Jumat, 30 April 2010

Be Thankful For Your Mittens

I have loved playing outside in the winter for as long as I can remember. I've always loved bundling up into as many layers of clothes as I can and then shoving my way into the warmest coat, mittens, hat, and scarf that I can find. As a child I spent as many hours as I could outside. I remember my parents having to call me to come in when dinner was ready or when it was about to get dark. I would reluctantly obey and enter our mudroom to take off my clothes and dry my soaking wet mittens on the heater.

As I grew older I still loved spending any free time I got outside each winter. Rather than simply playing in the snow I now spent the hours hiking, skiing, and eventually even snowboarding. I couldn't wait to get home from school, throw my book bag onto my bedroom and floor and begin dressing in the warmest winter gear I could find. I had special mittens by this point that kept my fingers so warm that I almost forgot it was winter.

After high school I took a service trip to Mongolia. I had been warned that it would be cold there so I had packed accordingly, filling my bag with wool sweaters, long johns, warm socks, my heaviest coat, and as many pairs of mittens as I could find. The sometimes thirty-below weather was not about to phase me. And it didn't. I landed in Mongolia, added a few extra layers for warmth, and proceeded to enjoy my time in that country immensely. My days were spent visiting in hospitals and orphanages.

One orphanage just outside the capital city allowed me and the other Americans to take the children outside to play. The orphans' supervisor commented that the children hadn't been outside in weeks. I felt anger rise up with this comment and was more determined than ever to make our outdoor play time with these children something memorable. I wasn't prepared to see the children as they filed out of the building and into the empty parking lot they knew as a playground. I watched closely as each child filed outside wearing nothing more than a spring jacket. No mittens, hats, scarves or boots.

As we played outside with the children that day I couldn't believe my eyes or my ears. I kept waiting for them to complain of the cold and want to return indoors. In two hours I never heard one child complain to the supervisor. The children didn't even seem phased by the mittens and hats that me and my friends wore.

Eventually that afternoon I gave my mittens to a little girl that looked a bit colder than all the rest. I tried to ignore the sting that came to my cold fingers just a few minutes later. And then I decided that instead of trying to ignore the sting I would embrace it and be thankful for all the pairs of warm mittens I had worn throughout the years.

Kamis, 29 April 2010

Be A Proud Owner Of Your Own Best Ways Of Quitting Smoking!

How to quit smoking is not only a million dollar question, it is a question affecting millions and millions and their number is increasing day by day. The number of surveys conducted on smoking, small and big, by local bodies, governmental and non-governmental organizations are a legion! But are these well-intentioned efforts helping to curb the addiction of smoking? The answer, unfortunately, is in the negative and the tobacco lobby is busy with their expansion plans.

Is there a happy smoker? May be a rare one! More than 80 % of the smokers’ population, who formed part of the authentic survey, gave a straightforward answer that they wished to quit smoking. It is, therefore, appropriate to conclude that the majority of the remaining 20 % smokers, require some reasoning and pressure to bring them to the right track.

What it is that latent in the tobacco, which holds powerful sway over these unfortunate millions? It is an innocent looking eight letter word- nicotine. The more we try to understand it, the more it exhibits its enormous ferocity! It has such a telling effect on the physical and psychological areas of human beings, caught in its net, an individual finds it nearly impossible to free himself from its vice-grip. Nicotine is a drug naturally found in tobacco. It is highly addictive.

What happens when a smoker smokes? The smoke is inhaled and nicotine is transported deep into the lungs, where the bloodstream is waiting to receive and it is carried throughout the body without further loss of time. Evil is known for its lightening speed in doing its job and so does the nicotine!!

So, the nicotine is ‘the all-pervading reality’ within the blood-stream now, and it reaches wherever the blood reaches, that is to say the entire human system.

At this time, let us say an innate desire sprouts in the smoker to give up smoking. Some thing within him is trying to bring him to the right track! He starts discussing the issue with the fellow-sufferers and as his private research advances, he is startled to know what type of addictive nicotine is! It is not less powerful an addictive than heroin or cocaine!

Now is the right time to quote Mark Twain: “Quitting smoking is easy. I have done it a thousand times.” Got it? Because to cope up with the withdrawal symptoms is not easy. Nicotine has made your body and mind its permanent home. It can’t be evicted that easily. Try to dislodge it— come dizziness depression, irritability, anger, frustration, headache and restlessness.

But remember, all these negative tendencies have got to be resolute because by now you have decided to quit smoking and formulated your own best ways to do it.

Best of luck!

Rabu, 28 April 2010

Be A Juggernaut Of Goal Achievement

Setting goals is one of the most important keys to achieving success. Did you know that less than 3% of people have written goals? Studies have shown that the most successful people are the ones who have specific, written goals.

Setting a goal is not like a New Year’s resolution. That is just a wish. Just wishing and hoping for something isn’t going to make it happen. Setting a goal is having a target to shoot for and a plan to get there.

When planning your goals, choose which categories you would like for your goals. Establish the time frame. They could be lifetime goals, 10 year, 5 year, 1 year, 6 month, 3 month, 1 month or weekly goals. Also you can have ongoing goals, such as exercising 3 – 5 times a week.Be specific when you write your goals. Don’t just write down “I want to lose weight.” Write “I will weigh 180 pounds by July 2007.

Make sure your goal statement is positive. Don’t say, “I don’t want to be fat.” Say “I will be a healthy 130 pounds by May 2007.The achievement of a worthwhile goal can seem daunting at first. The easiest way to proceed is to break your goal down into smaller steps. Start with the first step then move onto the next. When making your plans, a good way is to start is from the end part and work your way to the present.

Measure your progress. After you complete a step, check it off. Watching steady progress is a good motivator. A simple example could be if your goal was to be able to do 100 continuous pushups, you could mark off the milestones of 25, 50, 75, 80, and finally 100!

Don’t be discouraged by setbacks. All successful people experience setbacks, disappointments, and failure along the way. That’s just part of the process. That’s part of learning. Many times these act as course corrections to get you back on target.

There are several success principles used in goal achievement. One is properly programming your mind. You need to review your goal morning and at night before you go to bed. Have your goal written on a 3 x 5 card so you can review during the day. At night, ask your subconscious mind for solutions to problems, and methods or tools for helping you achieve your goal.

Another important principle is that of persistence. No one has enjoyed great achievement without persistence.

“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up”

Babe Ruth

Do something everyday towards your goal. A day’s action puts you one step closer to your objective. Doing something everyday creates a momentum that is hard to stop.

When it comes to achieving your goals, you need to think of yourself as a huge, monolithic juggernaut! Moving relentlessly toward your objective. Unstoppable!

Selasa, 27 April 2010

Basics In Time Management Questions

We all have to find what works best for our individuality, since each and every one of us is different. Accepting our own actions, behaviors and thoughts is not the beginning of learning who we really are. Rather, it is an attribute, which follows a connection between our past and our futures. You heard the nonsense "never look back?" Well, the people that are telling you this are in a big office basing their ideas, theories and guesses on experiences and lifetimes. Hypocrites need to pluck the needle from their own eyes and quite advising others, since obviously the plans they make rarely work. This acceptance starts with the basics in managing our time. The basics in time management are setting up goals and plans that are obtainable. When we set goals for our selves we must ask…"Is this goal obtainable. Do I have the ability to achieve this goal? How do I plan to make this goal successful?" Asking questions then is one basic element of diverting a time management scheme that works smoothly. Asking for help is another basic element in time management that leads to success. Success is the greatest reward that life has to offer us.

No one knows it all, so sometimes we have to ask for help. When you are asking questions, you are letting others know that you have a goal and you are searching to obtain that goal by seeking out a solution. When we question our selves, we are performing a therapeutic technique that helps us to find answers to unanswered questions. For example, if you are getting married in July and it is January, you may want to ask yourself is your timeframe suitable? Does the timeframe work with your schedule? Am I ready for this? Do I have the ability to manage a marriage? If you see where I am going, it is obvious. Many people commit to marriage, but often neglect elements of time management, that are essential for making the marriage work. Time and money is invested in this arrangement and often wasted, since the marriage leads to divorce. Likewise, if we are starting a new business, we have to ask questions. Questions are the root of establishing a time management scheme that leads to success. Don't let pride get in the way of obtaining your goals. Pride is a root of evil and it does not bring forth good results when utilized inappropriately. Maintaining pride brings us to 'keeping it simple,' which is another basic rule in time management.

Keeping it simple is smartest element in time management since it works to benefit our mind, body, and responsibilities. Simple does not mean to be simple minded, neglecting your responsibilities. Rather, simple means to put a plan in motion that works smoothly and effectively, while reaching for your goals. One example of a simple plan, is when problems arise it is often because someone made a mistake, unless nature is in the picture. If we are making plans to obtain goals, then we want to analyze carefully which strategies work best to reach that goal. We want a plan that is logical and simple; so that it informs us which steps to take next to reach our level of success intended, without feeling doubts or running into complications constantly along the way. No plan is flawless, so keep in mind when you are creating a plan for time management "role playing" can often decrease risks in plans. This means when you come up with an idea for your planning scheme, you would ask questions, play out the part, and focus on the results. If good results come from the actions or decisions, you know then that the plan will run smoothly. Life is too short to waste time, and time is wasting money, so learn the basics in time management so you can reach your goals. Time manages everything. No matter what we do in life, it all revolves around time. We can spend time wisely and get results from our efforts, or we can waste time and sit back wondering what happen to our lives?

Senin, 26 April 2010

Basic Operating Question (BOQ) for Empowerment

Copyright 2006 Marshall House

Years ago when I trained managers and trainers, I liked to be playful with the group. The company I was working with one day had a culture that was closest to acronym heaven than I had ever before or since experienced. So, I wrote on the flip chart in large letters: B O Q.

"Today we are going to learn about the BOQ," I said, pronouncing it Bock. My demeanor suggested they already knew or should know what the letters stood for, just the way that most acronyms are stated. Came a flurry of activity as they wrote the letters, trying to jog their collective memories of the words that B, O, and Q might possibly represent.

I did not leave them long in this state of mild confusion. They knew me well enough to know that I liked to play. They rose to the occasion and expressed their relief in laughter as I said, pointing letter by letter: Basic Operating Question.

One way of thinking of the Basic Operating Question is to consider it your default question. It is the question you think of first when you view a certain type of situation.

For example, when the phone rings, the BOQ that comes into your mind is usually something like, "Who's that? If you have a tense relationship with your boss who motions you to his or her office, your BOQ might be "What have I done wrong now?" You walk into a room with others present and your BOQ might "What's going on here?"

A BOQ can be positive, negative, or neutral. It can be empowering or disempowering. It can be easy to answer or not. It can be verbalized out loud or only thought about. The question itself as well as the quality and resonance of the question guides the quality and resonance of the answer.

The purpose of identifying your Basic Operating Questions is to discover if they are helpful and empowering. And, if not, to craft more helpful and empowering ones. A long-time habit of asking a particular Basic Operating Question will not necessarily be instantly changed just because of discovering one that you consider better, but that is a good starting place. After identifying one or more of these, it is important to practice your new Basic Operating Questions, as often as possible.

What is your BOQ in each of the situations you regularly face in your life? Once you have identified it, remember that the only way to incorporate a new skill is to practice, practice, practice.

Minggu, 25 April 2010

Avoiding Your Persistent Fears Will Not Make Them Go Away

Your fears, anxieties, and other problems have the best of you and you don’t know where to turn for help. At some point you feel totally helpless as you struggle each day. What do you do?

As a layman and an author of a Managing Fear book, there were times that my fears had the best of me. Through these experiences, there is one thing that I learned. You can’t hide or runaway from your fears. Since you can’t runaway from them, then the best solution is to tackle your fears head on no matter how strong they may be. The key is to be smart in how you try to manage these fears.

When managing your fears and anxieties do not try to tackle everything at once. The best solution is to break your fears or problems into a series of smaller steps. Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success.

Learn how to manage your fearful and negative thoughts that may be difficult to manage. When experiencing a negative thought, read some positive statements and affirmations that help lift your spirits and make you feel better. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed or frustrated, open up your small notebook and read those statements.

Take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming month, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. Focus on the present and stop trying to predict what may happen next week. Next week will take care of itself.

Remember that avoiding your problem through the use of alcohol or other means will do nothing in the long run in fixing your problems. It will just make things worse. Managing your fear and anxieties will take some hard work so be patient and stay committed in trying to solve your problem.

Sabtu, 24 April 2010

Avoiding Awkward Situations

Uncomfortable social situations are the worst-minor blunders can leave you embarrassed and feeling socially inadequate. A few simple tricks can help you avoid the most common mistakes and boost your self-esteem and social prowess at the same time.

The Name Game

You walk into a meeting and say, "Hey, Larry, how are you?" to which he replies, "Good, and actually, it's Harry." We've all had moments where we've experienced this sort of interaction and it's never pleasant. To help prevent this, be sure to pay close attention when someone new is being introduced. If you happen to miss the name in the introduction, seize that moment to ask again. Don't guess; you may not get it right and this will just lead to confusion later on. To help reinforce your memory, say the name in your head a few times. In addition, make an association with the person's name and a relevant connection-something they are wearing, their occupation or the surroundings you're in. If the person is wearing a purple dress and you've named them "Purple Patty," don't worry, you don't need to share that with anyone else. If all else fails, admit your forgetfulness, blame it on a busy day and ask again. Just be sure and remember this time!

Body of Work

We are all human and sometimes cannot control the internal functions of our body. However, there are small things we can do to help us get through the day. For unavoidable bodily functions like gas, a remedy that is discreet and easy, like refreshing peppermint or cinnamon-flavored Gas-X® Thin Strips™, can be kept in a bag, drawer or someplace close by and can offer you fast-acting relief from the embarrassment and physical discomfort of gas. Also, fresh breath is key, so make sure to keep a supply of gum and mints in that same nearby location. This can be helpful after lunch or when a co-worker with unfresh breath stops by for the weekly meeting. Both you and your odorous guest will appreciate your supply.

Get Me Outta Here

We all do it. You've accepted an invitation, you show up and within the hour, you are certain you want to leave. How do you leave gracefully? It's important to say good-bye and thank you when the host isn't surrounded by guests. Thank them again for the invitation and let them know you enjoyed your time, but must be going. If you are off to another engagement or have early plans the next day, feel free to include that, but don't give away too much information and dig yourself into an unnecessary hole. You may also want to mention another time you two will get together, but if you are unsure, a brief and gracious good-bye is always welcome. Politely say good-bye to the other guests and leave quietly.

Awkward social situations are a part of life, but many can result in a funny story or even a new, unexpected friendship. The most important thing to remember is to be yourself, roll with the punches and, if all else fails, just laugh at the situation. We've all been there and someone is sure to be sympathetic when you can laugh at your own mistakes.

A discreet supply of breath mints, gas remedies and other quick fixes can be a lifesaver in both social and work situations.

Jumat, 23 April 2010

Attitude of Gratitude

An attitude of gratitude? People often to think it will come from having some great luck or fortune. Of course it could feel great to win the lottery, and great friends, money, houses, travel - these are all good things, but not enough by themselves. The right frame of mind is necessary to fully enjoy life. You need the attitude of gratitude.

Gratitude 101

Your life is better when you feel blessed, when you can look around and say "Thank you, God," or "Thank you universe." Whether or not you are religious, when you see life as a wonderful gift, your experience is a richer one. Imagine going through life like you're a child, and every morning is Christmas.

Of course, it is easy to think that gratitude comes from having what we want. We might imagine ourselves giving thanks if we had money, a loving family, and maybe a house on the beach. But we know there are ungrateful, unhappy people with these things. We also know that there are poor people full of gratitude for what little they have, so where does this feeling come from?

Creating Gratitude

An attitude of gratitude arises from how you look at things. It is the natural feeling that comes when you recognize the real value of the people and things in your life. Focus on the good and you cannot help but have a better attitude and experience of life. Gratitude, then, is something you can encourage, something you can learn.

The first step is to stop and smell the roses. How can you be thankful for something you don't notice or enjoy? By the way, roses really do smell great.

The second step is to make this appreciative approach to roses and life a habit. You don't need to ignore the ugliness in the world. Just consciously choose to see the good and beautiful things, until doing so becomes automatic.

One way to encourage this habit is to start writing down every positive thing that happens to you, and all the things you like. Continue this until you start automatically seeing the good things in life. If you've ever bought a white car, and started seeing white cars all over, you know how awareness and focus can alter your perception of reality. In the same way, once you are aware of the good, and start looking for it, you'll start to see wonderful things all over.

Simple exercises like the one above train your mind with time. When you are in the habit of "counting your blessings," gratitude, and a much richer experience of life is the natural result. You will have an attitude of gratitude.

Kamis, 22 April 2010

Attitude Is A Really Big Thing

Regardless of your age, your place in life, your occupation, or the ways you choose to spend time, I can guarentee that your attitude is one of the most significant things that determines your happiness and contentment in life.

Attitude is so powerful because it is one of the few things that every single person has the ability to be in control of regardless of any other factors in life. When life is going well and we have no complaints we can choose what kind of attitude to face each day with. Fortunately, when our lives seem like they couldn't get any worse we can also choose what kind of attitude we will have each day.

Can you think about a time in your life when your attitude made all the difference? Or, maybe think of an example from the life of someone you know. Can you think of a situation when all things looked grim and yet you or someone else's attitude made that situation better just by being positive?

You may be wondering why it is important to keep a good attitude regardless of other factors in your life. Good question. One thing I've learned about life is that it will not always go my way. It is highly unlikely that every single day for the rest of my life will be filled with joy, friendships, and peace. It is possible, but unlikely. It is much more likely that life will throw me things I wasn't expecting. Tragedies, sicknesses, and relationship trials will come my way and it will be my attitude that determines how those events affect me.

Keeping a good attitude in life allows us to remember that even in tough times we have much to be thankful for. Choose to let your attitude reflect this perspective rather than reflecting the fact that you are not getting exactly what you want at a moment in time. Let your attitude reflect all of the ways that your life has been blessed and all of the good things that have happened to you.

We have all heard it said that "attitude is a little thing that can make a big difference." I agree with whoever said those words wholeheartedly, but I'll even take it a step further and simply say that attitude is a big thing. Attitude is perhaps one of the biggest factors that determines the path and results we see in life. When we can look at the worst situations with hope and a right perspective, nothing will be too difficult to bear.

Rabu, 21 April 2010

Astrology is what I like to believe in

If you checked out the statistics, mobile Operators in India seem to be raking in their moolah from. Value Added Services and guess which VAS ( Value Added Service) people are subscribing to on an increasing basis at a pace that is nothing less than Scorching? It is Astrology, mostly pertaining to daily, monthly and yearly horoscopes. The world over, scientists seem to be engrossed in their pedantic debates about the fact that Astrology isn't even a form of science directly opposing the traditional view which thinks otherwise, people in general really don't care much about it.

Astrology has humble and ancient roots and is has always believed to have an element of "occult" to it. Humans have, for a long time now, wanted to take a peek into the future, to know what is coming, to foresee things and Astrology seems to be the only thing that comes close to satiating this queer little need of ours.

Whether it is boxed into the "Science" category or a 'Pseudoscience" category, it so happens that it had never failed to enthrall people by its sheer power of looking ahead into the future. From the seemingly cute 'Romantic Matches', elaborate analysis on sun signs and some serious future gazing, Astrology was and still is something only the wise people who live in the mountains yonder deal with - the rest of us just ask for it.

The fact of the matter, substantiated by a number of surveys conducted over time, is that there has been a noted increase in the interest towards this subject generally and there could never be a solid conclusion as to the fact that Astrology almost borders on the lines of ridiculousness and is thought to be 'Dressed up' as some kind of science.

Astrology, rests on the belief that one's life can be predicted by courting one's birth chart and that there are really a few levels pertaining to one's soul. The one that is real and that can be seen and scientifically explained and the other that is somewhat mysterious and a place where " mind and matter may reunite".

Selasa, 20 April 2010

Astrology is mystical

As the time has elapsed, there has been more and more pressure to cope up with the adverse situation that might arrive in every ones life. There are a lot of incidents in a man’s life that would look like a bolt from blue. So, when it is unexpected, it ought to cause more problems. That is one of the reason as the majority of people are shifting to the idea of knowing as what are the circumstance which are about to happen? Well, the idea may seem weird but Astrology is certainly helping people out.

Astrology refers to the methods that are devised by the ancient people, although, there have been some changes that are the contribution of modern world, but still, basics are in tact. If you call it a science of stars, you won’t be off the target at all. It basically describes the relationship of the stars with you and an effect is derived by the position of these stars at the time of your birth. That’s the whole concept behind astrology, but it certainly is not as easy as it looks in these words. There are a lot more complications that are to be considered to give exact readings. Astrology has really been working wonders and in the modern world like today, it has not lost its shine.

The fact is that a proficient astrologer is quite capable of mentioning the times when you would be supposed to go through the bad times and it’s quite obvious that if you know that, you would be in a better position to cope with the situation. However, the burning question is that if it really is possible to change your future with the help of astrology? Well, the answer is simple, astrology can’t avoid those circumstances and in some cases can’t actually point out the circumstances, however, it can mention the time period where you have to be cautious. Also, there are a lot of other uses as well, that one can consider.

For instance, you can easily get yourself benefited from astrological readings pertaining to relationship and marriage. You can easily get some of the reading predicting about the date of your wedding. For some people who are not really well aware of the dimensions that astrology has, it can really be so exciting to find out that they can get closer to their future.

However, an important fact is that you must go to an astrologer who would have some of the best knowledge an experience about this art. You must also understand that it is not something that everyone can learn, it requires some of the grueling efforts and you will also have to devote a lot of your time to get the art of astrology. Most of the people take years to understand the creation of a birth chart. However, as people are more curious to know about their future, there are more shamed astrologers who can really harm you, both mentally and financially, so you better stay away from them.

Senin, 19 April 2010

Astrology is extensive, so, blunders are bound to happen

How many of you are interested to get a glimpse of your future? There might be every one of you, yelling and screaming that you want to go first. That’s a unanimously agreed fact that all of the humans are curious to see beyond boundaries. Everything that is hidden is sweet for them to make it unrobed. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that Astrology and other such arts are fast becoming popular among the people from all backgrounds and nationalities. But can astrology really take you to your future? Well, when you will meet some of the trained and skilled astrologer, you will be compelled to believe that it works.

However, most of the people are of the view that palmistry itself is not something that can make every one to look into the future, but it is actually the proficiency of the practitioner and the astrologer who can derive certain results. It means every one who claims that he knows palmistry can not be taken as he will make the right forecasting. Also, another important fact is that there are numerous types and forms of astrology which are origin specific. For instance, you might see some of the changes in the way the Indian goes about the astrology, especially when you will compare it to that of a Chinese astrology. So, there might be different approaches but the reason and the objective is quite simple and that is to learn about the future happenings.

A skilled astrologer can tell you a lot about your personality and the things that you might never have shared with someone. It can get to very root of your personality and these astrologers can make predictions by creating a birth chart that might tell them the positioning of the stars at the time of your birth, they will then compare it to the present standing of these stars to draw certain conclusions. A worth mentioning fact about these birth charts is that in some countries, especially in India, it is considered to be obligatory for the people to have a compatible birth chart at the time when they would be getting married.

This compatibility is checked by an astrologer; however, there have been a lot of malice involved in this practice, as most of the girls may not be able to married based on the theory that they are manglik. In Indian astrology, you will come across signs and houses and manglik refers to a situation where you find mars to be rested in 1, 4, 7,8,12 houses. In astrology, all of the stars have their characteristic and the houses are also refer to specific characteristics, for instance hoses are associated with wealth, travel, marriage, and so on. It is actually the combination of those characteristics that houses and stars depict, that make those astrologers to forecast.

For instance, for people who are supposed to be manglik are considered to be under the effect of mars which posses the qualities to be self respect and ego, so, when it is in the specific houses, people are not considered well for the marriage as they can be brutal in their relationship.

Seventh house is of spouses and if the Mars is in it, you ought to find couples to quarrel with each other. That is the reason why birth charts are to be checked before marriage. So, all in all, astrology has a great impact on people, but, there are also some unproductive practices which are to be tackled appropriately.

Minggu, 18 April 2010

Assertiveness Top Ten Tips

Assertiveness is a life skill; useful both inside and outside work. However, the reactions and behaviors we employ now are the result of years of fine tuning. Being assertive doesn’t happen overnight, but the more practice you get, the more skilled you become. And while you may not always get what you want, you will always know you gave it your best. So here are the top ten tips for improving your assertive behavior:

1. Believe in yourself more - always think positively and feed yourself with positive inner dialogue. Stand in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eye, and tell yourself how wonderful you are!

2. Recognize that you can never change other people. You can only change what you do; and that a change in your behavior will afford others the opportunity to behave differently towards you.

3. Learn to respond, not react. Start choosing how to behave, based on admitting and accepting the consequences. Accept that you – and only you – have made that choice: nobody has forced you into it.

4. Stop beating yourself up for your decisions and behaviors. Instead, turn every situation into a positive learning opportunity for future behavior change.

5. Watch your body language. Make sure it matches your words: people tend to believe what they see rather than what they hear.

6. Use the green cross code: Stop Look Listen - then think about how you want to respond. This will ensure you stay in control of you and the situation, and afford others the opportunity to do so as well.

7. Aim for situation resolution, not self defence. Concentrate on the situation rather than your own feelings, and recognize that the other person is most probably angry about the situation - not with you.

8. Consider and choose your words. Lose the words that signal “I’m a pushover” such as “I’m terribly sorry”, or “I’m afraid”, or “Could you possibly…?” or “Can I just …?”. Substitute big “I” statements followed by factual descriptions instead of judgments or exaggerations. This will encourage the other person to do the same.

9. Say “no” when you want to. Don’t forget to afford yourself all of the rights you allow everyone else to have. And if it helps, remember that you are not refusing them personally, you are refusing their request.

10. Take a “can do” attitude. Believe that things don’t just happen to you – but that you can make them happen.

Sabtu, 17 April 2010

Aspects that aid in controlling oneself in Self Control

Self-control is one of the various divisions of self-development. It is the capacity to encourage oneself to do the right things in life and curb our animal desires. However, the root of this self-development lies in a strong will power and disciplining oneself. Self-control produces a kind of confidence in us to the things that we think are difficult to achieve. It creates a drive of perseverance in us that make us accomplish our goals. One’s motivation empowers that person and making it possible to accept challenges that assist us with developing self-control.

But, it is important that an ample amount of rest be taken effectively apply self-control in life. An individual should find ways to relax himself. It may be by listening music, exercise and other things that boost up one’s energy levels. This will make it easy for the individual to accomplish his task. For instance, if there is a student who wants to complete a target of completing his entire course in a single day for a particular subject, then he may be studying the whole day. But, this may create a lot of stress on his mind and hamper his ability of learning. So if he would take breaks in between to relax himself then this will reduce stress and improve his productivity.

Self-awareness is the foremost aspect that needs to be dealt with for a successful self-control. This means that one should first analyze one’s own personality and figure out his strengths and weaknesses. After this, he should try to resist the temptations that he faces in life in relation to his weaknesses. This is to say that if one loves ice cream and is used to have it everyday, then he should make efforts to limit it to twice a week. This is how a person strengthens up and develops strong will power thereby contributing to self-development.

So we can say that self-control is actually the willingness to reject one’s own temptation to a particular thing or a task. This brings us to the next aspect of self-control i.e. strong will power. Our will power makes us take a serious decision to complete a task. Most of us have the tendency to make up our mind for a mission, but due to our laziness or desire for other comforts, we are not able to abide to it. The most common example of this can be exercising in the morning, which we usually give up because we do not want to sacrifice on our sleep. This is where we actually understand the essence of a strong will power. A person with a strong will power will give up his comforts and establish his mission. This will power generally reduces in stressful conditions.

Last but not the least, is the aspect of self-discipline. All these three aspects of self-control are however interlinked. But each of them has a separate role to play. Self-discipline refers to fighting with one’s own feelings. In this, one has to discover the actual cause of one’s temptation and consciously negating it by getting involved in other interesting activities. This will in turn, develop a strong will power. Analyzing the consequences, that one’s actions in future will also help in reducing the urge for the temptation.

An optimistic approach to life will surly take an individual on the path of success as when an individual thinks positively then he will have a healthy body and thereby able to accomplish his tasks in a better way.

Thus, self-awareness, strong will power and self-disciplines together lead to an effective self-control and further to self-development.

Jumat, 16 April 2010

As I Lay Me Down To Sleep …

What do you do before you go to sleep at night?

I don’t mean brush your teeth and change into your nice blue pyjamas with the little white sheep on.

I mean what do you do in your head?

Do you think about anything specific? The next day? The day you’ve just got through?

Or do you tap into an incredibly powerful part of you and set it to work, so that it gets the whole night to work on things for you so when you wake up you have answers to questions you asked?

I bet you’d like to know how to do that wouldn’t you?

Well, the good news is, it’s simple, so easy, even I can do it!

Ok, I’ll tell you … here’s the secret.

When you go to sleep at night, it is only your conscious mind that sleeps. Your sub-conscious mind keeps on working. If it went to sleep, you’d have a few problems as it controls important things like your breathing and heart! So naturally, it keeps working and is “awake” all night long.

Now your sub-conscious mind just happens to be rather good at processing information and connecting random dots to make works of art.

So when you go to sleep, focus your mind on the things that are bothering you and ask your sub-conscious mind to help.

Naturally, I decided I was going to experiment with this on myself and see what it would do. For a number of weeks I used to say this to myself every single night when I put my head on the pillow, before I went to sleep.

“I ask my sub-conscious mind to work on all of my issues and challenges in life and replace them with positive, empowering programs.”

I did this for a couple of days and to be honest, I didn’t really feel much.

I decided to keep it up because I was curious what would happen if I did and if it really would be effective.

Anyway, about day 3 or 4 I started to feel a bit perkier than normal. I found myself feeling a bit more positive, more bouncy and I started to do things that I had been putting off for ages (and by ages, I mean months!).

I didn’t really think anything of it, but kept my experiment up. About a week after I started I was feeling really good and very bouncy and full of life.

Again, I thought nothing of it, not connecting my pre-bedtime intention with this change.

Then one day a friend happened to ask me if I’d been taking happy pills because I was annoyingly positive and then it hit me.

Every night for the last ten days or so I had been setting this intention and gradually I had been feeling better and better. It wasn’t a massive change all of a sudden, just a series of small changes.

I smiled at my friend and jumped around very excitedly sharing with her what I had been doing and the results it was having for me.

Of course, she was really excited and has been doing exactly the same every night since and is still shocked by how such a little thing is having such a big difference.

So, when you go to sleep at night as you set your alarm clock, set your intention too, and wake up and feel the difference!

Kamis, 15 April 2010

Artists Biographies on Film: Top Movies about Visual Artists

Visual artists biographies is a popular theme in the movie world. Moviemakers have always been fascinated by visual artists biographies, especially if it includes struggle with insanity, drug addiction or social conventions. In addition, it gives them an opportunity to depict original or resurrected artworks on the big screen.
Here you can read about some of the most interesting movies about visual artists biographies.
Lust for Life directed by Vincente Minnelli in 1952

Vincent Van Gogh biography had gained several cinematic adaptations. Lust for Life with Kirk Douglas as the struggling artist is one of the most notable. The movie is based on a best selling book by Irving Stone, who also authored The Agony and the Ecstasy about Michelangelo, which also had appeared on the silver screen.

If you are a fan of Van Gogh artwork, you would enjoy watching Last for Life, which features almost 200 of Van Goghs original paintings. However, if you are familiar with Kirk Douglas previous filmographic, seeing him as a tortured Dutch painter might take a little adjustment. Another recommended film about Van Gogh is Robert Altmans Vincent and Theo from 1990.

Surviving Picasso directed by James Ivory in 1996

Like Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso image made him an iconic figure outside the artistic circles. While Van Gogh symbolizes the self destructive, manic depressive artist who achieves success only after his death, Picasso represents the misanthropic and womanizer artist. Picasso infamous relationship with women is the focus of this Merchant and Ivory film. The story is told from the eyes of Picasso mistress Francoise Gilot and features only reproductions of Picasso works. With Anthony Hopkins talent and his physical resemblance to Picasso, Surviving Picasso manages to create an unflattering portrait of an artist as a cruel, self centered genius.

Girl with Pearl Earring directed by Peter Webber in 2003

Comparing to Van Gogh and Picasso, Vermeers biography is less known and less controversial. Therefore Girl with Pearl Earring is much more restrained and delicate. The movie focuses on a short period in Vermeers life in which he was painting the portrait of his young low class maid. Although Girl with Pearl Earring does not avoid filmic conventions by over dramatizing Vermeers painting process, the movie is worth watching if only for its artistic design, which success in evoking Vermeers perception of light and color.

Basquiat directed by Julian Schnabel in 1996

The most common critique against movies that deals with visual arts is the way they depict the creation process. Therefore, there were big expectations from Basquiat, which was directed by the celebrated painter Julian Schnabel. Schnabel did well in depicting Jean Michelle Basquiat rise and fall story in less the predictable manner we have seen millions time before. However, the only reason to watch Basquiat is David Bowie plays the role of Andy Warhol.

Frida directed by Julie Taymor in 2002

Like most of the visual artists who had their life story appear on the silver screen, Frida Kahlo carried an unusual biography, which includes bus accident, problematic marriage, and an affair with Leon Trotsky. Like Van Gogh, Picasso and Jackson Pollock, who was the subject of a biopic from 2000, Frida Kahlo was an icon long before Frida was released, but the 123 minutes film did help to strength her position as a feminist idol and probably the most famous woman painter of the 20 century. Frida tries its best to integrate Frida Kahlo life story with her painting and the result is very colorful and pleasant, but still does not stay far enough from the conventions of depicting artists on film.

Rabu, 14 April 2010

Art Theft: Most Famous Cases in History

Art theft is an ancient and complicated crime. When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can read about some of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first documented case of art theft was in 1473, when two panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were stolen. While the triptych was being transported by ship from the Netherlands to Florence, the ship was attacked by pirates who took it to the Gdansk cathedral in Poland. Nowadays, the piece is shown at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen out of the Louver. Soon after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the police, but was released quickly.

It took about two years until the mystery was solved by the Parisian police. It turned out that the 30×21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply carried it hidden under his coat. Nevertheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was carefully conducted by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy creating copies for the famous masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. After two years in which Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he tried to make the best out of his stolen good. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the police while trying to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The biggest art theft in United States took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves wearing police uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took two paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, as well as a French and a Chinese artifact.

As of yet, none of the paintings have been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealers are connected to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art thieves in history. It has been stolen twice and was only recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by two thieves who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government turned down the offer, but the Norwegian police collaborated with the British Police and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

Ten years later, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers used a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to request ransom money, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian police discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recovered are not known yet.

Selasa, 13 April 2010

Arguments Steal Mind Power

Have you ever noticed that arguments are rarely "won?" Even if you think you won an argument, what did you win? If there really is a loser, he at least learned something, right? What did you get? Ego satisfaction, debating practice, and diminished mind power.

Arguing Diminishes Mind Power?

There are times when things need to be debated, but most of the time, it really isn't productive. Do you want to argue the point? What do you get from a useless debate, and more importantly, what do you lose?

One thing is certain. A person listening to arguments can learn something from both sides, but what about the participants? If your opponent makes a really good point, do you say, "Hey, you're right!" or do you more often just look for a better argument?

Arguing too much gets you in the habit of looking for arguments more than for truth. You also get deeper into your thinking ruts the more you defend a position. In a rut and ignoring the truth? If that doesn't sound like it's good for mind power, it's because it isn't.

Mind Power From Listening

If you say the moon is closer, and I say the sun is, one of us has to be right. If you say nurture is more important, and I say nature is, we're both right. The first argument has clearly defined terms. This isn't common, and even here, what's the point of arguing?

In the second example, our arguments have to do with values and experiences. We've seen different things in life, and we could spend a lifetime defining "important," or I could shut up and listen. My mind becomes more powerful with the addition of your ideas and knowledge. Listening is the better way.

To break the habit of arguing, purposely ask for peoples opinions, and listen without saying anything. You can ask them to clarify, but don't offer one contrary idea. Do this enough, and you'll be surprized how much you learn. Some of us are also surprized by how difficult this simple technique can be, but it works.

Senin, 12 April 2010

Are you ready to retire? You sure?

“Too little money makes people desperate; too much money makes people greedy” – Aristotle

In order to retire well, without worrying about running out of money, you must figure out how much you really need. The financial industry people will tell you a lot of stuff, but we must remember that they increase their profits by selling more financial products. These can include mutual funds, GIC’s, IRA, RRSP's,  bonds, stocks, IPO’s. life insurance and a range of other products. In many instances you will be asked to save as much as possible for as long as possible regardless of how much you need. But only you can answer that – what kind of lifestyle do you want?

There is a cool story that illustrates this.

A few years ago, a very rich businessman decides to take a vacation to a small tropical island in the South Pacific. He has worked hard all his life and has decided that now is the time to enjoy the fruits of his labor. He is excited about visiting the island because he’s heard that there is incredible fishing there. He loved fishing as a young boy, but hasn’t gone in years because he has been so busy working to save for his retirement.

So on the first day, he has his breakfast and heads to the beach. It’s around 9:30 am. There he spots a fisherman coming in with a large bucket full of fish! “How long did you fish for?” he asks. The fisherman looks at the businessman with a wide grin across his face and explains that the fishes for about three hours every day. The businessman then asks him why he returned so quickly. He’s worried that all the fish are gone.

“Don’t worry”, says the fisherman, “There’s still plenty of fish out there.”

Dumbfounded, the businessman asks the fisherman why he didn’t continue catching more fish. The fisherman patiently explains that what he caught is all he needs.

“I’ll spend the rest of the day playing with my family, talking with my friends and maybe drinking a little wine. After that I’ll relax on the beach.

Now the rich businessman figures he needs to teach this peasant fisherman a thing or two. So he explains to him that he should stay out all day and catch more fish. Then he could save up the extra money he makes and buy and even bigger boast to catch even more fish. The he could keep reinvesting his profits in even more boast and hire many other fisherman to work for him. If he works really hard, in 20 or 30 years he’ll be a very rich man indeed.

The businessman feels pleased that he’s helped teach this simple fellow how to become rich. Then the fisherman looks at the businessman with a puzzled look on his face and asks what he’ll do after he becomes very rich. The businessman responds quickly “you can spend time with your family, talk with your friends, and maybe drink a little wine. Or you could just relax on the beach.”

It’s a simple story, but depending on the lifestyle you want – you may be closer to retirement than you think. It’s easy to say money is not important but having been in the position of wondering how you are going to eat, I understand that having money is better than not. How much money is another questions but having the power to pursue your dreams comfortably is bliss.

Here is a basic formula you can use to help you calculate how much you really need to retire:

Total current income (your salary) – taxes – work expenses – all debt interest (be debt free before you retire!) + New lower tax expenses (investment tax vs. earned income tax) + costs of your hobbies and desired lifestyle = How much you need ever year after taxes.

Figure this out then come check out ways you can start making this figure consistently.

Thanks for reading,
Your Rich Cousin
(Author and Business Success Story) Get the free e-book that got me started and helped me start making money at It's so straight forward and easy to understand AND you will have the support you need to start making a great income online.

Minggu, 11 April 2010

Are you effective or ineffective in your life?

Copyright 2006 Robin Harris, DesignerLife

Multi-tasking and saying “yes” to too many things can dilute your effectiveness. People who are generalists, by design, can manage the broad sweeping details of several related or unrelated projects. But those who are more inclined to be specialists are naturally designed to go deep not wide.

The generalist will go stir crazy trying to play the role of the specialist and the specialist will lose access to their own competencies and strengths when trying to play the role of the generalist.

We live in a society that tends to make rules and create models for preferred behavioral traits without understanding how they correspond to innate abilities. Everyone is not meant to multi-task and everyone is not meant to specialize. Get it wrong and you have someone who can fall into the spectrum ranging from slightly frustrated and discontent all the way to grossly incompetent and angry.

To cultivate a career that has any hope of yielding its full potential, it needs to build on natural talents, abilities, and gifts (TAG). Talent and ability are the minimum requirements, gifts that find their way into our work life is a bonus. When all three are properly placed in a suitable role and environment, that is where people will rise to the tops of their fields, have the greatest impact, and contribute the most. Not only will their career shine but it makes a perfect segue for a totally satisfying life.

Work that undervalues or under-utilizes our natural abilities dilutes the over all quality of life. It leads to that elusive feeling that something is missing no matter how grand everything else appears to be. It doesn’t matter if you command a 7-figure income; money cannot replace the human desire for purposeful and satisfying work.

It is fair to say that most businesses are still operating under an old assumption that talent and abilities are the same as learned skills and knowledge. When it comes to the subject of gifts, this rarely finds it’s way into a professional development program. Talents only shine when they are built on a foundation of natural ability or unnatural determination. Abilities are not learned they are innate and raw qualities they make it possible to excel in certain tasks and environments while making it difficult to excel in others.

If you are waiting for a corporate career development path that leverages your TAG, you will likely be disappointed unless you are on the executive development path. Many corporations are much more intentional when it comes to identifying and cultivating a match for executive talent than for the rank-and-file. Well, talented executives without a highly talented and committed team aren’t very effective, now are they? Still, it is up to the individual to take ownership of these personal treasures and find ways to integrate them into well-suited careers and work environments.

As the path of evolution closes off once viable options, we approach a daunting crossroad. We have to decide if we are going to be pruned from the vine, wither slowly, or thrive by making new and wiser choices that will force us out of our comfort zone. If we cannot cross over into the new emerging paradigm of work and we are still in our working years, the consequences will separate us from the life of comfort we have grown accustomed to. Companies and whole industries will continue to disappear from the economic playing field and many will attempt to survive change by downsizing and leveraging a global workforce. This strategy may be wise but often leaves the root cause of the problem unresolved and so the problem continues to sprout new symptoms that downsizing and global workforces cannot relieve. Meanwhile, the individual player stands hoping someone will rescue them and just like a deer frozen in the headlights, this reaction to personal threat of survival is often problematic. What are you preparing yourself to do to mitigate such risks? Do you have a financial cushion? Have you invested in keeping yourself marketable even in changing economies? Do you have multiple streams of income? Or is waiting for the storm to pass and hoping it will your only plan of action?

Your natural talents, abilities, and gifts are God-given and they extend beyond industries, local, national, global economies, and emerging technologies that make workers in certain fields obsolete. They are timeless and it is by becoming a good steward of your TAG that you will be guided to take the action that will allow you to begin to play a bigger game with far better outcomes. Winning on the economic playing field is important but winning at a soul-level is all-inclusive because that means you get the privileged experiences that money can and cannot buy.

Sabtu, 10 April 2010

Are You Doing What You Love?

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. --Albert Schweitzer (1875 - 1965)

We are busier than we have ever been, working long hours and feeling under more and more pressure. How do you spend your days? For many people work and pleasure are seen as separate, with work being a chore that has to be done to pay the bills. It doesn’t always have to be like that. Although we don’t have to love everything we do, we do need to gain some enjoyment from most of what we do. Take a moment to see if it is time to start afresh and do something you love, something that adds the pleasure factor back into your working life?

Think about what matters to you and why you do the things you do. For each person that means something different. What aspects of a job are important to you? List them. Think about your dream job. Does it motivate and inspire you? If not, think again. It has to mean something to you; otherwise you will not be prepared to put in the effort to achieve what you want. Ask: ‘What am I prepared to give up to make this happen?’ ‘What would I love to try?’ ‘What options do I have?’ ‘What are my talents, skills and qualities?’ ‘How can I utilise them in my ideal job?’ How can you take an idea and turn it into reality? Get creative and think through how you could make money doing what you enjoy.

Starting anew requires courage, confidence and commitment. Hold on to your sense of purpose. Believe in yourself. Ignore the critics, for there are bound to be some, and face your fears (there will many of those too!). Ask for help from those people who can assist you and get supporters to keep you motivated. Research things that interest you and, if necessary, go back to basics and learn new skills. Develop a clear vision of where you’d like to be in 10 years’ time – and why. Write it down. Be specific. This will provide you with something to focus on. Think creatively. This may not happen all of a sudden, but if you work at it gradually, day by day, it can happen.

And if starting something new is not for you, how can you love the job you already have? You can’t always control your situation, but you can always choose how you react to it. Your attitude colours how you face every day and has an influence on the people around you. Choose to be positive. Are there areas of your job that you can improve on? Who can you discuss this with? Is a change to a new role in the same company an option? Examine the possibilities. Your job does not define you, but how you do it does.

And why bother? Doing what you love gives you a good reason to get up every morning. Your life will be challenging, certainly, exciting, definitely. Doing things you enjoy which give you personal fulfilment and satisfaction has been shown to contribute to good health and longevity. Don’t wait for perfect circumstances to start. Begin now!

Jumat, 09 April 2010

Are You a Trash Can for Others’ Negativity?

Carmen, a client of mine, told me at the end of one of her sessions, “I’m no longer willing to be a trash can for others’ negativity.”

“Wow!” I said. “I’m delighted to hear that! And I love that metaphor!”

Carmen is a lovely, warm, intelligent and compassionate young woman in her late 20’s. Coming from a very narcissistic mother, Carmen learned early in life to be safe from her mother’s anger by listening to her mother’s complaints. She learned to put aside her own feelings and be a mother to her mother. Of course, no matter how much she gave to her mother, it was never enough. It wasn’t until Carmen started her inner work that she discovered was narcissism was.

Early in our work together, Carmen discovered that most of her friends were just like her mother. “ I sit and listen to them complain or listen to them brag. They are never interested in me at all. If I say anything about myself, they always bring it right back to themselves. Why are so many of my friends like this?”

“Because you are willing to listen without speaking up for yourself. There are many self-absorbed people, narcissistic people with entitlement issues, who just love it when someone is willing to listen to them. As long as you are willing to listen their complaints and support their self-centeredness, they will continue to do it.”

“But if I speak up, I won’t have any friends.”

“Well, you might not have many friends for awhile, but eventually you will find new friends – people who really care about you. When you are willing to care about yourself instead of putting yourself aside, you will attract people who care about you. But this will take time. You need to be willing to lose others rather than continue to lose yourself. Do you think you are ready to do this?”

“Yes! I don’t want to be a trash can anymore. I don’t want people dumping their negativity onto me anymore.”

How do you feel inside when you allow others to dump their negativity - their complaints, their anger, their self-centeredness and sense of entitlement onto you? If you really look inside instead of pushing your own feelings into a closet, you will discover that you feel really lonely with these people. There is no mutual support, no sharing of love, no mutual giving and receiving. You give and they take, and you end up feeling drained and lonely. Yet you hang in there for fear of being alone with no friends or no partner.

If you are really honest with yourself, you will find that it’s not worth it – that you deserve better than to be a trash can for others’ negativity.

It takes faith and courage to speak up for yourself. It takes courage to say to your friend who is dumping her negativity onto you, “This doesn’t feel good. Whenever we are together all you do is complain or talk on and on about yourself. You are never interested in me at all, and this is no longer okay with me. Either this needs to change or I don’t want to spend time with you. It’s not fun for me and I just end up feeling used and drained.”

When you become willing to speak up for yourself, you will discover who really are your friends and who was just using you. Some people may say, “I’m so grateful you told me this. I didn’t realize I was doing this. I want to stop, and I would appreciate your pointing it out to me next time I do it.” Others will go into denial and say, “That’s not true. I listen to you all the time.” Others will just get angry and go away.

It’s a great way to discover who your friends really are!

Kamis, 08 April 2010

Are You A Time User Or A Time Waster?

If you are like me, you’ve often wished there were 48 hours in a day instead of just 24. There never seems to be enough time to get everything done that you want. Since we just have about 16 hours a day not counting sleep time, it’s important how we use the time we have.

On the average, people waste about 2 hours a day. This is mainly from poor planning. If a person is unorganized, they waste time trying to find things, they miss appointments, they only do one thing at a time when they could be doing two.

Good time management is a major building block to success. Oftentimes, it’s not how much time we spend working but how efficiently we do the work. The key to successful time management is careful planning and setting priorities.

Plan your day, your week, and your month in advance. Know when things need to be done. A great way to “buy time” is to multi-task. Do more than one thing at a time. There are many things that do not require concentrated mental effort. These are more easily combined.

“Failing to plan is planning to fail,”

- unknown

Even though I am a big pro football fan, I can’t justify sitting down and spending three hours watching a game. I have to be doing other things while I do it. Thank goodness for instant replay! I’ve found this is a good time to spend icing injuries or some other busy work. I can also record the games and watch them while exercising. I exercise about 30 minutes a day so during the football season I can watch a game during the week without wasting any time doing it.

When you run errands try to do as many as you can on one trip. If you are self-employed, you can combine personal errands that are on the way to a business errand and have the mileage written off as a business expense.

I’ve been fortunate to have been able to work at home for the past ten years. It’s been great because I hate to waste time commuting. If you must commute, you can use the time to listen to audio self-improvement tapes, audio books or anything educational.

If you are a regular exerciser and belong to a gym, think about working out at home. If you lack the space and money for exercise equipment, try traditional body weight exercises. A little research on the Internet can show you websites devoted to this subject. Even though I lifted weights for 20 years, I’ve converted to body weight exercises. I’ve found they feel better and get the same if not better results. Of course, if you go to the gym to socialize or network, that’s okay. You’re doing more than one thing at a time. You can go walking with your wife. That way you’re getting exercise and husband / wife interaction at the same time.

Setting priorities enables you to get the most important things done. Keep you eye on the big picture. Don’t let low priority things bump off the higher priority tasks from your schedule. If you’ve only got so much time, it’s imperative you spend your time doing the things that bring you the most benefit.

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”

– Goethe

Time is so precious. If you want to be successful in life you need to be spending more time being productive and doing things that are moving you forward. Spending hours a day watching TV, playing computer games, or surfing the Internet is not productive time usage. We all need downtime but you need to determine how much is really necessary. If you use your productive time efficiently then you will have more time to relax and do the fun things.

Rabu, 07 April 2010

Are You a Negative Thinker?

Barbara sought my help because of her chronic fatigue. She had been going to different kinds of doctors and trying different nutrition plans for years and nothing was helping her. One of the doctors suggested that she try psychotherapy.

In became evident early in our work together than Barbara was deeply addicted to thinking the worst. Constant negativity went through her mind about every aspect of her life. She would get out of her car and worry about getting robbed. In social situations, she would tell herself that people didn’t like her. She was always worried about money, even though she was a successful graphic designer. Her husband could never do anything right. There was something wrong with every doctor she saw.

Negative thinking causes much stress in the body. I told Barbara to imagine that she was telling these negative thoughts to a child. How would the child feel most of the time? Barbara could see that this child would, of course, feel anxious and stressed much of the time in response to all the negativity and catastrophic thinking.

The medical profession has long told us that stress is one of the leading causes of illness. Stress sets into motion the body’s fight or flight response, pouring cortisol into the body and eventually exhausting the adrenal glands. Adrenal exhaustion can be one of the results of so much negative thinking.

While Barbara could understand the possible effect her negative thinking was having on her health, it was extremely challenging for her to give up her negative thinking. Barbara deeply believed that her negative thinking kept her safe from disappointment. She believed that thinking the negative thought before the bad thing would happen prepared her to deal with it. She didn’t want to be caught off guard. She believed that she could not handle the pain of disappointment, so that if she knew about it ahead of time and actually expected it, she wouldn’t feel disappointed.

In addition, Barbara believed that if she was vigilant enough and thought through all the bad things that could happen, she could prevent them. She believed that by thinking ahead, she could somehow have control over the outcome of things.

Finally, Barbara also believed that she could control how people felt about her by acting right and saying the right thing. She was constantly vigilant about her behavior with others in her attempts to control how they felt about her and treated her.

However, in trying to control her feelings, others’ feelings and the outcome of things, Barbara may have been causing her illness. The underlying cause of her negative thinking was her devotion to this control.

The problem with all of this is that it is based on an illusion – the illusion of control. The fact is that Barbara could not foresee every event that could cause her some pain. She was devastated every time something happened that she had not thought of beforehand. How could something painful come out of the blue like that? How could she have not foreseen it?

The paradox of all of this is that, in trying to foresee future catastrophes, Barbara was not present in the moment. Real safety is in being present in the moment so we can respond appropriately to whatever is happening in the moment. When we are fully present in the moment, we are available to receiving information from our inner Guidance. All of us have a Source of Guidance that is always available to us, and that is here to help us and protect us. But we can access our Guidance only when we are fully present in the moment, not when we are trying to control the future.

Barbara is in the process of becoming more aware of her negative thinking. She is not yet healthy, but she has some better days now, days that are lighter and more fun.

Moving out of negative thinking is a process that takes time. If you are a negative thinker, you have been practicing this form of thinking your whole life. It is not going to stop in a day. But if you tune into the stress you feel and learn to connect your stress with your negative thinking, you can slowly change this pattern.

Vitality and joy can be the result of letting go of your negative thinking and learning to be present in the moment.

Selasa, 06 April 2010

Are You A Know-All Or No-All?

Expert or Generalist - what are you? Are you one who will know more and more about one subject and less and less about others? Or you are one who knows something about everything? Those of us who are experts are surprised that some people on the earth are generalists and vice-versa. But both the breeds exist on our earth. What are you? Which type is better?

Let us take example of medicine. For example if someone gets fever, he/she cannot approach a specialist, because they would not know which specialty is concerned. In this case they will have to first consult a generalist and after that if needed go to a specialist.

The problem arises when one is a total generalist in his/her profession/work/business. No growth can take place here because if you are in retail but know as much about retail as you know about export procedures, that will be of no help. Slowly you will have to develop expertise in retail to succeed.

Similarly, if you are an expert in retailing but know nothing about other professions, that will hurt your interests. You will find it difficult to grow because retail does not grow alone. It has to get support of other specialties also such as manufacturing.

What is the best way? The best option would be to develop expertise in one trade/profession and get related knowledge of other professions, which will be needed to grow in your chosen field.

Senin, 05 April 2010

Are The Stars Out Tonight? Reconnecting With The Power Of Mystery

On a crisp June night I’m lying in my sleeping bag at 10,000 feet in the Sierra’s Desolation Wilderness. Here, far from the light and haze of the Bay Area, the sky is deep black, but thick with twinkling dots and dim wisps of cottony light. When I look from the corner of my eye, the dim lights become more defined, easier to perceive as stars. To count them all would take years, if it was even possible. The number seems incomprehensible. And the mystery of what could exist out there, somewhere, at once inspires and humbles me.

Enthralled by the night sky, I struggle to keep my eyes open, knowing with a disquieting certainty that upon my return to the “real” world my focus will be drawn steadily and relentlessly away from the mysteries of the night sky.

The real world of responsibilities, work, relationships and bills provides a powerful distraction from the mystery of the night sky and the mystery of our lives. This point was driven home, recently, when I heard the following two intriguing but contradictory statements in the same day.

First, in a recording, Carolyn Myss observed that this is the first time in which entire generations will grow up without seeing the stars! Imagine growing up in a big, bright city, without the resources to leave, surrounded by light, smog and tall buildings that blot out all but the most determined of the celestial objects.

The second statement I heard came later that day, in an NPR story about the Hubble Space Telescope. A lead scientist for the telescope explained how, since the dawn of humanity we have been seeking to understand the origin of the Universe. This, he said, is the first time that we do understand it. We can see the spectral remnants from the Big Bang and actually listen to the sounds of the Universe moments after its formation.

What a strange world we have dreamed into existence. Our technology and science enables us to unravel the secrets of the stars while simultaneously creating communities that will never see them. As our understanding of our world and the Universe has expanded, we have, as a culture, become disconnected from the inherently mysterious nature of our existence. And as individuals we run the risk of losing touch with the powerful force of mystery in our lives.

When was the last time you laid out at night gazing into the sky? When was the last time you attempted to count the stars, or trace the outline of Ursa Major? When was the last time you wondered who or what might be out there in the vast reaches of space, or what your place is within this Universe?

Mystery is a source of power for humans. We draw creativity, passion, healing and inspiration from the Unknown. Artists, scientists, inventors and philosophers all speak of the mysterious nature of discovery, creation and problem solving. Shamans and Healers of all cultures understand that the unknown holds the power to heal and transform the Soul, Mind and Body. When we lose touch with that mystery, we lose touch with a source of personal and communal power.

Passion, too, comes from Mystery. Consider your intimate relationships, past or present. It is not the daily encounters or the practical matters that keep a relationship growing. Nor is it the moments of tenderness and intimacy. These are all integral parts of a relationship, forming the foundation and structure. But it is in the moments of Mystery and Discovery that the flame of passion is refueled: It is when your lover surprises you with a perfect gift. Or when you catch an unexpected glimpse of your partner kneeling over a flower to inhale its aroma. The door to Mystery opens also when your partner displays her anger for the first time, or when he trusts you with the sharing of a grief long held hidden.

These moments when you encounter something new and surprising about your lover take the relationship deeper into the mystery and are the moments of growth and renewal for each of you as individuals. It may be love that sustains a relationship, but it is the glimpses into the mystery that refuels love. Relationships begin to stagnate and die, not when love fades, but rather, when the doorway into the Mystery remains closed for too long.

This is equally true in your personal life. When you close the door that leads to your personal mysteries, you deprive yourself of a source of power and passion. One way to reopen that door, or open it wider, is to embrace the mysteries around you. How does a tiny acorn transform itself into a majestic oak tree? How do the birds know when it is time to migrate? How does this computer do what it does? What waits for us in the vast reaches of space?

Do not believe that the scientists know everything. If Christopher Columbus had accepted the prevailing wisdom of his day, he never would have set sail. If Einstein had believed the existing theories of matter, space and time, he would not have formulated the theory of relativity.

Bask in the mysteries. Challenge existing assumptions. Discover your own answers. Become curious and childlike when something intrigues you. Begin to open the door to the external mysteries and the door to your personal mysteries will soon follow. When it does, you will have access to a vast source of inspiration, creativity, and power.

Minggu, 04 April 2010

Arachnophobia And Other Fears

We had a little excitement this morning at home. My wife came out of the bathroom and said, quite calmly, “Ed, there’s a big black spider in the bathtub.” Since I was watching my daughter, Ella, at the time, I carried her in there to investigate. I was a bit surprised that my wife did not call it a Brown Recluse. That’s our running joke. She grew up in Brown Recluse territory, and so whenever she sees a brownish spider she says “Ed, I just saw a Brown Recluse. Go get it.” I gently remind her that the Brown Recluse does not live in Northern California as I gather up the culprit and take it outside.

When Ella and I looked in the tub, I could understand why Melissa had not called it a Brown Recluse. This spider was a deep shiny black. I’m usually pretty casual about spiders, knowing that the only dangerous spider in our area is the black widow, a spider I had never before seen. But the color of this one caused me to act with a bit more caution. And it was good that I did. When I gathered up the critter in a Tupperware bowl, I could see, through the translucent plastic, a distinctive red hourglass on the belly. Here was my first Black Widow.

Needless to say, my wife did not share in my scientific enthusiasm at this discovery. She promptly took Ella from my arms and commanded me to take the spider far away from the house. I was gratified and a bit surprised that she did not encourage me to immediately squash it.

Now I want to pause here and put in a bit of a plug for spiders. They get a bad rap. They take the blame for a lot of stuff they don’t do: flea bites, tick bites, bed bug bites, even mosquito bites. You name it, spiders take the blame for it. Most spiders don’t bite humans, others only bite when confronted, and of those that do bite, there are only a handful that are truly dangerous to humans. Even the bite of the supposedly deadly Black Widow is fatal in less than 1% of all instances.

And then there are the legends that have grown up around the infamous Brown Recluse. Over 60% of the medically diagnosed Brown Recluse bites occur in regions in which the spider does not live! How a spider that lives only in the South Central portion of the USA can be responsible for so many unexplained ailments here in California and elsewhere is beyond me.

Here’s a brief excerpt from a spider info site to give you some perspective:

A recent summary of reported spider bites in the United States between 1989 and 1993 included fewer than 5,000 incidents per year. These numbers seem small when compared to the over 800,000 dog bites that required stitches each year. During the study period, dog bites were responsible for 20 deaths per year, and auto-deer collisions were associated with 130 annual deaths. You might be surprised to learn that there were no spider-bite related fatalities during that four-year period.

At this point, you may be wondering what this has to do with life coaching. Fear not, I do have a point I’m getting to. And as the good Dr. Seuss would say, “This may not seem important I know. But it is, and that’s why I’m bothering telling you so.”

How do you feel about spiders? Do you cringe when you see one walking on your wall? Do you quiver at the thought of one crawling up your leg? Where do those feelings come from? When you were a youngster, did someone in your family go into paroxysms of fear whenever a spider was spotted? Did you inherit that fear? And does that fear continue to control your relationship with these critters?

Ok, lets face it, a fear of spiders is not going to prevent you from living a successful, abundant, joyous life. But here’s the catch: What fears do you harbor that DO prevent you from living that life? What other fears have you inherited from your family and friends and the culture around you? And how do those fears keep from becoming the person you have the potential to be?

Because our fears are almost always founded in the past, they appear much larger than they really are. When we experience a fear in the present, we’re really reacting to the projection of a deep-rooted belief that was planted inside us long ago. Just as the shadow of a spider walking in front of a light appears huge and frightening, so too do our fears become magnified many times when we look at the projection. The reality of the spider, when viewed from a place of present-time awareness, is much less scary. So too do your fears become manageable when you shift your perception from the shadow to the source.

Fears thrive on the lies and exaggerations that are possible only in the dark, hidden places. As soon as you bring those fears out into the light you can begin to see them for what they really are. The trick, of course, is knowing how to pull those fears out into the light.

So here’s your assignment:

When you see a spider (or a snake or a mouse or you look down from a balcony or get onto a plane or fill in the blank) and you notice the dread that lives in the pit of your stomach, know that you have a great opportunity to practice shifting your perception. So the next time you find yourself face to face with a spider, rather than running away or calling for reinforcements, try to stop and breathe for a moment and become an explorer of your inner world. If you need to catch the spider and place it in a hermetically sealed container in order to breathe, that’s ok! And then see if you can observe that spider with the objectivity of a scientist.

This practice will serve you well the next time you find yourself confronted by a fear that really does hold you back from the life you want to live. When you feel yourself quaking as you prepare to give a presentation, when you watch your arms quivering as you walk into a job interview, when your mouth becomes drier than the Sahara desert as you share your portfolio with a gallery owner, whenever you notice yourself entering a place of fear, become a scientist, objectively exploring the phenomenon. Become a neutral observer of your own life. When you discover the source of your fear, you may be surprised to find that the reality is much less scary than the perception.

Oh, and when you’re done exploring those other fears, remember to say thank you to your new spider friends.

Sabtu, 03 April 2010

Approaching Women: The Simple Event That Changed My Life

Copyright 2006 X & Y Communications

It was a perfectly normal Saturday afternoon.  I was going to visit my girlfriend later in the day, but until then it was time to run the usual slate of typical, mundane errands.

Even though I was in a relationship at the time, I had learned from my research on men and women that ‘style’ was important—so I had some nice jeans and a button down shirt on.  My belt and my shoes matched, and I was in “Successful Guy Saturday Casual” mode.

After a quick trip to the post office and a stop at the bicycle shop, it was time to go to Target.  I needed several things, so I got a cart.

I had checked off toothpaste, light bulbs and a couple items from the automotive department when I happened to see someone I knew at the end of the aisle.  I had only met her once, but she was a friend of my girlfriend’s.  So I knew I had better say “hello”.  After all, “making nice” with the girlfriend’s friends is always a plus.

She didn’t appear to notice who I was, so as I reached where she was I tapped her shoulder with the back of my hand and said (simply), “Hey!”.   She turned and responded back with a reciprocal “Hey!”, with a warm smile and that classic “eyebrow flash” that the body-language books talk about.

“So it looks like even superheroes like you and I still have to shop for normal, everyday stuff at the Target, right?”, I said, noticing a few stray items in her shopping cart.

“I suppose!”, she acknowledged with a laugh.

I continued with very typical small talk after that.  As the conversation continued, I started feeling something strange…if not downright creepy.

My girlfriend’s friend, if my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me, was starting to behave in a manner that I would ALMOST call…FLIRTATIOUS.

I was caught off guard.  After all, if what I was seeing was really happening, it was COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE.  After all, not only was I dating this woman's friend…this woman was MARRIED!

So I maintained that 18” distance that social mores dictate is proper, while continuing with perfectly normal conversation.  But soon, there was no denying the body language.  She was clearly enjoying the interaction, and eventually made a comment or two that were unmistakably forward.

At this point I was going OUT OF MY WAY to not appear romantically interested in return.  Yet, I couldn’t help the thoughts that were racing in my mind.  This woman was CLEARLY ATTRACTED to me.  On top of the impropriety of it all, I was struck by the IMPROBABILITY of it all.  This woman was 15 years my junior and at least FIVE INCHES TALLER than me!

Now, let me level-set here.  My girlfriend at the time was a beautiful woman, and her friend was likewise very attractive.  So here we had a situation where a woman who was NOT MY TYPE AT ALL, and indeed not one of the ones I would immediately picture going after a guy like me, was UNQUESTIONABLY  INTERESTED.

At that point I realized that this conversation needed to end…and SOON, for obvious reasons.  To that effect I said, “Well, time to get back to shopping.  But I’ll tell [my girlfriend’s name] you said ‘hello’.”

There was a slight pause.  Then a quizzical look from the woman.

“Uh…who’s [my girlfriend’s name]?”, she wondered.  I looked back with an equally querulous expression.  “…Aren’t you Jennifer?”

“Um…nooooooo…my name is Felicia.”

With my mind racing in several different directions, I happened to look down and noticed there was no ring on her left hand.

I spontaneously laughed, and explained to her what had just happened.  The woman really was a dead ringer for who I thought she was.

She responded with warm eyes and a feminine giggle.  “So that’s…IT...?”, she said with one raised eyebrow and a motion of the hand to indicate continuation.  I politely ended the conversation there anyway, of course, because I had a girlfriend, and returned to shopping.

But I was changed forever.


I had read time and again about how something like 90% of men have some fear of approaching women.  Furthermore, I had read about how the single most important factor in GETTING OVER that fear is to simply GO OUT AND MEET WOMEN.  The problem is that most of the time we as guys can't get out of our own way when doing so…assuming we get up the guts to even try.

So, in one brief exercise—and by TOTAL ACCIDENT—I had unequivocally proven what it takes to successfully meet women.  Ironically, the “success” was OVERWHELMINGLY due to the fact that I wasn't trying to "pick this woman up".

So what’s going on there?

Let’s outline the key principles and components of that experience at the Target:

1)       I had started the day making sure I looked my best.  I was READY for an interaction with a woman…if not the woman at the Target.

2)       I had NO HIDDEN AGENDA with this woman from a sexual perspective.  There was nothing about my approach that caused her to put her guard up.  I was just making normal conversation.  As such, there was a comfortable atmosphere surrounding the whole thing.

3)       Based on the fact that I believed I already knew this woman, I was 100% CONFIDENT that I wouldn’t be flatly rejected when I spoke to her.  Think about it.  If you behave as if you are sure that talking to someone will be met with a positive response, you will not be nervous or sketchy about it at all.

4)       My “opener” with her was a simple “Hey!” with a light, backhanded whack on the shoulder.  No fancy, contrived "lines".

5)       This was not a bar or some other special “pick up joint”.  This was the TARGET!

Bear in mind that this woman, although very beautiful, was not at all the type of woman I would ever see myself approaching or see myself with.  And consider that it took virtually no direct effort to impress her.  What appeared to “impress her” was the sincerity and confidence portrayed in simply wanting to talk to her.


There is no doubt that this woman perceived my approach as being related to her being a woman and me being a man.  Although I was not even close to who the “media” would match her up with, the combination of facility, confidence and a low-pressure approach WORKED WONDERS.  Ladies, that kind of attitude is what you look forward to when it comes to men approaching you, is it not?  Don’t shout me down for telling the truth!

After that day, I made sure that my “accidental discovery” became firmly embedded into my conscience.  After that, talking to any woman I want—anywhere—has been all about considering her someone I already know, and affording her the simple respect that goes along with it.  No woman has ever been a “stranger”, ever since.

Guys:  If you have any trepidation at all when it comes to meeting a woman you find attractive, learn from this lesson and I assure you your life will be radically transformed.  You have the ability to meet any woman you choose to.  Make it so.

Ladies:  Here’s to more guys learning what I learned that day.  I know you all are patiently waiting…

Jumat, 02 April 2010

Anxiety Is A Thief

Have you ever experienced anxiety? I wouldn’t hesitate to say that out of 100 adults surveyed, all 100 would tell you they have experienced some form of anxiety. Anxiety is a normal part of our existence. In the early years of man, anxiety and adrenalin served the purpose of keeping us alert to approaching danger. This kept us alive. Today, the anxiety that many of us feel is in response to ever increasing daily responsibilities and no increase in the amount of time available to take care of those responsibilities.

Some people, however, experience a far worse condition of anxiety. Anxiety attacks, or panic attacks, as they are often referred to, rob individuals of their ability to function normally. Fear seizes their mind, numbing their ability to think and process thought clearly. They are afraid to even breathe at times and sometimes unable to breathe normally.

This is a debilitating condition. Can you imagine being gripped by fear and panic, to the point that you could not even accomplish a simple trip to the grocery store? It is a daily situation for many adults. The greatest dilemma faced by the panic stricken individual is the isolation many feel, and the inability to reach out to someone for help. The very nature of the disease isolates the patient, and makes treatment options seem nonexistent. Seeking treatment would mean that they had to exist outside the comfort zone of their home, or their bedroom.

Often a person will experience circumstances that bring on severe anxiety or panic, and once the circumstances causing the panic are resolved or dissipate, so does the anxiety. I don’t believe you can go through your entire adult life, and never experience some form of heightened anxiety. If you have responsibilities, children, loved ones, and friends, there is probably going to be a situation that causes you to experience severe anxiety. Some people never experience an attack. But many do, and for those people, it is a fleeting thing. But every once in a while, someone experiences anxiety and panic, and it begins to grow inside them. It consumes their life. For these people, simple responsibilities become scary situations.

The good news, in fact the only bright spot I can see, in this disease, is that it is a condition readily treatable with counseling and the use of self-help techniques including meditation, mild medications, and biofeedback. Empowering the individual and allowing them to take part in their own treatment is in itself a way to stop the anxiety and panic. Once an individual begins to feel they are in control of their lives, again, you are even closer to banishing the overwhelming anxiety and panic. Since the onset of this disease is worsened by the individuals belief in their inability to control their daily lives, reestablishing control is absolutely necessary.