Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Setting Personal Development Goals

English: A feeling of peace. Wonderful setting...Image via WikipediaBy Bruno Raynal

How often do you think about setting personal development goals? In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it's easy to lose track of the goals we have for our personal, professional, and family lives.

We "wear many hats" and often find ourselves just getting by, feeling adrift in the world, and ignoring what we really want to achieve.

Taking the time to reflect on your life-where you want to be five years from now, next year, next month, next week, and even today-is important to get a clear understanding of who you are, your values, what's important to you, and what it will take to truly make you happy and fulfilled.

Once you take stock of where you've been, where you are now, and where you want to be, you are ready to take the first step towards setting personal development goals. Make yourself accountable and ensure that you're constantly moving forward by creating a timeline and, most importantly, writing it down.

Start with the big milestones to mark your progress, and then add smaller goals along the way. Achieving these intermediary goals should be a cause for personal celebration. You've taken another step toward realizing your ultimate goal. Celebrate every success to reinforce self-confidence, motivation, and determination.

Of course, setting personal development goals requires being realistic about your objectives as well, including an understanding of your limitations, aspirations, and ability. As you take each small step to achieve each intermediary goal, you will undoubtedly gain a newfound confidence that propels you forward to tackle the next step of setting personal development goals.

You must also make a commitment to the future, knowing that setting personal development goals and then achieving those goals does not occur randomly. It's a result of hard work and focusing on taking those crucial small steps every day, every week, every month, and every year-as long as it takes.

Think of each step of setting personal development goals as building a house. First you need a strong foundation, which is the cementing of your goals. Then you rise up as the frame is built and the house begins to take shape, which is symbolic of every small achievement along the way. Finishing the roof completes the house and gives you a reason to celebrate all of your hard work.

By now you've probably noticed a pattern: make your goals crystal clear, write down a timeline that includes every small and significant task, and consider how you will reward yourself for achieving every intermediary victory. You deserve patting yourself on the back for all of them, so imagine the elation and fulfillment when you achieve that big goal you once thought was out of reach.

Once you succeed at accomplishing what seemed like an unattainable goal, what's next? Start again! You know the steps you need to take and you have the motivation and confidence. You also have the blueprint of a house only you can build.

Talk to a business coaching firm that can help you with setting personal development goals and growing your company by visiting http://www.ThinkBlueThinking.com or calling 619.550.8052.

Bruno Raynal is the president and CEO of Blue Thinking, a business consulting firm based in San Diego, California. Bruno works with top level senior management to enhance their awareness of modern business practices and patterns so they can make informed choices, take the right action, and achieve their vision and goals. Learn more about Blue Thinking by visiting http://www.ThinkBlueThinking.com or calling 619.550.8052.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Goal-Setting - A Different View

Daniel KahnemanDaniel Kahneman - Image via WikipediaBy Dr Neil Flanagan

I have a confession to make: I don't like getting beaten. That doesn't mean that I'm a 'sore-loser' or suffer a 'meltdown' if things don't go my way.

It's more about feeling 'cheesed-off' when the goals I have set myself are not realized-my diet doesn't go as planned, I missed out on making it to the next rung on the ladder, my golf handicap is not going in the direction I'd like to see it go, and so on. It seems that I'm not Robinson Crusoe: my outcome is quite common.

People set goals for most things. When we fail to achieve a goal, we see it as a loss. When we achieve (or exceed) a goal, it is a gain. And, the psychology associated with goal-setting indicates time-and-time again, that failure to reach the goal (the sense of loss) results in much stronger feelings than any desire to exceed that goal (the sense of gain).

Consider these two examples.

Salespeople drive themselves to make sales - especially when making budget is a success-indicator. The sense of urgency to make the sale dissipates (even unconsciously) when exceeding budget is the principal motivation. As a Bushman of the Kalahari clicked when asked what made a successful hunter, 'Hunger makes a hunter'.

Golf, too, provides a great example. Most golfers feel satisfied if they can achieve par. One stroke over par is a bogey and is a loss (assuming par was the goal). A birdie is one stroke under par and is a gain. So most serious players putt to avoid a bogey and putt to achieve a birdie.

In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman cited a study (by Pope and Schweitzer) in which the researchers analysed more than 2.5 million putts in detail (Tiger Woods was one of the participants in the study) to see if players were more successful when putting for par than a birdie.

Thanks to this research, we now know that players will try a little harder when putting for par than for a birdie, because they want to avoid a bogey. This does not mean that golfers make a conscious decision to go-easy on birdie putts: it's their intense aversion to a bogey that's the key motivator. Averting loss is very strong: what could possibly be worse than a bogey?

Two of the main messages are as follows.
  1. Goals must be achievable AND challenging
  2. The reward for exceeding the goal must be worth the effort
Dr Neil Flanagan is a best-selling author, management strategist, and conference and keynote speaker. If you'd like to explore further any information from this article, go to http://www.justasktom.com or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Neil-Flanagan/264263176976960.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Six Things Your Life Coach Doesn't Want You To Know

motivation-001motivation-001 (Photo credit: whitehatblackbox)By Judy Widener

It's important to start with the fact that the field of coaching is unregulated. This means that anyone, without any formal training, can call themselves a life coach. And they can coach any way they please. So caveat emptor! The onus of choosing the coach who will serve you best is on you.

In my research, I've found that there are basically 2 kinds of life coaches, and the contrast is stark. There are coaches who say they'll hold you accountable and help you stay motivated until you achieve your goals. They tout their excellent listening and questioning skills as their core talents. In my admittedly unscientific survey, about 99% of the coaches I have met in person and online fall into this category.

In the other camp are coaches with excellent listening and questioning skills who say they'll help you develop new ways of thinking and behaving. These coaches have studied and developed specific techniques that you can learn, then apply to any issue for the rest of your life. The goal of this type of coaching is for you to master the skills, using them independently to attain your desires faster, more efficiently and more enjoyably.

In my opinion, coaching that goes on indefinitely, with you relying on the support of your coach to achieve goals (but not learning new skills) is codependency, not coaching. Intentionally or not, anyone who does this isn't a coach, they're a parasite. True life coaches have a set of strategies you can use to evolve yourself for the rest of your life. Beyond merely achieving goals, coaching is about your growth as a human being.

With that said, I do believe that all coaches have a genuine desire to assist. However, most coaches' training (if they have any) is, well, the nicest words I can think of are ... incomplete and, in some instances, inappropriate.

With that background in place, let's peek behind the curtain at the biggest secrets in coaching.

Secret #1: Promising You Instant Results is Impossible

The Industrial and Information Ages have proliferated a plethora of gadgets, pills, books and videos that promise instant results. Not surprisingly, you've been programmed to expect that coaching will immediately make your life better.

Accordingly, many coaches feel strong pressure to fulfill this expectation by producing some kind of dramatic "breakthrough" in every coaching session. The idea is that if the coach asks you the right deep questions, you'll have a brilliant flash of insight. There are two fallacies here. The first is in thinking that coaches "do" something to their clients. In fact, it's up to the client to take the actions that will produce the results they're looking for.

Second, coaching is a process, not an event. While you may see some improvement in one session, life-altering, permanent improvements take time, repeated focus, and learning new ways to do things differently. Of course, major shifts can happen, but both you and your coach will put unnecessary pressure on yourselves by trying to force you to make a huge change you don't need or aren't ready for.

Sure, questioning is a major part of coaching. But the role of questions isn't to sledge hammer you into a dramatic breakthrough. Questions are one tool used to guide you in your process of gaining incrementally deeper self-knowledge. The goal of coaching isn't to rush to get it done, it's to help you learn as much as you can.

The processes of learning and making internal shifts in thinking is as unique as fingerprints and as unknowable as the depths of the ocean. It takes whatever time you need. Even with the biggest crystal ball in the world, no coach can promise a specific result by a certain date.

Any coach who tells you that you'll achieve a certain level in 1, 3, or 10 coaching sessions is ignoring your individuality and your responsibility for your own growth. This is inconsistent with the basic philosophy of coaching.

Secret #2: Personality Tests are Worthless for Choosing Your Career

The widely accepted myth of personality is that, by adulthood, it's set in stone. But in 100 years of intense study, psychologists can't even agree on the definition of personality, much less the limits of its development.

Two popular personality tests that life and career coaches use are the Myers-Briggs and the DISC. Their thinking is that you should choose a career that matches your personality (shaky ground indeed).

The purported benefit of this strategy is to narrow the overwhelming field of career choices. To alleviate your suffering, the coach squeezes you into one of a handful of boxes, then hands you a relatively short list of careers that some undefined percentage of those with your personality type could be "successful" in.

Never mind that these tests have no scientific validity. Meaning, you could take the same test on two different days and get two very different results. On top of that, these tests compare you to arbitrary norms (which are gender, ethnicity and culturally biased), ignoring your individuality and your context.

The icing on the cake is that since studies have shown that the Myers-Briggs does not predict job success well, using it for this purpose is expressly discouraged in its manual. But inexplicably, lots of coaches make gobs of money doing just that. That just seems unethical, or at least antithetical to the spirit of coaching.

The DISC is based on the faulty logic that you possess one of four personality types, which can be teased out by forcing you to choose one of four options for each question on the test. What if you don't agree with any of the choices? If you choose enough options that don't reflect what you truly think, the results are less than worthless. They can be destructively misguiding.

The best coaches will tell you that your personality traits are simply patterns of behavior you've developed (and gotten comfortable with) over your lifetime. As a pattern of behavior, any trait can be consciously changed any time you like, if you have the tools. Accordingly, their conversation about your career won't use the strategy of matching a job in Column A to a trait in Column B.

Secret #3: Taking Action For The Sake Of Action Undermines Your Real Power

To achieve the results they tout, coaches preach action. Lots of it. They think that if you do more, you'll get more, faster. They'll sell you fancy spreadsheets and planners to track your actions, too.

But in all of this act-act-act, you can lose sight of your motivation: why you want what you want. It's by staying focused on why you want something-the benefits of having it-that you'll find the juice to keep pursuing it until you get it.

As I stated in my previous post, most coaches describe their role as holding you accountable to take big actions before the next coaching call. Their strategy is that you'll be motivated by the desires to avoid the humiliation of having nothing to report, and this scheme does work.

Avoiding humiliation is a strong motivator, but it pulls you away from your greatest source of power: your passion. So accountability is the default strategy for coaches who don't have any tools to address the real issue: how to deal with the negative thoughts that block you from freely pursuing your passion.

The best coaches don't rely on your human drive to avoid pain (humiliation, guilt, etc). Instead, they fan the flames of your motivation to seek whatever you're passionate about.

Secret #4: Success Isn't A Destination, And You Can't Possess It

Coaches talk a lot about achieving success, as if success were a thing you could possess. Well, if it were, then success would also be a destination. Once you achieve it, you'll be able to sit back and coast for the rest of your life.

When you're driven to succeed, you allow yourself to feel good only after you've completely achieved that desire. But in this scenario, the good feeling eventually fades, which prompts you to go after another goal so you can feel good again.

However, there's a huge difference between being successful and having a fulfilling life. Success is a distant external goal you might achieve someday. Every day until then is about work, effort, sacrifice and pain. Deferred gratification.

On the other hand, when you choose a fulfilling life, every step you take in the direction of every desire becomes an act of fulfillment. You experience fulfillment as an internal choice that creates a perpetual state of being: you feel fulfilled every day.

Secret #5: Success Doesn't Require Discipline. Even If You Think You Need It, You Have Plenty Of It

Coaches insist that it takes discipline and commitment to be successful. But you already possess all the discipline, commitment and courage you need to get anything you want. You just don't know it, you certainly can't feel it and you don't need it, anyway. In their defense, most coaches are unaware of this, too.

Here's the proof: If you've ever worked a job you didn't like for more than 10 minutes, you have discipline. My bet is that you've worked for years at jobs you found boring or otherwise uninspiring, did favors for others you didn't want to do, and performed admirable household chores to boot. That takes HUGE discipline!

So give yourself some credit. Just because you struggle to lose 10 pounds doesn't mean you're a wimpy, undisciplined loser. It just means you don't know how to focus yet.

After coaching 600 people, I've seen that you don't need to develop strong skills of commitment, courage or discipline to enjoy a fulfilling life. All you need is passion.

You see, passion isn't just a feeling, it's a tour de force. When you engage your passion, tons of energy, discipline, courage and commitment (more on this next) come along for the ride. What's true is that it's your nature to think about, talk about and pursue the object of your passion until you get it. When you think about it, discipline and commitment are just synonyms for the desire to stay focused on what you want until you get it.

But discipline is a heavy word. Baggage-laden with guilt, frustration, disappointment and failure. Coaches are useful for easing the weight of that baggage only if they emphasize the pursuit of passion as the basis and driver of every goal.

Secret #6: Commitment Doesn't Create Limitations You "Just Have To Live With"

There's a pervasive belief in our culture that making a commitment creates limitations. When you choose one career or one mate, you're essentially un-choosing every other possibility. You're stuck with your choice, forever sacrificing other attractive options.

This perspective misses an important point. Ultimately, a commitment is an expression of your freedom to choose. Once you choose, you're free to express yourself fully in the context of that career, relationship, hobby, whatever. And as long as you live, you're always free to choose again, and again, and again ...

When you order the fish, you've excluded the steak or the chicken from that meal. But from herbs to cooking methods to side dishes, there are innumerable variations on any food you choose. Don't forget that every meal also includes a salad and a dessert-more ways to satisfy your palate. The point is, there are infinite ways to spice up your career, your relationships, and every other part of your life so that you'll feel full (fulfilled) every day. The only limitation is your imagination.

You can't earn a living without choosing a career path. You can't have a fulfilling romantic life without a beloved. So choose the steak career or mate. Or the chicken or fish career or mate. Just choose, live and learn. You can always choose again if you discover you need to do that.

Please visit my Author Bio Page for information about my book and website: http://www.myinnerfrontiers.com

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Your Own Inner Work Affects the Whole World!

Deutsch: Bildnis Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; W...                   Goethe - Image via WikipediaBy Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

"Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean" - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

What would happen if we each learned to take 100% responsibility for our own feelings and needs - learning to attend to our feelings with compassion for ourselves, and extending that compassion to others?

What would happen if each of us were conscious enough to sweep in front of our own door - which means we would be conscious enough not to dump our filth on the rest of the world? I love to imagine the possibilities!
  • Large corporations - such as Monsanto, Dow, the mass market food industry and factory farms, the drug companies, insurance companies, the oil industry, the banks (to name just a few) - would not be harming the planet with their greed. Instead, they would use their creativity, talent and resources to create health and wellbeing for everyone. Degenerative diseases would likely be a thing of the past if keeping our environment, our food and our water clean was a high priority of all industry.
  • Child abuse, domestic violence and crime would be things of the past. When we learn to take loving care of ourselves, we cannot harm others.
  • Homelessness and starvation would not exist. When we each learn to take loving care of ourselves, we find ourselves extending our love out to others, and we cannot emotionally or spiritually cause or tolerate this kind of suffering in our fellow human beings.
  • Addictions to alcohol, drugs, food and sex would be things of the past. When we learn to love ourselves and take responsibility for our feelings, we don't need to turn to addictions to numb out our feelings, or attempt to fill our emptiness with substances and processes.
  • Most marriages would flourish, since self-abandonment and the resulting controlling behavior is the main reason marriages fall apart.
  • Most of the health care problems we now have on our planet would likely be non-existent if each person was taking loving care of their mind, body and soul. When people take responsibility for their emotional and physical wellbeing, they are far more likely to attain or regain their health.
  • All people would have an equal opportunity to pursue their true calling and manifest their gifts and talents.
  • There would be far less loneliness in the world. When we learn to lovingly connect with ourselves, we can then lovingly connect with others. People would not feel so alone when facing the painful challenges of life, such as loss of loved ones, or loss of health or limb. There would always be caring people to turn to for comfort and support.
  • Worrying about finances would be a thing of the past, since if we each took responsibility for ourselves, we would then extend our compassion and support out to others. We would create a sense of emotional and financial safety that few feel now.
  • Creativity in the arts and sciences would flourish!
  • We would all have a lot more fun - and a lot more time for fun!
These are my fantasies of what the world would be like if each of us learned to compassionately take full responsibility for our own feelings and needs, and extended our compassion out to others. What are your fantasies?

Instead of looking to see if others are sweeping in front of their doors, why not just focus on your own? Why not become a role model of personal responsibility for your own well being? This is the very best choice we can each make for the planet.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding (C) process. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

What Is Self Awareness?

Self AwarenessSelf Awareness (Photo credit: Vicki & Chuck Rogers)By Anita Narayan

Self awareness is an essential skill when it comes to personal growth and success. In fact it is like a foundation stone out of which a lot of things build. Self awareness is so important that it can often be the difference between reaction and response, constraint and problem solving, creativity and rigidity to name but a few.

Whether you are looking to learn more about your mind, heart and emotions, your capacity for self awareness will increase your understanding and your ability to translate that understanding to your life in an effective way.

So what is self awareness? Simply put it is the act and process of observing yourself, and how you interact with your environment, including situations and other people.

It involves noticing and acknowledging how things impact you and vice versa. In other words it is an interactive, two way process of noticing influence and impact.

How To Increase Self Awareness

The simple way to increase self awareness is firstly to direct your attention to yourself in a chosen situation. It can be any situation of your choosing, for example sitting alone in silence. Secondly notice your emotions, your thoughts, your spirit and your physical experience.

In the example above [sitting alone in silence] you may experience physical restlessness, mind chatter, tension and general discomfort. It may happen immediately or after 5 minutes.

You may then want to choose an opposite scenario [sitting in a noisy environment] for sheer contrast and to gauge the scope of your experience.

You can increase self awareness through direct experience, or from a certain level of knowledge acquired in theory. In essence it is about the process of increasing your perception and knowledge of yourself.

This leads nicely onto the consideration of what makes for effective self-awareness. There are three key areas to consider.

1. Perception

Perception is an integral part of the process of self awareness and by definition it is about a view point rather than a fact. The way to increase perception and become more perceptive is to view yourself from as many different angles as possible, and notice the subtle nuances that go to make you who you are. One way to increase the different angles from which you view yourself is through the use of different and incisive questions. For example 'when I am at my most stressful state how does it manifest?' and 'what conditions cause me to feel highly stressed?' 'What enables me to feel in control?'

2. Accurate Reflection

There is a difference between these two statements:- 'I am depressed' and 'I feel depressed'. In the first statement the person is equating themselves to depression. In effect they are saying that they personify depression. In the second statement the person is describing the emotion they are feeling as opposed to identifying with the state. The first statement is a judgemental statement and an inaccurate statement if what the person is really trying to do is describe their feeling, rather than saying who they are.

3. Application of Self Knowledge

Self awareness is ultimately about self knowledge, but self knowledge is not enough if you do nothing with it. Applied knowledge is what makes a difference to your life. In that the perceptual process is about a view point, it does not necessarily represent truth and fact. Therefore it is important when observing and noticing yourself, that you do so without judgement. Judgement by its nature tends to suppress any resourcefulness. Without resourcefulness self awareness loses its purpose.

Meditation is a process that is both effective in increasing self-awareness and resourcefulness. This is a potent combination because self awareness on its own is without effect unless it translates into growth and effects change.

There are two aspects to meditation that help this to happen. Firstly the direction of attention to self as described above. The second stage goes beyond that focussed awareness, to finding the space between the observations, thoughts and feelings, referred to as going into the emptiness. The act of creating internal space via letting go, rather than dwelling on our observations, is what creates resourcefulness and new solutions.

The concept is akin to having a clear out or a declutter of stuff you have accrued over a period of time that you no longer have need of. The idea is that when you create space, by letting go of old stuff, new things can enter that space.

Ultimately the increase of self knowledge leads to more possibilities and choices for your life that you will not perceive otherwise, unless you engage with the process.

So whether through meditation or other practice, make self awareness an essential part of your personal development.

Anita Narayan is a highly endorsed author, speaker and coach. She is soon to release her book Breaking Free From The Prison Of Survival which has received top industry endorsement http://www.mypersonalbestcoaching.com

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Friday, February 24, 2012

5 Wise Ways To Make Your Goals Become A Reality

English: Everything starts from needs or desir...                          Image via WikipediaBy Chery A Schmidt

Do you know how to harness the power of intention to make your dreams your reality? Start prioritizing your goals and make specific plans to support them. Getting specific about your goals is the best way to put power behind your intentions and bring your dreams closer to reality.

#1. FOCUS ON YOUR INTENTION!

Do you have a clear plan? One that you have had a hard time achieving. Perhaps you haven't tapped into what your intention really is about. Why do you want to do this or to make it happen? By making a list of the reasons, can help you discern the deeper levels of motivation that will empower your intention. Just be honest with yourself.

#2. FIND A ROLE MODEL!

Find someone who inspires you and try to follow in their footsteps. This can be anyone, your neighbor, a teacher, perhaps a family member, if you don't have anyone in mind, start looking around on the internet. You can find thousands of successful people out there, sign up for a free training or download on their website. You now will start receiving emails from them, for you will be on their list. You could also ask to become their friends on facebook, just watch them and see what they are doing, then do it.

#3. ENGAGE YOUR IMAGINATION!

Do a mental practice with yourself, giving the message to your mind, the message that this goal has already taken place. What you think about you bring about. Start by writing it out, then read it often, this will help you to believe these goals can become your reality.

#4. FIND ALLIES!

Whatever your goal is consider focusing on it through the power of a group. The internet is a great place to find like minded individuals. Find a group and ask to join. Start asking questions and get the answers that you need. Once you start getting involved your mindset will change and you will move closer to reaching your goals.

#5. BREAK YOUR GOALS INTO CLEAR STEPS!

The path to your success is to break the tasks down into chunks. Without doing this you can become overwhelmed and it may never manifest for you. Ok, lets simplify this all for you here.

Step 1 - Identify a simple task that you can accomplish and then specify when you will do this. As well as how you are going to this to make you goals become your reality? Once done with the 1st step go to step 2 and so forth. Completing these tasks will build your confidence and bring you closer to your goals. Remember taking baby steps to reach your goals is easier than taking huge leaps.

Some suggestions to achieve this would be to put up a bulletin board with pictures quotes, anything that will help you to accomplish those goals you set for yourself. Keep a log of everything you do, this will keep you focused. You will now be on your way to making your goals a reality.

Do you need some help setting those goals? Start by getting a copy of my report: The Ultimate Game Plan For Online Entrepreneurs: http://www.cherysonlinegameplan.com/?t=ezartgoals. Then if it all sounds good and makes sense to you, go to Step 2.

Dedicated to Your Success, Chery Schmidt
Internet Marketing Coach & Home Business Mentor
Specializing in helping others succeed online.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why Having A Dog Is Good For Your Health According To Igor Purlantov

English: King Charles Spaniels on Great South ...Cavalier King Charles Spaniels - Image via Wikipediaby Igor Purlantov, on Before It's News: http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1794/728/NL/

Although the phrase a “Man’s Best Friend” only dates back to the 19th century, dogs have long played a key role in the lives of humans says animal rights advocate Igor Purlantov.

It is believed that modern day dogs were domesticated from gray wolves around 15,000 years ago. Since that time, dogs have become best friends with both men and women and have gained increasing popularity throughout the years according to Igor Purlantov.

Adding to the increased popularity of dogs is the fact that many people enjoy their companionship. Along with providing companionship, there are numerous health benefits of having a dog in your household says Igor Purlantov. Here is a list of some of those health benefits that may surprise even the greatest dog lover:

Improved Social Interactions

Dogs are a great natural conversation starter and provide an easy way for people to socially interact with others. Dogs are also great for making love connections between people especially for those that may otherwise be socially shy.

Great for Mind and Soul

It has been shown that people with a serious illness such as cancer are far less likely to suffer from depression when they have a dog. The health benefits are particularly good when the person has a strong attachment to their dog.

Good for Blood Pressure

People with dogs are believed to have lower blood pressure than those without. One study showed that stockbrokers with high blood pressure who adopted a dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than those without a dog.

Increased Serotonin and Dopamine

Studies have shown that playing with a dog can raise levels of serotonin and dopamine, usually achieved with drug use, and thus providing an all natural way to increase feelings of pleasure and calm.

Asthma and Allergy Prevention in Children

Studies have shown that early and regular contact with dogs can help children avoid developing a number of respiratory problems including asthma. There is also evidence that living with a dog can also help prevent allergies in children.

Improved Immune System

Having a dog has been shown to boost your immune system and also improve how it functions. It is believed that dogs often have a very good sense of when a person is ill and are great at providing comfort to help a person feel better.

Improved Mood and Reduced Depression

Simply interacting with a dog can improve your mood and help make you feel better in general. Also, having a dog can help relieve depression since playing with a dog helps take your mind off your issues and allows you to focus on something else.

Reduced Loneliness

Having a dog has been shown to help people that are feeling lonely, especially those who are single or widowed. Having a dog also provides a connection and allows for someone feeling lonely to be able to spend time with another living being.

Good for the Heart

It has been shown in several studies that heart attack patients who have a dog survived longer than those without. Also, males who have a dog have less sign of heart disease including lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels than other males that do not.

Helping with Age

Walking a dog has been shown to provide both exercise and companionship for the elderly. Studies have shown that Alzheimer's patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is a dog in the home. Some insurance companies even ask their clients over age 75 if they have a dog as part of their medical screening as it is often seen as a good sign.

With all of these heath benefits, it is no surprise that a dog can be both a man and woman’s best friend says Igor Purlantov. Along with providing companionship, having a dog provides numerous health benefits including helping you age so why not go to your local animal shelter and find a new best friend to age gracefully together with as you enjoy each other’s company.

Igor Purlantov is an animal rights advocate that follows and writes about animal news and trends to help raise awareness of animal rights and protection. You can read and learn about his work on http://www.igor-purlantov.info or follow him on twitter @igorpurlantov
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Life Coaching Strategy

MUNICH, GERMANY - JUNE 29:  Swantje Benussi of...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeBy Christina Cordle

Different Ways to Market Your Life Coaching Business

Starting a life coaching business may be a bit difficult in the beginning. Well, running all kinds of businesses are surely challenging in the beginning so you should not be disheartened with slow growth or other challenges that may come your way.

It is very important that you focus your attention in getting clients for your business. You should make sure to market your coaching business well. Of course, the success of your business and your career as a life coach depends on your clients. Here are some examples of marketing strategies perfect for your business:

Conduct seminars / lectures

Since you are offering consultation services and not just any other kind of services, it is very important to make your target audience realize that they need you and they most importantly need the services that you offer. You can do this by conducting seminars or lectures. In this kind of events, you could explain to people what kind of services you offer, your specializations, past experiences of clients that you've handled and all.

Lectures and seminars will be good venues to meet people and widen your contacts. In the coaching business, it is very important that you know many people and that many people know you as well.

Offer a free initial consultation

It would also be a great idea to offer free initial consultation to people in your target lists. People just love free stuff so they will surely appreciate this act. Not only that, by giving free initial consultations, people will realize more that they need you to solve their problems. This is like a good teaser for them and they will be left wanting for more. Therefore, make sure you bring client contracts in case certain companies want to sign a deal right there and then.

Publish a website

To be able to reach out to your audiences further, it is advisable to publish an official website for your company. You should put important information here like the services that you offer, your goals and credentials, past clients and of course your contact information. Many people are definitely using the Internet for almost everything so it would be easier for you to penetrate the market when you have official website.

Write a book

If you have flair in writing then maybe it is best to write a book. Not only it will be a good publicity for your consultation business but this is also a great way to help other people. You will be able to share your knowledge and expertise through your book and with this, people will know your capabilities better.

Blast your marketing paraphernalia

Of course, it is still effective to use traditional marketing tools like posters, flyers, pamphlets and banners to share information to potential clients.
    The tips mentioned in this article will help you find more clients for your coaching business. It is very important though to remember that type of clients that you are targeting especially the demographics when planning campaigns and gimmicks. With all these, success will be closer to your reach.

    Christina Cordle enjoys writing for Coachestrainingblog which is an online resource on life coaching articles and coaching strategy as well as other related subjects.

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    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Become Action Personified: How Success Comes to Those Who Act

    Success Is CertainImage via WikipediaBy Dr. Richard Norris

    Well it is a New Year. Again! Funny how they come round every year and at the same time?!

    For many of us the holiday is over - literally and figuratively. Now it is back to work. No more parties, no real excuse to overindulge, no laughter, and no family gatherings (for good or, sadly for some, bad).

    Hopefully, the first words out of the mouth of your boss, leader, manager or whatever heading they go by has not been, "Okay the fun is over. It is back to work!" Hopefully, the reality of returning to work has not been one of dread.

    As often arises with something new, the New Year brings with it new cheer, new hope, new optimism and new opportunities. The wide perception is that you have a blank slate. You can start anew. And we all know (well most of us will be aware) that with a New Year comes resolutions. We also know that many do not survive much beyond the first days, weeks or month.

    From my own observation, as an example, my gym gets busy every January. Whereas before I could easily work through my various routines as one of the few that enter the gym as it opens before the birds are awake, now I have to wait or detour or re-plan my workout. Fortunately for the true regulars we know the situation will return to normal in 4-6 weeks.

    Resolutions have behind them good intentions. The reality is that there can be a lack of commitment and thereby action.

    So what is the resolution you made as it relates to work this year? How is it going so far? Easy? Tough?

    When it comes to those resolutions if you don't like failure then the easy out is to not make any. The tougher choice, as with any change for the better (to which a resolution intends to give rise), is to proceed to succeed. Do that and you will make a difference - to yourself, to your job and, therefore, to your organization.

    Please let me empathize. Your success requires action.

    A past client and seemingly raving fan of mine commented that her various followers, clients and connections needed to understand the importance of taking action - especially where it relates to winning through and becoming a success.

    To know the success others enjoy you must take action (I know I have repeated that but it is the key point). No "ifs". No "buts". Once a resolution or decision is made act on it. This is NOT an option.

    Go ahead! I dare you. Name one successful person, team or organization who has achieved success or is, better yet, an on-going success and they will have this one key trait in common. You can bet they deliver on their resolutions. In all my research, study and experience I have been unable to find that inaction is a key to success (note I said "a" key rather than "the" key. Action is, however, a critical one).

    Joe Vitale talks about living from a place of inspired action. I agree. As Joe is often quoted, "The universe likes speed". Speed is often of the essence of action. It keeps you ahead on your Journey of Success and, keeping your Vision in view, it keeps you moving in the right direction.

    Just look at the word, "action". Purposefully, in the middle of "action" is "i". I act on. Therefore, it is up to you to act on what is before you. Fail to take action at your own peril. Do you really want to disappoint yourself over your resolutions?

    My Dad always told me that nature and how it thrives is based on survival of the fittest. Look at the Cheetah - the epitome of action on land. If it did not run it would not catch its prey. If it did not catch its pray, it would starve. If it starves it cannot perpetuate the species. If it cannot procreate, it dies!

    To be fit implies you take action. Couch potatoes are not fit. Athletes are. Businesses that don't make it past the first 2 years (80% according to Michael Gerber, author of The E-myth Re-Visited) are not fit. Business that lead are. People and businesses dependent on government and society hand-outs are not fit.

    People and businesses that are resistant to change are not fit. Those who embrace change are. After all, change is inevitable; growth is optional. People who are unmotivated or just do the minimum at work are not fit. Those who are proactive and growing are.

    To grow fitter and stronger this year make those resolutions that are realistic and press on. To endure your Journey of Success means you must become "Action" personified. To get to where you are going you need to move. Just ask Usain Bolt.

    So what are those 1-3 resolutions you have made you are going to stick to?
    What difference will achieving them make to you, your job and your organization?
    What is the first action you must take to build your momentum?

    So don't just sit there, take action. You will be glad you did. You can thank me later! Dr Richard Norris is Europe's Foremost Speaker and Coach on Transformational Self-leadership For more information please go to http://www.drrichardnorris.com

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    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Make A Commitment

    Lance Armstrong finishing 3rd in S├Ęte, taking ...Lance Armstrong: True Commitment - Image via WikipediaBy Frank J Jennings

    There are so many things I want to do with my life. I want to be a great dad. I want to be a good husband. I want to be amazing at my job. However, with my long list of wants I have come to find out that wanting something desperately is not enough to make it come to pass.

    If all I did was sit around and make a list of all the things I want, I bet my house would be full with useless pieces of paper. Wanting is not the same as progressing and in order to progress you need to have an idea of what you want. You can't have one without the other.

    I truly believe that in order to go from wanting to having, from dreaming to accomplishing, from potential to promise, there is a very important piece of the formula that we cannot afford to overlook. You can't make a cake without flour. You can't play basketball without a ball. You can't achieve your dreams without making a commitment.

    Make A Commitment

    Imagine you are one of my good friends and I come up to you and say, "I want to be a good father." Now imagine if I came up to you and said, "I am committed to being a good father." Which one has more power to you?

    My want is a matter of intent. I want to be a good father so I may or may not do what is necessary to make my want come to pass. I might read a book on parenting. I could take a class. I should learn about my son and what he likes to do. However, there is no absolute clarity. Why? Because, intention is not action and without action there is no progress.

    On the other hand my commitment displays my passion. By me making a commitment, I am demonstrating that I will do whatever it takes to make my goal become a reality. My commitment forces me to take action. I can't be committed to something and sit around not doing anything to change my situation. I will read a book. I definitely am taking a class. I desperately will do everything in my power to spend the necessary time with my son.

    Why Make A Commitment?

    Often I have heard many of the people, who mean the most to me, complain about their circumstances. They wish they had a better job. They wish they had more money. They wish they would have taken better care of their bodies and overall health. It seems like every time we get the chance to talk, they tell me more and more about what they want. In fact, their wants take up 90% of our conversations.

    A want doesn't bring about change. A want isn't enough to force action and bring forth life changing inspiration. A want is a waste of time without a commitment. If life is beating you up down and all around, don't just stand there and take the punches. I dare you to make a commitment to fight back.

    With every commitment you make the sun will start to seem a little brighter. With every commitment you make the impossible will start to seem possible. With every commitment the hopeless will become hopeful. With every commitment your dream draws closer. With every commitment doubt starts to fade. With every commitment the world around you starts to change.

    Making a commitment helps you fight through the adversity of life and transitions you from wanting to having. I've made a commitment to inspire the world.

    What are you committed to?

    Frank Jennings is the founder of A Spark Starts where he writes life changing inspiring stories to help others reach their full potential. This site is full of compelling stories based on specific situations that we face in our lives. Read about overcoming adversity, parenting, relationships, health, endurance and many other relevant and timely topics.

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    Sunday, February 19, 2012

    Pay Attention

    Focus 9 / New SkinImage via WikipediaBy Susan Russo

    "The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear" - Brian Tracy.

    Pay attention to what you pay attention to. Most people aren't aware of what they are focused on because they are sleep walking through life so to speak, they live on auto-pilot. And, 70% of the time people are paying attention to what they are worried about, what they don't like about themselves or their life and who or what has them upset.

    Then there are those who know what they are paying attention to because it consumes them. They feel hurt, betrayed, fearful, worried, full of doubt, full of anger and just plain miserable. You know you should stop thinking about this but you can't seem to stop yourself. And get clear on this: you are paying dearly for the attention you give to your problems!

    When you focus solely on these limiting thoughts and hurtful feelings and you are consumed by them, how do you think you're going to experience life? Worse yet, how are you infecting and affecting the people around you? You can let it ruin your health, steal your joy and cause you to miss out on so much.

    The thing of it is it doesn't have to be this way because you were born with the divine gift of your mind. You can either be the master of your mind or its servant. You can either choose to think about your problems or you can choose to think about your blessings. I could go on and on about the choices you have and how they impact your life.

    But until you decide that you are no longer going to give all of your attention to what's wrong in your life you will pay for that choice with sadness, fear, anger, more hurt, despair, heartache, depression, and misery.

    So how do you stop it? You stop giving it your attention. You can't think of two things at the same time so choose which one you are going to think about. What makes you happy or sad? What you're afraid of or hopeful for? What you hate or love? What you want or what you don't want? What you want to stop or what you want to start?

    I hear this all of the time when working with people. They feel the way they do because they choose to think about what makes them feel bad! Think of where you are right now and where you want to go from here. Typically all that people think about is where they are right now. They jump in, wallow in it, swim around in it, sink further in and keep themselves stuck and then act like there is no way out!

    When the reality is there is a way out and it all starts with you becoming the master of your mind. It all starts with what you choose to pay attention to.

    Look, there is no question that things happen that can rock your world, that's life. But once the earthquake is over you can pick up the pieces and put your head back on straight or you can walk around in the emotional debris that you refuse to clean up.

    We all make choices in life and if you want to choose to pay attention to what makes you feel bad, yet you want to be happy; you have to choose which is worth you giving your attention to. One is very costly to your happiness and the other causes happiness. So, pay attention to and choose!

    Susan Russo is fast becoming known as a miracle worker in transforming people's lives. She has the ability to turn negative circumstances into life changing opportunities. No matter where you are in life Susan knows how to help you achieve whatever you desire. To learn more about Susan's products and services go to Susan's site. And, pick up a copy of her FREE ecourse too!

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    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    SMART Goal Setting And The Importance Of Knowing The Basics

    Goal SettingGoal Setting (Photo credit: angietorres)By Suzie Watson

    SMART goal setting - I know, you've heard it all before. Well, just read on to find out why you must know the basics of goal setting in order to achieve your end result.

    Setting goals takes work, it takes more than just writing something vague down on paper and thinking "OK, that's what I want". It actually involves preparation, desire and longing, determination, motivation and action.

    This is where SMART goal setting comes into play. With SMART goal setting you'll be focusing your mind on 5 aspects of your goals, without which you will not get far.

    When setting goals you want to be able to give yourself an easy goal setting plan to work with, and if you follow the steps I set out below, you'll be giving yourself a head start on all those other people who can't understand why goal setting fails.

    1. SPECIFIC

    This is very important, because the subconscious mind works very hard for you without your always realising it. What I mean by that is if you so desire something, but at this stage you aren't specific enough, then it is well known that you won't have the end result you wanted, because you subconscious has only worked on the information you have given it.

    A quick example of not being specific enough: Let's take a car. You want a Porsche 928S manual, blue, alloy wheels. If you have set yourself a goal of getting just a Porsche 928 then you're guaranteed to get a "Porsche 928" but not an S version, maybe not blue, maybe not alloy wheels, and so on. BE SPECIFIC.

    2. MEASURABLE

    In terms of SMART goal setting, this means that you look at whether you are able to measure your goals as you go along. Can you put timescales on the goals so you'll be able to work towards it, yearly, monthly, daily? If you are unable to measure the timescales of your goals, CHANGE YOUR GOAL. Adjusting goals during your goal setting program is more than acceptable.

    3. ATTAINABLE

    Are you able to reach your goal, or is it just pie in the sky? For example, saying you want to earn $1m in 6 months is most likely not an attainable goal. Unobtainable goals lead to lack of motivation and focus, and before you know it, you've given up on your dreams which is really quite sad. Bite size goals are better than one out-of-reach goal.

    4. REALISTIC

    Can you set realistic timescales to achieve your goal, or is it completely unrealistic? Are you going to be able to put in the time required in order to reach your goal in the set time you have given yourself? Think very carefully - as again, if you have made your goals unrealistic, your desire and motivation completely disappear.

    5. TIMESCALE

    Vital. You need a timescale on your goals in order to have something to aim at. Without a timescale you'll have no discipline to do the things needed to achieve your goals.

    Using these principles of SMART goal setting makes the whole goal setting process so much easier for yourself, and it keeps reminding you that without proper goals and timescales, the end result won't materialise. Don't let that happen to you!

    Become knowledgeable on goal setting and take the time to find out in more detail the real advantages of getting goals correctly.

    Suzie Watson is the editor of http://www.your-self-improvement-guidebook.com your personal resource for improving your life. More information on goal setting and much more can be found at http://www.your-self-improvement-guidebook.com/goal-setting-theory.html Copyright: you may freely republish this article, provided the text, author credit, the active links and this copyright notice remain intact. - May need [ and ] either side of website.

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    Friday, February 17, 2012

    Mark Twain on Life, Love and Perseverance

    Anti-Stratfordian Mark Twain, wrote "Is S...               Mark Twain - Image via WikipediaBy Brent Colley

    Mark Twain's life is perceived by many as a "charmed life" but the reality is the rags to riches story of the wealthiest and most widely recognized author/humorist the World has ever known is not as "charmed" as one would think.

    Mark Twain lived a life that many could not endure, let alone survive. And yet, somehow he found a way to weather the storms of life and in the process deliver some very profound insights on life, love and perseverance that we can all use to our own advantage today.

    The following comes from Twain's letters, speeches, notebooks and writings; the wisdom of his thoughts are as inspiring as they are instructive.

    Mark Twain on Life, Love and Perseverance

    1. "Perseverance is a principle that should be commendable in those who have judgment to govern it" - The Enemy Conquered; or Love Triumphant

    The lesson: Don't give up. Often it is those who keep at it that succeed.

    2. "Only he who has seen better days and lives to see better days again knows their full value" - Notebook, 1902

    The lesson: Focus on the present and value what you have. Only after his financial troubles, did Twain come to realize the value of the life and lifestyle he once had.

    3. "... the events of life are mainly small events - they only seem large when we are close to them. By and by they settle down and we see that one doesn't show above another. They are all about one general low altitude, and inconsequential" - Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1 (University of California Press, 2010)

    The lesson: Think before you act. People often overreact to situations and in hindsight regret it.

    4. "... life does not consist mainly - or even largely - of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one's head."

    The lesson: There are two lessons that can be learned from this quote.

    One: Be mindful that each one of us awakens each morning and faces an internal battle with our thoughts, feelings and personal desires. Take that into consideration when interacting with other people and realize that their position on a topic or reaction to your opinion is based solely on their perceptions.

    Two: Give yourself a break. A lot of what's floating around up there has nothing to do with reality. Focus on the positives, ignore the negatives and if you really want something, stop dreaming about it and go get it.

    5. "Love is not a product of reasoning and statistics. It just comes--none knows whence--and cannot explain itself" - Eve's Diary

    The lesson: Follow your heart, not your brain when it comes to love.

    6. "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry" - The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson and the Comedy of the Extraordinary Twins

    The lesson: Don't we all enjoy that special person in our life that projects the positives, makes us laugh and does nice things for others? Be that person.

    For daily dose of Mark Twain's wisdom follow my "Heavenly Twain" Twitter account: http://www.twitter.com/HeavenlyTwain

    For more on Mark Twain and his time in Redding, Connecticut visit my blog: http://www.twainproject.blogspot.com

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    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    3 Simple Tips To Improve Self Confidence

    confidenceconfidence (Photo credit: glsims99)By James W Ashley

    We all want to be more confident in life. Having a greater level of self-confidence can open up so many doors to different opportunities, whether this be in employment choices, business success or even romance.. It all comes down to your ability to be confident within yourself.

    Some people seem to be born with high levels of confidence, where as others seem to have zero. But did you know it is incredibly easy to increase? If you have belief in yourself, dedication and patience, you can improve your self-confidence over time.

    Below are 3 simple tips that can help boost your self-confidence to new levels. Try these few tips and see the effect it has on your life.

    When facing a new challenge, ask yourself 'what is the worst that could happen?'

    The majority of the time the worst that could happen is someone saying 'No'. This small, tiny word puts fear into many people and stops them reaching out for something greater. When in reality it is not that bad. Sure somebody might turn you down, or say there are no job opportunities, but you might be surprised. You will never know unless you ask.

    It is very easy to get lost in fear. When you sit down and think 'what really is the worst that could happen?' The majority of fear can disappear, making way for new thoughts of the potential consequences, both good or bad. Allowing your mind to discover how you can recover from any problems and learn from these mistakes.

    You Are You! Not Anybody Else

    You must learn that you are a unique person. With all the outside influences of today, which make people compare themselves to the next celebrity in the latest magazine. There will always be somebody richer, faster, stronger and more successful than you.

    Benchmark your goals with yourself, not anybody else. Doing this can eliminate a lot of unnecessary pain in your life. Making you a more successful, confident and happier human being.

    Think Positive - Not Negative

    Stop seeing the negative side of things. Stop seeing the glass half empty but rather half full. Yes the grass is greener on the other side and the sooner you start thinking this way the better. Think positive and you will reap the benefits. Yes it can be difficult to do, especially if you have been stuck in a negative frame of mind for many years. But you have to start somewhere!

    Try implementing these 3 simple steps for improving your self-confidence into your everyday life. See how your mind changes and the smile it brings to your face everyday.

    At LifeAndMind.net we aim to help people become more successful in life, achieve what they want to achieve and become the person they have always wanted. Download the 3 free Hypnosis albums now. Or check out the range of Hypnosis tracks on how to improve self confidence.

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    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    A Goal Achieving System

    Project Management PhasesProject Management Phases - Image via WikipediaBy Jolyon Hallows

    Goals are frustrating. If you try to pursue them, the details quickly swamp you and problems arise to throw you off course or stop you completely.

    What if there was a proven system to achieve goals? One that had discrete steps that would take you to your goal? Well, there is. It's a proven, long-standing, well-established system to set, plan for, and reach goals. But because it's used by organizations and run by professionals called "project managers," most people have never heard of it.

    However, it is possible to simplify and distill this system into a set of steps that anyone can follow to set, plan for, and reach their goals. This article describes that system.

    Three Stages to a Goal

    There are three stages to achieve a goal.

    Stage 1 is goal setting. This creates your goal and allows you to define one that is absolutely clear and right for you.

    Stage 2 is goal planning. This stage builds a step-by-step, day-by-day plan to get you to your goal.

    Stage 3 is goal achieving. This is where you follow your plan, handle problems, take advantage of opportunities, stay on track, and reach your goal.

    There are just nine steps to achieve a goal: three in goal setting, five in goal planning, and one in goal achieving.

    Stage 1 - Setting Your Goal

    Step 1 - Is your goal really a goal or is it a fantasy. And if it's a fantasy, this step turns it into a goal.
    Step 2 - Making sure you have the right goal. Is this a goal that is right for you? This step makes sure before you spend money and effort to reach it.
    Step 3 - Getting really, really clear on your goal. Is your goal fuzzy with conflicting and confusing options? This step makes it absolutely clear.

    Stage 2 - Planning Your Goal

    Step 4 - Taking care of the things that can go wrong. This step looks at all of the potential problems so that you can handle them before they happen.
    Step 5 - Figuring out the tasks that you need to do. This step shows you how to identify all of the pieces of work you will need to do to get to your goal.
    Step 6 - Doing things in the right sequence. This step shows you how to arrange your tasks into the right sequence so that your project flows smoothly from one task to the next.
    Step 7 - Building your schedule-when you will finish. In this step, you will develop a day-by-day plan so that each day, you will know what you have to do on that day.
    Step 8 - Building your budget-how much it will cost. In this step, you will determine how much money you will need and, most important, when you will need it.

    Stage 3 - Achieving Your Goal

    Step 9 - Moving toward your goal. In this step, you follow your plan. You learn how to keep on track and how to recover when things throw you off course. You also learn how to take control over potential changes and decide when to accept a change and when to reject it.

    This goal achieving system is proven, practiced by hundreds of thousands of professionals world-wide, and is now available to anyone who wants to reach a goal.

    Jolyon Hallows is the creator of The Systematic Goal: a system using proved techniques for goal setting, goal planning, and goal achieving. He is an accomplished project manager, he has written two professional books on project management, he is on the faculty of a university diploma program in project management, and he has personally trained over a thousand project managers worldwide.

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    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Teaching Creativity for the Real World

    The logo of the Creativity MovementImage via WikipediaBy Eric Miller

    Creativity comes from real world experience. The real world engenders ideas and new problem solving techniques with hands-on experience.

    We're all taught the basic three: reading, writing and arithmetic, but we are not taught how to create.

    New products and technology cannot come from someone in a mental cloud who doesn't know the practical aspects of actually making what's in their head into a reality.

    Our schools are full of university taught "philosophers" who never lived in the real world. Never had to physically make or physically accomplish anything.

    Our society spends way too much time running away from reality by watching sitcoms, sports (remote identity), or playing kill and destroy video games (which engender empathy ... huh?).

    Yet, our survival is dependent on real things.

    I've worked with brilliant, highly educated individuals, many who could write long equations, but couldn't transform those equations into anything real, something you could handle or actually use.

    They knew their stuff, but couldn't expand on their knowledge ... i.e. they could mimic what they were taught, but couldn't extract new knowledge from it. Wonderful people, but handicapped.

    I've also worked with many brilliant minds who could turn their ideas into reality. When I got to know my friends, I realized that the ones who could take their ideas into reality had"hands on" life experiences, like helping on the farm, building sheds, making plastic models. They had a "do it myself" attitude.

    So, where does real creativity come from? The type of creativity that actually results in a tangible and useful product that physically helps mankind? They come from doers. The people who have the ability to take an idea and turn it into physical reality.

    But where does this ability to do things come from? It definitely doesn't come from the pervasive, run away from reality TV sitcoms or "kill and destroy" video games. It comes from actually doing something.

    This ability to turn thought into reality is engendered at an early age and progresses throughout life as more possibilities are presented. Each idea towards a goal has to be materialized before the next idea can be formed properly; then manifested.

    i.e. Dark at night -> fire -> whale oil -> candles -> light bulbs -> LED's --> plasma -->?

    We now have an educational structure in place. Syllabuses are standardized and focus on mental abilities. Very little education is spent on translating those mental abilities into reality. We need to focus more on reality if we are going to progress to our next level of existence.

    There is a drive to make the lives of everyone on this planet better. This makes sense, but how do we do this?

    By physically building the products, services and structures that improve the lives of as many people as possible, not just talk about it.

    A place to start engendering creativity is when our children are young. Children need to have a balance between fantasy and reality. Fantasy sparks ideas, reality brings those ideas into fruition.

    One way to get more focus on reality based teaching is to give your child/student a reality based activity. One that produces a real product, something that can be held in your hand..

    A pinwheel is an easily constructed toy that provides a fun experience. They are decorated in many ways and children like them.

    Pinwheels are cheap and easy to make with a piece of paper and can be decorated and assembled easily by an adult. If a child sees an adult make one, the child will see how easy it is to make and will want to mimic his/her parent. This activity can be accomplished within 30 minutes and provides a fun toy at the end. If you help a child make one, the child will not only end up with a fun toy, the child can feel the satisfaction of it being made by one's self. A child can honestly say "I MADE THIS!"

    Making a simple pinwheel helps improve:

    1. eye-hand coordination
    2. focus
    3. patience
    4. creativity
    5. ability to follow simple written instructions
    6. confidence ("I can do it" instead of "Can you help me?")
    7. a reward after completion

    More subtle understandings about mixing of colors, momentum, storage of energy, symmetry, graphic design, and other real knowledge come from projects like these.

    This is one activity that everyone should experience at least once in life so that they too can realize they can create something REAL, too.

    I remember my first pinwheel and the enjoyment of knowing I made it myself. In spite of the fact that I had problems pushing the pin into the hard wooden dowel, I had fun with it, and knew I could do it again without being dependent on someone else to do it for me.

    Eric J Miller
    http://www.pinlesspinwheel.com/

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Eric_Miller
    http://EzineArticles.com/?Teaching-Creativity-for-the-Real-World&id=5421600
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    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Personal Development Plans, Do They Work?

    Mindset (book)                            Image via WikipediaBy Roy J Derrick

    Most of us have personal development plans regarding our careers, relationships and self improvement but many of us lose sight of our aspirations as a result of us getting caught up in the daily trappings of everyday life.

    We all have infinite potential but few of us make the most of what we have got. We are given a formal education at school that equips us with all that we need to get a job, but it is what we learn after school that determines whether our personal development plans will come into fruition.

    Many people are stuck in a rut, working in a job that they hate and living a life that is far from the one that they dreamed of. However, sadly most will continue to stay in the rat race, too afraid to be bold and make the changes that they need to create a better life for themselves. One thing is certain, things can only change for you when YOU want to change, but where do you start?

    Mindset

    Mindset plays a huge part in changing your life for the better. Most of us have been programmed for failure, either from our school days or from wrongly believing that success is only for a certain type of person. However any person can be successful if they adopt a positive mindset and believe in themselves.

    The first step is to write down your goals. Once you have written them down the brain is then more aware of them and you will then actively do whatever it takes to achieve those goals. Make a list of short term goals and long time goals and you will be amazed how great it will feel when you eventually fulfil your dreams and goals.

    Build Good Relationships

    In order to be successful with your personal development plan it is important to surround yourself with good, influential people ... people who are successful and have a positive attitude to life. You will then learn valuable advice from them as to how to succeed in life. You can then share this knowledge with others.

    Be careful to also invest time and effort into these relationships as it is all too easy to keep focusing on the urgent things (namely making money) rather than the important things (family, friends and your own well being).

    Self Education

    In order to improve your life it is crucial to self educate. This can be achieved by reading self development books, learning from other successful individuals and also by learning from mistakes that you have made along the way.

    There are numerous self development courses available too that can teach you how to create a better lifestyle.

    After all formal education teaches what you need to get a job but self education is what will help to you to make you a fortune. Self education is paramount to your personal growth.

    Create financial independence

    The only way that you will create financial independence is by working for yourself.

    If you work for others you will only ever earn a wage and that wage will always be capped to what an employer thinks that you are worth. Whereas if you work for yourself, you will reap the profits for yourself and not your employer. You will also create a better life for yourself in the process.

    All in all we all have the ability to design our own lives rather than allowing others to design our lives for us. All that is needed is a good self development plan consisting of adopting the right mindset, investing in good relationships, stepping out of our comfort zones and educating ourselves on the best ways to make money and keep the profits for ourselves rather than others.

    To be successful in your quest you will need to have strong self motivation and to be able to find the best opportunity to start your own business and build up your own empire.

    After all we only live once so why not make the most of our abilities rather than having the pain of regret on our deathbeds for what might have been. However you will need to take the necessary steps to make it happen.

    As Jim Rohn once said: "You cannot change your destination overnight but you can change your direction overnight".

    My name is Roy Derrick and I have over 20 years experience in running my own business. Over the years I have set up several successful businesses including a chain of retail stores and a construction company.

    My wife and I currently run a home based business that offers individuals easy ways to make money online, working from home. This business, unlike my previous bricks and mortar businesses, provides us with the work/life balance that we have previously strived for, allowing us to spend valuable quality time with our children.

    To find out the 4 best ways you can work for yourself visit:
    http://www.perfectprosperity.com

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Roy_J_Derrick
    http://EzineArticles.com/?Personal-Development-Plans,-Do-They-Work?&id=6873496
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