Happiness self help resource article 273 blog archive April05

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Happiness self help blog
archived for Arpril05
by Helene Malmsio

Happiness and wellbeing self help personal development blog about self help, happiness, personal development and self growth blog. size=1>

Personal development self help blog:

30th April

21 things to remember… think about each one SERIOUSLY… before moving on to the next one.

1. Success stops when YOU do!

2. Look for opportunities… not guarantees.

3. If you don’t start, it’s certain you won’t arrive.

4. The best way to escape your problem is to solve it.

5. We often fear the thing we want the most.

6. Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.

7. Others can stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently.

8. You will never “have it all together.”

9. The biggest lie on the planet: “When I get what I want, I will be happy.”

10. When your ship comes in… make sure you are willing to unload it.

11. I’ve learned that ultimately, ‘takers’ lose and ‘givers’ win.

12. Life’s precious moments don’t have value, unless they are shared.

13. Life is a journey… not a destination. Enjoy the trip!

14. Most people will be about as happy, as they decide to be.

15. He or she who laughs… lasts.

16. Yesterday was the deadline for all complaints.

17. No one can ruin your day without YOUR permission.

18. Life is what’s coming… not what was.

19. Success is getting up one more time.

20. When things go wrong… don’t go with the flow.

21. Now is the most interesting time of all.

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Personal development self help blog:

29th April

To be young Again…

When we were kids

You lived as a child in the 50s or the 60s or earlier. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have…

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

Our baby cribs were covered with bright coloured lead-based paint.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention hitchhiking to town as a young kid!)

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day.No cell phones. Unthinkable.

We played dodgeball and sometimes the ball would really hurt. We got cut and broken bones and broken teeth and there were no law suits from these accidents.

They were accidents. And No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents? We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank sugar soda but we were never overweight….

…..we were always outside playing. We shared one grape soda with four friends, from one bottle and no one died from this?

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X Boxes, video games at all, 101 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cellular phones, Personal Computers, internet chat rooms … we had friends. We went outside and found them.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s home and knocked on the door, or rung the bell or just walked in and talked to them.

Imagine such a thing. Without asking a parent! By ourselves! Out there in the cold cruel world! Without a guardian. How did we do it?

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment….. Some students weren’t as smart as others so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade…..Horrors. Tests were not adjusted for any reason.

Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. No one to hide behind. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law, imagine that!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years has been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and I learned how to deal with it all.

And you’re one of them.

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Personal development self help blog:

28th April

Things I Learned From Noah’s Ark

Everything I need to know, I learned from Noah’s Ark.

1. Don’t miss the boat.

2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.

3. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.

4. Stay fit. When you’re 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.

5. Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.

6. Build your future on high ground.

7. For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.

8. Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

9. When you’re stressed, float awhile.

10. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

11. The whole world can change in only 40 days.

12. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

Have a fantastic day!

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Personal development self help blog:

27th April

Working with Simplicity

by Linda Breen Pierce

From time to time, people confide to me that while the notion of simplicity is appealing, their work is more important to them at this time in their lives. The underlying assumption in this statement is that work and simplicity are somehow in conflict or not compatible. Others believe that the primary goal of those who live simply is to do as little work as possible. This is a myth.

Voluntary simplicity is not an anti-work movement. To the contrary, the voluntary simplicity philosophy encourages people to engage in work (whether for compensation or as a volunteer) that uses their unique talents and skills, is in alignment with their values, and is in balance with other aspects of their lives.

Balancing our work and personal lives is perhaps one of the most challenging tasks we face as we enter the 21st century. In the last 50 years, we Americans have added a full month to our annual work hours. In 1997, we had the dubious distinction of surpassing Japan as the country with the highest annual work hours of all industrialized nations.

People in most European countries work 15 to 20 percent fewer hours than Americans. A 1997 U.S. survey by the Families and Work Institute in New York found that 64% of employees would like to work fewer hours. This is up from 47% in 1992.

In fact, thousands of individuals in this country have done just that—they have restructured their lives to permit a part-time work schedule, working 20 to 30 hours a week. This schedule frees up time and energy for other high priorities in their lives, like spending time with family and friends, caring for their bodies (sufficient sleep, exercise and nutritious food), helping others, developing their spirituality, exploring a hobby, and enjoying time in nature.

The biggest hurdle we face in reducing our work hours is simply believing that it can be done without feeling deprived of our material needs and true desires. Once we realize this truth, the rest is easy—well, relatively easy. Chances are, there are people in your life right now who have already accomplished this. You can read the real life success stories of part-time workers in my book, Choosing Simplicity: Real People Finding Peace and Fulfillment in a Complex World (Gallagher Press, 2000).

To make part-time work a reality, you must do two things. First, you must reduce your living expenses to accommodate a lower income. Obviously, if you have a family, this process must be a family project. Ideally, each adult in the family would have the option to work part-time. Second, you must either persuade your current employer to allow you to work part-time, or find another employer or self-employment opportunity to permit such a schedule. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about the possibilities in your own life:

1. Reduce your housing expenses. Moving to smaller quarters, moving to a less expensive area of the country, and renting instead of owning your home have all helped people accomplish this goal.

2. Reduce your transportation expenses. Locating your home close enough to work so that you can walk, ride your bicycle, car pool or take public transportation is an excellent method of achieving this goal. With a little thought, many families are able to make the transition from a two-car to a one-car family. Often, if you move to a smaller residence (see #1 above), you can also reduce your transportation costs at the same time.

3. Calculate your true hourly wage. You need to know how much you really earn before you can determine whether a change of jobs is in order. There are books and guides to help you do this. An excellent choice is Your Money or Your Life, by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin.

4. Don’t let health insurance stand in your way. Too many people say, “My job is killing me but I can’t quit because I need the health insurance.” What’s wrong with this picture? Most people can get individual and family health coverage. Yes, it is expensive. But so are housing, food, and transportation needs. Look at health insurance as a cost of living and work on reducing your total cost of living to enable you to manage on a part-time income.

5. You may not need to quit your current job. If you enjoy your work, but would enjoy it more if you worked fewer hours, submit a proposal to your employer to do just that. Consider the objectives of your employer and come up with a plan that will meet the company’s needs as well as your own. A job share is one option.

Telecommuting for part of the week will reduce commuting time. In fact, you may be more productive working at home, which in theory would allow you to do the same job in fewer hours. If your spouse has health benefits for the entire family, consider proposing that you give up your health benefits in exchange for reduced work hours.

6. Explore entrepreneurial opportunities if you have the personality for it. Ideally, this is done while your spouse is earning a stable income, giving you the economic flexibility to build your business over time. Working from home is a lot less costly than traditional employment. At home, you will have fewer expenses for clothes, transportation, and lunches.

These are just a few avenues to explore. If you put your mind to it, you can come up with your own creative solutions. It may take time—six months, one year, even two years—to change the infrastructure of your life, but it’s just a fraction of a life time spent in the alternative, working so hard and long that you have no time and energy for anything else.

And if you were to say that you love your job so much that you can’t think of anything you would rather do, I would ask you to consider the words of the late Anne Morrow Lindbergh, taken from her book, Gift from the Sea:

For it is only framed in space that beauty blooms. Only in space are events and objects and people unique and significant, and therefore beautiful. A tree has significance if one sees it against empty space of sky. A note in music gains significance from the silences on either side. A candle flowers in the space of night.

When we become unidimensional beings, focusing our life energy on work to the exclusion of all else, we lose the beauty and significance of our lives.

Linda Breen Pierce is the founder of The Simplicity Resource Guide www.gallagherpress.com/pierce and the author of Choosing Simplicity: Real People Finding Peace and Fulfillment in a Complex World

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Personal development self help blog:

26th April

The Top Ten Ways To Be Positive In The Workplace Of Life

By: BZ Riger-Hull

There is a growing volume of research that shows’ staying positive is better for your health; you can cope better with stress. It’s better for relationships; you keep from judging people and getting the bad habit of gossiping. It takes much more energy to be negative, always worrying, thinking of the “ what if’s”, the “should’s”. Being positive, living in the present will lighten your life and the mood of others around you.

1. Attitude is everything. It is the lens that you look through to experience your reality. Take a look at your attitude. Are you negative? Do you color everything with fear or need? How will your life change if you change your attitude?

2. Treat people with kindness and respect. Everyone that you encounter should be valued, treated with courtesy. Acknowledge that they have feelings and their own perspective on life, they may be different than yours but they are also valid.

3. Avoid comparison- whether you are looking down at the people who have not mastered special strengths or up at people who may be more experienced or accomplished. Constantly comparing yourself keeps the focus on the other person instead of what you can do, want to do, and are good at doing. Look inside and improve from there.

4. Take responsibility for your work, actions, and life… Don’t pass the buck. Don’t make excuses. Take responsibility; acknowledge a mistake fix it and learn from it. Don’t beat yourself up about the mistake, or hang onto past mistakes. Resolve them, own them and move forward. Today.

5. That doesn’t work for me. Keep this in mind when someone offers a put down. When they cross your boundaries. Your worth comes from you; your being, your true self. They cannot change your intrinsic value unless you let them. Make it clear that what they are doing doesn’t work for you, keep your boundaries and move forward.

6. Respect other people’s time and boundaries. If you are having a bad day, feeling stuck, or you are just enjoying procrastinating. Make sure you don’t use that as an excuse to waste other people’s time or cross their boundaries. Time is the most valuable thing we have. If you feel like wasting your time that’s your decision but don’t waste other people’s time.

7. Make a “what I have accomplished list”. Too often people make huge to-do lists and then beat themselves up when they have only accomplished a few things on the list. Keep your master list of what you want to accomplish so you don’t forget things that are important to you, but keep a second list you update daily. Each day keep a specific list of all the things you did and how much time you spent on each thing. You’ll know where the day went, can feel good about what you did accomplish and see where you need to focus, to get what’s most important to you, done.

8. Take notice of the people around you; co-workers, customers, clients, vendors, and other people you come in contact with each day. Acknowledge what they are contributing and don’t take them for granted. Thank them for buying from you, for their help, their value to the relationship, and for a job well done.

9. Enjoy the little things that happen in your day. The compliment someone gave you on the insight you shared at the staff meeting. The big smile the customer gave you when they picked up their order. By recognizing your accomplishments even if they seem small or routine, you are acknowledging a job well done.

10. Coming from a positive attitude and perspective you will feel more in control. Consider each job and interaction as your best performance, rather than just running them together as part of your day. You will see the impact you have and the value you offer. People will be attracted to this. They will notice how well you do things and they will truly value you.

About the Author

©BZ Riger-Hull. Author of The Soul of Success http://www.in-spiros.com For valuable free articles, mailto:A1@smartautoresponder.com Certified as a Success Coach, “Four Agreements” Facilitator, & Tele-Course leader We help you communicate powerfully, reduce stress, Strategically Attract success, & increase your financial well-being. Our coaching programs and Tele-Courses give you the Tools you need to Succeed. bz@in-spiros.com

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Personal development self help blog:

25th April

THE POSITIVE SIDE OF LIFE!

Living on Earth may be expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year.

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you’re on.

Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live.

Happiness comes through doors you didn’t even know you left open.

Ever notice that the people who are late are often much jollier than the people who have to wait for them?

Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us.

If Super Markets are lowering prices every day, how come nothing is free yet?

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.

We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors… but they all exist very nicely in the same box.

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Have an awesome day, and know that someone who thinks you’re great has thought about you today!..

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Personal development self help blog:

24th April

IMPORTANT HEALTH INFORMATION

Q: I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that’s it. Don’t waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that’s like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass, a green leafy vegetable. And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable slop.

Q: Is beer or wine bad for me?
A: Look, it goes to the earlier point about fruits and vegetables. As we all know, scientists divide everything in the world into three categories: animal, mineral, and vegetable. We all know that beer and wine are not animal or mineral, so that only leaves one thing, right? My advice: Have a burger and a beer and enjoy your vegetables.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can’t think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain…Good.

Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?
A: You’re not listening. Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO …. Cocoa beans. Another vegetable!!! “It’s the best feel-good food around!”

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets. Have a cookie…

One more thing… “When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt.”

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Personal development self help blog:

23rd April

Just remember…if the world didn’t suck, we’d all fall off.

Every time I walk into a singles bar I can hear Mom’s wise words: “Don’t pick that up, you don’t know where it’s been!”

Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

A good friend will come and bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, “Whoa! That was fun!”

Marriage changes passion. Suddenly you’re in bed with a relative.

I don’t do drugs. I get the same effect just standing up real fast.

I live in my own little world. But it’s OK. They know me here.

I don’t approve of political jokes. I’ve seen too many of them get elected.

I love being married. It’s great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.

I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose-fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose-fitting clothing, I wouldn’t have signed up in the first place!

When I was young we used to go “skinny dipping,” now I just ”chunky dunk.”

Why is it that our children can’t read a Bible in school, but they can in prison?

Brain cells come and brain cells go, but FAT cells live forever.

I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with “Guess” on it. So I said “Implants?” She hit me.

If raising children was going to be easy, it never would have started with something called LABOR!

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Personal development self help blog:

22nd April

Surefire Conversation Starters

Can you confidently walk up to someone and start a conversation? Do you know how to evaporate a silent pause? If you answered yes, you are not alone!

Many people struggle with starting conversations. Unfortunately, this leads to poor social skills, uncomfortable pauses, and boring conversations!

That’s the bad news. The good news is that anyone can learn how to start conversations and keep them going. You just need the right tools.

Think a moment. If I gave you a birthday candle and a couple matches, you could easily light the candle. However, with no matches it would be nearly impossible!

So also starting a conversation can be tough if you don’t have the matches. However, with the right matches or conversation starters, you can quickly strike up a conversation.

Conversation matches come in the form of conversation starter questions. Whip out one of these questions or conversation starters and you can start a conversation with virtually anyone!

One question can start a conversation with a complete stranger. Using a conversation starter with your coworker or classmate can lead to several minutes of enjoyable conversation.

Here are a few conversation starters which are proven to work for starting conversations. Memorize them and use them.

* Conversation Starters for Strangers

What works good with strangers is to ask about something around you. Here are a few examples:

=> To a clerk: Has it been a busy today?
=> To a airline passage: How often do you fly?
=> To a classmate: How are you enjoying the class?

* Conversation Starters for People you See Occasionally or Every Day

Nearly every day we see coworkers, family, etc. These people pose an interesting challenge because you already know a lot about them and have probably discussed the standard topics (family, pets, etc.). Try these conversation starters:

=> What do you think about us exploring Mars? Is it worth the money? (Talk about a current event.)

=> How was the class? (day at work, the movie, shopping trip, etc.)

=> How are things going at work? (in your life, at home, with school, etc.)?

=> What is new in your life?

=> How are you doing?

=> What have you done for fun lately?

* Conversation Starters for People You Want to Know Better

These conversation starter questions have numerous uses. When I was in sales, I would use them to build rapport with the customers. They are also great for building friendships. In addition they help you be a social success on dates, at parties, or anywhere there are people!

=> How do you like to spend most of your time?

=> What do you enjoy about golfing? (parenting, their favorite hobby, work, etc.)?

=> Do you enjoy skiing? (name one of your interests)

=> What do you find challenging about your job? (cooking, parenting, whatever you are talking about at the moment)

=> How did you get started at this job? (meet your spouse, start playing golf, etc.)?

=> What do you wish was different about your house? Why? (your life, work, family, hobby, etc.)

That’s it! These conversation starters are your matches. Memorize them and keep them handy. Pull one out and use it to strike up a conversation or evaporate a pause.

–(C) Arlen Busenitz. Arlen is the author of the free e-mail course “10 Power Tips to Ignite Your Conversation Skills” and several articles including “Start Conversations as Easily as You Start a Car”. http://www.conversation-tips.com/cs

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Personal development self help blog: 21st April

11 things you did not learn at school

Charles Sykes, the author of DUMBING DOWN OUR KIDS, provided for high school and college graduates a list of eleven things they did not learn in school.

In his book, he talks about how the feel good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality, and set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1.

Life is not fair; get used to it.

Rule 2.

The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3.

You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice president with a car phone, until you earn both.

Rule 4.

If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure.

Rule 5.

Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity.

Rule 6.

If you mess up, it’s not your parents fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7.

Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So, before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8.

Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9.

Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off, and Very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10.

Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to Leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11.

Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

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Personal development self help blog:

20th April

Seven Strategies You Need to Know About Strengthening Your Self-Esteem by Carol Dickson-Carr

Did you know that your life’s success in all areas is directly related to having a healthy self-esteem? You’ve heard the cliché “You are what you eat.”

Many would also argue that “You are what you think.”

Nathaniel Brandon, one of the most notable psychologists on self-esteem put it nicely: “There is no value-judgment more important to man—no factor more decisive in his psychological development & motivation than the estimate he passes on himself.”

It is the secret or “hidden self-esteem” in particular, that will get you through those very dark spots. It will enable you to find a valuable lesson each time you face an obstacle.

The hidden or secret self-esteem is how you feel about yourself deep down. It is the most accurate description of how you feel, regardless of what obstacles are thrown in your path.

If it’s strong, then you will be able to deal better with stress and your relationships. You’ll be successful by your own standards and have no need to boast about it. Your surface self- esteem, however, can vary widely depending on the day of the week. It’s a temporary feeling.

Environmental factors can play a role in how you view yourself. It most certainly did for me. For example (the very short version), I felt essentially fatherless. I got called weird a lot growing up (and fat, too!).

Artists, musicians, and the mathematically inclined tend to be labeled as eccentric. I am all three! Teenagers generally ridiculed eccentricity in my environment back then.

Honestly, I don’t believe my secret nor surface self-esteem was as healthy as it could be in all areas until I was finished with school—Graduate School!

So how did I get from there to here?

Let’s look at some strategies that I used and see if any or all them can get you on the road to developing or strengthening your self-esteem. Here are seven of them:

1. Clear out the junk: This means anything hurtful and unconstructive that you’ve been told by someone you care(d) about (or even some you didn’t) is to be taken with a grain of salt. It’s one thing to be given constructive criticism in life, but quite another when people are downright mean about it. Remember it’s the offending party’s issue. NOT yours.

2. Related to #1: List first why you believe the negativity you tell yourself (i.e., I’m too old. I’m too fat. Nobody loves me. I’m never good enough. etc.); laugh at that piece of paper you just wrote on; THEN tear it up and move on to the next strategy.

3. You may have heard the phrase “Attitude of gratitude.” Count your blessings, which can include things people actually take for granted, such as food and shelter, access to a computer, etc.

4. List your positive attributes and talents—everybody has them! List at least five.

5. Make a list of what you love to do, starting from childhood until now and try to find time to do it at least once a week, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

6. List at least three things that you would love to have the courage to do.

7. Surround yourself with positive people (think of volunteer or professional organizations that have something in common with your interests, for example).

If none of these strategies work over time, other factors may be at play that are beyond the scope of this article.

Consistently employing these strategies will make it easier to keep going even when the going gets tough. Especially when the going gets tough! Whenever you are feeling low, you don’t have to try and deny it. But do know that it will pass. Knowing that it will pass will help you psychologically.

If you’re interested in seeing where you fall in terms of your self-esteem, here is a site that I found very useful: http://www.wellnessnet.com/testesarticle.htm. It also goes into the hidden and surface self esteem concept in more depth.

Self-esteem is but one personal resource worth managing. It’s important to be kind to yourself and have patience. Remember, your best investment is in yourself!

Carol Dickson-Carr is a life strategist and social scientist who has researched the human condition for over 13 years. She is also founder of Power-Ed Solutions, Inc., a Leadership Development Company

http://managingpersonalresources.com

http://www.power-edsolutionsinc.com

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Personal development self help blog:

19th April

Retirement and the 406 Dollar Soda

by Kenneth Bateman

Do you like Coke? I know I do, and nothing hits the spot like a cold, refreshing Coke on a hot summer’s day. I like the 20 ounce one from the vending machine. They only cost one dollar, and they are pretty accessible wherever I go.

I know you are saying to yourself, “This is supposed to be an article about retirement, not Coke. What are you talking about?” Well, that is a good point. Have you ever thought about the other cost of a Coke, meaning what that dollar could have become?

The answer is: should you have invested that same dollar at age 18, that Coke cost $406 at age 70. This is not making great assumptions of hitting that one great big stock, the next Microsoft or Intel. This is at the historical return of the S&P 500, approximately 12% per year.

The point is further driven home in recent commercials on television. The commercial talks about a diamond necklace, and finally posing the question “Is there any other way to show you love for her?” Then a voice says, and I am paraphrasing, “Well, you could just tell her, and save the money for her retirement.”

Think about that. Every one dollar you spend today costs you a small fortune when you are retired. I have worse news for you — and here is the big secret about retirement — retirement is when you need the money the most. I am sure most of you know elderly people who are saddled with medication costs that take up more than whatever Social Security and Medicare provide. Keep this image in mind, the next time you upgrade to a Super Size meal for just 39 cents. Those 15 extra fries just cost you $89.85 at age 65, about $6 per fry.

How can you make this money work for you? The first think you need to do is see a financial planner. Undoubtedly, there are many in your area. Set up an allotment into a Roth IRA, a certain amount each month that goes directly to whatever mutual fund you choose, and forget about it. Giving up $100 a month starting at age 25 will give you over $1,156,000 at age 65. If you can scrape $2000 a year or $166.66 a month, at age 65 you will have over $1,900,000. IF your IRA is a Roth, you will have this money tax-free. You can’t do better than that.

Scrape and skimp, save and save. Pay yourself first, and keep the long-term goal in mind. You can make your own path for the future. Take the time to cut coupons. Decide what you spend money on but never use and get rid of it. For example, if you have cable but only watch local stations, get rid of cable and get some rabbit ears. It will save you $40 a month, or $462,000 at age 65.

Frugality and investment are the path to riches and a comfortable life. Make sure that you make the right choices to ensure you get there.

And no, after learning this, I don’t drink Coke anymore.

Kenneth Bateman is a contributing editor of The Family Budgeteer Weekly Online and Newsletter which can be found at www.familybudgeteer.com

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Personal development self help blog:

18th April

Is Your Money Mindset Fat or Thin?

By: Direct Selling Women’s Association

It’s a well know fact that how you feel about money greatly determines how much of it you earn and more important… how much you keep. So lets take a look at your Money Mindset and see what it reveals about you.

It’s a well know fact that how you feel about money greatly determines how much of it you earn and more important… how much you keep.

So lets take a look at your Money Mindset and see what it reveals about you.

Distributors with a “FAT Money Mindset”…
• Say things like “I’m not good with the money side of the business so I’ll just sell and sponsor”

• Let paper and receipts pile up
• Don’t track mileage
• Spend impulsively on business supplies
• Embezzle from themselves through personal use of inventory or by spending cash from sales instead of depositing it
• Pay bills late
• Have credit card debt that cannot be paid within 3 months
• Are the first to own the latest gadget
• Don’t bother taking the time maximizing their tax deductions
• Fail to take responsibility for their money.
Distributors with a “THIN Money Mindset”…
• Say things like “I just love it when my checkbook balances”
• Save for what they want rather than go into debt
• Purchase sales aides, inventory and personal possessions only when needed
• Keep financial papers and receipts organized
• Pay bills on time
• Wait for the price of new gadgets to come down
• Love a bargain
• Deplore debt
• Review their personal balance sheet when stressed
• Take every legal deduction available and document them properly
• Take responsibility for their money with healthy financial habits.
Why is your Money Mindset important to your business?

By identifying your Money Mindset you become aware of the daily actions you take that detract from your financial well being. With this knowledge you can begin to establish the healthy financial habits of a Thin Money Mindset that will enable you to hold on to what you make.

Every year, this industry produces thousands of first-time millionaires whose lives are dramatically changed for the better. Distributors with a Fat Money Mindset often find themselves living large, over spending.

Ultimately these people end up right back where they started… searching for the next hot deal that will provide another windfall of money. Individuals with a Thin Money Mindset are able to hold on to what they earn, using it to create a lasting lifestyle of freedom and wealth. Which mindset do you choose?

For those of you who are ready to adopt a Thin Money Mindset and keep more of what you earn, here are some simple steps that will start you on your way.

Decide to adopt a Thin Money Mindset! Don’t waste another day. Start applying sound financial habits today for your long-term financial health.

Create a system that works for you. If you tend to pile receipts in various places, make your system very simple. Put all receipts for the month in one envelope, and then detail all your expenses on the envelope.

You can transfer this information to your financial software, an Excel spreadsheet – or just leave it alone and allow your accountant to summarize at year-end.

Resolve to reconcile your bank statement every month. This way you’ll know exactly how much you are spending, can check for overcharges and will be alerted to any spending or earning concerns that require immediate attention.

Establish a habit of paying your bills on time. If you find that you cannot make a payment, call the vendor and let them know. Communicating with vendors can avoid a bad credit report and sometimes be the first step to a workable compromise.

View tax deductions as an important benefit of your home-based business. It’s estimated that the self-employed collectively overpay their taxes by $160 – $200 BILLION dollars each year.

By learning what constitutes a legitimate deduction and then taking steps to document your business activity, you can reduce your taxes considerably without increasing your risk of an audit.

Keep a mileage log. If you didn’t write down your odometer reading at the beginning of the year, estimate the reading using information such as oil change or car repair receipts. You may deduct mileage for any legitimate business errand or trip at a rate of 36.6 cents per mile.

Because this documentation that is often overlooked, try taping a dollar bill to your dashboard as a reminder that for every three miles you drive you are giving the government more than a dollar!

Don’t embezzle from yourself. Keep your business income separate from your personal checking account by having two separate accounts.

Furthermore, don’t use your business inventory for personal use or for gifts without paying for them. Finally, if you loan product to team members, document the transaction and ask to be reimbursed promptly.

Find a money mentor within your organization. Becoming a top distributor in the industry is both financially and personally rewarding. Look for leaders in your company who not only earn big but have also learned to save and invest for their future.

By taking these important steps to develop a “Thin Money Mindset” you too can reap the rewards of a lifetime of peace of mind and financial freedom.

This article has been provided by Vicky Collins, CPA/CCPS, The Financial Center Director for the Direct Selling Women’s Association. The Association offers a community web site where direct sellers enjoy 24-hour access to industry specific information and resources designed to help them successfully manage their direct selling business. Discover this one-of-a-kind, all-inclusive business-building resource at www.mydswa.org

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Personal development self help blog:

17th April

How To Eliminate Negative Feelings Forever – By Kent Sayre **

Spiritual Fulfillment Through Work

Today I want to talk to you about how to be spiritually fulfilled at work. Work occupies a big hunk of time in our lives. It’s forty hours for most people and up to fifty, sixty, seventy, and more for others. So if we’re spending all this time at work, we may as well feel fulfilled.

When I’m talking about fulfillment, I’m referring to that sense of satisfaction and fullness that you’re doing something beneficial for both yourselves and others.

Without this feeling, work can become a frustrating, ongoing task that we perform just to pay the bills, keep food on the table, and a roof over our heads. That’s why it’s so important to be fulfilled at work.

Become aware of this – you need to either make a decision to be fulfilled at your work or make a decision (and plans) to move onto work that does fulfill you. Hey, life is too short to spend our times grinding through work with emptiness inside.

Here’s how to feel more fulfilled at work:

1.) Do your best. No matter what, it feels good to do your best. Just flat out do the best job you can. Never shortchange yourself by cutting corners. I’ve found that if I do something half-heartedly, even if I get the task done, it doesn’t feel nearly as good as when I go all out and do my best.

2.) Recognize that everything is part of the larger plan. What you went through in the past was necessary in order for you to become the person who you are now. (Just think, if you hadn’t gone through those experiences, what kind of person would you be?) What you’re doing now is part of who you’ll become tomorrow.

Here’s a quote by Marshall Sylver that I like:

“Enjoy where you’re at now because where you’re at later will be where you’re at now…then!”

Does that make sense? Practice enjoying the moment now because if you practice always putting off happiness, you’ll get into the habit of always putting off happiness no matter how great your circumstances are.

Love your life…it’s the only one you have and it’s truly a precious gift.

3.) Be open to opportunity. What this means is condition yourself to spot opportunities that come toward you. I call this developing an “opportunity consciousness”. The more you look for opportunities (for better work for example), the more you’ll find opportunities.

What opportunities exist right now that you’re sitting on right now and yet you’re not aware of yet?

4.) Treat everyone fantastic. For everyone who you meet and come in contact with, go out of your way to treat them fantastic. Here’s why. Think of it as marketing yourself as a stellar human being.

I’ve heard of numerous examples of people who work with the public being hired away to better jobs because they delighted some business owner with their superior attitude and customer service.

If given the opportunity to hire an antisocial genius or the ‘regular Joe’ who can get the job done and who has a warm smile and brings along a great attitude, I submit to you that most companies would hire the ‘regular Joe’.

5.) Realize that the job is temporary. If you have a job you don’t like, realize that it’s temporary. You can always find another one. No matter what your true passion is, there is someone out there, somewhere in the world, who is successfully doing for a living what your passion is.

If you love surfing, there is some surf instructor out there who’s making good money teaching people how to surf (and surfing a lot himself too!).

If you love gardening, there is someone out there is someone who owns a nursery and sells plants all day and talks gardening all day and makes good money at it.

If you love volunteering to help the homeless, you better believe that there are happy, fulfilled executive directors of charities who help homeless people.

My point is…no matter what…someone out there is getting paid money to do what your passion is. What’s stopping you?

6.) Live by this attitude, “Happiness is an attitude, not a circumstance.” What is fun? What is happiness? It is a perception that you create in your mind. If you choose to, you can make things fun. Make your work fun. Make a game out of your work (and still get all your responsibilities taken care of).

What metaphor are you using when you think of work? The daily grind? The countdown until Friday? How about trying on “an exciting adventure”? Or maybe a fun game?

Happiness, fulfillment, and fun are internal. They don’t EXIST out in the real world. They are all from our mind. Our mind creates them. So let’s create resourceful, useful states of being for ourselves.

There you have it. You’ve now learned how to be absolutely fulfilled at work. If you apply these principles to life in general, you’ll also find yourself more fulfilled there. There is really no price you can put on feeling fulfilled at work and in life…thus making the article you have just read truly priceless.

You are unstoppable! Now get out there and go for it!

About the Author
Kent Sayre is a rising star in the self-help world. He is a master hypnotist who has helped thousands of people around the world with his products. His first book, “Unstoppable Confidence” sold over 31,243 copies. He has dedicated his life to using hypnosis/NLP to help you achieve success beyond your wildest dreams! If you want to pick up a copy of his best-selling book on how to explode your confidence, shatter your limits, and live your dreams, check out http://www.selfgrowth.com/products/kent.html

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Personal development self help blog:

16th April

Dress for Health! Creative Ways to Make Wellness a Habit
By Colleen Langenfeld

Every morning you get dressed, right?

Well, what if you could put on your wellness habits each day as easily as you put on your clothing? And to keep moving towards your healthy goals, you would ‘dress for health’ each day. What would you wear?

How about…

- Pants and shirt.

These clothing basics are good reminders of the foundations in your fitness life. Habits such as good nutrition, regular exercise, and plenty of rest will support your healthful lifestyle for the long-term.

– Shoes.

This vital piece of clothing keeps you moving forward just like motivation does in your wellness wardrobe. Figure out what motivates you and ‘put it on’ each day. It could be working towards a special reward, going over your goals’ list, or simply listening to an inspirational audiotape.

– Coat

We wear coats to help protect us from the elements and likewise we need the healthy protection of common sense and safety guidelines in our lives. Good habits like helmets and seat belts fit in this category.

– Hat

Just as hats protect our head, so we also need intellectual and emotional protection. The power of knowledge and wisdom cannot be overestimated in our quest to stay healthy. As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense and a regular fueling of positive, growth-oriented material into our brains will go a long ways towards making us more accurate thinkers and emotionally fit.

– Accessories

These wardrobe items function to assist and comfort us, such as a warm pair of gloves or a protecting pair of sunglasses. They also jazz up our outfits and help pull together our ensemble, like a fun new tie or a striking, elegant pin. Likewise, we need similar fitness related items to help us feel good about our efforts and keep our enthusiasm high. Maybe it’s an occasional new workout tape to keep our exercise routine fresh or the weekly new recipe to keep our nutrition and motivation topnotch.

– Purse/Wallet

Purses and wallets contain all of the personalized, customized stuff we need in our everyday worlds. Our wellness world needs such a tool, also. For example, do you need to sleep in late once a week? Then make sure it happens. Maybe your whole day goes better when you start with a quiet reading time or prayer. Then do that for yourself. Figure out what helps you go the distance and incorporate those things into your regular wellness life.

– Tight clothes and spike heels!

These can be fun once in awhile, but can also really get in our way. Likewise, we need to eliminate the obstacles in our fitness path that hold us back from being as free as we want to be. Whether it’s smoking, a high-fat/low-energy diet, or too many unnecessary toxic chemicals in our environment, these habits are the straitjackets preventing us from accomplishing our wellness goals.

So when you dress for success, dress for wellness, too. Then your healthy habits can reward you with the healthy lifestyle you’ve been looking for!

Colleen Langenfeld offers helpful ideas to busy working moms. Use our resources at http://www.paintedgold.com to make your life feel easier, healthier, and smarter.

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Personal development self help blog:

15th April

Finding Time; Tips for Gaining 2 Hours Each Day
By Colleen Langenfeld

Would you be interested in finding two extra hours each day in your schedule? Here are some ways to do just that.

First – DECIDE what is most important to you. Then decide to spend most of your time pursuing it! If you fail to do this, frustration will be your constant companion.

After you commit to your main time focus, look for possible time leaks such as the following:

– Did you spend time waiting somewhere today? In traffic or at the doctor’s office, for example? In traffic, plug an educational audiotape in and learn, learn, learn. It’s been estimated that many people could get a whole college degree’s worth of education in just a couple of years in their car. In the doctor’s office do strategic planning, brainstorm problem areas, catch up on mail, write that letter you’ve been putting off. The key here is to always keep simple, convenient-to-carry tasks with you in order to take advantage of unavoidable wait times.

** Possible Daily Time Savings: 15 minutes – 2 hours.

- Plan your meals for the week. It’s unbelievable how much weekly time I save when I spend only ten minutes planning out a weekly menu and shopping list. It means I go to the grocery store once, not five times, and I spend NO time during the week fussing over what’s for dinner. If something comes up and we change our plans, fine, tonight’s menu simply rolls forward to tomorrow night.

** Possible Daily Time Savings: 30 minutes – 1 hour.

– Do fifteen minutes more when it is time to quit. After the kids go to bed, get into some cozy clothes and do one fifteen-minute task. The key here is to make it a simple job that doesn’t require much physical or mental energy. For example, enter the day’s receipts into your budget ledger, answer one or two pieces of mail, pick up the clutter and dust one room in your house. How does this save time? These are now tasks that WON’T have to be done on the weekend or some other time.

** Possible Daily Time Savings: 15 minutes.

– Consolidate tasks. Bake two casseroles and freeze one. Save laundry to iron once a week. Run errands all on one day. Put a shopping list on the fridge and train family members to write down needed items when they open the last one. Buy bread for a month and freeze it so you don’t need to make unexpected trips to the grocery store.

** Possible Daily Time Savings: 15 – 30 minutes.

– Arrange a play date co-op. If you have small children, arranging a weekly play date with one to three other moms can be a real timesaver and put smiles on your little ones’ faces, as well. Choose one time per week and take turns hosting the play date. When it’s your turn, you watch the kids have a great time and the other parents take off for a couple of hours. Then on the alternate weeks, you have time off! Really make your day hosting the group special and everyone will enjoy themselves.

** Possible Daily Time Savings: 24 minutes (based on 2 hours per work week).

– Train everyone to help with laundry. Your children can do their own if they’re old enough, or help you, if they’re too young to do it on their own (then they will be ready to do their own laundry when they ARE old enough!). Even toddlers can help fold and put away…and they love helping!

** Possible Daily Time Savings: 15 – 30 minutes.

– Family time. Do you have a daily family time? If not, you are underestimating the power of this tool in binding your family together as well as in saving time. Dedicated time each evening spent going over homework, discussing the day, reading together, playing games, etc. The whole family starts to FEEL like a team and that leads to ACTING like one. You can avert problems (that eat up time), answer questions (instead of being tracked down later), and encourage mutual interdependence on each other (instead of primarily on you).

** Possible Daily Time Savings: 30 -60 minutes.

– Gather all supplies for tomorrow, tonight. Make sure everyone has a space (like a bin) to plop his or her stuff in for the coming day. Spend part of that family time (above) signing permission slips, doling out necessary cash and marking important upcoming school/extra- curricular dates on your schedule. After all, fifteen minutes tonight getting ready for tomorrow isn’t a big deal, but fifteen minutes racing around tomorrow morning trying to accomplish the same stuff could be a disaster.

There you have it. Using conservative time measurements, another two or more hours in your day. Once you get started with these ideas, you are sure to find more.

Now your time truly belongs to you!

Colleen Langenfeld offers helpful ideas to busy working moms. Use our resources at http://www.paintedgold.com to make your life feel easier, healthier, and smarter.

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Personal development self help blog:

14th April

Find 500 Dollars in Your Lunchbox

by Kathleane O’Leary

We all know that we’ll save mega bucks by packing a lunch instead of eating out ($200- $500/month), but the daily chore of packing a lunchbox can seem like a poor trade-off for the convenience of restaurant dining.

Well I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to pack interesting, nutritious lunches that won’t have you slaving in the kitchen the night before.

SANDWICHES

A boxed lunch doesn’t have to be limited to meat and cheese between two slices of bread. Try some of these sandwiches to spice up your lunchtime fare.

CHILI TURKEY

Mix 4 ounces cream cheese and 1/4 cup salsa. Spread onto 4 flour tortillas or 4 slices bread.

Top with your choice of:

• slivered lettuce
• deli-sliced turkey
• chopped green onions
• cilantro
• olives
• avocado
• Top with second slice of bread.

More sandwiches: http://undiet1.com/recipes/sandwiches.html

TORTILLA ROLLUPS

Spread flour tortillas with any of the following fillings. Roll tight and wrap in cellophane, then in wax paper, butcher paper or aluminum foil.

Roughly mash an avocado with salt and pepper to taste and a little lemon or lime juice. Roughly mash an avocado, stir in some salsa. Spread refried beans on tortilla, top with either avocado mix above. Drain a can of white beans.

Roughly mash the beans with a little salt, black pepper, garlic, and lemon juice. Spread on tortilla. Add sliced or diced cucumber, tomato, and sprouts. Before eating, unwrap and sprinkle with salt and pepper or drizzle with a little oil and vinegar dressing.

Mashed white beans or refried beans, topped with leftover salad, drizzled with dressing. Spread mayo on tortilla. Top with avocado, tomato and cucumber. More tortilla rollups: http://undiet1.com/recipes/wraps.html

PIZZA SANDWICH

Place several slices of pepperoni inside a pita, or on a flour tortilla. Toss shredded lettuce with a small amount of mayo thinned with a little fresh lemon or lime juice, season with salt & pepper.

You could also season with oregano, basil, and/or garlic. Top with sliced mozzarella. Pile on dressed lettuce and some of your favorite pizza toppings, wrap.

BAGEL WITH CREAM CHEESE

Mix any of the following with cream cheese before spreading on bagel:

• honey
• diced, reconstituted dried tomatoes
• olives
• diced green onions
• diced green chilies
• diced or sliced jalapeno
• thawed frozen spinach, squeezed dry & mixed with a little minced garlic, salt & pepper
• roasted garlic
• cucumber, shredded, salted, & well-drained

Or top the bagel with one of the following after spreading on the cream cheese:

• roasted red bell pepper, sliced to lay flat
• roasted green chili, sliced to lay flat
• tomato, sliced
• deli sliced meat
• slice of roasted or grilled eggplant or mushroom (sounds strange, but it’s really good)

SALADS

Any healthy American knows that you gotta’ have salad for a proper lunch so here are some of my take-along salad recipes to give you some ideas.

PASTA SALAD

Mix cooked pasta, sliced olives and these chopped veggies: green onion, fresh herbs, celery, bell pepper. Toss with oil & vinegar dressing up to 30 minutes before eating. If you add the dressing too far in advance it will be absorbed by the pasta.

RICE SALAD

Mix brown rice, chopped veggies (bell pepper, celery, tomato, cucumber, avocado). Stir in oil & vinegar dressing spiked with cumin and coriander up to 30 minutes before eating.

STACKED SALAD

I recently came up with this take-along salad that I absolutely love. I can make it in the morning and it stays crisp until lunch. I haven’t tried making it the night before.

If any of you do, let me know if it holds up until lunch the next day. This will be easier to eat if you use the smaller inner leaves.

Spread a lettuce leaf with pesto (Olive Pesto is incredible with this “sandwich”), creamy salad dressing (Blue Cheese Dressing is fabulous), or mayo.

Layer deli-sliced meat, deli-sliced cheese, thinly sliced tomato, another lettuce leaf with your spread of choice, etc. until you have a few layers, with a lettuce leaf on top. Wrap tightly in cellophane.

More salads: http://undiet1.com/recipes/proteinsalads/html

A LA CARTE

When you get tired of the sandwich and salad routine here are a few a la carte items that will be sure to satisfy.

BAKED POTATO CUP

Roughly mash leftover potato with raw egg & shredded cheese. Bake inside 1/2 a bell pepper until pepper is tender, about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. When cool, cut in wedges. Eat cold or at room temperature.

QUICHE

Leftover quiche tastes great cold or room temp.

DEVILED EGGS

Make a double-batch of deviled eggs for dinner. Use the leftovers for lunches. They’ll keep for a day or two before losing their flavor.

LEFTOVERS

Take a look at your dinner menu. Can any of it be packed for lunch the next day? Use these questions to rethink leftovers:

• Can it be added to a salad?
• Is it good cold or room temp?
• Is there a microwave available for reheating?
• Can it be added to a canned soup?
• Can it be made into a sandwich?
• Can it be stuffed into a cored tomato and served cold?

Can it be stuffed into a bell pepper, baked and served cold or room temp? If the stuffing is fully cooked and you’re afraid it may become too dry, top with sauce (pesto, alfredo, tomato …) before baking again inside the pepper.

EXTRAS

These healthy extras require little or no preparation:

• corn tortilla chips
• Soya King soy chips
• whole grain crackers
• graham crackers
• cheese cubes
• celery sticks or jalapenos (seeds & membrane removed) filled with Brie, chevre, or cream cheese thinned with milk or pesto until spreadable
• fill the above with: flaked salmon, cream cheese, sea salt & pepper to taste
• dates filled with cream cheese (another strange one but so-o-o good)
• salami or other hard sausage
• raw veggies with or without dip: bell pepper, celery, carrot, jicima, radish, stalk of spring onion,
• cherry tomato, zucchini
• small salad – veggie salads can be tossed with dressing when you pack the lunch – exceptions are cucumber, tomato, lettuce and fresh herbs which I pack separately in a ziplock bag then add to the salad at lunch.
• dried fruit
• nuts
• seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, pine nuts
• mix of dried fruits, nuts & seeds (sweeten the pot with a few chocolate or peanut butter chips)
• black beans and corn tossed with salsa and/or oil & vinegar dressing

DESSERT

You’ll pay a lot for the convenience of dessert in single serving containers. Instead buy a quart of yogurt, make up a package of gelatin or instant pudding and scoop into containers which you can use again and again.

For a fun treat if you’re packing for children, make finger Jell-O and wrap in cellophane or wax paper or freeze yogurt, gelatin, or pudding in ziplock baggies (snack size ones work best).

When your child is ready to eat he/she can snip a corner off and squeeze dessert directly into their mouths. They love this! Actually I love this too, but nobody will sit with me at the lunch table anymore so I’m back to using a spoon.

Make up a double batch of zucchini, pumpkin, or carrot bread. Serve one loaf for dinner and pack the other to eat plain, or with cream cheese and/or honey. Healthy dessert recipes: http://undiet1.com/recipes/starchdesserts/html

QUICKIE LUNCHES

When you’re in a hurry you can make a quick stop at the supermarket for prepared items, which while more expensive than doing it yourself are still considerably cheaper than a restaurant lunch.

These items can be found in any supermarket or health food store:

• preshredded vegetables ready for a quick toss with dressing
• salsa and tortilla chips
• precut fresh fruits or fruit salads
• washed salad greens
• coleslaw mix
• frozen white corn – when thawed it tastes remarkably close to fresh corn and can be eaten raw
• roasted chicken – packed cold or mixed with mayo and chopped veggies for chicken salad
• deli meatloaf

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Personal development self help blog:

13th April

Finding Balance In A Tilted World

By: Stephen Fairley

THE STRUGGLE

I was recently talking with one of my entrepreneur friends. He has started three businesses in the last several years—a budding entrepreneur. He was relating some of the joys he has experienced in those enterprises: a sense of freedom from the corporate world, pursuing his dreams and passions, setting his own schedule, controlling his destiny and a large potential for financial rewards.

However, he did mention a few downsides: little to no outside accountability, lack of consistent capital, feelings of loneliness, no steady revenue stream, feeling disconnected from others who don’t understand his drive to succeed, constant struggles to survive and a severe lack of work-life balance. Sound familiar?

I think most entrepreneurs struggle with similar issues, especially balance. There are many reasons they can give for their lack of life balance and low satisfaction: “I have too much work to do.

I just need a few more hours to finish this project. I need more money. I have bills to pay.

My business depends on my hard work. My family needs more income. I am solely responsible for developing, marketing, selling and servicing my product or service.”

Any or all of these reasons may be true, which might lead entrepreneurs to find great difficulty in managing the two sides of entrepreneurship—balance and success. How often do you struggle with working longer hours than you know you should to try and secure the next sale?

How many times has your family and friends tried to pull you away from your office this last month?

Take a moment and count up the actual hours you have spent working this last week or month. There is always the temptation to do a little more, work a little harder, talk to one more potential customer in hopes of making one more sale.

What specific things are you doing to take care of yourself: physically, emotionally, and spiritually? Many entrepreneurs overlook these vital areas of life in search of professional success, yet these areas are full of potential for sparking the creative, outside of the box thinking that leads entrepreneurs like yourself to discover life changing products and services and find a new perspective on your business venture.

ASSESS WHERE YOU ARE

Take a moment and write down these 8 life areas:

• friends & family
• fun & recreation
• physical environment & home
• romance & significant other
• fitness & health
• career
• finances
• personal & spiritual growth

Next to each area assess where you currently are. On a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being “completely dissatisfied” and 7 being “completely satisfied” mark how currently you are satisfied in each area. Add up the totals of all eight areas before reading further. The scoring is at the end of this article.

DEVELOP A PLAN

As you look at your current level of satisfaction what patters or themes do you see?
Where areas are you the least satisfied with? The most?

For you who recognize a change is in order, here are a five simple steps to help you start finding the work-life balance that leads to success:

1. Choose 1 area that you are dissatisfied with and would like to see some immediate improvement in. This should not be your worst or best scoring area, but somewhere in the middle. Take a couple minutes and write down in detail what balance would look like for you in that area.

2. Now, get out your planner and make a note to yourself one week from today. In the note, write down:
• the area that you want to improve your level of satisfaction in
• the “score” where you are now and the “score” you want to be at the next week
• 2 things you are going to do to move yourself towards that goal over this next week

3. Tell someone about your goal and ask them to hold you accountable—whether it’s a friend, a mentor, or your coach. It’s easy to make “new year, new leaf” promises to yourself, but more difficult to follow through with unless you know someone is holding you accountable to reach your goal.

4. Set up a time to talk with your accountability partner the next week. Did you reach your goal? If not, talk about what kept you from reaching it and what will you do differently this next week. If you did reach your goal, congratulate yourself. Do something simple to celebrate your achievement.

5. The final step is to go back to step 1 and do it over again.

Creating life balance is never easy and it’s never complete. There will always be room for improvement. The point is that you can make your life more balanced by taking small steps in the right direction. Like most worthwhile things in life, creating life balance is a process, not an event!

SCORING RANGE

8—16 Wow! Things must be pretty rough right now.
17—30 Average score of many small business owners
30—45 There are some very satisfying and very dissatisfying areas in your life
45—56 You recognize the importance of life balance to life success

Stephen Fairley, M.A., RCC is the President of Today’s Leadership Coaching, a premier executive coaching and training firm, and a Registered Corporate Coach (RCC). Today’s Leadership Coaching focuses on “Developing Leaders Who Deliver Results.” You can contact him at 630-588-0500 or at
Stephen@TodaysLeadership.com

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Personal development self help blog:

12th April

Improving Your Self Esteem

By: Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein Often in our society, we are bombarded with the lives of celebrities. We can end up feeling that if we are not part of the rich and famous, our lives are insignificant. Our society also sends a message of competition and achievement.

We watch sports, we always hear about profit and the bottom line being the dollar, we see large companies competing and constantly buying each other out.

The result often is that we are taught to see how well we are doing, in terms of how pretty we are, how bright we are, what kind of house we have, how well we do in sports, what rewards we receive. However, in reality, these are external measures. Each of us needs to develop a sense of self-worth, a capacity for positive self-regard that comes from within.

Here is an example: Sara was divorced and felt in many ways that she had shortchanged her two daughters, in the sense that they lived on very little money. She could shower few luxuries on them.

At times, in her therapy, she talked to me about feeling that she was not much good at anything. Her husband had been abusive both physically and mentally, and had put her down almost constantly. Although she no longer lived with him, inside of herself she still carried feelings of worthlessness.

One day I asked her to review some of the best moments in her childhood. She said, “I always loved when Uncle Sam used to come over, and we all sang songs.” I asked her if she did anything like that now, with her girls.

She said that they often sang together in the car. In fact, she had taught them many of the songs that Uncle Sam had taught her. I asked her if she realized that she was offering her girls some of the wonderful family memories that were unique to her as a child. She said she hadn’t thought about it, but it was certainly true.

During months of therapy, we worked again and again in recognizing many valuable aspects of herself. Needless to say, her self-esteem began to improve. Sara is an example for all of us, in the sense that each person has to document his or her own positive talents and strengths.

We have to learn to pat ourselves on the back. To help you, I suggest a self-pride list. During the coming week, write down at least one item a day that you can take pride in having handled well.

For example, I was polite and kind to several people in the supermarket checkout line, even though I was tired. Or, I used my head, rather than my fist, and really shared with my son my concerns over his getting another traffic ticket.

At the end of the week, read over your self-pride list, giving yourself a mental hug, or the high five sign. This is the beginning of giving yourself more recognition, which will in time lead to an improved sense of self worth. It is only with this improved sense of self-esteem that you can have the confidence to make sure that your life is filled with enchantment.

About the Author Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein , originator of THE ENCHANTED SELF®, a method of bringing delight and meaning into everyday living, invites you to view her new line of ENCHANTED WOMAN products, downloadable e-books, and free gifts at http://www.enchantedself.com.

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Personal development self help blog:

11th April

HOW TO STAY YOUNG

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. ” An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

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Personal development self help blog:

10th April

Sleep, Thoughts, Worries and Fears by Remez Sasson

Do you fall asleep immediately after entering bed or do thoughts and worries begin to flow into your mind, keeping your sleep away? Do you find it hard to stop them?

When you are in bed at night there are fewer outside distractions, it is quiet and dark, and therefore you are more aware of the movements of your mind. You feel that thoughts are attacking you, not giving you a moment’s rest, especially if you are experiencing some problems in your life.

If you are not healthy you will probably think about your health. If you have problems at work, then thoughts about these problems will probably flood your mind. A child will have thoughts about his parents, teachers or examinations, and a businessman about his work. Thoughts, worries and fears that are usually repressed during the day surface up and swarm the mind.

What would be willing to do to free yourself from these nibbling, restless thoughts that deny your sleep? Won’t you be happy to be able to silence all the thoughts that pop up when you are in bed?

If you fight these thoughts and try to stop them forcefully they will grow stronger, because you will be giving them more attention. If you want to get rid of a tree growing in your garden and cut it down, it will grow again quite fast, but if you stop watering it, it will gradually wither. You need to treat your thoughts in the same manner. In order to calm them down you have to ignore them, which is equivalent to not watering the tree.

How to ignore these nagging thoughts that escort you to bed? Here are a few tips that might help you:

1. Go to bed at a reasonable hour, not too early and not too late.

2. Lie down on your bed and relax your body.

3. For 2-3 minutes pay attention to every muscle in your body from head to toe. If you find any tense muscle, relax it.

4. For about one minute, let thoughts come freely into your mind.

5. Watch these thoughts as they come and grow.

6. Tell your mind that if it has any important thoughts that require attention, you are willing to discuss them tomorrow.

7. If one of the thoughts is too persistent, write it down so that you can remember to think about it the next day.

8. Now try to look at the thoughts with lack of interest. Lack of interest is the magic word when it comes to controlling and silencing thoughts. Do not let your feelings to be aroused and manipulated by your thoughts.

If thoughts still come, and they probably will, it is all right. Don’t fight them, but just try to ignore them by losing any interest in them. An ignored thought ultimately goes away. Don’t worry if you fail at first. Keep on trying and the situation will improve.

9. Watch the thoughts that enter your mind as if watching a boring movie and they will lose their power.

10. There is another thing that can be done, and that is to practice meditation every day.

After practicing meditation for some time it will affect your sleep. As a by-product of meditation your mind will get accustomed to being relaxed and at peace, and when you go to sleep it will be much easier to ignore persistent and disturbing thoughts. In fact, you might fall asleep immediately upon switching off the light.

Remez Sasson writes and teaches about spiritual growth, meditation, positive thinking, creative visualization and mind power, and issues a biweekly ezine, “Consciousness and Success”. He is the author of two books, “Will power and Self-Discipline” and “Visualize and Achieve”.

Website: http://www.SuccessConsciousness.com

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Personal development self help blog:

9th April

Quiz: Are you creative?

Worried you may not be creative or you may not be creative enough? This quiz will help you find out just how creative you are.

Take a piece of paper and number it from one to seven. For each question, write down the corresponding letter of your answer.

1. When you come across a rose, you immediately:

A. Smell it.
B. Quote every rose poem you can remember.
C. Write your own poem.
D. Sketch the rose.
E. Step on the rose.

2. One of your dreams in life is to:
A. Write a novel.
B. Become a painter.
C. Travel the world.
D. Climb all the famous mountains.
E. Just once, get everything done on your to-do list.

3. Your desk:
A. You have trouble finding as it’s buried under everything including the kitchen sink.
B. Resembles a natural disaster.
C. Is a bit of a mess, but you know where everything is.
D. Is basically neat — you use the stacking method
E. Is in perfect order — everything in its place.

4. The person you admire most is:
A. Einstein.
B. Walt Disney.
C. Your mother.
D. Jane Austin.
E. Anyone who can get everything crossed off his or her to-do list

5. You consider yourself:
A. Extremely creative.
B. Creative.
C. Somewhat creative.
D. A little creative.
E. About as creative as a turnip (come to think about it, turnips may be more creative then you are).

6. You get new ideas:
A. All the time.
B. Several times a week.
C. Several times a month.
D. Once or twice a month.
E. You dimly recall getting a new idea when Clinton was in office. Or maybe it was the first Bush.

7. You dream in:
A. Color.
B. Black and white.
C. Both black and white and color.
D. You can’t remember now.
E. Nothing. You don’t dream.

Scoring.

Scoring: Are you creative?

Throw out all your answers except for number five — “You consider yourself:”.

If you answered:
A. Extremely creative — Then you’re extremely creative.
B. Creative — Then you’re creative.
C. Somewhat creative — Then you’re somewhat creative.
D. A little creative — Then you’re a little creative.
E. About as creative as a turnip — Then you’re about as creative as a turnip.

Okay, this was a bit of a trick. But it’s true. How creative you think you are corresponds with how creative you really are.

A couple of studies illustrate this. A big company wanted to increase creativity in its employees. So it hired a group of consultants to come in.

The consultants started by thoroughly testing all of the employees.

They discovered the only difference between the employees who were creative and those who weren’t was this: Creative people believed they were creative and less creative people believed they weren’t.

Even more telling was what happened to the group that wasn’t creative. The consultants focused on helping them nurture their creativity.

At the end, those employees were actually more creative than the ones who had initially considered themselves creative.

And that means you too can become more creative. In fact, how creative you become is entirely in your own hands.

Creativity Exercise — Assumptions

Ready to become more creative? Here’s an exercise.

Write down all the reasons why you’re not creative. Go on. Write them all down. Every negative reason you can think of. Things like:

I’ve never been creative in my life.
I haven’t had a new idea in over a year.
I don’t have time to be creative.

Now reverse those negative assumptions and make them positive. Like so:

I am a creative person.
I have lots of new ideas all of time.
I don’t need time to be creative because I already am creative.

Do this every day and see what happens. This is a great way to start getting rid of those inner demons that keep all of us from realizing our true potential.

Michele Pariza Wacek owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting, a writing, marketing and creativity agency. She offers two free e-newsletters that help subscribers combine their creativity with hard-hitting marketing and copywriting principles to become more successful at attracting new clients, selling products and services and boosting business. She can be reached at www.writingusa.com.

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Personal development self help blog:
8th April

Take the Day Off

By Colleen Langenfeld

Are you tired yet?

Really, really tired?

Most modern moms know what it means to be really tired.
And most don’t know what a ‘weekend’ looks like.

You know. That interesting idea where you get two days off of work each week to rejuvenate.

Rest and refresh.

Here are some signs that it might be time to take a break.

– A day off sounds unpleasant. No kidding.
- When you think about taking some time off, your mind rails against you.
- You’re overwhelmed just thinking about all the activities that MUST be done on your day off.
- You’re not sure you CAN stop for just a day.
- You’re fine with taking a day off, just as soon as you finish one more thing….
- You’re afraid if you stop, you won’t be able to start up again.
- You can’t remember the last time you took a day off.
- You’re finding it tough to concentrate on the task/s at hand.
- You experience sudden bursts of irritability for no good reason.
- The sure sensation that one day off is not enough.
Or a week. But a month sounds unbelievably good.

Any of these sound familiar? Scheduling a regular down time can not only save your sanity, but greatly improve your actual productivity.

Plus make you a much nicer mom, spouse and all-around fun person.

Make a list of activities you would like to do on a day off. Then look at your schedule and pencil in one or two of those activities a couple of times a month, for starters.

Go ahead. S-t-r-e-t-c-h your ‘relaxation muscles’.

And smile. You’ve earned it!

Colleen Langenfeld offers helpful ideas to busy working moms. Use our resources at http://www.paintedgold.com to make your life feel easier, healthier, and smarter

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Personal development self help blog:
7th April

What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?

By: Sandra A. Daley

The next time you find yourself relaxing on the couch, having popped some corn and about to watch the “Sopranos”, instead, pose this $1,000,000 lottery question to yourself and see what flows. What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Would you work, not work?

If you knew anything you touched or did held the possibility for success – whatever that is, what would you do? If there were no time constraints, no obstacles, no self-doubt, what would you do?

Some of you are already saying, “What’s the point of this!?” “This will never be real!” “Who’s got a million dollars?…Not me!” Well, the whole point is to have you dream…to take a ride.

To get to the heart of what it is that you truly value. To uncover the elements in life that is of importance to you. This “story” that you create gives you clues as to the elements you can furnish your “real life” with.

More so, you may find that some of the things you dream on, cost nothing. For example, a walk in the park, time spent with friends, time spent with family, flowers in your home, eating well, exercise, a new home etc. Let me not put words in your mouth. Go on, and dream!

In order to find out what it is you really want in your life, self-exploration is the first part of that process. Questions like $1,000,000 question help you to begin to design the life, the career, and/or the relationship you desire.

Pose this question to any aspect of your life, removing all boundaries, all “shoulds” and “should nots” and see what you come up with. You will be sure to unravel hidden strengths, talents, gifts and values.

Values you can use in creating a game plan for your life. Another important point is to be as specific as you can. Record all colors, the time of day, smells and people in your story. Be very specific. Dig deep.

It’s truly possible to live the life you dream – the life you want. But first you have to know what it is you want. Answering self-exploration questions like this is the beginning.

Clearly, this is not simple. For many of us this is a challenge, especially if we rarely give ourselves permission to dream. Pestering voices corner us. But if you allow yourself to take on this type of questioning, you will find that your personal options for living are vast and varied.

With all our world of choices and unlimited possibilities, let’s begin with the dream…

I dream that I often travel the world and bring back amazing and beautiful art to share with people. And everyone is pleased with me and they say, “ooh!” “aah!” and “gimme some of that!” about my findings. Hmm… What does that say about me?

**Sandra A. Daley is the president of Daley Formulas…solutions for creative living, a life and career coaching company that believes that everyone is entitled to a full and prosperous life. She works with artists, entrepreneurs and people who are in transition in their lives and careers.

To learn more visit: www.daleyformulas.com

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Personal development self help blog:
6th April

THE IMPORTANCE OF FEELING IMPORTANT by Terry L. Sumerlin

About twenty years ago, when our married daughters were in elementary school, they had a bicycle accident. Jo Ellen, our oldest, lost control of her bike and ran into her sister, Amanda, who was standing right in her path. Suddenly the front fender of the bike slid rather abruptly between Amanda’s fingers, and left a sizable gash that required several stitches.

The thing I remember most about the incident took place after we returned from the doctor. Amanda stood in our den, held up her bandaged fingers and, with absolute innocence and candor, declared, “Now I finally have something important to talk about!”

What a commentary on people – young and old. We all want to feel important and to have something important to tell others. As children, we couldn’t wait to tell others how we got our bruise, our cut or our broken bone. As adults we’re sometimes the same with illnesses and surgeries. They make us feel special. They become badges of honor. We act somewhat like a friend I had who broke his neck and, though he healed, subsequently referenced everything to before or after his accident. We, too, are prone to “hang on to” such personally important events. We need to feel important.

The various ways in which this need is met are rather significant. In fact, knowing how a person gets that feeling of importance tells us a great deal about the person. I heard about a mother who, at a Little League ballpark, told her son, “I do everything else for YOU. You’re going to play baseball for ME.” In this case, her sense of importance was wrapped up in her child. It makes you wonder how she will fill the void when the child grows up.

Other illustrations could be given, but the point remains the same. In addition to the obvious point regarding man’s need to feel important, there are two additional observations to be made. (1) The greatest difference in successful and unsuccessful people, those who have things figured out and those who never “get it,” is in how they get their feeling of importance. (2) Successful people are usually those who satisfy the other person’s need to feel important.

The second of these observations came to mind recently, when Sherry came home from the doctor. We recently changed doctors and started going to a gentleman who, along with his family, has been coming to J.B.’s Barber Shop for many years. Though the switch was solely on my judgment (and I kind of stuck my neck out), Sherry was tremendously impressed following her routine visit. In fact, she couldn’t stop talking about the experience. She talked about how he asked her this and that, and checked for this and that. He ran such and such a test. He was very thorough.

As she talked non-stop, one thing came to my mind. In her entire adult life, he is probably the very first doctor who ever REALLY made her feel important, and like her health (which is very good) was job #1 with him and his staff.

She was tremendously impressed! Not once did she mentioned, though, how impressed she was with where he studied medicine, how long he had been in practice, how his office was decorated or how conveniently located it is – all of which is impressive. All such paled in significance when compared to the fact that he made her feel special.

BARBER-OSOPHY: In business, and all relationships, nothing matters more than making the other person feel important.

Copyright 2004, Sumerlin Enterprises.

Permission is granted for you to copy this article for distribution as long as the above copyright and contact information is included. Please reference or include a link to www.barber-osophy.com
Terry L. Sumerlin, owner of J.B.’s Barber Shop in San Antonio, Texas, is known as “The Barber-osopher,” and appears nationally as a humorist and motivational speaker.

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Personal development self help blog:
5th April

Ten Keys to Successful Negotiation

Hardly a day passes that we are not involved in some type of negotiation. This negotiation may be as simple as attempting to convince a friend to see the movie we choose or as complicated as negotiating a percentage of a business offering or mediating a labor dispute. At any rate, effective negotiation is an art…one that requires preparation and practice in order to be successful. Consider these ten tips for preparing for negotiation and improve your odds for a win-win resolution.

1. Know what you REALLY want.

Many people enter negotiation only to find they did not have a clear desired outcome defined in their own mind. Write down your desired outcome as concisely as possible and use this outcome as the center point of your preparation.

2. Know your opposition.

Learn as much as possible about who you are negotiating with, what they want, their strengths and weaknesses, and their likes and dislikes.

3. Consider the impact of timing and method of negotiation.

Whenever possible, negotiate face to face. It is easier to say NO over the telephone and in writing. Initiate the negotiation process so that you have the advantage of preparation and timing.

4. Prepare your presentation…point by point.

Outline your presentation carefully. Place emphasis on benefits to the other party.

5. Anticipate reactions, objections and responses.

If possible, brainstorm with others who have had similar negotiations to get a jump on what to expect. For each objection or reaction, list positive responses, alternatives and examples that counteract the negatives.
6. Structure your presentation to ensure agreement on one or two points at the beginning of the negotiation.

For example, “I think we can agree right away that we have a problem and that we both/all want to resolve it.” Initial agreement on minor issues or points early on in the negotiation process sets a positive atmosphere for agreement in later, more significant stages.

7. Determine paybacks and consequences for each party in the negotiation.

A clear understanding of paybacks and consequences makes it easier to determine when and how to make concessions and when and how to stick to your demands/requests.

8. Prepare options rather than ultimatums.

An ultimatum should be used only as a last resort when you are sure you can back it up and the other party knows you can back it up. Even then, in virtually every negotiation there are options and alternatives that reduce defensiveness and lead to positive resolution for all parties.

9. Get comfortable with silence.

Many negotiators feel compelled to jump in with arguments and comments each time there is a puase in the interaction. Practice withholding comments and responses. Silence can be a very powerful negotiation tool.

10. Close all negotiations by clearly outlining agreement.

When agreement or conclusions have been reached and you are ready to end your negotiation, review the agreement that has been reached. Then, end your negotiation on a positive note…commending those involved and emphasizing the progress made.
Article by Meir Liraz, president of BizMove.com (http://www.bizmove.com), a free informational web site for entrepreneurs and small business owners that provides free guides and tips for starting, growing and managing a small business

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Personal development self help blog:

Some Tips for Mental well being – Ways to Help Yourself !!

In this article there are 10 top tips to remind people to look after their mental wellbeing.

Get at least 15 minutes of sunshine daily.

Daily Exercise – Exercise releases endorphins that make us feel good and is known to boost people’s moods and is good for depression.

Positive Thinking – We are not aware of the way in which we think.

Two people can experience identical traumas, yet one person can overcome theirs relatively quickly whereas another may develop the symptoms of depression.

Stop, and have a deep look within yourself, the way you think.

Sleep – Inadequate or poor quality of sleep can lead to feelings of daytime tiredness. Make sure you are getting sufficient sleep.

Good Nutition – Follow a diet low in refined sugars and carbohydrates and high in fresh vegetables and protein.

Sugars, starches and caffeine may make you feel good initially but will only make you feel worse when the rebound crash sets in.

Learn to manage Stress – Too much stress can worsen the symptoms of depression and takes it toll on one’s health. Avoiding unnecessary stress is easier said than done.

There are many types of stress management techniques. Yoga, meditation, and stress management classes are a few examples.

Seek support from family and friends – Isolation is the partner of depression and negative thinking.Get support even if you do not want it.

Depression is a medical illness and you don’t have to go through this alone.

Attend Support Group Meetings – Support goes hand-in-hand with gathering good information. Join a depression support group.

There are also numerous online communities and forums available if you cannot find a depression support group in your area or if you cannot express your true feelings in person.

Practice forgiveness – of yourself and others. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Don’t carry yours or anyone else’s mistakes.

Make time for you – Do you sometimes feel like you have no time for yourself? Make time for your hobbies and interests.

Author – Tina Jain, Director and editor of Depression Guide provides you the step by step guide on how to deal with mental health problems. For monthly doses of the Life success tips, sign up for Tina’s powerful ‘Come Revoke’ ezine at http://www.depression-guide.com/disorders.htm

Personal development self help blog:

4th April

The Top 10 Best Ideas For Setting Goals

By Hilton Johnson

You cannot pick up a book or participate in a training program today without the author or instructor teaching the power of goal setting.

Yet, most people today spend more time planning a two-week vacation than planning their lives by setting goals. It’s been said that achieving goals is not a problem–it’s SETTING goals that is the problem.

People just don’t do it. They leave their lives to chance…and usually end up broke by the time they reach retirement.

I thought that since this is such an important ingredient for developing a successful network marketing business, this was a good time to share with you some of the greatest thoughts about goal setting that I’ve discovered over the years.

So, here goes…The Top 10 Best Ideas For Setting Goals:

1. Make A List Of Your Values

What’s really important to you? Your family? Your religion? Your leisure time? Your hobbies?

Decide on what your most important values in life are and then make sure that the goals you set are designed to include and enhance them.

2. Begin With The End In Mind

Tom Watson, the founder of IBM was once asked what he attributed the phenomenal success of IBM to and he said it was three things:

The first thing was that he created a very clear image in his mind of what he wanted his company to look like when it was done. He then asked himself how would a company like that have to act on a day-to-day basis. And then in the very beginning of building his company, he began to act that way.

3. Project Yourself Into The Future

The late, great Earl Nightingale created a whole new industry (self-improvement) after a 20-year study on what made people successful. The bottom-line result of his research was simply, “We Become What We Think About.”

Whatever thoughts dominate our minds most of the time are what we become. That’s why goal setting is so critical in achieving success because it keeps us focused on what’s really important to us. He then said that the easiest way to reach our goals is to pretend that we had ALREADY achieved our goals.

That is, begin to walk, talk and act as though we are already experiencing the success we seek. Then, those things will come to us naturally through the power of the subconscious mind.

4. Write Down The 10 Things You Want This Year

By making a list of the things that are important to you, you begin to create images in your mind. It’s been said that your mind will actually create chaos if necessary to make images become a reality. Because of this, the list of ten things will probably result in you achieving at least eight of them within the year.

5. Create Your Storyboard

Get a piece of poster board and attach it to a wall in your office or home where you will see it often. As you go through magazines, brochures, etc. and you see the pictures of the things you want, cut them out and glue them to your storyboard.

In other words, make yourself a collage of the goals that excite you…knowing full well that as you look at them everyday, they will soon be yours.

6. The Three Most Important Things

Decide on three things that you want to achieve before you die. Then work backwards listing three things you want in the next twenty years, ten years, five years, this year, this month, this week and finally, the three most important things you want to accomplish today.

7. Ask Yourself Good Questions

As you think about your goals, instead of WISHING for them to come true, ask yourself HOW and WHAT CAN YOU DO to make them come true. The subconscious mind will respond to your questions far greater than just making statements or making wishes.

8. Focus On One Project At A Time

One of the greatest mistakes people make in setting goals is trying to work on too many things at one time. There is tremendous power in giving laser beam focused attention to just one idea, one project or one objective at a time.

9. Write Out An “Ideal Scenario”

Pretend that you are a newspaper reporter that has just finished an interview about the outstanding success that you’ve achieved and the article is now in the newspaper. How would it read? What would be the headline? Write the article yourself, projecting yourself into the future as though it had already happened. Describe the activities of your daily routine now that are very successful. Don’t forget the headline. (Example: “Jane Doe Wins Top Network Marketing Award Of The Decade.”)

10. Pray & Meditate

As you get into bed each evening, think about your goal before you drop off to sleep. Get a very clear colorful image in your mind of seeing yourself doing the things you’ll be doing after you’ve reached your major goal. (Remember to include your values.) And then begin to ask and demand for these things through meditation and prayer. Your Sales Coach, Hilton Johnson
www.SalesAcademy.com

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Personal development self help blog:

3rd April

Why We Get Sick

Why Recent advancements in the knowledge of how our bodies function has altered the thinking of many people in health and related fields so that they now give more thought and consideration of each individual’s contribution to his or her level of health.

More and more health professionals are becoming aware that their most important contribution to health care may be in the prevention of illness, rather than in the cure. This means, among other things, teaching people that the ultimate responsibility for health belongs to each of them.

In order to understand how this concept has evolved, it is necessary to become more knowledgeable in how the body functions, how many illnesses are created, and how they can be prevented. By self-education in the physiological processes of the body each person can then make more responsible choices toward prevention of illness or creating good health.

Any illness, regardless of its name, location, or varying symptoms, is the body’s warning system that something is wrong. Health and illness are not static but are constantly fluctuating, depending on a multitude of external and internal conditions.

Picture a ladder with the top rung representing maximum health; the bottom rung represents death. Between these two rungs, you will find a gradual progression from health down through sickness and, finally, to death.

Two of the levels between health and death represent the level of poisons and the level of toleration of those poisons in the body. The location of these rungs on the ladder will be different for each person.

The level of poisons represents the accumulation of waste products in the body from both natural and unnatural sources. Under normal circumstances in the healthy person, the body will discard these wastes as fast as they are produced.

This can be done through urine from the kidneys, gasses from the lungs, and a few wastes through the skin in perspiration.

However, if a person should become overstressed or weakened, for example, by lack of sleep, overeating, excessive mental or physical tension or fatigue, the body will become enervated, experience a depletion of normal nerve energy, and this loss of energy will cause the elimination of these waste products to slow down.

This slowdown of elimination will, in turn, cause the level of poisons (toxins) in the body to rise.

When the level of toxins reaches beyond the body’s level of toleration of those poisons, the body will respond with symptoms of illness or disease, an indication that it is trying to reduce or eliminate the excess accumulation.

This level of toleration will vary with each individual’s level of health. The healthier individual will have a lower toleration point, and the person with decreasing health will be able to tolerate more poisons in the body, because of a lessened availability of energy to eliminate them. In other words, the healthier you are, the faster your response.

If you understand your body’s reactions to this internal poisoning and allow it to eliminate this buildup of toxins by not interfering with the process, the body will continue its elimination until the level of poisons has been reduced to a level the body can cope with, and health will be restored.

The process of creating nerve energy and eliminating wastes from the body is called metabolism. This process also is responsible for building up, storing energy, and repair of the cells. Metabolism consists of all the chemical reactions inside all the living cells in all the tissues of the body.

Necessary to this process are air, water, food, and sunlight. Research in metabolism and nutrition has shown that the effects of all excesses are cumulative. Any substance, oxygen, water, chemical, or nutrient, can be poisonous if it is present in excessive quantity.

There are many stages in the rungs down the ladder from health until an irreversible disease occurs. This is not something that happens overnight but can take many years to reach. Using the stomach as an example, the first indication that a level of toleration has been reached may be minor discomfort or pain from an irritation to the stomach lining.

This might be caused by eating spicy foods, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, or stress. There are many possible causes. If this irritation is ignored, it will eventually be followed by an inflammation of the stomach, in particular the mucous membrane, and this will be diagnosed as gastritis. This, in time, may eventually lead to an ulcer.

However, this disease called an ulcer is nothing more than a continuation of the original symptoms of discomfort and pain. The ulcer can be removed, but if the cause of the problem is not recognized and eliminated, the symptoms of inflammation and pain will continue and the level of health will continue down the rungs of the ladder until, finally, cancer will appear.

This is an example of the chain of symptoms with cancer at the end and, yet, in no way the cause of the first symptom.

Any ailment, whether it be a cold, pneumonia, headache, etc., represents the body’s effort to eliminate wastes when the normal channels have been overloaded. Any treatment which interferes with this effort will only hinder the body in its self-healing efforts.

As soon as the overload is brought under control, the symptoms will disappear, unless an organ has been degenerated through too many crises of overloading. Even then, it can still often be overcome by changing the lifestyle and eliminating the cause.

Another example of the stages from health to disease can begin with excessive elimination through the mucous membrane of the nose. This is called a cold. If this form of elimination is repeated for too many years, it can eventually close up the nasal passage at which point, hay fever or asthma may develop.

Or, if the throat and tonsils or any parts of the respiratory passage become involved, it may develop into tonsillitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, or pneumonia. All are symptoms of the original problem of an overload of poisons in the body.

The foregoing examples can be applied to any organ of the body. Any organ that is enervated – from stress or habit, from work or worry, from injury or from whatever cause – may become the location of a crisis. Symptoms will vary according to the location.

Every chronic disease starts with such a crisis which is repeated until an organic change or degeneration takes place. This chain of symptoms simply represents the cumulative effects of these crises.

We must look within ourselves for the cause of infection or disease. If we live abnormally in any regard, we can expect a departure from normal health. The major diseases in the U.S. today are related to overnutrition, high cholesterol, saturated fat, salt, tobacco, caffeine, alcohol, and lack of exercise.

If our consumption of food is inadequate, either in quantity or quality, we will create deficiencies of various nutrients necessary for proper body functions. If we are subjected to too much stress, the adrenal glands will secrete more of certain hormones which suppress the functioning of the body’s defensive systems. If we do not get enough rest, our organs of elimination, the liver, kidneys, lungs, and skin, can’t get rid of excess food materials as well as they should. As a result, we may experience unnatural forms of elimination such as vomiting, diarrhea, sneezing, coughing, fever, etc.

Discarding unnecessary nutrients and waste products is an energy-demanding activity that weakens the body’s nerve energy. Stimulation of the body with caffeine, vitamins, and even some medications may give the impression of renewed energy, but it is actually accelerating the use of energy and degeneration of the cell structure. In other words, stimulation will accelerate aging.

Health is not just the absence of symptoms of illness; it is the presence of complete nerve energy which comes from protecting the body from excesses. Disease is a friend, warning us that it is time to stop and look at what we are doing to our bodies, warning us of danger. It tells us to stop the abuse and clean house.

Pain is nature’s way of saying we still have the ability to heal ourselves. To ignore this and continue the habits leading to the pain is ludicrous.

If we deal not with the disease but what created it, we can eliminate the cause, and health will be the effect.

To insure a higher level of health, it is necessary to adopt a lifestyle that raises the level of available energy and eliminates the introductions of poisons into the body. It may not be possible to eliminate all the poisons we are exposed to, but we can exercise control over what we eat and drink.

A diet that places emphasis on fresh fruit and vegetables will provide the best nutrition possible.

We can try to provide ourselves fresh air and pure water. It is not always possible to make a complete change in environment, but be aware of the quality of the air and water that you are exposed to each day. You can try to avoid the areas where air pollution is the greatest, and there are sources of good drinking water available to everyone.

We can exercise the muscles of our body, one of the most important sources of the nerve energy we require. For example, aerobic exercise, increasing the pulse rate for a certain length of time, on a regular basis will circulate the blood more efficiently, improving the supply of nutrients to the cells and eliminating waste products more effectively.

We can check up on our mental health to see if we are overstressed or unable to handle our emotions as well as we could. We can take some time each day for quiet and meditation. We can see that we get some form of relaxation or play, along with the proper amount of rest each day.

In other words, we can examine our lifestyles and search for the sources of our own internal poisoning. We can choose to eliminate these sources. We can choose to be healthy.

That very wise man, Thomas Edison, has been quoted as saying, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, diet, and the cause of prevention of disease.” The doctor of the future is here, now – the dynamically wonderful you!

Wayne “The Mango Man” Pickering, N.D., Sc.M. = “THE AMBASSADOR for HEALTH”! Author; Nutritional Performance Coach + Life Management Consultant;Professional Speaker, Award Winning Triathlete & Double Nominee for The Healthy American Fitness Leader Award www.wayne-pickering.com

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Personal development self help blog:

2nd April

Your Best Year Ever by Kelly Jo Landers

A new year is here! Are you ready? By that I mean have you tallied up how much you’ve spent on each category throughout the year? Have you compared it to your budgeted amounts and computed the differences?

What’s that? Are you telling me you have no clue what you’ve spent all your money on? Are you saying you have no intention of planning the new year right now?

I know you are busy. We all have so much to do. Somehow the house seams to mess itself and the kids are in overdrive post – holidays.

Despite all that, you need to do this for yourself. You need to do this for your entire family. Planning will pay bigger rewards in the coming year than any brightly wrapped package you will ever open.

If you have been keeping track of your money all year, all you need to do is total all spending by category. Tally each class of expense and then figure the percentage of the total that each represents. Analyze how much difference there is from budgeted to actual spending. If you spent less than budgeted in any one classification, then you can adjust the amount for next year.

Give some thought to those areas you’ve overspent your budget in. Don’t just jump the amount for meals out to match your spending patterns. Instead, look at each overage objectively. Could you do better than you have with some simple changes?

Has your savings account grown or has it been a temporary resting spot before you spend your dollars? Has your debt level decreased or grown? Try to do this with some detachment. The idea is to examine your year in detail, not to beat yourself up over your mistakes.

Take my hand, now, we are going to plan for next year. We need some guidelines, of course, for those of you that have never planned or budgeted.

A typical family will spend their income in roughly the following percentages: Food 12%, Housing 16%, Utilities 6%, Clothing 5%, Health Care 5%, Transportation 15%, Entertainment 5%, Personal Care 1%, Personal Insurances and Retirement 9%, Education 2%, Charitable Giving 3%, Savings 5%, and Taxes 16%.

Don’t panic if you haven’t met this exact mold. Every situation is unique. I only give the guidelines for those that are only now starting to budget. You will be able to compute the total income anticipated in the coming year and the corresponding percentages for each expense. From this, divide by twelve and you will have a monthly guide.

Only when you have a road map familiar to you can you start to try out the little side roads. In English, that means you have to try the guidelines for a couple few months before you make any adjustments to your spending and savings plan. But you can start to control your spending immediately.

Eventually, we will be aiming to fall under each percentage for spending and increase the savings categories. If you can spend 2% less on food, you can increase savings by that amount.

Pay very careful attention to the taxes you pay. Most people don’t. Only when you add up the income taxes, taxes on fuel, sales tax, fees you pay to the DMV, etc, etc, etc will you realize how much they effect you.

As an aside, I would love to be personally responsible for a civic reawakening. Do you realize that most town, school and county board meetings take place with few people in the audience?

Lots of people grumble when they receive their tax bills, but don’t bother to come to the budget workshops. If you don’t participate, how can your elected representatives actually represent you? They think they are doing a wonderful job, because no one comes to their meetings to tell them any different.

I’ll get off the soap box now. Sorry, I am often one of those people at the meetings.

I hope you will start now and make this year your best year yet. Don’t be afraid to e-mail me with questions or for advice. If I can’t help you I have a long list of people I can refer you to.

Be sure to send your questions or comments on tightwaddery to kjl3991@yahoo.com.

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Personal development self help blog:

1st April

19 GOOD QUESTIONS FOR LIVING THE GOOD LIFE

(Asking Just The Right Question To Get Just What You Desire)

It happened again in class. While sharing my insights on a particular subject, I spontaneously began by saying:

“Ask yourself this question”

I believe in the power of a good question. Questions find their way into my journal, class notes, and my interactions with people.

Any one answer to any one of the nineteen questions below could make a positive impact on your life.

Did you get that? No hype.

No outrageous claims, no related tapes to purchase, and no guarantees about changing your life forever.

But…

The potential for meaningful change does lie before you *in the form of your own seriously considered answer* to a selected question.

A FEW BRIEF SUGGESTIONS

Pay attention to your initial feelings about an inquiry you read.

Should you notice a “first impression answer” that ushers in a sense of excitement, challenge — or a deep sense of “I should do this” — be sure to slow down your internal speed of life and park there a moment or two.

Remember: repeating a question over and over sets in motion an on-going search to discover *just the right answer for you.*

Consider recording your thoughts in a journal.

Enjoy the process!

AND THE QUESTIONS ARE…

1. What one small thing — repeat — “small thing” — is holding me back from doing my best today?

2. What *one* small thing is hindering me from becoming the person I be could be today in *one* area of my life?

3. What action could I take today to brighten someone’s world?

*And here’s the key: simple, doable, and even fun!

4. How can I double my value as a ___________ this year?

*As a… husband, father, employee, friend, etc.

*Suggestion: ask this question many, many times.

5. Where should I influence my world in a positive way?

6. Are negative thinking patterns eating away my potential in any area of my life — no matter how small?

7. Am I saying “I can’t” when I should be saying “I can” or “I must!” anywhere in my life?

8. My greatest area of tension at work or home right now is ________. How could I improve just 10% in this area?

9. What positive discipline have I let slip lately? What price am I paying for this slip?

10. Where can I, or should I, make a positive difference?

11. If I took a thirty second “happy memory break” right now, what would I remember?

13. How can I schedule a small break in my life — just enough to be refreshed and recharged a bit?

14. What untapped potential could I bring to my world?

15. Am I learning what I need to learn?

16. Are my associations making me or breaking me?

17. Who is challenging me or inspiring me right now? Who could?

18. Should I procrastinate on anything, or set aside anything, that is not important for what is *most* important?

19. Is there anything I should *stop* doing?

© Lee Wise All rights reserved. You may freely distribute this article. The copyright and this resource box must be included. www. abeautifulmomentintime.blogspot.com

Avoid pain/create pleasure. For A Beautiful Moment In Time go here –> www.motivation-for-daily-living.net

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