Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Your Master Plan to Personal Success: Building Your Basic Guide

Keeping a diary supports personal developmentImage by m-c via FlickrBy Marc D Termine

We all want personal success so we can be happy and fulfilled individuals. But you need to clearly define what you need to do in order to attain your goals. This is where the master plan comes into play.

In that plan, you should outline the things you need to work on, set a deadline for each, name the people who can help you, and sundry things that will impact your success rate.

You might be sitting at your desk now with pen and paper on hand, or with a keyboard and mouse. Whichever instrument you prefer to jot down your ideas with, you might be asking yourself, "Okay, where do I begin. What do I write first?"

Don't overwhelm yourself by creating a very long and overly ambitious list. Start with five things to comprise a basic list and over time you can edit it, add to it and refine it to suit your needs and changing circumstances. Below are five examples of fundamental entries you can add to your plan.

1. Build self confidence

Every master plan for personal success should include building a healthy self confidence. Without confidence, you will find it hard to take on opportunities out of fear of failure, sense of inadequacy and hesitation to step out of your comfort zone.

Work on your confidence by taking stock of the things you've accomplished over the last few years. Don't judge yourself based on other people's standards. Don't dwell on the mess ups of the past. This isn't the time to criticize yourself; this is your opportunity for self-praise and to take pride in what you have achieved.

The purpose of this exercise is to learn to appreciate yourself and acknowledge that you are a person capable of doing good things. Once you have this very important baseline established, you can proceed to take on challenges.

2. Take care of your health

You can't achieve personal success if you're not in the best shape. Your basic master plan should include a proper fitness regimen and a healthy diet scheme. Incorporate regular exercise in your daily life - it can be something as simple as jogging in your neighborhood or joining a gym. Learn to make wise food choices - like instead of creamy soups, choose clear broths.

These little changes can translate to a lot of pounds and fat lost over time. Remember when we look good, we also feel good. This confidence boost spills into how we handle everyday matters, as we are less conscious of our physical shortcomings, and it's easier to focus on other matters.

3. Vow to try new things

Personal success involves having the enthusiasm to accept opportunities that come your way and coming out of your shell. No one was ever successful by sticking to the same old routine. Embrace variety!

Meet people, explore career options, see new places and get out of your own rut. You just might find the big break you've been looking for in that cocktail party you convinced yourself to attend but almost didn't out of shyness. Remember this old adage: nothing ventured, nothing gained. So fill that master plan with activities that, once upon a time, you did not dare even dream of doing!

4. Develop the habit of being early and when to strike when the iron is hot

There's a saying that goes, "The early bird catches the worm". Modern pop culture has turned that saying into "You snooze, you lose." But either way you put it, it all boils down to your having a "prepared" work ethic and sense of timing. Plenty of people attribute their personal success to not just arriving for appointments and completing tasks ahead of time, but also developing an uncanny way of knowing when to do things.

They know how to ascertain the right time to buy stock, approach the boss for a raise, purchase a big-ticket item, accept an offer, decline an offer and everything else that comes one's way that can prove to be a real life changer. If you want to be like those people, learn to respect deadlines, other people's times and develop your gut instinct to help you sharpen your sense of timing when opportunities come knocking on your door.

5. Overcome "stage fright"

Have you ever heard of a person with professional and personal success to hesitate to speak up and be heard? Of course not. No one can be successful if he is hesitant to share his ideas and inventions. For example, if you have an idea that could help save the company money, even if the idea might mean earning the ire of third party suppliers, go ahead and voice out your idea at the next company meeting.

You just might amaze your superiors and earn yourself recognition - the bosses might even privately earmark you for a promotion in the future. Just imagine how many great ideas in history were not implemented all because of stage fright. Don't let your ideas go to waste!

To help you conquer stage fright, attend some courses on public speaking. Add that to your master plan and include a list of potential schools and mentors that can help you with this goal.

When you know what you want to achieve, planning for the future becomes easier. To help you carry out the steps you've outlined for yourself, you must nurture yourself into becoming a health and well balanced individual. Make healthy living, a strong work ethic and positive thoughts your keys to achieving success. Good luck and enjoy each day as it comes!

Marc Termine knows the secrets behind personal success and the benefits that come with following a master plan to achieve it. Be the best you can be so you can inspire others!

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Monday, January 30, 2012

About Assertiveness Training

It's not that hard to say noImage by cheerfulmonk via FlickrBy Marie Glasheen

People have different personality types, and some people have a much more difficult time asserting themselves or putting forth their opinions than others.

Unfortunately, if you are one of those people who has a hard time asserting yourself, your career, personal life and relationships may suffer for it. If you find yourself in this situation, assertiveness training may be the answer.

What is Assertiveness Training?

Assertiveness training is a program in which you learn skills and techniques to express yourself, to put forth your opinion or to ask for what you need. Being assertive is not about being pushy or aggressive or rude. It is about knowing how to nicely and firmly make your needs and opinions known in a way that others will listen to and respect.

A good assertiveness training program recognizes this and teaches you both why you fear being assertive and how you can overcome that fear to take greater control of your life.

When you become more assertive through the help of assertiveness training, you can learn to speak up when others try to take advantage of you or treat you poorly. You can learn to ask for what you need in your personal relationships, or make yourself a bigger player at work by letting your bosses and co-workers know of your role and your accomplishments. You become a stronger person and the best version of yourself.

What Will You Learn in Assertiveness Training?

When you participate in an assertiveness training program, the first thing you may need to do is to take a good look at yourself in order to increase your self-awareness. You will learn to focus on the parts of yourself that you have not been fully expressing or the qualities and strength within you that have not come out. You will confront your fears and you will begin to learn how to manage, cope and overcome them in order to be more assertive.

You will also be given tools to understand what happened in past situations that have caused you to feel frustration or caused you to feel as if you weren't being heard. When your opinions are ignored or not taken into account, it can reinforce your feelings that you shouldn't speak up or that your opinion is not worth hearing.

Assertiveness training will help you recognize what happened in your past communications and why you weren't able to make your voice or wishes come across. By looking back at the past and exploring why and how you had problems asserting yourself, you can make different choices in the future to help you achieve a different result.

Finally, of course, you will be given the tools and the support you need to assert yourself more and to be more assertive going forward. You will be armed with the courage to make your opinion known and to stand behind that opinion in order to get what you need. You will also be given the tools and confidence to assert yourself in a nice way, so you can be assertive without alienating.

Assertiveness training can literally change your life if you let it- get started today on carving out a new path for your future.

Learn more about life coaching training at Satvatove.com.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Finding Your Purpose With Personal Development Books

Step Into Your Greatness by Les BrownImage by BetterBizIdeas via FlickrBy Ed Dreyfus

These days, materialistic desires seem to rule our world. So often, the focus is on what we have or don't have as opposed to what we do or who we are inside.

If you're one of the millions who find yourself gauging your worth by your material possessions and arbitrary titles as opposed to your true self-worth, you may benefit from personal development books. The best personal development books encourage you to look inside yourself for the answers to life's difficult questions.

If you find yourself struggling with finding your purpose in life, personal improvement books can help. Personal improvement books can assist you in discovering your self-worth without having it tied to material possessions. It's hard to find real happiness in the world today.

We think that in order to be truly happy, we must have the perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect car and so on. The best personal development books can help you to find success which starts within yourself, rather than on outside accomplishments.

What does it mean to base your success on your inner self rather than your outer life? Personal development books will tell you it's about taking control of your own life and learning to be happy without things and possessions. You can learn from personal improvement books that, no matter how much material worth you have, it can all be taken away in a second.

If you lose that high-paying job or that perfect wife, are you suddenly less of a person than you were before? With personal development books, you'll find the tools to begin basing your happiness on your personal value.

Maybe you're embarrassed to admit you need a little help in discovering your life's purpose. Maybe you think therapy is a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. That's what's so great about personal development books - you can enjoy them in the privacy of your own home with no one the wiser.

Although even the best personal development books can't take the place of speaking with a qualified therapist for serious emotional problems, they can offer solid guidance and help you develop a positive self-image. You can become a better, happier, well-adjusted person, and personal improvement books can help.

If you've been having trouble being satisfied with your life and are struggling to define yourself, try reading some personal development books. The best personal development books can help differentiate between the things you can control in life and the things you can't, helping you to focus your time and efforts more effectively and avoid unhealthy heartaches.

Dr. Edward Dreyfus is a practicing clinical psychologist, sex therapist, relationship counselor & life coach who has written several books and published many articles. Learn how he can help you maximize your potential and achieve your goals by visiting his website at http://www.docdreyfus.com.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Getting Past the "Am-I-Enough" Syndrome

Deutsch: Blick auf das Südufer des malerischen...Image via WikipediaBy Gwen Thibeaux

I once received the following question: What advice do you have for people who might be struggling because they don't feel like they are "enough?"

What a great question, right? So why was I squirming a bit, feeling a little uncomfortable? Because I know firsthand what that struggle looks like! I was feeling a little uneasy because I know that to effectively respond to this question I have to become transparent about my own struggles.

The transparency part doesn't really bother me so much as the reminder of a struggle that I still wrestle with at various times in my life. In fact, when asked to serve on a particular panel, I was hit with the "am I enough" syndrome. I took one look at the other very successful panelists, each an expert in their given field or industry, and I questioned whether I should be counted among them.

How many times have you backed away from an opportunity because you told yourself you were not enough?

I will admit that I have done this, more times than I care to remember. And I know I'm not alone. Fear is certainly the blame here. The fear of not measuring up to others' expectations. The fear of failure. The fear of success. Fear tells us all the reasons were are not enough; all the reasons we are not equipped to do what we are purposed or called to do. But we must surrender the fear.

It is very crippling to limit yourself based on such feelings; feelings that should not dictate the course you take or the opportunities you seize. Feelings are just a response to situations or circumstances. You don't have to give in to limiting beliefs (or feelings) about yourself or about your potential. You have to have confidence in who you are, based on your own set measuring stick!

I am enough! I am enough because I am walking in my own personal greatness. I am working with what I have, and I am moving forward no matter the obstacles; no matter the mindset struggles either. I am enough because it is not based on someone else's achievements or someone else's idea of success. And you, too, are enough!

So what is my advice?

In order to move past the struggle with the "am I enough?" syndrome, you must:
  • Understand that your gifts and talents are unique to you; that what you have to offer is significant. Don't belittle what you have.
  • Define your own measure of success. It should not be contingent on what others consider as success.
  • Don't be afraid to accept opportunities that stretch you outside your comfort zone. Stretch into the possibilities in spite of your fear.
  • Be willing to find and develop your own voice; find your own space. (Don't try to sound or be like anyone else. Be who you are and embrace that. It breeds authenticity.)
Gwen Thibeaux, known as the "Greatness Accountability Coach," is a motivational speaker, personal development trainer and author of the book, "Embracing the Greatness Within: A Journey of Purpose and Passion." (Book available online at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.) For more information about Gwen, visit http://www.gwenthibeaux.com

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Friday, January 27, 2012

10 Ways To Improve Performance

OrganisationOrganisation - Image by Sean MacEntee via FlickrBy Todd Durkin

Are you looking for ways to improve your performance? In this context, I am talking about your performance at work, at home, and with your health.

If you indeed are trying to improve your energy, productivity, and overall effectiveness, I have provided 10 sure-fire ways to maximize your overall performance.

* Focus, focus, focus

Sometimes it feels like we have a thousand "Things To Do" on the list and we rarely get any of them done. Sometimes you get so side-tracked with emails, phone calls, customer needs, etc. that by the time the end of the day rolls around, you realize you hardly got anything done. My encouragement to you is to CHOOSE 1 MUST DO for the day and commit to getting it done. Do it early in the day before you get side-tracked and commit to following it through until complete.

* Know your strengths

Focus on your strengths and know what you are good at. If you are not sure, perform a "S.W.O.T." (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis and jot down all your strengths. Concentrate on what you are good at, market your strengths, and continue to build upon your strengths.

* Improve your weaknesses

One of my mentors, pitching guru, Tom House says "you are as strong as your weakest link, and as efficient as your worst movement." So it is with business and life. What are your weaknesses? What can you do to improve your "game" and take it to the next level. Maybe it is character issues that need to be improved. Maybe it is an improved commitment to something important to you (health, family, business, spiritual health, etc). Decide on what you can improve upon and than commit to improving that area of your life.

* Surround yourself with "great" people

One of my coaches, Ali Brown, talks about surrounding yourself with a mindset of people that you want to be like. If you want to be wealthy, hang out with wealthy people. If you want to be spiritually strong, spend time with spiritually strong people. If you want to be a great athlete, train with great athletes and great coaches.

Whether you are part of a "Mastermind" Group to help accelerate your success or just surround yourself with motivated, success-driven people on an on-going basis, it is critical that you surround yourself with a "mindset" that is positive for your life. It will create an energy that is contagious and leads to great results.

* Prioritize your "Blue-Sky" time

One of my closest mentors and friends, Wayne Cotton, has an entire system on time management to help improve productivity and organization. "Blue Sky" time is going to give you designated time away from your business to work "on" your business and not "in" your business. This is critical for you to give you direction and focus and strategy.

I recommend getting 3 quality "Blue Sky" days per quarter but the more you get, the better. It will help drive "Green machine" (making money!) and help free up your time! Most of us don't get enough strategic time and end up always just reacting to whatever the day brings. This is inefficient and will not lead to maximum results.

* Get your "Mellow Yellow" time

God knows we all need more rest. Why do you feel so guilty when you actually get down time? It is actually recommended that you take at least one day off per week and that you partake in enjoyable activities and hobbies. How about scheduling some OFF time in your calendar or marking yourself out for 30 minutes in the day for doing something enjoyable (exercising, eating, taking a walk, etc.). Mellow Yellow time allows your mind to relax and recover and will re-energize and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.

* Improve Organization

It is that time of year for a good ole-fashioned spring cleaning. You can call it a Purge Party, spring cleaning, or whatever you want. But there is nothing better than the feeling of getting your life organized and cleaned out. Clean out your closets of all the junk you have been accumulating; clean out your files at work and at the home office; a clear mind produces clarity and allows you to think clearly.

If you are not great at organizing, hire an expert that will come into your home or office and help you organize. It will be well worth the investment and your productivity will soar. I have personally committed myself to clean my home office one hour every month. For some reason, my home office accumulates a lot of paper, piles, and junk.

I have committed to making sure that I take this "red-tape" time to get increased organization in this area of my life. You can't think big if you are surrounded in clutter. Commit to increasing your organization and there will be a direct correlation to your improved performance.

* Have a Direction

There is nothing like having a purpose. Everyone needs a plan. It is said that you must "plan your work and than work your plan." What is your plan? What is your purpose in life? What are you going to accomplish in 25 years? How about 5 years? Search for your purpose and direction and keep surrounding yourself with people that will help you realize your full potential.

* Improve your own Health

There is nothing more important than your health. What is the best thing you have done for your health recently? Have you been eating the way you should? Are you supplementing your nutrition with Omega 3's and fish oils, liquid vitamins, flaxseed, and greens? Have you been exercising consistently? Are you doing everything you can to reduce your stress levels? Have you received a massage lately or taken a yoga class? There is nothing more vital than your health and fitness. Commit to your success and you will experience more gratification in every area of your life.

* Hard-work & Enthusiasm

John Wooden talks about "hard work" and "enthusiasm" as cornerstones for success in his book, "Wooden: A Lifetime of Achievements On & Off the Court". There are no "secrets" to success. Hard-work is one of the most important aspects of achieving your goals. Couple that with enthusiasm and it creates an energy that becomes contagious. People like positive energy and are attracted to positive energy. Are you creating positive energy? Are you working hard? Listen to the legendary Coach Wooden and combine the cornerstones of success: hard-work & enthusiasm.

* Persistence

Most of us are facing some adversity in our life right now. Whether it be financial burden, debt, relationships failing, family stress, business ventures gone bad, employee or employer tension, worry about a failing market, or ill-health that is bringing you down, many of us have at least one thing in our life that we need to focus on overcoming. It is called toughness ... mental toughness.

We were never promised life was going to be easy and a piece of cake. Persistence is a key quality for success. Have a direction, set your goals and strategy and go for it. When adversity strikes, overcome it and conquer. Commit to your health in times of stress ... commit to dealing with the issue at hand ... and commit to working to get resolve in whatever issue is plaguing you ... Just don't let it rule your life.

All of these points are about trying to improve the balance in your life: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. If we stress ourselves more physically through exercise and spiritually through prayer, meditation, or quiet time AND we reduce our stresses both mentally and emotionally, your energy and productivity will soar.

Your ability to connect with your family, colleagues, teammates, and others will improve drastically. Your happiness will increase and you will feel better with where you are at today. Live in the moment and do the best you can today with whatever it is you are dealing with. Be positive, be compassionate, and always do your best.

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is the 2 Time Personal Trainer of the Year and trains dozens of high-profile athletes and celebrities. He owns and operates Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA. He conducts motivational programs, team-building events, and presents at conferences and workshops worldwide.

He has produced 16 DVD's and is currently writing his first book. You can sign up for his monthly informational, motivational 'TD Times' newsletter at http://www.ToddDurkin.com. He can be contacted at durkin@fitnessquest10.com with questions or comments regarding health & fitness topics.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

What Is Optimism? What Is Pessimism?

Is the glass half empty or half full? The pess...                              Image via WikipediaBy Canice Parker

What is optimism? Optimism is an act of positive thinking that provides a person with hope and confidence about the future.

What is Pessimism? Pessimism is an act of negative thinking patterns that cause a person to see and anticipate only bad or undesirable outcomes.

Are you an optimist? Are you a pessimist?

Hopefully, you are an optimistic person. Being optimistic over being pessimistic has its advantages in life. Optimistic people are more likely to live a more fulfilled, successful and healthier lifestyle than those people that are pessimistic.

Some folks would like to think that their upbringing ultimately will determine their outcome in life. Your upbringing does play a minor role but does not ultimately affect your overall life. As adults, we must reach a point in our lives to where we must draw a line in the sand. The line represents the will to succeed on one side and on the other side of the line, the personal choice to live mediocre.

We all have to make this decision one way or another. It does not matter what cards life has dealt you, your outlook or point of view on life will determine if you perceive life as good or bad. You could have been born with a "silver spoon" in your mouth and still be unsatisfied or unfulfilled if you are a pessimistic person.

Optimistic people tend to bring out the best in any type of circumstances that life may bring them be it good or bad. The vast majority of successful people are positive thinkers. Positive thinkers acknowledge the fact that optimism always towers over pessimism. You have the power and total control of your outlook in this life. Have you ever had a conservation with someone and although you stressed a certain point to them in that conversation, they only chose to hear what they wanted to hear?

Guess what, just like the person who chooses to hear what they want to hear; you can also choose what you want to see and believe. You ultimately choose your own reality. Every person is born with the freedom to choose. If you choose not to have full control over your attitude, it will definitely cost you.

Pessimistic people tend to let outside forces control their attitudes. When outside forces control your attitude, of course your attitude will wind up in the dumps. It's a vicious cycle that has to be put asunder.

If you want to start living a more positive and fulfilling life, you must indeed be an optimistic person. Optimistic people refuse to let their attitudes be affected by failure, rejection and/or socioeconomic circumstances. Today can and will be the start to a new beginning if you will allow it. Leave your past behind and begin your future. What happened prior to this current moment is irrelevant. Let's go out and expect nothing but the best. Let's be optimistic!

Canice Parker is the visionary and owner of the website Positive Point of View TV. Canice Parker is also the author and orchestrator of several self help guides, inspirational articles and quotes. Canice teaches and writes about positive thinking, motivation, self improvement, creative visualization, peace of mind, willpower and self discipline.

To find out more information on Canice and PPOV TV, please feel free to visit http://www.positivepointofview.com. Once there you will be united with a vast array of self help tools as well as free tools that will help you with some of the burdens that this current global economic recession may have placed upon you and your family. You may also directly view the Positive Point of View Television Show at http://ppovtv.com. May GOD Bless You! Have a fantastic day!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Always Go With What Is Right No Matter the Cost

President Bill Clinton with Nelson Mandela, Ju...Mandela in 1993 - Image via WikipediaBy Andrew J Batty

There is an old saying that states: "If you have integrity nothing else matters; If you don't have integrity nothing else matters".

This may seem to simplify matters but I believe that it is 100% true.

One man who epitomised integrity in what he believed was Nelson Mandela. As you may know, he was imprisoned in 1962 as a political prisoner because he stood up for his beliefs. What I find even more impressive is that in 1985, he refused a release from prison if he renounced his beliefs. After 23 years in prison, he still stood strong on what he believed was right. Now that is integrity.

In 1990, after 27 years in prison, Mandela was finally released but the story didn't end there. In 1993, he was jointly awarded the Nobel peace prize, and in 1994 he became the President of South Africa. Now that is a strong comeback.

I am not sure about you, but after 23 years of imprisonment for standing up for what I believed was right, I am sure the temptation would have been there to tell them what they wanted to hear, and walk out of prison to freedom.

Not every person will have to face prison for doing what they believe is right but it is still important to stand firm and keep your integrity. The reality is that we will all have our times when temptation will sneak up on us and try and convince us to forget our integrity even for a short while. One small slip can taint us for a life a lifetime and ruin the integrity that has been earned over a lifetime.

A number of years ago I worked for a small company that was owned by person that I had a good relationship with but he elected to sell the business to a large organisation. The transition went smoothly but unfortunately the large company was soon in financial trouble and receivers stepped in to run the business. When this occurred, the original owner decided he would buy his small section of the larger company back at a greatly reduced rate as it had now been run down and was struggling.

As the sale was in progress, the receiver, decided to fly me interstate to oversee the stocktake for all the goods that would be a part of the sale. This seemed a good task to undertake as I would be conducting this audit with my old boss who previously owned the company and we got on well. How wrong I was...

During the stocktake process, the purchaser, my old boss, began to encourage me to undercount the stock so he would pay a lot less for the business. He also let me know during the process that it would be a good career move for me as he would soon be my boss again. There was a proposition that was be hard to refuse.

Just to get things into perspective, I was getting married in two weeks, I had just taken out my first commitment on a lease for a property to live in after our marriage, and faced the prospect of being unemployed if I made the 'wrong' choice.

Decision Time

Looking back now it seems like a tough decision but at the time to be honest it wasn't hard at all. I knew what was the right thing to do ... and I did it. I counted the stock correctly, and as soon as the deal was completed, I found myself no longer required in the new organisation and my services were terminated. Most importantly, I maintained my integrity.

The gentleman from the receivers who had stepped in to oversee the sale of the business was aware of the situation and as I was leaving for the final time, he handed me his business card and said that when I went for another position, he was more than happy to act as a referee for me. That was nice but it certainly didn't put money in my bank to pay the bills.

After I came home from our honeymoon as an unemployed job seeker, I started applying for positions. In the first fortnight of sending out resumes, I received a call from an employer where I had sent an application but thought I would struggle to make the short list. He invited me in for an interview which seemed to go well.

As I departed, he informed me that I would hear from him within the next 10 days whether I had been successful. As I walked in the front door at home after the interview, the phone rang. It was the person who had conducted the interview, offering me the position and wanted me to start immediately.

The position had 50 percent higher salary than my previous position, and was 30 minutes travelling time closer to home. More money and more time to sleep-in ... what a win!

When I became established in the new position and had created a good rapport with the boss, I asked him about the recruitment process and the rapidity at which I was offered the role.

He related to me the phone conversation he had with me referee from the receiver and how he related the story of my honesty and integrity during the stocktake, and informed him that "he was crazy if he didn't employ me" and that "he would never find a better employee". I made sure I wrote to him and passed on my sincere thanks. My integrity had lost me one job, but ensured I got the new one.

In doing what was right, I didn't face years in prison like Nelson Mandella but there certainly was a short term price to pay. Does doing the right thing always turn out great for those who make the sacrifice? Absolutely Not! Sometimes it can have painful consequences for a long time. I have learnt that sometimes the price is high, but having integrity and peace of mind will help you to move to next level with a clean slate and ignite the fire to move forward.

For further insights in this area, I would recommend reading my book 'Born for This' and please feel free to leave me any comments. I read them all.

Live with Passion
Andrew Batty

Making a Difference: Andrew is author of Born for This and currently oversees his company, Competitive Greatness Training, which focuses on coaching, mentoring, motivating, and training people to tap into their true potential. Previously, he was a senior executive in a large organization.

After fifteen years in that role, he was not satisfied that he was not using all of his God-given talents and abilities. In operating his own business, Andrew is now doing what he was born to do, and is passionate about showing others the journey to do the same. On a daily basis, he now coaches and mentors people to live the life they were born for.

Clients include business owners, business professionals, university and school students starting on their life journey, the unemployed who feel that there is no way forward, and people who have gone through the correctional services system and want a new start. Andrew has also coached others at all levels of life to do the same. He has a wife and three children, and lives in Melbourne, Australia.

For further resources, or if you would like to make contact with Andrew, please go to http://www.andrewbatty.com

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Questions to Help You Rekindle Your Passion for Life

A Little HappinessImage via WikipediaBy Shirley D Rieger

When you're swamped with work or are just too busy in general, you often lose track of your true calling. If you live your life without knowing what your calling is or without aligning your career with that passion, you won't be able to achieve true happiness or have true passion for life.

To rediscover what your real calling or passion is, ask yourself one or more of the following questions. Answer them as honestly as possible, and don't be intimidated by them in any way. The more you delve into these questions wholeheartedly, the better the results of your soul searching will be. Go on, then, and give them a shot!

1. What is it that makes you smile?

Think about the things that you do that put a smile on your face, or help you relax. Whether it's reading a good book, writing poetry, or baking cookies, that something that never fails to make you smile no matter how stressed you are is a sign that you really have passion for life, and that serves as the key to achieving true happiness.

2. When does your creativity soar?

Your creativity only comes to life if you're feeling happy and inspired. Creativity isn't limited to arts such as painting or music - creativity can be applied to other tasks such as problem solving and project brainstorming too. To find true happiness and your passion for life, just look for that one thing that sets your creativity free.

3. What are you willing to do for free?

When you're doing what you love, you rarely ever think of money. If you're good at crafting fancy jewelry and you love doing it, sometimes you find yourself making pieces for your friends and family as presents, even if there's no occasion and even though you won't get anything in return.

Having real passion for life is about doing that something that you're willing to do without compensation because it makes you happy. Discovering that passion and converting it into something profitable will help you make money and achieve true happiness.

4. What do you like to talk about?

Ask your friends to help you figure this one out. What is it that you always talk about? If you keep going back to one particular topic no matter what the conversation is and who you're having it with, it's often a sign that topic has something to do with your passion for life.

5. What are you confident about?

When you're trying to revive your passion, you'll have complete confidence in your abilities. Find out that one thing that you do that makes you absolutely unafraid of failure, and you'll be well on your way to discovering your true passion and achieving true happiness.

Rediscovering your passion isn't very hard to do - just figure out what your true calling is by asking yourself the right questions, and answering them honestly. If you still can't figure it out, it always helps to seek the aid of friends and relatives who know you well!

Shirley Rieger has all the tips and advice you need to rediscover your passion for life. Visit her site to learn more!

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Monday, January 23, 2012

A Short Guide to Personal Improvement for Social Development

Mackay BeautyImage via WikipediaBy Shirley D Rieger

There are people out there who have a desire to make the world a better place, but just don't know where to start. Maybe you're even one of those people.

The good news is that people who seek personal improvement make a contribution to society as well. In fact, the best contribution you can make is to become a better person. The better a person you become, the more you will be able and willing to do a lot of good for the people in your environment.

Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? You can start by including these items in your priority list of things to improve.

1. Improve Your Professional Skills

If you want to make a contribution to society, improve your professional skills. A good teacher can create an entire generation of competent workers. A good engineer can construct roads that will benefit millions of people will use over the years. A good doctor can save many lives. Your professional skills should be a high priority in your personal improvement.

2. Expand Your Influence

An individual who has useful skills can make minor developments in his immediate environment. But an individual, who can convince individuals with useful skills to champion a cause, can change the world. If you can influence other people to make a contribution to society, you can make a major impact. When working on personal improvement, try to improve your interpersonal skills.

3. Start a Company

One problem that many societies encounter is the lack of available employment. You can make a contribution to society by starting your own company and making jobs with fair salaries available.

4. Lead by Example

Too many people have an opinion on how to improve society, but not enough people have the initiative to start. Include "initiative" in your personal improvement goals. Sometimes all it takes to make a major contribution to society is to start something positive on your own.

5. Improve Your Attention to Detail

Having a desire to contribute to society is much different from actually making a contribution. Unfortunately, a lot of good people only have a vague idea of what they should do to improve their society. They have goals such as "promote gender equality" or "protect the environment" but the details are nowhere to be found. When making your personal improvement goals, don't leave out attention to detail. The difference between a fiasco and a success are found in the details.

You can't underestimate the impact of individual actions to the progress of social development. Social culture is an accurate representation of the type of individuals living in that society. A person who has an opinion on how to make their community a better place for everyone is quite common.

Unfortunately, it's hard to find a person who has the initiative to seek self-improvement and make a personal contribution to society. Hopefully, more and more people become more willing to make a difference and make the world a better place to live in.

Good luck in all of your endeavors, and don't forget to relax every now and then!

Shirley Rieger can help you contribute to society by showing you different techniques that result in personal improvement. If you would like to know more, please visit this site.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Top 7 Ways to Develop Excellence in Your Life

Remise des prix carrière et excellenceImage by Mario Groleau via FlickrBy Robert Choat

I remember being intrigued by the logo of the Oakland Raiders decades ago. The silver and black colors radiated forth a symbolism of toughness.

The slogan stated something that will forever ring in me: "Commitment to Excellence." That one statement resonated in a way that each person should strive for. Be committed to excellence all the time. Perfection is not excellence, though they both seem the same.

No one can be perfect, but each person can be excellent. They can be their most excellent self. In each field of endeavor, there are many way to develop excellence. Getting to mastery should be a goal of becoming excellent in whatever you do.

Coach John Wooden stated that "Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable." I believe that this can also be a definition of becoming excellent. When you give your best effort each and every time, you can't help but reach higher levels of excellence.

Here is my top seven ways to developing excellence in your life.

1. Engage in sustained effort

Excellence can never be developed without effort. You can't simply sit around and believe that you will become excellent at anything. And it's not an academic study either. You have to work at getting there. Like Coach Wooden stated, you've got to give it your best effort.

2. Strive for mastery

It's been said that to master anything it takes about 10,000 hours. This was first discovered through research by K. Anders Ericsson and Bill Chase in 1982 and later made famous by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers: The Story of Success (2008). Ericsson had focused on pianists and stated that the 10,000 Hour Rule could be transformed into any area of life.

3. Be fully committed to excellence

Like any endeavor worth doing, it takes commitment. If you're not ready to commit, then you should do something else. You'll never reach any level of excellence or mastery without the commitment to do so.

4. Challenge yourself on a continued basis

Through challenges you will make mistakes. Those mistakes will enable you to learn and become better at what you do. Avoiding mistakes is the biggest mistake of all. Being challenged is what drives the Marines to do become the very best in combat engagement. It's also what drove Steven Jobs to make Apple, initially, the best integrated home computer system ever as well as other products developed later.

5. Be a lifelong learner

Excellence is never given to you. The top leaders continue to learn. Remember, learning comes in many forms, include experiential. Learn from others as well as both formal and informal education. That includes being a reader.

6. Set high standards for yourself

Determine what those are and strive to reach them. That includes who you surround yourself with. Like the saying, "birds of a feather flock together" so should you. When we surround ourselves with the highest quality people in our field of endeavor, you will start to become like them. This also pertains to what I said about challenges. These people will challenge you.

7. Know yourself

This is very important. If you don't know yourself and that includes your weaknesses as well as your strengths, you'll never reach any level of excellence. Become self-aware so that you will know what you need to help you reach the best you that you can be.

These are a few of my top ideas on excellence. Apply them into your own life and work each day at it. You will find that one day you will reach it.

Learning and growing in all aspects of living an optimal life is important. Finding the right experts is important for you to get to where you want to get to in life. Whether it's in health, confidence, a purposeful life or more ... build up your own ability in life from the kind of learning that will help you in different areas ... they can be in work, personal, relationships, leadership, fitness, nutrition, health or any area that will get you to a life of happiness and purpose.

Just go to optimallifeseminars.com for learning and more ... watch for upcoming events and seminars ... we'll also offer many different ways that you can learn ... you will learn strategies and tactics that will help you in so many ways ...

Bob Choat works as a Peak Performance Coach, Trainer, Professional Speaker, Author and co-owner of Optimal Life Seminars along with Dr. Lori Shemek, Ph.D. He is focused on people in every industry reach a higher level of performance in their lives.

Call 818-620-2494 or email: bobchoat@gmail.com for coaching/training
bobchoat.com

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Friday, January 20, 2012

The "Why, What and How" Fuels Your Motives

English: motives hierarchy public domainImage via WikipediaBy Gwen Thibeaux

I work with different groups who take part in my e-Greatness Mastery group program for 90 days. These groups typically have a common goal in which they are focusing on during the program, but I take them through a process that includes all facets of their being - mind, body and soul.

During a recent orientation session, I encouraged the group to name their why, what and how. I urged them to answer and consider the following:
  • WHY have they taken this first step to be more accountable and responsible for their intended outcomes?
  • WHAT are those intended outcomes and what will be their next steps? WHAT are they willing to do or sacrifice for their goals?
  • HOW will they use the tools and resources available to help with their goals? HOW will they stay motivated and determined?
The reason I take groups through this series of questions is because as they move forward in pursuit of their particular goals, not just during my program but beyond, they will hit a bump in the road. And when they hit that bump in the road, their motivation and determination will be tested. They may question whether they have the stamina or courage to keep going (that's the reality for all of us).

If we reflect on our why, what and how, we maintain focus and stay committed to our intended outcomes.

The "why, what and how" defines and determines our level of motivation! It fuels our intentions.

When we know our motives behind every action or step we take in our life, we allow ourselves to have a better perspective on what we really want. We give ourselves an opportunity to decide whether what we are pursuing is something we really want.

The next time you hit that bump in the road or you feel like giving up because the task is just too difficult, or because the challenges are just too great, stop and remind yourself of your why, what and how. If you are connected and committed to the goal, the "why, what and how" will refuel your efforts and inspire you to keep going no matter what!

What is your "WHY, WHAT and HOW?"

Whenever you start to lose focus or get distracted by your current circumstances, remind yourself of why you have chosen the path you are on; remind yourself of your why, what and how. When you can step back, pause and reflect on your motives, you will continue to move forward, in spite of.

Gwen Thibeaux is a motivational teacher, speaker, entrepreneur and author of "Embracing the Greatness Within: A Journey of Purpose and Passion." Gwen is also the Founder and Director of EYG Academy and Training Institute. For more information on the author, visit http://www.gwenthibeaux.com or http://www.eygacademy.com.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Developing Your Purpose: 7 Ways to Bloom Where You Are Planted

English: Traunstein Mountain seen from Traunki...Image via WikipediaBy Gwen Thibeaux

"Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it" - Andy Rooney.

What a great Andy Rooney quote. It is so true, too. We may have all the dreams and goals worked out, and we take all the necessary steps to accomplishing those goals. But the challenge is in the process; the journey that we embark on in pursuit of fulfilling our purpose.

The journey to greatness is not an easy or fun one, but it is necessary. We cannot get to where we are going without growing.

We also live in a state of instant gratification. We want what we want NOW! We want to see results immediately. We are not willing to wait for much, so we get frustrated and tempted to give up. We get weary in our pursuits if the process takes too long.

As we are developing our purpose, we have to go through a process; sort of refining or rebuilding. We have to bloom where we are before we can reach the top of the mountain - the peak of our success.

As we climb the mountains in our life, we are developing our life muscles. We are growing and preparing for all that we aspire to do or become. That is the process of "blooming" where we are.

Think about this for a minute: The runner who desires to run a marathon won't able to run that race until he or she has done the proper conditioning. The pursuit of that goal is in the preparation. The preparation or conditioning is necessary for the purpose. He or she has to develop the stamina, strength and endurance for the race.

Likewise, we must be developed and conditioned to overcome all obstacles we face along the way.

Here are 7 ways to help you bloom where you are planted:
  • Start where you are. Don't wait until you think you have everything you need. Use what you have now and acquire the rest along the way.
  • Remind yourself constantly of what it is you are striving for. Stay focused on where you are going, not where you are.
  • Enjoy the process. Ha ha, right? The process to your success is going to happen, so you might as well enjoy it. Learn what you must. Experience what you must. Live in the moments that the process brings.
  • Surround yourself with like-minded, positive people. Protect your dream. Don't spend a lot of time around negative people or the "nay-sayers." They will suck the life out of you and rob you of your dreams.
  • Reward yourself along the way. Every step towards your goal is a success, so celebrate your victories, big or small.
  • Don't be afraid to take some risks. Opportunities will present themselves in unusual and unexpected ways. Don't be afraid to take a chance, even if it is not something you thought was a consideration.
  • Track your progress. The only way to know where you are with your goals is to track your progress and make any tweaks necessary.
What are some other ways that you can bloom where you are planted?

Gwen Thibeaux is a motivational teacher, speaker, entrepreneur and author of "Embracing the Greatness Within: A Journey of Purpose and Passion." Gwen is also the Founder and Director of EYG Academy and Training Institute. For more information on the author, visit http://www.gwenthibeaux.com or http://www.eygacademy.com.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Brian Vaszily - The 9 Timeless Secrets of Being Happy

by Brian Vaszily, Intense Experiences.com: http://www.intenseexperiences.com

Being happy is our #1 goal for you at IntenseExperiences.com ... and our powerful free newsletter is read by hundreds of thousands worldwide because we achieve that goal! (Right now, don't miss The 23 Secrets of Being Happy ebook you get instantly with your 100% free subscription!).

Below is the famous inspirational video, The 9 Timeless Secrets of Being Happy, created by our founder - #1 worldwide bestselling author, transformation visionary, and motivational speaker Brian Vaszily. After watching don't miss your free Intense Experiences subscription ... right now you will also get the free Being Happy book above!



1) Embrace New Experiences

Most people suffer from merely existing versus really living. Don’t get caught in a rut; get out of it if you are. Explore. Play. Go beyond your comfort zone. Don’t lean on the excuse “I don’t have time to try new things.” It is as tragic and ridiculous as saying “I don’t have time to breathe.” New experiences are life. Live deeply.

2) Be Who You Are

Recognize and clear through what others expect of you, including society’s expectations, your parents’ expectations, the opposite genders’ expectations, and anyone’s expectations. Recognize and clear through the guilt, anger, fear and other emotions that are sabotaging you. What are your dreams? Your goals? Your loves? Who are you? Be that person.

3) Let Go of the Past

The past is good for two things: the happy memories, and the lessons it provides. Clinging to resentment and sadness for past events hurts one person the most: you. Don’t let the past suck the gift of the present out of you. Forgive. Let go. Be here now, and go forward.

4) Be Kind

It is easy to act kindly to those who have been kind to you. Do so, but also remember that is not where kindness is needed most. Recall those many times where you made mistakes, where you reacted out of negative emotions instead of responding from who you really are. Recall how you felt, or how you would have felt, if others responded to your mistakes with kindness instead of harsh criticism or a cold shoulder. Negativity only breeds more negativity. Empathize, and choose to be kind. It spreads rapidly.

To read further, and discover the other 5 secrets, go to: http://www.intenseexperiences.com/being-happy.html

Motivational Quotes - 18 January 2012

Richard BransonImage by D@LY3D via Flickrby Nicolas, Inspirational Quotes blog: http://inspirational-quotes-blog.com/

You never know with these things when you’re trying something new what can happen. This is all experimental - Richard Branson

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader - John Quincy Adams

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life - W. Churchill

All men are created equal, it is only men themselves who place themselves above equality - David Allen

Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence - Da Vinci

Your philosophy determines whether you will go for the disciplines or continue the errors - Jim Rohn

I want freedom for the full expression of my personality - Gandhi

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

It is essential to seek out enemy agents who have come to conduct espionage against you and to bribe them to serve you. Give them instructions and care for them. Thus doubled agents are recruited and used - Sun Tzu

You must face your fears and limiting beliefs head-on to develop your self-belief -
Richard Parkes Cordock
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How to Set AIM SMART GOALS

My Weight Loss CoachImage via WikipediaBy Lana McMurray

As I was preparing to set my own goals for this year I looked around to see what a few other people were doing. It was interesting to see the many variations of SMART goals.

A SMART goal is a fantastic tool that helps you set goals that are immune to self sabotage, fear and procrastination. It helps you break down your goals into manageable chunks that are realistic and attainable. An example of a weight loss goal is below.

Ali Brown, founder and CEO of Ali International LLC, referenced adding an energetic aspect to the goal setting process in her podcast and I totally agree with her.

Everything is energy "the thing(s) you want to manifest" is already here in energetic form and it is your belief and actions that bring it into your experience.

First Dream

What do you want? A Turn on some inspiring music, take out a pad and pencil and write down all the things that come to mind. Don't judge or edit, let your imagination run free and just write it down.

**Disclaimer: I am sure this goes without saying but of course you don't want to wish for something like your friend's spouse or anything that would harm another person just saying.

Now, know that if these desires sprung up in your heart, they were intended for you to experience. So allow yourself to believe that you can be, do, and have them.

Next, take that list and put your items into categories and choose 1 for the activity below.

SMART GOAL PLUS

Smart goals are great but AIM SMART goals are even better. Here's the short and sweet of it:

A - Acceptable Minimum" - what is the minimum that can be done or that you will accept?
I - Ideal" what is your ideal? If you could have exactly what you want, what would that be?
M - Middle" what is a realistic stretch for you? Take what you can do and stretch yourself. Or what is the middle of your acceptable and ideal goals?
S - Specific" what specifically do you want? Or what exactly is the first step/action you need to take?
M - Measurable" what is the quality or quantity you want?
A - Achievable" is this goal possible or step/action possible?
R - Reasonable" will you do this? How reasonable is it that you will do this?
T - Time" by when will you reach this goal (entire goal) or complete the first step (not the entire goal)?

Examples

  • Goal: I want to lose weight. It is too vague; how much weight? By when?
  • SMART GOAL. I want to lose 30 lbs in 6 weeks for my High School Reunion.
A - The minimum that I want to lose is 1 lb a week at least.
I - My ideal would be to lose 5 lbs a week.
M - A realistic stretch for me would be 3 lbs a week.
S - Lose 30 lbs
M - In 6 weeks
A - It is possible to lose this much weight with healthy eating and exercise.
R - It is reasonable for me to lose weight because I have excess weight on my body and I will follow through.
T - In 6 weeks by my High School Reunion.

See how easy that is? You can do this will every goal you have including the healthy eating and exercise goals to accompany the weight loss SMART GOAL above. I purposely wrote out the above goal in a simple way but they can be made much more elaborate.

**This tool is also excellent and ideal for setting step by step goals.

What AIM SMART goals do you have yourself? How will AIM SMART help you set and reach your goals?

Lana McMurray is Founder and CEO of http://www.free2thrivecoaching.com, a Company assisting people who have a deep desire for more break through resistance, stop self sabotage and end self defeating cycles so that they can get what they want with less effort and in quicker time.

She specializes in working with people who have experienced verbal abuse (emotional and mental anguish), escape mental and emotional pain, reconnect with themselves and get free from the painful experiences of the past and take charge of their life.

If you liked this article, you will also enjoy my free audio - 3 Secret Keys to Get Stronger http://free2thrivecoaching.com/
Lana McMurray, CPC, ELI-MP
Free 2 Thrive Coaching LLC

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Monday, January 16, 2012

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People

Book CoverImage via WikipediaBy Scott Paradis

Stephen Covey in, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", lays out a road map for excellence. In concert with Aristotle's declaration, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit."

Covey emphasizes a flourishing, worthwhile existence is a matter of routine. Success and failure, distinction and mediocrity are outcomes of habit. Selecting, developing and nurturing the right habits makes all the difference.

Achieving and maintaining a balance between a human being's growth and his or her productivity is the essence of effectiveness. Covey refers to this as the P / PC balance, where P represents production and PC stands for production capability. To excel an individual or an organization must strike the optimum balance between actually producing, and improving or sustaining the capacity to produce.

Covey's quintessential habits:

1. Be Proactive

You are the creator. You are in charge and totally responsible. To solve problems and advance in life seize the initiative. Recognize problems fall into three categories: direct control, indirect control, no control - respond appropriately in accordance with circumstances. Subordinate feelings to values. Make love a verb. As all "problems" are internal, a primary task is to work on self.

2. Begin With the End in Mind

All things are created twice: first mentally, then physically; so choose wisely. Real success is to master, not things, but self. Write out a personal mission statement. Shift from centering on people and things to centering on principles. Peak performers visualize and experience the objective before executing. Identify roles and goals. If you are not involved, you are not committed. Share your vision to generate power.

3. Put First Things First

This section is Covey's practical advice for bridging the gap between desire and fulfillment: how to take deliberate action. Goethe asserted, "Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." Action is king. Avoid acting on the unimportant or urgent, instead stay focused on the important but not urgent activities - these tasks shape the course of lives.

Exercise independent will to become principle centered. Envision and focus on your unique contribution. Make and keep commitments. Discipline derives from discipline. Externally imposed disciplines (and schedules), however, allow people to absolve themselves of responsibility for results.

Trust is the highest form of human motivation. Building and repairing relationships are long-term investments. Unconditional love encourages others to live the laws of life: cooperation, contribution, self-discipline and integrity.

Successful people make a habit of doing things failures don't like to do (strength of purpose wins). Effective people are opportunity minded, not problem minded.

Organize and execute around priorities. Eighty percent of results flow from twenty percent of activities. Concentrate on "twenty percent" activities. Time management is a misnomer: don't manage time, manage yourself. The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. Maintain a primary focus on relationships and results and a secondary focus on time.

4. Think Win / Win

Covey presents six paradigms of human interaction: win/win; win/lose; lose/win; lose/lose; win; and win/win or no deal. The best, most mature, and ultimately most advantageous choice is always: win/win or no deal. Resources and opportunities are plentiful. There is enough for everyone. It's not "your way or my way"; it's "a better way", a higher way.

5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

Communication is the most important skill in life. Listen with an intent to understand, rather than, as most people do, an intent to reply. If you know your perspective differs from the individual you are to engage, construct the opposing case first. Demonstrate you understand by rephrasing and reflecting. Listening is a fine art, one that requires energy and effort.

6. Synergize

Synergy is the essence of principle centered leadership. Concentrating the ambition and talents of many people produces a sum that is greater than its parts. At the heart of this habit is to value differences, build on strengths and compensate for weaknesses. Diversity is a key ingredient of every important endeavor. Synergy is the way of nature. 'When you observe only two alternatives - your way and the wrong way - look for a synergistic third alternative.'

7. Sharpen the Saw

Returning to the P / PC balance, a healthy individual must make time for renewal. This requires achieving balance in: perspective (spiritual); autonomy (mental); connectedness (social); and tone (physical). Advance in an upward spiral from inside out.

Life is a marathon not a sprint. Completing the course successfully requires deliberate focus and persistent, routine action. The gap between stimulus and response in an ever changing world is choice. Choose to develop the seven habits and become an effective person.

Scott F. Paradis, author of "Promise and Potential: A Life of Wisdom, Courage, Strength and Will" publishes "Insights" available for free at http://www.c-achieve.com

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Finding Your Passion - And Leave Self-Doubt Behind

Passion: AwakeningImage via WikipediaBy Remy Chausse

We get some of our best life lessons from our furry friends!

I was watching a TV show about working dogs, and I was really struck by the story of this one dog that had been put up for adoption at a shelter, but really seemed to have a problem with the idea of being adopted.

It was strange - he was sweet and friendly to everyone who came near him except when it was a person who wanted to adopt him - then he would snap and snarl and bite!

How could a dog have enough awareness that he would sabotage every adoption attempt?

One day, the dog's foster mom noticed this dog had a passionate need to search for and find things, and also to fetch them and bring them back. It wasn't just like a normal game of fetch for this dog, either - she could toss a ball while he was tucked away out of sight, and he would miraculously appear primed-and-ready to go find whatever had just been tossed. He almost had a drive to go find things, like it was his purpose in life.

Luckily, his foster mom was sensitive enough to this that she picked up on his passion and got this pooch to a training center to be tested as a search-and-rescue dog.

The trainer began the test by tossing an object into a room full of stacked boxes. The dog immediately dove in, nose first, and happily emerged with the object in his mouth. Then the trainer upped the challenge, tossing the next object into a bin full of empty plastic bottles. And wouldn't you know it, the dog popped out like a firecracker with the object! Exclamation point!

Suitably impressed, the trainer said he believed this dog could be trained to find drugs, bombs, bodies, anything.

This really affected me. Profoundly. I remember sitting in front of this TV show with tears just pouring out of my eyes. "The dog found his purpose in life!" I just wailed in my living room, "He knows what he's meant to DOOOOO!!!"

Inside I was applauding enthusiastically - "Good dog, ohhh, good DOG!" He had deeply inspired me! It was so raw and so real that I couldn't help but wonder how amazing it was that I've found my own purpose in life, and now I help other people pop out of a stack of plastic bottles, beaming with joy because they're found theirs!

Looking back, it's almost like the dog knew. He was literally snapping at potential adoptive families because he knew he would be miserable as a family pet. He knew that was not his purpose in life.

Imagine what it would be like to have no more self-doubt... to radiate confidence instead of hiding, or feeling apologetic, or biting at other people. To feel like things are opening wide, like a faucet turned all the way on. Can you imagine?

I'm interested to know if you've found your passion and purpose in life. Tell me about it!

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, seminars, and custom designed challenges.

Announcing a free webcast that addresses questions about passions, purpose, and fulfilling one's destiny: "Find Your Passionate Life in 5 Easy Steps - how to create stunning new possibilities in life!" January 24th at 4pm EST. http://www.findyourpassionatelife.com/

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

How to Escape the Confines of Your Comfort Zone and Achieve Personal Greatness

English: Concertina razor wire at a prisonImage via WikipediaBy Donald L. Wood

Ah yes, the good old comfort zone, so named because you are in a place that is comforting to you. In other words, it is secure, unchanging, consistent, devoid of any anxiety or risk, a place where you can watch the world go by - as it leaves you standing in the dust!

Strange as it may seem, the comfort zone can be just as much of a liability as an asset. Part of entering our comfort comes from having conquered a situation or set of conflicts in our life.

When we do this, we feel good about having accomplished that particular task. We feel that we have achieved an optimum position that we should maintain. It is a good feeling, a comfortable feeling. It is also a static feeling; one that remains unchanged in the face of a constantly changing life. Like it or not, change is one of the few constants that we can count on in our lives.

To enjoy the view from our comfort zone for a while is understandable. Much like the mountain climber who stops to observe the view while climbing the mountain, we should take time to review our accomplishments.

During this review, we should remember what we did to get past the obstacles that were in our way. We should think about our mindset and the goals that gave us the drive to push our way forward. Did you fulfill your goals completely? Is there still a part of your goal that you would like to bring to light? How hard was it to overcome the obstacles that were in our path?

Don't sell yourself short. You probably made good use of your skills to achieve this piece of comfort. Goal setting, problem solving, and a host of other skills are necessary to move into your comfort zone. Don't let these skills languish and shrivel up. Exercise them as you do your muscles. Allow them to grow and become stronger.

You showed the world (as well as your family and friends) that you have what it takes to move up in the world. These same skills can take you even further.

Most people sit in the prison of their comfort zone. Content to be where they are forever. What about your goals and dreams? Do you still have them? Are they still with you when you have a free moment? Don't let them wither away. Your dreams are the manifestation of your desire. If you have accomplished enough to make it to one comfort zone, what is keeping you from progressing further?

However, your dreams will remain dreams without the addition of action. The process of subjecting your dreams to an action plan will allow you to breach the walls of your prison and set you free to go further with your life than you ever believed.

This is the time to say to yourself that you can accomplish anything that you can dream. Surround yourself with positive, supporting people and shun the naysayers who wish to keep you shackled to your current situation You achieved your current position through the process of placing your imagination in the crucible of personal energy to achieve what you had never accomplished in the past. You did this at least one time; you can do it again.

Actually, since you have completed your goal at least once in the past, you are probably better prepared to attain your goals this time. Much like riding a bicycle, goal setting, planning and the action necessary to achieve these goals, are skills that become improved the more they are utilized.

So enjoy the view for a while. You have earned this right. Just don't forget that your next great accomplishment is right around the corner. You have turned a corner before to enter your comfort zone. Now turn the corner again to escape your prison and achieve the greatness that others only dream of.

Donald Wood ARNP, CRNA, has achieved what many others only dream of. Nurse, husband, father, author, and decorated military officer are be a few of the words that describe Donald. He doesn't believe in the 'glass half full' concept. Give him an empty glass and he will find a water faucet to fill the glass with.

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