Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Totally Awesome Power Of Taking Action

Cover of "Taking Action"Cover of Taking ActionBy June McHardy

I've always known how important it is to have goals, and that once you have written goals you need to take action towards achieving them. I just didn't expect to have it pointed out to me so graphically as the particular day that I started feeling a little less than confident about my car!

I suppose I'd better start at the beginning. For a while now, the car has needed some work done. After all, it's not getting any younger and I've been starting feeling a vague dissatisfaction with it.

One gloomy day, my husband and I were out for a drive. We'd just been through a very rough time with our business and were listening to a motivational tape to buoy ourselves up. This specific message once again stressed that there are really no limits to what we can be, have or do once we have just made the decision. No limits? REALLY? All right. then, why not go for a Mercedes?

We were out for a drive anyway, so we took a small detour over to the local Mercedes dealer. Wow! there were some wonderful cars there! A couple of the older models really caught my eye and I could see that we actually could plan on owning a Mercedes some day, and who knows? - maybe even sooner than we think! We drove home wondering how we could make it a reality.

The next morning we woke up and found that our car had been stolen out of the apartment parking lot during the night. Our car missing? No! This only happens to other people!

The insurance company was very good and paid for a rental car. Of course, they didn't have a small one available and upgraded us to luxury model - wonderful! Since our car had been a popular choice for thieves the insurance adjuster decided to wait only two weeks before making a settlement - and it turned out to be an excellent one due to a top-of-the-line paint job we'd had done a year ago.

On Friday we got our settlement and on Saturday morning we found the perfect car - newer and of a higher quality. It was just what we wanted and was in superb condition! We were able to negotiate that car for the exact settlement price. The following Thursday we took possession of the new car and proudly drove it off the lot.

... And we knew without the slightest doubt that THIS was our "Mercedes". We had manifested our goal through desire and action!

The next night we got a phone call from the local police. They had found our stolen car!

June McHardy is editor of several Motivational Websites and Blogs which dedicated to maximizing success in our lives as well as on the internet. Lots of great inspirational stories and success strategies. Success Articles and Motivational Mecca

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A Few Tips on Finding Your Purpose in Life

purposefulImage by pauladams76 via FlickrBy Clifford Waite

Finding the purpose of your life will probably be a lot harder than you think, at least most of the time. If you were to ask someone what their purpose in life is, they will say something in the lines of a list of goals or something vague. Things such as, being rich, being healthy, or getting a lot of romantic partners. Of course all these things are important. Who wouldn't want to have this in their life.

The thing is that, if you want to find a definite purpose in your life, one which fills you with so much joy and gives you a better understanding for why you're living, then you must think about more than just general purposes. You have to be specific in what you want from life. It has a more defined meaning when you can be more specific about a matter. Having just a general purpose will leave you going in circles about your life.

One of the first things that you need to do when trying to find your life's purpose is, let go of outside distractions such as negative people. Basically anyone who keeps you from listening to your own instincts. Now I'm not saying that you should just cut everybody out of your life. Some people have great wisdom and can help you with your purpose. When it comes down to it, the only person that can help you is you.

Most of us in life don't have a clue in what we want so we allow someone else to dictate how our life should be. We find ourselves doing things that aren't good for us just to please someone else. In order to take care of somebody else, you must first take care of your own needs. Your own personal, financial and spiritual growth is your responsibility. Regardless of what someone else says, you should know when to filter these things out and focus on finding your life's purpose.

The most important thing that you can start to do is build some self-awareness. Figure out who you are as a person and what you want most out of your short time here on earth. Follow your gut feeling and go where your heart wants you to go.

Also keep a daily journal of the things that you think about the most. Doing this can be like building a blueprint of your life. It can also help to clarify random thoughts that go through your mind. The thoughts that make you crazy because you can't understand why you just thought of it. Writing it down will help you to better analyze your thought and get a more clear perspective. When you write these thoughts down, try to find the answers to them.

These are some questions that you should ask yourself when trying to get a better understanding of what you want or where you want to be in your life. What's the one thing I want most and can't live without? When I die, what do I most want to be remembered for? These are just a few questions that you can ask yourself as an example. Make sure you give a full and specific answer to these questions so that you can believe in it and become what you want to be.

Finally you have to take action of your life. You are in the driver's seat. No one else can guide you in the right direction, especially if you feel that the direction being offered isn't the way you want your life to go. So make a plan on what you want to do with your life. Take the necessary steps everyday in order to achieve what you want, and your life's purpose will just come to you naturally. Don't rely on luck to help coast you through life.

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Inspirational Quotes to Inspire You

Stephen Covey at the FMI Show, Palestrante on ...Stephen Covey - Image via Wikipediafrom the Inspirational Quotes Blog at:

There are three constants in life ... change, choice and principles - Stephen Covey

Ideas can be life-changing. Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea - Jim Rohn

It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts - Robert Schuller

Success is simple but not easy. You must enjoy hard work - Richard Parkes Cordock

Speakers who talk about what life has taught them never fail to keep the attention of their listeners - Dale Carnegie

If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self - Napoleon Hill

Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner - Les Brown

Knowing is not enough! You must take action - Tony Robbins
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Living Your Life of Purpose: Five Steps to Discovering Your Passionate Purpose

purposedImage by frances bell via FlickrBy Allison E Turner

I run into people all the time that seem to be living a life filled with boredom, drudgery and frustration. The job they do pays the bills but doesn't fulfill a passion in their life. Some dread going to work after the weekend; others find the job alright but not fulfilling in any sense.

Some feel that the job they do does nothing to help change the world or impact others. Living your life of purpose is not about making more money or accumulating more stuff; it is about living a life that you love, that helps others, and makes a contribution to the world. If you are happy and fulfilled then your relationships and interactions with others will be positive and life-giving!

We have a unique calling for this world; each of us has a talent that impacts the world in a positive manner. I believe that each person has an ultimate calling or purpose in life. What is your purpose? Experiences shape our lives and sometimes our purpose changes. I, personally, had a different purpose and way of contributing to the world 15 years ago than I do now.

My purpose has shifted and I have moved forward with that calling. How do you know your purpose? Do you ever have that gnawing feeling that there is something greater you should be doing? You may be satisfied with your job but realize that something bigger and better is out there that allows you to make an even greater contribution to society. Have you felt this in your own life? What will fulfill your passion! Are you afraid to dream big and pursue your passionate purpose?

Fear dominates our society. As children, we are open to what the world has to offer us. As we grow up, we are influenced by the schools we attend, the people who surround us and our daily interactions. Many of us fear change so imagining another life that is bigger, better and inspires us is beyond our reach. If you are one of the people who feel that life is passing you by and you are not living your purpose then the following five tips start to help you to discover your purposeful path. Live a life filled with greatness, passion and no regrets!

1) Give yourself permission

If this does not happen, finding your true purpose won't happen. Give yourself permission to dream, feel and live outside the box. We get stuck thinking inside the box that we and others have created for ourselves. For example, if you grew up in a family where going to college and getting a "good, paying job" was the norm, you may have done just that. That does not mean that you are not living your purpose.

You may be doing just that, love what you are doing and feel like you are making your contribution to the world. Great! Not everyone feels this way. Our box is created by the influential people in our lives when we were growing up, the feedback we were given, how we reacted to that feedback, and how we continue to react to that feedback. Sometimes (not always) our life of purpose does not fit neatly inside this box we have created for ourselves. Today, give yourself permission to dream outside the box. Forget your fears, what you perceive as your limitations, and the chatter around you. What drives you to your purpose?

2) Money is no object

Tomorrow, you are handed a check for $100 million. What would you do? What would your life look like? Can you picture how your life would change? Many of us fear change due to a lack of money or financial security. If financial security were not a problem, what would your life look like? What would you do immediately? What would your long-range plans look like? Envisioning the $100 million is not about accumulating more stuff but it is about what changes you would make that would lead you down your path of purpose.

3) Commit to your Spiritual Purpose

We interact and relate with people daily; people's thoughts and opinions influence our direction and path. Sometimes we are afraid of letting those people down. Some of us know our purpose and how it will help those around us and the world, but we have to commit to it first. This quote came from Esther and Jerry Hicks' work on unconditional love, "I love you so much I don't care what you think." Loving a person unconditionally regardless of what they say or think about you is difficult. Not everyone is going to agree with your path but you must follow where you are led to go.

4) Look back on your life

Imagine that time has marched forward and you are now 25 years older. You can use any number for this but I would recommend using at least 10 years. If your life stayed on the same course as it is now, would you have any regrets? If yes, can you name them? How can you alter your current path so you do not have any regrets? If you follow another path, how does that feel when now looking back on your life 25 years later? Do you feel complete?

5) Visualize your ideal life

Practice visualizing your ideal life five years from now. Visualize living your purpose. Many of us have problems visualizing an ideal future. It is difficult to get out of your current existence and into a place of excitement. If you don't know what that looks like, try the following:
  • Visualize the people in your life. Who are they? How do you interact with them? How do you relate to them?
  • Visualize where you are living. Are you living in the same place? A new home, town or city? What does that look and feel like?
  • What are you doing? Are you working in the same career? Have you switched to a new career? Is there something that you have always wanted to do that you have put off over and over because of negative feedback from those around you?
Upon moving through these exercises, you may be asking, now what? Realizing your passionate purpose is just a starting point. Now, you are called to act and create the life that you long to live. If you feel you are having trouble acting on your purpose, find the support you need. The support may come in the form of a spouse or partner, close friend, or life coach. The more support you have, the easier it is to create your life of purpose. Good luck!

Allison E. Turner is the founder of Pathway to Mind and Spirit that offers the tools and resources to drive you towards your passionate purpose. Through a long career of playing and then coaching tennis, Allison found that her true passion was encouraging and coaching individuals to feel that anything was possible on a tennis court and in their lives. It became less about the winning and losing and more about the mindset of each person. Today, she offers coaching services, workshops and writes a weekly blog. Go to today to sign up for a FREE 30-day Affirmation service that will provide you with an inspirational daily Affirmation and Photograph. It is a great way to start your day!

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2 Albert Einstein Quotes That Reveal The Power of Acceptance

Albert EinsteinImage by mansionwb via FlickrBy Steve Nash

Albert Einstein is that rare individual - famous for being a scientist AND (to me, at least) famous for his philosophical views on life, religion (God) and everything.

The smiling grey-haired man was a theoretical physicist and won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics no less. He also came up with some fantastic quotations in his time - many of them funny. And it's 2 of Albert Einstein's inspirational quotes that I shall use in this article to help explain the power of acceptance ...

Inspirational Quote #1:
"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be." - Albert Einstein

How true Albert's words are, don't you think. How often have you felt yourself suffering at some news that you just don't want to believe is true.

Let me share with you some personal examples of my own - examples that might resonate with you - of how I have suffered in the past because I did NOT do what Albert urges us all to do ...

1) I didn't have many friends, and didn't like this fact

I've never had loads of friends and acquaintances, never was the most popular kid at school. And I was okay with this, early on, because it never seemed to matter. But as I got older, and life started getting more fun - parties, holidays and just 'hanging out' and having more and more experiences of life - I started to notice how few of these experiences came my way.

And all because I had few friends And with those friends I had it always seemed like it was me who had to make all the effort all the time. I suffered, greatly, at this. And the main reason I suffered wasn't really because I wasn't having all the fun. The main reason I was suffering was (and always will be) because I did not ACCEPT that this was how my life was.

So rather than look at my life, my friendships, and understand that I needed to make some changes in order for me to have more friends. Rather than do this, I instead focussed on what I did not like - not having many friends - and focussed my attention on people that were NOT being my friends.

I made others responsible, and ALL because I did not accept 'what is' and then accept responsibility for trying to change it. Another example would be...

2) I get angry when people behave like ...

People are people. They come in all shapes and sizes. They come with all varieties of strengths and weaknesses. Some people you like, some people you don't. Some people like you, and some people don't. All of that is obvious, yes. So, why then would I spend so much of my life wanting people to be different to who they are?

Someone is selfish or mean or thoughtless or they always want to be the centre of attention or... (you fill in annoying attributes of other people here). That's how they are! Let me repeat that: that's how they are. And the sooner I ACCEPT that this is how these people behave - nobody's perfect after all - then the sooner I can stop taking offense at the behaviour of others.

Obviously, this is not a charter for being mistreated. Move away from those that would harm you - emotionally or physically. But in those commonplace interactions we have with others where they reveal their commonplace flaws, we'll all find life a lot easier, and more fun, if we accept that people are flawed: and it's nothing personal to us.

(A truly great thing happens when you accept other people's flaws, by the way - truly great! You start to accept your own flaws at the same time).

I hope you can see how acceptance of others, or of 'what is' about others, can definitely improve the quality of your relationships, and thus the quality of your life. Also, acceptance isn't just an outwards-looking job ...

Inspirational Quote #2:
"Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them." - Albert Einstein

This Albert Einstein quotation could be talking about the potential of the human race, or the potential of the human mind, but I'm going to make this personal and make it about the potential of ... YOU!

The fact is, we all have limits we do. Whether these are personal limits of temperament or attitude, whether these are limits of physical (or mental) ability, or whether these are the limitations inherent in our flaws - we all have limits.

Limits are fine. Yes, limits are fine as long as you recognise your limits AND you understand that these are your present limits.

What I mean by this is this:

* Recognise your limits
This means you should have an understanding of your flaws, for example, or the 'dark side' of your character. Understand that you have these limits, make them visible, and THEN you can challenge them. Nothing invisible, unrecognised, can be changed.

* Understand that these are you limits NOW
Basically, just because you can't speak Spanish today does not mean you can't speak Spanish tomorrow. Just because you don't have many friends today, doesn't mean you won't be Mr Popular tomorrow. Just because you can't write articles about acceptance concisely (and without rambling) today, doesn't mean you won't be able to write a 450-word piece on the subject tomorrow ... (ahem!). I hope you take my point, here. Limits are temporary signs of how far you have grown, that is all.

Acceptance is a VERY important part of personal development. We are most of us doing are best, right now, with the abilities we have. All is well with us, if we accept this fact, and ALL can be changed, improved and developed too.

I hope I've shown you, via these 2 Albert Einstein quotes, that acceptance - both outer and inner - can be a powerful way to improve anyone's life, anyone like you.

Thank you.

And you can read, hear (and watch) what I think of another Albert Einstein inspirational quote at
From Steve M Nash - Editor of

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Why You Give Up On Your Goals

What are your January plans?Image by lululemon athletica via FlickrBy Monica M Regan

There is a tremendous amount of information out there on goals, and how to achieve them. Do a little research and you will find hundreds of books, articles and websites dedicated to goal achievement. Most of the information available to you will work if you apply it. Commitment, discipline and perseverance will take you where you need to go when it comes to goal achievement. So why do so many people give up on their goals?

The information on how is out there but something happens in between having the information, and applying it consistently to achieve what we want.

No matter how new or experienced you are to the world of formalized goal setting, you will find yourself dropping your goals over and over again until you understand one very important and powerful thing. It does not matter if your goal is to earn more money, weight loss, to advance your career, to become more physically fit, to learn to play an instrument, to study and apply information from a course, to start a new relationship or to give up a bad habit, if you do not understand this one key factor, you will not succeed in your goal.

You may have found yourself excited and on your way to your new life with Goal X, all set up and ready to go. You may have been using your will power to take the steps you need to take to get to Goal X and this may have been going well for a day, a week or maybe even more. Then out of nowhere a temptation arises. It may be just a simple thought, a craving, a behavior that will sabotage your efforts in achieving your goal.

That temptation is like a little snowball at the top of a hill that builds power and force as it rolls down the hill and suddenly you feel the temptation has not only taken over but nothing will get in its way and you find yourself standing in front of the refrigerator, ice cream in one hand, spoon in the other, and chocolate all around your mouth or (insert your choice of sabotaging behaviors here).

We find ourselves in these kind of situations over and over again because we have we have associated ineffective behaviors together with feelings of comfort and/or love. That is there are neural pathways in your brain that are deeply entrenched in keeping you going to your ineffective behaviors when you feel discomfort.

When you are stretching yourself and taking risks in order to achieve your goal, you often have take risks.  This can cause fear and anxiety. These feelings are uncomfortable and you have associated comfort and love with something that soothes you (alcohol, shopping, food etc).- so that powerful urge, that snowball at the top of the hill that starts rolling is not your lack of discipline, it is a hard-wired brain pattern that sends strong signals to soothe yourself (eat! watch tv! shop! etc!).

That powerful urge kicks in, in part, due to the fact that you have this new goal! You have stepped out of your comfort zone in order to achieve your goal and discomfort arises (fear, anxiety etc) so your brain sends a strong signal to comfort yourself and you feel an urge to do something that sabotages your goal. Until we put change into place, we will repeat the same behaviors again and again, regardless of how much willpower we think we have.

But not all is lost. Change is possible. In order to change, you must become aware of these patterns of behavior. You also must be willing to tolerate discomfort. You must be willing to feel the anxiety and the fear and to really effect change, you must be willing to find out what is underneath those feelings. Then you must begin to create new associations. There is no simple and quick solution to changing your behavior patterns. If you want transformation, you must do the work.

Remember these keys:

Awareness - bring to your consciousness what you are really feeling when the urge to comfort yourself and sabotage your efforts to achieve your goals.

Discomfort - notice your resistance to feeling uncomfortable and then check out what it actually feels like to not soothe yourself but rather work through the fear or anxiety.

Go Underneath - allow yourself to explore what is underneath your fear or anxiety - it comes from somewhere. What beliefs do you have that cause the fear and the feelings of anxiousness?

Create New Associations - affirm to yourself a new belief that is in direct and positive opposition to the negative beliefs that bring up fear and anxiety. Say them to yourself repeatedly and you will create a new neural pathway. The old one is never going to go away but when you create new pathways, you have a choice which one to respond to!

For more information go to:

Monica Regan is a Consultant, Coach, Teacher and Author of "The DREAM Power Goal System: 5 Simple Steps to Achieve Any Goal Guaranteed!" Monica works with people to create and achieve effective goals and through 1 on 1 sessions and groups. For more information or to purchase her book, go to:

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Rid Yourself of Old Baggage and Take Control of Your Life

Baggage DeptImage by Noël Zia Lee via FlickrBy Pauline Salvucci

As human beings we're hard-wired to be in charge of ourselves, and our environment. Some of us just take longer than others to learn the distinction between ridding ourselves of symptoms and getting to their source. If we think we don't have control of our lives because we see our obstacles as insurmountable, we stay where we are, and our problems are guaranteed to become steady or even life long companions.

If you think that options and choices are for others, but not you, you sell yourself short. Looking at yourself and how you live your life does requires courage and effort. As you invest in yourself, you'll make progress - how much depends on you.


Let's say this cute dwarf pops up on the screen while you're reading this article (humor me with this one, OK?), and asks you what the word "control" means. And let's assume you're willing to play along and answer the question. Which of the following dictionary definitions of "control" would you offer the little guy?

1. To exercise authoritative or dominating influence over; direct
2. To adjust to a requirement; regulate
3. To hold in restraint; check
4. To reduce or prevent the spread of

Now ask yourself how you define "control" based on your experience. Is there a difference in your definition and the dictionary's? Do specific circumstances change the definition of control? Does control mean influencing or even manipulating others in the hope they'll change so you don't have to? Do you try to control your life simply by exerting will power? What do you do when it doesn't work?

Perhaps there isn't one simple answer to define what it means to be in control. Maybe this is because control is more subtle and elusive than we'd like to think it is. We have to involve more of ourselves than just our will if we want to be in control of our lives. After all, we aren't just one-dimensional creatures.

Learning to take control involves looking at the whole of us - at our ideas and perceptions about ourselves and others, as well as the world we live in and how we interact with it. It behooves us to examine what we tell ourselves about who we are and what we can or can't do. None of us becomes an adult without collecting some baggage along the way. Taking control of our lives implies a willingness to look at and rid ourselves of this dead weight.


Dwelling on what makes you feel sad, exhausted, angry and powerless won't help you see your options, or control your life. We all need a degree of distance from problems in order to shift our perceptions and discover our choices. When we define ourselves by problems we increase the weight of our baggage and become attached to it, as it is to us. This blocks our ability to create solutions.

Have you ever talked with someone who complains about the same things repeatedly? Have you offered suggestions and received either icy silence or hot anger in response? When you challenge someone and receive a negative response, it's because you've dared to walk on "sacred ground". Their problems may be challenging and make them miserable - but that old baggage is theirs - and they guard and defend it dearly.

People who hang onto baggage and define themselves by problems are often terrified of risk, change and the unknown. They make the choice to remain attached to the problems and situations they're familiar with. Their only hope of change comes when their misery reaches an intolerable level and the weight of their baggage threatens to crush them. Finally, the fear of change and what they don't know becomes preferable to the misery they know.


Options are available to us when stop defining ourselves by problems, broaden our vision and ask the right questions. So, if you're truly serious about taking control of your life start now. But remember, this is a process, not a one time event you either pass or fail.

These exercises take time and effort. The results you get depend on you. If you become frustrated or run into a wall, don't give up. The frustration has a message with your name on it. Your choice is to get the message and move beyond the frustration, or stay where you are. As always, the choice is yours.


Think of three goals you want to accomplish. Write each one as a positive statement. For example:

1. "I'm going to speak up at work this week and contribute by sharing my ideas"
2. "I'm going to my doctor's office and get answers I can understand"
3. "I won't say yes when I really mean no"

When you state your goal as a positive statement, there's a direction to follow and an action to take. On the other hand, if you write a goal in terms of a problem, for example:

1. "I don't want to be silent anymore and not share my ideas at work"
2. "I'm going to my doctor's office but I never understand anything by the time I leave"
3. "I say yes and then I'm just so miserable"

Can't you just feel the draining effect of these statements? They're oppressive. When you set a goal in terms of a problem, you define yourself by it and reinforce your attachment to it. The result - more dead weight.

Pay attention and really listen to yourself and others. Do you allow your baggage to spill into your conversations? When you hear others do this, how long do you tolerate listening? Why would others want to listen to you? The only answer to that question is that "misery loves company." It's not my cup of tea. Hopefully not yours either. This week work on not only what you communicate, but how you do it.


List each goal at the top of a separate piece of paper. Then write as many ideas as you can come up with that contribute to your accomplishing that goal. Don't censor any idea. You're opening the doors and windows to your psyche.

Write your ideas as positive statements. Doing this increases to your options. When you're finished writing your ideas for each goal, choose your first goal. Review the ideas you've written. Keep an open mind. Then ask yourself these three questions:

1. What steps will I take to accomplish my goal?
2. What will I do more of to accomplish each step?
3. What will I do less of to accomplish each step?

You're ready to work this goal and accomplish it! Look at what you have achieved.


1. identified three goals
2. written three positive action statements
3. shifted your perceptions
4. broadened your vision
5. created options and ideas
6. outlined action steps
7. incorporated your strengths
8. minimized your weaknesses

Now you're taking control of the parts of your life that need attention. This is an ongoing process. As you take the steps to accomplish your three goals, you'll increase your ability to be more in control of your life. And, you'll be more content!

You'll always have challenges as you grow and change. It's part of life. Developing confidence and being able to feel good about who you are and how you live life is what's important.

Being in control of your life opens you up. The more you're able to stretch yourself, the more you'll access the benefits, depth and wisdom that come from using your mind, heart, spirit - and the more you'll receive from what life has to offer. This is the important lesson. Learn it and live well!

Pauline Salvucci, MA, Self-Care-Online, LLC

My specialty is coaching men and women at midlife, particularly those living with chronic health conditions and family caregivers who are "sandwiched" between their families and their aging parents. Visit me at:

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Passive vs Active Creativity

creativityImage by Sean MacEntee via FlickrBy Susan K Loughrin

Each day you may wake up and write in your journal, practice yoga, meditate, or create something visual. In other words, you may have a consistent routine of creative momentum that brings you joy.

But where does this daily practice lead? You feel energized and creative; ready to begin your day, yet something seems amiss. How can these creative activities lead you to a new awakening? What are you yearning for that you would like to see brought to life?

It is at these times that we need to begin to formulate goals. To see a bigger or greater project based on our daily creative routines. It is vital and important to create each day. Now becomes the time to shift the mind-set.

There seems to be a necessary play between what may be called Passive versus Active creative work. The enjoyment of creating each day as part of your routine is necessary. Creating with a goal supports your need to actively participate in your life's purpose.

What is the main creative outlet in your life that you wish to "solidify"? How can you work each day towards your project goal?

Below is a list of steps that will support you in creating goals for your project journey:

1. Set aside time each day to do your "work".
2. Be proactive - you have a dream to create this project so set the stage for yourself and get to it.
3. When fears arise, practice affirmations, get supportive friends and share your thoughts, let the negative thoughts pass and get right back in there.
4. If a break is necessary, give it a time limit and get back to your task.
5. Set your goals into reasonable chunks of time.
6. Begin to look at venues that would be good to share your work.

Take a look now at marketing, preparing to share your work, shows, and presentations. This can be worked on in tandem, but is a necessary part of all creative work. How will you share it with others? Visualize what this will look like to you. Be thinking of your audience. Who would be most interested? The greater picture is to present, perform, and share your work.

Perhaps you have always been about the process of your creativity, but the wheels keep spinning. The performance (the presentation of your work) is a chance to use the spinning wheels to propel your artistic work straight up with the power of intention.

Where are you on your creative journey? Take the time to reflect on your own work and goals and share your brilliance.

Arts Consultant and Creativity Coach Susan Loughrin helps people find the joy and creativity in everyday life. With the Inner~Creative~Voice Newsletter, she brings inspiration through creativity activities and ideas that can be implemented every day. If you are ready to learn how to bring creativity and wonder into your daily life, visit today and get your free Creativity Gift Pack.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Guilt: The Unwelcome Companion

guilt flyersImage by bpp198 via FlickrBy Donald Norfolk

Guilt is a hefty load which can't be seen, but which many people carry. It's a common cause of physical tension and mental distress; a psychic burden which has been carried by many celebrities throughout their lives.

James Ellroy, the American crime writer, tells how he was brutally beaten by his mother on his tenth birthday. To get his revenge he wished her dead, reciting a hex he'd discovered in a book of spells and witchcraft. Three months later, as if by magic, his mother was murdered. Now, after a lapse of many years, he still can't shake off the guilt that stemmed from that denouement.

Tolstoy's adult life was also plagued by chronic guilt. He believed, and constantly preached, that men were born equal, yet he lived the life of a wealthy, pampered aristocrat. 'We are all brothers,' he wrote, 'yet every morning a brother or a sister must empty the bedroom slops for me.' Since he couldn't face the idea of giving up his ancestral perks, he decided to blunt his conscience. But the guilt remained, for as he wrote, 'even if some men succeed in dulling their conscience, they cannot dull their fears.'

This inner angst is most commonly experienced by sensitive people, and those with high, inflexible, moral standards. A recent study of family doctors, revealed that the ones who experience most stress at work are the perfectionists who tend to blame themselves whenever things went wrong.

Guilt is not inborn, it's something we acquire. It arises when we feel we've violated the accepted moral standards, or behaved contrary to our conscience, the stern, internal adjudicator which is also the product of the culture in which we've been reared.

Throughout time guilt has been used as a weapon of control. That conditioning starts the moment we leave the cradle, when our parents start scolding us for being naughty boys and girls. Freud believed that this development of the super ego was the main bastion of civilization, and also the prime obstacle to the pursuit of happiness, since an over powerful superego can easily check the id from attaining its hedonistic goals.

This has been a powerful tool in the hands of evangelical killjoys, for whom everything is good providing it doesn't give us pleasure. That was the conclusion of the psycho-historian Dr Robert Ray Lifton, who made a special study of religious cults and found that guilt conditioning was one of the major tricks they used to exercise control over their devotees. They first create 'a guilt and shame milieu by holding up standards of perfection that no human being can accomplish.' After that: 'People are punished, and learn to punish themselves, for not living up to the group's ideals.' Inner conflict is caused when preachers dwell on our sins of omission or commission, the things they convince us we're done and shouldn't have done, and the things we've failed to do and ought to have done.

This applies with particular force to sexual behaviour. A few years ago Roy M Anker, a US historian, wrote a book about the impact of religion in early American culture, in which he said: 'old-style Calvinism depressed people, its morality constricted their lives and bestowed on them large burdens of debilitating, disease-producing guilt.'

The Talmud told the Hebrew people that it was a Jew's duty to take pleasure from the good things of life. 'In the world to come each of us will be called to account for the good things God put on earth which we refused to enjoy'. This joyous approach to life ended with the spread of Christianity under the inspiration of the Messiah and the apostle Paul of Tarsus. Since these holy exemplars both led seemingly sexless lives, celibacy became a virtue, rather than a crime. St Jerome even went so far as to assert that: 'He who too ardently loves his wife is an adulterer.'

Children thereafter were made to feel guilty if they entertained sexual thoughts, worst still if they indulged in self abuse. One young lad came back from his Anglican school and told his parents that he'd had a whole morning of sex instruction. 'First the vicar told us why we shouldn't. Then the doctor told us how we shouldn't and finally the headmaster told us where we shouldn't.'

It's difficult to see what purpose this guilt conditioning serves unless, as some evolutionary psychologists believe, it serves to make us aware of our relationships with other people and so more likely to express reciprocal altruism. Apart from that, there seems little point in harbouring non-productive guilt. This is something only we can do, for while Big Pharma can provide us with drugs to dull our pain, ease our anxiety and drown our sorrows, it has as yet provided no medication to assuage our guilt. The best way this can be dispelled is by showing remorse, asking forgiveness and making reparation for any harm we've done.

Christopher Bamford, the American author, was overcome with guilt when his wife Tadea died, because he realised all the many ways in which he'd failed her during their life together. He knew that to dwell endlessly on these shortcomings would be catastrophic, so instead he used them to make reparation and pay homage to his wife. 'I realised that there was nothing to be done but to seek forgiveness,' he writes in his book In the Presence of Death. 'Filled with gratitude, I distilled all that I had learned from her into lessons that I would now take into my life.'

Others in this dilemma find alternative solutions. Some employ the Tolstoy defence, using their intellectual powers to square their conscience. Those of a less sensitive nature merely laugh off their indiscretions and move on to the next caprice. This is relatively easy to do when we're made to feel ashamed, for this is the emotion we feel when someone else catches us out, whereas guilt is the reaction we experience when we recognize our own failings.

David Letterman, the American chat show host, used this strategy most effectively when he decided to make a public admission of guilt on his show, at a time when he knew he was about to be blackmailed for philandering. Opening his show he looked straight at the camera and told his viewers: 'I got into the car this morning and the navigation lady wasn't speaking to me.' In that way any sense of guilt was dispelled before it had a chance to take a hold.

Donald Norfolk 2011

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Inspirational Quotes from Nicholas

Andrew Carnegie, American businessman and phil...Andrew Carnegie - Image via WikipediaHi everyone,

Here's some great inspirational quotes from Nicholas at The Inspirational Quotes Blog:

Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto - Dale Carnegie

In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do - Stephen Covey

Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure - Thomas Edison

Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success - Henry Ford

Beauty is the greatest seducer of man - Paulo Coelho

Success is simple but not easy. You must enjoy hard work - Richard Parkes Cordock

If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you - Jim Rohn

If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way - Napoleon Hill

If you need money, go to the bank, but not the marketplace - Jim Rohn

Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities - Dale Carnegie

Picture yourself in your minds eye as having already achieved this goal -
E Nightingale

To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting - Sun Tzu

Past, they may hinder your ability to live in the present - Les Brown

If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it - Dalai Lama

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution - Thomas Edison

Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed - Dale Carnegie

Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it - E. Nightingale

If you are going through hell, keep going - W. Churchill

All honor’s wounds are self-inflicted - Andrew Carnegie

Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance - Sun Tzu
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Monday, July 25, 2011

What Keeps You From Self-Actualizing?

By Peter Vajda, Ph.D

Those familiar with Maslow's hierarchy of needs know that self-actualization - be all you can be - is the highest level human need (the needs in order from lowest to highest are: BASIC: physiological (health, food, sleep, sex, water, etc), and security (of the body, of employment, of resources, of morality, of property; insurance, etc).

If basic needs are not met, there can be no movement towards self-actualization. Over and above the basic needs are the SOCIAL and PSYCHOLOGICAL needs: belonging (love, affection, friendship, family sexual intimacy, etc), esteem (self-esteem, esteem from others, personal worth, social recognition, confidence, achievement, etc) and self-actualization (morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts, etc).

Maslow´s Hierachy of needsImage via Wikipedia
According to Maslow's theory, if you want be on the path of true self-actualization, you need to take care of your BASIC needs first. That is, if you're hungry, you need to get food. If you feel unsafe, you constantly have to be vigilant and on guard. This is where you spend the plurality of your time and energy.

Truth be told, only about two percent of the population is actually, proactively, consciously self-actualizing, according to Maslow.

So, the question now becomes, what is it that is preventing me from being all I can be, from self-actualizing?

Here's an exercise:

Draw a stick figure of yourself. Then draw four straight lines, horizontally, each about two-to-three inches long, extending out from the center of the body, about an inch and a half away from the other lines (you're going to write on these lines, so leave room above and below each line).

On each of the four lines, write one of Maslow's needs: physiological, security, belonging, and esteem (don't use self-actualization here).

Look above, in the first paragraph, at what constitutes each of these needs. Take some time and reflect on how much of your total available time and energy (i.e., physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, social, financial, etc. as a totality) you expend on fulfilling each of the four needs and write that percentage at the right of each line.

For example,

Mary is experiencing low self-esteem issues, so she is spending a majority of her time engaged in social networking and the like which makes her feel "like somebody" and wanted. She writes 40% at the end of the "esteem" need. Her physiological needs are fairly well met so she writes 5% at the end of the "physiological" line. She has concerns about her job, so she writes 30% at the end of the "security" line. Belonging is an issue as she and her partner are having intimacy challenges (different from the "sex" element in the physiological need area), so she writes 25% at the end of the "belonging" line. Total energy expenditure is 100%. We'll return to this.

Thomas is experiencing the aftermath of a tornado. Huge damage to his home and automobile. Although his insurance will cover the material damage, he's strung out emotionally over the loss of family heirlooms that are irreplaceable but more stressed about the rebuilding of his home and how it will compare with his neighbors. He writes 30% on the "security" line. Added to that is his concern that he's being "shut out" by his friends at the local golf club. He feels he "doesn't belong" and he's not sure why. He spends a fair amount of time obsessing about this so he writes 25% on the "belonging" line. Tom feels that if he's not "socially networking" every "free" moment he'll fall out of the loop and lag behind others who know "what's the latest." So, Tom writes 20% on the esteem line as he's feeling lacking, deficient and being "left out." In addition, he feels he's not living up to his parents' expectations, so he writes 25% on the belonging line. Total energy expenditure is 100%. We'll return to this in a moment as well.

Get the picture? Now do this exercise for your self - be honest and sincere with your exploration and your scoring. Tell the truth. And, not everyone's expenditure will add up to 100%; some might even go beyond100% and that's OK.

Back to self-actualization.

According to Maslow, self-actualizers exhibited a number of qualities:

They are reality-centered - they know the difference between what is fake and what is real; what is honest from what is dishonest.

They are problem-oriented - they see life as solution, not problem, oriented; they are not victims.

They don't necessarily have an "end" in sight;' they see the journey as, if not more, important than the end.

They enjoy solitude; they are comfortable in their own skins; they enjoy fewer close personal friends than shallow relationships with a host of acquaintances.

They enjoy being autonomous - being free from or independent from physical and social needs. They consciously resist social pressure to be to "fit in."

They have a healthy sense of humor - not engaging in sarcasm, put-down humor or humor at the expense of others.

They accept others just as they are. They don't try to change others, or themselves if they have a quirk or other non-harmful quality.

They are spontaneous and simple - eschewing pretension or artificiality.

They have a sense of humility and respect towards others, all others and a strong sense of ethics.

They have a sense of wonder and appreciation, are creative and have more peak experiences (being one with life and/or God) than most.

They transcend common dichotomies: spiritual/physical, selfish/unselfish, masculine/feminine.

They need truth, goodness, beauty, wholeness, aliveness, uniqueness, completion, justice, simplicity, richness, effortlessness, playfulness, self-sufficiency, and meaningfulness in their lives.

So, you ask, everyone wants these qualities, right? Yes, most everyone does. And, here's the deal.

If you are striving, efforting or struggling to satisfy your Basic needs, then movement towards self-actualization will be halted or quite slow. If you're starving, without financial support or need a roof over your head, you're not concerned with the qualities of self-actualization, and rightly so.

BUT, if your basic needs are pretty well met, and you're spending an inordinate amount of time and energy on your social and psychological needs - at the expense of self-actualizing. So why? What is it about belonging, friendship, sexual intimacy, self-esteem, esteem from others, self-worth, confidence, achievement, and the like that takes much of your time and energy?

And, you, what did you see with this exercise? Are you on or near the road to self-actualization?

So, some questions for self-reflection are:
  • Which of your needs are being met and which aren't? Why?
  • Where do you spend the majority or plurality of your time and energy? Why?
  • Do you often feel stressed and overwhelmed? Why?
  • Do you have time and energy to move towards self-actualization? If not, who or what prevents you from doing so? Is that OK?
  • Do you know folks who exhibit some or many of the self-actualization qualities Maslow describes? What's it like to be around him, her or them?
  • What did you see about yourself from this exercise?
  • How much time and energy do you devote to social/psychological needs? Why?

Peter Vajda, Ph.D, C.P.C. is a founding partner of SpiritHeart, an Atlanta-based company that supports conscious living through coaching and counseling. With a practice based on the dynamic intersection of mind, body, emotion and spirit, Peter's 'whole person' coaching approach supports deep and sustainable change and transformation.

Peter facilitates and guides leaders and managers, individuals in their personal and work life, partners and couples, groups and teams to move to new levels of self-awareness, enhancing their ability to show up authentically and with a heightened sense of well be-ing, inner harmony and interpersonal effectiveness as they live their lives at work, at home, at play and in relationship.

Peter is a professional speaker and published author. For more information:, or, or phone 770.804.9125.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

2 Anais Nin Quotes To Inspire Your Growth

Embrace Life, Embrace this, road safety, Brigh...Image via WikipediaBy Steve Nash

Anais Nin is a writer famed for writing erotica. And whilst I've heard of this writer, and am sure she's famous for a good cause, I've not actually read any of her books.

Instead, I have been impressed and inspired by many of her words that are now 'inspirational quotes'. Much of what Anais talks about, in these quotations, comes from her investigations into her own life I'm sure, but I believe her views to be universal - applicable to all of man- and woman-kind.

So in this article I shall explore how Anais encourages us all to grow ...

Inspirational Quote #1:
"It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before... to test your limits... to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
- Anais Nin

Anais well be talking about the creative process here. She may well be talking about nature. But I think we all know she's actually talking about the human condition also (and even if Anais was talking about creativity only, we are ALL creative in the sense that we all create our lives: in each moment with each thought, action and intention we create).

So when we think of the kind of love that we want in our life, why do we stay in safe places? When we think of the talents that we have, why do we not test our limits? Or when we think of how big our careers will be, why do many of us wish to remain a bud?

Do we really lack the courage?

As ever, Anais urges us to be truly creative with our lives, to truly reach as far (if not further) as we can possibly imagine, and to not let our unhelpful self-imposed limitations hold us back.

In other words, Anais encourages us to grow, to be as large (and creative) as we possibly can be. After all, who are we NOT to do this? ...

Inspirational Quote #2:
"Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage."
- Anais Nin

Who are WE to be 'less' when we can be so much 'more'? Who are we to be frightened of the growing pains of life? Would we have ever been born, ever left our mother's womb, if we did not WANT to change, to grow and to embrace life with courage.

Being open to change - open to growth - is the ultimate act of courage. I think that, as does Anais Nin with her words above.

Make life 'big' - be as big as you can - and you take risks, naturally, risks of failure as well as success, but you also allow life to be as big as it can be.

But what do I mean, specifically. when I talk about a 'big' life?

Well 'big' could be about:

* Activities - what adventures do you shrink away from?
* Holidays - what part of the world would you like to experience?
* Opportunities - what do you want to learn more about, what venture would you like to start, what else could you do?

Being 'big' is really doing anything you can imagine doing ...

But no-one would actively make life small, I hear you say.

Really? No-one would admit defeat to their fears - fear of rejection, fear of commitment, fear of success, or fear of failure? The truth is, we do it all the time - morning, noon and night!

Yes, it takes courage to face our fears - to willingly accept change into our life - and to let go of who (the small person is that) we think we are.

But when we do - when we live life courageously - we allow life to be as magnificent as is possible. We live this life for ourselves, and not vicariously via others, and we embrace all that life can offer us with as much courage as we can muster.

I believe this is what Anais Nin encourages us to do with her 2 inspirational quotes about courage and growth.

So, what will YOU do today to make life large, to be truly creative with it?

And you can read, hear and see what I think of another Anais Nin's inspirational quotes at
From Steve M Nash - Editor of

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Letting Go of Conflict From Your Past

Past | Present | FutureImage by d.billy via FlickrBy Kevin Sinclair

It is possible for one to learn to let go of the conflict in their lives. Everyone has a past. Everyone has events from their past that they are not proud of. Wishing that things "were" different just isn't going to do any good.

To continue to re-think and to play a what-if analysis on past events is a waste of time and energy if it is only directed at trying to change the past. The past is history, and tomorrow's a mystery. Focus your energies on today and avoid letting past conflict hold you back.

If one can focus on the present and learn to release the concerns of yesterday, they will find that today is what matters. Although one can experiment with different strategies on their own, there are many techniques that one can use to "file for divorce from the past" and it is only important that you find the ways that are right for you.

Release Your Negative Thoughts

Ruminating negatively about past events or your actions during past events is seldom productive. Some people see only mistakes in their past whereas others see these same mistakes as opportunities to learn; or as teaching moments. Where you may have made a bad choice, you now have the opportunity to learn from what happens as a result of that type of bad choice.

What is more important than dwelling on past mistakes is taking that information that you have learned and put it to good use - this is the old, "You can't make lemonade without a few lemons!" When you find yourself thinking negatively about your past, try a tactic that makes you focus on the present.

Some ways to help you focus on the present include:

- Exercise to raise your level of endorphins
- Volunteer or getting involved in the community helping someone
- Meditate, pray, or practice some visualization techniques
- Using affirmations to realize what positive things you currently have in your life

Conquer Your Conflict

Descartes said "I think, therefore I am!" There is great power in our thoughts and it is far better to use this power for the positive instead of for the negative. The way that one gets more positive energy to flow their way is by looking at their experiences in a positive light. There are normally some positives that can be taken from any negative outcome, and always remember, it's mind over matter, if you don't mind, it doesn't matter!

There is always good if you look for it.

Some may have trouble looking at some situations and finding the "good" in it. Perhaps you have been pulled over for speeding and the officer gave you a ticket that is going to come with a hefty fine, where's the good in that? Maybe as a result you will alter your whole attitude about driving, start to leave earlier to avoid rushing, learn how to plan better, and wind up getting a promotion as a result. Never say never!

Make corrections on your journey if you need to, but avoid going backwards. Moving forward, into a bright future and away from conflict, should be your focus. When disconcerting thoughts of the past appear, gently urge them away with thoughts of the future. Avoid letting that negative voice get to you, because it isn't what's true and real.

People usually know intuitively what's really important and what isn't even though our emotions try to tell us otherwise. Efforts to review the past should only be done to the extent that we use these lessons learned to keep from making the same mistake again. Einstein's definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Don't dwell on past conflicts, learn the lessons, and move on.

It's not possible to change your past, but it is possible to live for today

Something to remind yourself of each and every day is that short of inventing a time machine that will take you back into your past, what's done is done. Why live with regret and conflict when there's joy and beauty to be found? Live in the light of peace and joy each day, and focus your energies on what you can do to make things better for yourself and the world around you.

Joy is at the end of hoping that happiness will be there some day. Sometimes it takes more than hope, it takes effort. It is hard to look into the future if you are constantly looking into a rear-view mirror. Understanding that your past is an anchor that keeps you moored at a fixed location will help you to understand that to sail ahead, you must first weigh anchor!

Are YOU Ready to Seize Control of Your Life and Progress to Success? It's time for you to live up to your full potential. But the only way that can happen is if you take the first step, and download your free report Personal Development Power Tips so you can discover the top tips for your personal growth.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

The Reason Why a Sense of Purpose Can Change Your Life

The Purpose Driven Life book coverImage via WikipediaBy Michael G A Brown

Having a sense of purpose could be a very powerful tool to enable a person to achieve many great things in life. Without a sense of purpose some one could be just drifting aimlessly through life not achieving very much. But with a purpose that could make a vast difference in a persons outlook on life. Having a sense of purpose can give a person a reason for getting up in the morning. So having a sense of purpose could be a very positive driving force in a person's life.

Feeling of Gratitude

Another idea that could be related to the idea of purpose is that of gratitude. Being grateful for what you having life can give the greatest joy. When we look at all the wonderful things that are going well in our lives we could see that we are very fortunate. Gratitude allows a person to realise the great possibilities that they have in life.

It could show a sea of endless opportunities that are available. Some times a person will not realise how good they have things until they have lost something for a time. So the idea of a problem could be a useful learning experience that allows a person to find greater development. After a person has successfully dealt with a challenging situation, they could find that they experience overwhelming gratitude. So maybe it could be a useful idea to look at what do I want to achieve in life, and what do I want my purpose to be.

It has been said that people who tend to be successful take responsibility for everything that happens in their life. By taking responsibility a person can be able to change the things that they do not like. It could be said that by taking responsibility a person is taking power and control for their life.

Success despite the odds

So what could give you a sense of purpose, what are the things that interest you and what have you not tried but feel that you should give it a go. When we look at people who have lost limbs etc but have gone on to empower multitudes of people around the world, we see that many things are possible.

There was a story of a man who was born with no arms but has become a very powerful motivational speaker. He is able to use his toes as fingers, and is able to do the things that an able body person is able to do. The key point is that he is achieving more than some able body people can achieve.

These things show that the mind is very powerful, and we can achieve much more than we think. Once we use our mind, we can achieve things that seem impossible. The same man mentioned above is able to play the piano skillfully using his toes. So it shows that we can choose a purpose in life and we can make things happen if we have faith in our self.

MGA Brown (c) July 2011

MGA Brown is the Author of winning book "Thoughts To Make You Think" to find out how you can benefit go to Http://

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Personal Responsibility: The Natural Event

Cover of "Taking Responsibility: Self-Rel...Cover via Amazon
By Michael Hume

We Start Life As Entrepreneurs, Not Victims

The other day, I was in a public building and overheard a little girl talking to her young mother as they approached the elevator. "I want to push the button!" she said. "Sure, go ahead," Mom replied. "But I want to push the button INSIDE!" the girl said.

For some reason, that small exchange stuck in my mind, and got me thinking. Why does the little kid want so badly to push the elevator button? And why would she rather push the button inside the elevator?

I remember when my kids were little ... at one point, the four of them ranged in age from 4 down to infancy. By the time they were all able to walk, each clamored for this same type of special little privilege - they wanted to be the one who pushed the elevator button, or sat up-front in the car, or turned on (or off) the TV - whatever. At some point, it actually became important that I spend some of my life energy ensuring that elevator-button-pushing (and similar) privileges were equitably rotated. And if I ever forgot, and pushed that button myself, there was NO peace.


I think it's because we are born with a desire to take meaningful action and to work to "control" our world. It might explain why the little girl I overheard really wanted to push that inside button. The outside button is cool, it gives you the power to call the elevator, but the inside button actually puts the power of choice in your little hand. Which floor? Do I also get to push the button that holds the elevator open for a bit? How about the button that closes the door?

You know, even as busy adults, we tend to push that "close door" button often, even though the door would close a second later automatically. It's like we're in too big a hurry to wait that extra second... or, maybe, it's about having the control to decide when the elevator door closes. And we start with that desire for control at an early age, don't we?

I've long argued there are two types of people in the world, and I call them "Entrepreneurs" and "Victims." We each have both types within us, but in my experience, folks tend to more-or-less permanently favor one or the other in their behavior and decision-making.

Entrepreneurs relish personal responsibility. They want to push the button. They are self-reliant, want to make contributions to the world, and want to take care of themselves and those around them.

Victims, in contrast, are happy for someone else to take responsibility. They'd rather criticize the way the other kid pushes the button. They rely on others, but always criticize the very people upon whom they rely. They always need to be taken care of.

If you think about it, people who start a business (the classic "entrepreneur") or take a leadership position are always Entrepreneurs, in the sense I describe here. If you're looking for Victims, you'd be more likely to find them in politics, in cushy government jobs, in union "leadership," in the media, or in academic institutions. They tend to thrive in places where they enjoy privilege and status, but don't have to carry much of a burden in terms of true personal responsibility.

Maybe we all start out as Entrepreneurs, though. I'm not sure what nudges some people toward Victimhood, but you can see negative people out there all the time, griping about how bad the world is, and it's almost like they're trying to recruit new Victims. Misery does love company; and Victims are more comfortable around other Victims. I guess it's always been easier to be the theater critic than to be the person who dares to tread the stage and perform under the lights.

Remember, though, that the theater critic never hears hard-won applause.

If you're looking for a way to make an inspirational positive change in your life, start by scouring your behaviors and mindsets for anything that betrays your inner Victim. Maybe you've allowed some of the wrong notions to creep into your thinking ... things you never used to think ... stuff that never used to bother you ... negativity that never was supposed to be part of you.

Go back to the time when you were three feet tall. Even if it meant you had to stand on your tippy-toes and reach up really high, you wanted to be the one to push the button, didn't you?

by Michael D. Hume, M.S.

Michael Hume is a speaker, writer, and consultant specializing in helping people maximize their potential and enjoy inspiring lives. As part of his inspirational leadership mission, he coaches executives and leaders in growing their personal sense of well-being through wealth creation and management, along with personal vitality.

Michael and his wife, Kathryn, divide their time between homes in California and Colorado. They are very proud of their offspring, who grew up to include a homemaker, a rock star, a service talent, and a television expert. Two grandchildren also warm their hearts! Visit Michael's web site at

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

UPCOMING EVENT: See Sir Richard Branson and Tim Ferriss LIVE in Australia!

They’ve done it! They’ve pulled off the impossible!

Sir Richard Branson has agreed to grace Australian shores to speak exclusively for 21st Century Education. It's our biggest event in history. They're calling it "Australia's #1 Financial Education Event Of The Year" and you can get your tickets, right here.

Sir Richard Branson is one of the most influential men of the last 100 years. Why? Well in case you need a refresher:
    Image representing Richard Branson as depicted...Image via CrunchBase
  • He's the founder of Virgin Group (which has grown from humble beginnings - as a mail order record retailer - to more than 300 companies)
  • Was knighted in 1999 for his "services to entrepreneurship"
  • The 5th richest person in the United Kingdom (with an estimated net worth of approximately £2.58 billion)
But that's not all…

In a world-first - the man who GOOGLE, FACEBOOK and MICROSOFT pay BIG bucks to speak… Tim Ferriss will be joining Richard at this event.

Tim is just incredible. If you haven't read his bestselling book The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich – grab yourself a copy right now and prepare to have your mind blown.

Image representing Timothy Ferriss as depicted...Image by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid via CrunchBaseTim will teach you:
  • How to outsource your life and do whatever you want for a year, only to return to a bank account 50% larger than before you left
  • How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs
  • How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of little-known European economists
  • How to train your boss to value performance over presence, or kill your job (or company) if it's beyond repair
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  • How to cultivate selective ignorance - and create time - with a low-information diet
  • Management secrets of Remote Control CEOs
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Freedom From Impulsive Reactions

Figure 15 from Charles Darwin's The Expression...Image via WikipediaBy Jinnae Anderson

Do you find yourself saying things you later regret, eating compulsively, or unable to abandon the couch even though there are more important things to do?

It's as if you're being ruled by a part of yourself that reacts to a situation, rather than that part of you that could control or create it. Everyone has some amount of reactivity, but, in large chunks, it can be hugely detrimental to the quality of your life.

A powerful tool for learning about, and eventually eradicating, the reactive process comes from practicing the Witness. It is an ancient tool of meditation where you closely observe your thought processes and emotions, without being disturbed or distracted by them. It can be done in quiet meditation or in your busy, daily life.

It's like this: When a crime takes place and the police enter the scene, one of the first things they look for is a witness. A witness is not involved in the actual event; he or she just happens to see it. Therefore, a witness gives an objective, outside viewpoint. It adds a significant, unique perspective on the event.

This same principle is key to the self-reflective lifestyle. When you practice being the Witness you still go about your day, but you keep a small part of yourself detached. The Witness watches your interactions, your thought processes, your emotions - everything! - from an objective distance.

The Witness is non-judgmental, but the Witness does pay close attention to things. "Oh, I'm overeating right now. This is not about hunger - this is because I don't want to face my co-worker after that last conversation." That sort of thing.

I know a married couple who was discussing a difference of opinion. Things were heating up, faces were turning red and voices were getting raised. Suddenly the Witness kicked in and Paul said, "I'm not completely sucked into this argument yet. Are you?" This objective observation defused the situation and gave the couple a chance to breathe. The argument evaporated in laughter.

Paul witnessed his reactive process and where he was in it (almost completely sucked in, but not quite!) Just like Paul, when we detach a little bit to observe what's going on with our thoughts and corresponding emotions, we weaken their power.

Watch your thoughts, emotions and behaviors with interest but without fault-finding. Awareness is half the battle but, if your inner observer becomes an inner critic, you'll sabotage your efforts. Be like an objective journalist, just watching and recording - not judging.

Try the practice of being the Witness as you go about your day. You'll be surprised with what you learn, and how much it helps you to be in charge of - rather than at the mercy of - your life.

Jinnae Anderson has been teaching Yoga and Meditation for twenty-five years. She teaches online courses that are rooted in the ancient wisdom of the east and that address modern-day stresses, such as anxiety, weight issues, and insomnia. Including downloadable guided relaxations and yoga postures routines, these sessions provide you with deeply helpful tools and techniques for surviving - and thriving - in this big old world.

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