Wednesday, July 31, 2013

8 Reasons Why Successful Losers Make the Best Leaders

by Robert T Andrews

Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Russell Simmons, Mark Zuckerberg, Howard Stern, Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Jim Carrey, Halle Berry. What do all of these people have in common other than being hugely famous and filthy rich?

They either dropped out of college, were fired from their jobs or they were homeless. For some reason, it seems as if your most famous athletes, movie stars and business leaders did not travel the easy or conventional road to success.

Yet all the people mentioned are LEADERS in their respective fields. What separates them from the rest of us?

Education? No. Economically privileged? No. Above average intelligence. Maybe. Born with above average talent? Maybe. I'm guessing these people just wanted to succeed more than the rest of us. We all want success but how bad do we want it?

Why Conventional Wisdom is the way to mediocrity and failure

Why does it seem that the vast majority of us who do what were told as kids - Get good grades. Go to college. Graduate. Get a good job - are still employed and spinning our wheels in mediocrity in jobs we hate and still broke?

Why does it seem that people do all "the right things" don't seem to be as successful as people who didn't? Perhaps it was the hard times that helped made those people into who they are.

But I'm sure we've seen or heard about countless people who experienced the same situations and quit. Never to be heard of again.

The reason is that conventional wisdom teaches us to work for other people. You'll never be rich working for someone else. This country was built by and for leaders, particularly business leaders. Even the tax codes favor business owners. But I digress.

The main reason "successful losers" are different from the rest of us is that just think differently than the rest us. Plain and simple.

They don't look for the easy to comfortable way. They don't give up easily. They are willing to sacrifice everything because many times they don't have anything to lose or go back to.

Although there are more than eight reasons successful losers are successful, here are the top eight I found among all the greatest successful losers ever studied:

  • Successful losers are willing to sacrifice everything they have for success. They are willing to lay everything on the line. Successful losers are willing to sacrifice sleep, the comforts of home, months and even years without making money. They are willing to move wherever there is opportunity. Most people don't want to leave their hometown and want guaranteed money, 40 hour work week and benefits.
  • Successful losers are work insanely hard to get where they are. Most of us complain when we have to work overtime on weekends. Losers are willing to work 50, 60, 70 hours or more a week on whatever they're trying to build. Many times without pay.
  • Successful losers are willing to take risks. They are willing to try different things to find a system that works for them. Most of us want a guaranteed way to succeed. They aren't afraid to make mistakes even though mistakes sometimes cost time and money. They are willing to start over and try again.
  • Successful losers are persistent. While most people are willing to quit by the second or third failure, losers don't see failure as an option. Successful losers many times fail at two or three businesses and go bankrupt several times before attaining success. They are not normal. What most people think is overnight success is usually 20 years of hard work, tears, failure and living in obscurity.
  • Successful losers unlike most of us bring a team along with them. Most of us attempt success on our own. Successful losers know they can't do it by themselves. They almost always partner with another successful person and create other successful people.
  • Successful losers are willing to reinvent themselves. Sometimes opportunities are successful for a while but things change: The economy, consumer demand, the person themselves, culture and technology to name a few. Rather than keep doing the same thing(s) that USE to work, they adapt to the changes and make things work.
  • Successful losers are usually ahead of the game. They don't wait for the tides of a great opportunity to come ashore and then try to ride them, they are prepared before the tide comes. When the tides come, the ride them for as long as they can and make the most of the ride. Most people wait too late take advantage of opportunities or aren't ready when come.
  • Successful losers know when to call it quits. As the old adage goes, all things come to an end and so do opportunities. Losers know that when they no longer have the desire or passion to do something, it's time to do something else. And when an opportunity is no longer profitable, it's time to cut your losses. Either go into another business or transform the existing business.

When it comes to why and how people are successful. It's really not a secret anymore. More books, e-books, CDs and DVDs have been produced on successful people that it's almost cliche or trite.

However, at the heart of American culture, Americans love to hear rags to riches stories. It's what makes this country great. Anybody can succeed IF you're willing to sacrifice and work extremely hard and be insanely persistent.

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A Practical Reason You Don't Achieve Your Goals

by Demond L Jackson

Many people believe goals are to accumulate this, that or the other thing. This isn't true at all. The real purpose of a goal is to cause you to grow.

The process of setting and achieving goals causes us to grow ourselves larger than we currently are. The new house, cars, jewelry or any other material thing is a byproduct of us achieving our goal. I wanted to share with you the right way to set goals.

There are three levels of goal setting. I refer to them as G1, G2 and G3. G1 is at the bottom.

When you set a goal to do something you already know how to do, you're at the G1 level. G1 goals shouldn't be goals at all because not only do you already know how to achieve it, the goal doesn't inspire you.

Going after a G1 goal doesn't challenge you to grow. It requires no creativity or mental capacity at all. G1 goals are not even worth your time.

A step above G1 is G2. G2 is a goal that you think you can do.

You reason that if this circumstance stays the same, if this person connects me with his uncle, if my banker can get me approved for the loan, if this supplier can offer me the price and terms I need, then I can achieve my goal. Good luck trying to get all of those variables to line up.

G2 goals are a stretch for you because you are endeavoring to do something you've never done before. But rarely are G2 goals filled with the passion needed to follow through, which is why so many people never achieve their goals.

Another aspect of the G2 goal is that in order to pursue that goal, you'd have to leave your G1 friends behind. They love you and want the best for you, but if you venture to rise above them, they're not going to support you.

So eventually what happens is that people go from doing what they think they can do, to go back to do what they know how to do. But they get bored and start back working towards what they think they can do. This is a very real problem that plagues all kinds of people.

G3 is where all the magic happens. G3 is a step above G2. G3 is liberating because it requires you to look inside yourself and ask the question, "what do I want?"

The great difference between the three levels is that G3 goals are actually something you can fall in love with. These goals move beyond just what you can think you can do if all circumstances fell into place. Your G3 goals excite you because you are pursuing something you really want.

So take a minute and write down five things you really, really want. Some of the items you write down will scare you. That's normal. Remember, the purpose of the goal is to cause you to grow.

G1 and G2 goals don't require any growth. G3 goals are a full expression of who you are. Goals that come from the core of who you are will be richly rewarding to you.

By the way, do you want to learn more about goal setting and how to do it more effectively to practically guarantee your success? If so, visit: http://www.DemondJackson.com/

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More Chocolate Means Better Nobel Prize Odds: True or False?

Hershey's
Hershey's (Photo credit: yum9me)
by Peter C. Doherty, University of Melbourne

Want to win a Nobel prize? You might increase your chances by eating more chocolate, according to a letter in Nature last Thursday.

The research, which outlines a survey of chocolate consumption of 23 male Nobel laureates during their years of prizewinning work, relates that 10 (43%) report eating chocolate more than twice a week, compared to 25% of 237 educated, age-matched men.

This survey follows a 2012 analysis showing the level of national chocolate consumption correlates strongly with the per capita incidence of Nobel Prize Awards.

Flavonoids - the key chemicals claimed to boost cognitive ability - are also in red wine, but you’re unlikely to do great science if you indulge too heavily in that direction.

Of course, correlation does not necessarily equal causation. We can’t say if flavonoid consumption is directly linked to Nobel prizes; there may be a third factor (coffee?) involved.

Yet if the survey’s conclusion is true and chocolate indeed helps cognitive ability it may not, regrettably, have the same effect for memory.

After all, the sample group for the survey was pretty small, and - as the joint recipient of the 1996 Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine - I can’t remember whether or not I actually filled in the chocolate survey form.

In addition, some awardees were excluded from the survey, as chocolate is linked to aggression (thus no Peace Prize recipients allowed) and depression (which is more prevalent in writers, so no Literature laureates either).

I also wonder a bit about the control group. Those respondents were just normal human beings. A better control group - as the authors acknowledge - would be those who’ve been awarded Ig Nobel Prizes awarded annually for research that “first makes people laugh, and then makes them think”.

Chocolate trafficking

All who attend the big Nobel Prize dinner receive gold-foil covered chocolate replica Nobel Prize medals, though the actual laureates walk away with a certificate, a “true gold” medal and cheque.

I still have a couple of the chocolate coins in the refrigerator. Maybe they date to 1996 when Rolf Zinkernagel and I got the nod from Stockholm, or perhaps to the 100th anniversary four years later when the Nobel Foundation invited back all the extant laureates who were still able to travel.

Over the past decade, my continued involvement in research on immunity to the influenza viruses has had me commuting between the University of Melbourne and my former place of full-time work, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Mostly I’m in Melbourne, but part of the job when I cross the Pacific to the American South is to deliver Australian dark chocolate to my much younger colleagues, the people who actually do the research.

The big demand by my young US associates is for varieties of Cadbury’s Special Dark Chocolate. Everyone is hooked on the Old Gold and the one with roasted almonds while a few, very discriminating types really go for the rum and raisin.

There is no such traffic the other way: though there are great niche chocolate makers in places such as Seattle, the mass-market US variety has, until recently, been somewhat bland.

Hershey heaven

In the Nobel list, the famous Hershey is the late American geneticist and bacteriologist Alfred Hershey, not the Pennsylvania chocolate manufacturer.

To the question of what constitutes scientific happiness, Hershey famously rejoined "to have one experiment that works, and keep doing it all the time".

“Hershey heaven” is the well-known description of that desire for him to come to the laboratory every morning, knowing what question to ask and being certain that the result would be important.

The Hershey-Chase experiments of 1952 showed, using viruses that infect bacteria (bacteriophages), that DNA is indeed the material of inheritance. Bacteriophages are just great for Hershey heaven, as experiments can be set up one day and read the next.

Such rapidity and consistency is generally not the rule for science but Al’s name, at least, is yet another link between intellectual excellence and (American) chocolate.

Passing on the benefits

Some anonymous comments in last week’s survey of Nobel laureates provide insights into individual relationships with chocolate:
I can offer you a sure example of a “double dissociation” between Nobel Prize winning and chocolate consumption … I am not particularly fond of chocolate but received a Nobel Prize. My wife is crazy about chocolate and eats it almost every day but so far she has not received the phone call. Having grown up in England after the second world war when chocolate was rationed I have been trying to make up for many years of abstinence ever since. I am trying to consume more chocolate every day to recapture my youthful IQ.
I guess now I’ll have to update my book The Beginner’s Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize with a (very short) chapter on dark chocolate, crème de cacao, chocolate mousse and so forth, though the research so far has not had a whole lot to say on dose levels.

Anyway, and if nothing else, this particularly incisive piece of Nobel research does make me feel good about my chocolate trafficking through US customs, as one of the jobs for any successful senior scientist is to bring on the next generation.

Peter C. Doherty is on the board of The Conversation.
The Conversation

This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article.
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Having a Really Lousy Day? Some Ways to Feel Better

by Gretchen Rubin, Bestselling author; blogger www.happiness-project.com: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130729120810-6526187-having-a-really-lousy-day-some-ways-to-feel-better
 
We’ve all had terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days (Photo: marvin730, Flickr)

A bad work evaluation, a disappointing grade, a potential crush who turns out to be interested in someone else, a fight with your colleague, a worrisome report from a doctor, a broken resolution … lousy days take many forms.

Here are some strategies I use for coping with a lousy day:

1. Resist the urge to “treat” yourself

Often, the things we choose as “treats” aren’t good for us. The pleasure lasts a minute, but then feelings of guilt, loss of control, and other negative consequences just deepen the lousiness of the day. So when you find yourself thinking, “I’ll feel better after I have a few beers … a pint of ice cream … a cigarette … a new pair of jeans,” ask yourself - will it REALLY make you feel better? It might make you feel worse.

2. Do something nice for someone else

Do good, feel good” - this really works. Be selfless, if only for selfish reasons. A friend going through a horrible period told me that she was practically addicted to doing good deeds; that was the only thing that made her feel better.

3. Distract yourself

When my older daughter was born, she had to be in Neonatal Intensive Care for a week. I spent every hour at the hospital, until my husband dragged me away to go to an afternoon movie. I didn’t want to go, but afterward, I realized that I was much better able to cope with the situation after having had a bit of relief. Watching a funny movie or TV show is a great way to take a break, or I often re-read beloved classics of children’s literature.

4. Seek inner peace through outer order

Soothe yourself by tackling a messy closet, an untidy desk, or crowded counter-tops. The sense of tangible progress, control, and orderliness can be a comfort. This always works for me - and fortunately, my family is messy enough that I always have plenty of therapeutic clutter at hand.

5. Tell yourself, “Well, at least I …

Get some things accomplished. Yes, you had a horrible day, but at least you went to the gym, or walked the dog, or filed an expense report, or read your children a story, or recycled.

6. Exercise is an extremely effective mood booster

But be careful of exercise that allows you to ruminate. For example, if I go for a walk when I’m upset about something, I often end up feeling worse, because the walk provides me with uninterrupted time in which to dwell obsessively on my troubles.

7. Stay in contact

When you’re having a lousy day, it’s tempting to retreat into isolation. Studies show, though, that contact with other people boosts mood. So try to see or talk to people, especially people you’re close to.

8. It’s a cliché, but things really will look brighter in the morning

Go to bed early and start the next day anew. Also, sleep deprivation puts a drag on mood in the best of circumstances, so a little extra sleep will do you good.

9. Remind yourself of your other identities

If you feel like a loser at work, send out a blast email to engage with college friends.

10. Keep perspective

Ask yourself: “Will this matter in a month? In a year?” I recently came across a note I’d written to myself years ago, that said “Taxes!” I dimly remember the panic I felt about dealing with taxes that year; but it’s all lost and forgotten now.

11. Write it down

When something horrible is consuming my mind, I find that if I write up a paragraph or two about the situation, I get immense relief.

12. Be grateful

Remind yourself that a lousy day isn’t a catastrophic day. Be grateful that you’re still on the “lousy” spectrum. Probably, things could be worse.

13. Use the emergency mood tool-kit

For an emergency happiness intervention, try these tips for getting a boost in the next hour.

What other strategies have you used to deal with a lousy day? It’s helpful to have a lot of options from which to choose.

For fun, I made a comic called "Gretchen Rubin and the Quest for a Passion." If you'd like to see it, just email me at gretchenrubin1@gretchenrubin.com.

How to Transform Your Dreams Into Accomplishments

by Johnny J. Flewellen

Who among us wouldn't love to be a better person and live a more fulfilling life? Maybe you wish you were richer, thinner, healthier, or more successful. Perhaps you'd like a more fulfilling love life or a fuller social calendar.

Make sure you're not making the mistake so many other people make and simply waiting for those things to happen on their own. It's only by taking action that you'll ultimately get where you want to be.

This is the case regardless of what you're hoping to achieve in your life. After all, even people who manage to beat the odds and win the lottery had to facilitate their stroke of good luck by deciding to buy a ticket!

Let's take a look at how you can take your dreams and transform them into real circumstances through actions and purposeful planning.

Clarify your goals and decide on a time frame

Everyone knows what it's like to have deadlines and quotas that need to be met at work... but have you ever taken the time to think about why those benchmarks are in place? It's because they're the only way to really get things done and make progress.

Before you can reach your goals, you need to first figure out what they really are. Next you need to establish a time frame and make a plan for actually reaching those goals.

Think about a part of your life that you really wish was different or better, whether that's your weight or the direction your career is taking. Set a specific goal you'd like to reach and attach a deadline to it. Ask those closest to you to help hold you accountable when it comes to following through.

Make sure your expectations are realistic

Making progress is part of a process that is going to take some real time, so don't expect to be able to change everything overnight. Make sure the goals and deadlines you're setting are actually realistic. Otherwise, you'll quickly get discouraged and reach a point where you're ready to throw in the towel.

Consider asking a professional consultant to help you set reachable goals if you're not sure you can do it on your own. When it comes to long-term plans, break the process up into smaller milestones.

This not only helps show you you're making progress, but it helps keep you from drifting off course as well.

Knowledge is helpful ... but it's not everything

Some people feel that improving their quality of life automatically means going out and getting another degree or hitting the books and studying something new.

While there's never anything wrong with acquiring more knowledge or more credentials, it's important to realize that they're not a means to an end by themselves.

You need to be able to apply what you learn in a way that facilitates real change, so keep this in mind when formulating your plans.

As you can see, making real progress in life really is all about taking action and purposefully moving ahead toward one's goals. Look for ways you can apply this philosophy today and experience the difference it makes for yourself!

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Trying to Remember

by Linda Hancock

It just seems that there is so much to remember these days. I really don't think that I can blame age (or don't want to) because there is an excess of information that I didn't even have when I was younger.

Like passwords and PIN numbers. You aren't supposed to use the same one over and over again but how on earth can you remember all of them? Well, you could enter them in a computer app as long as you put a password on the app!

Over the years I have developed some strategies that allow me to trick myself into doing well. Today I share these with you: 

Listen well

It is impossible for your brain to remember things that you didn't hear in the first place. When you are being introduced to a group that includes new people take a couple of minutes to ask the person about their name and use it a couple of times before moving on to the next person. It is acceptable (and flattering) to the person if you ask for the correct spelling or try to associate it with someone famous.

Take immediate action

Don't trust your memory to be accurate after time has lapsed. If you need to do something or want to remember, use a strategy such as writing it down right away. People will respect the fact that it is important enough for you to give the item priority status.

Use technology to help you remember

I have all the important birthdays in my iPhone along with the year that the person was born and an electronic reminder so that I never miss sending congratulating them.

Put EVERYTHING on your calendar

Even if it is just making a telephone call or paying a bill, your calendar should be the one and only place that you put all your commitments.

Have one journal where you enter information

I always recommend that clients have a health journal which they carry with them to every appointment. It should document the medications, dates and directions provided by each medical professional. You can also enter the questions that you want to ask at your next appointment (and the answers given) so that your mind is free from the anxiety that accompanies fear of forgetting.

Phone yourself

When I am at the office and want to remind myself to bring something from home, I just call my voice mail and leave a message. Then, when I arrive home and listen to the message I immediately put the item in a bag on the door handle for the next morning.

Keep a pad of sticky notes by the door

When you think of something that you need to do, write yourself a note a put it on the door. I usually write a list of things in the order that will save time and gas. The sticky note can easily be moved from the door to the dash of the car and serve as a guide for you.

To be honest, I don't want to remember everything. But when there are things that I really need to do, the above strategies help me to look and feel good.

This week try to implement at least one of these and notice how nice it is to free your mind up a little! And now I would like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to a complimentary list of 10 Steps to Making Your Life an Adventure when you visit http://lindahancock.com

From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker
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What Really Matters When It Comes to Living?

by Linda Hancock

My aunt lived in a fairly large house that had a basement suite full of furniture and personal possessions. When she was older and ended up in a private nursing home all she had was her cane and slippers. Talk about downsizing!

Last week when I was with my sister in ICU I once again was reminded that when a person is sick, things just don't matter. You don't need a new vehicle or couch when you are in the hospital. Jewelry is not important. Even flowers, balloons, cards and gifts are banned from certain wards.

The bedding, pillows, gowns and equipment are all supplied for you. In fact, the only things that you really take with you are your memories, relationships and faith.

When I look around my condo and office I realize that there are certainly way more things that I need and over the past few years I have been on a quest to deal with that. There are really just three categories you need to consider when it comes to getting things organized:

1. Share

Pick out the things that other people would appreciate having and give them to them. There isn't any point in hoarding things that your family will just fight over or destroy when you are gone. Be creative in your thinking and ask yourself "Who would be thrilled to receive this item as a gift?"

It doesn't have to be anything expensive or fancy. For example, I had a number of small shampoos and conditioners from hotels where I had stayed. The people in High River who were staying with friends or in community centers were so pleased to receive them.

If you have more of something than you can use - give it to someone who will be thankful to receive it.

2. Throw

You might be amazed at how many garbage bags of stuff you could get rid of just by cleaning your purse and a few drawers.

When something is broken, don't bother to try fixing it unless you truly need it. There isn't any sense in holding on to things with the idea that you might need it "someday". Get rid of it!

I recently watched a documentary in which a couple decided to see who could throw away the least amount of garbage in a year.

The two of them developed a number of strategies so that by the time they were done, each just had one small container that held everything they wanted to discard during the twelve months. Would you be able to do this?

You see first you have to get rid of as much as possible and then you need to make sure that you are not accumulating packaging and items that will just become more garbage.

3. Keep

When you finally get down to the point that there are things you want to keep, make sure that what you have is organized and well used.

James Rohn, a popular speaker once said that the most important legacy you have consists of three things: your photographs, your journals and your library. You see, these things help your descendants know who you are and who they can become. If you don't organize your life and your living space, eventually someone else will do it for you.

Why not set a couple of goals right now? First of all, never leave the house without taking something with you that you will either throw out or give away. Secondly, choose one drawer or area every week that you will sort.

Before you know it, you will experience the joy that comes from being organized and blessing others.

And now I would like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to a complimentary list of 10 Steps to Making Your Life an Adventure when you visit http://lindahancock.com

From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Scientists Discover Mollusks Are Next Evolutionary Stage For Humans


ANN ARBOR, MI - In a breakthrough study that researchers say adds important insight into the evolution of Homo sapiens, scientists at the University of Michigan confirmed Thursday that human beings are slowly evolving into mollusks.

“Evidence shows that modern humans emerged on the evolutionary timeline about 200,000 years ago, developed into the highly evolved hominids of today, and are now transforming into soft-bodied invertebrates,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Mitch Keneally, adding humans have already started turning into snails, slugs, and octopi, evidenced by their increasingly amorphous figures.

“Over the next 1,000 years, we’re going to see people developing gills, a hard protective shell around their torsos, and a large, muscular foot in their dorsal region that will help with locomotion and mucus secretion. The world is changing rapidly, and those who can’t filter seawater aren’t going to be able to survive.”

Scientists added that the evolutionary trajectory isn’t all that surprising considering that mollusks themselves descended from monkeys just 5,000 years ago.

Why Write Goals Down?

by John Steely

Many people, in many places, teach how to reach goals. Among the practices taught, writing goals down is one of the most repeated instructions.

There is ample evidence that written goals are attained more often than goals not written down, and this fact is all that is given to explain why to write goals down. However, very few people attempt to explain why writing goals down works, so let us investigate that aspect of attaining goals.

What Is Written Down

When you are told to write your goals down, you need to be clear on what is being asked of you. What is it that you are supposed to write down?

The most common instruction is to write down the SMART properties of your goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, As If Now, Relevant, and Timely.

A Specific goal is one that you clearly understand and which can be clearly explained to another; the more details you have about the goal, the more specific the goal.

A Measurable goal is one that you can decide quickly and definitively whether you have attained the goal or not; while a path of progress is not required, it can be very helpful in making a goal measurable.

An "As If Now" goal is one you feel you have already attained; the more you visualize the goal as being achieved, the more this "As If Now" quality is present.

A Relevant goal is one congruent with your beliefs and principles.

Finally, a Timely goal. is one with a deadline.

So writing a goal down means to the work at and write out, to the best of your ability, each of these five qualities of the goal. The format you use is personal; what is important is that you write them down.

Writing Involves Senses

Writing something down involves several senses, which means that several physical parts of the body are engaged. By engaging the hands, eyes, and maybe the ears, you are providing activity which can be remembered at a physical level, which improves the mental memory strength.

You can take advantage of this strength through strong visualization, since an imagined event has the same impact on the nerves and muscles as a real event.

A logical, or even emotional thought, affects the memory from a single direction, the mind. When the body is involved through action, whether that action is real or imagined, the memory is affected from a second direction, which increases the probability that the goal will be retained in memory.

Writing Demands Clarity

By writing the goal down, you are forcing yourself to make the goal clear enough to put into words.

By using words, you are making the concepts involved clear to you; if you want to really take advantage of this characteristic of writing, imagine that someone else, someone you do not even know, is reading and explaining your words.

Many people have a good idea, but they cannot express that idea in words. By going through the effort to get the words, you make the ambiguous aspects specific, and the unclear characteristics become known.

Again, to take full advantage of this technique, have someone else read what you have written to check your clarity.

Writing is Permanent

By writing your goal down, you are making the goal a (somewhat) permanent part of your existence. You are giving a level of commitment to that goal. You have staked a claim. You may change your mind later on, but for right now you have made a commitment.

This permanency makes the goal more powerful and a stronger part of your existence. That means you are more likely to give the time, energy, and effort needed to reach the goal.

For these reasons, and more, a written goal is much more likely to be achieved that a goal that is merely stated to someone else. Take advantage of this fact and make your goals more likely to be achieved, and thus you will lead a more successful life.

John Steely has been teaching mathematics, study skills, and habits of success for over 25 years. You can access a number of free resources he has found and made at Steely Services

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The One Choice That Will Change Your Life

by Kaylene S Mathews

Excellence, what is it? By definition, excellence is "the quality of being outstanding... " Many people live with the assumption that only the really great people are excellent. Whoever thinks this is correct.

The really great athletes, business owners, authors, barbers, house cleaners, are all excellent at what they do. Anyone who takes life seriously enough to give full effort, all the time, demonstrates excellence.

How do we describe them? "Oh, I have a great boss," or "I know a great photographer." They're all great because they have chosen excellence, right where they are, with exactly what they have.

What is excellence?

  • A Habit. Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." When we perform to the very best of our ability, we are practicing excellence. We form habits through practice. At first it is an intentional effort. We have to be conscious of our performance. Eventually though, through practice, we become unconsciously competent. Because it's simply just what we do, who we are.

  • An Attitude. It's easy to get a poor attitude when doing routine, mundane, and unexciting work. That's because the connection between attitude and excellence has been missed. When you have an attitude of excellence, you open doors of opportunity not opened to those with poor attitudes.

  • An Association. Who are you being influenced by? Who are you spending time with on a regular basis? "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17. Are your regular associations sharpening you? Do they make you better? Evaluate if you're being challenged to excellence or settling for mediocre through your key associations. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to your best self.

How do you obtain it?

  • Widely considered one of the greatest NBA coaches of all time Pat Riley said, "Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better." Emphasis on always. He didn't say when you feel like it. If it's sunny. If you're having a good day. He said, "always." He also said, "gradual result." Excellence isn't about perfection, it's about effort. Everyday, doing what you need to do, even when you don't feel like it.

Why it's important.

  • You just never know who's watching and what it could mean for you. I experienced this in my own life. I have published my blog consistently for a period of time. Week in and week out, not knowing exactly who was reading it or who is checking out my website. I have always strived to provide consistent, valuable content regardless of the time and effort it took. I was approached last month by a magazine editor to write an article for their publication. She and others on staff, had been checking out my writing and decided I would be a good candidate to write for them. A very pleasant an unexpected surprise to me.

  • Your quality of life depends on it. It was Vince Lombardi who once said, "The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor." When you make the commitment to excellence, your quality of life can't help but be enhanced. Opportunity happens upon you in unexpected hours. The satisfaction in a job well done flavors your days. No regrets. You wouldn't spend a lot of money on an average product. Don't spend a day of your life on average effort and results.

Decide today to choose excellence, right where you are, with what you have. It's your life, choose excellence!

Advance from average to excellent with a coach. Kaylene Mathews is the President and owner of KSMLifeCoaching LLC. She offers both personal and group coaching services as well as PeopleMap assessments and training workshops for individuals, groups and corporate teams in the DFW area. For more information visit: http://ksmlifecoaching.com/

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On Doing the Right Thing

by James D Sutton

As a former teacher and a lifetime parent, I believe one of the most difficult things to teach young people is to do the right thing when there may be no payoff in sight. Sometimes the right thing is simply the right thing; period.

Earlier this week I was asked to be a pallbearer at the funeral of a woman I knew by name only. All of her family was living in various parts of the country.

Although I thought it a "different" sort of request, I agreed and did, indeed, carry her casket ... the casket of a person I didn't know. Interesting, huh?

Why would we do such a thing or, more specifically, why did I? I agreed to be a pallbearer for at least three reasons:

1. I have the deepest regard and respect for the person who called and asked me if I would be a pallbearer.

2. I was available to do it. Various circumstances prevented most of the other men from our small church to be a pallbearer. I was home still, getting ready for a trip to Kansas, but I was home and available.

3. It was simply the right thing to do. That, in and of itself, was enough.

I cannot tell you that taking on this little job was a hassle for me, because it wasn't. Nor could I tell you that doing it made me feel wonderfully warm and fuzzy inside. It didn't. It was simply the right thing to do, and that was enough.

In the grand scheme of things life got back to "normal" after a 90 minute diversion of carrying the casket of a stranger. There were calls to make and errands to run. I seriously doubt if I will even recall this action a few years from now.

But I'm very clear on the fact that, had I refused this request and others like it, I would have been a bit less as a person because of it. Sometimes doing the right thing is simply the right thing to do.

A nationally recognized child and adolescent psychologist and speaker, Dr. James Sutton is the author of The Changing Behavior Book: A Fresh Approach to the Difficult Child.

He is the founder and host of The Changing Behavior Network, a popular internet radio program supporting young people and their families, and every month he publishes The Changing Behavior Digest, offering tips on managing difficult children and teens. Both resources (and others) are available at no cost through his website, http://www.DocSpeak.com.

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http://EzineArticles.com/?On-Doing-the-Right-Thing&id=7895905

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Life-Saving Journal Writing: Forgiveness

by Mari McCarthy

Forgiveness.

How much does that word take up space in your life? Have you ever found it difficult to forgive someone? Are there things or people you feel like you will never forgive? Or, on the other side, are you sometimes worried that other people will never forgive you?

An important part of achieving a sense of well-being is not carrying grudges against others and not carrying guilt about our own lives. If you feel resentful or guilty, you're not likely to have a peaceful attitude.

Journal writing is an excellent way to examine this aspect of awareness. There may be forgiveness issues in your life today that you can write through in your journal.

And there may also be multiple forgiveness problems left over from many years before; knots in your mindfulness that are barely noticed in the everyday rush and crush, but that keep you at arm's length from personal fulfillment.

Even if you think you have no forgiveness issues, try some of the following journal prompts. You might strike gold, in terms of discovering solutions to elusive puzzles like, "Why aren't I happy?" or "Where am I going?"

1. Spend a timed period free-writing from the word, 'forgiveness.' You may also enjoy selecting 'hot' words or phrases from your free-writing and considering them on separate pages.

2. Write, "One thing that's hard to forgive is ..." and keep writing. Consider such areas as your childhood, or your marriage or your job, or politics, history, religion, education, or economics. Where in your experience has the unforgivable happened?

3. Write about a time when you forgave another person. Again, spend a timed period writing on the subject, so that you are forced to go deeper than you might otherwise.

4. Write about a time when you forgave yourself. Detail whatever transgression occurred and especially focus on how successful you were in granting forgiveness. Was it loving and wholehearted? Did you profoundly forgive, or just go through the motions? If you're still harboring shreds of guilt and blaming yourself, maybe it's time to bring your forgiveness out of mothballs again.

5. Finally, consider how important Love is to forgiveness. You're not going to care about anything, much less forgiveness, if your focus is not on being as loving as you can, to yourself and others. To stay in peak Loving form, journal your spontaneous thoughts on the subject regularly - once a month at least. Write at the top of a new page, "Love is ..." and keep writing. It's like taking your vitamins!

Mari L. McCarthy is The Journaling Therapy Specialist, founder of Create Write Now, the Personal Growth Journaling Place. Mari offers counseling and encouragement to journal writers through her many online journaling resources, as well as private consultations.

Mari's teachings and workbooks center around journaling for self-discovery, self-growth, and self-healing. 12 Days of Morning Pages (http://createwritenow.com/12-days-of-morning-pages) is her latest ebook / emailed course, providing a gentle entrance to a life-changing practice.

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The Value Of Self Improvement

by Angelina Campos

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever" - Mahatma Gandhi.

One of my greatest values is to be life long learner. I love to learn and feel that constantly learning new things is an essential and critically important part of life. As an entrepreneur of a small business, it's part of your "job" to learn various aspects of your business.

Even if you delegate or outsource various parts of your business, it's still your responsibility to know how to be an effective and productive entrepreneur that can lead and direct your company toward its overall goals.

Just like everything else in life that you want success in, you have to learn it. And even if you're life long learner too, there will always be a place of "we don't know what we don't know." The absolute best thing you can do for yourself is to always work on improving something. This could be from a personal perspective or a business perspective.

Since you really can't separate personal and business when it comes to who you are fundamentally, whether you take a personal wellness workshop or a professional development workshop, you are still improving the common denominator in both areas, YOU! So you can't go wrong.

Ask yourself some simple questions:

What have I always wanted to know more about?
What area in my business could use improvement?
How can I learn something that can help others?
If money was not a limiting factor, what would I most like to do?

Question four is my favorite because it opens up possibilities that many people have never considered. I come across quite a few people who limit themselves due to finances therefore they end up trying to fit into a mold that isn't their own and they are not as happy as they would like to be.

If you find this to be your situation, I would bet you are more capable of fulfilling your dream than you ever thought. So explore it!

Here's my advice:

- Spend 30 minutes every day reading about something new you want to learn or improve upon
- Take a self-fulfillment class (a.k.a. as self-improvement)
- Sign up for a workshop or seminar to improve a specific business skill

Being a life long learner is a good habit to get in to. What you learn is something that no one can ever take away from you and it will benefit you in every aspect of your life. Happy Learning!

Angelina Campos is the founder of Own Your Ambition, formerly Campos Coaching. Known for her amazing insight and natural knack for understanding, she has the unique ability to help others discover and focus on their untapped potential to create otherwise unimaginable success in business.

Visit http://www.ownyourambition.com to schedule an appointment with Angelina.

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Do Your Beliefs and Behaviors Ever Clash?

by Joyce Shafer

Beliefs change. This usually surprises us because we invest a good deal of energy into identifying what we believe about anything. When beliefs and behaviors contrast, the typical response or reaction is to manage or attempt to manage the behaviors.

But what does that really do? Solely managing a behavior not in alignment with a belief puts us into a form of self-denial, if we don't also look at the belief.

Why do we hold beliefs? They act as a guidance system for us, an internal GPS (Global Positioning System) that helps us follow our path throughout the moments of our lives. If we have head and heart alignment with our beliefs, they can serve us.

If we don't, meaning we just give lip-service to them, they merely act as a corral to keep our true feelings inside. If contrasts between beliefs and behaviors arise, there is something we can do. We can ask a series of questions.

What changed? This has to be addressed at both inner and outer levels. One level does not change without affecting the other.

Determine where the change originated that created the contrast: inner or outer. Once you know where it started, it will lead you to identify what influence it had at the other level. Once you identify these changes, you can ask the following questions.

What do I want instead? This comes directly from knowing what you don't want, which is, at the root of this, the actual discomfort you feel from the inner- and outer-level contrast. Most people believe they want something specific to change so they can feel in balance or better than they do.

Feelings come from within. They are not a result of circumstances, but of choices we make about how to feel about anyone or anything, in any moment. If you know how you prefer to feel, you can determine what you need to do at the inner and outer levels to get to that feeling.

However, the resolution of this will be long-lasting only if you have head and heart alignment about this.

How committed are you to doing whatever it takes to create more of what you want? If all you are engaged in is wishful thinking, nothing substantial will change. Wishful thinking has a constant companion: noisy dialogue, whether in our heads or to anyone who will listen.

Commitment has energy, and as author Kurt Wright said, is a magnet. There is inner conversation as you ask yourself right questions, but then there is action, much more action than dialogue, when you have commitment.

Most inner- and outer-level struggles result from people not knowing what it is they want, being afraid to admit what it is they want, or being afraid to take action needed to create what they want. This is not living.

Most of us are extravagant about how much time we think we have in life. And, we mistakenly think that life is about what we accomplish rather than what we feel about ourselves and every moment, and what we contribute to each moment.

Accomplish what you want; but make your goal to feel what you want to feel about you in relation to the entire process from start to middle to end.

When all is said and done, whether at the end of a goal or the end of a lifetime, what do you want to feel about yourself, the outcome, and the experiences that got you there? Was it an impoverished inner experience or a richly-textured one?

Were you serene more than not, joyful more than not, enthusiastic more than not, loving and caring more than not, trusting of Source more than not? Did you seek and find head and heart alignment more than not, and so on? Did you choose one feeling over another, with conscious awareness?

Did you pay attention to contrasts between your beliefs and your behaviors, and address this to restore harmony in you, your life, and your relationships?

Did you choose what you wanted to feel about yourself, say, to remain in integrity, before you spoke or took action, at least, as often as you could do this? These choices are always yours. Be deliberate about your choices. It's a good practice; one you'll appreciate.

Practice makes progress.

(C) Joyce Shafer
 Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She's author of "I Don't Want to be Your Guru" and other books/ebooks, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles and free downloads.

See all that's offered by Joyce and on her site at http://stateofappreciation.weebly.com/guest-articles.html#.UPGKUB3BGSo

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

How to Get Your Life Off Auto-Pilot Once and for All

by Johnny J. Flewellen

In a day and age when busy lifestyles and jam-packed schedules are the norm, it's not surprising that so many people always seem to be looking for ways to reduce their stress levels and streamline their lives to the greatest extent possible.

Sometimes this desire to maximize limited time and energy manifests as a tendency to simply drift through life on auto pilot. However, while allowing your internal auto pilot to run your life may seem like a good solution in the short term, it can lead to devastating consequences later.

Let's take a look at some areas of your life where it may be time to get back in the driver's seat.

Be a participant in your professional life

Whether you run your own business or make your fortune working for somebody else, it's important to make sure you're really the one holding the reigns.

If it's been a while since your career has grown and expanded, then it could be a sign that you need to be more of an active participant in your own future. Before you turn around years in the future and wonder where all the time went, take some steps today to make sure your future is really on track.

Start by making a list of your professional goals and setting deadlines by which to reach them. Tell people you know about your plans so they can help hold you accountable for following through.

Be more hands-on with your family

While plenty of people may recognize the need to really get active when it comes to improving their work life, it's common to expect one's family life to simply take care of itself.

They don't realize until it's too late that marriages and relationships with children are living entities that need to be maintained so they don't stagnate. Has your marriage lost a lot of the life force that it once had?

Think about how you can pay more attention to your spouse and be more involved in his or her life. How present are you in the lives of your children?

It's important to make sure that you - and not the kids in the school yard or the media - are the one teaching them their values and helping them to grow into the people they're destined to be.

Don't neglect your health

Of all the things in life that are easy to take for granted, your health probably tops the list. It's easy to justify not eating healthfully or exercising enough, especially if you really do keep a tight schedule.

However, making a habit of neglecting your body can lead to major issues down the line including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.

Look for ways you and your family can improve your diets and fitness levels together today. If you're not already visiting your physician for regular checkups and screenings, it's time to start.

Take control of your personal finances

Letting your personal finances coast along unchecked seems to be the American way these days... and that's exactly why so many people are struggling with crushing debt.

All it would take to send the average American into a tail spin is the loss of a job or an unexpected health crisis in the family, so it's important to get on top of things sooner rather than later.

Develop a plan to pay off your debt and start living within your means. Start building up your savings account as well. You'll ultimately be glad you did!

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Are You Finding It Difficult To Follow Through On Your Vision?

by Donniece Greene-Smith

The amount of heartache that comes from not having a vision for your life is immeasurable so much so that most give up after the first hurdle or two. When they give up they don't stop living out a vision, it's just not their's.

Why is this the case?

Listed below are a few things that are needed for the person who is looking to establish and follow through on their vision.

The first thing you have to know is, that your vision can be fulfilled and it is not impossible. In fact your visions are more real than anything else around you, however you must be willing to invest in your own dreams.

You have to be willing to develop the confidence in yourself by taking the necessary steps, falling down and then getting back up again.

There are great things to learn about yourself when you risk falling down and getting back up again. Those things are essential to fulfilling the vision you have for your life.

Finding clarity is necessary to following your vision, but there will be times when you are unclear about what to do and where to go, however by believing and trusting in your vision and your reason for being here you will discover what you need to know.

You have to know when to seek help by finding and connecting with mentors in the areas that you wish to thrive in.

You have to be willing to learn from those mentors; not by living their vision of your life and losing focus by being focused on their vision, but by establishing an understanding of the keys they have used to bring them success.

You also have to know when you have enough information to get out there and get started; otherwise you risk becoming a professional information gatherer.

You have to be willing for people to find faults with you and disown you even. If you are not willing to let go of the opinions others have of you whether good or bad you will always be held hostage to them or worst still you will live their expectations of you.

You have to be willing to discover you by doing whatever it will take to do that. Following through on your vision also requires surrendering the need to compare yourself to others or by allowing people to compare you to others.

You are an original and just as there isn't another person like you in this universe there also isn't another vision like yours. Be brave enough to let the world see through your eyes.

You must be willing to let your voice be heard, mistakes and all, because if you can do that you can find your way. However if you are unwilling to do any of these you will live to and fro other people's vision for your life.

There is freedom in following through on your own vision. There is fulfilment in knowing that you are not only committed to following through on your vision, but you are prepared to go through the necessary hurdles in order to do so.

There are many keys to success like, getting our mindset open for it, having persistence and being around people who are thinking like we think and having someone on your side whose only motive is to see you operate in your full potential.

If you should desire to have this, contact me Donniece Greene-Smith at http://www.donniecegreenesmith.com/contact Website: http://www.donniecegreenesmith.com

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10 Steps To Living An Authentic Life

by Susan Hagen

Living life authentically is so important to being happy and content with who you are. You have the opportunity in life to create a path that is true to yourself and your visions and values. There are ten steps that I have found that can help you realize an authentic life.

Be True to Yourself

Liberate yourself from the internal generated pressure to so the things we should do and instead focus on the things that is priorities because we value them

Evaluate Change

Change can be scary and it is in our natural to resist change. When we approach change with fear and what we will lose we can justify and rationalize our current behavior to avoid changing. We naturally want the place that was comfortable and familiar. When we are looking at change in our lives we need to remember what we stand to gain, what will be lost it we remain in the current state.

Choose a Career Path That Fits Your Personal Values and Goals

Reflecting and choosing a career path that aligns with your values and goals creates a foundation for happiness and effectiveness. This does require thinking about these goals and could mean realigning your life to be in a career that is aligned with your values and goals. Change is good if it takes you on the path to contentment.

Honor Yourself For Who You Are, Strengths and Weaknesses Alike

Your strengths and weakness make up who you are as a person. Being aware of these and appreciating ourselves for these is important to finding your real self. If you love, honor and tolerate yourself, you will be more tolerant of others. You will be able to handle stress easier and will be able to resolve problems better. Honoring yourself means you do not need to struggle for others approval. When you let go of the shoulds and accept who you are you gain control of your life.

Seek Progress, Not Perfection

How you conduct yourself on the journey of life is truly your decision. It is not defined only by your success but also by your failures. Our journey to learn and develop must include both wins and losses', learning is about making mistakes and forgiving ourselves for these mistakes, learning from them and moving towards our goals. When we were toddlers we fell many times before mastering the art of walking. Give yourself a break and realize that you are not perfect.

Welcome Mistakes and Failures as Opportunities

Failure is important in in giving us data. We can learn from what went wrong, move on and prevent it from happening again. This does take looking back and evaluating failures to see what the lesson learned was and then looking for solutions for preventing this in the future. The important part about mistakes and failures is that we need to look, learn and then move one and forgive ourselves for not being perfect.

Live Everyday Consistent With your Values and Visions

None us know what will happen to us tomorrow so it is important to live every day in a life that reflects our values and visions. Living life in your terms can create an environment that makes life a wonderful place to be. This could mean that you have put off traveling for years and it has been your vision to travel. Now is the time to start making that happen. You may want to go back to school the choice to do this is your but today is as good a day as any to start the process.

Be Open to Spontaneity and Unforeseen Opportunity

Trying to control every aspect of your life can get exhausting. Living your life aligned with your visions and values does not mean that every move will be planned out precisely but that you are living life based on these and are flexible in creating the future. Spontaneity can give you a great sense of freedom and joy. If your plans are too rigid it can create unnecessary pressures and stress, preventing you from looking at unforeseen opportunities. It's important to have unstructured time and preserve some freedoms in your life. Uncertainty may feel uncomfortable but can be the gateway to growth and development.

Have a Support System

Your relationship should be ones that support you as a person. Creating a circle of people that accept you and love you for who you are is important to growth. If you do not have this support system find one or two. Coaching can help to keep you on track to realize your goals and aspirations. The key is to have people that support you and can help you see the clear picture for you. A support system encourages, challenges and supports you to make decisions that are right for you.

Realize You Always Have a Choice

It is important to take responsibility for yourself and recognize that you are always making choices, even when you tell yourself you are being pressured or forced by outside influences. Make deliberate choices, act on the basis of judgment rather than habit or assumption.

The choice is yours to live your life by others visions and values or chose a life that is authentic to you. We are all individuals and with this come the choice to live according to what will create the environment for happiness for us as individuals. This comes from understanding and marching to our own drummer. The choice is yours.

Susan Hagen is a Transformational Coach that teaches these and other techniques to reach your goals in life. Connect through E Mind Design to find out more about transforming your life http://www.eminddesign.com/#!transformational-coaching/c18jm

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Having a Good Day, Even When It Isn't

by James D Sutton

I'm proud to be a member of the National Speakers Association. I remember a story about the great Cavett Robert, one of the key founders of NSA. He always preached doing your best, no matter what, and he always practiced his message.

Against the Wall

I remember someone sharing a story about their first-hand observation of Cavett Robert during a speaking event. He was sick and running fever.

It was shared that, before he was introduced, Cavett was resting his face against a plaster wall, just to catch a little coolness. He then went on to deliver his program, just as he had promised.

I said to myself, "I sure hope I don't ever have to do that." Well, it happened to me just a few years ago. Perhaps you've had an experience something like this.

I was scheduled to train teachers at an education service center in Waco, Texas. I got to my destination, checked into the motel and grabbed a bite of dinner. I even went to bed early so I would be extra sharp for the next day.

About an hour or two into my sleep, I awoke to VIOLENT bouts of vomiting and diarrhea that went on all night: Food poisoning (if my wife had been with me, she'd taken me to the hospital, for sure).

A New Watermark

I tried to soothe myself by saying, "This is BAD, but I've experienced worse." No way; this was a new watermark.

Fortunately, it all tapered off about 6:00a.m., so I decided to regroup and give it a shot. I was so weak and dehydrated, it took me forever to shave and dress. Fortunately, it took me about 40 minutes to drive to where the client was, which gave me a chance to chug a 32-ounce bottle of Gatorade.

That allowed me to walk into the facility without looking like a drunk man. But I was so weak and sleep-deprived I could hardly stand.

I leveled with my client, Gwen, and we decided to give it a shot. They brought in a stool for me (a God-send). It was a rocky start, but you know the rest. As they got into my presentation, I was able to feed off their energy. They helped pull me through, and we all made a good day of it.

Like a good pitcher in a slump, we don't always have our best stuff. But if we keep pitching and stay in the game, things will change.

A nationally recognized child and adolescent psychologist and speaker, Dr. James Sutton is the author of The Changing Behavior Book: A Fresh Approach to the Difficult Child.

He is the founder and host of The Changing Behavior Network, a popular internet radio program supporting young people and their families, and every month he publishes The Changing Behavior Digest, offering tips on managing difficult children and teens. Both resources (and others) are available at no cost through his website, http://www.DocSpeak.com.

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10 Ultimate Tips to Power Your Mindset and Gain More Self-Confidence

by Jay K Hiller

Self-confidence plays such an important role in our life on a daily basis. Most of the time we just go on with your day without ever thinking about how confident we feel about ourselves - that is, until we're faced with a huge decision or we need to perform a certain task and expect to do it well.

So creating a solid mindset to feel completely confident anytime and anywhere becomes a very important quality that we can apply to most situations before they ever occur, thus making those challenging moments so much easier to contend with and to help us feel better about them.

For most of us, trying just one method to gain confidence and maintain a confident mindset doesn't always prove to be the best solution, but using a combination of several techniques may provide exactly the key outcome to successfully achieve our ultimate goal.

Here are 10 strategies to the solutions that can be used alone, or in a combination to create or change your mindset to gain the self confidence you deserve. (not necessarily in order of importance).

1. One of the first and most important concepts to the creation of a strong and sound mindset is to begin with a clear slate

In other words, to erase those obstacles from your past that continue to form negative beliefs which keep you from feeling confident. It's pretty difficult to move forward if you are constantly haunted by negative experiences from your past.

You can start the healing process by writing down all those past influences that continue to make you feel inadequate, indecisive, and insecure. I like to refer to this as clearing your mindset closet. Once you've discharged these destructive experiences, you can begin to create new positive associations that will propel you to new horizons.

2. Another destructive behavior is to focus on negative situations and outcomes

If you tell yourself that bad things always happen to you, then your subconscious mind will continue to find ways to reinforce that and constantly remind your thought process that "this is just the way it has been and there is nothing you can do about it".

So this destructive thought pattern becomes the norm and you'll have a very difficult time getting away from this type of behavior (in my book, The 51st State, I refer to this as 'stinkin-thinkin').

Of course, not everything is going to produce a positive result for you, but you can DECIDE that negative outcomes are merely lessons to which you should view as a sign to try a new approach. Don't let your mind say to you; "see, I told you only bad things happen" - keep thinking that way and most likely, they will.

3. So, with a clear head and a positive attitude, you can begin to create your positive belief programming by some very powerful and influential techniques to disrupt a negative situation that occurs anytime, anywhere

Be prepared to change your environment, or enhance the mood, or by documenting the cause so you can avoid a similar outcome in the future.

You can put on some loud and fun music, you can go for a walk or run to exert some energy, you can listen to inspiring messages (i.e. my audio session) to help empower mindset and deal with a situation better, or take a hot bath to relax you physically.

Decide for yourself, what works for you to quickly change the immediate circumstances and you will open new channels to overcome these challenges.

4. Create a vision (dream) board that you can look at constantly

This is a great way to form positive beliefs and give you a physical "goal getter" to refer to first thing in the morning, last thing in the evening, and anytime in between.

You can use a bulletin board, white board, electronic graphic on your computer, or a simple cardboard poster that you can attach pictures, quotes, and goals as a constant reminder of what you want, who you want to be, and how you want to feel. Just remember to use this inspiration as often as possible.

Look at it, read it, study it, dream it, and believe in it. You can gain some huge confidence in yourself when you create some visual goals.

5. Surround yourself with positive energy

As obvious as this sounds, I'm amazed how many people continue to let destructive influences into their life from others. Join a group of like-minded people that you can relate to and share with and that empower you, or start one.

Stop hanging around those individuals that suck your energy from you and bring you down. Start associating with those you lift you up and energize you and you will probably find yourself with more confidence.

There is so much great opportunity to build confidence when you truly relate to others who recognize your strengths and talents instead of those who want to steal your dreams.

Think back on those pivotal moments when someone you met made a huge impact on your life (in a positive way of course) and realize that this can, and probably will happen again. Set your own boundaries and limits about who you will let become part of your circle of influence and you can feel the incredible power of confidence.

6. Getting busy with physical exercise (only with doctor's permission) is probably one the most empowering methods to build self confidence

I have heard from so many people that this is the one thing that really makes them feel incredibly confident physically, mentally, and emotionally. Sure, you may seek to build muscle, lose a few pounds, look fit, but it's the mental aspect that has a huge impact on building confidence.

Just knowing that it takes motivation and perseverance to get out and exercise is very satisfying by itself. Stick with it for awhile, and you should realize some really great physical results from your efforts. It's also a great stress reliever and tension reducer.

There are many ways to get active, from going to the gym, to walking around the block, to working out at home with simple weights or a cardio dvd. You don't have to set huge milestones to shoot for and accomplish at first.

Start out with small, achievable goals in the beginning and continue to increase your workout program until you reach your ultimate results. Find something that you can do physically on a regular basis and you can gain the confidence you desire from this terrific form of activity.

7. Accomplish something, no matter how insignificant it seems, that gives you some satisfaction that you are moving in the right direction

Confidence comes from results - usually positive results. Don't just sit around and wait for things to come your way. Get up and call someone, or open a business account, write a blog post, clean the closet, even plant a garden, something that is necessary to help you move forward.

There certainly are no guarantees that is will provide instant success for you, but it keeps the motivation factor progressing and hopefully will lead you to the next task to accomplish to reach your goals (you better have some goals).

8. Develop some mind-healthy habits of positive reinforcement

Most of us have read motivational quotes to some degree. They can be found all over our busy world, from television commercials, to inspirational wall hangings, to fortune cookie messages, to seminars and programs you can listen to anywhere you go. That's terrific.

There is such a vast amount of really great messages to keep us inspired all the time. Now, we just have to channel them into our subconscious mind so we create (or change) our belief system. Just reading a great quote or hearing a positive message usually isn't enough to really embed that positive idea firmly in our mind so that we can call on it when we need to.

Try affirmations, mantras, and meditation, that can have a lasting result and provide a positive memory bank that we can tap into at will. A more consistent approach is usually required to create this part of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). Put these words of confidence anywhere you spend a lot of time at or on a regular basis.

By reading these powerful messages constantly, you can begin to create your own beliefs that will flush away negative thoughts and replace them with empowering and confident ones.

9. Be grateful, thankful, and appreciative of the gifts you already possess

You may be asking; how is this going to give me more confidence? The solution is that we can take a step back and realize who we already are, what we've already accomplished, and what we already have in our lives.

We all have certain gifts that we should be so thankful for. Sometimes it's hard to think about them when we are struggling with life's challenges. This is a great time to make a list of our wonderful traits and characteristics and pin them up on our dream board so that we can refer to them when life becomes difficult.

Confidence in our ability to appreciate the things we have instead of constantly striving for more can have a profound effect on our mindset. That also leads to rethinking what we really want and who we really want to be. Take some time to write down your gifts and be confident with them.

10. Never, ever give up

That means never give up on your dreams, your beliefs, or your talents. There is a time when you may be smart to let go of something that is draining you mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially so you can move on to more progressive tasks that will propel you forward in seeking your ultimate success.

You can usually decide when this time is appropriate when it just feels right to part from something that stops you in your tracks or takes too much away from you. It may be a relationship, a j.o.b., a business venture or a destructive circle of influences.

You should be focused on that which gets you closer to success by helping you accomplish your tasks and reach your goals. Sure there will be unexpected challenges along the way, but don't let them bring you down and away from your dreams. You can just expect that challenges will happen, but you can also prepare for some of them by thinking ahead to what is presented in front of you.

Prioritize your tasks, contact those you need help from, and always take some action to get you closer to individual goals.

Try applying as many of these methods to increase your confidence and you may experience a higher power never felt before. Your mindset is so important to your confidence levels, which in turn helps you make decisions, take action, and venture out of your comfort zone, that can lead to the road to realize your ultimate success.

Focus on making things happen that move you forward and stop wasting time on things that are nonproductive. Confidence crushers are found too easily and in so many aspects of life so weeding through them can prove to turn confidence levels positive by eliminating those things that are destructive.

Take charge of your mindset and cherish the gifts you have been given. You are important - Have SELF CONFIDENCE AND BE CONFIDENT!

I have been studying personal development and self empowerment for over 30 years and now have produced a culmination of awareness, tips, strategies, action plans, and simple methods to define and recognize those qualities that are so important to our goal achievement.

This is done through several techniques and resources to provide solutions for the ultimate in empowerment to reach new levels of happiness that most have never before experienced. A confident mindset is the foundation to reaching these levels of total and complete elated feelings.

Everyone has something to give and has gifts to utilize for their own definition of success. Visit our website at: http://www.confidencemindset.com and experience true value and share with others the benefits of feeling confident and living life to more than anyone could image.

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What to Look For When Hiring a Coach

by Jon Michail, 21st Century News: http://www.21stcenturynews.com.au/masters/

coachingInternationally recognised 24 year veteran brand and image expert Jon-Michail dissects the coaching industry.

Coaching is a customised tool for personal and professional progress and achievement. 

It can provide clarity, direction, support and solutions in situations ranging from relationship and career challenges to small business and corporate growth.

Like any sophisticated tool, coaching can only be maximised if you know how it works, what it should be used for and how to choose the best coach for the job.

The first step is to understand exactly what coaching is and maybe more importantly, what it should be used for and how to choose the best coach.

A coach is a trained partner who helps you achieve fulfilling results in your personal and professional life. Through the process of coaching you move from ‘where you are to where you really want to be’.

A coach is often the missing link, filling in the gap between books,workshops and seminars, and becomes a customised path for the individual to help them achieve their goals, outcomes and‘end game’.

“A coach with real world experience brings to the table knowledge with a battle-hardened reality,” says Dennis Atacador general manager (commercial sales) with Australia Post.

Top 10 reasons to use a coach

1. Self improvement
2. Career issues
3. Professional interest
4. Organisation/people issues
5. Relationship challenges
6. Communication issues
7. Body image/health/fitness
8. Intrapreneurial career growth
9. Entrepreneurial business growth
10. Real world practical ‘street smarts’

If you feel you need a coach you should conduct the following health check. Ask yourself:

1. Am I in a desperate state?
2. Do I know what I am looking for - do I have an end game?
3. Am I willing to be coachable?
4. Am I willing to do what it takes?
5. Do I have an entrepreneurial / intrapreneurial spirit?

Upon doing this you then need to ask yourself, what type of coach suits you? I remember the time I took my kids to soccer training and their coach screamed and yelled at the group, knowing that type of behaviour as an adult wasn’t right.

Screaming and yelling at people, let alone kids, is not the ideal way to inspire them to perform to their maximum capabilities.

Unfortunately, the coaching arena is so broad that it is sometimes difficult to choose. There are plenty of coaches who talk the talk, but can’t back up anything they say.

In fact the industry is full of people who are full of promise and nothing else. They’ll gladly take your money, but won’t give you any real insight in return.

Top 10 negatives of bad coaches

1. Costs you a lot of money for no financial (or other) return
2. Has a great marketing website but no real coaching experience
3. Confuses you, makes you wrong
4. Inactive listener
5. Arrogant to the point of ‘know it all’
6. Give you so much homework to do that it overwhelms you
7. Lacks vision for the future
8. Does not ask great questions
9. Own life is upside down - unbalanced
10. Never has been in business - no real world experience

The reason the industry covets scepticism is that many coaches exhibit the traits above. It creates a pall over all coaches. So if you are looking, ensure the coach is self-aware and exhibits emotional intelligence, is positive, yet proactively inquisitive.

The coach should be empathetic and respectful, open, humble and engaging, creative, innovative and visionary, courageous, self-confident, well connected, successful in their own life (with battle scars to prove it) and finally, authentic.

“The difference between a good coach and a great coach is getting value beyond your initial expectation and investment. The wrong coach can have a devastating effect on a business,” says Caroline Evans, group general manager of Demo Plus.

The danger of hiring a bad coach is that you will miss opportunities that could make the difference between success and failure. So when choosing a coach beware of the following:

• Getting coaching when the client really needs psychotherapy
• Coaches that create client-dependent relationships can do long-term damage
• Getting coached about entrepreneurial business and the coach has no experience - no experience means no pattern recognition exists to highlight current problems and to correct future ones
• Offered advice that is free, free, free - successful coaches value their personal worth
• Getting financial advice from a coach that is broke
• Qualifications

I have seen coaches who are dangerous. Some had no training and others had a PhD. The bottom line is that when you hire a coach the humanistic skills required should be prevalent; this is an excellent starting point.

I remember a great quote that I once came across and it encapsulates a coach’s role: “The coach is the shepherd not the general.”