Wednesday, December 24, 2008
1. Give something away.
2. Do a kindness.
3. Always give thanks.
4. Work with vim and vigor.
5. Visit the elderly and learn from their experience.
6. Look intently into the face of a baby and marvel.
7. Laugh often—it’s life’s lubricant.
8. Pray to know God’s way.
9. Plan as though you will live forever—you will.
10. Live as though today is your last day on earth.
These are great ideas for living a happy life. Life is good chances for us to be happy. We all have them, why not make them work for us rather than against us? Practice each of these rules with praise, and your happiness will be complete.
One thing to note: however, living happily sometimes takes no effort to achieve. There are times when happiness is in the air, and all you need to do is open yourself to it and allow it to enter your soul. We're now and here in such a time. Just experience it, just don't shut it out. Happiness means what you are. So happiness ultimately is not a goal to achieve. It's what we are, it's our true existence.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
The need to persevere is stated in the following words:
“Genius is only the power of making continuous efforts. The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it; so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it. How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience would have achieved success? A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed a hopeless failure may turn into a glorious success. … There is no defeat except within, no really insurmountable barrier save one’s own inherent weakness of purpose” (author unknown, Second Encyclopedia, ed. Jacob M. Brand, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1957, p. 152).
Perseverance is so central to success in any effort, whether spiritual or temporal, large or small, public or personal. Think deeply of how vital perseverance, or the lack of it, has been in your own endeavors, such as schooling or finance. All key achievement results largely from perseverance. John Milton was blind when he wrote Paradise Lost. Ludwig von Beethoven was deaf when he finished his greatest musical compositions. They succeeded not only because God had given them gifts, as he has each of us in varying degrees, but because they did themselves. Probably some of us now are facing great problems and obstacles. However, we each have our own challenges and trials to solve as we strive to keep on the right track. Often the most crucial trials are those we must face and subdue privately within our own hearts. We will learn a lot about life as we overcame problems - sometimes it is not easy, but it's not meant to be easy. It's the challenging times and experiences that make us better and stronger people. Maybe we still don't know exactly what the results but by perseverance we will realise that if we do things that make us go on, we will get somewhere that we want to be and we will find happiness along the way.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
In a matter-of-fact manner, acknowledge that you have acute problem and suffering. We know that people often view their suffering as embarrassing and shameful. As a result of such perceptions, we may shroud our suffering in a "conspiracy of silence." Unsurprisingly, family, friends, and co-workers know it, and are usually unsure of whether or not to maintain contact, talk about it, etc. Such uncertainty may create uneasiness and discomfort in ourselves.
However, much of the uneasiness and uncertainty felt by us can be significantly reduced by acknowledging in an open and matter of fact manner that we have big problems. If we choose, it also gives us an opportunity to talk about it and "gives us permission" to openly share the problem. Disclosure is a proactive strategy that affords us the opportunity to address our problems in a matter of fact. Doing so increases our comfort level because we begin to see our problems in a more positive light. This new perception finally facilitates changing our view of problems and suffering as the "shameful." The situation got better when we finally began to talk about it and it did not seem so bad. We opened up to a friend and it all spilled out in tears and emotion as we realized that people did care about us. It was like a huge weight had been lifted from our shoulders. The time will come when you can see tragedy and comedy clearly.
Changing situation needs persistence and determination. However, your recovery process really needs less effort, struggle, and embarrassment than the negative emotionality felt when we live a life focused on hiding, concealing, and fighting the problems. Hiding or fighting demands a huge number of vigilance and surveillance, and this only tends to feed the destructive cycle. There are many people who have made significant achievements in releasing themselves from the handicapping grip of their acute problems. Many have become so well-recovered that most people are unaware they have experienced big problems. They really live a new day, a new life.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
started to have a good conversation with the barber who attended him. They
talked about so many things and various subjects. Suddenly, they touched the
subject of God. The barber said: "Look man, I don't believe that God exists as
you say so." "Why do you say that?" - asked the client. Well, it's so easy, you
just have to go out in the street to realize that God does not exist. Oh, tell
me, if God existed, would there be so many sick people? Would there be
abandoned children? If God existed, there would be no suffering nor pain. I
can't think of a God who permits all of these things." The client stopped for
a moment thinking but he didn't want to respond so as to prevent an argument.
The barber finished his job and the client went out of the shop.
Just after he left the barber shop he saw a man in the street with
a long hair and beard (it seems that it had been a long time since he had his
cut and he looked so untidy). Then the client again entered the barber shop and
he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist." "How come they
don't exist?"-asked the barber. "Well I am here and I am a barber." "No!" - the
client exclaimed. "They don't exist because if they did there would be no
people with long hair and beard like that man who walks in the street."
"Ah, barbers do exist, what happens is that people do not come to me."
"Exactly!"- affirmed the client. "That's the point. God does exist,
what happens is people don't go to Him and do not look for Him that's why
there's so much pain and suffering in the world."
Monday, December 1, 2008
Tax incentives for real estate investors can often make the difference in your tax rates. Deductions for rental property can often be used to offset wage income. Tax breaks can often enable investors to turn a loss into a profit.
For which items can investors get tax breaks? You could claim deductions for actual costs you incur for financing, managing and operating the rental property. This includes mortgage interest payments, real estate taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs, property management fees, travel, advertising, and utilities (assuming the tenant doesn't pay them). These expenses can be subtracted from your adjusted gross income when determining your personal income taxes. Of course, these deductions cannot exceed the amount of real estate income you receive. In addition to deductions for operating costs, you can also receive breaks for depreciation. Buildings naturally deteriorate over time, and these "losses" can be deducted regardless of the actual market value of the property. Because depreciation is a non-cash expense -- you are not actually spending any money -- the tax code can get a bit tricky. For more information about depreciation and various tax alternatives, ask your tax advisor about Section 1031 of the U.S. Tax Code.
Have a Positive Cash Flow
There are two kinds of positive cash flows: pre-tax and after-tax. A pre-tax positive cash flow occurs when income received is greater than expenses incurred. This sort of situation is difficult to find, but they are usually a strong and safe investment. An after-tax positive cash flow may have expenses that outweigh collected income, but various tax breaks allow for a positive cash flow. This is more common, but it is generally not as strong or safe as a pre-tax positive cash flow.
Regardless of what kind of real estate you choose to invest in, timely collections from your tenants is absolutely necessary. A positive cash flow -- whether it be pre-tax or after-tax -- requires rental income. Be sure to find quality tenants; a thorough credit and employment check is probably a good idea.
One of the most important factors in determining a solid investment is the amount of equity you are purchasing. Equity is the difference between the actual worth of the property and the balanced owed on the mortgage.
Benefit from Growing Equity
While investing in real estate is relatively complex, it is often worth the extra work. When compared to other financial investments, like bonds or CD's, the return on investment for real estate purchases can often be greater.
The key to real estate investing is equity. Determine an amount of equity that you want to achieve. When you reach your goal, it's time to sell or refinance. Determining the proper amount of equity may require the assistance of a real estate professional.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
There's just too much against you now, this time you can't succeed.
And as I start to hang my head in front of failure's face,
My downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
And hope refills my weakened will as I recall that scene.
For just the thought of that short race rejuvenates my being.
A children's race, young boys, young men; now I remember well.
Excitement, sure, but also fear; it wasn't hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope. Each thought to win that race.
Or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
And fathers watched from off the side, each cheering for his son.
And each boy hoped to show his dad that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they went, young hearts and hopes of fire.
To win, to be the hero there, was each young boy's desire.
And one boy in particular, his dad was in the crowd,
Was running near the lead and thought, "My dad will be so proud."
But as he speeded down the field across a shallow dip,
The little boy who thought to win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his hands flew out to brace,
And mid the laughter of the crowd, he fell flat on his face.
So down he fell and with him hope. He couldn't win it now.
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished to disappear somehow.
But as he fell, his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
Which to the boy so clearly said, "Get up and win that race!"
He quickly rose, no damage done - behind a bit, that's all,
And ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself to catch up and to win,
His mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished that he had quite before with only one disgrace.
I'm hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn't try to race.
But, in the laughing crowd he searched and found his father's face
That steady look that said again, "Get up and win the race."
So, he jumped up to try again. Ten yards behind the last.
If I'm to gain those yards, he thought, I've got to run real fast.
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight or ten,
But trying so hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye.
There's no sense running anymore - three strikes and I'm out - why try?
The will to rise had disappeared, all hope had flew away.
So far behind, so error prone, closer all the way.
I've lost, so what's the use, he thought, I'll live with my disgrace.
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he'd have to face.
"Get up," an echo sounded low. "Get up and take your place.
You were not meant for failure here, get up and win the race."
With borrowed will, "Get up," it said, "You haven't lost at all,
For winning is not more than this, to rise each time you fall."
So up he rose to win once more. And with a new commit,
He resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn't quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he'd ever been.
Still he gave it all he had and ran as though to win.
Three times he'd fallen stumbling, three times he'd rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered the winning runner as he crossed first place.
Head high and proud and happy; no falling, no disgrace.
But when the fallen youngster crossed the line, last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last, with head bowed low, unproud;
You would have thought he'd won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his Dad he sadly said, "I didn't do so well."
"To me you won," his father said, "You rose each time you fell."
And when things seemed dark and hard and difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy - helps me in my race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and down and all,
And all you have to do to win - is rise each time you fall.
"Quit!" "GIVE UP, YOU'RE BEATEN." They still shout in my face.
But another voice within me says, "GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!"
Saturday, November 29, 2008
* 52. Sing in the car.
* 53. Write a poem.
* 54. Whistle while you work.
* 55. Read a book.
* 56. Take your medicine as prescribed.
* 57. Challenge yourself.
* 58. Count your blessings.
* 59. Indulge yourself.
* 60. Seize the day.
* 61. Take setbacks in stride.
* 62. If you want to stop taking a medication, ask your doctor.
* 63. Cuddle.
* 64. Use olive oil.
* 65. Eat your brussel sprouts.
* 66. Lighten up.
* 67. Choose a career you love.
* 68. Be active in your community.
* 69. Read the paper every day.
* 70. Sit up straight.
* 71. Keep your mind active.
* 72. Travel.
* 73. Soak in the tub.
* 74. Don't be jealous.
* 75. Eat an apple a day.
* 76. Be generous with hugs.
* 77. Make time for your partner.
* 78. Keep in touch with family.
* 79. Bake a pie.
* 80. Eat plenty of fish.
* 81. Get plenty of fresh air.
* 82. Be yourself.
* 83. Swim.
* 84. Make time for your grandchildren.
* 85. Control your temper.
* 86. Share.
* 87. Take nothing for granted.
* 88. Ask questions when your doctor gives you new medications.
* 89. Power walk at the mall.
* 90. Don't procrastinate.
* 91. Accept those things which you cannot change.
* 92. Don't drink and drive.
* 93. Create solutions, not problems.
* 94. Be sociable.
* 95. Feed the birds.
* 96. Pamper yourself once a day.
* 97. Go fishing.
* 98. Smile.
* 99. Smell the flowers.
* 100. Listen to your doctor.
~~ Author Unknown ~~
Friday, November 28, 2008
* 2. Stay young at heart.
* 3. Be honest and open.
* 4. Look for rainbows.
* 5. Walk to work.
* 6. Take the stairs.
* 7. Keep your curiosity.
* 8. Stop smoking.
* 9. Listen to your body.
* 10. Watch what you eat.
* 11. Watch what you say.
* 12. Make time for your children.
* 13. Don't rest on your laurels.
* 14. Drink lots of water.
* 15. Have faith in others.
* 16. Walk in the park.
* 17. Forgive.
* 18. Be an optimist.
* 19. Make love.
* 20. Cross-country ski.
* 21. Discover romance.
* 22. Exercise regularly.
* 23. Do Tai Chi.
* 24. Try Yoga.
* 25. Plant a garden.
* 26. Eat plenty of fruit.
* 27. Golf.
* 28. Adopt a pet.
* 29. Laugh often.
* 30. Be positive.
* 31. Give, don't take.
* 32. Marry your sweetheart.
* 33. Celebrate your marriage.
* 34. Enjoy being single.
* 35. Relax.
* 36. Eat your greens.
* 37. Take up lawn bowling.
* 38. Do nothing in excess.
* 39. Do everything in excess.
* 40. Serve chicken noodle soup.
* 41. Practice what you preach.
* 42. Look before you leap.
* 43. Make time for your friends.
* 44. Reduce your cholesterol.
* 45. Early to bed, early to rise.
* 46. Don't mope.
* 47. Try new things.
* 48. Skinny dip.
* 49. Write to a friend.
* 50. Play tennis.
........................................... to be continued
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Loneliness is a negative situation, marked by isolation. One thinksthat something is missing. It is probablyto be with people and still feel lonely—perhaps the most sadform of loneliness.
Solitude is the state of being alone without being lonely. It is a positive condition of engagement with oneself. Solitude is desirable, a state of being alone where you have wonderful and sufficient company.
Solitude is a time that can be used for contemplation, growth or enjoyment . Deep reading requires solitude, so does experiencing the beauty of nature. Good thought and creativity sometimes do too.
Loneliness is harsh, sad, a deficient, a state of disappointment characterized by a sense of estrangement, aloneness.
Solitude is something you choose. Loneliness is imposed on you by others.
They are very different.
you crave solitude.
you fear loneliness.
We have seen what people, when they talk about solitude and loneliness. Solitude is by choice and loneliness is something thrust upon you. However, what if one who sought after solitude was not given the chance of choosing that solitude? What if they were never invited to a party, they were left alone and not bothered about? This is likely to happen for after several invites, which being turned down lead to the fact being opinionthat this person will not come even if we invite them. Therefore, there is no point in inviting them. In this case solitude is thrust on them.
Loneliness is hard to face. It requires more than just casual social relationship. I think some people need to form original contact with others on a personal basis. Talking with strangers is good but not so meaningful. I think that if loneliness is to heal, it needs more energy and time. It needs an investment in other people and lenience until that investment results in truly relationships.
If loneliness has taught something, it's the value of a friend. Perhaps that's was worth it.
Psychology Today: Solitude vs Loneliness
Loneliness is marked by a sense of isolation. Solitude, on the other hand, is a state of being alone without being lonely and can lead to self-awareness.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008
Did you ever wonder how many different thoughts can be going on in your head at one time? Countless. Limitless. Like a little society of flying words blasting aimlessly around in our heads with reckless abandon. Did you ever pick up on a few? Like "I'm so fat" or "I can't do this" or "My parent was right I never will amount to anything." Maybe you've even cheered someone else on and told them "You can do it", "I believe in you" but when it comes down to your turn you hear things from yourself like "I can't" or "I feel (or look) silly" or "how am I ever....." (You get the picture)
In this day and age of terrorism, poor health care, pollution, global health issues, and declining middle class, things can seem pretty scary and uncertain. It's no wonder, with new types of crimes to replace old outdated ones, and world situations that have some just scratching their heads that we feel like an amusement park ride just spinning out of control sometimes. It's in these times of most uncertainty that we need our friends close. Some would say we need our enemies closer. But did you ever stop to question whether or not you may be subconsciously self destructive? Whether you may be your own enemy? And do you think it's something that can not have a very strong impact on your life? You may be subconsciously "misguided."
Have you ever experienced how individuals with a negative attitude always seems have some trauma (or drama!) to complain about? It seems like things are always "happening" to them. They probably have or will have some health issue come up at some time too. It's a "victim" mentality, and it can lead to depression and physical illness. How about that other person, the one who is always cheerful. So constantly cheerful that you sometimes just would like to slug them! How do they do that? How can anyone do that? No matter what they're dealing with they are always positive and optimistic.
To see things with a positive "spin" even at the most depressed times in life, takes practice. What seems like a monumental task is really just a series of small changes. And desire.
To change a behavior or action, you have to change your thoughts. You may have heard the concept before. You may think it's 50 affirmations of " I love me" a day or some other "hype", but the truth is, it IS something that has to take place. It is something that has been physically measured and documented in studies. So you must believe you can and you must have a strong desire.
The first step is to make sure you have forgiven yourself for everything. EVERYTHING. It might take awhile. It's ok, you're worth it!! Now, there can be and have been positive benefits from repeating affirmations customized to your situation or desire to change, but if you don't believe them, then all you are doing is enhancing the negativity. If you give off negativity you will certainly receive negativity back. We must get out of that "victim" mentality and just accept that "life happens."
The next thing you must do is listen to yourself and make efforts to correct yourself. Kind of like coaching or teaching yourself to rethink. If you can't say "I am beautiful" and believe it, then start with things like "I looked pretty good in that outfit the other day" or "those new shoes made me feel beautiful". Instead of saying "I can't do anything right" start with "I did a really good job on that proposal last week" or "that was a great hole in one last month!" Stop and relive the good feeling. This is also an instant mood elevator.
Feel the real feeling associated with that one, little thing that made you feel good. Make the feelings bigger; pat yourself on that back so to speak. Did you know that your body can't tell the difference between an emotion based on a real event or just one made up in you head? Realize that any accomplishment is, well, an accomplishment! It need not ever be measured by anyone else's. Except maybe your own, when you are stronger, for motivation. Keep doing this like a series of "baby steps." Take certain times in your day, and evaluate the types of thoughts that are going through your mind. They are probably different at work than they are at home. They are probably different when you are watching TV than when you are with your friends or family. Maybe they are very different when you are with your family. Realize that these thoughts have been responsible for your present actions, as well as your present circumstances.
Try a positive thought stated out loud with belief (aka an affirmation!) Write something down. Something good for your future. Something like "every day I get better at making positive changes in my life and the lives of those I love most." Try getting very specific. The more specific, the better. Try it for a series of days, with whatever it is you want to change. What have you got to lose? Your circumstances will never just change "someday" but they can start changing "today." You may not be able to tell right away, but you will see yourself change if you really want to. That "desire" thing again!
Everyone in life will face difficult times. They will come and they will go and they will come again. We need to accept that. We need to be our own life coaches and cheer ourselves on. We need to be our own friends. We may not always be cheery and happy, but we don't need to be our own worst enemy. Make an effort to be your own best friend. The hard times will come again and again, and your best friend will always stand with you through them!
Small changes focused on daily will turn your course and you won't be able to miss the results! It will get easier. It will become second nature. You will become your own coach and your own friend.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Life should be fun and not just a daily struggle to survive. Some experiences are free and can be priceless. But to enjoy many other experiences you need money to pay for them. The best way to get the experiences you want from life is to create more sources of income so you can earn the money you will have to pay for these experiences.
Struggling to make it through life is not very enjoyable and, if you are struggling, I hope you are doing some things to change your situation. You could decide to cut expenses until you get in better shape financially. That is a very sound strategy. However you could also decide to create new income sources. If you can manage to fit it into your life, creating more income sources is in my opinion the best decision. That way you will make a move to better finances and it will make you less exposed to the loss of one of your income sources.
When you start to consider how you can create many income sources you have to make sure your life doesn't get out of balance. You want to earn enough money so you can enjoy life to the fullest, but you don't want to spend all your time earning the money because then you can't enjoy spending it. The key is to create passive income. Passive income is from sources where you don't have to work many hours to earn your income. If, for example, you invest in stocks, you could set it up so you don't use much time on the investment, but you would still receive the return from your stocks. You could also hire somebody else to take care of the work on an idea for a new product you have, while you receive a return on that idea.
I used to have a job to earn my income, but I realized I could enjoy myself much more if I go for my dreams and do what I enjoy doing. So, I have made a list of what I enjoy, and I am open to new ideas at the same time. I love discussing finance, so I created a site where I share my knowledge about personal finance. I love working with Excel, so I do some freelance Excel work. I love to read about and study the stock market, so I invest in stocks. These are just three of the things I love and where I can create new income sources for myself. There are many more. I hope this can inspire you to realize that you, too, can create new income sources in your life by doing what you enjoy.
Of course, you don't love the same things I do, so you should create new income sources that fit your life style. Even if you love working where you are working right now and want to continue, you have the opportunities necessary to create more income sources in your spare time. It could be many things, but you have to enjoy doing the things and believe in them. If you do something that you don't enjoy or believe in, it will be very difficult to make it a success.
Monday, October 27, 2008
With so many products and services getting more expensive these days, surprisingly there are some things we can still avail for free. One is the free internet banking service offered by most banks. By free, it means not paying any fees at all in doing certain financial transactions.
People are always attracted to free services. The urge to grab the opportunity is even greater if the service being offered pertains to the management of their hard-earned money. This is where free internet banking services fulfill an important need in the financial aspect of people's lives.
So what does free internet banking really mean? This type of service generally does not charge fees when you do your financial transactions on a particular bank's website such as when you open a savings account or pay your credit card bills. Other activities you can do without the fees include viewing your account balance and history, account statements, cancelled checks as well as downloading your transaction history into Quicken or Microsoft Money software.
A great feature of this service is that you can easily get alerts as important as well as suspicious transactions take place on your account unlike when you're just transacting at a bank's local branch office. Some banks may offer banking alerts that can be customized. Customers are given the ability to choose where to send your alerts whether through email or text messages to your cellular phone or any other mobile gadget. They can also request their balance to be emailed on a regular basis and specify the types of alerts they'd like to receive.
Bill payment is another free service offered by online banks. This allows consumers to send payments to anybody from your doctor to your child's school and your power company. By simply adding their names and other vital information to your account, you can already view, change or cancel your payments online.
Most internet banking services also enable you to manage your credit card account. With this feature, you can monitor the activities on your account as well as pay your bill and get your statement online. Some may even allow you to transfer other account balances to your bank credit card.
Self-service features are additional come-ons. You can use them if you wish to change some personal information such as your home address or mobile phone number. The other uses include requesting to stop a check payment or reordering checks for your free accounts.
If you're still utilizing the traditional banks in managing your finances, maybe it's time to think about trying the free internet banking services. Using the internet to handle your money not only guarantees your utmost convenience but also offers you a lot of unique features that simplify the transaction process. No need to question the security aspect as every bank makes sure to provide a safe banking environment on the web to all its customers using the most advanced technology.
Customer support is also provided round the clock, seven days of the week so you can get help right way in case you encounter problems. Just keep in mind to choose a reputable bank and do some research beforehand.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Winnie is a feral cat. That means she was born in the wild and grew up too much in the wild to ever be completely tame. What makes a cat (or any animal) domestic is that humans are in control of its genes. That is not so for feral cats. A lot of the local feral cats have some bobcat genes in them and they grow to be quite large. That is the case with our Winnie, size wise any way. We can't know for sure about her genetics.
If you were to visit our house, you would never know that we have a cat; unless you noticed the food bowl on the kitchen floor. This is made more difficult, however, by the fact that she likes to "bury" her food and so the bowl is mostly always covered by the fabric place mat upon which it rests. We had to give her the place mat because otherwise she would drag dirty socks or whatever out of the laundry in order to cover her food.
Also, she hides under our bed whenever anyone strange (meaning not me and not my husband...I know, whether or not we are strange is debatable) is in the house. And that is where she is right now...but I am alone in the house. She has been living under the bed for the past several days.
In her defense, the weather has been stormy. It is Monsoon in Arizona and the thunderstorms can sometimes be very intense. About five days ago, we had a storm that was of awesome proportions. The lightning was right over head and the thunder was coming very loudly right upon the flash. I call them "flash-bangs" because that is how they occur. We know of one person who has a dog (Jack Russell Terrier) that has to be sedated for pretty much the entire season.
Somehow, Winnie has gotten it into her head that when either my husband or I is moving about the house that we are to be avoided, although we have never stepped on her or run into her in any way. If I am lying on the bed or sitting in my recliner, she is fine. If I move in my recliner or get off the bed, zip, zoom, she's back under the bed.
This isn't the first time she has done something like this. Right after we had to put her brother down because of kidney failure, she had a similar episode. I would have to guess that it has to do with feelings of vulnerability. But she's a cat! What can I know about what motivates her?
So what does all this have to do with accepting "what is?" On the other occasions when she decided she was going to live under our bed from now on, I thought it just wasn't right. Why should she do that? She should come out and eat and do all the regular stuff. Why should I have to coddle her? Why doesn't she just get with it? How can I fix it? Just what the heck is going through her little walnut of a brain? (Did you know that they say a cat's brain is about the size of a whole walnut? It explains a lot.) At any rate, the upshot of all that non-acceptance is that it causes me a lot of stress. I mean a lot. And I worry about her. Our cat home veterinary book doesn't have much to say about this issue and there is no way she would ever consent to talk to a cat psychologist.
The thing is I can't know what is going on inside her little walnut. I don't know why she is suddenly afraid of me in some situations and not in others. And I can't fix it. And neither can anyone else (she has never been to a vet and may never visit one). So I have decided to just accept that for now (and maybe forever, who knows) she is our cat-who-lives-under-our-bed.
I give her food in her bowl that is pushed well under the bed and away from the outside edges. There is very little "head room" under there and the bowl does have a very low rim, but still I wonder how she manages to eat it. She does have a habit of eating with her feet, but the bowl appears to have been licked clean, so I decided to risk annoying her and watched the process. She pulls the bowl directly under her mouth and starts scooping the food into her mouth with her paw. She is a strangely amazing cat. When Bear was still alive, he would sometimes jump into our bathroom window before Winnie could. This was a highly coveted spot as it offered a high vantage point for peering outside. So she would run into the bathroom, get his attention and run out through our bedroom and into the dining room where she would meow loudly. She kept up the back and forth until he could stand it no longer and he would leave the window to see what was up. Then Winnie would dash into our bathroom to claim the window. How's that for using the old walnut?
She also gets her hairball remedy treats each morning...under the bed. I only see her during the day if I go and lift the bed skirt and look at her. Mostly I keep this to a minimum to avoid annoying her and only do it to be certain she is still breathing. She comes out at night, usually after we have gone to bed, to use the litter box and drink some water. She will also eat some of the dry food that I leave out for her. She comes in the very early morning to lay on my stomach and purr as if nothing were wrong, only to disappear as soon as it seems likely that I am about to get out of bed.
It still all seems a bit silly to me; I can't quite get over that. But if I want people to just accept me as I am, well then, I should at least show others the same courtesy...including our cat. So I am not trying to drag her out from under there. I am not trying to make her conform to my idea of proper cat behavior. I accept that this is how it now is between us. I don't really believe that she will continue in this behavior for the rest of her life. I am not entirely certain that it would make for a healthy lifestyle, but for now, this is how it is and I'm okay with that; and it feels wonderful.
Accepting what is and not resisting it doesn't mean that you let the world walk all over you. It just means that you stop judging situations as good or bad. Things are just what they are; if you don't label them then they have no power over you. Within this framework, going with the flow so to speak, you can still work to achieve the outcomes that you desire. And sometimes you just "flow" right into what you want with no effort at all. Case in point, it is many hours since I first started to write this article and just moments ago, there was Winnie, sitting beside my computer chair and meowing her head off at me. That usually means FEED ME. NOW. So she is coming out of her self imposed exile. Still, I will keep an open mind about what tomorrow will bring.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
He's Affectionately known as "Peg Leg" and has made history in the British Army, now Cpl. Colin Hamilton of the Blackwatch is making further breakthroughs by becoming a student of the Hiken Dojo and Bujinkan Ninjutsu as well as his wife and two children Darren and Denver. Ninjutsu to Colin is more than an art and allows him to spend quality time with his family. On first glance - Colin seems normal but closer inspection reveals a sordid past that not many men or women could withstand. He is an amputee and has major burns over his body due to an horrific accident whilst serving in Kosovo. This is only the half of it; after wining a battle with the MOD to remain as an active soldier, he further served in the conflict in Iraq and now the battle he faces today is that of his development as a modern warrior of Budo.
Standing in Colin's presence can only humble you further, especially when you moan about having the cold, flu or just can't be bothered to train. Hatsumi is a great pioneer of the essence of Nin and Ninpo and holds above all else - perseverance in training and developing all aspects of the self in Mind, Body and Spirit. Colin's disability does not hold him back and if anything - he is a very humble person to be around and shows determination in everything he does. Perhaps one of the most important facets and sayings of life is that the teacher will come when the student is ready and the only thing I feel is that the roles are reversed, I am no longer the teacher. Nin is persevering and enduring above all else and in Colin - we have NIN.
Monday, October 20, 2008
The answer is NO. Hard physical labor cannot turn you into a billionaire, period. A common mistake made by most people is to assume that physical, hard work will turn you into a billionaire. Yes, I will be the first to concede that my statement is controversial.
People involved in hard labor are not wealthy. In fact most of them are poor. How about people taking on two or three additional jobs to pay the bills? I rarely see their financial position improving. If anything most people with second or third jobs are worse off at the end of the day. Fatigue, frustration and misery are the product of hard work, not wealth.
A simple calculation can be performed. Lets take an average job of a laborer earning $2000.00 per month. Add a second job bringing in an additional $ 1000.00 per month. If this worker works 240 hours per month, his hourly rate would be $ 12.50 per hour. For this worker to make $1billion in any given period, he will have to work 80 000 000 hours. We don't even live 1 million hours, so how could this billion be attained in a lifetime?
What about the skilled office workers? If we use a similar example as above we can double, or even triple the salary, and will not come close to a billion.
Lets try a business. Now we are talking. But it turns out that a business, generating
$50 000 a month, cannot turn us into a billionaire. Here is the math. This business sells 50 products at a unit cost of $1000. In order to make the first billion, in sales alone, the business would have to sell at least a million units. To sell a million units of the product, the business would need to acquire the production capacity, which negates the possibility of them ever making that first elusive billion.
These calculations and assumptions are simplistic, but I attempt to prove my point that rigorous labor has and can never make anyone wealthy. So how do people become billionaires?
Whilst I am no expert on the subject, it is my belief that prosperous people use their minds (both conscious and subconscious). As Napoleon Hill and many others asserted, that taking control of your mind is the way to prosperity. Wealthy people don't use their backs to acquire riches. They think and act in a certain way to guarantee results.
It has even been proven, that the harder you work the poorer you can become. Actions without a clear thought out strategy, results in disaster. If you doubt this statement lets explore the following:
· You stand at the mall distributing thousands of fliers for your new business, but get no customers.
· You walk door-to-door selling goods, but can't find one customer.
· You try hard to sleep, but the more you try, the harder it gets.
And yet some people who don't disseminate fliers, or sell door to door are doing exceptionally well in their businesses and they sleep well, of course. The word here is desperation. The word desperation, unlike determination, evokes a notion of struggle and stress on the body's part, without thinking. Exactly. Actions should always follow thoughts. I am not denigrating hard work and action, that has its place, we all support it. But how many people actually use their minds to become prosperous? The reason is that thoughts, be they negative or positive are considered insignificant. But are they?
Most people are oblivious of the strength of their thoughts. If you still doubt its power, just try thinking of a terrible encounter, and notice how quickly your feelings/emotions deteriorate. The insomnia problems emanate from negative thoughts that can keep the entire body awake.
Perseverance, persistence and determination are all crucial elements of success. But what drives persistence, is that thought. Despite circumstances, the vision (thought)of success is what can mean the difference between success and failure.
Many self-improvement gurus offer different interpretations on the power of thought. Some recommend thought only, and limited action, others recommend equal action to thought, whatever the truth is, the unavoidable fact is that there is just no getting away from the Power of Thought, in any success endeavor.
If people become billionaires with limited labor, I am convinced that their thinking process had something to do with their success. No rationale from a logical perspective can be found for people becoming billionaires!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
In the fall of 1964 when I was thirteen years old I was invited to my first teenage boy/girl party in Los Angeles, California. Kenneth, a boy I had known since grade school, was giving it. Since our families had been good friends, I had grown up with Kenneth. Because he had always been crazy about me, I assumed I was his date for the party. When he told me to bring along anyone I wanted, I invited my friend Lois to join me.
Nervous about my first big party, I dressed in my finest outfit, black shirt and pants with ankle length black boots that had a gold chain wrapped around the heel. With my shoulder length brown hair flipped in the current style I felt I looked very grown-up, even though I wasn't allowed to wear makeup.
My father drove Lois and me to Kenneth's house. When we got inside, Mr. Finley, Kenneth's father greeted us from his hospital bed set up in the living room. "Come on in girls. Glad you could make it." Mr. Finley was in his early 40's, but was terminal with cancer. He had always been a very slim man, but now he looked emaciated. His dark hair exaggerated the paleness of his skin, and his eyes seemed larger than before.
There were many teenagers, a few years older than I, roaming throughout the house laughing and talking. I didn't know anyone except Kenneth and his family as all of the teenagers went to the same high school as Kenneth. I was still in junior high school. His two younger brothers, Wayne and Jerry, were busy chasing after the girls at the party.
Lois and I went into the dining room to get some Cokes, potato chips, and dip. Kenneth leaned his long lanky frame against the doorway arch in the dining room. When he saw me he said, "Hi, help yourselves to whatever you want. I need to mingle with my other guests." Kenneth continued his conversation with an Asian girl he had been talking to when I first entered, leaving me feeling abandoned.
Lois was very shy and stayed by my side. I sat down next to Mr. Finley's bed and started talking with him about my love of music. He was very kind and seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say. He lit a cigarette, lay back in bed, and smoked, as I told him about seeing the Beatles, for the first time, a few months earlier at the Hollywood Bowl.
"Man, you wouldn't believe how the girls never stopped screaming. I saw girls faint when the Beatles appeared on stage. I couldn't believe all the chaos. I couldn't hear a single note of music. Our seats were so far in the back up on the hill that even with binoculars the Beatles looked the size of beetle insects." Mr. Finley couldn't stop laughing. "It took me three days to be able to hear normally after all of that screaming." I certainly didn't want to talk about his health, as I knew it would be very painful emotionally for him, so I kept chatting about the Beatles. I sensed he was lonely lying in that hospital bed in the living room while a party was going on in the dining room and kitchen.
Even though there was rock-and-roll music playing I noticed, after a while, the chatter that had filled the house was gone. As I looked around I saw there was no one left in the house except Mr. Finley, Lois, and me. Curiosity got the best of me, and I excused myself to go to the bathroom. I took a look around the house and saw there was not one single teenager anywhere inside. I slipped out the back door, and I saw all the teenagers in the garage behind the house making out. Kenneth was busy shoving his tongue down the Asian girl's throat. That was it for me.
I came back into the house and telephoned my father from the kitchen telephone and asked him to pick us up. I returned to the living room and told Mr. Finley, "My father's on his way over so we'll be leaving now. I think we'll wait outside. It was nice visiting with you this evening."
I could see the sadness in Mr. Finley's big eyes knowing that his son had been such a lout, but there was really no point in staying. I felt totally humiliated being ignored by Kenneth. Here I was at my first teenage party, and I felt like a hindrance to the obvious make out action.
Once outside Lois and I stood by the curb in the cool evening air, and I kept singing out loud the Beatles song, "I Don't Wanna Spoil the Party." "I don't wanna spoil the party, so I'll go. I would hate my disappointment to show. There's nothing for me here so I will disappear."
After the party Mr. Finley really chewed out Kenneth for being so rude to me, my mother told me a few days later. Mr. Finley died a few months later. When I sat in the church pew at his funeral I kept thinking of his kindness to a young girl who felt alone at her first grown up party. Even when he was close to death he showed great compassion. This is a great lesson of how to live even under the direst circumstances.
Forty four years later when I hear that Beatles song I remember that party and the gentle spirit of Mr. Finley. I'm sure his spirit stays with me just like the memory of him stays with me.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I go about pitying myself
While I am carried by
Across the sky.
That old Chippewa saying is a powerful thought. I get so caught up in the drama of daily life; I forget that I am being carried through life by the energy of the wind. This engaging energy I call the wind; this invisible force that cleanses and clears the path in nature is part of the same energy that clears my path, when I allow it to circulate through me.
If waters are placid, the moon will be mirrored perfectly. If we still ourselves, we can mirror the divine perfectly. But if we engage solely in the frenetic activities of our daily involvements, if we seek to impose our own schemes on the natural order, and if we allow ourselves to become absorbed in self-centered views, the surface of our waters becomes turbulent. Then we cannot be receptive to Tao.
There is no effort that we can make to still ourselves. True stillness comes naturally from moments of solitude where we allow our minds to settle. Just as water seeks its own level, the mind will gravitate toward the holy. Muddy water will become clear if allowed to stand undisturbed, and so too will the mind become clear if it is allowed to be still.
Ding Ming-Dao the Chinese philosopher explains how the energy of my internal wind changes me. When I allow my inner consciousness to guide me through the daily contrast I experience I express myself in synchronicity and I become a mellow breeze that touches all the corners of my world with gentleness. My perceptions of physical life are manifested and experienced in harmony with my inner world of multidimensionality and I become a product of its beauty.
The art of blending my ego with this inner breeze so that I can be smooth water and mirror my other forms of consciousness is an act of acceptance. Switching my brain off and turning on another station in my mind is not learned behavior in physical form, I have been taught to believe I must fight, push and control in order to complete my human journey with full honors. I must be a separate being who manipulates in order to delegate and who takes rather than give, conquers rather than unify.
How then do I achieve this mellowness? How do I act but not act? How do I love and accept myself completely?
Like the wind that becomes a breeze I do it naturally. I stop the pushing for, I quit the up against, and I give up the better than and allow my self the luxury of doing nothing but being. Being a spirit first, and then accepting my journey of remembering as a school of growth. In spirit I have no form, no material possessions, but I have the connection to create all I seek to experience in joy, not in self-pity. I am carried by the wind across the sky and I become a mirror that reflects the nature of All There Is.
I am the calm water of remembering and I am the moon that shines in its own image.
Howard (Hal) Thomas Manogue
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Our education system leaves little room to fully understand what makes us tick and generally we have to learn the hard way and have tears on the run. This in some way is not a bad thing as it enables us to learn from our mistakes and realign our approach to life.
I want to talk about how you can start to understand an important part of you that is called YOUR SELF CONCEPT. Your self concept is deeply rooted in your subconscious or as I prefer to call it your non conscious as there is nothing sub about this marvellous part of the human being. It is just not understood in a practical manner, although Jung the eminent psychiatrist produced excellent work on 'The Collective Unconscious' We all have a Self Concept and a Self Image. From an early age or as a small child the lid was wide open on your non conscious mind and everything went in and impressions were formed that become indelibly engraved into the pathways of your mind.
Ideas, suggestions, experiences went in, even if they were not true because your mind was like a soft lump of clay, it moulded into a formation that created a self image that influences how you behave today. By the time you became an adolescent, the lid slammed shut on your non conscious.
This became the initial platform of how you operated and behaved. Studies have show that in Ancient Egypt when a child was born everything was recorded until the child was fourteen as the Ancient Egyptians recognized that these early years were where the seeds were planted and the roots established until in later years the shoots started to come through.
The early years became an important formative time which influenced the child's later years so it became very important as to what impressions were formed in these early years. Think about what goes in today. We all have an image of how we want to look like or who in this day and age we want to emulate and in my experience of training clients, many clients want to lose weight, de stress or increase their performance.
As an avid explorer and researcher with a thirst for knowledge I soon realized that you can have the best trainer, the best training and nutrition programme and still not necessarily achieve the results that you want, without addressing the cause of a situation as distinct from dealing with the results, which incidentally is why many clients give up.
As an example, lets take weight loss which is really fat loss, why is it that with all the publications, self help books, TV programmes that we still cannot lose the fat. A plausible hypothesis to explain this refers to our biology. Is our biology at fault? Well we are programmed to eat as much as possible in the unlikely event of a famine and this mechanism still exists as part of our biological make up.
Another aspect is that whilst we are all exposed to TV programmes, celebrity diets and self help books, it all takes place against a background of reinforced advertising that compels us to eat which satisfies our biological mechanism.
In order for any person who in this case wants to lose fat, they have to look at and change an important part of their Self Concept and Self Image. Firstly we all have a self concept and out from that self concept are mini concepts. Here are a few, I am sure you will have your own, in fact this is a good time to look at what your mini concepts are;
I am not attractive
I can never lose weight as I have tried all of the diets
I can never be wealthy
I can never achieve this
I can never be thin
Let's take the example of a client who wants to lose weight. Clients who are overweight, see themselves as overweight, they behave like overweight people.
They do not visualise themselves as any other way. For example if you see yourself as a lean and fit person, then you behave as a lean and fit person.
Your brain is faithfully programmed to skip workouts, eat everything and anything [without the proper education] as it does not believe the image that you want to or can create.
Therefore eating junk food, eating sugar laden deserts over eating to the point of gluttony are all behaviours of an overweight person.Overweight clients in my experience see themselves as overweight, they behave like overweight people.
If you see yourself as a lean and fit person, then you behave as a lean fit individual. If you see you're self as an underachiever then your behaviours will be consistent with that image.Your brain is faithfully self programmed to skip workouts as it does not believe in the image that you can create. It believes in the image and behaviour of an overweight person, therefore, eating junk food, eating sugar laden deserts, overeating are all behaviours of an overweight person who has not started to create the self image that is different to the current self image.
If you are to succeed at changing or transforming this mindset, then you are going to have to stop making excuses and start making changes on the mental and physical planes. Of course you have to change your lifestyle, of course you have to train, of course you have to change your eating habits, but the trick here is to start to change the self image that you have, which controls your behaviour.
You have to address the cause versus trying to change the result.You have to employ your energy into a new mental picture of you, whether it is losing weight, running an 8 minute mile or simply wanting to look and feel outstanding.
By repeating this new behaviour on a consistent basis the new mental picture you will eventually create, will establish new and positive behaviours as these behaviours are in you and are actually hard wired into every cell of your body. Let these unseen forces work with you and for you, but you have to be consistent in the application.
It takes 28 days to establish a new habit and 90 days for the shoots to come through.
Here are some practical steps that you can practically do and use.
Now I know with various clients they go from losing weight to gaining it back and can never understand why. Well there is the obvious, in terms of their eating activities and physical output.
But more importantly, the non conscious mind does not like losing things, so it will always try to get it back which explains why people who make New Yrs resolutions and decide to lose weight are usually reclaimed by their habits, which in fact is ruled by their non conscious.
So this is why it is so important to create this self image to superimpose the patterns that have been etched into your non conscious.
DO THIS - CREATE A PICTURE OF YOUR SELF IMAGE
Your self image is not just a goal, it is a PICTURE IN YOUR MIND. Make this picture clear, dynamic, vivid, utilise the gift and grace of your faculty and most importantly your faculty of imagination; it is the starting point of your self image. Release the old you, it is a ghost that continually haunts you as you consistently empower it.
It is time to dis-empower it and release the shackles of your old self image and you can do this by creating a PICTURE IN YOUR MIND. If this goal is not disturbing and invigorating at the same time then you are not in the process of a new reality. TAKE THAT LID OFF YOUR MIND.
CREATE A WRITTEN DESCRIPTION OF YOUR NEW IMAGE
By writing this down, it takes you on a journey from the ethereal labyrinths and untouchable state of thought into a tangible state of form. Once on paper you are transforming this process from the mental to the physical realms.
Use what I call the three P's - POSITIVE, PERSONAL and PRESENT.
Use a positive stance to ensure that you write what you want to achieve NOT what you want to get rid of.
Use the word 'I' Using Present, a current state of received attitude
DO NOT WORRY THAT IT IS NOT PERFECT...WRITE...WRITE & WRITE...YOU CAN ALWAYS GO BACK AND EDIT IT.
ACT THE PART- A great film that I like to illustrate is George C Scott as General Patton in the film Patton. He became Patton, he lived it. Act the part. Create the character and write the script, until it is real for you. You will feel resistance and awkwardness at this point.
You will feel like you are lying to yourself or you may feel like a fraud. You are the writer, producer, director and STAR of your own film. Take actions that are consistent with the new you.
Move closer to your goal by doing something everyday that your new self image would do. Ask yourself the question what would this type of person with this new body do? AND THEN DO IT! Act as though you are the owner of this new body and mindset that you are creating until it real. There is an old saying that I like which goes 'Act as though I am and I will be'. You must take action. I am not advocating a Pollyanna positive thinking approach; however affirmations are a key step to creating your self image although affirmations without actions are the beginning of delusion.
Positive mental attitudes and affirmations and being positive do not generally work as they cannot support or act a crutch to the old self image. Look at the many publications on book shelves on PMA and weight loss as mentioned earlier.
So what I am advocating is positive thinking, positive affirmation, positive attitude, positive visualization, and the most important is POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT.
REINFORCE THE IMAGE DAILY ...HOURLY - Reinforce the image and repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat as repetition is the mother of learning and the father of self image.
It took a lot of effort and many years for you or a part of you to develop your old self image and it will take at least 28 days of consistent efforts for the roots to manifest and then at least 90 days for the roots to shoot out from the ground for the entire world to see.
Be patient and persistent. Persistence conquers resistance. Remember there is a gestation period for everything.
In summing up
Visualise your new self image in a relaxed state by projecting it onto the screen of your mind as this will impress itself on your unconscious mind.Think in arenas that are constructive and positive for you as this will help you to dissolve the old image and solidify the new one. Thoughts like images are commands to your mind.
Be careful how you think and watch those I am this.. I cant do this.. Etc... YOU BECOME WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT AND WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT YOU BECOME
Read your written goal at least twice a day, once in the morning and again at night before bed time as this will have a powerful effect on your unconscious.
Carry your goal card in your pocket or bag and every time that you touch it, read it and/or make a mental link to it, picturing the your new self image write your goal and update it every day as this will make deeper impressions quicker and results will be swifter.
Peter Michael Dedes
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Have you been struggling for a long time, trying to make enough money to pay off your debts, make ends meet and realize your Million Dollar Desire? Do you somehow seem to sabotage yourself every time it looks like you might succeed?
I have. For as long as I can remember, I have been the victim of what I call Money Myths. Money Myths are conclusions, often reached in childhood, about what money is and what it means. "Money makes you unhappy," "You have no right to money when so many people have nothing," "You are no good with money." Comments like these become beliefs and are internalized as absolute truths that fly under the radar of our adult intellect and make us do things "despite" ourselves. They control our behavior at a subconscious level and affect how we act with money, what decisions we make and how we interact with the sources of money in our lives. These "truths" can reject and even repel the very wealth we seek.
How do you get rid of money myths? The best way I know to dispel them is to see them by light of day, as an adult. They then begin to lose their power. New habits and adult ways of thinking take over automatically. Many people, for instance, as children may have been told like I was that "Money is Dirty." (I remember a time when my mom caught me sucking on a mouthful of pennies. You would have thought I was eating worms.) With so many concepts and words to keep track of, children often shortcut their meaning: is it good or bad? Clean is good, dirty is bad. Money is dirty. So what does that have to say about money and how should I feel about it? What does that say about making money and about having it in your pocket?
Here's a little exercise that I've done. Answer the following questions: What were your beliefs about money when you were a child? What adjectives would you use to describe money? Was it important, trivial or of any consequence at all? What did your parents think about it? When you got gifts of money, were you excited, accepting, disappointed or angry because it wasn't a toy? Did you have a piggy bank? Did you start a collection of coins? Do you still have that collection? Do you feel differently about different groupings of money? Do you attach a different feeling to the money that you inherited than you do to your own savings? See if any other questions come to mind, and answer those.
Did you begin to get in touch with your feelings about money and your relationship to it? If you're anything like me, you'll find that your beliefs and attitudes towards money can be very complex. Intellectually, for instance, I know that money is money, that a dollar in my savings account has the same value as a dollar in my entertainment account, my retirement or a dollar from my inheritance, yet I treat and feel differently about each. As I identify my Money Myths, I am confronting and dealing with issues that hold me back from the kind of life I want to live.
I would like to have a good, comfortable relationship with money. I want to appreciate it, have a healthy respect for it, not be wasteful of it, but at the same time have no trouble spending it for good value received.
And remember, just because it's a myth, doesn't mean its false. Another Money Myth I acquired somewhere is that money doesn't like to be around people who don't like it and are not comfortable with it. That myth may or may not be true; I'm still researching.
"Money's the same, whoever gives it to you. That was the point of money, after all: crisp and clean or wrinkled or disintegrated into quarters - a dollar was always worth a hundred cents."--Scott Westerfeld, The Last Days, 2006.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Damn those down days. Days when nothing seems to go right, nobody seems to care and tomorrow looks to be more of the same. Your mind gets scattered, your outlook gets dark and your body gets heavy. Know what I'm talking about? I've been there. I've had days that I didn't want to go outside. I didn't want to get out of bed for that matter . . . sure that when I did, the weight of my world would just get heavier.
Call it what you will. Call it moods, call it depression. I call it human. If you're sensitive like me, you're going to have days that you're prone to feeling less positive than little Suzie Sunshine over there. But, if you can recognize it, you can change it.
Did you just roll your eyes? It's almost annoying how simplistic that seems, isn't it? But, hang with me here because it's true. And I'm going to share with you how easy it is to do.
THE SIMPLE TRUTH
When you are feeling down, you've got two reasonable choices. (I say reasonable because if you are feeling beyond rational, I encourage you to seek help from a professional.) However, the truth is, most of us have the power to choose how we want to go through our day. Behind door #1 is a brooding, moody, dark and cloudy negative day. Behind door #2 awaits a productive, clear and optimistic day. It's "Let's Make A Deal" with yourself. Tell me, which do you most often choose?
I'm writing this because I woke up feeling a little jaded this morning. Yep, still human. It's a mixture of some personal conflicts I've had going on... and the state of the world. Or at least, the state of the world according to CNN.com. And that's all I know at the moment. So, I find myself in this useless mildly annoyed, slightly detached, highly emotional state. A state that's good for one thing . . . beating myself up.
Cue music. Enter Monty Hall. And let's play... "Let's Make A Deal"!
I now know how to choose Door #2. No more #1 for me. And I want to share with you ways to choose a positive day when you find yourself having to make your own deal.
Turn off the media
No more news. No more newspapers. No more network websites. Click it all off for today. It will be there tomorrow and your state will be different. When you're feeling blue or less than optimistic, the media is certainly not going to change your mind for the better. In fact, it's their JOB to make you feel needy. They depend on it. So, strip them of their power over you. No more media noise. Switch it over to an all music station or just altogether "off" and feel the shift.
I feel better already.
Check your body
Take a minute and look at your own physiology. How is your posture? Are you holding negative energy? My jaw gets so tight that my tone of voice changes. Even my phone personality is different when I'm uptight. So, guess what? Because I give out tension, I get it back... whether I want it or not. What are you putting out with just your body? Sit up straight. Inhale full and deeply. Go for a walk. Get some energy in that body of yours. Changing your physiology will change your mindset.
Focus at the task at hand
Be present and give your energy and focus to one task. Do it fully and to the best of your ability. After you've finished one, go to the next one. Focus and give it your full attention. Even if you are doing something that seems menial, pay attention to the details. I remember hearing Dr. Wayne Dyer say once, "If you're washing the dishes, REALLY wash the dishes." Sounds simple . . . even stupid when you're feeling cynical. Just do it. You'll feel the shift. Your mind can't split thoughts. If you're focused on your task, you can't indulge in your negativity at the same time. It's just not possible.
Don't give in to old negative habits
Don't you hate when you're doing so well at quitting something, you haven't had a cigarette in four days, and then some seemingly bad news knocks you back into yesterday? Don't let it. Don't reach for that extra caffeine, go back to biting those nails or skip your workout. It'll just make you feel worse. The effect is immediate. We all know that the guilt outweighs any instant gratification. Don't question it. Stay true to the commitments you have made to yourself. And congratulate yourself for your willpower. That's just positive energy attracting more positive energy.
Ah. When the world around you seems gloomy, there is still a light shining somewhere. Find it. What are you grateful for? If you are reading this, you have your eyesight, you have the access to modern technology, you have BREATH. Take a moment and give thanks. Turn your focus to what's good in your life. I feel myself resist this when I'm really on a pity roll. "Yes, I have my health BUT..." Force yourself to put it in perspective. Get out a picture of the people that mean something to you. Look in the mirror until you can see the life in your own eyes. Focus on what's good in your life and you will get more of it.
Take action for someone else
"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." -Albert Schweitzer
There is no better cure for the blues than helping someone else. Get your attention off of yourself... and on to someone who is in need. This will give you a break from your own state and things will look different when you get back. It's hard to find Door #1 when you've already walked through Door #2.
This is the real test of self help, actually helping yourself. It's all well and good to be positive and grateful when you're winning the lotto or getting a promotion. But, how about when you've just lost thousands in the stock market and you're worried about the security of your job? This is when the challenge is greatest, no doubt. But if you choose to believe in your own power and your own strength to make choices, these techniques are here for you. They will guide you out of the dark and into a brighter and more optimistic world.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
As I pulled my new blue shirt from the dryer after washing it for the first time, I reached over to clean the lint filter. Not surprisingly, it was littered with bright blue fibers. Though I have pulled these loosely woven blankets of lint from the filter many times before, today this mundane activity caused me to stop dead in my tracks.
After peeling the lint from the filter, I let it sit in the palm of my hand for what felt like an eternity. Staring at those bright blue fibers, I couldn't help but think of what my new shirt had just gone through. After being soaked in detergent, violently spun during the spin cycle, then tumbled dry in high heat, it was clear that what I was holding in my hand was part of the shirt itself. While the shirt did not look any different it was clear that, through this one experience, it had lost something. I knew this to be true because I was holding it in my hand.
In my hand I held more than blue lint. It was a vivid illustration of how people lose their passion and intensity for life. I stood there befuddled as I realized that it is not only our garments that fade through the years, but how our view of our world grows less bright as we are soaked, spun, and tumbled dry through the years.
Our spirits, personalities, and attitudes, much like our garments, are made up of tightly woven threads. These threads are composed of fibers and, as these threads are stretched, pulled, and scuffed, certain fibers come loose and end up in the lint filter. However, this is where the similarities end. Unlike your garments, which continuously lose the very fibers they are made of, you have a choice when it comes to what you hold on to and what you let get blown into the lint filter of your life.
Each and every time you are presented with one of life's challenges, you are being presented with a choice of how you are going to allow the situation to change your very composition. You make your choice as you choose where you are putting your attention. If you choose to see only the hardship and the difficulty of the situation, you are clinging to these undesirables.
As you cling to these undesirables, you have made the unwitting choice to let a little piece of you get blown away. While any one of these choices to cling to life's undesirables has little effect on you as a person, over time, your spirit will fade in much the same fashion as a bright blue shirt loses its vibrancy. Your passion and intensity for life will slowly turn into cynicism and resentment towards those with success.
The fact is we're all going to be tossed around, put through spin cycles, and tumbled on high heat. That is why people change throughout their lives. Much like an oft-laundered shirt's composition changes, they change based upon the choices they make. And, make no mistake, it is a choice. For example, many people have difficult childhoods. Some choose to use them as springboards to success, while others use them as an excuse for all that ails them. But, unlike our textiles, we have the ability to regenerate all that was lost. By learning from those who are steeped in passion and intensity we can return ourselves to a state that causes us to see things differently. Much like a breath of crisp artic air taken deeply into the lungs, we have the ability to see the sky a little bit bluer, feel our step grow a little bit lighter, and bear witness to all that is wonderful inside each and every day. Do so by choice. Do so with purpose. Do so because it is simply a better way to live.
Monday, October 6, 2008
The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, depression will be second only to heart disease in terms of global illnesses. Our happiness, when it occurs, is usually the result of outside events, such as when someone is kind to us, or when some opportunity is presented to us. That state of mind is fleeting. Our goal should be to be happy no matter what happens to us.
Unfortunately it takes conscious effort to become happy. Our minds are wired to be fearful. We are much more likely to notice and remember something that frightens us than something that brings us joy. Being consistently happy doesn't come easily. Like most worthwhile things, it requires a lot of effort in order to achieve it. You can't just decide to be happy. You need to become aware of which habits support happiness in your life and which ones don't. Wake up, and before you do anything, envision a day filled with happiness. Really picture how things would be if everything went your way and wonderful little surprises kept on showing up. Fantasize about the laughter and joy you'd feel until . . . well, until you feel it.
What would you do, where would you go, who would you go with is you were living the exact life you want? If you knew that anything was possible? Concentrate on your vision, notice how it makes you feel. It's not what happens to you, but how you respond to what happens to you that makes the difference.
You can respond or a react to any situation..... its your choice Rather than concentrating on what you want to do, think in terms of what kind of person you want to be. Happiness and unhappiness depend upon our actions.
We are what we think. With our thoughts we make the world. As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart... Speak or act with a pure mind and happiness will follow you.
Although it may not be an easy process I believe in the power of change!
source: Janie Behr
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Sickness, Stress, pain, poverty, suffering, hatred, wickedness etc all sucks a great deal of life out of us. But none of these is to be compared to the damages that lack of humor can cause in our life. Imagine when LIFE itself becomes the SUCKER. In this article are those things that can make you live a humorous and fulfilled life.
Looking for the best element of every situation: No matter what the situation is, no matter how bad it is, an element of fun and humor must be present in it. Observe little children. However poor, miserable, unhappy,wicked, uncaring etc their parents are, they still find good thing in them and hold them to a very high esteem. They see great things in their parents. If we learn to look for wonderful things in every situation we find our self, we will discover that sooner or later, humor will naturally find us.
Assuming the worst scenario: Think of what could possibly be the worst outcome of every situation. And prepare yourself to shake off the shock that it will bring. What this will do for you is that it will make you heave a sigh of relief. As you have already anticipated the possible worst outcome. If things eventually turn out to be good, fine!. Note that i am not saying we should be pessimist, No what i am saying is that you should make a mental picture of the worst outcome and get ready for it.
Be in constant search of opportunity to make people laugh: There is a natural law of 'causes and effects'. What this means is that when you carefully and curiously look for ways of making people laugh, you end up discovering that you will laugh at some of the things you do and this way, life goes on with more HUMOR.
Associate yourself with happy, motivated and Humorous people. Humor is just as contagious as success is. Happy and Humorous people are everywhere, mix up with the right gathering. Places like Religious places, social places, entertainment places or even game houses can do.
In whatever you do,just remember that this life is too short for anybody to spend even a single second without enjoying it to the fullest. Actively look for the things that will help you Get Motivated, Stay Motivated and Enjoy life to the fullest.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I remember as a kid growing up and attending school with a kid who had no arms and one fake leg. His name was Chris and I will never forget him. He attended school with me and my brother and had a strong personality, outside of his handicap he was really a pretty normal kid. He attended most of the same classes and had many of the same friends. But thinking back on his existence, he had to overcome way more obstacles than myself and most other kids at our school. Chris is just one story of many.
Recently one of my upline contacts in a network marketing business I was involved in, was very successful and he was blind. We have all probably either heard or seen the movie, "Door to Door" with William Macy about a salesman from Portland, Oregon named Bill Porter. Bill Porter is a real person who had cerebral palsy, could barely make out sentences, yet he built a very loyal customer base selling products door to door. If you have not seen the movie and you have an interest in sales, network marketing, or being successful, I highly recommend that you rent this film or buy it from your local video store.
This evening I watched a 60 minutes segment on a man with no legs or arms who has become a motivational speaker and is changing the lives of many in his home country of Australia. When I think of handicapped people overcoming great obstacles, I cannot help but think of Stephen Hawking who is a famous theoretical physicist. Stephen has been confined to a wheelchair for most of his life. Yet, he has made startling revelations regarding our planet in relation to the universe and his most famous revelation in terms of black holes emitting radiation, which has been declared Hawking radiation.
Another that comes to mind is a former American President Franklin D. Roosevelt who served in the White House from 1933 - 1945 and is the only US President who served more than 2 terms, all while he was paralyzed and confined to a wheel chair. I'm sure most everyone has heard the name of Helen Keller. She was deaf and blind from birth, and managed to finish college, and went on to become a world famous speaker and author. And who can forget Ray Charles, one of the most famous rhythm and blues performers of a generation. Many declared that Ray was a genius. His life was so interesting and successful that his life was later turned into a Hollywood Movie starring Jamie Foxx, which ultimately won Foxx the 2005 academy award for his performance.
The above is just a few examples of some amazing handicapped people who overcame great obstacles to accomplish incredible things. When I think of these people I wonder, how I can ever fail at anything, when these people have accomplished far more, and have had to overcome handicaps, which I can't even imagine. You might say their handicaps were their friend. As many had to learn to live in a world with no light, sound, or ability to walk, speak, or move normally. I think the one thing that made these people great, is they all believed in themselves and they all had a willingness to succeed. The next time you feel like a failure in business, relationships, or life. Think of those less fortunate that have accomplished great things.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Everybody has problems. Yes, everybody. It's true, even those people that you look at and wonder if they have any problems at all, they have problems, too. What's the difference between them and you? Those other people are probably doing something about their problems. They are helping themselves, taking action, making things happen, not sitting back and letting their problems control them or get the best of them. That's the difference, right there.
It's far easier said than done to "do something about your problems." But, let's define "doing something" more clearly first. One person may hate their job, and they are actively sending out resumes, building contacts, and seeking new opportunities. They have a positive mindset that there is a job out there that will make them happy and they are completely open to that opportunity when it arises. How about the woman who is extremely unhappy in her marriage, but worried about her children and finances? Maybe she's taken on a side job to save some money and secure her own and her children's future before she leaves? These two people are taking action to help themselves. The simple answers of "just quit your job" or "just leave your husband" are not good ones, and these examples of happier self-helpers who are taking action illustrate that more clearly.
As the story unfolds, you would see that the two people in the examples above are happier, because they have helped themselves conquer some problems and some unhappiness in their lives. They took control of the situation, and acted in a way that furthered their personal growth. Those people that you see that never seem to get away from their problems are missing a critical component in the self-help process: ACTION. Without action, nothing happens.
Talking about your problems starts out as helpful, but without the action component, talking about your problems soon becomes whining about your problems. Taking action is critical to succeeding in solving your problems. Too many people just sit around feeling sorry for themselves, wallowing in their own pity because they cannot solve their problems effectively. Again, for the record, those people that seem "problem-free" are not! They are just people that have learned to solve their problems effectively and remain positive in life. They are not more "lucky" than you, you are not "down on your luck," there are no excuses like that. They are working hard and taking action!
Want to solve your problems? Begin by clearing your head of all negativity. Work hard at establishing a positive mind set, for both your conscious mind and your unconscious mind. Take a few steps back from those people in your life that foster negativity. Watch those people that seem to conquer their problems, in ways that seem effortless to you. And, begin to take action toward solving your problems. Imagine your life without a specific problem that troubles you. And, focus on reaching that place in your life. Seize opportunities to make changes that are necessary. Stop talking, start acting!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Of all the columnists in The Washington Post, one of my favorites is Shankar Vedantam who writes "Department of Human Behavior." He's not only a good, clear writer, his research is excellent, and he has no axes to grind. He tells it like it is. In his recent column entitled "The Power of Political Misinformation," he explores how information affects different types of people. When exposed to misinformation, people with more traditionally conservative views tend to believe it more readily than people with more liberal approaches. The fascinating part happens when evidence is later produced that contradicts the misinformation. Liberal thinkers tend to return to a belief only slightly more negative than what they originally held. Those with a conservative viewpoint actually became more negative.
How does this apply to guys going through the midlife transition? Since the mechanism behind this unexpected behavior is directly linked to a person's comfort level in dealing with levels of uncertainty, I think that we can expect these tendencies to be strongest during midlife, when external uncertainties only exacerbate the internal uncertainties that run wild during this period of life. When your emotional world is already being turned on its head, what could you expect other than a frantic grab for more certainty from those who are fundamentally fear-based?
I know that, to some, I may be going out on a limb here; but evidence strongly suggests that people with conservative views have a much more difficult time dealing with uncertainty, and that this difficulty is most often neurologically fear-based: a sort of cultural PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). So far, I haven't heard of any studies on the subject, but I'd be willing to speculate that people who are culturally conservative (rank high on the cultural 'uncertainty avoidance' scale as defined by Geert Hofstede) have a more difficult time with the midlife transition than their counterparts. After all, the midlife transition is that time when, in an emotionally healthy individual, all foundational beliefs and values come under scrutiny and question. It's a time in life when, very often, there seems to be no certainty at all, because the old paradigms have crumbled under the weight of ennui, and a new, more authentic belief and value system has not yet taken its place.
The plight of those who, for whatever reason, are more inclined to believe misinformation after it's been debunked provides only a particular example of a much more wide-spread tendency: people who are very uncomfortable with uncertainty tend to adopt a worldview that's based more on wishful thinking than on fact and actuality. Although it's evidently a survival tactic in a world that's perceived as threatening and dangerous, it's equally evidently a maladaptive response. Living in a world of your own creation - where you set yourself up as the unique meaning-giver - could be characterized as being culturally, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually paranoid schizophrenic. Although that world may appear internally consistent (after all, it's designed to be that way), it consequently relegates all contradictory evidence to the realm of conspiracies: those who don't agree with you are up to no good.
Life as we know it is already rife with maladaptive defense mechanisms. Systematically getting rid of (or at least learning to manage) these once-necessary defenses, which have long since turned on us, makes up the bulk of the maturing process. The midlife transition marks a watershed in a man's life: you have the choice whether to go forward and build for yourself a workable and authentic personal foundation based on discernment of core spiritual principles (like the on-going search for your unique purpose and meaning), or to return to the black-and-white world of artificial certitude (laws, rules, and regulations).
What should you do with uncertainty? Learn to live with it! That's the only way forward through the midlife transition. Going back to old (and imagined) certitudes will leave you repeating the same dead-end behaviors over and over again: divorce after divorce, job after job, career after career, illness after illness, disappointment after disappointment. The fear-based person can't move forward because he sees his plight as something that other people (or the world in general, or even God) are doing to him. The victim mentality keeps him stuck in childish fantasies and unable to transition into a mature and authentic life. Uncertainty avoidance is the bane of midlife: practice it at your own risk!
source: H. Les Brown, MA, CFCC