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Carrot, Egg and Coffee

A carrot, an egg and a cup of coffee... You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again…

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.  She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft.

The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as he tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity...boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however.

After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water. "Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying. You might want to send this message to those people who mean something to you (I JUST DID); to those who have touched your life in one way or another; to those who make you smile when you really need it; to those who make you see the brighter side of things when you are really down; to those whose friendships you appreciate; to those who are so meaningful in your life.

If you don't send it, you will just miss out on the opportunity to brighten someone's day with this message!

It's easier to build a child than repair an adult. This is so true - may we all be COFFEE.


Learn to Dream Big and You Will Live the Life of Your Dreams

Let us start with a quote from Jim Rohn, one of the 50 world famous motivational speakers on personal development at Success University:

“Formal education will make you a living but self education will make you a fortune.”

We all remember the time in high school when it was much more important to win the football game of the season than getting an “A+” in chemistry. To be elected and honored as homecoming queen or king, being a member of the cheerleader team, or find out “who is asking Jenny out on Saturday” – those were the topics of interest.

Education in high school sort of happens without the conscious intent of the student. There are several reasons for this but the main one is, that going to school is not the primary choice of the student. He or she has to attend school. In most western countries it is prohibited by law to stay away from school. Sometimes students are taken to their classes even by police force. The common understanding of education is to go to school, get a job and earn a living.

Hence, the responsibility for the education and its outcome is placed on the teachers, the parents, the churches, the educational institutions and the environment. And they are doing their best. Self education however is much more powerful and totally relies on the student himself. It is self motivated, self responsible and the outcome is completely self earned. The power of self-education lies in its conscious choice. When we choose to take a course in fly fishing for instance, we will be going fishing sooner or later and try out what we have learned. Learning and taking action, testing out the new abilities to reach and achieve the goals we had in mind, describes the process of a conscious self-education.

Why is it then that so many people are clueless about how to live the life of their dreams?

The ability to dream decreases with the increasing age. If you listen to children speak about what they want to be later in life, they are so confident and self assured saying: I am going to be a famous lion-tamer. No doubt about it. We laugh about these childish statements because we think we know better. Unfortunately this is not the case. Many people give up their dreams and start to play small. They adjust their dreams to the life that meets them every day. They compromise and lose their passion, their determination in pursuing their goals of life. Slowly, slowly the mind repeats the same old story over and over again. Caught in the limitations of a mediocre life where big dreams are just soap bubbles, life gets boring and suffering takes over.

The limited mindset is focused on just earning enough money to keep out of debt and being able to pay the bills. This is definitely not what life is meant to be. And people know it. Somewhere deep down there is this nagging voice speaking to us constantly but we pretend to not hear it. It reminds us of our potential which is much, much greater than we could ever imagine. This sweet little voice tries to remind us to listen to ourselves, to our deepest longings, our wildest dreams.

It [the voice] cries out loud, that it wants to live and not be shut down in some mediocre life. It [the inner voice] expresses all the inspiration, the power of creation and the joy of life – a life of fulfillment, joy and happiness. Pursuing your dreams, no matter how big they are, gives you energy, inspires you and maybe for the first time makes you feel authentic. Dare to trust yourself on your dreams and dream as big as you can. Create a dream that inspires you, a dream that takes your breath away and watch the energy flooding in.

Once you start listening to yourself you will develop the mindset that you possess everything it takes to live the life of your dreams. It will strengthen your will-power, will give you confidence in making the right decisions and then… only then you are ready to start learning the principles and strategies to reinvent your life. There were people before you and there will be people coming after you but the only thing that matters right now is the choice you make about your life.


5 Essential Skills for the Future

So you want to have a successful career, one that lets you make the most of your abilities and gives you a sense of achievement. Well, there are a few skills you will need to make it big in the workplace of the future.
No matter what your industry or occupation, you will find that there is an increasing demand for people who are adept at some or all of the following 5 skills, which I believe are essential for success at work today and into the future.

Mastering change
Change is all around us and yet learning to master change is a skill that very few people are taught. The ability to analyse the changes happening around you and adapt quickly is vital in the new workplace. Understanding how you react and also how others react to situations can make the journey of change far less painful.

Thinking self-employed
Even if you have a permanent job with an organization you need to think of yourself as self employed. Managers are asking people to take ownership of their job and act as if it was their money they are making or spending. Becoming a person who thinks like an entrepreneur can open up a whole range of new possibilities and greatly improve your self-confidence.

Managing your own career
The new workplace demands that you design your own career path. It may be made up of a number of different experiences that eventually bring you to a unique position or it could resemble a more traditional route. Either way, it will be your responsibility to make it happen. This means you need to carefully consider your options each time you take a step, whilst keeping your eye on new developments in the marketplace.

Promoting yourself
In the past it was only sales representatives and marketing people who needed to know how to promote. Now it is a vital part of everyone's portfolio of skills to be able to make themselves known in a less structured, more competitive workplace. But there is more to self-promotion than a good résumé and the right clothes. You also need to learn how to network and recognize opportunities to help others, which in the long run will help you.

Lifelong learning
It has taken us a while but we have finally realized that learning doesn't end when we leave school. Innovations in technology and the information super highway make it essential for us to spend more time just keeping up to date. Learning is no longer restricted to the classroom. Everyday we learn in everything we do. The key is to recognize what you learn in these situations and how to apply it to other areas of your life.

How would you rate yourself in each of these skill areas? If the answer is less than excellent you have some work to do. So where do you start? What order of priority should you place on these skills.

Whilst they are all important, I think you should tackle them in the order they are listed and here’s why. To start with, mastering change will help you with all the other skills because they all require an ability to change. Next, the idea of thinking self employed will impact on your job searching strategies, which in turn affects how you manage your career, and so on.

Being successful in the new style workplace is easy . . . when you have the right skills.


Better Than Hope

Hope is something, but it is not enough to sustain you. Hope is just a glimmer. It is better to know than to hope. Hope has a disclaimer with it. Hope says that maybe something you want is going to happen. Maybe. It could. It might. There’s a chance, if you’re lucky. Hope is more like holding on to a thread.

A thread of hope is better than nothing. Hope lets a little light come in. Even to have an idea of a blessing to come is a good thing. Yet hope is a weak thing. Better to pull the shades up all the way.

As it is, hope carries a percentage of doubt with it. Can you imagine I saying to you: “I hope you get over your cold. I hope you pass your test. I hope there will be world peace some day.” A little lukewarm coming from me, wouldn’t you say? So is the wimpiness of hope.

If I were you, I would carry much more hope than the word hope gives you. Hope is lack-luster. I know a better word, more like a marketing word. It is sure to wake you up. It is sure to put stars in your eyes.

Desire is a word that carries more zip with it than hope. Desire is a wonderful word that exhilarates. I am all for you desiring all that you desire. Who should desire all that you do desire more than you? Desire is stronger than limping hope.

But there is another aspect I must point out, and you may not like it. You do not have to have everything you hope for! You do not have to have everything you desire. All your desires do not have to be fulfilled. You may think you would like total fulfillment of desires, but, you know, you have heard of poor little rich girls who get everything they want. Desires fulfilled so rampantly are not so fulfilling. This definitely is so when your desires are all about you.

So now I emphasize four more points:

1. Know that you can be in good standing, and still all your desires may not be fulfilled. It is not a bad mark against you when your desires are not fulfilled the way you would like or as soon as you would like.

2. You may want to expand on your desires. If you desire a new dress, odds are you will have to go to a store and buy it. If you desire a happier home, desire that you find ways to make your home happier. If you desire to make a home run, desire to hit the ball hard and to run fast. Desire is greater than just making a list of your desires.

3. Along with being a desirer, you want to be an appreciator. Here is a very good line: “Thank you, Mom, for this meal.” You can even say: “I’m glad for this ache in my heart,” that is far better than feeling neglected or sore about it.

What if even heartache is a good thing? It has to be. In heartache, a different kind of opportunity is being presented to you. A different vision is being presented to you. What is the gold in even heartache? In years to come, you will see the beauty and happiness of it. What brings heartache but a lack of comprehension and vision? Heartache will whisper its greater meaning to you, even when that may seem impossible. Even heartache has hope with it.


Recharge Your Battery
By Steve Dimeck

How many times have you felt that you needed to recharge your battery? How many times have you lost your inspiration and motivation? How many times have you faced problems and obstacles that discouraged you from persisting with your goal?

It was 4:15PM on a Thursday when I arrived at the hair salon to get my haircut. My hair appointment was at 5PM but I arrived there quite early.

As I set down in the comfortable leather chair in the little "waiting corner," I looked down to my left with an intention to pick a magazine from the big basket that was filled with maybe over 50 magazines.

I sorted through the magazines but nothing would catch my eye. There were so many different magazines; I couldn't decide which one to pick and read while waiting.

Then, as I lifted a big batch of magazines to choose from, one of them fell down on the floor. I immediately dropped all the other magazines back into the basket and took the one that fell on the floor.

The beautiful view of a tropical island in the background, surrounded by crisp clear water covering the entire cover of the magazine, got my attention.

The magazine contained a large number of photos from tropical islands, vacation resorts and everything tropical you can imagine. I submerged myself into the pictures so much that 40 minutes went by like 4 seconds.

When I was all done with the haircut, I asked Isabella (the hair stylist) if I could take the magazine. She said that it wouldn't be a problem because anyway they recycle the magazines at the end of each month when they bring new ones in.

The magazine is called Islands . When I went home I put it next to my computer and until today's day, it's still sitting there.

I look through it periodically. All my life I've lived in the northern hemisphere of the planet, and winter is definitely not my favorite season. Not to even mention the driving headaches when we get dumped with a few feet of snow.

The tropical theme has always been a dream place of mine.

So, every time I feel down, discouraged, marketing plan isn't working well, a goal doesn't get accomplished, problems and obstacles appearing out of nowhere, motivation is down, no inspiration, the world is coming down on me ... and so on ...

I take few peaceful minutes - no children, no computer. I pick up the magazine and literally isolate myself from this world. I transfer my soul to the tropical beauty shown in the pictures and I visualize myself living there and not just vacationing.

My battery gets recharged; I get the smile back on my face and I say to myself: "One day ...."

How many times have you felt down and depressed because of one reason or another?

How many times have you felt that you needed to recharge your battery? How many times have you lost your inspiration and motivation? How many times have you faced problems and obstacles that discouraged you from persisting with your goal?

What brought you up and what pulled you down during these crucial times?

I remember back in 1994 when I was starting college, a friend of mine gave me a study to read. The study came from a major corporate research. It was on "why executives rise to the height of their company and why other people don't."

The executives told in their words what they did to achieve such a success. I don't have that study anymore but I remember it very well because I'm still practicing what they said.

One of the steps was to have material goals. Something that you can see.

The material goals represent something far beyond material form. When you visually see the material goals that you're striving for, you receive the feeling of the kind of person you need to become in order to have them.

That feeling will recharge your fuel cells and bring your enthusiasm to the front line.

We live in a material world and we have to operate in a material world. We want material things because they're a representation of who we are.

What you want is good, because what you want is an extension of you becoming better.

And sometimes, you just need a basic material something to spark you into a higher level of achievement.

© Steve Dimeck


Do You Pass The Delayed Gratification Test?

It used to be that we all had the ability to be resilient. Life almost forced us to be. People were made resilient by World Wars, economic hardship and isolation. Today, we live in a society where resilience is not highly valued nor tested as often.

I believe that the average person today is less resilient because they have lost the ability to delay gratification. We want everything and we want it now! We live in a fast food, drive through, microwave, buy now, pay later society where the idea of waiting for anything has become unacceptable. If you don't believe me, watch what happens when a teller machine runs out of cash or a serious car accident blocks a busy road. Most people can't deal with the inconvenience and we get various types of "rage" as a result.

The test

Many of us would fail what researchers call the "Marshmallow test" which is designed to measure a person's emotional intelligence or EQ. Your EQ is seen as a much more accurate way to predict your success in life than your IQ. Researchers were keen to find a way to measure EQ in children so they could catch the problem early and help them develop their skills and improve their quality of life.

Their Marshmallow test for EQ went something like this:

·       100 x four year old kids

·       Placed one at a time in a room with a marshmallow on the table

·       Told by an adult they could eat it whenever they liked but if they waited for the adult to come back in 5 minutes they could have another marshmallow

·       Some ate it straight away, some waited a while and some waited for the adult to come back

·       Children then monitored regularly over the next 20 years to see how their lives turned out compared to their test results

·       Children who passed the test (and didn't eat the marshmallow) turned out to be socially competent, self assertive and able to cope with life's ups and downs.

·       Children who failed the test were stubborn, easily upset, resentful and prone to jealousy and envy.

Replace the Marshmallow with something you really want and substitute 5 minutes for 5 months or 5 years and ask yourself "would I pass the test?". It is really easy to give into the temptation of taking the easy way, of blaming circumstances for our failure to achieve or saying it's all too hard. The truth is we can all achieve our goals if we can learn to be resilient . . . to bounce back when things go wrong, to delay gratification.

What about you?

So take a look at what you are trying to achieve (or perhaps what you have given up on trying to achieve) and see if in fact the stumbling block for you is an inability to delay gratification. You can practice it in the simplest ways . . . finish that proposal before you get a cup of coffee, put going for a walk ahead of watching TV or do something that won't show immediate results but will help you in the long term. As a leader it is vital that you demonstrate the ability to be resilient, to role model that adversity can be a growth experience!  


212 Degrees
By Jennifer Gibbs

At 211 degrees, water is pretty darn hot. But at 212, it's boiling, and making steam. Only one degree, but there is quite a difference. While hot water is a nice thing when you are taking a shower, boiling water has a lot more potential. You can use it to cook, or to run a steam engine. I bet you are wondering what my point is. The point is, one degree made that difference. One, just one.

Take a look at your life right now. No matter where you are, or how happy you are with it, there is always room for that extra degree. The one that takes your from hot to steaming!!

Take a look at the results that you are getting out of life. Sit down and really think about it. What ways can you add that extra degree, and "Kick it up a notch" as Emerill would say?

You could:

·    Spend 10 minutes each day focused on one thing - anything you want it to be. In fifteen years, you'll be a bona fide expert!

·    Spend the last hour before bed planning the next day. You'll wake up with confidence and a game plan, important ingredients for a great day!

·    Read one book each month that is aimed towards improving some skill or talent.

·    Spend one hour each week studying up on your career field or industry.

·    Enroll in a free online or live course. These can be found using Google, at local schools, libraries, etc. Not only will you improve yourself, you'll also be able to meet other likeminded people to share your passion with!!

There are so many little things that you can do to improve your skills, and therefore improve your self. There are many things in life that we waste time on, professional and personal development are NOT some of them. Take some time to nurture your talents and your techniques.

Before you know it, you'll be boiling!!!


The Impossible Dream

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star


How to Conquer Fear

When it comes to personal development, dealing with FEAR is one of the most daunting tasks we take on.

This following article has two purposes: 1) to examine three excellent (and simple) realizations regarding the nature of fear; 2) to provide four activities to start conquering it.

REALIZATION ONE: Some fears are healthy, while others are unhealthy

When we are afraid of something that cannot actually harm us – like a spider - or something we can do nothing to avoid - such as old age - then our fear is unhealthy, for it serves only to make us unhappy and paralyze us. On the other hand, when someone gives up smoking because they are afraid of developing lung cancer, this is a healthy fear because the danger is real and there are constructive steps they can take to avoid it.

REALIZATION TWO: Healthy fears can be a very GOOD Thing

We need the healthy fear that arises from taking stock of our present situation so that we can resolve to do something about it. For example, there is no point in a smoker being scared of dying of lung cancer unless there is something that he or she can do to prevent it, i.e. stop smoking. If a smoker has a sufficient fear of dying of lung cancer, he or she will take steps to kick the habit. Healthy fears are the substance by which personal growth is made.

REALIZATION THREE: The Key is letting go of unhealthy fears

The critical element for dealing with fear boils down to LETTING GO of the unhealthy types; the ones where you begin to see there is NO action you can take to resolve a circumstance. Once you learn to really let go of unhealthy fears, your attention is able to focus 100% on the healthy versions and construct tangible ways to make your life happier and more fulfilling.

Here are 4 activities you can implement to start separating the healthy fears from the unhealthy ones in your life:

Make a List

Make a detailed list of all the fears in your life. Do not do this in one sitting, but take a few days to write a comprehensive list of everything you are scared. Once you feel the list is complete, separate the contents into two categories: Unhealthy Fears and Healthy Fears. Make a commitment to disregard your unhealthy fears and only focus on the healthy versions for a certain time frame (say, a week). This can be an extremely powerful and enlightening exercise. As an added bonus, make a few goals for improving the situations in your healthy fear column (remember, these are the ones you can do something about)!


Putting yourself in a completely helpless situation (being forced to jump from a perfectly good airplane is helpless, I assure you) is a wonderful way to teach yourself to let go of unhealthy fears. Why? Because once you commit to undergoing an activity like sky diving, it becomes clear the outcome is out of your hands. The only thing to do is let it happen, and release the inevitable fears that will surface. Furthermore, landing and telling everyone about it will give you a sense of accomplishment for being able to let go of an unhealthy fear. Of course, skydiving is not for everyone, and can be substituted with any physical activity that pushes the limits of YOUR fear threshold. Just make sure you complete it, no matter what it takes!


This recommendation is the pure opposite of the previous one, as meditation is the practice of going within and focusing the mind 100% in one area. Unhealthy fears reside deep within you and meditation is a terrific way to start becoming aware of them. For beginners, meditation itself can stimulate feelings of fear and frustration and learning to deal with them can be very beneficial to your mission of “letting go”.


The practice of visualization is an incredibly powerful tool for dealing with fear. When you start visualizing, see yourself accomplishing your most lofty goals. Flex the muscle of your imagination to actually see and feel what it is like to live in your ideal world. Making a habit of visualization conquers fear in a very direct way: the more time you spend thinking positively, the less time you have to be fearful.

Fear is an exceptionally inhibiting force for many people, but it does not have to be! Learn how to a) separate the unhealthy versions from the healthy ones; b) let go of the unhealthy types and c) focus on actions you can take to resolve the healthy fears. This can do wonders for your well being!


Eliminating Your Obstacles

by Ruben Gonzalez, three-time Olympian

Success is simple but not easy. Most people allow fear of failure to keep them from even attempting to pursue their dreams. They don't understand that failure is part of the price of success

You need to expect to fail and fall short many times before you reach your goals. That's just how life is. Since you will have many failures on the road to success, it is very important to learn how to remove the obstacles, roadblocks, and bottlenecks that are between you and your goals.

Once you have decided upon a goal, write down all the obstacles that you think might be slowing you down. Now focus on finding solutions to your obstacles. This might sound simplistic, but the fact is that if you focus all your energy into attacking your obstacles, you WILL eliminate them and will accelerate your progress.

Einstein said that you cannot solve your problems with the same level of thinking that created them, so you will need help. This is where mentors and reading can help you win more.

Successful people don't quit. They simply focus on finding solutions to their problems.

If you want the outcome bad enough, you'll figure out a way. And every time you find the solution to a problem, your 'solution-finding' muscles get stronger. Solution finding is a skill that will improve with use.

There are bottlenecks on the way to every goal. It is your job to identify the bottlenecks before you reach them. It's like driving a car down a road. If you are driving a short sports car, you can't see very far in front of you and you get caught up in every bottleneck. If you are driving a Hummer, you can see farther ahead and have more time to avoid the bottlenecks in the road.

Your ability to look ahead and remove bottlenecks will help you reach your goals faster than you can imagine. You can anticipate bottlenecks either through your experience, or through the experience of your mentors.

Typically, 80% of the bottlenecks will be within you. You are the biggest barrier to reaching your dreams. Successful people understand this. That is why they invest so much time in self-development. Successful people understand that the better they become, the better their results will be.

That's why I congratulate you for investing in yourself. You are doing what the top 5% of achievers do.

Fear and doubt are the two things that keep most people from having the courage to succeed. Most people simply don't believe in themselves. That is why the books you read and the people you associate with can have such a huge impact in your life.

One way to overcome fear and doubt is by acquiring knowledge and skills. If you know how to do something, you become more confident. The knowledge comes from what you read and from who you associate with.

Once you determine what obstacle is holding you back, set a goal of overcoming that obstacle.

By setting a goal to remove an obstacle, you are taking control of your life and your results and confidence will improve. Don't just set a goal. Set a deadline, come up with a plan, and get to work.

Once you remove the major obstacle that is holding you back, you will start making quantum leaps

towards your goals and dreams.

Copyright © 2007 Ruben Gonzalez   


Ten Commandments for a Long and Peaceful Life

1)       Thou shalt not worry, for worry is the most unproductive of all activities.

2)       Thou shalt not be fearful, for most of the things we fear never come to pass.

3)       Thou shalt face each problem as it comes. You can handle only one at a time.

4)       Thou shalt not cross bridges before you get to them, for no one yet has succeeded in accomplishing this.

5)       Thou shalt not take problems to bed with you, for they make very poor bedfellows.

6)       Thou shalt not borrow other people's problems. They can take better care of them than you can.

7)       Thou shalt be a good listener, for only when you listen do you hear ideas different from your own. It's very hard to learn something when you are talking.

8)       Thou shalt not try to relive yesterday for good or ill. It is gone. Concentrate on what is happening in your life today.

9)       Thou shalt not become bogged down by frustration, for 50 percent of it is rooted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive actions.

10)    Thou shalt count thy blessings, never overlooking the small ones for a lot of small blessings add up to a big one.


Definition of Goal Setting: How to Super-Power Your Goals

The Definition of Goal Setting is pretty self-explanatory – it is the process of deciding what you want (or setting a goal) and figuring out how to achieve it.

We all have goals, right? Well… actually… not exactly…

We have plans. We plan to make more money in a few years, we plan to find a better job, we plan to go on vacation in Europe and we plan to start a family when the time is right.

But all these are not goals. They are ‘wishes’, ‘desires’, or maybe ‘plans for the future’ at best.

Even those of us, who are familiar with the concept and definition of Goal Setting often set false goals for ourselves. This is actually one of the main reasons why only 10%-15% of people who have the motivation and skill to succeed, consistently achieve the results they desire.

Whether you are new to Goal Setting or consider yourself a pro, I urge you to take a few minutes and check if your goals are lacking some important characteristics or if they can be made more powerful and more effective.

Is Your Goal:

1. Challenging?

Make sure that your goal is challenging enough to motivate you, yet not too hard so that it discourages you before you have even started.

2. Specific?

How clear are you about what you want? If you were to share your goal with me, would I be able to picture it without asking any other questions?

3. Believable?

Are you confident enough in your abilities and your chances of success? Does your goal sound do-able to you?

4. Motivating?

Do you feel inspired by your goal or is it just something you would not mind having?

5. Limited in time?

Does your goal have a specific deadline, so that you can measure your progress along the way? In my practice, many people confuse goals with ongoing habits (e.g. “waking up early”, “going to the gym twice a week”). If your goal is based on something you have to do regularly for the rest of your life, you are setting yourself up for sure failure.

6. Enjoyable?

It is much easier to succeed at something that you enjoy doing, rather than at something that you have to force yourself into.

7. Written down?

Writing your goals down instantly makes them feel more tangible, more urgent and more desirable.

8. Breakable into smaller action steps?

Can you identify a number of steps that will take you from where you are now to where you want to be?

9. Easy to visualize?

Our mind thinks in pictures and, therefore, it is hard for our mind to focus on something like “tons of money”, “a beautiful body” or “a hot-looking date”. Make sure that when you think about your goal you can picture it up to the smallest detail.

10. Backed-up by a support team?

At times when your confidence wavers, is there anyone who can encourage you to stay on track and keep on moving forward?

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What Do You Stand For?
(From Ruben's book "Becoming Unstoppable.")

The top achievers in every field, the leaders, know who they are, what they believe in, and what they stand for. Knowing what they stand for helps them from wasting precious time and energy thus allowing them to accomplish many times more that the average person who has no clear goals or values.

You have to know what your values are because your values determine your beliefs. Your beliefs in turn, determine your expectations. And your expectations determine your overall attitude and what you are willing to do to get the job done.

Bottom line, your actions will determine your results, but as you can see, your values and beliefs determine what actions you'll take. People are happiest when they act in ways that are in sync with their values. If you are acting against your values, you will not be happy. So it is important to spend some time figuring out what your values are - because they will help you find the way to happiness.

One way of ensuring yourself that you are acting in harmony with your values is to trust your intuition. To listen to and trust your gut feelings. To listen to your heart.

Some questions that will help you determine what your main values are: What makes you feel good about yourself? What makes you feel important? What fills you with pride? What would you like to be known for? How would you like to be remembered?

Remember, you will become what you think about most of the time. Successful people constantly think about what they want to accomplish, about how they will accomplish it, and about being true to themselves as they accomplish it. About keeping true to their values.

Put it into action:

Write down three to five of your most important values. What are you best known for? What kind of person would you like to be if you knew you could not fail? Are you practicing these values on a daily basis? Write your own obituary. What do you want your friends and family to say about you at your funeral? What's something new you could start doing today to be more in harmony with your values? Start doing it today and watch your self esteem soar.


Monday mornings always seem to be here all too soon. Just when you are getting used to the weekend — Whoosh! — it's already flown by. And all too soon, it's Monday the dread day. But no matter how much we moan or groan, there is no escaping the M days.

But hey, don't let'em darn Mondays get you down. Get your spirits up, take a deep breath and charge on, full steam ahead. And just in case you find it hard, here are five ways to chase the Monday blues away.

Just get out
The best thing to do on a Monday morning is to get some exercise or go for a walk that gets your feel-good hormones working. Ah, exercise makes you cringe does it? Never mind then, just find a green spot (lawn or nearby park) to stroll or even just sit down. Fresh air, sunshine and greenery are tremendous mood uplifters.

Turn on the music
Once back from your exercise/ stroll, nothing works better than blanking your mind out with... some music. Take your pick — peppy numbers, lilting instrumentals, chants or whatever else works for you. Turn on your music system and let the notes set the tone for the day.

Wear your best
Make Mondays your look-my-best day and should be strictly for wearing the clothes you like most. Even if it means wearing that red shirt/sari you were saving for a special occasion. Instead of the greys and navys, go for bright colors, some of that sunshine yellow or fiery red is bound to rub your blues away.

Make your Monday Hater club!
If you're really down, call up a friend — in all probability, he might be equally blue and would love to hear from you. Or mail your pals and bitch about your blues. As all of them crib about Mondays (this does work!), you'd know you aren't alone and will feel better. Those not big on mails, read something funny, start the day with a smile!

Just hog it
For all you foodies — grab your favorite chocolate and eat it all by yourself, right in the morning. Nothing is better than the guilty pleasure of early-morning-chocolate. A high for sure. You're on a diet? Then make Monday your binge day. Believe you me, food is the best way to beat the blues.

Finally, make sure you finish all the dirty work on Friday itself. Keep Monday for a fresh start. That way, at least there's one thing less to bog you down on a Monday. Now that you know how to chase your blues, have a very happy Monday, remember the weekend's just five days away!


The Teachers I Will Always Remember...

By Steve Brunkhorst

All of us recall special teachers — people who not only taught us but inspired us in ways that changed our lives. William Arthur Ward once said, "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." Here are five life-changing values inspired by unforgettable teachers.

... Taught the Value of Learning and Knowledge

They were enthusiastic about their subject. However, they gave more than knowledge. They showed how learning could enhance creativity, spark interests, and uncover talents. They instilled in students a curiosity to learn and an undying passion to keep learning.

... Taught the Value of Respect

They treated others with honor. They explained how kind words, and sometimes silence, could prevent hurtful confrontations and turn enemies into friends. They taught the value of respect for the community as well as the individual.

... Taught the Value of Integrity

They demonstrated empathy for those who were ill or suffering from personal loss. They would go the extra mile to offer support. Their ethics inspired students to live with courage and approach life with honesty, dignity, and self-worth.

... Taught the Value of Responsibility

They taught that personal actions have consequences and that the individual must be accountable for his or her choices. They emphasized that when people think others are to blame for problems, that very thought is the real problem. They taught that each student was ultimately responsible for his or her learning and its impact on their future.

... Taught the Value of Perseverance

They taught that education continues until our last breath. They told stories about the hard times they had faced, and how God had often turned difficulties into blessings. They refused to let students quit after repeated failures. They demonstrated that "Faith is the assurance of things not yet seen."

Not all of these teachers taught in formal classrooms. Nor did they all have a formal education. Some of them are still teaching, and the education they provide is priceless.

I believe that the greatest gifts we can give our children are the same kind of values these teachers demonstrate. Then our children can also become unforgettable teachers, sharing values that will inspire happiness and faith for future generations.


Don't Ever Forget Who You Are

A well-known speaker started off his seminar holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, "Who still wants it...?" Still the hands were up in the air. "Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now, who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air. "My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We may feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you.

The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE. You are special-Don't EVER forget it."


Commit to Excellence

"Most successful people have something very important in common. Somewhere along the line, they made a decision to commit to becoming the best they could be in their field. They committed to excellence.

They realized that if they became the best in their field, the rewards would more than make up for the effort. So they made a decision to pay the price, do whatever they could, and make any sacrifice to become an expert in their field.

Once they acquired the skills and knowledge, which anyone can do, they started earning many times what the average people in their field were earning.

No matter where you are today, you can make a decision to commit to becoming the best. You can do it.
Remember, everyone who is now an expert in their field was once only getting started. They just made a decision, learned the skills, and started taking action.

It won't be easy but it's doable. It's possible. And the rewards make it more than worthwhile. You can change. You can improve. You can be better. You can do more. We all can. You can learn the skills that will propel you to the next level. It's just a decision away.

Once you make the decision to increase your skills and knowledge on the road to becoming an expert in your field, you will quickly move ahead of the pack. It will feel like you are running a race without competition because hardly anyone else even thinks of making that kind of commitment.

Ask yourself: what knowledge and skills do I need to master to become the best in my field? What would I have to know?

If you don't know, go to the experts in your field and ask them. They will help you if they see you are committed to excellence.

If you find an arena that you are suited to play in and commit to excellence, people will be amazed with how much you accomplish in your lifetime."

Copyright © 2007 Ruben Gonzalez


7 Ways For You to Be the Best You That You Possibly Can Be

Are you satisfied with your life and who you are? Are you living your life to the fullest possible? In this hectic crazy world it is very easy to lose sight of what is important. Many people have lost their self esteem and self respect. With the economy creating havoc in many peoples lives is it any wonder things are the way they are. There are so many people unemployed, many have lost their homes and families as well. And after losing all they had, they may also end up losing their most precious possession – themselves.

For many it is easy to give up, after all it is tough losing everyone one cherished and ‘loved’. I remember an expression I learned a long time ago, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. So I have to ask myself and you, are you tough? Do you have what it takes to tough it out? It is easy to give up and quit, but quitters never win. Do you want to be one of the quitters? I expect not, but life does throw us curves from time to time, the question really is how do we handle them? Here are seven suggestions for you to consider before you throw in the towel. Ponder these ideas and see how you can change and improve your life.

1. Do you know your purpose?

Everyone has a purpose, can you believe that, or do you see yourself as wandering through life with little or no direction. Are you hoping that things will work out, that you will find happiness, that prosperity will come knocking at your door? If you can find your life purpose you can turn around any situation ailing you at the moment. There are enough stories of people near the brink of total disaster or ruin who have found a purpose and turned it all around to become a success.

2. Do you know what your personal values are?

What is it that you value above all else? Do you know? Is it security, family, success, freedom, or just being happy? What is most important to you? If you do not know then how will you reconcile them to your purpose? Your purpose and values need to be aligned. Make a list of your values and compare it to your purpose.

3. Do you know what your needs are?

Have you been too busy taking care of everyone else that you have neglected yourself? Do you know what you need, or are you just satisfying everyone else. It is time to start taking care of yourself.

4. What are you passionate about?

Is there anything that you are passionate about. Find a bigger cause than yourself and get involved. There are many places where you can volunteer your time or services and by doing so you will get a better sense of self worth.

5. Are you living 100% on the outside instead of living from your heart?

Are you so busy looking outside that you have forgotten to go within? Perhaps you’ve heard the cliche, ‘go within or go without’. Do you take any time to sit quietly and listen to what is going on inside? Or are you like a leaf floating in the breeze.

6. Do you honor your skills?

What is it that makes you who you are? And if you are not sure then ask those close to you, you might be surprised what you hear. By sharing what you know and are good at you will increase your sense of self worth and self confidence.

7. Have you ever given of yourself and served others?

We are all part of humanity, living on this planet as individuals, yet at the same time as a family. Have you ever given back to the family, or to the planet? By giving of yourself you become richer in ways you may never have thought possible. Try it and see for yourself.

So the bottom line is regardless of your circumstances, or situation there is always hope. There are countless ways you can improve yourself and those around you. You are a child of the universe, there is not another one exactly like you. Please find your purpose and light your light so we may all see.

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How to Be Happy With Yourself

I have a deep rooted belief that you can do extraordinary things with your life when you are happy with yourself. As a communication coach, I’ve constantly seen a correlation between these two factors.

People who are happy with themselves are more authentic and more sociable; they have more initiative, take more risks and bounce back from failure faster. All these traits create a context where success and fulfillment happen a lot easier.

Being happy with yourself is certainly a wonderful condition, but it is also not very common. I find that most people struggle with limiting beliefs and self-image issues that prevent them from being in this condition.

If you want to be happy with yourself, chances are that you’re gonna have to work for it. Here are the most important ideas I think you want to apply:

1. Know Your Strengths

People who are displeased with themselves often believe that they have nothing of quality to offer. This is of course, baloney, but since they are unable to see their strengths, it seems like the truth to them.

For this reason, it’s important to know your strengths. We all have strengths, natural qualities that we are born with or we have developed. Unfortunately, many of us are not very aware of them. One of the best things you can do is to commit yourself to discovering your entire personality and clearly understanding your strengths.

2. Discover the Qualities under the Flaws

I’m frequently told that I’m stubborn. At one point, I thought this was a big flaw of mine. Eventually, in my quest for self-knowledge, I’ve realized that it was actually a quality that others labeled as a weakness: most of my opinions and decisions were based on solid logic and facts, and I knew this, so I was very firm in them. This came off to many people as stubbornness.

Many qualities are often labeled by ourselves or by others using words that reflect weaknesses; but if you look at the practical effects they create, you will notice that they are in fact, qualities. Take a good look at what seem to be your flaws: could some of them be strengths in disguise?

3. Annihilate Perfectionism

You cannot be happy with yourself if you ask of yourself to be perfect, to have no flaws and to make no mistakes. Perfectionism will kill your self-esteem and keep you in a perpetual cycle of self-hate.

It’s fundamental to realize that you don’t need to be perfect and perfection is an insane expectation, even if it’s very common. Don’t just know this at a conscious, rational level; let this idea sink in and make it a part of your very psychological fabric.

4. Learn and Grow Constantly

While perfectionism is insane, wanting to learn and grow is a very healthy thing. Psychologists believe that our most complex and our defining trait as human beings is the need for self-actualization: we want to be all that we can be. In order to do this, we need to constantly learn and grow.

Set specific personal development goals for yourself and work on achieving them. Read books, take classes or work with a coach; practice consistently all that you find valuable. When you know that you’re always improving and becoming a better person, you naturally tend to be very happy with yourself.

Do not expect for a miracle method that will make you love yourself forever. Reaching and maintaining a state of happiness with yourself requires just like growing in any other area, consistent practice. On this journey, you will find perseverance and the ability to have fun with it to be your best companions.

Enjoy yourself and keep walking!


Leadership, School Principals and Chick-fil-A
(From Ruben's book "Becoming Unstoppable.")

My first job in high school back in 1978 was working at Chick-fil-A. We had a horrible location up in a dark corner of the second floor of a small shopping mall in Houston . Back then Chick-fil-A had only 141 stores nationwide. But we were consistently in the top ten stores in sales.

Why did our store perform so well? It was all because of our Manager's leadership. Our manager, Steve Mason was the Gung Ho, motivator type that made working at a fast food restaurant a blast. Steve was always focused on making work fun and on getting us to constantly produce at a high level. There was always some kind of a contest
going on.

One time he divided the crew into two teams and for a month ran an upselling contest... you know, "Would you like fries with that, Sir?" Then he took the winning team to a FIVE STAR RESTAURANT for a 5 course brunch! After the contest, we had become so used to upselling our customers, that we kept on doing it!

Steve constantly tied the store's goals to our personal goals, so we understood that we were really working for ourselves. We understood that the work ethic and the life skills we were learning would make us all more successful in the future. Out of our crew came an Air Force officer, a college professor, an automotive service manager, and an author and Olympian...

Steve set high standards and which attracted high achievers. Our crew stuck together and became tight. We worked for Steve for three years and we still keep in touch 25 years later! Unheard of in the fast food industry.

It didn't take long for Chick-fil-A corporate to figure out that Steve was too valuable to just be running a store and he got promoted. Today, Steve's the Vice President of Operations of Chick-fil-A.

Unfortunately, the manager that replaced Steve was not the leader Steve was, and within 6 months we all quit. The restaurant ended up shutting down a few years after that.

Steve taught me a lot about leadership. He showed me that no matter what your circumstances are (bad restaurant location), a leader can single-handedly create a winning environment, a winning culture wherever they are. Leadership flows from the top down. Not the other way around.

You see it everywhere; when I speak at a school, I can tell what the Principal will be like before I even meet them. All I have to do is look around and talk to a few teachers. You can either feel their excitement and passion for teaching, or you feel a total lack of motivation and purpose. Or when you walk into a store, you know what the manager will be like just by looking around and talking to the

All of this goes back to the importance of associating with winners if you want to achieve more. Make sure your mentor, coach or leader has what it takes to help you on the way to the top.

Leadership comes from the top. Start becoming the best leader you can be... at home, at work, at the little league field, and in your community. Become a better leader and you'll attract and keep the top notch people to your team. And as you do, you'll be changing the world around you!

Put it into action:

Associate with winners and top performers. Become the best leader you can be so you can attract and keep the best talent.

Copyright © 2007 Ruben Gonzalez


Are You in Denial of Your Potential? 5 Steps to Become the Person You Are Meant to Be

How many times have you come across someone who doesn’t believe in themselves or can’t see how much potential they have?

We can all be in denial of our potential in some ways. We all have fears, insecurities and doubts-that can hold us back from becoming who we can be.

There are many reasons we can be in denial of our potential. A particular event or circumstance in our lives might have damaged our self-esteem, we may have been told lies by consistently been told we are not good enough, we may have failed and something and lost the confidence to try again, we may have done something we regret and now don’t believe we deserve to reach our potential… just to name a few.

Denial is generally accepted as a form of unconscious protection, a refusal to accept or believe. If we don’t accept or believe we have amazing potential-(which in fact we all do)- then we can’t feel bad if we don’t live up to it and don’t have to be afraid that we might find out all our worst fears and doubts are true about ourselves if we try to reach it. It can sometimes be easier to stay in denial and trust in our fears and doubts rather than in our potential.

Often the most inspiring people, or movies that touch us the most are those that have a story of overcoming an adversity, a self-doubt, a denial about themselves and through that realize their potential, rise to the occasion; their talents and abilities come alive and they realize the person they are and destined to be.

I have been on a recent journey of learning to believe in who I am more. I was in denial of who I really am and can be. I worried about my worth as a person. I have been plagued by fears, paralyzing doubts, insecurities and anxiety as I’m sure others have from time to time. But these things were stealing me away from who I could be. I have learned the most difficult thing is to overcome ultimately is how you think of yourself.

Here are 5 Steps that Helped me to Break Denial of My Potential.

Step #1 to Break Denial of Your Potential: Remove the Blocks

When we put a denial in place there are usually a lot of blocks behind it keeping it there. Understanding yourself more and what you are afraid of is key. Sometimes our blocks are so great and so many, piled up in front of us we can’t see anymore what we are capable of being.

Step #2 to Break Denial of Your Potential: Answer why should I?

Why should you try and reach your potential anyway? This quote by Maya Angelou, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” expresses so simply that everyone has a song and it’s not because we should but because we have a song that we should sing.

We are all born with many great gifts, no matter where we are or what walk of life we have come from. Fully developing and expressing these gifts in the world can be a fulfillment of who we are. It’s a shame for denial to get in the way of that!

Step #3 to Break Denial of Your Potential: Shift focus

Most of the time we tend to focus on our limitations or frailties. Often they can become in our mind much bigger than are. As part of denying we have any potential we can also tend to be very hard on ourselves, judge ourselves and be unforgiving towards ourselves.

But rather than focusing on our limitations or frailties, try focusing on your potential instead. What are the great things about you? What are you good at? Where do your core talents lie? Are you good with people? Are you compassionate? Are you excellent at a certain skill?

It’s amazing how this shift in focus can change your outlook. We spend so much time thinking negatively about ourselves, imagine all that time was spent believing in ourselves. Start to let go of the fears and doubts holding you back.

Step #4 to Break Denial of Your Potential: Believe the Sky’s the Limit

Thinking bigger or outside the square will help shake the denial and get you out of the here and now. When you discover what you are passionate about the sky really is the limit in terms of what you can do from that position. From an inspired position you can start to see and visualize what you can do and how you can do it.

Step #5 to Break Denial of Your Potential: Set Goals

The most practical way to get to a new position is to set some goals. Sit down somewhere you feel comfortable and allow yourself to think about things your denial may not have been letting you think about.

What goals do you feel will help you reach your potential and fulfill you personally?


Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?


How is this different from where you are now?


What kinds of things/changes do you think will help to get you there?

This positive practical action is a great step to help to steer you towards reaching your potential.

As we fulfill who we are as best we can the more contentment and joy we will start to feel in ourselves and share with others. Denial and lack of self-assurance can be what is limiting us from who we really can be.

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Strive for Balance in Your Life

In a university commencement address several years ago, Brian Dyson, CEO of Coca Cola Enterprises, spoke of the relation of work to one's other commitments.

"Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air.  You name them - work, family, health, friends and spirit and you're keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball.  If you drop it, it will bounce back.

But the other four balls - family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass.  If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered.  They will never be the same.  You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.  How?

Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.  It is because we are different that each of us is special.  Don't set your goals by what other people deem important.  Only you know what is best for you.

Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart.  Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or the future.  By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life.

Don't give up when you still have something to give.  Nothing is really over
until the moment you stop trying.

Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect?  It is this fragile thread that binds us to each together.

Don't be afraid to encounter risks.  It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find.  The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you've been,
but also where you are going.

Don't forget that a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.

Don't be afraid to learn.  Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.

Don't use time or words carelessly.  Neither can be retrieved.  Life is not a
race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery and Today is a gift that's why
we call it - "The Present."


Leadership Is Action Not Position

All successful people became successful and the reason is they gave some talent or ability in the service of others. You can contribute in some way to others no matter how small your talent. You too, can become successful.

No one achieves success without being of service. The successful do not use others, other people use the successful, for above all success is of service.

So everyone has to be someone to someone to be anyone. The essence of success is service.


Become A Volunteer

Summer is a perfect time to continue or start finding volunteer opportunities. Many students do it just to be able to put on their resume. However, volunteerism is a life time commitment. Feeling the responsibility to make a difference in the lives of others is one of the noble tasks we can do. We were so impressed by many of our students having done not one but several continuous volunteer jobs. Two hours every week is a requirement for every student to earn your tuition. 

Robin Sharma wrote a great short essay about volunteerism. Here is what he said:

“Giving the gift of your time by volunteering to serve those who have less than you is an excellent way to remind yourself on a regular basis of the abundance that exists in your life.

After a keynote speech on leadership I delivered to the sales team of a large insurance company, one of the firm's top producers told me that one of the reasons for his success was his habit of spending a few hours a week helping those less fortunate than he was. ‘Seeing what others don't have keeps me awake to all the good things I do have. It prevents me from taking things for granted and, even more important, helps me make a difference in the lives of people who real­ly need me.’

French physician Albert Schweitzer observed, ‘I don't know what your destiny will be but one thing I do know: The only ones among you who will be happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.’ And Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote, ‘One can never pay in gratitude; one can only pay 'in kind' somewhere else in life.’ Volunteering affords you the chance to help others and pay back the debt owed to those who have helped you.”

We will have a page on the website “showing off” to the whole world about your volunteer work and how you are helping others. What have you been doing it during the summer and what are you planning to do in the fall semester? Let us know.


12 Tips on Time Management

Do you ever make a to do list and give yourself a certain amount of time to do each thing but then when your time is up you only got a portion of your list accomplished and just wish you had better time management? If you said yes you are not alone, we all go through this on a daily bases but luckily I have 12 tips on how to manage your time more wisely, effectively, and efficiently!

1. You need to spend time planning and organizing

Give yourself 15 minutes to sit down and make your game plan and organize everything that needs to be organized. This is crucial because if you go through and make a quick list of things to do that is not effective at all, you could have missed important things or rushed through it and put things that might take more time than what you actually got!

2. Set Goals

Make sure you have your goals set for long-term work and short-term work. If there is some type of goal you want to achieve give yourself time to achieve it, whatever it may be. The only way to achieve is acting on it. Instead of putting it on the back burner and letting it sit there for awhile put your step to achieving your goals on your to do list. A little of time spent on it adds up to a lot of time spent on it!

3. Prioritize

Make sure you have your priorities straight. If you have something that has to get done, get it done! Why put off tomorrow when it can get done today. If you put your priorities first you will find yourself spending less time on them than you thought you would. If a priority of yours is spending time with your family, do it, then get your list done. Don’t let that time pass by because you will be thinking of it that whole time you are working on what ever you may be working on!

4. Use your to do list

Like I said earlier making a to do list, make sure you use it. There are so many times when I will spend the time on making a to do list then set it down and go do what I think I should be doing then look back at my to do list and notice how many things I forgot! A great tool to use is Gmail calendar. This is such a great tool, we can make an efficient to do list and always have it open in a tab to make sure we are getting it done!

5. Be flexible

Make sure you are flexible with your time. Give yourself more time than needed to accomplish a task. This is very important because don’t forget about transition time between things to get done. Sometimes you can spend 5, 10, 15 minutes between each task! So make sure you are flexible with your time!

6. Consider your prime time

Lets say you have a break when working or doing some type of activity around the house, job, or life in general. Is that break a prime time for your to work on your to do list? Most likely it is not. Make sure you find a good time slot that is your prime time. Whether it be early in the morning, afternoon, or at night. This is important not to be scattered with your work because many times we find ourselves forgetting to finish something that we have started. Sometimes I think I will have enough time to write an article or post and not finish. That evening I will make my list of things to do and then when working on stuff I remember that I did not finish a task that I started!

7. Do the right things right!

This is so imperative on whatever you are doing. If you are writing an article make sure you are doing it right and giving it your 110% effort. The worse thing to come across is when I read an article and you can tell the author just wrote it for quantity not quality! Make sure everything you do is amazing content and it represents you how you want it to. The quality of your presence is so important; don’t let one article ruin your reputation.

8. Eliminate the urge

If you stumble upon a great website that seems to distract you, you must eliminate that urge to go on. The TV can always be a bad urge to, if you have the TV on in the background and you are trying to focus, just turn it off. The TV will grab your attention and suck you in. Before you know it an hour has gone by and you haven’t started anything.

9. Do not double task

There was a study that I was reading up on that the average person that double tasks spends 80% more time on the two tasks put together than if you would have done the tasks separately. Double tasking makes it so you are not giving your 110% effort towards one task and can easily get distracted doing other stuff besides what your plan was to do. just trust me on my judgment don’t double task!

10. Avoid being a perfectionist

The sad truth is is that nothing can ever be perfect. So avoid attempting to be a perfectionist. If you are working on a task and feel that something is not perfect only give it a few revisions because if you try to make it perfect you will spend hours on trying to fix something that is not fixable. People love the way you are that’s why they are readers, viewers, followers, and friends of yours. There is nothing to prove to one. So when you write something or make a video just give it your best shot and if its not perfect in your own eyes that’s ok no one cares.

11. Conquer Procrastination

This is probably the most important tip of them all. Procrastination. We all hate the word but we all do it anyway. Like I said earlier why put something off till tomorrow if you can get it done today. Procrastination is nothing but evil, it brings stress and lost time in the long run that you could have used to work on something else. So when you tell yourself you will get it done today, you tell yourself right back and say NO I will get it done NOW!

12. My favorite tip – REWARD!

Every time you accomplish a full list of things to do reward yourself. This is so important in life. Make sure you give yourself a pat on the back and say Good Job for what you just did. Rewards can come in so many shapes and sizes! Whether it be taking yourself and the family to a movie or simply relaxing on the couch and watching some TV, whatever you love to do make that your reward when you get your list done!

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Cowboy's Guide To Life

Don't squat with your spurs on.

Don't interfere with something that ain't botherin' you none.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

The easiest way to eat crow is while it's still warm. The colder it gets, the harder it is to swaller.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.

If it don't seem like it's worth the effort, it probably ain't.

It don't take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.

The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with watches you shave his face in the mirror every morning.

Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.

If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.

Don't worry about bitin' off more'n you can chew; your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger'n you think.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

Generally, you ain't learnin' nothin' when your mouth's a jawin'.

Tellin' a man to git lost and makin' him do it are two entirely different propositions.

If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there with ya.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta' that comes from bad judgment.

When you give a personal lesson in meanness to a critter or to a person, don't be surprised if they learn their lesson.

When you're throwin' your weight around, be ready to have it thrown around by somebody else.

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back.

Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's sure crucial to know what it was.

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back into your pocket.

And, never, ever, miss a good chance to shut up.


The love that you radiate

By Nina Farrell

The eclipse, a full solar eclipse and the obliteration, or seeming obliteration, of the sun by the moon brings to mind, for me, how often we seem to forget the effect of our love, or lack of love, on the whole of the Universe.

We as humans see ourselves as "individuals" – insular, segregated, aside, away from others, and we experience loneliness in the midst of thousands in our massive cities. And there is surely nothing as difficult as feeling alone when one is surrounded by others, is there?

Yet, - we need to start understanding that there is no such thing as alone, no such thing as individuality – yes, there are our different viewpoints, our different perspectives on everything, but through it all, we are linked, merged, flowing in and out of each other, Source morphing, constant connection, our only sense of "separateness" in our minds.

As we become more and more aware that we do not "lose ourselves" by our comprehension of our Oneness, we feel ourselves augmented, refined, enlarged, lifted up, more and brighter and supported by the love that we radiate outwards, and inwards.

The love we feel for each other, from the smile to a stranger to our deep heart bonds, shines outwards to the furthest reaches of the cosmos and makes up the totality that is Source. From a non physical perspective the light can be seen, brighter than bright, soul light, heart light, the colors of the rainbow, pure blissful heart rending love. We are the creators of the great awakening while we are at the same time the ones who are awakening, in great waves across time and space. There is joy that rings out towards the stars, the song of Source that we can hear when we still the voice of our mind.

The love that you feel is never lost, even though it may not be reciprocated. No love is ever lost – it is the great driving force behind all growth and joy.

And so, may this day make you ever more aware of the love that you are, the pure liquid love that you are, ever expanding through your love for each other. Never hold back, never repress your love – it is Who We Are.


The Seven Habits of Highly Happy People

By: Marc and Angel Hack Life

Highly happy people all share happy habits. It’s as simple as that. The happiest people I know share seven very obvious habits. If you’re looking to expand your general happiness, you may consider adopting these in your own life.

1. Be a part of something you believe in.
This could be anything. People may take an active role in their local city council, find refuge in religious faith, join a social club supporting causes they believe in, or find passion in their careers. In each case, the physiological outcome is the same. They engage themselves in something they strongly believe in. This engagement brings happiness and meaning into their lives.

2. Share time with friends and family.
A happy life is a life shared with friends and family. The stronger the personal relationships are and the higher the frequency of interaction, the happier a person will be.

3. Reflect on the good.
Quite often people concentrate too much of their attention on negative outcomes and leave no time to positively reflect on their successes. It’s natural for a person to want to correct undesirable circumstances and focus closely on doing so, but there must be a healthy balance in the allocation of personal awareness. It is important to mindfully reflect on the good while striving diligently to correct the bad. A continuous general awareness of your daily successes can have a noticeably positive affect on your overall emotional happiness.

4. Exploit the resources you DO have access to.
The average person is usually astonished when they see a physically handicapped person show intense signs of emotional happiness. How could someone in such a restricted physical state be so happy? The answer rests in how they use the resources they do have. Stevie Wonder couldn’t see, so he exploited his sense of hearing into a passion for music, and he now has twenty-five Grammy Awards to show for it.

5. Create happy endings whenever possible.
The power of endings is quite remarkable. The end of any experience has a profound impact on a person’s overall perception of the experience as a whole. Think about reading a well written, thought-provoking novel. Now imagine the ending totally sucks. Even if the story was captivating up until the ending, would you still be happy recommending the novel to a friend? People always remember the ending. If the ending is happy, the experience creates happiness. Always tie loose ends, leave things on a good note, and create happy endings in your life whenever possible.

6. Use personal strengths to get things done.
Everyone possesses unique personal strengths. We all have different talents and
skill sets. Emotional happiness comes naturally to those who use their strengths to get things done. The state of completion always creates a sense of achievement. If this achievement is based exclusively on your own personal ability to get the job done, the physiological rewards are priceless.

7. Savor the natural joy of simple pleasures.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best things in life are free. They come in the form of simple pleasures and they appear right in front of you at various locations and arbitrary times. They are governed by Mother Nature and situational circumstance and captured by mindful awareness. It’s all about taking a moment to notice the orange and pink sunset reflecting off the pond water as you hold hands with someone you love. Noticing these moments and taking part in them regularly will bring unpredictable bursts of happiness into your life.

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Walking the Talk

by Ruben Gonzalez

Leaders in every field agree that there is a shortage of people who get things done. People who get results. That is great news. It's an opportunity for all of us. What that means is that if you want to move up in your field, all you have to do is to start getting results.

So how do you do that?

By becoming a person of action. Massive action!

Having good ideas is not enough. Even having great ideas is not enough. Ideas are a dime a dozen. However, people that implement ideas are priceless.

Everything that exists in this world is the product of an idea that was acted upon. Even the chair you're sitting in!

Successful people are active. They get it done. They don't waste any time. They have an urgency about them.

Passive people are not successful. Passive people procrastinate. Put things off. They wait for everything to be perfect before acting.

Well, I've got news for you. Conditions have never been or never will be perfect. What if Eisenhower had waited until conditions were perfect to invade Normandy? What if Kennedy had waited until conditions were perfect before deciding to put a man on the moon? What if Columbus had waited for conditions were perfect before setting out on his voyage?

When you are about to take a family vacation you probably don't wait until all the lights are green. You get started, and you handle the red lights as you come across them. Use that approach with everything else.

Do something. Get started. Move! Get some momentum going. If you don't, you'll regret it and you will be filled with stress. Stress comes from not doing what you know you should be doing.

Once you get started, once you are in motion, your mind starts focusing on how to get the job done. As soon as you get in motion you move ahead of the competition - all those poor souls that are still "thinking about it."

Action produces confidence. Inaction strengthens fear. Just think about when you were a kid on the high dive in your neighborhood pool. The longer you waited to dive, the worse the fear got. But once you decided to dive, the fear was gone and you spent the rest of the afternoon diving. Taking action made it fun. Exhilarating.

You know what you need to do. Do it now. Get going. Get started. You'll be glad you did.

If you won't do it now, do us all a favor and STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!

Copyright © 2008 Ruben Gonzalez


Be a Story Teller, Not Just a Speaker

Speakers are ordinarily people, from teachers to grandparents, from mountain climbers to cancer survivors. The platform provides them with a privilege and awesome responsibility to share their stories in a way that helps the audience to “wake up.” Good stories make people say, “Wait a minute. I can think or act differently about everything than I did before.” Stories are everywhere. Speakers learn to retrieve them and retell them to audiences as a way to show their humanness to show they care; to open people to possibility thinking and how making mistakes will lead to the courage to finally help them succeed. Because most of us define our thoughts visually, great stories help to enhance and even transform our lives.

Be unique. Think funny thoughts. Live and re-live your story when you are telling a story. Words are critical so be sure to pause when necessary and be in the now. Your words need to create an image in the audience’s mind so that they can remember your story. They may be a step away from their own story. This will strengthen the connection between you and them.

What is your story?



By Jorge Luis Borges

translated by Alastair Reid

If I were able to live my life again,

next time I would try to make more mistakes.

I would not try to be so perfect. I would be more relaxed.

I would be much more foolish than I have been. In fact,

I would take very few things seriously.

I would be much less sanitary.

I would run more risks. I would take more trips,

I would contemplate more sunsets,

I would climb more mountains,

I would swim more rivers.

I would go to more places I have never visited.

I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans.

I would have more real problems, fewer imaginary ones.

I was one of these people who lived prudently

and prolifically every moment of his life.

Certainly I had moments of great happiness:

Don’t let the present slip away.

I was one of those who never went anywhere

without a thermometer, a hot water bottle,

an umbrella, and a parachute.

If I could live over again,

I would go barefoot, beginning

in early spring

and would continue so until the end of autumn.

I would take more turns on the merry-go-round.

I would watch more dawns

And play with more children,

if I once again had a life ahead of me.

But, you see, I am eighty-five

and I know that I am dying.


Time Management Help For College Students

Time management for college students is an imperative. Classes, study time, student activities, work-study, and home life can pull students apart, especially if they do not have a plan. It is the scheduled and disciplined student who will not only succeed but have the best and most rounded college experience.

Get And Use A Planner 
Keep a planner or calendar with you always to write everything down- notes for class, schedules, invitations, thoughts, ideas, etc. A planner will have a section to schedule your time, keeping commitments in place, while allowing you space for notes too. There is also the option for an electronic planner in the form of a smart phone or PDA.

Schedule It 
Writing things down will keep you ready for mid-term, finals, or just the perfect storm moments (a week of two tests and two papers due). Soon as you get your syllabus, write when key test are and papers due. Schedule everything around those moments, meaning that you should slice papers into equal components toward completion. Topic decided by week one, bibliography developed week two, reading and notes taken weeks three-five, outline week six, etc. Scheduling mid-terms and finals by giving study time two focuses; one, preparing for the next class (able to participate and contribute), and two, drilling the facts for tests. After these are done, you can add back in student activities, work, and fun to the schedule.

Review Weekly 
Check to see if you are on target each week. If you find yourself falling behind, some non-academic activities will have to be cut. Also, the review will have the benefit of letting you know what is ahead of you too.

Do To-Do Lists 
You may not be able to schedule everything, everyday. Keeping a to-do list will let you know what you want to accomplish should you find free time or what is to be accomplished when have an hour scheduled that says “Library Time.”

Print And Post The Calendars 
Yes, you keep a planner. But posting a monthly calendar everywhere will keep everything you need in mind. Place one in the bathroom, another on the refrigerator, and if you have a problem with too much TV, tape one to the bottom of the TV. These calendars will help keep you on track. They also have the side benefit of letting others (friends and family) know when not to bother you.

Get Your Fun In 
No problem with you watching your favorite TV shows, going out with friends, or enjoying ballgames. Just be sure it is scheduled, otherwise it will take all your time before you know it. You can also use it as a motivator (see reward yourself). Friends want to go out on Saturday night? Know Saturday morning you are going to the library to get a paper’s outline done, and then you are studying while doing laundry in the afternoon. Then you can enjoy the evening, guilt free, knowing that you deserve it, as you are ready for the next week.

Reward Yourself 
One of the sweetest rewards is to be done when everyone else is hurting. Knowing your papers are done, you are more than prepared for finals, and everything is turned in, is a wonderful feeling. Find a way to reward yourself. Of course, you can reward yourself for smaller accomplishments through out the semester. Keep yourself motivated.

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You Are What You Think

You deserve every good thing that you are capable of acquiring through the use of your talents. The only real limitation what you can be and have, is lack of desire, persistency and determination... If you set goals and want to achieve them badly enough, nothing in the world can stop you, as long as you are willing to carry on persistently.

Here are some great quotes to ponder… The ones that you really like, put in your memory. Interestingly, you will find yourself using it. “YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK”

“It is important to believe in yourself. Believe that you  can do it, under any circumstances. Because if you believe you can, then you really will” Wally "Famous" Amos

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall” Confucius

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn”      Harriet Beecher Stowe

“The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work” Arthur Brisbane

We wish you much success in your finals. We know that each one of you always will remember that harder you work, more successful you get!

Please don't skip a meal and don't forget to drink lots of liquid. Meditate at least twice a day for ten minutes to rest your brain and body. Don't worry, be happy, and be healthy!


5 Study Tips You Wish You Had in College

College. These four years will be the only time in your life that it will be acceptable – even possible – to crank out two weeks of work in 48 consecutive non-sleeping hours, plan your whole schedule based on day-time television, and subsist on a diet of ramen noodles, Mountain Dew and Cheese Nips. But regardless of pimple-inducing eating habits and the sleep schedule of a sloth, college is about education. And, depending on which university you attend, that education can be quite rigorous.

Most high schools and home schools do little to prepare fresh-faced 18-year-olds for a full workload at the collegiate level. And freshmen scramble to figure out how to attend class, study, and actually pass (if not ace) their courses, all while balancing some of the “funner” parts of college. Most figure it out and by senior year they have their study habits down.

But wouldn’t it be nice to have pinned down the right studying routine a little earlier?

1. Study groups don’t always do that much studying.

Misery loves company, and I don’t know any student who is up to his and/or her ears in memorizing dates who isn’t miserable. The idea behind a study group is to bounce ideas off one another, glean off the smart kids anything you’re missing, and fill in the blanks on the subjects where you’re the weakest.

In reality it’s a time to eat chips, complain about the weather/your lack of preparedness/the professor/how late it’s getting. Study groups are social groups, especially when there are more than three of you. Try one out, and if you realize you haven’t learned a thing after two hours, don’t go back next time there’s a test.

2. Likewise, the library is a hub of social activity.

Depending on the size of your university, there may be multiple libraries to choose from. But, especially around mid-terms and finals, the library is a veritable hive of your friends and student colleagues. When you go there, expect to see people you know. Expect to see people who want to talk to you. Expect to spend the first 25 minutes to an hour mingling before you actually settle down to hit the books.

3. It isn’t embarrassing to ask your professor or TA for help.

Being completely overwhelmed by the amount of information and ideas presented to you as a freshman is normal, and it will continue for the duration of your college career. Take advantage of your professors’ office hours and any meetings your TAs offer. It’s okay to be completely clueless and to admit it to your professors. Ask them for guidance and ideas, for extra reading that will help you understand. Run paper topics by them. Most teachers are teaching because they enjoy helping young people learn – asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness or stupidity.

4. Your study habits are your own.

Every student has his and her own studying techniques. Flash cards, day-of cramming, group settings, solo-reading, listening to music, total silence: what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone.

As a college newcomer, it’s easy to be persuaded to study the “right” way, be it by your roommate, a professor, upperclassman, or your parents. While it’s good to try out a survey of different studying methods, you will learn quickly what works for you and what doesn’t.

Once you figure that out, you don’t need to sway from it.

5. Procrastination is a way of life

Procrastination is unavoidable in the university setting. Even if you don’t make a habit of it, there is no way you are going to be able to avoid putting off a project in favor of your friends, flipping through Facebook instead of finding primary sources, and taking a nap instead of reading.

Don’t worry. It’s okay.

Some students can procrastinate through all four years of college life and make it out with flying colors; for others, it will be their academic demise. If procrastination is a problem for you and your studying, you’ll need to conquer it. Some ideas:


Change the due date of all your assignments two or three days before they are actually due


Set goals and rewards for yourself: no texting until you’re finished reading, dinner with your friends only after you finish four pages


Avoid distractions. Once you have your information, go to a part of campus or town with no WiFi. Study in an unpopular building as opposed to the bustling library or common rooms.


Keep your room tidy and the fridge stocked: it’s easy to put off your work when you feel like there are things you need to do, like cleaning your room or grocery shopping.

Remember that college is about lots of things outside of education: discovering new interests, finding out new things about yourself, making friends, traveling, experimenting. So have fun – and study hard!


Success is Not Taught in Schools

By Jim Rohrbach

Today I want to share some “guidelines for a successful life” that you may not have come across in your formal educational process. I unashamedly describe myself as a formerly shy, low-self-esteem underachiever with a bad attitude – in other words, I was a pretty normal young adult. You may be able to relate to that, along with feeling lost, confused, scared, frustrated, and depressed about your prospects for the future. If that’s the case, don’t despair – I believe most people have a similar experience, something like: “OK – I’ve got my degree(s)… now what?” Relax – you’re not crazy, and you’re not stupid – you just haven’t been given a REAL education on what it takes to be successful.

So here are a few guidelines and resources I can share that helped me get it together:

Mission Statement

In his classic book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill interviewed over 500 highly successful people and found they all had what he called “a chief definite aim or major purpose.” So the first step in creating a successful life is to define your mission. If you need more clarity on your career direction, simply do an Internet search on “career assessments” – you’ll find a number of free online assessments to help you narrow down your choices.

Positive Mental Attitude

Henry Ford was quoted as saying, “If you think you can, or if you think you can’t, you’re right.” It’s critical for all of us to believe in ourselves, regardless of our current situation, because our circumstances can only improve if we believe they can. I highly recommend Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s book The Power of Positive Thinking.

Goal Setting

Once you’ve created a Mission Statement and believe you can achieve it, you’ll then need to set your goals in the four major areas of life: Mental (your career and financial goals), Physical (the shape of your body and what you put in it), Emotional (your relationships), and Spiritual (those things that help your spirit soar). The best teacher of goal setting is Brian Tracy.

Time Management

You can then manage your time based upon your goals in these four areas of life. I highly recommend you get a daily planner, then set an appointment with yourself every weekend to schedule all your activities for the upcoming week – you’ll sleep well on Sunday night if you do, because you will have a plan. The only people who fear Mondays are people who don’t know what to expect. First Things First by Stephen Covey is a fine book to help you do this right.


All great athletes, from the professional ranks to the Olympians, use mental rehearsal to picture successful outcomes in their sports. It’s no different for you. The basic technique is to put yourself in a relaxed state, breathing deeply with your eyes closed. Then use a “preprogrammed daydream” to see yourself achieving your goals, whether it’s completing a project, closing a deal, being in great shape, or improving a relationship. Check out Shakti Gawain’s book Creative Visualization.

Lifelong Learning

I was not the best student in high school – I graduated with a 1.74 grade point average because I refused to take studying seriously. I’m now very serious about not only my success, but especially the success of my clients. So I now have an annual learning goal – since 1998 I’ve read over 40 books a year related to my field. I’ve come to realize that when we stop learning, we’re dead. No budget for books right now? No problem – your local library has all the books you’ll need.


Finally, you GOTTA laugh at life! A well-honed sense of humor will help you keep perspective on your life, especially during the inevitable tough times, so you can stay focused on success without taking any setbacks personally. My best “coaches” on this? Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor, Jim Carrey, and The Marx Brothers’ movies.

I hope you find these guidelines and resources helpful and begin to apply them today. In the long run they’ll bring you the satisfaction of a life well lived. 


How To Never Be Bored Again

by Kent Sayre

When you’re on purpose, you’re following your path. Things come to you, you’re in “the flow” of things, and good things happen. If you’re stuck doing something you don’t like, you’re not on purpose. It’s spiritually depressing to be stuck in a rut of a job that taxes you daily.

Boredom. First of all, the way it’s worded as if boredom is a thing. We don’t jump into a puddle of boredom and then end up bored for the rest of the day. Boredom isn’t a thing. Boredom is a process. You may not like what I’m about to say next, especially if you’re often bored. Here goes anyway.

If you’re ever bored, it’s because you’re boring yourself. Boredom doesn’t occur externally. It’s an internal state of mind that is labeled by a person as “boredom”. The thing is that we have complete control over our minds. We’re running the show. So if we experience boredom, we’re the ones who steered ourselves down that path. If you catch yourself boring yourself, remind yourself that it’s you doing it. “Hey, I’m boring myself. I better activate my mind and think about something else to create a different emotional state.” You have between your ears the greatest supercomputer ever created. May as well use it, especially if you find yourself bored. That’s how to “cure” boredom from the inside-out.

But wait, there’s more! Here’s another method to cure boredom from the outside in. Much of what we do throughout the day is so habitual that we often go on auto-pilot. We do things automatically without consciously thinking about them. This is nice for simplicity and making our lives easier. However, the brain likes novelty. It likes new and different experiences. Therefore, begin to do things differently.

What I’m suggesting is to begin to do things differently. Upload a new program to your mind computer whose main task is to “Do something differently.” Did you drive the same way to work? Drive a different way. Did you brush your teeth in the exact same way today? I’m betting you did. Try something different. The other hand. Did you eat the same food at the same restaurant? I do this all the time. Try something completely new! Trying new things stimulates our brains and allows us to experience different things. It revitalizes us and gets us fired up about life.

I estimate that 90% or more of what we do throughout the day is purely habitual. That’s why it’s so important to have good habits but that’s a whole other article entirely. Track yourself to find out for sure. Monitor yourself as you go throughout your day. Are you doing the same thing over and over? Try something else out. Doing different things will yield you different experiences and thoughts. And that’s the way to fend off boredom from the outside-in.

In this article, you’ve acquired two new skills for how to defeat boredom forever. Taking charge of your mind from the inside-out is one. Consciously doing things differently from the outside-in is the other. Enjoy!

I’m off to lunch. I was going to go to the same place I always go and order the same thing but after writing this article, I’m trying something new!

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The Paradoxical Commandments

by Dr. Kent M. Keith

1.       People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

2.       If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

3.       If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

4.       The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

5.       Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

6.       The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

7.       People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

8.       What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

9.       People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

10.     Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.


Are You a "Can-Do" Person?

By Michael Angier

Sad but true. When it comes to the people who can be counted upon to get a job done, correctly and on time, the numbers are few.

In my experience, out of a hundred people, the number of get-it-done people can be measured in the single digits.

The good news is if you resolve to become one of these people, you'll easily stand out from the crowd.

Of course there are large numbers of people who manage to hold onto their job simply by doing their job. But I'm talking about working unsupervised. I'm talking about taking the initiative, setting a goal or taking on a project, and sticking with it until it's accomplished.

The vast majority of people can show up for a job they dislike but can't seem to set and achieve goals on their own.

And that's what separates the winners from the spectators. 

I have a plaque that reads, "There are three kinds of people: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happened."

In terms of getting it done, I think there are four kinds of people:

·        Those who never start. 

·        Those who start but give up too quickly.

·        Those who start, work hard and hang in there, but aren't flexible enough     with their strategies to complete the project. 

·        Those few who start and continue to persist with a willingness to change tactics in order to get it done.

Determine to be one of the few who do instead of the many who don't. Be your word. Do what you resolve to do …every time.

In doing so, you'll develop a habit of completion. You will earn a reputation for being someone who can be counted upon to "get it done."

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Beyond Impressions

Harmony of the heart is being in tune with the nature. Harmony does not have to mean agreement. Harmony is more like peace. People can be opposed in their thoughts and opinions, and yet there is no opposition. There is acceptance. There is no need to change how anyone thinks. What does it matter if one calls the sky green and the grass blue?

Ways to think cannot be forced. No one can be made to think one way or another. It is not obligatory. Thoughts do change, yet they can change only of their own accord. Thoughts have a will of their own. You cannot by dint of will change even your own thoughts let alone someone else’s. Yet the day will come when your thoughts do change.

Thoughts resemble beliefs. You believe what you believe. No matter what the reward or punishment, you can only believe what you believe. You can act differently from what you believe. You can pretend to believe and not yet believe.

Yet it is good to have your thoughts and actions coincide. If you think to do a kind act, follow through on it. Do not let opportunities go by. Then you will not have regrets. A kind thought is good. A kind thought acted on is better.

By what means do thoughts change? You cannot make them change, yet thoughts change. Thoughts change when a light goes on. Your thoughts are based on your perceptions. How you think depends upon how you see.

Today you see the person in front of you as a friend. Tomorrow you may see him as a foe. Have you not experienced this or vice versa? The person before you is what you make of him. You paint your own picture with the brushes of your perception.

You may say that another’s person’s words, actions, or reactions are what you base your thoughts on. You base your thoughts on your interpretation of another’s words, actions, or reactions. You must know this is so. There may be someone you cannot tolerate, and someone else loves that person you cannot tolerate.

You may say that the person you don’t like shows himself in a different light to the one who loves him. That may well be so. And yet it is also possible that he gives the best of himself because the one who loves him sees him differently and treats him differently too.

Your interpretations are everything.

This is true in nations as well. In one culture, a certain action is considered lovely. In another culture, it may be viewed as not lovely. If you see friendliness, odds are you will respond in friendliness. If you see aloofness, odds are you will be aloof also.

What else is there to say, but that you think and act based upon your impressions. True or false, right or wrong, you respond to how you see.

Now you are coming to the point where you go beyond impressions. You come to the point where you come from, not where you surmise someone else to be, but from where you are.

You are not to spend your life bouncing off other people. If you must bounce, bounce off the nature. It will feel good, and you will be so gentle.

You will stand on a mountain top. You will be the mountain. What fuss will a mountain make of grass that grows at its feet? What will the mountain mind? What will it object to? What will it not love when it stands so tall above the madding crowd?

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7 Super – Simple Ways to Expand Your Vocabulary

by Cecil Emanuel

Many college professors complain that most of their students have disappointing vocabulary. It may be unfair, but the truth is that everyone can benefit from building and expanding their vocabulary.

Having a good mix of vocabulary is good for your class discussions, reading, learning and making connections. It also makes you a good writer and this will come in handy where essays and term papers are concerned. This article teaches you simple tricks and tips to expand your vocabulary.

1. Read

There is no better way to grasp vocabulary than through reading. According to experts, you must read to grasp vocabulary. And this doesn’t mean you confine yourself to textbooks alone. Go beyond textbooks into journals, magazines and so forth. When you read, remember to jot the new and strange ones. This will not only enable you get new ones, but it will also enable you remember their definitions.

2. Learn word roots

Word roots are the essence of the English language. They are also same for other languages. The English language’s largest root is Latin. It travels your mind through suffixes, prefixes and other parts of the words. The roots for new words enable you determine new meaning for new words. This is the essence of learning new words. Sometimes, you also get to create words that will make sense. And once you have new words, their meanings and synonyms, consider grouping them and looking for means to remember them.

3. Follow “one word a day” principle.

Learning vocabulary requires consistency. You need to make sure you learn new vocabulary daily. If you make it a point to learn a new word daily, in a week-that’s 7 words. in the long run, you will be able to use these new words easily in whatever you do. This will directly enrich and expand your vocabulary pool.

4. Discover  new ways of finding word meaning

Words mean exactly as their context. When you want to learn what words mean, see how they are used in context. Knowing the meaning of new words depending on the context is a great way to build upon your vocabulary. In college, most of the words you will encounter will be used in context. If you self-evaluate words, getting meaning and understanding is promoted.

5. Use what you’ve learned

When you study and discover new words, you need to practice using them. You should use the new words both in context and in speech. This will not only help you understand them, but also promote the commitment to memory. At the end of the day, learning can only happen when you use the words you learn.

6. Find passion for words

Leaning vocabulary and mastery requires commitment. You need to use the words effectively. Learn the histories around words. Also have a high caliber word association. Just dedicate enough time to learning new words and inventing others. This journey is long, but worthwhile for your college and social life.

7. Make your vocabulary sensible

Start by learning the words that may express what’s most vital for you. As an example, learn a lot of your trade language – the words that are ordinarily used in your business or hobby or vocation. Go beyond the jargon and clichés, pay attention to better, fresher, clearer words to precise what your peers are talking about.

Keep a wordbook within range, therefore you’ll use it each time you come upon an unfamiliar word while reading a book or magazine, watching TV show or listening to a broadcast. If you read an electronic book, web articles or newsletters, it’s extremely convenient to consult an online dictionary or a special software. Try to bear in mind not solely definitions of the words, but their origin as well: it would be helpful once you come upon a word with an equivalent root.

There are numerous on-line word games that may create the process of improving vocabulary a lot fascinating and motivating. Usually they take about 5 minutes to play, so you can simply afford spending this time even at your working place.

Make sure to take part in conversations, even though you’re an extremely introverted person. Using the words you’ve learned, you’ll always remember what they mean, and they will certainly become a part of your active vocabulary. Besides, you may have an opportunity to pick up new words from people you speak to – everyone is potentially interesting wherever the cultural influences, professional spheres and personal preferences are involved.

And last however not least, expanding vocabulary isn’t a matter of 1 week, but a life time process, and it’s within your power to make it fascinating and productive.

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College Study Tip – How to Stop Procrastinating

One of the big challenges when it comes to studying is to actually do it. Lets face it, it is the odd person that actually looks forward and enjoys studying. There must be a ton of other things you would rather be doing. However on the day of the exam or even more so the day of the test results, you will have wished you spent more time studying. So here are eight tips to help you study and avoid wasting time.

1. Write down your reasons for studying. Are you studying to get an “A” on the test, to get a better job, to set an example for your children or simply to pass the final exam. It is much easier to study when you know why you are doing it. Take this list. Make photo copies and place it where you study and where you are likely to procrastinate.

2. Write down the pitfalls of not studying. OK, you know why you are studying now write down what may happen if you do not, for example, will you fail the test, let down family, not be able to get into grad school or the college of your choice. If the first tip was the carrot, this study tip is the stick. Copy and post this list like the first one.

3 Set a time and place to study. You need to make studying part of your routine. Much like a successful exercise program if you go to the gym and work out every morning your will lose weight, but if you go to McDonald’s instead, you will not be successful. The library is an excellent choice if it is possible for you. Otherwise set up a desk in a room that is quiet. Put a sign on the door if necessary telling people not to disturb you.

4. Turn it off. Turn off the iPod, television, cell phone, computer, etc. Yes, I said the computer. It is OK to use the computer if it is for writing or looking something up, but surfing the net or checking your email may be too great of a temptation. Plus you need to be focused on what you need to accomplish.

5. Set mini goals. As you study you do need to take breaks, but you don’t want to take too many or for too long. Use breaks as a reward for accomplishing a task. I will rewrite my notes and take a 5 minute walk around the library or I will finish this chapter and then eat some ice cream. Notice I did not say call my friend or check my email. Those activities can easily steal your time and are best left for when you are done.

6. Be prepared to study. Have all your ideas together and a plan of what you are going to study. Now, do not spend an hour preparing as this would be procrastination in itself. But you do not want to get to the library only to find out you did not bring your notes.

7. Let people know that studying is priority for you. Make it perfectly clear to family and friends that you need to study and why (you have your list from one and two). Explain that your cell phone will be off and what time you plan to be done. If you have children it will help if you have someone to watch them or at least entertain them.

8. Take a break if you mind starts to wonder. Reading you notes or flashcards while thinking of the beach will not help you on the day of the test. Daydreaming is a form of procrastination caused by mental exhaustion. Take a 5 minute break and go for a walk. Then focus when you come back.

I hope these eight study tips will help you stop procrastinating. Now turn off the computer and start reading your textbook.

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10 Time Management Tips to Stop Wasting Time

Time is one of the most valuable resources that we have, because you cannot replace it or get it back. Once it is gone, it is gone.

That is why you need to start incorporating time management techniques to stop wasting your time on a daily basis.

These are the top 10 ways you will save time by cutting waste out of your schedule:

1. Failing to Stop and Think: When you spend too little time in preparation, you are forced to spend too much time in execution. The time you invest in collecting, compiling, and organizing your thoughts before you begin a project pays off in time savings and in the quality of the outcome.

2. Multitasking: This is an extremely ineffective way to apply time management skills. In fact, researchers say that when you multitask you are making your brain take time to switch to a different skill set and a different memory experience.

Even thought, sometimes multitasking is not optional, here are some ways to avoid being on this situation:

a. Turn off your cellphone or the ringer on the land line, or forward your phone to go directly to voice mail, when you are working on something important.

b. Set your email program so you are not notified every time you receive a new message.

c. Log off from Facebook and Twitter

d. Set aside blocks of uninterrupted time for your work.

3. Working without brakes: Be aware that there is a point where your focus and concentration start to fall dramatically. You should take frequent breaks but for very short durations.

4. Demanding Perfection: This is not a way to apply time management resources, because the amount of time, effort, energy, and emotion required to achieve perfection dramatically reduce production. You are much better off investing your time and energy in starting something new than focusing on perfection.

5. Worrying and Waiting: These are two time wasters that can undermine your success and happiness in life. Worry usually comes from dwelling on factors that you cannot control. Also, if you are spending time worrying, you are not spending time on ways you can prepare or avoid such factors.

a. What am I really worrying about?

b. What can I do about it?

c. What will I do about it?

d. When will I take action?

6. Hooking up to the tube: According to the Nielsen Company, the average person watches more than 28 hours a week of TV. Think how much further away your business will be, if you would invest that time into time management strategies and growing your business.

7. Surfing the Web: The internet is an incredible time management and time saving resource, but it is also a storehouse of useless information. When using the internet for research or information-gathering, it pays to stay focused on your mission: What are you in search of?

8. Getting caught up in junk mail undertow: As if it were not enough to be inundated with credit cards offers, catalogs, and direct marketing materials in your mailboxes, now your e-mail in-boxes are slammed with unsolicited tidings, commonly known as spam. Some statistics shows that the average person wastes too much time sitting through both paper and electronic mail to make sure they do not miss critical correspondence. Getting off all these lists is more of a challenge than it ought to be, but it is something you should think on doing.

9. Killing Time in Transit: If you do a lot of driving or currently use public transportation, you may want to consider how to use in a productive way all the time waste sitting on traffic or commuting. There are many audio programs you could use to turn you down time into learning time.

10. Spending time with negative people: One way to bring down your energy level, reduce your enthusiasm, darken your outlook, slow your productivity, and drain your glass from half full to almost empty is to invest your time in negative people. The more you reduce the influence they have on your life, the happier and more productive you can be.

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Never borrow from the future

1.    Never borrow from the future.  If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.

2.    Go to bed on time.

3.    Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.

4.    Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule or that will compromise your mental health.

5.    Delegate tasks to capable others.

6.    Simplify and unclutter your life.

7.    Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)

8.    Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.

9.    Pace yourself.  Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.

10. Take one day at a time.

11. Separate worries from concerns.  If a situation is a concern let go of the anxiety. If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.

12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.

13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.

14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut).  This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.

15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.

16. Carry a spiritually enlightening book with you to read while waiting in line.

17. Get enough rest.

18. Eat right.

19. Get organized so everything has its place.

20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life..

21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.

22. Every day, find time to be alone.

23. Having problems?  Try to nip small problems in the bud. 

24. Choose your friends wisely.

25. Laugh.

26. Laugh some more!

27. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.

28. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).

29. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).

30. Sit on your ego.

31. Talk less; listen more.

32. Slow down.

33. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.

34. Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before. 


How To Set Yourself A Challenge

By Mike Reeves-McMillan

I’ve always been very thin, and not very strong.

I remember being at a meeting of some kind, years ago. One of the organizing ladies drafted me to move furniture, presumably because I was almost the only male under 50 in the room. But when she saw me struggling with a heavy table, she apologized and found someone else. That’s embarrassing for a young guy, and I’ve never forgotten it.

So you wouldn’t expect me to set myself a challenge of being able to do 100 pushups, would you?

I’m doing that challenge right now, though.

I believe everyone should have a challenge to help them feel really alive. A challenge is different from stress, because you feel more in control. And in fact, it’s one of the things that helps you to deal with your stress in other areas of life.

Here are five steps towards taking on a challenge for yourself.

1. Have a desire for change

I want to be fitter and stronger. I’ve taken up kayaking, and I want to be able to paddle strongly and for a long period, and still be able to lift the boat onto the roof of the car when I finish. I also just want to feel better physically, to take up more residence in my body. I want those things enough that I’m willing to put some effort in to get them.

What’s your motivation for taking on a new challenge?

2. Believe you can change

I believe I can change. I believe I can rise to challenges. I believe this because I’ve done it before.

I’ve passed exams, learned languages, started businesses, built relationships. I’ve also done a similar challenge to the 100 Pushups, namely 200 Situps. I went from 26 situps to 200. I know it can be done and I know I can do it.

What’s more, I know that when I am successful at a challenge like this, it does more for me than just whatever I get out of the goal itself. When I complete the 100 Pushups challenge, I won’t just have stronger muscles. I’ll have greater mental strength, a sense of achievement – and further confirmation for myself that I can rise to challenges like this and complete them. Completing a challenge changes who you are in your own eyes. And each success you have builds your confidence.

What successes can you look back to in order to support your belief that you can take on a challenge?

3. Find a destination

A challenge, by definition, is a little bit above and beyond what you can do right now. It’s not more than you ever could do, though. I don’t have the body type to win a bodybuilding contest or a weightlifting competition (nor does that interest me, actually). But there’s a wide space in between “I can’t do this now” and “I can definitely never achieve this”. Wider than you think, sometimes.

Somewhere in that space – up towards the scary end – is your challenge. As the wonderful Catherine Caine says, “You should always try anything that makes you uncomfortable, and nothing that makes you uneasy.”

What is your challenge going to be? Can you double it?

4. Get a plan

Sometimes “get a plan” means “make your own plan”. Sometimes it means “find someone else with a plan and use theirs”. For exercise, because I’m no expert, I consult people who are experts and use their plans. The 100 Pushups challenge comes from a website ( It tells you, based on how many pushups you can do when you start, how many to do in each of five sets, in each of three exercise days per week, for six weeks. It builds you up gradually to the point where you are capable of 100 consecutive pushups.

That’s a great model for a plan. My fellow New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary didn’t suddenly get up one morning and climb Mt Everest. He built up to it over years of mountaineering.

Your plan needs to start where you are, end where you want to be, and fill in the middle with steps in which you improve achievably. This means the steps need to be close enough together that you can get to each one from the one before. It’s like stepping stones across a river – if they’re too far apart, you’ll get wet.

Who might be able to help you make a plan to meet your challenge?

5. Implement, implement, implement

Carrying out the plan is, in many ways, the hard part. I don’t enjoy middles nearly as much as beginnings or ends. You’re neither here nor there. You have the work, but you don’t yet have the triumph.

Yet this is where every person succeeded who ever succeeded in any challenge. As I’m huffing and puffing with sore arms, partway through set 3 of 5, I’m not just building my arm muscles. I’m building my perseverance muscles, my determination muscles. Between the exciting moment of taking on a challenge and the exhilarating moment of completing a challenge are the thousand unglamorous moments of deciding, again and again, to keep going.

And yet, looked at another way, each one of those moments is another small victory. Every time I keep going instead of stopping, every time I push past the resistance and focus on the goal, I’m winning.

How are you going to win moment by moment on your path to your goal?

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Discover Your Blueprint to a Healthy Life

One remark that I always get is: “You look good for your age.” That is always followed up with a question: “What’s your secret to looking young?” Well, my secret does not come in the form of an elixir; in fact it is widely-known and practiced all round the world: exercising.

Nourishing Your Mind Through Exercising

Since young, I have always had a passion for sports. Any opportunity I got, I would be out there pitching on the field. Exercising regularly has more benefits than sculpting an attractive body; it helps you become the person you want to be. It is through exercising that I

·        Know I can achieve what I want

·        Build my confidence level

·        Enjoy success in all aspects of life

·        Channel others’ negativity into a trigger to achieve something productive

·        Count myself among the ranks of an elite group of Americans who exercise every day

Jumping Through Hoops

Of course, setting aside time for exercise when you have to work (which incidentally hastens the aging process: just watch as the strands of gray hair sprout with every new deadline), is a challenge. However, there are several ways around it. Instead of driving to work, walk to your office every morning! Taking 10,000 steps a day can significantly reduce the risk of a cardiovascular disease!

If you are constantly pressed for time and always knock off work after the gym’s opening hours, then purchase a set of “dumbbells”. This way you can do your strength training exercises in the comfort of your own home. With dumbbells, you can also work the different muscle groups, compared to the limitations of the machines at the gym.

While I may ‘look good for my age,’ I certainly am not getting younger. While I am not discouraged, I am very mindful of my limits. I cannot train as hard as I used to. If you are in the same boat as I am, I would advise you to regularly seek medical advice from your physician. Go for a yearly checkup and speak to your doctor about your medical conditions. Then, plan your exercise routine while keeping in mind your health status.<

A Lifelong Commitment Requires Motivation

Committing to the ideologies of healthy living takes work and also motivation. There are two forms of motivation:

1. Intrinsic motivation is the enjoyment you derive when you sweat it all out; this is when exercising is second nature to you.

2. Extrinsic motivation is when you work out in the hope of getting something out of it – be it a trim physique or monetary incentives from competitions.

Whether you are young or old, there are days when you just do not have the motivation. Here are some tips to keep yourself motivated all year long:

·        Wear comfortable sportswear when exercising

·        Prevent injuries by equipping yourself with the right safety gear

·        You enjoy the sport or workout more when you can do it better, so acquire the right techniques to advance your skills

·        Don’t let your routines become dull; change it up!

If you are about to embark on an exercising journey, you can reap a lot of benefits with a personal trainer at your side. Their knowledge and expertise will help you achieve your goals more efficiently. However, there are many errant trainers on the loose, so always check that your trainer is registered with agencies such as ACE, AFAA, ACSM or NSCA. Check that your trainer has attended first aid and CPR courses as well.

Combat Stress!

Stress is part and parcel of our lives, but undue stress can be detrimental to your mental health. When you exercise, you trigger the release of endorphins — the happy chemicals in your brain. This is why you often feel positively about yourself after a good workout. Before a workout, you can also do simple inhaling exercises to keep your mind focused. With every exhale, let out your stress and think positive thoughts when you breathe in.

Three Components of Exercise

Exercising brings about many benefits, but when not done correctly, it can do more harm than good. Very often, the cause of many injuries can be attributed to neglecting to warm up and cool down properly.

Why? As you warm up, blood and oxygen flow to the different muscles you are activating. Your muscles are prepared for what’s to come. When you do your proper warm up, you are less prone to muscle cramps and spasms. Warming up comprises a series of simple exercises: you can get your heart pumping with a slow and short jog, followed by some light stretching.

The day after an intensive workout can be likened to a hangover: just sheer misery. To avoid this, always do a proper cool down. You might have unknowingly damaged your fibers or ligaments while exercising, and a cool down helps to repair them. Stretching your muscles after exercising will help speed up the recovery process.

Diet is What Counts

Even a huge amount of exercising will not do you any good if you are bent on ingesting junk food every day. There is no need to phase out junk food entirely; in fact, allow yourself one day a week to indulge in moderation. This way, you satisfy your cravings and you do not risk falling prey to binge-eating, which deals a lot of damage.

A good diet is a well-balanced meal that has carbohydrates, protein and fat. You can also take in vitamins and minerals to strengthen your constitution. After a hard workout, you will need to replenish your body’s glycogen, which gives you the energy to do stuff. Have a sports drink or even chocolate milk to recharge. Finally, drinking plenty of water throughout the day is critical. This will help you to remove the toxins in your body.

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Seven Secrets to College Success
by: Bruce Gibbs

Congratulations. You have made the decision to pursue higher education and to meet your goal of obtaining a college degree. You are embarking on a journey that can take you places you may have only dreamed of. Being in college can be fun but it can also be challenging. In this article I have put together ten steps that can help you to be successful at your collegiate goals.

1. Be punctual: Being late for class is a sign of disrespect. It tells the instructor you don’t want to be in his class or that you don’t take the class seriously. You also miss important information when you are late. Do you like it when people are late for something you’ve planned? Of course not. The instructor has spent time preparing for the class and you should give the instructor the time you have scheduled for his class. Besides, you have spent money for the class so you should show up on time to get what you paid for. Being punctual also helps when it comes time for grading. Grading is subjective and you want to do everything you can to leave a positive impression in your instructor’s mind so he can remember you this way doing grading. Being late for class doesn’t make a positive impression. So if you are habitually late, why should he sweat over your grade? Take my word for it, show up on time.

2. Do the homework: It is a waste of your time and the instructor’s time if you just sit in class but never do the assignments. Not doing class assignments is a guaranteed way to fail. Instructors use assignments to determine your knowledge and your grade. Assignments also help you to learn more about your field of study. Instructors can also tell if you half-heartedly completed an assignment. And don’t wait until the last minute to do your assignment. If you start early you will have a better product than if you waited until the due date to start on it.

3. Ask questions: Some people think asking questions is dumb. In reality it’s just the opposite. Instructors like students who ask questions. It shows you are interested in the class and that you really want to learn more about the subject the instructor is an expert in. The question you ask is probably the same question several other students in the class want answered so you’ll be doing them a favor.

4. Be confident: As an instructor, I like students who are confident in their abilities and act on them. Many times students are afraid to speak up in class or write a paper about an interesting subject because they are afraid what the instructor or their fellow students may think. As a result research papers or projects are sometimes dull and boring because they cover “safe” topics. It’s okay to be afraid. It’s not okay to let fear keep you from doing something you really want do. So go ahead and write that paper you’ve been longing to write or start on that project that you truly believe in. Be confident and be able to back up your findings or conclusions with evidence.

5. Volunteer: College instructors like students who volunteer. Volunteerism shows you want to really want to get involved in your major or your school. You don’t have to volunteer for something big. It could be something as simple as agreeing to be a group discussion leader or leading a class project. It could be volunteering to be on a student committee or to be on the board of a student chapter of an organization. Find ways to volunteer. This will not only help your grades but it can also enhance your studies.

6. Be prepared for tests: Depending on your instructor, you may not know when he or she may call a pop quiz. Successful students are prepared and always ready. You can be prepared by reading the class material before the class, participating in class discussions, and by doing the assignments and exercises in your textbook.

7. Get to know people: Successful people network. You have to do the same too, even on a college campus. When you get to know people on campus they share with you information that they have. This information can help you in a class, help you to save money or a purchase, assist you in choosing a class, or even choosing a major. Networking is a very important tool in the world of business so you might as well practice the skill while you are in college.

Remember that you can be a success in college. Yes it’s hard but you can do it!

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College Student Success Secrets – Overcoming Adversity at University to Birth Your Destiny

College students face unique challenges and difficulties on the university campus. Overcoming adversity often becomes the best university for college students as they learn to be self-sufficient adults capable of tackling problems and standing on their own two feet. When college students leave home, a wide array obstacles and challenges suddenly meet them. Entering adulthood is no easy task whether you are a college student or not, but here are some proven success secrets to overcome adversity and achieve self-mastery wherewith you can give birth to your destiny.

When I left the comforts of home to begin my college education, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the many things I had to do just to survive daily, not to mention tackle my coursework and hit the books to be successful in my college classes.

My out into the real world as a college student meant I suddenly had to locate a suitable apartment, pay rent, buy my own groceries, set up my water & electricity provider, deal with transportation, service my car, buy a college parking permit, complete numerous applications and documents to secure the before mentioned, wash my clothes, and most importantly attend class daily and adequately study to succeed as a college student.

To say the least at first it was overwhelming. Yet here is what I quickly learned about college success and how to overcome adversity on the university.

1. See problems as opportunities for personal growth and development.

Undoubtedly as you grow into adulthood (of which being a college student is just a part), every opportunity and pursuit you shall joyfully go after will be joined with a series of problem solving opportunities that will test you.

Being tested is not something we look for, nor delight in. Yet as college students, we should expect to be tested not just in the classroom, but even more so by life itself. In fact, I learned in college that some of the biggest breakthroughs and transformations in my personal character came by way of entering the real world beyond that which I was accomplishing in the classroom.

Real world challenges are not always as easily solved as a test question on an exam within academia at college. Nevertheless as you stay the course and buckle down to endure the process you will be amazed at your personal growth and progress into adult life.

Let’s face it, when we are teenagers protected by our parents and living at home, we think we know it all. When we launch out into the real world to live on our own, we experience a rude awakening as we collide with life as it really is (apart from and beyond what our ego, while living at home thought life to be).

When that wake up call comes, embrace adversity and problems merely as opportunities to become more self-aware and discover areas of personal growth that are needed within your life. Many assume they are all that and project an air of adulthood and being established. However when push comes to shove, we often realize when undergoing the fiery pressures of life that we often are not as mature as we said we were.

2. Remain humble, respect others, and recognize that you need help.

Humility opens up hearts to graciously favor and help you. Humility is your opportunity to reveal to others tenderly that you need help and respect their input and contribution into your life. Respecting others and showing honor to those to whom it is due, will birth maturity in you.

It is strange how this works, but know for sure when you honor others it always boomerangs somehow back to you in many ways. Instead of worrying about appearing foolish, why not humble yourself and seek the help you know you need to get over the hump you currently are facing?

Acknowledge and recognize you have need of others to get where you are going in life. If you have been taking your parents, advisors, teachers, and friends for granted… go home, pick up the phone, and call them. Tell them you are sorry and pour out your most sincere apology.

When you do, healing will come to you and your family. Your heart will become more pliable, flexible, and sober. Then you can truly begin to enter a new level of personal self-mastery as you humbly recognize others success, your need of their input into your life, and that you are never an island unto yourself.

3. Hold to your heartfelt desire and vision, but let the blueprint and road map evolve to lead you to your personal promised land.

Many times we get a glimpse into our future, behold a vision, and begin wholeheartedly to journey to our desirable promised land. We diligently do all that we know to do, but somewhere along the way we lose our fire and desire. Our passion dwindles and we begin to die inside.

This is when you must reconnect with your true deepest desire that initially captivated your heart. Only you know where, how, and when you became pregnant with purpose and that baby lept inside of you!

Perhaps along the way, as you attended to the details to make the dream a reality, you became discouraged and listened to naysayers who dwarfed your dream. If so, don’t allow anybody’s opinion diminish you, neither allow people to put their map on your life.

Breakout and break forth into your dream once again! Be free to breathe, believe, and become! With faith like a child, let your dream again come alive and go after it wholeheartedly, unashamedly, full force with the zeal of a ferocious tiger looking for food.

Let that dream feed and sustain you, being the reason you awake with passion every morning.

Remember as you journey toward your desirable outcome and vision that it doesn’t necessarily have to happen as you originally thought. Don’t become rigid and frigid about the process. Allow the process and pathway to serendipitously and supernaturally evolve. Don’t box yourself in by premeditating how you think it must be and thereby limiting yourself.

Be open to crossing paths with new people, even those who are not outwardly packaged according to your personal preference, to co-labor with you and assist you in route to the fulfillment of your dream. After all, every dream requires a dream team. Failure is always an orphan, but success has many fathers.

Your college success as a student will be no different. Therefore happily and courageously embrace any and every form of adversity as you continue with your college, remembering that adversity is part of your university education and a means by which you shall move one step close to living your dreams.

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Don't Ever Forget Who You Are

A well-known speaker started off his seminar holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, "Who still wants it...?" Still the hands were up in the air. "Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now, who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air. "My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We may feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you.

The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE. You are special-Don't EVER forget it."


Making Choices

Joseph Henry, an American scientist and the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution used to tell a rather strange story about his childhood. His grandmother paid a cobbler to make him a pair of shoes.

The man measured his feet and told Joseph that he could choose between two styles: a rounded toe or a square toe. Little Joseph couldn't decide. It seemed to be such a huge decision; after all, they would become his only pair of shoes for a long time.  

The cobbler allowed him to take a couple of days to make up his mind. Day after day, Joseph went into the shop, sometimes three or four times a day! Each time he looked over the cobbler's shoes and tried to decide. The round-toed shoes were more practical, but the square toes looked more fashionable. He continued to procrastinate. He wanted to make up his mind, but he just couldn't decide!  

Finally, one day he went into the shop and the cobbler handed him a parcel wrapped in brown paper. His new shoes! He raced home. He tore off the wrapping and found a beautiful pair of leather shoes -- one with a rounded toe and the other with a square toe!  

Joseph learned a difficult lesson about decisions: if we don't make them ourselves, others will make them for us. And wholeness in life can only come about when we take full responsibility for the choices we make.


Practical Mind Skills – 5 Rules of Super Speed Learning

Do you know these 5 Rules for Super Speed Learning? Read on and learn how to use the power of your brain to quickly and easily learn anything you choose.

The Rule of State:

Some states of mind are far more conducive to quality learning that others. Cultivate a state of relaxed alertness, where you’re physically relaxed, mentally relaxed yet alert and comfortably focused on the outcome in hand.

Try listening to classical or baroque music, or experiment with binaural beats to dial into the right mind state before hand.

The Rule of Intention:

Have an outcome defined in advance, before you crack a book or attend a lecture. What specifically do you want from the activity? You don’t need to write this down every time, but you want to have one.

Your intention acts as a filter for the relevancy of data you’re consuming and helps you build out the information structures in your mind efficiently. It’s rare that you need to be able to memorize everything.

The Rule of Performance:

What’s your final goal? What are you going to do with the information? Are you going to perform it, demonstrate it, re-express it in a test? The final performance is often a different skill set altogether from the learning of the information in the first place.

Studying for a test is one thing, sitting a test is another so make use of peak performance mind skills and visualize yourself performing perfectly and let your subconscious mind organize your output to that end.

The Rule of Input

People tend to have preferences for how they learn best. Some prefer reading, others listening. Some can’t understand things well unless they can physically do it. Optimize the info for your preferred method of input.

If you understand better through discussion with others, do that more than reading. If you like to listen get recorded lectures and listen to them in double time on your computer.

The Rule of Rhythm

Memory fades in a predictable pattern. If you review a chunk of information just as it’s starting to fade it reinforces the memory. Multiple quick reviews can then be done to build up your knowledge in layers and encode the data better into your long term memory

Review in line with your brains natural memory rhythms is an easy way to memorize things quickly. Aim for a review of your notes on day 1, then days 3, 5, 9, and 14 days to infuse them permanently into your long term memory. Each review can be quite quick and get quicker with each session.

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Short Term Goals: The Ultimate Strategy To Excel In Short Term Goal Setting

Short term goals are often looked down at. After all, it is the big dreams that we are after. However, as we keep our eyes on a prize, it is important to remember that any BIG success is always a result of many small successes and likewise any big failure is a result of repeated small failures.

It is impossible to change your career, get in shape or learn a new language overnight. Whatever you strive for, the safest, the smartest and the least time-consuming way to achieve it, is by setting clear short term goals.

Benefits Of Setting Short Term Goals

Whether you are trying to excel personally, succeed professionally, prosper financially or grow spiritually, properly set and executed short term goals can help you do that.

Here are just a few benefits that you might want to consider when setting smaller goals:

bullet They are simple and easy to accomplish
bullet They do not require long-term commitment
bullet It is a great way to create momentum
bullet They allow you to stay on track and keep your motivation high
bullet They help to boost your self-confidence
bullet They provide you with instant feedback to measure your performance and progress
bullet And they guarantee something we all love – quick results!

If you have never set short term goals, I suggest you start today, because it could be the quickest road to a huge, positive life change.

What Are Short Term Goals?

While the name seems pretty self-explanatory, many people still have a lot of questions when it comes to setting and achieving short term goals:

bullet What is the time frame for the short term goals?
bullet Are short term goals more important that long term life projects?
bullet What is the difference between short term goals are New Year’s resolutions?
bullet How to properly set short term goals?

Let’s start at the beginning and bring some clarity into the whole Goal Setting Concept.

1. Short term goals are associated with specific time frames.

They can range from simple tasks that you can accomplish in just a few minutes to more serious objectives that last up to one year.

2. Usually short term goals serve as stepping stones to a larger, long term dream.

For example, “Triple my income by the end of 2015” is a realistic, but rather overwhelming goal. And that’s where short term planning comes in handy, because any difficult, time-consuming goal can be always broken down into smaller, do-able steps.

If I want to triple my income in three years, there are plenty of things I can do. I can give myself 6 months to find a better, more gratifying job. I can turn one of my hobbies into the source of income (e.g. start my own blog, write a book, or teach someone else how to do something I already enjoy doing). I can take a 3-month course to learn more about finance. I can implement a business idea that I had and see if it will take off.

Some of these goals can be chunked-down into even smaller tasks and objectives that will take only few hours or few days to complete.

3. Short term goals are not the same as New Year’s resolutions.

The resolutions that we set for the upcoming year are usually on-going, like “go to the gym 3 times a week”, “stop smoking”, “giving up diet coke”. Short-term are not. They have a clear deadline and are directed towards specific result – “lose 10 pounds by March 31st”, “read Allan Carr’s book ‘The Easy Way to Stop Smoking’ by the end of the month”, “create a healthy eating plan for the next week”.

If you are new to Goal Setting, it is probably better to start with short term goals rather than on-going resolutions. That way you will not feel like you failed if you skipped just one day of a workout or had a chocolate chip cookie, while being on a diet.

How To Set Short Term Goals?

There are two easy ways of setting any type of goal and double-checking it. One is SMART goal method, another less known is what I call 7 P’s method.

Following 7 P’s System your short term goals should be:

Prioritized: You may have several different goals that you would like to achieve, but ideally you should concentrate only on one goal at a time. Write down everything you would like to achieve by the end of the year. Now look at your list at start with the high-priority, but lower-difficulty goal. Start with that one!

Present: Write your goal as if it is currently true. From psychological standpoint goals that are stated in the present tense create a sense of urgency and motivate us towards their achievement. While goals that begin with ‘I will…” leave a lot of room for procrastination.

Positive: It is always much better to work towards what you want than trying to avoid something that you want to leave behind. Always start your goal with a positive statement, “I am…”, “I have…”, “I feel…” It is a lot more effective and inspirational.

Precise: When setting goals try to be as specific as you can. If the goal is stated in way that is too general or too vague how will you know what steps to take and more importantly when will you know that you have achieved it?

One way to ensure that your short-term objectives are precise is to make them measurable. For example, a statement “I want to earn more money” sounds more like a wishful thinking than an actual goal. “I increase my monthly earnings by $500” is a much better way to phrase your objectives, but even this goal can still be improved. Which leads us to the next point…

Performance-based: Any well-set goal should have a clear and realistic deadline that allows you to measure your progress and your performance. Having a timeline for your short-term goal takes it from the realm of “I will get to it someday” to a commitment that you have promised yourself to keep.

Practical: Is your goals realistic or does it come in conflict with any of your other goals? Is it challenging enough so that you are motivated to work towards it, but reachable so that you can still achieve it? Is it within your control to make things work or do you rely on other people to meet your objectives?

Sometimes just a few small tweaks are necessary to bring your goal in line with reality.

Personal: Whatever goal you will choose for yourself, always make sure that it is something YOU really want, not something that your parents expect of you, something you would like to prove to your friends or something that sounds good. If your goal is not aligned with your inner values, beliefs and heart-felt desires, your subconscious mind will sabotage your conscious efforts, setting you up for a failure. On the other hand, if your goal is something you truly dream of, just re-reading your goal statement will be enough to motivate you into action.

Properly-rewarded: Ok this point is not a part of 7 P’s System, but this does not any less important. Goal Setting should not turn into something you procrastinate against. It should be something that you enjoy doing, something you eagerly work towards almost every day. One way to make the whole goal setting process more fun is by celebrating your smallest accomplishments and rewarding your efforts with little surprises and gifts. It does not necessarily have to be something expensive. There are plenty of ways to celebrate your successes without having to spend a dime!

Your action step:

bullet Think of something you wanted to achieve for a long time.
bullet Write your short term goal down, keeping 7 P’s system in mind.
bullet Now think of the smallest step that you can take to set the whole goal-getting process in motion and do it TODAY!

 Set short term goals and you’ll win games. Set long term goals and you’ll win championships!

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Happiness is a Choice

By Jason Osborn

Did you know that happiness is a choice? I know it doesn’t always seem like it but it is. Just think about it. How can someone who has everything in life be miserable and yet someone that hardly has anything can be amazingly happy? It comes down to what they choose. Happiness is a choice that you must make. Here are 3 keys to help you choose happiness.

1. Don’t be led by emotions.
Emotions are very powerful but can be dangerous if you don’t control them. If you are led by your emotions it will be difficult to continually be happy. You see, emotions change with every little thing that happens if you let them. Happiness is a choice you have to make regardless of what outside circumstances are. The better control you have of your emotions the more you will be able to choose to be happy.

2. Set yourself up to be happy.
Most people actually set themselves up to be unhappy. They set the rules to be happy so high that it’s practically impossible to be happy. Are the rules that you have set to be happy to hard? For instance, are one of your rules for happiness that you feel happy when you successful? If so, being successful all the time is hard to do. The odds are that you will be unhappy more then you will be happy if this is your rule. Make you rules easier and you will be happier.

3. Choose your thoughts wisely.
Happiness is a choice and therefore starts in your mind. If you think on things that are unhappy you will be unhappy. Begin the process of being happy by changing what you think on. You have a choice of what you are going to dwell on so make the choice to think about happy things.



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