tips:
    • Forget about yourself. Focus your attention outward instead of inward in a conversation. Place the mental focus on the person you are talking and listening to instead of yourself. Placing the focus outside of yourself makes you less self-centred and your need to hog the spotlight decreases.
    • Stay present. This will help you to decrease the bad habit of thinking about the future and what you should say next while trying to listen. If you are present and really there while listening then that will also come through in your body language, which gives the person talking a vibe and feeling that you are really listening to what s/he has to say.
    • Be open. Keep your mind open to the possibility that whatever the person is about to say will actually be interesting. If you have already made up your mind that he or she will say something boring then it will be hard to pay attention.

    Also, if you really listen then that alone will often provide you naturally with a better and more genuine answer than the clever response thought up while trying to listen simultaneously.

  • Take the first step.
    "The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them."
    The thing is if two people or more are waiting for someone else to take the first step then that step may never be taken. Or you may at least have to wait for a very long time.
    If you after some time realise that, like in this example, you couldn't trust the person then at least you have learned that.
    By not taking the first step you'll perhaps never know. So instead of waiting around and trying to figure things out just take first steps of different kinds in interactions. Be proactive.
  • Keep your eyes on where you are going.
    "Never mistake motion for action."
    It's very easy to get lost in busy work. You may spend much time in your in-box or filing and organizing things. But at the end of the day or week, what have you accomplished?
    Just because you're moving doesn't mean that you are moving in the direction you really want to go. To do that you have to do the things that you know are really important and in alignment with your goals. And not getting lost in busy work.
    So, improve your effectiveness and productivity. But, more importantly, never lose your view of your big picture. And take the action and do the things you need to do to get yourself where you want to go.
  • Just do.
    "The shortest answer is doing the thing."
    How do you get things done? You take action and do them. You may need to do some planning, but don't get lost in that stage or in over thinking things. Planning or thinking won't get you any results in real-life if you don't take action too.
    So take action and just try something. Maybe you'll succeed. Maybe you'll fail, but if you do then failure can always teach you a bunch of things. The worst thing is not failure, it's to just sit on your hands and do nothing.
    Developing a just do it habit - where you learn to do what you know you want to do despite how you feel or what your thoughts are telling you at the moment - can be difficult. But it's rewarding not only because you'll get actual results and - sooner or later - success. It also builds real confidence in yourself, in your capabilities and in your own personal power to achieve what you want in life.
  • Do. Fail. Learn. Do.
    "The first draft of anything is shit"
    So you have to keep your eyes on where you are going and do the right things to get yourself there. However, you will not always get what you want on your first try. No worries though, if you have the right attitude.
    What attitude is that? The attitude of the much younger you. The kid who learned to walk and ride a bike. A younger you that doesn't put so much value into a failure. But instead just gets up after falling down, learns a lesson or two from what happened and then tries again. And again.
    By cultivating that way of thinking about failure - instead of the more usual, more grown up one where you may think that the world will come to an end just because you failed - you can over time achieve some pretty awesome things.
    You can read more about how failure can be redefined and be of great help to you in 4 Reasons Why Failure is Pretty Awesome.
  • Find strength through your tough times.
    "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places."
    This is a really interesting point. Because it's really easy to let yourself fall into a frame of mind where you think that no-one has had it worse than you and that this and this happened and that's why you are like you are. And of course, some people have had a much worse time than other people.
    But I think it's easy to let yourself fall into a kind of victim thinking where you let your troubles in the past act as reasons why you can't do something now. But one must remember: that is the past. And people's problems are rarely as unique as we may think. Everyone has had bad stuff happen to them. People may not talk about it and you may assume that it's just you that has have these bad experiences.
    But as Hemingway says, everyone has been broken in a kind of way throughout their life. It's kinda unavoidable.
    But the question is what you do now. Do you let those old things hold you back and allow them help the ego to build an even stronger victim identity? Or can you let them go and live in the present - as the person you are now rather than who you were - with plans for the future? Everyone has to handle such a thing in their own way. But it is up to just one person to decide on how handle it. And that's you.
  • Don't get hung up on the small things in life.
    "The man who has begun to live more seriously within begins to live more simply without."
    When you start to take life more seriously you may realize that you can let a whole lot of things just go. You don't have the patience, time or energy to worry about the small and petty things anymore. You don't get wrapped up in things that are totally unimportant.
    You start simplifying your life because you realise that your time isn't unlimited. You remove a lot of the less important things to have more time and energy for the really exciting and important stuff.
    Have a look at what's really important in your life. If you are unsure about if it's really important, try asking yourself: "Will this matter 5 years from now?". Then simplify, simplify, simplify. You may be surprised at how much kinda unimportant important stuff that there is in your mind and life.
    You may also feel lighter after having done some decluttering because you are no longer bogged down by boatloads of stuff that you have now realized is pretty irrelevant.
  • Don't let your imagination hold you back.
    "Cowardice ... is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination."
    Your imagination can really play tricks on you. By thinking about something over and over you and your imagination can come up the most elaborate and horrifying ways that things can go wrong. But if/when you finally take action and do what you wanted to do it may, well... be a little anticlimactic. Even if you fail and things don't work out the way you hoped for you may think to yourself: "Is this it?!". There are no monsters under your bed. And the monsters and disaster scenarios you construct in your mind rarely come into life.
    Now, some situations may actually be quite scary and create a lot of pressure within. The best way that I have found to deal with those situations is to reconnect with the present. When you are present you are just focused on what is happening right now. As Hemingway says, you are suspending the functioning of your imagination because your mind is no longer lost in possible future scenarios.
    Check out Eckhart Tolle's books The Power of Now and A New Earth plus 8 Ways to Return to The Present Moment for tips on how develop the habit of being able to step into the now. It can allow you to find a stillness and peace within despite calamity outside of you.
  • Don't judge.
    "The writer's job is not to judge, but to seek to understand."
    I think this is not just a great piece of advice for writers but for anyone really. Seeking to understand rather than judging is hard but is something that can help you and the people around you a great deal. And this also goes back to the first tip, the one about listening. To be a good listener you must have the intent to understand the other person rather than judging him/her.
    Instead of going into interactions or just life with a bunch of judgements that you apply on everything and everyone try acceptance. This is not easy if you are used to making judgements about everything. And the thing is, by making a judgement you can often strengthen you ego. You get a small ego boost and you feel good for a while. But just like with caffeine this wears off pretty quickly and you soon need to judge again to feel good.
    Accepting may not feel so appealing or "normal" but I have found that when I just accept things I feel a relief and stillness inside. You just feel good. I'm still working on this though.
    Accepting someone's opinion doesn't mean that you surrender and let them "win". Nor does it mean that you need to just sit back and cannot take any action. You can accept and still take action to change something if that is what you'd like to do. Accepting just means that you let that person think and feels as she likes without judging it. When you just accept and let your judgements rest it's easier to really understand each other and connect.



I'll Be There

Published by Tom Murasso

I'll Be There
If you have ever had to call a friend in the middle of the
night, to take a sick child to hospital, or when your car has
broken down some miles from home, you will know how good it
feels to hear the phrase " I'll be there. " Being there for
another person is the greatest gift we can give. When we're
truly present for other people, important things happen to them
& us. We are renewed in love and friendship. We are restored
emotionally and spiritually. Being there is at the very core of

I Miss You
Perhaps more marriages could be saved & strengthened if couples
simply & sincerely say to each other "I miss you." This powerful
affirmation tells partners they are wanted, needed, desired &
loved. Consider how ecstatic you would feel, if you received an
unexpected phone call from your spouse in the middle of your
workday, just to say "I miss you."

I Respect You / I Trust You
Respect and trust is another way of showing love. It conveys the
feeling that another person is a true equal. If you talk to your
children as if they were adults you will strengthen the bonds &
become close friends. This applies to all interpersonal

Maybe You're Right
This phrase is highly effective in diffusing an argument and
>restoring frayed emotions. The flip side to "maybe you're right"
is the humility of admitting maybe "I'm wrong". Let's face it.
When you have a heated argument with someone, all you do is
cement the other person's point of view. They, or you, will not
change their stance and you run the risk of seriously damaging
the relationship between you. Saying "maybe you're right" can
open the door to further explore the subject, in which you may
then have the opportunity to get your view across in a more
rational manner.

Please Forgive Me
Many broken relationships could be restored and healed if people
would admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. All of us are
vulnerable to faults and failures. A man should never be ashamed
to own up that he has been in the wrong, which is saying, in
other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.

I Thank You
Gratitude is an exquisite form of courtesy. People who enjoy the
companionship of good, close friends are those who don't take
daily courtesies for granted. They are quick to thank their
friends for their many expressions of kindness. On the other
hand, people whose circle of friends is severely constricted
often do not have the attitude of gratitude.

Count On Me
A friend is one who walks in when others walk out. Loyalty is an
essential ingredient for true friendship; it is the emotional
glue that bonds people. Those that are rich in their
relationships tend to be steady and true friends. When troubles
come, a good friend is there indicating "you can count on me."

Let Me Help
The best of friends see a need and try to fill it. When they
spot a hurt they do what they can to heal it. Without being
asked, they pitch in and help.

Go For It
We are all unique individuals. Don't try to get your friends to
conform to your ideals. Support them in pursuing their
interests, no matter how weird they seem to you. Everyone has
dreams, dreams that are unique to that person only. Support and
encourage your friends to follow their dreams. Tell them to "go
for it."
I Love You
Perhaps the most important three words that you can say. Telling
someone that you truly love them satisfies a person's deepest
emotional needs. The need to belong, to feel appreciated and to
be wanted. Your spouse, your children, your friends and you, all
need to hear those three little words "I love you."
I love you,



10 virtually instant ways to improve your life

Author: Adrian Savage

Many of our problems come from within our own minds. They aren't caused by events, bad luck, or other people. We cause them through our own poor mental habits. Here are 10 habits you should set aside right away to free yourself from the many problems each one will be causing you.

  • Stop jumping to conclusions. There are two common ways this habit increases people's difficulties. First, they assume that they know what is going to happen, so they stop paying attention and act on their assumption instead. Human beings are lousy fortune-tellers. Most of what they assume is wrong. That makes the action wrong too. The second aspect of this habit is playing the mind-reader and assuming you know why people do what they do or what they're thinking. Wrong again, big time. More relationships are destroyed by this particular kind of stupidity than by any other.
  • Don't dramatize. Lots of people inflate small setbacks into life-threatening catastrophes and react accordingly. This habit makes mountains out of molehills and gives people anxieties that either don't exist or are so insignificant they aren't worth worrying about anyway. Why do they do it? Who knows? Maybe to make themselves feel and seem more important. Whatever the reason, it's silly as well as destructive.
  • Don't invent rules. A huge proportion of those "oughts" and "shoulds" that you carry around are most likely needless. All that they do for you is make you feel nervous or guilty. What's the point? When you use these imaginary rules on yourself, you clog your mind with petty restrictions and childish orders. And when you try to impose them on others, you make yourself into a bully, a boring nag, or a self-righteous bigot.
  • Avoid stereotyping or labeling people or situations. The words you use can trip you up. Negative and critical language produces the same flavor of thinking. Forcing things into pre-set categories hides their real meaning and limits your thinking to no purpose. See what's there. Don't label. You'll be surprised at what you find.
  • Quit being a perfectionist. Life isn't all or nothing, black or white. Many times, good enough means exactly what it says. Search for the perfect job and you'll likely never find it. Meanwhile, all the others will look worse than they are. Try for the perfect relationship and you'll probably spend your life alone. Perfectionism is a mental sickness that will destroy all your pleasure and send you in search of what can never be attained.
  • Don't over-generalize. One or two setbacks are not a sign of permanent failure. The odd triumph doesn't turn you into a genius. A single event-good or bad-or even two or three don't always point to a lasting trend. Usually things are just what they are, nothing more.
  • Don't take things so personally. Most people, even your friends and colleagues, aren't talking about you, thinking about you, or concerned with you at all for 99% of the time. The majority of folk in your organization or neighborhood have probably never heard of you and don't especially want to. The ups and downs of life, the warmth and coldness of others, aren't personal at all. Pretending that they are will only make you more miserable than is needed.
  • Don't assume your emotions are trustworthy. How you feel isn't always a good indicator of how things are. Just because you feel it, that doesn't make it true. Sometimes that emotion comes from nothing more profound than being tired, hungry, annoyed, or about to get a head-cold. The future won't change because you feel bad-nor because you feel great. Feelings may be true, but they aren't the truth.
  • Don't let life get you down. Keep practicing being optimistic. If you expect bad things in your life and work, you'll always find them. A negative mind-set is like looking at the world through distorting, grimy lenses. You spot every blemish and overlook or discount everything else. It's amazing what isn't there until you start to look for it. Of course, if you decide to look for signs of positive things, you'll find those too.
  • Don't hang on to the past. This is my most important suggestion of all: let go and move on. Most of the anger, frustration, misery, and despair in this world come from people clinging to past hurts and problems. The more you turn them over in your mind, the worse you'll feel and the bigger they'll look. Don't try to fight misery. Let go and move on. Do that and you've removed just about all its power to hurt you.


Setting Your Goals - Easier Said Easily Done

Author: Dick Ingersoll

The basics of setting a goal is an well known secret known by top of the line athletes, successful businessmen and businesswomen and all types of achievers in all the different fields. The basics of setting goals provide you short-term and long-term inspiration and focus. They assist you in focusing on the achievement of required knowledge and help you to plan and organize your resources and your time so that you can get the most out of your life.

Setting clearly defined short term and long term goals will enable you to assess your growth and gain self satisfaction once you have successfully achieved your goals. Charting your growth will also enable you to visually see the stages of completion leading to the actual realization of your goals. This eliminates the feeling of a long and pointless grind towards reaching your goal. Your sense of self-worth and level of competence will also progress as you will be more conscious of your capabilities as you finish or attain your goals.

The basics of goal settings will involve deciding what you really want to do with the rest of your life and what short term and long term objectives you need to accomplish it. Then you have dwindle down objectives into the smaller and more manageable targets that you must conquer in your way to achieving your lifetime targets. Once you have your goal sheet waste no time in tackling your goals.

A good way to have a workable target list is to have a day-by-day and weekly set of goals. By doing this you will be always in the position of progressing towards your life plan goals. Each day will give you the opportunity to fulfill a predetermined goal awarding you the feeling of accomplishment.

Here are some pointers that should be taken into consideration in setting goals and achieving them.

Self-projection plays a very big role in making and achieving your goals. You must ask yourself if any part of you or your mind is preventing you from completing your simplest goals. If there are any aspects of your behavior that is being an obstacle or puts your plans into state of disorder? If you do have issues in these areas then the immediate thing to do is to face this problem. Solutions may include a trip to a medical professional or psychiatrist to control your feelings.

Careers are made by positive time management practice. Failing in a career is often associated with bad time management. Careers require a lot from an individual which often makes the career the life of the individual. Plan how far you want to advance into your career.

Education is key in achieving your goals. If your goals require you to obtain a certain kind of degree or require a certain specialization or demand a special skill to be developed, make plans in getting the appropriate education.

Your family should never be left out of your plans. If you are just beginning then you have to decide if you want to be a parent or when you want to be a parent. You also have to figure out if you honestly would be a good parent and how well would you relate to extended family members

Personal finance issues also play a major role in accomplishing your goals. Have a realistic goal on how much you really want to earn. You also must be capable of creating plans or stages by which you will be able to achieve your earning potential.

Physically talented individuals should be able to achieve athletic related goals such as being in the National Basketball association or National Football League. Determining your physical capabilities should be one of your priorities. Physical could however dissipate with the right planning.

As a wise man once said -'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy', or something to that effect, is by all means correct down to the last the letter. Allotting time to give yourself a little pleasure: should be worked into your plans.

To start obtaining your long-term goals, set a quarter of a century plan, then break it down to 5 year plans then break it down again to 12-month plans, then 6-month plans then 30 day plans, then 7 day, then daily.

Then create a goal sheet for the day.

Always review your plans and prepare for contingencies.

The basics of goal settings should not be so difficult once you get use to them.



The Number One Block and Energy Drain

Author: Steve Pohlit

By now you know negative emotions block our connection to our Source. They block our connection to God. When I am challenged with negative emotions I am grateful for the lessons I learn and I am certainly grateful for growing even closer with God.

Very recently I was mediating on the idea of is there any one emotion that if eliminated basically wipes out the other ones with it. This idea reminds me of watching a bowling ball strike the lead pin in just the right spot and all ten pins go flying. I discovered the answer which of course was there all along and I may have even taught this answer in one of the Prosperity Now sessions.

On that note I wondered if other people who write and teach forget what they written and taught. Just this morning I read an article by a well know spiritual leader who stated that he reads his own books for guidance since what is now on paper comes from inspiration. I understand that very well.

So the answer to the question of whether there is one thing we can do that wipes out all other negative emotions is that we must transcend judgment. We judge and we condemn and God doesn't . Judging comes from a memory of a past event and the memory of experiences that influenced our thinking that we bring forward. Judgment results in hate, anger, stress, worry ....every other negative emotion that saps our energy and prevents us from experiencing happiness starts with a judgment call on our part. Every one!!

How do you begin to transcend judgment? Neale Donald Walsch in his book Happier Than God offers this guidance:

Judgment is life on trial. Judgment is a result of memory and our story. Move into self-reflection as a replacement for judgment. Upon reflection you may find you have behaved that way. Allow compassion to roll in. Allow forgiveness of yourself. Be grateful for the lesson.

I have made the area of judgment a priority in my Prosperity Tool Chest work. My goal is to allow happiness by being connected to the energy of God within and recognize that while I may prefer someone or something to be different, until it is isn't. And if it isn't different, it perfect otherwise it would be different. Sure move forward. Be all that you can be and love every minute while moving into a different picture in the future.

By the way if you are wondering what any of this has to do with The Law of Attraction and manifesting our dreams and desires, remember the vibrations we send out are what come back to use. If we release judgment and allow happiness to flow to ourselves and others that energy comes back to us with our dreams on its wings.

Abundant Blessings,

Steve Pohlit


How to Live With Just 100 Things


Excess consumption is practically an American religion. But as anyone with a filled-to-the-gills closet knows, the things we accumulate can become oppressive. With all this stuff piling up and never quite getting put away, we're no longer huddled masses yearning to breathe free; we're huddled masses yearning to free up space on a countertop. Which is why people are so intrigued by the 100 Thing Challenge, a grass-roots movement in which otherwise seemingly normal folks are pledging to whittle down their possessions to a mere 100 items.

"Stuff starts to overwhelm you," says Dave Bruno, 37, an online entrepreneur who looked around his San Diego home one day last summer and realized how much his family's belongings were weighing him down. Thus began what he calls the 100 Thing Challenge. (Apparently, Bruno is so averse to excess he can't refer to 100 things in the plural.) In a country where clutter has given rise not only to professional organizers but also to professional organizers with their own reality series (TLC's Clean Sweep), Bruno's online musings about his slow and steady purge have developed something of a cult following online, inspiring others to launch their own countdown to clutter-free living.

Bruno keeps a running tally on his blog, of what he has decided to hold on to and what he is preparing to sell or donate. For instance, as of early June, he was down to five dress shirts and one necktie but uncertain about parting with one of his three pairs of jeans. "Are two pairs of jeans enough?!," he asked in a recent posting.

That's not the only dilemma faced by this new wave of goal-oriented minimalists. One of the trickier questions is what counts as an item. Bruno considers a pair of shoes to be a single entity, which seems sensible but still pretty hard-core when you're trying to jettison all but 100 personal possessions. Cait Simmons, 27, a waitress in Chicago, takes a different approach. Although she has pared down her footwear collection from 35 to 20 pairs, she says, "All my shoes count as one item."

Daniel Perkins, 34, a graphic designer in New York City, isn't working toward a quantitative goal but says he and his wife have instead pledged "within a year to have only things that we use daily in our apartment." Ten years ago, "I wore hats, and we made crepes every Sunday," he says. "But that's not who we are anymore." So he sold the fedoras and crepe pans on eBay.

But what about Christmas ornaments? Family heirlooms? Those skinny jeans you hope to--but will probably never--wear again? "It's a very emotional process," says professional organizer Julie Morgenstern. Her new book, When Organizing Isn't Enough: SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life, lays out a plan for clearing out both physical and sentimental clutter. "Often these are things that represent who you once were," she says. "But once their purpose is over, they just keep you stagnant." SHED, by the way, is an acronym for "separate the treasures, heave the trash, embrace your identity from within and drive yourself forward." Which is a handy little guide to Dumpstering your way into a state of Zen.

"It comes down to the products vs. the promise," says organizational consultant Peter Walsh, who characterizes himself as part contractor, part therapist. "It's not necessarily about the new pots and pans but the idea of the cozy family meals that they will provide. People are finding that their homes are full of stuff, but their lives are littered with unfulfilled promises."

Walsh isn't surprised that decluttering is so popular these days. Between worrying about gas prices and the faltering economy, people's first reaction, he says, "is often, 'I need to get some control over my life, even if it is just a tidy kitchen counter.'"

When Walsh helped homeowners purge their belongings on Clean Sweep, the weekend-long project would end with a huge garage sale. Off camera, good riddance is usually a good bit slower. Simmons has given herself a six-month deadline to winnow her stuff to 100 things--or at least 100 categories of things. (Hey, I'm not knocking her. I've got more than 100 things in my purse.)

Bruno hasn't set an end date for his purging project, which so far has claimed, among other items, his guitar, an iPod and a baseball jersey signed by Pete Rose. He's ignoring all the stuff he shares with his family, things like the house and the car and the pantry. Yet he's still not sure he can let go of all but 100 of his own possessions. Right now he's down to one nice pen, one mechanical pencil and one spork, although he counts that last utensil as part of a camping cooking set that includes two pots. And his current tally of 97 items doesn't include his toy trains, woodworking tools and a few other things he says he still needs to think through. But his daughters' doll collection remains off limits. Turns out that clearing the clutter makes you focus on what really counts.



How to Believe You Can Do Anything

Author: By: Brian Kim - August 7, 2006

The phrase "You can do it if you just believe" has become so watered down to the point that people just roll their eyes when they hear it. They've tried it and it just doesn't work for them.

Here are just a few quotes on the subject.

"To succeed, we must first believe that we can." - Michael Korda

"Your belief determines your action and your action determines your results, but first you have to believe." -Mark Victor Hansen

"Don't limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve." - Mary Kay Ash

"You have to believe in yourself" - Sun Tzu

"Believe that you will succeed, and you will." - Dale Carnegie

"Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, he can achieve." - Napoleon Hill

Notice how they are all saying essentially the same thing, that if you believe it, you can do it.

Well, let me just say I wholeheartedly agree, but I think they left out one very important part and that is:

How do you believe?

It's not enough to just say "Oh, just believe and it will happen." I hate with a passion of a thousand suns, advice that is just said to us without any proper procedures or guidelines to follow on how to implement it. That is what drove me to write the "How to Find What You Love to Do" article.

Furthermore, I think the reason why such people have a hard time believing is because we've never done it.

What I mean by that is we never really formed our own beliefs.

Think about it.

Trace back all your beliefs on religion, politics, money, people, society, and the world in general. You'll find that the root of the majority of your beliefs came from outside of you, whether it was through your parents, friends, or media.

"Don't talk to strangers. They're bad."

"Money is the root of all evil." (it's actually "the love of money is the root of all evil")

"If you don't do good in school, you'll fail in life."

"You have to go to college to get a good job."

The majority of people have never really gone through the exercise of creating their own beliefs, because we've been spoon fed them from day one.

It's time to take charge of our own beliefs.

In order to find out how to believe, let us examine the process in which some of the most powerful beliefs in human beings were created.

I'm talking about people's beliefs in religion and politics.

The beliefs rooted in religion and politics are EXTREMELY powerful.

We fought other kids over them when we were young.
Families became divided over them.
World wars were fought over them.
Millions of lives were taken because of them.
Men and women even went so far as to take their own lives because of them.

Clearly, the power of people's beliefs in religion and politics and the effect it has on their lives is unquestioned.

If we can analyze the procedure in which these beliefs were formed and apply that procedure to create our own beliefs, we will be able to achieve anything we want.

The next question is:

How did these beliefs form?

Let's do this.

Step 1: You must state a specific belief FIRST in order to believe it.

I know it sounds obvious, but there are a lot of people who don't believe in anything.

You ask them, "Do you believe you can lose 20 pounds of fat?"

"I don't know....maybe.....we'll see."

This is not a belief.

This is a cop out.


It does not matter if you don't believe it at first.

Just take that first step and STATE it.

So for the purpose of this article, let us utilize a belief that will not stir any controversy, not cause any ill will toward any reader of any religion or political affiliation.

Let us choose a belief that is positive and that many people have a hard time believing.

In fact, let's continue with the example of the belief stated previously.

I will lose 20 pounds of fat.

Ok, so the first step was taken. A specific belief was created.

I will lose 20 pounds of fat.

Now to all the readers who have tried to lose weight and failed to do so, I can imagine what you are thinking.

"I can't lose 20 pounds. I tried every miracle diet, drug, fad, exercise, machine, etc., but none of it helped me lose weight. I'll always be overweight".

If that's your automatic reaction, that's fine. I'm not going to tell you to change your self- talk for now because I know it's hard to do so.

Don't get overwhelmed or discouraged. Take it one step at a time.

Now that you have STATED a SPECIFIC belief, what is the next step?

Step 2: HAMMER that belief into yourself CONTINUOUSLY. Beliefs are NOT formed overnight.

People did not come to believe in a political ideal or religion overnight. It was due to a constant hammering of information over a long period of time. Most people got it when they were young from their parents, friends, religious leaders, teachers, coaches, etc. They heard it at the dinner table, when they went to religious service, on TV, books, magazines, friends, acquaintances, etc.

However, this time, nobody is there to hammer the beliefs in you.


It doesn't matter if your self talk is negating your belief.

A constant hammering will always drive the nail into the wall of your self talk.

Just hammer it in.

The nail will always go in the wall if you continuously hammer it in.

This is where 90% of people fail and conclude that the whole "if you believe, you can achieve" idea is utter bull*&%$.

We live in a society where distractions are rampant. Internet, text messaging, cable TV, email, cell phones, TV on our cell phones, ipods, wireless internet access, etc

We are a spoiled generation. We live in an instantaneous society. We want results NOW. We have lost the virtue of patience.

We have music, video, news, entertainment, all on demand with a push of a button. We can get in touch with anyone in the world by dialing 12 digits. We can look up all sorts of information with a click of a mouse.

It's so easy to get sucked into the newest things and forget about the importance of continuously focusing on hammering in our new beliefs.

It's also easy to become discouraged when we don't see any quick results from hammering in our own beliefs.

We have lost the notion of sticking through with something and not quitting until the goal is achieved, no matter how long it takes.

How can you avoid doing that?

  • Write your belief down everyday.
    This is one of the most powerful things you can do in order to hammer a belief in yourself.
    I'm reminded of an essay I read online that was written by Scott Adams, the creator of the famous Dilbert cartoon strip.
    In it, he mentions how he continuously wrote daily, the belief that he would become rich in the stock market. He soon invested in Chrysler and Ask, two of the best performing stocks at that time and reaped a very nice profit.
    He then wrote down the belief that he would hit the 94th percentile on the GMAT, even though he had scored at the 77th percentile when taking several practice tests.
    He took the GMAT and the results came in. He hit the 94th percentile.
    He became so convinced of the power of writing down his beliefs that he used it to write down that he would become a famous syndicated cartoonist. The rest is history.
    I know it sounds a lot like affirmations, and it pretty much is. However, you might have had previous experiences with affirmations and not have had such good results from it.
    You will soon see that there is much more to believing than just writing down affirmations.
  • Put it everywhere you see.
    Another thing you can do is to write your belief down on paper or print it out and paste it everywhere you see; on your refrigerator, mirror, door, computer, TV, wall, bathroom, front door, screen door, everywhere.
    This way, you will drill the belief into yourself even when you are not writing it down.
  • Visualize your belief already achieved everyday.
    This is another powerful exercise you can do and it's one of the other things that Scott Adams did alongside the writing of his beliefs.
    Your brain does not know the difference between what it sees with your eyes and what you imagine in your brain.
    You know what that means? "Things" don't really exist. What I mean by "things" are the objects you think are real. The pen, the computer, the piece of paper.
    The reality is that you take in all the information from your environment via your 5 senses and process that in your brain and in there, your experience is created.

Reality lives alone in the brain.

And because reality lives alone in the brain, you can create your own reality. So create the reality of already having achieved your belief by visualizing it in order to help hammer the belief into your brain.

You must take time each day to hammer your belief in.

If you do it sporadically, your belief will never take root. Rome was not built in a day. Masterpieces were not created overnight.

Anything worth of any significant value was not created instantaneously.

Deep down, you know it's true. There are no shortcuts in life. Does this mean it will take years for your beliefs to come true?

If you consistently hammer in your beliefs and take the following steps that will be outlined, you will find that your beliefs will come true faster than you realize.

Step 3: Continually associate with those who share your beliefs.

If you look back at how beliefs in religion and politics were formed, you will find that continuous association on a regular basis with those who shared the same religion and political affiliations helped enormously in solidifying their respective beliefs.

People did NOT habitually associate with those who did NOT share their beliefs.

Muslims did not habitually associate with Jews. Atheists did not habitually associate with Christians. Hardcore conservatives and liberals did not habitually associate with one another.

Each group managed to attract one another and form their own support group.

People who believe the same things will naturally gravitate toward one another. Rich with rich, poor with poor, middle class with middle class. It is indisputable fact.

When the hammering of your belief starts sinking in, you'll find that you will naturally gravitate toward those who share the same beliefs.

If you find yourself doing that, it's a very good sign you're going in the right direction and it shows that your belief is getting hammered in.

You will find yourself looking to those who share the same beliefs for advice and/or support.

For example, if you constantly hammer in the belief that you are a great public speaker, you will naturally start looking for speech classes, books, and tapes. You will buy the books and listen to the tapes. You will go online and search for the nearest Toastmasters club in your area and join. You'll take a speech class at the local community college and meet lots of other people there who share the same beliefs.

This is another aid in helping you hammer your belief in. When you habitually associate with those who share the same belief, you hammer your belief in even more.

Step 4: Confirm Your Belief in Your Environment

If you've been continuously hammering your belief in yourself and surrounding yourself with people who share the same belief, you will start to find confirmation of your belief in your environment.

For example, people who believe in Christianity will go to church on a regular basis (habitually associating with those of the same beliefs) and they will begin to see atheists living a hard life and conclude that living life as a Christian is the best way to live.

On the other hand, atheists will see the wars waged in the name of Christianity and conclude that it must not be the true religion. Atheists will point at the suffering of the world and conclude that God does not exist, thus confirming their beliefs in their environment.

Reality will start to shape according to your belief.

When you find reality starting to shape according to your belief, it is another sign that your belief is sinking in even deeper.

Whenever you see confirmation of your belief in your environment, RECORD IT.

Write it down. Start a belief confirmation journal.

That way, it will serve as a reinforcing mechanism for your belief.

You will find that one of the best ways to confirm your belief through the environment is to look to the people who have already done it.

The greatest evidence that something can be done is if another person has done it.

You will begin to see/meet people who have lost weight successfully. You will see them on TV, read about them, maybe even meet them in the gym.

Collect inspirational stories of people who have done it. Refer to them often and confirm your belief to reinforce it whenever you feel it fade.

By confirming your belief in your environment, you drill your belief deep down in yourself even further.

Step 5: Take Action to Reinforce the Belief

All right. So you've STATED a SPECIFIC belief, hammered it in yourself continuously, frequently associated with those who share the same belief, and reinforced it by confirming it in your environment.

You are now ready to take action.

The great thing about this is that you've already laid the foundation of belief.

Therefore, taking action will not be hard. It will be natural.

Your ability to easily take action is directly related to the degree to which your belief is hammered in you.

Since you've already set up a very strong foundation of belief, you will find it easy to take action.

The reason why most people fail in the attainment of their high set goals is because they try to take action FIRST, without taking the time to really set the foundation of FIRST believing that they can.

You know exactly what I'm talking about.

People who want to lose a ton of weight get psyched the first few days, go the gym, run, bike, box , go home, throw out all their junk food and eat healthy for the next few days.

You visit them a week later, they're sitting on their butt eating buttered popcorn with a big tub of Dreyer's Cookies and Cream and a large coke with hot dogs and chili cheese fries watching all six Star Wars movies in a row.

If I were to ask you, do you believe you can make $1 today? The answer would be "Yes, of course". And if I were to say "Show me.", you would take immediate action by selling your DVDs, books or clothes and easily make that $1 today. You took action because you already had the belief inside of you that you can make $1 today.

If I were to ask you, do you believe you can make $1,000,000 today? The answer would be NO. You have NOT FIRST set the foundation of believing you can, therefore you would not be motivated to take any action. (If the person reading this is Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Tiger Woods, etc., your answer would be "Yes", because you've already set the foundation of believing you can because you have the resources to do so.)

What I'm trying to say is that if you've done a good job of drilling the belief into yourself, you will find it easy to take action toward it.

Japanese air fighters during World War II, had drilled down the belief that sacrificing their own lives for their country was the biggest honor, and as a result, were easily able to sacrifice their own lives.

Taking your own life is an extremely hard thing to do. Most people who attempt it won't go through with it.

But these Japanese kamikaze were easily able to take that action. Why?

Because their beliefs were effectively drilled down deep within them.

If you've done a good job of drilling the belief into yourself, you will find it easy to take action toward it.

Step 6: Acknowledge Your Own Progress to Further Reinforce Your Belief

Let's go back to the belief we were using in this essay.

I will lose 20 pounds of fat.

All right. So you've STATED a SPECIFIC belief and hammered it in yourself continuously.

You frequently associated with those who share the same belief by joining Weightwatchers, LA Fitness, etc.

You've reinforced your belief by confirming it in your environment by reading stories of people who have done it, meeting them in person, etc.

You've also naturally taken action to fulfill it by habitually exercising and eating right.

When you lose that first pound, rejoice! You know you're on your way now.

If you can lose that one pound, you can lose another, and another, and another, and another until the rest of the 19 pounds are shed.

This is where your belief starts to grow EXPONENTIALLY.

You must feed your belief by acknowledging your own progress and reinforce it so it grows exponentially.

For you math people out there, think of the graph y=e^x. You know it slowly increases along the x axis until it starts to sharply increase exponentially.

Acknowledging your own progress is the catalyst for the exponential increase.

Because this is such an important catalyst, record it. Write it down. Don't trust it to memory.

Write it down so you can refer to it often to reinforce your belief.

Step 7: Loop steps 2-6.

Believing is analogous to starting a roaring fire. If you've ever tried to start a fire, you know it's not as easy as taking a lighter and putting the flame on a big log.

You have to first gather all the moss, twigs, grass, leaves, and build a small mound where the fire can reside, consume the fodder, and grow strength.

You have to work at it, coax it, feed it, breath on it, until it starts to grow.

When it grows, you have to keep on feeding it with more and more pieces of small wood until you start bringing in the big chunks of wood.

The result is a blazing fire you can use to do anything. You can use it to light other people's fires. You can use it to burn down walls. You can use it to warm people and give them light.

Even though I'm speaking metaphorically, you know what I'm talking about.

So feed the fire of your belief and loop steps 2-6 to do it.


I believe if you analyze any one of your current beliefs, you will find that it went through exactly the 7 steps listed here.

Try it and see for yourself.

Let's use an example of a common disempowering belief that a lot of people have.

Bad things always happen to me. I can never catch a break.

Ok, let's take it through the 7 steps.

  • They've sure STATED a SPECIFC belief.
  • They've hammered it in all right. They tell it to themselves on a daily basis and they tell their friends and family too, which hammers it in even more.
  • They hang out with other people who believe the same thing. Misery loves company. Birds of a feather flock together.
  • They point to all the bad things in their life to further reinforce their belief. They point at the flat tire they got that day on their way to work or the promotion they didn't get and conclude that bad things always happen to them.
  • They naturally take action to reinforce their own belief. This is commonly known as self sabotage.
  • They acknowledge all the bad things that are happening to them and use it to further reinforce their own behavior. This is also known as "always looking on the negative side of things.
  • They repeat steps 2-7, get stuck in a vicious cycle without ever realizing it, and live a life that just plain sucks.

How can they get rid of this disempowering belief?

By creating a NEW one and taking it through the 7 steps.

Step 1: You must state a specific belief FIRST in order to believe it

Step 2: HAMMER that belief into yourself CONTINUOUSLY. Beliefs are NOT formed overnight.

Step 3: Continually associate with those who share your beliefs.

Step 4: Confirm your belief in your environment

Step 5: Take action to reinforce the belief

Step 6: Acknowledge your own progress to further reinforce your belief

Step 7: Loop steps 2-6.

However, you must realize though that this will not happen overnight.

It takes time, discipline, and perseverance, which is why most people won't do it.

Now you know the EXACT process of how to believe and in turn, achieve.

I know what must be going on in the mind of some readers right now and that is:

"If you believe, can you really do anything?"

My answer to you is a resounding YES.

100% Certified, Grade A, Y-E-S.

And you know what? So are the answers of Napoleon Hill, Sun Tzu, Michael Korda, Dale Carnegie, and everyone else who has said it time and time again.

You can do anything if you really believe it.

Is it really that hard to swallow?

If Edison did not really believe he could invent the light bulb, we would have nothing to do but sleep when the sun set.

If Graham didn't really believe he could invent the telephone, we wouldn't have our precious cell phones today.

If Lance Armstrong didn't really believe that he could fight testicular cancer and win, we would not have the inspiration he provides today.

If Ghandi didn't really believe he could bring peace without fighting, who knows what the world would be like today?

I could go on and on, but you get the point.

You can do ANYTHING if you BELIEVE it

It sounds farfetched, but I urge you not be so close minded.

We once thought the world was flat and that the earth was the center of the universe.

I will leave you with the following thought:

If you accept the fact that it doesn't matter what you believe, because you know if you believe it, you will achieve it, why not hold one of the most powerful beliefs of all, which is:

I can do anything if I believe.

Now you know how.



A Perfect Match

Author: By Alan Cohen

Fritz Kreisler was a skilled and devoted violinist who had a lifelong dream to own a Stradivarius. For many years Fritz worked hard to earn enough money to buy the coveted instrument. Finally he took his life savings to New York City's music district and searched many stores. After numerous inquiries, he found a shop with a Stradivarius for sale. The shopkeeper went to the back of the store, removed the violin from under lock and key, and showed it to Fritz.

Fritz's eyes lit up and his heart began to pound as he held the delicate instrument to his neck and began to play. Heavenly tones sang forth, and Fritz knew this was indeed the instrument he had dreamed of. When he asked the owner the price, Fritz was shocked to learn it was twice the amount he had saved.

"Can we work out a payment plan?" asked Fritz hopefully.

"Sorry, we don't do that," answered the shopkeeper.

"Then will you hold the violin for me until I can borrow more money to purchase it?"

"I'm afraid I cannot do that, either, sir. If someone comes in and offers the asking price, I will have to sell it to that customer."

Fritz went home and scurried to gather together more money from friends and investors. He made slow progress, but within a month he found people to help him. Eagerly he returned to the music store and told the owner he was now able to make the purchase.

"You're just a little late," the shopkeeper explained. "A few days ago a wealthy collector came in and purchased the Stradivarius."

Fritz was crestfallen. He had come so close to having his heart's desire! On his way out of the store, an idea occurred to him. He turned and asked the shopkeeper, "Would you give me the name of that collector? I will contact him directly and ask if he would sell it to me."

The shopkeeper gave Fritz the information, and he made an appointment to go see the owner. "It has been my lifelong dream to own this instrument," Fritz told the fellow. "Would you consider selling it to me? I think I can get some more money to purchase it from you at a profit."

The owner shook his head and answered, "I'd like to help you out, but I know the value of this violin. It is the jewel of my collection. I intend to keep it as an heirloom."

"I understand," answered Fritz. "Perhaps, then, you would let me play the violin for just a minute of two. It would mean a lot to me, and I will keep the memory for a lifetime."

The collector consented and handed Fritz the violin. Joyfully Fritz took up the bow and, knowing he would never play this violin again, made the instrument sing with absolute passion. After a few minutes he returned the violin to its owner, thanked the man, and made his way to the door.

As Fritz had his hand on the doorknob, the owner called him back. "Don't go," he told him. "You made such beautiful music. I bought this violin simply as a collector's item. You will bring more happiness and beauty to the world with it than I will. The violin belongs to you. Here, please take it."

Society's rules of ownership are superseded by a profound spiritual principle called The Right of Consciousness. You own what you own not by money or force, but by your love for it and your spiritual connection to it. If something is deeply imbedded in your soul, it belongs to you. It comes to you and adheres to you by your appreciation and right use of it. While it appears that external rules govern who owns what, the prevailing law is the Right of Consciousness. You cannot get what you have not earned by right of consciousness. If you are trying to attract a mate, job, or living situation, you must be equal to it in your thoughts and feelings. You must love it, know you deserve it, and hold a vision for healthy, joyful use of it. Then and only then will it come to you, and without struggle or strain. You don't have to fight for it; you just have to be one with it.

When your consciousness is ripe for the object of your heart's desire, it will come naturally. It will not require a miracle or quantum leap. It will be in the flow as your logical next step. And no one will be able to take it from you. Jealousy is a form of insecurity and represents ignorance of the principle of Right Consciousness. If you are matched with something you truly deserve by your unity with it, it is yours by universal law, and no one can interfere.

A Course in Miracles tells us, "You are under no laws but God's." Behind all the rules people create, eternal principles are operating flawlessly. Justice is always being accomplished by the power of intention. Found yourself in spiritual law, and everything you want and deserve will come to you and stay with you by virtue of love.


11 Ways to Build an Extraordinary Life

Author: Steve Olson

How can you build the life you want? The answer to that question is different for each of us. But it's critical that you answer it, because in the answer you will find purpose and meaning. Many of us look for happiness in things, but happiness doesn't come from things, it comes from how we relate to ourselves and our world.

  • Be True to Yourself - This doesn't mean a life without compromise. It means that you don't lie to yourself. It means that you find out what is true in your heart, and you seek people, places, and experiences which support that core truth. It means you don't settle for mediocrity. It means you keep striving for excellence even in the face of failure, because you know you are not mediocre. You know that you are absolutely unique and are capable of contributing something great. Being true to yourself means you don't hide behind a mask. It means you're a WYSIWYG person.
  • Have a Vision for Your Future - Take action now, with a picture of your future in mind. Have a vision that improves your life and the lives of others. Our CEO has a vision of attaching our ergonomic products to every display and laptop in the world. He never stops talking about it, because he knows if we realized even a portion of his vision, that our world would be a better place. Some people have a vision of living off the land like Thoreau (HT to Paul Buchheit). You already know how to build a vision. You do it on a small scale everyday when you jump in your car and drive to a destination. You have to start with a destination in mind or you'll end up at some random place. So what is your life vision?
  • Avoid Debt - Debt is slavery. If you can't afford it now, save for it. If you do decide to take on debt make sure it's critical to your life vision. What is important enough to take on debt?
    • A home? Maybe
    • An education? Maybe
    • A business? Maybe
    • A car? Maybe
    • A pair of shoes? No
    • A latte? No
    • A night out drinking? No
    • Christmas gifts? No
    • Trendy new eyeglasses? No
    • An iPhone? No

    Make sure you're not paying compound interest on stuff that will end up in a landfill or get flushed down the toilet. Make it a rule, to avoid debt.

  • Save - The financial experts all say, Pay Yourself First. Pay yourself at least 10% of your gross income. It's easy if you have 10% automatically deducted from your paycheck and deposited in an investment portfolio. You'll never miss it.
  • Continue Your Education - Invest in your mind. Few people do.
    • 58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school
    • 42% of college graduates never read another book
    • 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year
    • 70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years (source Jeff Jarvis)

    Traditional education isn't an end, but a beginning. Traditional educators endeavor to create within your mind, a set of tools with which you will build a lifetime of education. Even if you never acquired a traditional education, you can still enjoy a lifetime of learning and growth. Keep an open mind, look for educational opportunity everywhere and become a wealthier, smarter, more creative person.

  • Take Responsibility for Change - If you aren't getting the results you want from life, you're probably thinking and doing things that are counter-productive. Only you can identify what those things are and only you can take responsibility for changing them. To discover what changes you need to make, find someone who is getting the results you want, then compare your habits to theirs. Find out how they think, how they speak, how they act, what they do, and what they value. Don't be a phony, be yourself, but learn from other people. You can take huge shortcuts in life if you are willing learn from other people.
  • Learn from Mistakes - Not just your mistakes, but everyone's mistakes. View history as an opportunity to learn. Some of us are embarrassed of our past and would rather just forget about it, but that can easily turn into denial. Denial is imaginative stubbornness which causes us to repeat the same foolish actions. We fear what we don't understand, so if we don't understand our failures we create unnecessary anxiety in our lives. To act courageously in spite of fear we must be honest with ourselves about our past.
  • Build Quality Relationships/Discard Destructive Ones - The quality of your life is directly related to the quality of the people you choose to have relationships with. Make sure your relationships are two way relationships. If they are all take and little give they are will suck the happiness out of your life.

    Love: Look for a partner who is on a similar journey as yours, who has similar goals and values, and build on your relationship by giving your love and encouragement. Be ready to compromise, because great relationships are built on shared visions not selfish ambition. Share the difficulties and the rewards. Listen closely. Be patient.

    Friendship: Look for people with similar values, who give as much as they take, with which you can share interests and hobbies. Good friends don't try to change each other, they accept each other for who they are. Laugh, listen, and offer help.

    Business: Expect high ethical standards from your business associates. Don't waste time with people who use questionable business models and practices, they can only muddy your name. All ethical business relationships are built upon providing mutual benefit. If you are questioning a relationship, trust your instincts and examine the relationship to see if it is lopsided. If someone is questioning you, listen and be honest with yourself. Is there a mutual benefit? Are you being fair? Can you see another perspective?

  • Do the Right Thing Even When it is Unpopular - Have you ever gone along with the crowd and said or did something you knew hurt someone else? Most of us have. I have, and I'm not proud of it. Every time you fail to stand up for what you know is right, it leaves a little hole in your soul. It's like cutting flesh away, it will heal but it leaves a scar. You can't change other people, but you can call them on their bullshit or walk away when they are acting like Neanderthals.
  • Honor Your Commitments - Do not make commitments lightly. Before you commit to anything, think it through with your heart and your mind, and if you have doubts, don't commit. But if you do commit, follow through. Our biggest commitments are to our spouses and our children. If you fail to honor those basic commitments, the damage can last generations (This is not to say that you should stay in an abusive relationship. If you are in one, get out. The abuser has already broken his commitment). Our business commitments can be nearly as important. If you fail to pay your bills and honor your contracts, you will see opportunity evaporate. Others will lose trust in you, which will destroy your relationships.
  • Be Charitable - Now that you're saving 10%, take another 10% and give it to a worthy cause. I am sure some of you are thinking, "whatever, he's talking about rich people, not me, I don't have enough money to give any away." No, I'm talking about you. If you only make $1000 per month then you only have to give away a 100 bucks. If you can't give away $100 now, it will be even harder to give $1000 later. Why? Because it will add to your overall well being. You'll feel better about yourself and your world and it will come back to you ten fold. Being miserly will not improve your life, generosity will.


Dance Like No One Is Watching

Author: Anon

We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are. After that we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire
The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. One of my favorite quotes comes from Alfred D Souza.
He said, "For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."
This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time...and remember that time waits for no one.
So stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until you are off welfare, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you've had a drink, until you've sobered up, until you die, until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy...

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

Thought for the day: "Work like you don't need money, Love like you've never been hurt, And dance like no one's watching."