Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What The Butterfly Effect Can Teach You About Stepping Outside Your Bubble

Mind Mapping
Mind Mapping (Photo credit: sirwiseowl)
By Jamie D Alexander

Are you struggling to come up with innovative new ideas to help make your business more successful? Maybe you've exhausted all your options and are about to give up. If it's at that stage there doesn't look like there's much hope.

But what if that was all to change? Imagine someone offered you the chance to travel around the world, stopping in every country you passed exploring the alien cultures, and finding new ideas in places you never knew existed. The opportunity would be too good to pass up.

How does your mind work?

One minute you could be sitting drinking coffee in New York, and the next minute on an airplane to Brazil. What would happen when you went for a coffee in Rio: how does your mind work? Would you think nothing of it, just sit there drinking your coffee, or would you think like a genius, picking up on the subtle differences between the coffee shops in New York and Rio? What works better? What doesn't work so well? How could you improve it?

After Brazil you set off again, but this time to Thailand. You didn't enjoy your experience on Copacabana beach. No matter how hard you tried to find a sun lounger, someone would always steal it. Here on Ao Nang beach, it's different. The setup they use works perfectly. You couldn't work out why it didn't work in Brazil. The solution was hidden inside your mind, impossible to find, but as soon as you seen it working in Thailand it became clear.

There is an infinite amount of ideas you could pick up if you traveled to every country in the world. Everybody you speak to will have completely different ideas because they've been brought up differently. The way things are run will be unique because they don't think the way you do.

You can never have too many ideas

If you're really creative, you could use those ideas to influence your own thinking. You don't have to copy the ideas. You can take all the best ones and disregard the duds. Take the ideas and combine them into something unique. Take an idea from a completely different industry and use it in your own, or just store the ideas in your mind for future use.

It's very important you experience a wide range of things you've never tried before, especially if you're an entrepreneur because those new ideas could change your life. You must never stop topping up your mind with idea fuel for your next stroke of genius.

One special idea

Everyone has an unlimited potential to come up with new ides. I believe out of all those ideas, each of us will come up with at least one special idea. An idea that could change your life forever. One that you'll only find if you keep searching in areas you least expect to find it - building a huge collection of ideas that will lay dormant in your mind until one day that big idea hits you.

Ideas are under your nose

The best part is, you don't need to travel around the world to explore new ideas. They are under your nose. Have you ever looked and wondered what great ideas are all around you right here, right now? I'm guessing you're so caught up in your own bubble you don't have a clue? You don't appreciate what you already have because you see it every day, but the thought of traveling the world excited you because it was different.

You could walk outside and it would take you five minutes to find someone who thinks differently from you. Who can look at the exact same thing and see it in a completely different light. And they can help you. It's time to burst your bubble, step outside and take in everything you can. There is no need to step on a plane - just go for a walk.

Ask yourself honestly if you'd be found guilty of:

- Ignoring someone because they are different from you
- Avoiding certain places/activities that don't interest you

Throw yourself in the mix

Everyone is different. The people you pass every day on the street, or you sit next to in the doctor's waiting room. The next time you're sitting next to someone on the bus, speak to them. You never know what ideas they'll spark inside you.

It's the same with businesses. Do you know why they're so successful? What about the things they do wrong? Speak to them - find out. Make a point of going in and starting a conversation. Ask them why they're doing well and they'll be happy to tell you - to gloat, in a nice way of course.

It's hard to come up with new ideas if you can only base them on the things you already know. If you live in a bubble your whole life you won't have enough experiences to generate new ideas from, no matter how creative you are.

The butterfly effect

It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world - Chaos Theory
An idea is like a little ball of energy, much like the energy created when a butterfly flaps its wings. You can't feel it. It's so small you don't know it exists. When you step out the bubble and experience new things, talk to new people, it will cause a ripple effect and that small ball of energy will gain momentum and build in size.

At some point in the future, that little ball of energy will become a huge, powerful idea. So powerful it could cause a typhoon halfway around the world. This could happen soon, or it could happen after years of exploring for new ideas. When it finally happens, this is your big idea - the one you've been looking for. The one that will change your life.

Take the plunge

For the next week, try experiencing new things and talking to new people. Start a new hobby you've always wanted to try but have put off for years. Try talking to some young punk and asking what they think of an idea you have.

Open yourself up to the possibility of finding new ideas everywhere you go. Become more aware of the word you live in. You don't have to leave the country, remember, it's right in front of you when you're ready to step outside the bubble.

Seek ideas and they will find you.

Drop by Flicker Of Genius where Jamie Alexander helps thousands of entrepreneurs increase their creative ability and build successful businesses. He is also the author of Lucid Dreaming: Exploring the Mysterious World of Imagination.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Schedule Time Every Day To Carry Out Your Goal Specific Priorities

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 16:  Sage Robbins...
Sage Robbins and motivational speaker Tony Robbins (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
By A Horton

We are nearing the middle of the year. How are you doing with the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year?

Remember what Anthony Robbins said, "We often overestimate what we can achieve in a year and significantly underestimate all we can achieve in a decade". If you are not achieving all the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year, it is most certainly not time to give up, it is time to take a longer term view of your goals.

Keep chipping away every day, stay focused, review the actions you are taking, are they delivering the results you want? If not then have the courage to revise and improve your daily actions and routines.

You are most certainly not alone, if you are feeling a little disappointed about your results to date. Turning goal setting into goal achieving is an art and the result of developing a success habit set, which supports your goal achieving endeavours.

If your daily actions and routines do not support you on your journey towards achieving any goal, you will continue to spin your wheels and remain frustrated with your progress, come the end of the year. I want to give you a few crucial tips, which will help you to develop a new success habit set that will support your efforts towards achieving some or all of your goals this year.

The first thing you need to learn is to win the war against is urgency. If you are spending most of your day chasing after your own tail, unable to focus on your priorities, it is impossible for you to take the actions you need to take, towards achieving your goals.

Wrestle back control of your life today and introduce a new daily routine, where you plan your day the night before. This simple shift, will immediately empower you to control your day rather than, allowing your day to control you.

When you plan your day the night before, you wake up every day with a clear plan of what you will achieve and clearly defined time slots, when you will achieve it. When you are planning your day the night before, set aside time every day to work on your goal specific priorities. I call this time "Meetings with My future".

This small shift, where you create a new habit set, which forces you to plan your day and schedule time to carry out your goal priorities for the day, will equip you for success.

When you are living in a modality of constant overwhelm and urgency, you are constantly distracted. Your attention is focused on putting fires out, instead of carrying out goal achievement activities.

Your challenge and the reason you have reached the middle of the year, having achieved very little, in terms of your goals is not due to time starvation, it is simply that you have not scheduled time in your day to carry out your priorities. You are in essence allowing what appear to be urgent tasks, to crowd out your goal priorities, because you are not in control of your time.

Yes, we do encounter deadlines and fires we need to put out on occasion. But if fires and crisis are the norm in your life, it is time to assess how you are running things in your life and business. Are you so lost in the wormhole of crisis management that you have lost sight of the big picture?

If this is how you feel, it is most certainly time for you to take a four day break, as soon as possible to re-assess, how you are doing things. When you wrestle back control and your routines and your habits support your success. You empower yourself to be the steward of your day and you ensure that you schedule time for and you carry out your goal specific priorities every day.

Urgent things will still beg for your attention, time and energy, but you will have the understanding that although your goal achievement activities do not make the same strict demands on you. They are crucial to our success and must be given, the priority they deserve every day. If you keep doing things the way you have done them in the past, you will most certainly, keep getting the same results.

If you want to see better results towards achieving your goals by the end of the year, then immediately stop allowing urgent tasks to stop you from carrying out your daily goal priorities. The challenge you face is that your goal specific priorities do not place such strict demands on you, so you assign them a lower priority every day.

As long as you continue to allocate a low priority toward carrying out your goal specific priorities each day, you will continue to blunder through life, never achieving any of your goals and dreams.

Make the crucial decision today that you will no longer put your crucial goal achieving priorities on the backburner. Those import issues, which demand your immediate attention, are in most cases, not your urgent issues, but someone else's urgent issue and can in most cases wait for an hour, while you "Meet Your Future" and carry out your goal specific priorities.

When you adopt this new daily routine or habit of carrying out your goal specific priorities every day, during your "Meeting With Your Future", you will astound yourself with how many of your goals you will manage to achieve before the end of this year.

If you had an urgent matter come up at the office, but you had a meeting with your most important client. You would in most cases, unless it was a life and death matter, still make the meeting wouldn't you?

Then why do you constantly cancel or postpone, a far more important meeting every day, namely the time you set aside to transform your life or rather to carry out your goal specific activities, at the drop of a hat? Take back control and do not allow anything short of a life and death situation to allow you to cancel a "Meeting With Your Future".

Free yourself from the tyranny of bending to the will of those, urgent tasks. You are in charge of your future, stop acting like an absenteeism landlord over how things will turn out and actually carry out your goal specific priorities every day.

Hi my name is Andrew Horton; I am an inspirational Speaker, Master Teacher, Radio and TV Host, Global Traveler and Author. My area of focus is in the field of human behavior, expanded awareness and enlightenment. I travel the planet constantly researching, learning and seeking ways to unlock the mysteries of the human mind.

I delve into the inner workings of the universe, always looking for ways to understand my role in making things better and contributing to the improvement of the human experience. Please visit my website to sign up for a daily inspirational message, by following this link Daily Inspirational Message. This is your daily call to action, a reminder to do things better each day. Visit my website at

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Most Human Art: Ten Reasons Why We’ll Always Need a Good Story

Italo Calvino, Austrian State Prize for Europe...
Italo Calvino, Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 1976 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Scott Russell Sanders, from The Georgia Review, on UTNE Reader: The Best of the Alternative Press:

We have been telling stories to one another for a long time, perhaps for as long as we have been using language, and we have been using language, I suspect, for as long as we have been human.

In all its guises, from words spoken and written to pictures and musical notes and mathematical symbols, language is our distinguishing gift, our hallmark as a species.

Second, stories create community. They link teller to listeners, and listeners to one another. This is obviously so when speaker and audience share the same space, as humans have done for all but the last few centuries of our million-year history; but it is equally if less obviously so in our literate age, when we encounter more of our stories in solitude, on page or screen.

When two people discover they have both read Don Quixote, they immediately share a piece of history and become thereby less strange to one another.

The strongest bonds are formed by sacred stories, which unite entire peoples. Thus Jews rehearse the events of Passover; Christians tell of a miraculous birth and death and resurrection; Buddhists tell of Gautama meditating beneath a tree.

As we know only too well, sacred stories may also divide the world between those who are inside the circle and those who are outside, a division that has inspired pogroms and inquisitions and wars.

There is danger in story, as in any great force. If the tales that captivate us are silly or deceitful, like most of those offered by television and advertising, they waste our time and warp our desires. If they are cruel, they make us callous.

If they are false and bullying, instead of drawing us into a thoughtful community they may lure us into an unthinking herd or, worst of all, into a crowd screaming for blood - in which case we need other, truer stories to renew our vision.

So The Diary of Anne Frank is an antidote to Mein Kampf. So Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man is an antidote to the paranoid yarns of the Ku Klux Klan. Just as stories may rescue us from loneliness, so, by speaking to us in private, they may rescue us from mobs.
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Inspirational Stories: Believe You Can Succeed and You Will!

Statue by Louis Laumen at the Melbourne Cricke...
Statue by Louis Laumen at the Melbourne Cricket Ground of Tom Wills umpiring the first recorded match of Australian rules football between Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar School on 7 August 1858. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Laurie Smale

A real champion

There's no doubt about it, you're a real champion' my school teacher and coach, Mr Wilson, would say with conviction. These encouraging words reinforced my belief that I was doing something extra special as captain of the under-nine Seaford State School Australian Rules Football team.

In spite of my size, I knew my strengths. When I got hold of the ball, no one could catch me. Like the wind, I'd run that ball to the goal square in a flash from anywhere on the field. The problem was, I was the world's worst kick and had no way of knowing where the ball might end up once it left my boot. I countered this tendency to 'spray' the ball by striving to kick my goals a foot away from the goal posts - or setting someone else up to kick them for me.

No one seemed to notice this serious shortcoming because I kept getting the scores on the board. In their eyes I was a genuine champion. I fervently shared their belief.

A second-rate player

But with David Stelling on the soccer field, it was a different story. He was resigned to the fact that he was a rotten kick and he knew that everyone else felt the same way about him too. No matter how hard he tried, the ball just never seemed to go where he wanted it to. As a result he could only ever be a second-rate soccer player.

David recalls the day he was sitting on the bench as twelfth man in the inter-club semi-finals with little chance of playing in the match. At the end of a nail-biting second half, both teams were tied with two points each. This called for a penalty shoot-out of an alternate 5 kicks each team. The pressure was such that despite superhuman efforts from both sides, no one could break through.

Forced to turn to the dregs

As a winner must be established in a finals match, the five-kick penalty shoot-out had to be repeated. What's more, the same player can't have two goes in the one sequence so, as David put it, 'They were forced to turn to the dregs.'

It was with a pounding heart that he walked on to the pitch as the team's last-ditch effort. All eyes were on him as he ran in to kick the ball. The thought ran through his head, 'You watch me botch this.' And true to form, his toe dug deep into the turf just as he connected with the ball.

Expecting an explosive attempt to breach his defence, the goalie was already spread- eagled to block it. But the ball had other ideas. It lazily skewered sideways and, to the utter amazement of everybody, dribbled past the desperate clutches of the defender and into the net.

A match-winning hero

The crowd went absolutely beserk and David was chaired off the field as a match-winning hero, his wobbly kicks of the past instantly forgotten. In their eyes, this penalty shot was one for the history books. A master stroke of sheer genius - and they never let him forget it.

David Stelling now had a fine reputation to live up to. He was a champion kick and a semi-finals winner! The following year, not only did he captain the team to success, he also won the club's Best and Fairest award.

David learnt two things from this experience: you don't have to be the best to be a winner, and you most certainly are what you believe you are.

Laurie Smale is an inspirational speaker, author and Master Speech coach. His ideas and inspirations on communicating effectiveness have changed the lives of thousands. Checkout his life-changing self-help products at The added bonus is that with all his products and coaching you get Laurie as your personal email coach for life!

Copyright - Laurie Smale. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Deal With Stress in a Positive Way

The Japanese Peace Bell and its pagoda at Unit...
The Japanese Peace Bell and its pagoda at United Nations Headquarters, New York City. Photograph credit: Dragonbite. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Melanie Brooks, Freelance Switch:

I’ve got a lot going on in my life right now. I’m on deadline for our biggest magazine issue of the year, grades are due for the college class I teach, I’m in two weddings this summer, my husband is interviewing for a new job, we may have to move for husband’s new job, and we’re expecting our first child at the end of July.

Oh, and my house is a mess, my lawn needs to be mowed, and I don’t have a free weekend off until the baby arrives.

Does your life sound anything like mine? I bet, for many of you, it does.

Summertime is supposed to be fun, leisurely, carefree. But every time I flip the calendar page on May, my life turns to chaos. There is so much going on during the warm summer months that it’s hard to do it all. And even when you do say no, it’s easy to get stressed out. And boy, am I stressed out right now!

Stress in vast quantities and for long periods of time is not good for our bodies or our minds. That’s why, even though I have so much stuff to do, I’m taking a week off in June for vacation. I have to. If I don’t, I know myself - I’ll get sick.

But what do you do when you can’t take a vacation right away and a day at the spa is just too expensive? Here are some tips on how to relax to keep yourself on track and on task:

Do Nothing, Literally

I mean it. Even if you have 10 minutes to spare in your otherwise hectic day, do nothing. Close the door to your office, turn away from your computer screen, shut your eyes, and just breathe. If you can, and it’s a nice day out, go outside and sit (or lay) in the grass for a little bit. This change of scenery can recharge you more than you know.

Stuck in traffic or waiting for the subway? Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths instead of catching up with Words With Friends on your iPhone. Unplug yourself, even if it’s just for a few moments, and be calm. Put some relaxing music on your smartphone or iPod - I prefer classical music or something instrumental without words - and pop on your headphones.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Building Inner Confidence With Mentoring

Public speaking
Public speaking (Photo credit: brainpop_uk)
By Lesley Wai

Building inner confidence is a life long journey.

When I was growing up in New Zealand I hid behind my mother's dress when strangers came into the house. I can still hear her words children should be seen and not heard.

At school I would hide behind another student so the teacher could not see me. When authority figures asked me a question I would go bright red. My mind would go completely blank and the words would not come out of my mouth.

On rare occasions however I did manage to pluck up the courage to share my opinion. I still hear the laughter of the crowd on how ridiculous my suggestion was. One day an inner voice said to me to go to Perth and find your meaning in life. In Perth I came across group work and learnt about sharing in a non judgemental manner.

A funny thing happened with group work. When I was willing to speak about my thoughts and feelings I found others were willing to do the same. I discovered that what I had to share was of value to others and they also appreciated my feedback on them.

I felt an automatic lift in confidence each time we met and shared our thoughts and feelings on certain topics. Slowly over time my belief in myself and my abilities grew in strength and a new habit pattern was formed.

As my inner trust and security in myself strengthened I got another revelation. It did not matter what other people thought of me. It mattered more what I thought about myself.

I realised through techniques that I had to own the problem if I got emotional in any situation. When I procrastinated I would ask my inner voice for help. After participating in a number of courses I decided I would like to present them myself.

My next revelation came with public speaking. People experienced in public speaking could see that I had a genuine desire to learn. Because they saw my genuine desire to learn they had a genuine desire to help me.

Desire for action is the very essence of building confidence. Confidence building is synonymous with honesty. You cannot fake honesty because other people who are experts in their topic fields will not be fooled.

I still have chat sessions over coffee with people I originally started group work 20 years ago.

Sometimes I would brainstorm ideas with a mentor. I discovered many ways of clarifying my thoughts without realising that it was exactly what I was doing. I realised that if I wanted results my actions needed to be on the same path as my thoughts and feelings.

Nowadays I never leave home without my inner voice. I talk to myself all the time. And yes I am still shy. There are times I still push my husband to do things for me that I find a little awkward in doing.

The key with confidence building is the desire to take action. If you feel an obstacle is blocking you then look at different ways in which you could move pass the block. Find a mentor, self development course, or talk to your inner voice to help you grow your inner confidence.

How to build your inner confidence. Learn through mentoring, self develpment courses or talk to your inner voice. Look at different ways on how to create the desire to take action on your thoughts and feelings. For details see

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Don't Be a Slave to Habit - Part 2 of a 2 Part Series

Habits of Minds
Habits of Mind (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Miriam B Medina

In part 1 of this two-part series, we explored how we are all slaves to habit in one way or another. We obsess over time or hygiene or safety. Some habits, if not taken too far, aren't bad for us, they're even good for us, but some habits are bad for us, and, even worse, for those we love.

In this, part 2 of the 2 part series, we'll further explore some of these habits and examine how we can break bad habits and develop good ones.

People who have certain routines and who are not flexible are always in conflict with others who don't follow the same routine.

Some bad habits can be embarrassing, irritating, and nerve-racking, such as nail-biting, teeth grinding, not flushing the toilet, passing gas at the dinner table, picking your teeth after a meal, picking your nose and taking wax out of your ears with your finger, blowing your nose into a tissue and looking at it afterwards. These are all bad habits.

I once saw a man and woman lick their plate in a diner, it was utterly disgusting, finishing the meal like a dog does. A friend of mine had a habit of talking with her mouth full, food dribbling out so she had to wipe her mouth on her sleeve. Of course, after seeing this, my invitations to eat out with her were limited. Yuck, the list of bad habits can be endless.

Then you have those people who persist in continuing dangerous habits, such as those who perpetuate physical violence, such as men who are in the habit of bullying others or who physically attack their female counterparts.

There is a certain depth and intensity to their emotional disturbance. The rage they experience is a highly charged physical change, wherein the urge to dominate and control is visually exposed as their face reddens, as their nostrils and pupils dilate, and as they clench their teeth and fists.

The dangerous habit of physical abuse is the result of the abuser trying to appear powerful and intimidating by suppressing and belittling another individual's feelings of self-worth and independence. This power of control is the driving force that motivates the abuser.

They exercise the same habitual pattern of attacking those weaker than themselves, starting with emotional and verbal abuse, escalating their dominance to an absolute powerful expression of physical strength.

These individuals, those who participate in and continue this cycle of violence are in desperate need of psychological care in order to break the habit which they have programmed themselves into habitually following as a way of life.

In order to disrupt these often destructive, enslaving habit patterns, we need to develop productive habits that expand our intellectual horizons. This requires a critical reflection on those bad habits that we need to replace.

It is always easier to create good habits from the beginning than to undo bad habits once they are established. Bad habits never disappear miraculously. You have to find a way to undo them. Once you find a way to accomplish this, the good habits can only be successfully established by continuous repetition.

Any break in the routine, you will likely return to a less desirable habit, which may undo all the good effort that has been devoted to change. Habits of action are affected, but also deep-seated habits of thought are affected too. That is why we need to develop productive habits to replace the bad ones.

Since we have learned bad habits, we have to find a way to unlearn them. Habits become entrenched over time because of their repeated performance. So in order to break them, we have to develop a new behavioral pattern. This will weaken the old habit.

After doing this for a while, the new way becomes automatic. In order to be successful, one needs to have persistence and a step by step plan. You need to look at each habit with a critical eye and ask yourself "in what way will I benefit if I break this habit?"

Ask yourself if the bad habit will eventually hurt you if you keep doing it? This could refer to drinking alcohol, smoking, or even simply chewing your nails. Also, ask yourself if your habit is affecting others in a dangerous way.

IN ORDER to make changes to your habits, you need to debate all the pros and cons of making such a change. This should include the worst possible consequences and the best possible benefits of breaking the habit.

Then you have to decide whether or not you should continue those habits. This is a time where you need to be flexible. You have to want to change. You have to create some form of plan that will assist you if you really want to stop letting those bad habits enslave you.

Write a list of all the bad habits that you need to stop and the reasons why you should stop doing them. Create a log, where you can write down everything that is happening in regards to the bad habit, such as how often it occurs, when did it start, and what caused it to start.

What was going on when it started? Going through this self-analysis will help you monitor your habits and enable you to find a positive solution when it comes to replacing them.

Habits, good or bad, help make you who you are. Any effort you make to create a positive change will result in an improved quality of life. Free yourself from your bad habits, and a good life will follow!

Nothing good in life is easy, and breaking habits can be hard, but breaking bad habits are well worth the effort, they can enrich your life, in some cases lengthen your life, and make your life far more enjoyable. If you're going to be a slave to anything, you might as well be a slave to making your life the best that it can be, right?

Miriam B. Medina is a successful website administrator and writer. She is a strong woman with a Positive Mental Attitude who has overcome her bitter past to lead a better, more peaceful life. She invites you to share her worthwhile thoughts at:

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Don't Be A Slave To Habit - Part 1 of a 2 Part Series

250/365: Welcome to the Psych Ward: Obsessive-...
Welcome to the Psych Ward: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Photo credit: by Janine)
By Miriam B Medina

In part, 1 of this two-part series, we will examine how all of us are slaves to habit. In some cases, this can be a dreadful thing, especially if the habit is terrible for you or bad for those around you.

In part, 2, we'll discuss ways to break these habits, to improve your quality of life by improving your behavior and controlling your compulsions.

After all, in one way or another, we're all slaves to habit. Take me, for example. It's 4am again, my usual wake-up time. The dogs, the other two creatures of habit who share my abode, are whining and scratching my bedroom door ready to do their business. If I don't hurry up, there will be a mess to clean up, and I certainly don't want that. Their habit dictates my actions.

So I routinely get up and take them for their walk, hoping I don't run into anyone at that hour. Upon seeing me, both dogs go in circles of pleasure, running toward the door. Thank God, a few minutes later, the deed is finally done. Maybe I can sit down now and go on Facebook to see what's going on in the world while the coffee is brewing.

I always have an irresistible addiction of checking my Facebook whenever I am on the computer, even before I drink my coffee for the morning. I immediately log in, but don't see any messages or notifications, not even a single post from anyone. What? No Good Morning for me today? My self-esteem takes a dive.

I'm so used to getting a Good Morning from one of my friends on Facebook, as I'm in the habit of saying Good Night to everyone when I sign off of Facebook. Today, there were no responses. I'm devastated.

Is it time to unfriend a few people? Doesn't that sound like someone who has an addiction? For some reason, I don't feel loved, and I thought I was Miss Popularity. Boo Hoo. Oh well, there's a lot of sadness in this world. I'll just have to deal with it.

I'm wondering where my keyboard is. I'm sure it was here on my desk before I went to bed. AH! There it is, hanging off the desk, and the mouse too. My dog Buddy must have knocked it off my desk while sniffing for crumbs from the crackers I ate last night. He does that a lot.

It's 5am now. All the same I have two more hours to go on Facebook. Oh goody, maybe I'll still get one Good Morning from someone who values me as a friend before I start preparing to go to work.

My neighbor who lives above me has a grandfather clock. The gong can be heard every hour on the hour. Amazing how this clock is a creature of exact mechanical habit. To be habitual is to be at best an efficient machine, utterly unable to do anything except make the wheel go around, running one's life pattern along its own course of action, eventually leading to a loss of richness in experience, making life a mere repeated monotony.

After so many years, I am now used to the gong. At the moment I hear my neighbor moving about, to and from, zigzagging back and forth along the squeaking floors like the swinging pendulum in her clock. I find it very distracting. I am concentrating more on her habitual pattern than on what I am doing on Facebook.

It's precisely 5:45am now, there she goes, right on time, rushing down the wooden stairs in her high- heeled shoes, slamming the door as usual as she hurries through the five blocks between here and the 6:00am bus that goes to the Port Authority in Manhattan.

I say to myself, what if one of her heels should break (not that I am wishing it), then what? This lady is definitely a creature of habit. This would bring her day to a halt, temporarily shocking her pre-programmed mind.

After a short break to readjust, after going back to her apartment to find another pair of shoes, the ignition will spark, the wheels start whirling, and once again, she'll find herself moving along more quickly in an effort to catch the next bus.

She's a slave to habit as we all are, in bondage to that acquired behavioral pattern that we follow to the point of involuntary servitude. These habituations are mechanical and routine, and many of us do not wish to change them.

First and foremost, let me identify the word "habituations" which is the "reduction of psychological or behavioral response occurring when a specific stimulus occurs repeatedly."

To be honest, most of life is habitual. Habit is simply a thoughtless routine that we abide by on a daily basis. This includes the same things we did yesterday and the day before and the day before that and so forth, we continue these things today automatically.

For example, here are some routine habits many people share: getting ready to go to work, getting ready to go to bed at night or getting the kids off to school. When the kids come home from school, they might have a habit of throwing their jacket wherever it lands or leaving their shoes where others can fall over them.

Even many adults take their clothes off and drop them on the floor or on the sofa, leaving them there until the next day or when laundry day comes around. After taking a shower the wet towel gets tossed onto the bathroom counter, to become a decorative accent to the room until you clean the house because company is coming.

We are also creatures of habit at work, from the time we arrive we are in the habit of looking at the clock. We watch it and we are governed by it. We watch the clock for waiting for our coffee break to arrive, then we hurry back from our break, staring at the clock again, counting the minutes until lunch time. We hurry off to lunch only to watch the clock to make sure that we get back in time

Finally, after staring at the clock all day, the end of the day arrives and we rush to our cars so we can be the first one to get out of the parking lot. Of course we need to chat on our cell phones on the way out, free at last, no longer slave to work habits, now we are simply slaves to our own personal routine.

If these routines become a customary practice, it forms part of our character. Sometimes those habits may identify us as being neurotic. Most of us are not even aware we are doing certain things because we do it in a natural, consistent way.

Some people suffer from germaphobia, which is an irrational fear that overestimates the risk of being exposed to dangerous germs. Germaphobics are obsessed with cleanliness, forever washing their hands for fear of contamination. Cleanliness is a good thing.

Hand washing practices, if improved, would significantly reduce the possibility of infection. It's a sanitary practice, especially after using the bathroom and before handling food. But the Germaphobe will wash his or her hands until raw, still feeling as though they are not clean enough. They develop a cleaning ritual.

Individuals who follow this regimen are labeled OCD, which means they have obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD makes that individual's brain get stuck on a particular thought or urge. Just like taking a bath every day is a deeply ingrained American habit. A practice often blessed by public transportation riders during rush hour, especially when everyone is packed together like a can of sardines with no room to breathe.

Some individuals are in the habit of checking things before they leave the house. They repeatedly check anything connected with harm or danger. For example: they check the oven to make sure it's off, check the alarm to make sure it's working or check to make sure that the door is locked.

Then you have the individual who is so negative, they have developed a habit of always looking at the dark side of life. They easily cry when they are criticized or they are forever drowning in their sorrows, carrying a "woe is me" attitude, which can potentially damage any relationship they might have over a period of time.

Whereas the person with a positive mental attitude is always in the habit of looking at the bright side of life, distributing positive energies wherever they go. In part 2 of this 2 part series, we'll explore positive ways to break bad habits to improve your quality of life!

Miriam B. Medina is a successful website administrator and writer. She is a strong woman with a Positive Mental Attitude who has overcome her bitter past to lead a better, more peaceful life. She invites you to share her worthwhile thoughts at:

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Great Techniques For Goal Setting

By Mary Monica Moore

Goal setting is a powerful instrument to help you achieve phenomenal results. Using goals have helped me to create my dream career, catapulting me to success using a pretty distinct formula.

Write your goals out and post them where you see them daily. Goals are like a roadmap to check often while you are on a journey.

When you write your goals, be sure to include a realistic deadline. If I tried to write a goal to lose 40lbs by next week, I wouldn't even try because it would just seem too impossible. But if I changed the deadline so that my goal was to lose 40lbs by the end of four months, I would try, because that is a realistic deadline to me.

For someone else, four months is not nearly enough time, so their deadline would be different. Whatever is realistic to you is what you need to include in your goals.

Using detail is important in goal creation. I have a goal to have a 3000 square foot custom built beachfront home located in _____ with a large screened-in pool, jacuzzi, surrounded by beautiful gardens, fruit trees, etc. on ten acres ...

The difference between that goal and 'I own my dream home by the end of this year' is the amount of details I've included. When I look at my 'roadmap' the details of the goal become imprinted in my mind and my subconscious mind begins working to make it a reality.

So, write your goals and post them where you'll see them, use detail, and read your goals often.

Goal setting is a great thing to do if you want to advance in your career, or change careers. I truly believe that everyone should live up to their potential, and do what they love in a career.

I've used goals to help me change to my dream career, of public speaking and writing, while being a stay at home mom, with two babies. My goal was to create a home based business using my talents that would have flexible work hours, not require much of my time, and allow me to earn six figures.

I created that goal just months ago, and posted a piece of it to my laptop. Here I am a couple months later doing exactly what my goal is.

If you'd like help with your goals, I am a personal coach and creative career coach and would love to help you. Life is way too short to not be happy, doing what you love, earning what you want. Check out this free coaching video on how to get your DREAM CAREER using 7 key steps!

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Using Flowcharts With Goal Setting

By Mary Monica Moore

Have you ever noticed that the top big businesses use flowcharts? Flowcharts can help you to map out the steps to reach a goal. You can see the steps in a flowchart, allowing you to measure how far you've come and how far you have left to go.

Major car assembly lines use flowcharts to assemble pieces of an engine, just like Ford ... but a flowchart is a great visual tool to keep you on track to reaching your career goals.

When I draw up a flowchart, I start at the right hand side and draw a circle or bubble. Inside the circle, I write what my desired results are at the finish of the goal (an example is: Earn $125,000 per year in passive income from my online membership business/information product business).

Once I have my final flowchart bubble written out, I begin working backwards towards the left. The next bubbles I draw are the steps that come right before the end result. In this example, the steps just before the final result are:
- Generate sales for my e-book (that is one bubble that connects to the end)
- Generate sales from my online membership business (that is another bubble connected to my end goal) etc.

Just as I described with the examples above, I keep repeating that step moving towards the right, until I have the first step written (what I can start doing today or tomorrow). At that point, the flow chart is done.

A great use of the flowchart is to post it on a wall that you see daily so that it reminds you of where you are, how far you've come, and how far you have left to go. You can always add to the flowchart or take the old steps down that you've already accomplished.

An option that I like to add, particularly in the career/success type of flowchart, is another brightly colored piece of paper to the far right, at the end of the flowchart. On the piece of paper, write 'Rewards' and underneath that, write the rewards you'll receive for getting your desired outcome.

In my case, a reward could be: enjoy a hot fudge sundae, get a pedicure, or a really big reward for a really big goal would be take a two week vacation to Hawaii with my family. The rewards you choose and include should be desirable enough to propel you into forward action.

For a free coaching video on 7 steps to getting your dream career, check out

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Monday, May 7, 2012

10 Things To Consider Before Hiring A Life Coach

Mentor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Tracey Jenae

At various times in our lives, especially with all the turmoil and conflict going on in the world today, we might find ourselves at a crossroads where we need another objective opinion. This can lead us to considering using the services of what is called a life coach.

Working with the right coach can be a gratifying and enriching experience but there are several things you need to consider to make sure you find the right personal match for your needs.

1. Take a look at the personality of the individual you are considering hiring. Do they seem like a people person? What have others said about them? What areas are they coaching in and do they fit with what your goals and objectives are?

2. How much time are they willing to make available for your sessions? Of course you can't expect someone to be available at your beck and call, but they should at least have an hour or so per week to dedicate to your sessions. The exact times and scheduling will be discussed during your initial negotiations but it's important to consider the times being offered to you.

3. Can you afford their rates? It won't do you much good to knowingly form an agreement with a life coach you can only afford to pay once when you need a month or more of services. It's also unfair to the life coach who is making the commitment to invest time in helping you reach your goals.

4. Are you offered a variety of training methodologies? Will your coach be primarily working with you through telephone, Skype or email? How comfortable are you working with them in this way? It's important to get the details clear right up front.

5. Are you and your needs really being heard? Most of us can relate to what it feels like to be in the midst of sharing something very important (to us) with another person who gives us the, "Yeah, Yeah" response. This is definitely not the feeling you want from your life coach. Consider what you are reading about the coach on their websites or what you hear in direct conversations with them.

6. What resources does the coach have to assist you? Are there tools to help you take action or measure progress? Is there a clear path for you to take to help you gain clarity, focus on needs, or help you think through life decisions?

7. Think about what you want or need from the person you select as a life coach. Are you looking for someone to tell you what to do? If so, you need to re-think your decision to work with a life coach as their job is not to dictate your life for you.

8. How resourceful is the person you are selecting as a life coach? Life coaches should bring something to the table that allows you to think through many options and alternatives in order to help you best reach your desired goals. If they can't think their way outside of a box, you might need to keep looking.

9. Is your life coach flexible in terms of both their approach to situations and circumstances and in their coaching styles? Life is not a constant and changes rapidly. Your coach should be able to adjust their coaching methods based on what best helps you reach your objectives

10. Listen to yourself and trust your gut instincts. No matter what you read, see or hear, if something about the life coach you are considering just doesn't feel right, you need to pay attention

Tracey Jenae is an entrepreneur and writer of a variety of topics including health, wealth, love, fitness, life transformation, self-improvement, and information relating to living a life of financial freedom. You can read more about enhancing your life and relationships at

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Finding Your Passion and Purpose in Life Often Gets Sticky

Wallace D. Wattles
Wallace D. Wattles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Remy Chausse

There are three magical areas that work together to bring harmony to our lives. So when we're looking to fulfill our purpose in life, it's important that all these areas are aligned or we'll keep tripping through the process.

The first area to align is our energy (or emotions). The second area is our vision (this could be a past vision which is called a "story" or it could be a vision of the future). And the third area is our strategy.

If just ONE of these areas is lacking, we begin to stumble. If two of these areas falls apart, our life can become chaotic. We want the patterns to change, we want our life to go in a certain direction, but it simply won't "go".

As an example, let's say we have financial distress in our lives. We've become frustrated, and maybe at times depressed or even anxious. We begin to feel like a total loser, or like we're letting other people (or ourselves) down. And no matter what we try to do to correct the situation, no matter what strategies we attempt, it seems to keep getting worse.

Our energy may be frustration or depression. Our story may be that we're letting people down, and believe me, this could become a very lengthy story with lots of complicated details. And no matter how many strategies we try to implement, they fail.

Haven't you watched people go through this?

You could change your energy and become optimistic, but is that enough? As a natural-born optimist, I'd like to think so! But it won't be enough ... not if the story is complicated and self-defeating and dis-empowering.

Likewise, you could change your past story into a whole new vision, but is that enough? Not if your energy is still stuck in frustration.

And here's the kicker ... you could go to a new seminar or conference every month, trying every new strategy you can think of, and NONE of them will work if your energy and your vision aren't re-aligned.

You see, all three of these areas work together to bring harmony in our lives. That means you have to choose a positive energy, whether it's compassion, clarity or even certainty. You have to divorce your old story and create a compelling new vision. And this may take a lot of creativity and even more discipline!

But like Wallace Wattles said in "The Science of Getting Rich", you wear it mentally until what you want shows up physically. When you can master this, THEN your strategies will begin to work together.

But its human nature to keep working on the problem, instead of creating the future. And the funny thing is, the "problem" is merely an illusion that is there to help you evolve. Now that you know this magical formula, I'm hoping it will make your journey to finding your passion and purpose in life much easier!

What I've noticed is how easy it is to become addicted to a story. You have plot lines, main characters, a full orchestra, back stories, secondary characters ... and as REAL as the story may seem (and it may be 100% factual!), you can begin to slowly disintegrate into a downward spiral as you continue to repeat the story in your head, and keep focusing attention on this perceived problem. This addiction to your story keeps you stuck.

So one of my favorite tips for getting unstuck is rip your story to shreds. Break the addiction. Sit down and write a brand new story, envision a new story in your imagination, or even play out your new story as you pretend to be in your new life for just one hour a day.

Persist with this until the new story monopolizes your thoughts. Fill your story with positive energy and emotions, and really get this mastered! Then your strategies will begin to work like magic. Because until you can master all three areas simultaneously, no life strategy in the world will work.

Remy Chausse is the bestselling author of "Living Life As An Exclamation Point!" She's one of the leading experts in optimism, and believes, "We all have at least one true passion in life ... but more than that, we have a legacy. We weren't put on this earth to struggle or just survive. We were put here to express our one unique strength, and that uniqueness IS our legacy."

Remy helps you unleash the vision within, and bring your legacy to life through workshops, custom designed challenges, and free seminars such as "Create Your Big, Juicy Vision!

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Self Help Books - The Benefits

Cover of "Think & Grow Rich"
Cover of Think & Grow Rich
By Graham McLusky

Despite the opinionated Doomsayers who have hardly anything good to say about Self Help Books, the self-help publishing industry is worth over 1 billion pounds each year ... regardless of this fact.

Self-help books are also known as "self-improvement" books, a term that is the modern naming of the term 'self-help'.

I for one am a great advocate of Self Help Books. I have quite a collection. I have read pretty much all of them and some of them several times over. They are full of yellow highlights and notes now, outlining thoughts which mean a lot to me.

They have seen me through some upsetting times, giving me inspiration and have helped me meet challenges head on.

They can help you get to grips with your most provoking of problems, help you improve your relationships, work on your problematic love life and business, keep you on track and fully focused, motivate, challenge you to do better things, help you move out of comfort zones, instruct you how not to procrastinate, help you deal with stress, certain illnesses, teen angst, anger management, body language, confidence ... and the list goes on.

Several of the books I have read over the years were written a very long time ago, 'The Magic Of Thinking Big', 'Think and Grow Rich' for instance. Lots of people, some highly successful people (even me) have stated that these two books alone have dramatically improved their life.

There are of course many people who say that they would never need a Self Help Book and wouldn't be seen near one. Some of these people could be absolutely right but I am willing to bet that even the most successful of us have, at some point or another, read at least one book.

These are some of the books I have on my shelves:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen Covey
The Magic of Thinking Big - David Schwartz
Wink - Roger Hamilton
The Greatest Salesman in the World - Og Mandino
Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill
As a Man Thinketh - James Allen
How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
Who Moved My Cheese - Spencer Johnson
Polar Bear Pirates - Adrian Webster

To recommend and buy:

The Strangest Secret - Earl Nightingale
Rich Dad Poor Dad - Robert Kiyosaki
Cashflow Quadrant - Robert Kiyosaki
Awaken the Giant Within - Anthony Robbins

During the earlier years of the 20th Century, Self Help Books fell into a niche category but later on they became more valued and popular generally. In the past 50 years or so, the most unread of Self Help Books has become culturally important, a fact which is now reluctantly admitted by the doomsayers! Some of the most hardened of critics would say that despite any disbelief in these books, we can't dismiss them completely.

Electronic Books (Ebooks)

With modern technology, the Ebook has become probably one of the most popular methods of marketing and publishing books. Self publishing has never been easier. On the other hand, finding and buying a book has never been a difficult task.

The Ebook comes in different guises and is designed to be read in different ways. With the advent of the 'Tablet' and 'Kindle' as we all know them, locating and reading an Ebook is now incredibly simple ... and quite inexpensive too.

Some other types of Ebook are simply the subject wrapped up in a PDF file which can be simply read on a tablet or a laptop. Ebooks, especially Self Help ones are available from so many different sources, it becomes quite a headache comparing and choosing.

I have been operating a couple of Self Help Ebook web sites over the years, which sell a wide range of inexpensive books and are obtained by a simple download after the purchase stage. I write some of them myself and others I have been recommended or researched.

I make Ebooks available to my Customers to progress them with their learning. These books tend to withstand the test of time and have helped open up new ways of thinking, doing, working, loving etc. They are a valuable asset to ones' virtual book shelves.

Self-help books often concentrate on romance, for people who are experiencing problems with divorce, marriage breakdowns, girl and boyfriends, etc. However there are hundreds more out there, covering an enormous range of subjects. I even have some on Fly Fishing, Cat Care and would you believe it ... Candle making!

But seriously ... Self Help Books often publicise themselves as being able to fill the reader with self-awareness and performance, including contentment with life in general. They often say that they may be able to help you achieve this more quickly than with standard therapies.

This is of course up to the reader to decide. If, when having read a Self Help Book, you feel that it has helped and given you a new target in life, increased your confidence, built a better relationship ... or whatever you set out to achieve ... then the book was worth every penny.

The Hon Graham J. McLusky is an author of self help articles and books. He operates self help internet ebook websites: and He is also a University Lecturer.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Think In A Big Way

Italiano: Author, life coach, and motivational...
Author, life coach, and motivational speaker Tony Robbins. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Jay Forte

Big, not little. Large, not small. Life is grand. Or, it is supposed to be grand. It is not something we are to just "make it through." It is something to be celebrated each day - something to make the most of.

I love to listen to Loretta Laroche great speaker who uses humor to remind us that each day we should be focused on loving our lives. She used to wonder why we save our china for when company comes over, or to stay out of rooms that had just been cleaned. Isn't every dinner worthy of china? Isn't every person worthy of living in a clean room?

Marcus Buckingham of the Gallup Organization shares that 65% of employees do just enough at work not to be fired; their performance is average - small. In his analysis, only 18% of employees show up ready and willing to do great things at work. Why do so few people choose to do their best - and then some - at work?

I think it has a lot to do with the way we each choose to live. Sure, there are some jobs that just don't fit us and we don't bring our best. But more often than not, average work performance happens because we have chosen to do average life performance. We have chosen to let others make our decisions for us, give up on dreams and do just enough to get by.

So what does it take to wake up and remember that life is not a dress rehearsal - and that everyday counts, matters and is there for us to make it extraordinary? It takes a commitment to think about your life in a big way. Here are some ideas to get you going:

1. Find your life hero

Find someone who inspires you to be all that you can be; someone who has chosen big over little, great over average. Learn about how they made this decision to never settle and accept mediocrity. Learn how they make their dreams a reality and how they deal with adversity and never lose their focus.

2. Define your dream

Imagine you have no restrictions, limitations or voices in your head (real or imagined) that tell you no - what is this dream? Focus on it, what your life will be like as you work towards it and how it will feel to achieve it. Journal about it. Talk to others about it. Create a picture of it and leave it constantly in view to help you stay focused on it - in good or tough times.

3. Get a buddy

Or a friend. And travel this road to greatness together. Each of you finds your hero, defines your dream and builds your daily plan to live life in an epic and large way. Hold each other accountable to stay in the big view of life; be there to support each other when either slides back to doing anything in an average way.

I think the greatest challenge in life is that so many people have been convinced it is acceptable to just get by in life - to do just enough. My own perspective is that nothing about life - the good or the bad times - is ever meant to be average. Each great time reminds of the majesty of life. Each bad time reminds us to learn, grow and to use tough times to improve and to remember what great times feel like.

I know life is not (always) a party - all good times. But I do believe that when we each choose to go for big, not little - large, not small - great, not average - each day is better. Better days help us love our lives, which encourages us to keep living in a big way. Living in a big way is how we improve our world.

Jay Forte,a business and motivational speaker, Greatness/Life Coach, and author, is a nationally ranked Thought Leader and President of Humanetrics. Jay guides organizations in how to attract, hire and retain today's best talent and coaches individuals in how to reconnect to their talents and passions to achieve personal and professional greatness. See his books, tools, blogs and articles at

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Comfort Zones - Habits and Self Improvement

Comfort Zone
Comfort Zone (Photo credit: Robin Hutton)
By Patricia M Hines

A comfort zone is a situation or a place in which a person feels comfortable and safe, secure and at ease with no stress. It is also the temperature and humidity level at which most people feel comfortable.

Different aspects of our lives have different zones. For example, we have work, social, family, healthcare, and recreational zones.

Many people cling to their comfort zone and carry it with them as a child clutches a security blanket.
In reality, a comfort zone is a set of constricting habits that surround us in a zone of presumed comfort. These habits, attitudes, routines, customs or frames of mind often hold us back well below what we are capable of being.

Through our sub-conscious, they shape what we think we can and cannot do. They control what we cannot bring ourselves to experience. We are in a rut as long as these habits and customs form our second nature. A persons comfort zone creates a large part of their personality.

Where do comfort zones come from? Our experience is inside our mother's womb, it then expands to the comfort of our parents arms. As we grow our zones expand and change. As a young child, we are always pushing the boundaries to explore more and more.

Examples of people clinging to their comfort zones are statements such as: we always do it this way, this is the way my mother did it - it was good enough for her - so it is good enough for me. This type of thinking prevents a person from reaping the rewards of experiencing reaching new and successful goals.

However, we often cling to many of the restrictions and ways of thinking that worked for us as a youngster long after they serve a useful purpose. When this happens what was once a loving zone becomes a constricting, irritating, and controlling force in our lives.

Primarily mental conditioning creates our sense of security. Therefore, we are able to change, change and restructure at will.

Unfortunately, like inertia, a person attached to their comfort zone in one or more aspects of their lives; tend to stay within that zone without stepping outside. These boundaries create a false sense of security.

Successful people routinely step out to reach their goals. They allow themselves to experience new and different behaviors and embrace the new, varied responses. Self-development occurs when new vistas open. In time, new habits and goals create a new expanded comfort zone.

Comfort zones are places within which a person operates in an anxiety free state. This space allows a person to perform at a steady level without a sense of risk.Accept risk and take action to meet new goals, make new habits, and achieve personal growth and personal development.

Patricia M. Hines invites you to visit her blog at A blog documenting tips for success and well being.

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