12 Dec 2013

Loving starts with me

If you don't love yourself nobody else will. Not only that, you won't be good at loving anyone else. Loving starts with the Self. [Dr. Wayne W. Dyer]

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7 Dec 2013

You do not cry for LOVE

You do not cry for Love. You cry only because you are feeling its absence. Stop crying and fill your heart with joy, thus Love will never be so far.

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16 Nov 2013

Fearful symmetry: Roger Penrose’s tiling

The Penrose tiling’s almost-perfect “forbidden symmetry”
Roger Penrose makes his own rules. He is one of the world’s most distinguished mathematical physicists and most inventive thinkers. Penrose’s work on the theory of general relativity in the 1960s led to the discovery that the gravity of collapsing stars can produce black-hole “singularities” in space-time. This, in turn, set Stephen Hawking on his course to rewrite black-hole physics. The research established Penrose’s name in science, but his thought continued to range much further. In The Emperor’s New Mind (1989) he proposed that the human mind can handle problems that are “non-computable,” which is to say that any computer trying to solve them by executing a set of logical rules (as all computers do) would chunter away forever without reaching a conclusion. This property of the mind, Penrose argued, might stem from the brain’s use of a quantum-mechanical principle, perhaps involving quantum gravity. In collaboration with anaesthetist Stuart Hameroff, he suggested in Shadows of the Mind (1994) what that principle might be, involving quantum behaviour in protein filaments called microtubules in neurons. Neuroscientists scoffed, glazed over, or muttered “Oh, physicists…”

So when I remarked that he is known for ideas that most others couldn’t even imagine, let alone dare voice, introducing a talk by Penrose yesterday, I didn’t expect that I would hear new ones that evening. Penrose was speaking about the discovery for which he is perhaps best known among the public: the so-called Penrose tiling, a pair of rhombus-shaped tiles that can be used to tile a flat surface ad infinitum without the pattern ever repeating itself. It turns out that this pattern is peppered with objects that have five- or ten-fold symmetry; like a pentagon, they superimpose on themselves when rotated a fifth of a full turn. That is very strange, because fivefold symmetry is known to be rigorously forbidden for any two-dimensional packing of shapes. (Try it with ordinary pentagons and you quickly find that you get lots of gaps). The Penrose tiling doesn’t have this “forbidden symmetry” in a perfect form, but it almost does.

These tilings – there are other shapes that have an equivalent result – are strikingly beautiful, with a mixture of regularity and disorder that is somehow pleasing to the eye. This is doubtless why, as Penrose explained, many architects have made use of them. But they also have a deeper significance. After Penrose described the tiling in the 1970s, the crystallographer Alan Mackay – one of the unsung polymathic savants of British science – showed in 1981 that if you imagine putting atoms at the corners of the tiles and bouncing X-rays off them, you can get a pattern of reflections that looks like that of a perfect crystal with the forbidden five- and tenfold symmetries. Four years later, such a material was found in the real world by the Israeli materials scientist Daniel Shechtman and his coworkers. This was dubbed a quasicrystal, and the discovery won Shechtman the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Penrose tilings can explain how quasicrystals attain their “impossible” structure.

Roger Penrose on his tiling in the foyer of the
Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and
Astronomy at Texas A&M University
In his talk Penrose explained the richness of these tilings, manipulating transparencies like a prestidigitator in ways that elicited several gasps of delight as new patterns suddenly came into view. But it was in the Q&A session that we got a glimpse of Penrose’s wildly lateral thinking. Assembling a tiling is a very delicate business, because if you add a tile in the wrong place or orientation, somewhere further down the line the pattern fouls up. But how could atoms in a quasicrystal know that they have to come together in a certain way here to avoid a problem right over there? Maybe, Penrose said, they make use of entanglement, the bizarre quantum-mechanical property that foxed Einstein, in which two particles can affect one another instantaneously over any distance. Crikey.

In Penrose’s mind it all links up: quasicrystals, non-computable problems, the universe… You can use these tiles, he said, to represent the rules of how things interact in a hypothetical universe in which everything is non-computable: the rules are well defined, but you can never use them to predict what is going to happen until it actually happens. But my favourite anecdote is of Penrose inspecting a new tiling being laid out on the concourse of some university. Looking it over, he felt uneasy. Eventually he saw why: the builders, seeing an empty space at the edge of the tiling, had stuck another tile there that didn’t respect the proper rules for their assembly. No one else would have noticed, but Penrose saw that what it meant was that “the tiling would go wrong somewhere in the middle of the lawn.” Not that it was ever going to reach that far – but it was a flaw in that hypothetical continuation, that imaginary universe, and for a mathematician that wouldn’t do. 

From an article of Mr Philip Ball you can find here http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/ball/fearful-symmetry-roger-penroses-tiling

7 Nov 2013

4 Nov 2013

Simple Ways to Sleep a Lot Better at Night

(photo courtesy flickr user Kevin Hutchinson)
If you sleep like a baby – meaning you wake up crying every two hours – forget the Ambien and warm milk. Take steps to eliminate the stress and anxiety that keeps you awake.

Try a few of these:

1. Step back from one thing you really care about... but have no ability to impact.

For some people it's politics. For others it's family. For others it's global warming. You care -- and you desperately want others to care.

Fine. Do what you can: Vote. Lend a listening ear. Recycle and reduce your carbon footprint. Do what you can do. Be your own change… but don't try to make everyone else change.

They won't – unless they decide to on their own.

2. Stay out of other people's business.

Help. Offer guidance. Encourage. Motivate.

But don't gossip. Don't get mixed up in politics. It always ends badly. Never put yourself in a position where you're worried that Phil will tell Allen you said something snarky about Stu and... (yeah, it’s a “Hangover” reference.)

3. Set up automatic warning systems.

The larger your scope of responsibility – professional or personal – the more you have to worry about. Your list of concerns is endless. You're always on edge, especially at night. So you check your email. You text and call to make sure everything is OK.

The fear of the unknown drives you crazy.

Instead of worrying about what you don't know, make sure you do know. Decide what you need to know when and set up systems to support you. Let your employees know what constitutes an emergency -- and, just as importantly, what doesn't. Create automated systems that notify you of problems.

A friend runs a 1,200-employee manufacturing plant. He has a separate phone for emergencies: Employees call that phone or send emails to emergency@. He turns off his regular phone at night and sleeps soundly, because he knows if something happens, he'll know. He won't have to check.

Determine what you need to know and create systems to ensure you will know. Then you won't have to waste time and energy worrying about the unknown.

4. Be grateful for criticism.

When you get feedback, at least someone cares enough to want you to improve: Your product, your service, your work, your life…. You only need to worry when no one cares enough to criticize you.

Criticism creates an opportunity. Embrace that opportunity.

5. Write it all down.

David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done, told me this:

Most people try to use their psyche as their systemic process, which means issues gain importance based on your emotions. I've never met anyone who said they didn't feel a little better if they sat down and made a list. Nothing changes when you write things down except how you engage with your issues: You can be objective and also be creative and intuitive.

Your head is for having ideas, not holding ideas, and it's certainly not for filing things away. Without exception you will feel better if you get stuff out of your head.

Try it. Write down your challenges. List your problems or concerns.

I bet you'll start to feel better right away. You'll realize things aren't as bad as you think. You'll also start to figure out ways to make things better -- because now you won't worry passively. You'll actively solve your problems.

6. Lay off the conspiracy theories.

No one is out to get you. Even if people are, they're really not the problem – most of us do a better job sabotaging ourselves than someone else ever could. Besides, you can't control what other people might do.

But you can control what you will do.

7. Reduce the number of judgment calls.

The more prepared you are to handle a situation, the easier it is to be objective -- and to avoid stressing out later over whether or not you made the wrong call.

Create price lists that take into account unusual requests. Set up guidelines for responding to customer complaints. Create employee policies for objective areas like attendance, quality, and performance. Decide what you will and will not allow your kids to do before they start asking.

Think about situations you struggle with and decide what you will do before those situations get stressful or confrontational. Then you can make better decisions and greatly reduce your level of stress… and regret.

8. Create a cutoff time...

Yeah, I know, you consider yourself a 24/7 go-getter. But that's impossible. Decide what time you'll stop working each day, no matter what.

And if stopping makes you feel guilty?

9. ...Then create a plan for tomorrow.

Write down what you need to do first thing tomorrow. You'll rest easier knowing you have a plan to take care of what you didn't get done today.

10. Spend a few minutes every day getting better at something else.

It doesn't matter what you pick. Just make sure it's not business: A musical instrument. A foreign language. A hobby. Whatever it is, spend a little time on it. Get a little better.

Step outside your daily grind and do something for yourself.

In the process, you'll gain a little perspective. Perspective soothes the soul.

11. Count your blessings.

Take a second before you turn out the light. In that moment, quit worrying about what you don't have. Quit worrying about what others have that you don't.

Think about what you do have.

Thought so. You have a lot to be thankful for.

Feels pretty good, doesn't it? Feeling better about yourself is the best sleeping pill of all.

found here http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131031120051-20017018-simple-ways-to-sleep-a-lot-better-at-night

10 Sep 2013

How to Win Loyalty From Other People

If you aspire to be successful as an entrepreneur, manager, business owner, or any kind of leader, others must feel loyal to you. Although money is often seen as a prime motivator, ultimately the bonds that hold an enterprise together are psychological. Important data gathered by the indicate that loyalty is one of the top three things that make workers feel satisfied.

Loyalty balances self-interest. It is the willingness to look out for "us" and not just "me." It's no secret that the bond of loyalty has frayed at a time of layoffs and the loss of pensions and benefits in the economy. A public image has been built of opposition between management and labor - there is nothing new here - where the advantage has shifted overwhelmingly to management. As long as profits continue to roll in, loyalty is ignored. The assumption is that workers are too desperate for a job to complain or protest.

You have a choice to make in the face of this sad situation. Are you going to join the trend and forget loyalty or are you going to try and rebuild it? The question doesn't apply simply to managers. Companies develop an atmosphere and a culture. No one works in a vacuum, and your attitude affects the environment you work in, no matter where you fit into the overall scheme.

If you choose to help rebuild loyalty, here are some suggestions:

1. Abstain from disloyalty, which shows up in small but telling ways. Office gossip, back-biting, and spreading rumors show disloyalty, because they degrade the sense of bonding and cooperation.

2. Work on bonding and cooperation. Be sympathetic and open to the people you work with. Support projects that are good for everyone, even if you don't gain immediate material rewards.

3. Honor the difference between rivals and competitors. The fact that you are competing against others at work doesn't make them your rivals. Rivalry is hostile; it implies that only one person can win. Competition raises the bar for everyone, so that the whole team can win.

4. Pay attention to personal details. Loyalty runs deep when a person feels cared for and understood. Be alert to these needs. Make an effort to include everyone. When ideas and suggestions are being discussed, make it clear that every suggestion is welcome. If someone's pet idea is rejected, take time to go to them afterwards and listen respectfully to what lies behind the idea.

5. Share your success. Include your team in the praise and appreciation that comes your way. If possible, make a tangible gesture, as appropriate - throw a party, or other form of celebration, offer bonuses, present a gift as a token of recognition.

6. Don't keep secrets. As much as possible, make the decision-making process transparent. Open up financial details. In the economic downturn of 2008, some small businesses shared their finances with their workers and thereby won real loyalty. Seeing that the company was strapped, the workers felt an incentive to be part of the solution. This is just one way to close the gap that makes management and workers adversaries, a stance that severely erodes loyalty.

7. Remind yourself every day that there is no "I" without "we." This allows you to be humble in your successes and provides a community to get through crises.

26 Aug 2013

Reboot your life: 20 mental barriers you should let go of

You are in an imaginary hot air balloon. It’s just you and all of your belongings in the wicker basket. Something went wrong and you are losing altitude fast. You will hit the ground in less than ten minutes if you don’t come up with something quick.

The only immediate solution is to get rid of excess weight and throw off at least half of your belongings. It’s that or hit the ground in ten. You look at the things and hesitate for a few seconds but then you do what you have to do and start throwing the things you have gathered half your life one by one. The cargo gets lighter, the descent slows down then you are floating up again back to altitude. You are relieved beyond comprehension.

This happens to all of us in less dramatic circumstances. We attach ourselves to things that we have accumulated over the years. Some of them might have some practical value. Others we just have attached ourselves sentimentally to over time. Some others are just clutter.

Our mental life follows the same fate. We carry with us a lot of things in our heads along the years – Our life story, emotional attachments, beliefs and other things which can linger in our minds for many years.

Some of them are useless ideas that drag us down considerably. Some are emotional debris from difficult moments in our past. Some are just beliefs which we have attached ourselves to for no apparent justifiable reason. Some others are just self-destructive habits and fears.

So if you were in the hot air balloon situation, which of these mental barriers should we let go? I have listed down 20 here. Do you have any more?

1. Let go of attachments

According to Buddhist Philosophy, attachment is one of the roots of all suffering. I can’t agree more. We attach ourselves to all sorts of things even the most self-slapping stupid notions in the universe. Are you attached to something? How much are you attached? Is it keeping you back from something? Is it making you suffer? Look at it straight through – break the illusion. Know that every attachment can be detached.

2. Let go of guilt

Guilt has absolutely no function whatsoever. Think about it – what could guilt possibly resolve? It just holds you imprisoned to self-mortification and sorrow.

3. Let go of Negative thinking

Pessimistic thoughts and negative attitudes keep you locked in a dark aura that permeates in everything you do. It’s a dangerous line to follow. Know that thoughts influence the world around us. Enough said.

4. Let go of self-criticism

Many times we are our biggest pain in the neck. We criticize ourselves with the best of intentions but then go over the acceptable limit. Criticism then turns to disempowering messages. Let go of it and be kind and gentle to yourself.

5. Let go of prejudice

Prejudice keeps you bitter and resentful. It restricts your opportunities to connect meaningfully with others.

6. Let go of compulsive thinking

Do you keep on doing something just because you feel you have to do it without any apparent reason? It’s time to honestly reflect on its usefulness and its side-effects.

7. Let go of the need for others’ approval

We often tend to seek approval by others. This is an attention-seeking behaviour and one which threatens our self-confidence and authenticity.

8. Let go of limiting beliefs

Most of our limits are self-imposed. Life doesn’t have defined limits. Our beliefs do. Learn to identify those beliefs which narrow down your possibilities for action and let go of them.

9. Let go of grudges

Let me put it this way – grudges are bad for your heart. Keep them long enough or numerous enough and your health will eventually suffer. Research is showing the relationship between heart disease and emotions such as anger and grudges.

10. Let go of postponing

This is a delaying tactic of your subconscious saboteur trying to keep you from accomplishing important tasks. Try to be aware of it when you think it and consciously push yourself to do at least the first part of it. Naturally you will then continue the whole task because the hard part is only the beginning.

11. Let go of anxious thoughts

These are born out of our fear of the unknown and uncertainty about the future. The thought that something unpleasant may happen is only an unreal thought we have created ourselves. Ask yourself: “Is this thought based on real evidence?”

12. Let go of past heartbreaks

A heartbreak can take quite a long time to heal. Your heart is locked as your mind keeps on hovering over the same thought. The thing to realize is that in heartbreaks it is not the loss that make you suffer but the idea you create in your heads about that loss.

13. Let go of bad memories

Sometimes we remember unpleasant things that stir up some sad feelings in us. Bad memories make you relive those sad moments in the present. Keep them where they are – in the past.

14. Let go of useless things

We also attach ourselves to things of all sort. Sometimes we clutter our life with useless objects. Let go of them and simplify your working and living environment.

15. Let go of bad company

If there are people around you that are insincere, harbour envy, are highly pessimistic or disempowering, keep away from them.

16. Let go of the idea that you are a product of your past

One very common mistake we fall into is the belief that we are determined by our past experiences. This limits our view on future possibilities since we are stuck in believing that the future can only be more of the same as our past.

17. Let go of identifying yourself with your job/role

This is one of the risks of modern day life. Since roles are always becoming more specialized we think that we are part of our roles. This makes us lose perspective of our true nature.

18. Let go of counterproductive habits

These are the repetitive patterns of behavior that obstruct or distract you from constructive and productive behavior. They can be anything from watching too much TV and overeating to self-destructive behavior such as drug abuse.

19. Let go of taking things too personally

Very often we are disturbed emotionally because we interpret people’s words and actions from a very subjective perspective. When we take things personally we get irritated, hurt and disappointed.  When you look at life from a more detached and objective point of view, we stay emotionally balanced and focused on our priorities.

20. Let go of the ticking clock

Time is one of our biggest sources of stress. Well, not time really but our perception of it. Sometimes we are enslaved by the concept of time even in our moments of leisure. This has devoured a lot of our genuine freedom and space. Learning to spend moments without the constant awareness of time can be liberating and finally productive.

After reading all these points you are certainly thinking that these are very simple and maybe even "stupid" things we hand around every day.
But you also certainly know that when you are keeping one of the above behavours or attitudes, you are doing WRONG. If you feel it, then trust yourself enough and STOP doing it. It will be easier and easier the more attention you make to your feeling in doing things.

Here is a track you can print and read from time to time, to secure your constant will to stick to a healthier behaviour and attitude.

Found here

10 Apr 2013

The Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules For Living

At the start of the new millennium the Dalai Lama apparently issued eighteen rules for living. Since word travels slowly in the digital age these have only just reached me. Here they are.

  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  3. Follow the three Rs:
    - Respect for self
    - Respect for others
    - Responsibility for all your actions.
  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  8. Spend some time alone every day.
  9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
  12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
  13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
  14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
  15. Be gentle with the earth.
  16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
  17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
  18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

Thank you for reading these rules for living.  Lets practice them together and make the world a better place.

5 Mar 2013

How To Get What You Really, Really Want

This video can be really inspirational, or simply enjoyable. It lasts over 1h23'. This means you will need time to watch it. Nonetheless it's worth the time. Bookmark this post for your favorable moment.

Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D., is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. He's the author of 30 books, has created many audio programs and videos, and has appeared on thousands of television and radio shows. His books Manifest Your Destiny, Wisdom of the Ages, There's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, and The New York Times bestsellers 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, The Power of Intention, Inspiration, and Change Your Thoughts—Change Your Life, Excuses Begone and now Wishes Fulfilled have all been featured as National Public Television specials.

Wayne holds a doctorate in educational counseling from Wayne State University and was an associate professor at St. John's University in New York.
Visit his Website: www.DrWayneDyer.com

11 Feb 2013

Why settle for ordinary?

Be aware of all that you are.

Two of today’s most sought-out spiritual teachers met in Maui in November, 2011, to talk about the nature of consciousness. Dr. Wayne Dyer and Eckhart Tolle give us their views on the importance of moving beyond an ordinary view of ourselves, reconnecting with our divine origins, and rediscovering our role in the well-being of the world.

Wayne: Most of us were raised to believe we are ordinary. We aren’t raised to believe in our extraordinariness, our divinity. This ordinary part of us, the ego, is the part that insists that we are what we have, what we do, what other people think of us. It tries to convince us we are separate. In truth, we are born perfect and then snatched out of that perfection and programmed into accumulating and achieving. We never get back to the extraordinary part of ourselves because the ordinary part thinks we are having a successful life. But beyond ordinary is the extraordinary—what we call the “soul.” That formless, invisible, birthless, deathless, infinite part of us only wants to expand and grow. We need to address this infinite, no-limits part of ourselves.

Eckhart:  This brings us to the ideas of “being” and “doing.” As human beings, we are called upon to act, to create. We are part of this universe’s love of creating form. But the universe also wants to know its own essence through us and that is realized by our drive to be totally content and at peace in the present moment, to seek that state of absolute, beautiful, deep peace. The outgoing movement of the universe is wanting to create and the return movement is the universe wanting to know itself through the human.  Yes, we want to do things, but not to lose being while we do them, not to lose ourselves in the doing. Can we remain rooted in being and act from there rather than acting from the needs of the ego? The essence that is timeless and infinite in everyone is “being.” Conscious union with that can lead to “awakened doing.”

Wayne: The great saint in India, Muktananda, was asked, “What is real?” He replied, “What is real is that which never changes.” When looking for what is real and unchanging about ourselves, we can apply this definition. Who are we? We certainly aren't our bodies because those are changing constantly. So the real you is that which keeps occupying new bodies—from infant to toddler to teen to adult. There is an unchanging spark from the Creator in each of us, our highest self, a piece of God. And we are all connected. Eckhart, when I saw you in conversation with Oprah recently, I realized how important it is for all of us to be “aware” and living from an “awakened” state. We have an impact on every person we encounter.

Eckhart: All the people you encounter will be impacted. Your state of consciousness gets transmitted to others. One negative person can create a chain reaction of negativity in others. In the same way, a conscious person can dissolve streams of negativity. You affect the underlying collective field of human consciousness. I feel sure that you affect countless others that you never even meet, the collective consciousness of humanity.

Wayne: All life is connected so the whole universe can be impacted. The poet T.S. Eliot said, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” He may have been talking about death, but I think we can arrive at knowing our divine nature without having to die.

Eckhart: This reminds me of the parable of the Prodigal Son, from the Bible and other ancient sources. The son demands his inheritance and leaves home only to become destitute. This is the story of humanity, humanity losing itself in externals, losing connectedness with the Source of all being. Not totally losing the connection, but becoming unaware of it. So we become beggars looking for scraps, seeking fulfillment in houses, cars, new partners. This is the condition of the person who has lost awareness of the Source and our oneness with all beings. When the prodigal son returns to his father’s home, he appreciates at a deeper level something he had lost.

Wayne: Speaking of the Prodigal Son, Eckhart, I don’t know if it’s your story but it is mine. I’ve gotten lost several times and each one has been a way for me to recognize that all spiritual advances are preceded by a fall of some kind or another. The storms of my life have brought me back to God.

Found here http://www.healyourlife.com/author-dr-wayne-w-dyer/2013/02/lifeshelp/success-and-abundance/why-settle-for-ordinary

29 Jan 2013

"Obliterating Problems Is My Job." Abraham Hicks

Abraham Hicks explains - very clearly to me - how the problems we attempt to obliterate tend to get bigger and bigger and bigger and how we can turn this trend upside down.

22 Jan 2013

9 Daily Habits That Will Make You Happier

These minor changes in your daily routine will make a major difference in your life and career.

Happiness is the only true measure of personal success. Making other people happy is the highest expression of success, but it's almost impossible to make others happy if you're not happy yourself.
With that in mind, here are nine small changes that you can make to your daily routine that, if you're like most people, will immediately increase the amount of happiness in your life:

1. Start each day with expectation.

If there's any big truth about life, it's that it usually lives up to (or down to) your expectations. Therefore, when you rise from bed, make your first thought: "something wonderful is going to happen today." Guess what? You're probably right.

2. Take time to plan and prioritize.

The most common source of stress is the perception that you've got too much work to do.  Rather than obsess about it, pick one thing that, if you get it done today, will move you closer to your highest goal and purpose in life. Then do that first.

3. Give a gift to everyone you meet.

I'm not talking about a formal, wrapped-up present. Your gift can be your smile, a word of thanks or encouragement, a gesture of politeness, even a friendly nod. And never pass beggars without leaving them something. Peace of mind is worth the spare change.

4. Deflect partisan conversations.

Arguments about politics and religion never have a "right" answer but they definitely get people all riled up over things they can't control. When such topics surface, bow out by saying something like: "Thinking about that stuff makes my head hurt."

5. Assume people have good intentions.

Since you can't read minds, you don't really know the "why" behind the "what" that people do. Imputing evil motives to other people's weird behaviors adds extra misery to life, while assuming good intentions leaves you open to reconciliation.

6. Eat high quality food slowly.

Sometimes we can't avoid scarfing something quick to keep us up and running. Even so, at least once a day try to eat something really delicious, like a small chunk of fine cheese or an imported chocolate. Focus on it; taste it; savor it.

7. Let go of your results.

The big enemy of happiness is worry, which comes from focusing on events that are outside your control. Once you've taken action, there's usually nothing more you can do. Focus on the job at hand rather than some weird fantasy of what might happen.

8. Turn off "background" TV.

Many households leave their TVs on as "background noise" while they're doing other things. The entire point of broadcast TV is to make you dissatisfied with your life so that you'll buy more stuff. Why subliminally program yourself to be a mindless consumer?

9. End each day with gratitude.

Just before you go to bed, write down at least one wonderful thing that happened. It might be something as small as a making a child laugh or something as huge as a million dollar deal. Whatever it is, be grateful for that day because it will never come again.

Found here

18 Jan 2013

Secret to More Refreshing Weekends

You work like a maniac at your business all week, so what do you usually do come Friday?

If you answered, Simply flop down on the sofa and run through a long list of chores, you're certainly not alone. This approach (or lack of an approach, really) to weekends is common and understandable, but how does it leave you feeling on Mondays?

That's the question posed by author Laura Vanderkam in her new e-book What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend, a follow-up to her popular What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. In it, Vanderkam talks to the über-busy and supersuccessful, and gathers research on what sorts of weekends are actually best for battling burnout to ensure you're ready to head back to business on Monday morning.

It turns out, your meandering, lazy Saturdays may be leaving you at risk of burnout.

Too Much Time Not to Schedule  

Vanderkam's starting point: Realize exactly how precious and how abundant your weekend hours are. Even subtracting 24 hours of solid sleep from the 60 hours you have between cracking a beer at 6 p.m. on Friday and hearing the alarm at 6 a.m. on Monday, weekends offer a solid 36 hours of possible relaxation.

That's nearly as much time as a full-time workweek and demands thoughtful strategizing, just like a job.

Or as former Republican presidential candidate and current media pundit Mike Huckabee puts it in the book: “You have to set an appointment to go off the grid as surely as to go on it.”

Scheduled Relaxation Is Not an Oxymoron

Your intense workweeks as an entrepreneur may leave you wiped come Friday, but Vanderkam argues that sitting slack-jawed in front of the TV or aimlessly surfing the Web isn't going to get you ready for another week.

Paradoxically, really rejuvenating yourself requires getting off your duff--and that usually requires some planning.

"Other kinds of work—be it exercise, a creative hobby, hands-on parenting, or volunteering—will do more to preserve your zest for Monday’s challenges than complete vegetation or working through the weekend," she writes.

Whether it's coaching a kids' sports team like the CEO of Insureon, playing a regular game of pickup soccer like celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, or extending a standing invitation to your friends for a Sunday evening supper like Huckabee, all the successful people profiled in the book plot out their weekends in advance (though not every minute; just a few "anchor events," as Vanderkam dubs them) and make active use of the hours they have.

This may initially sound like less fun and more effort, but according to the high achievers Vanderkam speaks with, spending energy on the weekends actually leaves you with more zest on Monday.

Anticipation Is Half the Pleasure

Planning your weekends may sound too Type A at first, but Vanderkam claims thinking ahead doesn't just push you toward more active (and therefore more rejuvenating) pursuits. It's also a pleasure unto itself. "Time travel into the future—otherwise known as anticipation—accounts for a big chunk of the happiness gleaned from any event," she writes.

It also spares you from wasting precious weekend minutes negotiating a plan with your spouse, or running around trying to find a reservation, babysitter, or willing goalkeeper to complete your five-a-side team. Plus, commitments make it harder to simply throw up your hands and claim you're "too tired" to do anything when you wake up on Saturday.

Found here
Secret to More Refreshing Weekends

8 Jan 2013

7 Lessons From 7 Great Minds

Have you ever wished you could go back in time and have a conversation with one of the greatest minds in history? Well, you can’t sorry, they’re dead. Unless of course you’re clairaudient, be my guest. But for the rest of us, we can still refer to the words they left behind.

Even though these great teachers have passed on, their words still live, and in them their wisdom. I’ve made a list of seven what I believe are some of the greatest teachings by the world’s greatest minds.

1. Realizing Your Dreams

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
- Lawrence J. Peter

In order for us to achieve our dreams, we must have a vision of our goals. Writing down our dreams and creating a list of actions helps us stick to our plan. As it’s said “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. When we turn our goals into measurable actions, we gain clarity and are able to see the necessary steps we must take in order to achieve them.

Action: Visualize a life of your wildest dreams. What did you dream of doing when you were a child? What would you do if you had a million dollars? Create a vision for your goals and start breaking them down into small actions that you can take on a day by day basis.

2. Overcoming Fear

“It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, “Always do what you are afraid to do.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The best way to learn something is to dive right in to it. When we overcome our fear of failure, we learn that only those who are asleep make no mistakes. Fear is the only thing keeping us from experiencing a life of love and fulfillment. If we make a commitment to an uncompromisable quest for truth, we will realize that as we grow more into the truth, our fears start to disappear.

Action: You must define your fears in order to conquer them. Create a list of everything you’re afraid of and start facing them one at a time. Make a commitment to yourself now to not let fear rule your life.

3. Intention and Desire

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.”- Guatama Buddha

Our thoughts determine our reality. When we stop thinking about what we don’t and begin thinking about what we do want, our lives begin to transform. Instead of working against our desires and intentions, we move into alignment with them.

Action: Create a list of your intentions and desires. Wherever you go, take this list with you. Read it when you wake up and before you go to sleep.

4. Happiness

“Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances.”
- Benjamin Franklin

Happiness comes from an inner peace, understanding and acceptance of life; a perspective of truth that opens your eyes to the beauty of life all around us. Happiness cannot be achieved by external status, it must be an internal state that we realize when we see our innate perfection.

Action: Realize that happiness is a choice. In every decision you make ask yourself “how can I respond to make myself happy and fulfilled?”

5. Self Acceptance

“If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” – Jesus

When we stop trying to be what we are not, we realize our authenticity. Before we had knowledge, we were completely authentic. We learn to use knowledge to measure and judge, which is a powerful tool we have as humans. However we create an image of perfection in our mind of what we should be, but are not. We confuse knowledge for nature. We believe in the lie of our imperfection. When we realize this we can reclaim the truth of our perfection and live in love and acceptance.

Action: Make a commitment to never go against yourself. Practice non-judgment and realize that the same part of your mind that condemns you is the same voice that caused you to take the action in the first place. We don’t even have to believe what we say to ourselves.

6. Appreciation and Gratitude

“So much has been given to me, I have not time to ponder over that which has been denied.”
- Helen Keller

How many times do we count our misfortunes rather than our blessings? When we take time to open our eyes to the miracle of life we can see the many gifts that have been given to us. Remembering all the beautiful aspects of life and all the reasons you are blessed can immediately shift our mood. We can move from sorrow and despair to appreciation and hope.

Action: Each time you find yourself complaining about something, re-direct your focus to something you are grateful for. Make a habit of transforming your awareness of troubles into an awareness of abundance.

7. The Art of Simplicity

“I made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it short.”
- Blaise Pascal

Perfection is not when there is nothing to add, but when there is nothing more to take away. As Bruce Lee once said “the height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.” True mastery of our lives is realizing the simple joys of life, removing distractions and clutter from our lives.

Action: The art of simplicity is knowing what to take away. Practice recognizing when you’re spending your time on unimportant tasks and re-focus on the important.

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are other many great teachings that I did not include here because I felt like they were already expounded on thoroughly elsewhere, such as Einstein and Gandhi’s timeless classics. There are also great teachings to be found from our parents or friends.

Found here

7 Jan 2013

Stop Avoiding Tough Conversations: 3 Ways

Conflict may feel uncomfortable, but it's also costly to avoid. Putting off a tough conversation? Consider these strategies to get back on track.

When Susan hired her sister as a sales representative in her growing company she understood that it was a risky move. But her sister needed a job and Susan needed to increase sales, so why not give it a shot?

For two years, Susan's sister remained the lowest ranking producer on the sales force.  Every family event, sales meeting, and sisterly shopping spree was weighed down by the elephant in the room; this under-performer--who happens to be a close relative--had to go.

This is just one example of the self-sabotage that entrepreneurs engage in because they want to avoid a difficult conversation. Sister or not, business owners drag their feet when it comes to dismissing or reassigning an ineffective employee. And what about those other problems that don't get addressed because avoiding them is so much easier? Things like lack of emotional and household support from a spouse, frequent and unnecessary disruptions by friends and family during work hours, and business relationships and arrangements that are no longer viable.

Come on, fess up. There's at least one thing in your life that merits a conversation, yet you avoid it because it's difficult to face.

Ironically, the pain and discomfort of putting these conversations off is usually worse than the dreaded discussion turns out to be. We tend to project all sorts of ugly scenarios, which may or may not occur. All of those "what if's" add up and staying put in the current situation just seems easier. So, we make excuses and talk ourselves into believing that someday things will change and we will never have to directly address the problem at all.

Is there a difficult conversation hanging over your head? Consider these points and dive in. Life is usually much better on the other side!

1. You're not the only one who is dissatisfied or unhappy.

When an employee is under-performing or a partnership not working out, it's usually because the other party is discontent as well. Most everyone wants to succeed and thrive in their job. An under-performer who leaves work each day with the knowledge that they didn't do their best doesn't feel good about it. This lack of motivation may exist because they are not in the right job, or in an industry that excites them. Consider that the person on the other side of this situation may be just as unhappy as you are. Set both of you free with an honest discussion about the facts and options!

2. There's always another side to the story.

It's easy to get caught up in our emotions when we are dissatisfied and disappointed. You may believe that you know why someone is acting the way they do, but you probably don't have a clue. Go into the conversation asking questions, rather than defending your position and making accusations. You may learn something that will change the whole picture and offer an easy solution to your problem. Your mother may call you during work hours because she believes it's less disruptive than calling you while you're at home with the kids. She may feel that she's being considerate, while you perceive her as being needy and rude. A minor correction to her thought process could solve the whole issue and make you both more comfortable.

3. Now think: What is this delay costing you?  

Living with a difficult situation costs time, money, and loads of energy. You may think it's easier to leave it alone, but preoccupation and agitation take a lot of energy out of you. Also think about what the situation is costing you financially. Disruptions, rocky relationships, poor employee performance, and failing partnerships are money-suckers. Try keeping a few notes on the topic for a week or so. How often do you have to stop what you're doing because of it? Does it result in lost business and missed opportunities? Do you have to trouble-shoot or step into something that you really shouldn't be involved in? Lastly, how much time to you waste dwelling on it and replaying things in your mind? Once you calculate these emotional and financial costs the next steps may not be as daunting as they are today.

Make a list of these problems and weigh the pros and cons of addressing them. If this isn't enough to move you forward then find a coach to work through it with you. A professional perspective will make all the difference.

Found here
Stop Avoiding Tough Conversations: 3 Ways

6 Jan 2013

Building Healthy Relationships

1. Speak a little less, listen a little more

Most people get tremendous pleasure from speaking about themselves. But, here we have to be careful; if we always speak about our achievements or tribulations, people will get fed up with our egoism.
If we are willing and able to listen to others, we will find it much appreciated by our friends. Some people are not aware of how much they dominate the conversation. If you find you are always talking about yourself, consider the advice of the Greek philosopher, Epictectus:
“Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we speak.”

2. Which is more important being right or maintaining harmony?

A lot of problems in relationships occur because we want to maintain our personal pride. Don’t insist on always having the last word. Healthy relationships are not built through winning meaningless arguments. Be willing to back down; most arguments are not of critical importance anyway.

3. Avoid Gossip

If we value someone’s friendship we will not take pleasure in commenting on their frequent failings. They will eventually hear about it. But, whether we get found out or not, we weaken our relationships when we dwell on negative qualities. Avoid gossiping about anybody; subconsciously we don’t trust people who have a reputation for gossip. We instinctively trust and value people who don’t feel the need to criticise others.

4. Forgiveness

Forgiveness is not just a cliché, it’s a powerful and important factor in maintaining healthy relationships. However, real forgiveness also means that we are willing to forget the experience. If we forgive one day, but then a few weeks later bring up the old misdeed, this is not real forgiveness. When we make mistakes, just consider how much we would appreciate others forgiving and forgetting.

5. Know When to Keep Silent

If you think a friend has a bad or unworkable idea, don’t always argue against it; just keep silent and let them work things out for themselves. It’s a mistake to always feel responsible for their actions. You can offer support to friends, but you can’t live their life for them.

6. Right Motive

If you view friendship from the perspective of “what can I get from this?” you are making a big mistake. This kind of relationship proves very tentative. If you make friendships with the hope of some benefit, you will find that people will have a similar attitude to you. This kind of friendship leads to insecurity and jealousy. Furthermore, these fair weather friends will most likely disappear just when you need them most. Don’t look upon friends with the perspective “what can I get out of this?”. True friendship should be based on mutual support and good will, irrespective of any personal gain.

7. Oneness.

The real secret of healthy relationships is developing a feeling of oneness. This means that you will consider the impact on others of your words and actions. If you have a true feeling of oneness, you will find it difficult to do anything that causes suffering to your friends. When there is a feeling of oneness, your relationships will be free of jealousy and insecurity.
For example, it is a feeling of oneness which enables you to share in the success of your friends. This is much better than harbouring feelings of jealousy. To develop oneness we have to let go of feelings of superiority and inferiority; good relationships should not be based on a judgemental approach. In essence, successful friendship depends on the golden rule: “do unto others as you would have done to yourself.” This is the basis of healthy relationships.

8. Humour

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be willing to laugh at yourself and be self-deprecating. This does not mean we have to humiliate ourselves, far from it — it just means we let go of our ego. Humour is often the best antidote for relieving tense situations.

9. Work at Relationships but don’t over analyze

Maintaining healthy relationships doesn’t mean we have to spend several hours in the psychiatrist’s chair. It means we take a little time to consider others, remembering birthdays and anniversaries etc. But, it is a mistake to spend several hours ruminating and dissecting relationships. This makes the whole thing very mental; it’s better to forget any negative experiences. Good friendships should be built on spontaneity and newness, sharing a moment of humour can often do more benefit than several hours of discussion.

10. Concern and Detachment

Healthy relationships should be built on a degree of detachment. Here, people often make a mistake; they think that being detached means, “not caring”. However, this is not the case. Often when we develop a very strong attachment we expect the person to behave in a certain way. When they don’t we feel miserable and try to change them. A good friendship based on detachment means we will always offer good will, but we will not be upset if they wish to go a different way.

Found here
Building Healthy Relationships

5 Jan 2013

14 Timeless Ways to Live a Happy Life

How we achieve happiness can be different for each one of us. Our passions, expectations, life experiences, and even our personalities all contribute to the level of happiness we experience in our lives. Some find happiness in their careers while others prefer the bliss found in their marriages or other intimate relationship.

No matter how you define happiness for yourself, there are certain universal and time-proven strategies to bring, and sustain, more happiness into your life. The following 14 ways to live a happy life can be adapted and even customized to fit your needs. Over time, these strategies will become positive and life-changing habits that will begin to bring more happiness, joy and peace into your life.

1. Notice What’s Right

Some of us see the glass as being half-full, while others see the glass as half-empty. The next time you are caught in traffic, begin thinking how nice it is to have a few moments to reflect on the day, focus on a problem you have been trying to solve, or brainstorm on your next big idea. The next time you get in the slow line at the grocery store, take the opportunity to pick up a tabloid magazine and do some “guilty pleasure” reading. Take all that life throws out you and reframe it with what’s right about the situation. At the end of the day, you will more content, at peace and happy. Take the time to begin to notice what’s right and see the world change in front of your eyes.

2. Be Grateful

How many times do you say the words “thank you,” in a day? How many times do you hear these same words? If you are doing the first thing, saying the “thank yous,” the latter will naturally happen. Learn to be grateful and you will be open to receive an abundance of joy and happiness.

3. Remember the Kid You Were

Do you remember how to play? I’m not referring to playing a round of golf or a set of tennis. I’m talking about playing like you did when you were a child – a game of tag; leap frog, or street baseball when the bat is a broken broom handle and the bases are the parked cars. One way to find or maintain your happiness is to remember the kid you were and play!

4. Be Kind

There is no question that by merely watching acts of kindness creates a significant elevation in our moods and increases the desire for us to perform good deeds as well. Kindness is indeed contagious and when we make a commitment to be kind to ourselves and to others we can experience new heights of joy, happiness and enthusiasm for our lives.

5. Spend Time with Your Friends

Although an abundant social and romantic life does not itself guarantee joy, it does have a huge impact on our happiness. Learn to spend time with your friends and make the friendships a priority in your life.

6. Savor Every Moment

To be in the moment is to live in the moment. Too often we are thinking ahead or looking ahead to the next event or circumstance in our lives, not appreciating the “here and now.” When we savor every moment, we are savoring the happiness in our lives.

7. Rest

There are times when we need the time to unwind, decompress, or to put it simply, just “to chill.” Life comes at all of us hard and fast. Time, as do the days on the calendar, keeps going forward at its own natural pace, which is not always the pace we would choose. Fatigue, stress and exhaustion may begin to settle in on us faster than we may think, or notice. The best remedy for this is indeed rest.

8. Move!

The expression a “runner’s high” does not infer an addiction, but a feeling or a state of mind – a state of euphoria. There is no question exercise, or any physical exertion, elevates your mood and enhances a more positive attitude as well as fosters better personal self-esteem and confidence. Indeed, one way to increase your happiness is to move!

9. Put on a Happy Face

Sometimes we have to fake it until we make it. I’m not suggesting that we not be honest, real or authentic, but I’m suggesting, sometimes, we just need to put on a happy face and keep moving forward. Researchers claim that smiling and looking like we are happy will indeed make us happier. Studies further show that if we act like we are happy then we can experience greater joy and happiness in our lives.

10. Pursue Your Goals

The absence of goals in our lives, or more specifically avoiding to pursue our goals, makes us feel like we are stuck and ineffective. The pursuit of goals in our personal lives, in our relationships, or with our careers, is the difference between having a mediocre life or a life full of passion and enthusiasm. pursue your goals and watch your happiness soar.

11. Finding Your Calling

Some find meaning in religion or spirituality while others find purpose in their work or relationships. Finding your calling may be much more than accomplishing one simple strategy for increasing your happiness, but having a sense of purpose – of feeling like you are here for a reason – can perhaps bring the greatest joy of all

12. Get into the Flow

Flow is the form of joy, excitement and happiness that occurs when we are so absorbed in an activity we love that we can loose ourselves and time seems to stand still. What creates flow is unique to each one of us. To find and sustain true happiness in our lives, we must get off the sidelines and get into the flow.

13. Play to Your Strengths

One way to achieve flow is by understanding and identifying our strengths and core values, and then begin to use these every day. Once we aware of our strengths and we begin to play to your strengths we can better incorporate them in all aspects of our lives.

14. Don’t Overdo It

Know when to say when. What gives you joy and happiness the first time may not work the second time. Too much of a good thing may begin not to feel as good if the “thing” becomes more of a routine, or an expectation. Set healthy and reasonable boundaries for yourself and don’t overdo it.

Found here
14 Timeless Ways to Live a Happy Life

4 Jan 2013

22 Reasons To Never Give Up

At some point in the various journeys we embark on in our lives, we get to a part where we feel like giving up. Sometimes we give up before we even start and other times we give up just before we are about to make that huge break-through that we have been putting so much effort in to achieve.

I have created this list of 22 reasons why you should never give up and I hope that you will find it before you give up, so that I can inspire you to keep going!

1- As Long As You Are Alive Anything Is Possible

The only valid excuse you have to give up is if you are dead. As long as you are alive (and healthy and free) you have the choice to keep trying until you finally succeed.

2- Be Realistic

The chance of mastering something the first time you do it is almost non-existent. Everything takes time to learn and you will make mistakes. Learn from them.

3- Michael Jordan

Arguably the best basketball player of all time. He attributes his success to all his failures. He just never gave up even when he knew he had missed over 300 shots and had missed the  winning shot of the game many times. Every time he got knocked down he got back up again.

4- Lance Armstrong

Lance was diagnosed with serious cancer that had spread throughout his entire body. He had cancer cells the size of golf balls in his lungs. Despite all odds he overcame the cancer and set out to win the Tour de France 6 Consecutive years in a row.

5- Muhammad Ali

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”. Muhammad Ali is one of the best boxers the world has ever known. He suffered only 5 losses while having 56 wins and was the first boxer to win the lineal heavyweight championship three times. This is a guy who literally knows how to get knocked down and get back up.

6- The Man Who Created The Marathon

Very long ago an Athenian herald was sent to Sparta to get help when the Persians landed in Greece. It was said that he ran 240km in 2 days and after that he ran 40km to announce the victory of the Greeks only to collapse and die on the spot from exhaustion. If you ever feel like things are difficult, imagine what it would be like to run 240km in 2 days. (Don’t try that because you might die from it, but use it as an inspiration).

7- Chris Gardner – The Pursuit of Happiness

Have you seen the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness”? It is based on the life story of Chris Gardener, a man who went for the lowest of the lows in an environment where most people would give up (no money, no job) to the highest of the highs (A millionaire with his own investment firm). If you ever think about giving up, watch this movie!

8- Kanye West

I’m pretty sure you have heard of the rapper Kanye West. Read his story. He is a big inspiration for me and proves that you can go from having very little to being among the most famous and respected people in the world.

9- Nelson Mandela

Campaigned for justice and freedom in his South Africa. Spent 20 years in jail for his opposition to apartheid. On release he healed the wounds of apartheid by his magnanimous attitude toward his former political enemies.

10- You Are Strong 

You are stronger than you think. One little setback is not enough to stop you from achieving your goals. Neither are 10 or 100 or 1000 setbacks.

11- Prove Yourself

You don’t want to be known as someone that is weak and gives up. Go out there and prove yourself to the world and to yourself. You CAN and WILL achieve what you set out to do. The only time you fail is when you give up.

12- Has It Been Done Before?

If someone else can do it then so can you. Even if it is only one other person in the world that has achieved what you have set out to achieve, that should be reason enough for you to never give up.

13- Believe In Your Dreams

Don’t sell yourself short. In life there are going to be many people who will try to bring you down and tell you what you want to achieve is not possible. Don’t let anyone destroy your dreams.

14- Your Family and Friends.

Let the people you love and who mean the world to you be your inspiration to persist and persevere. Maybe you need to try a different angle, study more or practice more but don’t give up!

15- Because I Tell You To.

Not that I am any sort of guru or Godly figure, but if you want to give up then don’t. Just because I’m telling you not to.

16- There Are People Worse-Off

Right now there are many people who are in a worse situation and environment than you are right now. Are you thinking about giving up running 5 miles a week? Think about the people who are unable to even walk and how much they would give to be able to run 5 miles every day.

17- Improve Our World

When you achieve whatever you set out to achieve you can use your success to make a difference to the world or other peoples lives.

18- Get Rich or Die Trying

Like Fiddy (50 cent) says, “Get rich or die trying”. 50 Cent is rich, he made it (although he did get shot 9 times). Face your fears and don’t take the easy way out by giving up.

19- Let The Haters Hate

There will always be haters. There will always be plenty of naysayers  and people who try to tear you down. Don’t pay attention to them and don’t take what they say to heart. Let the haters hate and you keep believing in yourself.

20- You Deserve To Be Happy

Don’t ever let anybody tell you otherwise. You deserve to be happy and you deserve to have success. Keep that mindset and never give up until you reach your destination!

21- Inspire Others

Be an inspiration to others by refusing to give up. Who knows what someone else can achieve because you never gave up and in turn inspired them not to give up.

22- You Are So Close

Often when you feel like you want to give up and you are about to give up you are so close to making a huge break-thru. Seth Godin has written an awesome book about this called “The Dip” – a riveting read that teaches that at any given time you are always just a heartbeat away from success.


Found here
22 Reasons To Never Give Up

3 Jan 2013

How to Build Self-Discipline

Discipline is freedom. You may disagree with this statement, and if you do you are certainly not alone. For many people discipline is a dirty word that is equated with the absence of freedom. In fact the opposite is true. As Stephen R. Covey once wrote, “the undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites and passions”. And in the longer term, the undisciplined lack the freedom that comes with possessing particular skills and abilities – e.g. to play a musical instrument or speak a foreign language.

Self-discipline involves acting according to what you think instead of how you feel in the moment. Often it involves sacrificing the pleasure and thrill of the moment for what matters most in life. Therefore it is self-discipline that drives you to:

  • Work on an idea or project after the initial rush of enthusiasm has faded away
  • Go to the gym when all you want to do is lie on the couch and watch TV
  • Wake early to work on yourself
  • Say “no” when tempted to break your diet
  • Only check your email a few of times per day at particular times

In the past self-discipline has been a weakness of mine, and as a result today I find myself lacking the ability to do a number of things which I would like – e.g. to play the guitar. But I have improved, and I can say that it is self-discipline that got me out of bed this morning at 5am to run and then write this article. Believe me, I would love to be curled up in bed right now, but this desire is subordinated by my inner sense of purpose.
If you struggle with self-discipline, the good news is that it can be developed. For example, it is only in the past two years that I have trained myself to wake early. The following are what I have found to be the five traits of self-discipline:

1. Self-Knowledge

Discipline means behaving according to what you have decided is best, regardless of how you feel in the moment. Therefore the first trait of discipline is self-knowledge. You need to decide what behavior best reflects your goals and values. This process requires introspection and self-analysis, and is most effective when tied to written expression. I highly recommend taking the time to write out your goals, dreams and ambitions. Even better, write out a personal mission statement. I found that writing such a statement gave me a greater understanding of who I am, what I am about and what I value. Dr. Covey has an excellent Mission Statement Builder on his site.

2. Conscious Awareness

Self-discipline depends upon conscious awareness as to both what you are doing and what you are not doing. Think about it. If you aren’t aware your behavior is undisciplined, how will you know to act otherwise?
As you begin to build self-discipline, you may catch yourself being in the act of being undisciplined – e.g. biting your nails, avoiding the gym, eating a piece of cake or checking your email constantly. Developing self-discipline takes time, and the key here is you are aware of your undisciplined behavior. With time this awareness will come earlier, meaning rather than catching yourself in the act of being undisciplined you will have awareness before you act in this way. This gives you the opportunity to make a decision that is in better alignment with your goals and values.

3. Commitment to Self-Discipline

It is not enough to simply write out your goals and values. You must make an internal commitment to them. Otherwise when your alarm clock goes off at 5am you will see no harm in hitting the snooze button for “just another 5 minutes….” Or, when initial rush of enthusiasm has faded away from a project you will struggle to see it through to completion.
If you struggle with commitment, start by making a conscious decision to follow through on what you say you’re going to do – both when you said you would do it and how you said you would do it. Then, I highly recommend putting in place a system to track these commitments. As the saying goes, “What gets measured gets improved”.

4. Courage

Did you notice the sweat dripping from the man in the picture at the start of this article? Make no mistake, self-discipline is often extremely difficult. Moods, appetites and passions can be powerful forces to go against. Therefore self-discipline is highly dependent on courage. Don’t pretend something is easy for you to do when it is in fact very difficult and/ or painful. Instead, find the courage to face this pain and difficulty. As you begin to accumulate small private victories, your self-confidence will grow and the courage that underpins self-discipline will come more naturally.

5. Internal Coaching

Self-talk is often harmful, but it can also be extremely beneficial if you have control of it. When you find yourself being tested, I suggest you talk to yourself, encourage yourself and reassure yourself. After all, it is self-talk that has the ability to remind you of your goals, call up courage, reinforce your commitment and keep you conscious of the task at hand. When I find my discipline being tested, I always recall the following quote: “The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret”. Burn this quote into your memory, and recall in whenever you find yourself being tested. It may change your life.

Found here
How to Build Self-Discipline

1 Jan 2013

Follow the Sun

My teachers are a few ones I found on the path that explain things exceptionally clear to me. One of my masters is Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. This blog message is something I feel I want to share with you.

Written by Dr. Wayne D. Dyer
Our original nature—and our purpose in life—is like the sun. If we asked the sun why it always gives light, its answer would assuredly most likely be: “It’s my nature to do so.” The only thing we can do with life is give it away. Anything and everything else in the way of achievements or acquisitions mean nothing in the context of our purpose as spiritual beings having a human experience. We do not attract what we want; we attract what we are. The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi makes clear that “it is in giving that we receive.” Giving aligns us with the way our Source of being acts; consequently, the universe offers us experiences that match our giving, supportive nature.

The universe responds back to us in the same vibrating energy that we send out. How may I serve? is the energy of support we send out—and receive in return. We see the beauty of this approach to life, not in the stuff we attract, but in a wondrous sense of contentment that replaces our ambitious, self-centered demands. We are living the Meaning of life.
Turning to Shakespeare, I love this observation he makes in Henry VI, Part III:
My crown is in my heart, not on my head;
Not decked with diamonds and Indian stones,
Nor to be seen. My crown is called content:
A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.

One of my personal heroes is Mother Teresa, who spent her later yearsteaching and serving others. She once remarked, “Love cannot remain by itself—it has no meaning. Love must be put into action, and that action is service.” These words have inspired me and have helped me make the shift away from my ego’s ambitions for serving myself toward a life dominated by service to others.  
Today my life is almost 100 percent devoted to service in one way or another. Each day begins with a prayer of “Thank you,” which are the first words out of my mouth as I awaken. This is to keep me in a state of gratitude for all that I receive, as well as for the opportunity to live my days in service to others. As the famed Sufi poet Rumi once declared, “If you only say one prayer in a day, make it ‘Thank you.’”
Before beginning my day, I make every effort to do something for someone else. Since I receive volumes of mail, I often send off a book or a DVD of The Shift, a set of CDs, or a DVD of a PBS special—something that I feel will brighten the day of a total stranger somewhere in the world. As I affix the postage, I take great joy in knowing that a surprise package of love in action will send a message to someone that there are people out there who care, and I am one of them.

Often I call someone I’ve been told is grieving the loss of a loved one or is ill in a hospital setting. Other times some money in an envelope goes to one of the many people who serve in my community. If I’m on the road in a hotel, I seek out the maids who serve me so anonymously and surprise them with a gift of some unexpected cash. The things I’m doing aren’t reported for recognition, but to provide real-life examples of how we can shift from ambition to meaning in daily life.

There are a multitude of ways in which we can give. It doesn’t really matter what we do—the point is to get in the habit of replacing our attention on ourselves with attention toward others. We must practice some radical humility, seek out others to serve, keep ego at bay . . . and do it without expectation of any reward.

Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D., is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. Wayne holds a doctorate in educational counseling from Wayne State University and was an associate professor at St. John’s University in New York.

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Follow the Sun - Dr. Wayne W. Dyer - Heal Your Life