Saturday, 30 June 2012

Believe In Yourself

I recently came across this article by Teresa Proudlove.   It makes very good sense regardless of whatever stage of our lives we’re at and we’re never too young to start taking notice of the principle behind the words:

“A near middle-aged man in one of my last workshops had followed his calling for the past decade with unbounded zeal. Alas, his career had never developed into long-term employment but rather, was fraught with numerous set-backs, lay-offs and even dismissals. With five children to feed and his life passion now shelved this man faced depression and desperation.

“Yet, we could all borrow a page from this man's heroic story as he further explained how he was managing this most difficult passage. He said rather than allowing himself to be crushed by these demeaning events he emphatically reminded himself of his numerous life successes. Through this, he refueled his belief in himself enabling him to persevere with a measure of dignity.

“All of us could benefit from focusing on our many successes. Stop now and list at least ten of your life successes. Reminding ourselves frequently of our accomplishments rather than nagging ourselves with our so-called ‘failures’ is the crux of finding meaning and peace in work and life.

“If we can't encourage and support ourselves now, the ‘ideal job’ will not supply us with the happiness/meaning/fulfillment we seek. If your self confidence is being tested by unemployment, underemployment, a new promotion, a job interview, child raising, or life (!) affirm your successes and renew your faith in yourself. We can't wait for other people to bolster our confidence and nourish our being!

Nourish Your Being

“Turning fifty years old this week supplied me with the perfect opportunity to either nourish or negate myself and my life. As I reflected upon the last decade of my life I found warm comfort in the woman I have become. Not always so. As I reread my ‘Fortieth Birthday’ column, I'd written for a local newspaper a decade ago, I could clearly see how far I'd come.

“Back then, my fortieth birthday reflections led me to grieve. I had left behind decades of broken relationships and lost businesses - all strung together by my deep need to be loved and approved of by others. Within that column, I spoke with somber sadness of not wanting to repeat my broken past in the next half of my life. In closing that Fortieth Birthday column I made an earnest wish for myself, I wished 'to live the next forty years being true to myself.'

“Rereading this column showed me clearly my wish had come true this past decade. This priceless gift affirmed how far I'd grown from that 40 year old woman who had abandoned herself - for decades - seeking inner worth, love and acceptance through external props and people. How remarkable to have unearthed this time-capsuled treasure, written a decade ago, upon my fiftieth birthday!

“We can all give ourselves this priceless gift of affirming our lives and nourishing our being by pondering our past and seeing how far we have come. Our mistakes no longer have to be something we punish ourselves for. Now, we can make an effort to have compassion for ourselves and give thanks for the lessons learned.

“By performing these small rituals of remembering and affirming our lives, we nourish and build our being. It is in here, inside, we build a strong, solid foundation that can help us weather the storms of life. Through building a strong sense of self we can find a new freedom.

Freedom at Fifty

“The slogan ’Freedom at Fifty’ takes on a new spin when I think of how free I am now compared to when I tried so hard to please everyone. The disease to please, often driven by feelings of insecurity and unworthiness can be chronic and life debilitating if left unchecked. Do you balance your needs for quiet, private time with the needs and demands of work, career-search, family, friends, life?

“A client of mine, aged fifty-something, regularly stops and asks herself, ‘What do I want/need here?’ She went on to say that now, in her fifties, she is able to set boundaries with her family as never before. We both affirmed we have discovered a real freedom in our fifties.

“Before you accept that next job, take on another task, commit to someone else's agenda - stop. Take some time and ask yourself, ‘What do I need here?’ How can we hope to find our Way if we do not listen to ourselves or find time for ourselves?”

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Learning From Mistakes

Picture this: While walking in the mall, you see a toddler struggling to walk properly. In your mind you think, "Isn't she so cute ... oh, come on now ... walk steadily ... yes, that's right." You’re anxiously waiting to see her make those few more baby steps but in the next few seconds, she falls and lands on her backside.  She then leans forward with her hands on the ground, pushing her body upward to a balanced position before she can stand properly again. That's the spirit of the toddler - never give up. You deservedly say, "Well done baby girl!"
How often in the adult world when we fail in achieving something, or simply make mistakes, do we lose that spirit which once infected us when we were young?

Most people are afraid to fail. They worry constantly about not meeting expectations, making a mistake, or trying something new. Because of this, many never get started on the path toward reaching their goals .. and thus they assure themselves of the very thing they are afraid of .. failure.  In order to become a successful entrepreneur you will likely have to 'pay your dues.' You'll likely have to fail a few times, learn from your lessons, and only then be able to come through a winner. While you don't have to take wild chances, you do have to take calculated and educated risks.

In the world of academics, mistakes are perceived as bad and to be avoided. For the first twenty-two years of your life, you are taught that mistakes are bad and embarrassing .. when in fact mistakes are simply opportunities to learn something new. The more mistakes a person makes, the more they will have learned and the greater chance they will have of succeeding on their next try. The key, however, is to learn from your mistakes and not make the same mistake twice.

Thomas Edison would have never invented the light bulb if he had not taken this principle to heart. Edison failed more than 10,000 times before he found the filament that would create light for a sustained period of time. He did not view these as failures, however.  Do you think that on his 6,635th try to find a proper filament for the light bulb, he saw himself as having failed 6634 times?  Of course not: he simply reframed the situation so that to him he had successfully eliminated 6,634 possibilities, refining and narrowing his search as he proceeded, drawing him closer and closer to his goal.

Two other failures you may have heard of are Levi Strauss and Christopher Columbus. Strauss headed for the gold mines of California in hopes of gold and glory. But he found none. Instead, this failure gave him new knowledge of a gap in the marketplace. He began selling pants made out of canvas to those miners that were succeeding. Today, we've all heard of Levi Strauss jeans. Columbus failed miserably on his goal to find a route to India. However, in failing that he ran into a new opportunity.. that of discovering the New World.

By taking action and learning from your mistakes and failures, you'll gain new knowledge and become aware of many new opportunities. When you come to the edge of what you know, it's time to make some mistakes.

If you have reached the edge of your career after a number of years and are feeling enormously tired, it's time for you to make some mistakes. Try making some daring approaches to your work. If the only solution is for you to seek another new job, do it. If being enterprising is what you desire, go for it.  To put yourself in a catch-22 situation will not help you move on.  If you keep doing the same thing, you will get the same result.

Anthony Robbins said that insanity is when you keep doing the same thing and hoping for a different result.  An instant mistake that will reap you a new learning experience is certainly much better than years of clinging on to the same old mistake and doing nothing at all.

Author: Aaron Loh

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

How to Overcome Depression And Lead A Happy Life

Suffering from depression can be a very painful and disastrous experience, which many of us know only too well.  It can cause our lives to almost turn upside down and for our outlook on life to become very negative.  So it’s very important to try to learn how to overcome depression and start leading a better life.
Here are just a few simple little steps to begin with if you want to seriously learn how to overcome depression permanently – but you must persistently follow these steps:

1.       Change Your Outlook – This might seem easier said than done.  People suffering from depression nearly always focus on the negative side of things. They envision a bleak and sad future for themselves or others.  Changing your outlook is not easy but has to be done if you want to overcome depression.

An important tip is to stop focusing on what went wrong in the past. Thinking too much about your past will only make you sadder and more depressed. Start thinking about what you would like your future to be. What are the things you would like to have happen in your life which will make you happy?  Think about such things. Note that this kind of thinking is very much different from daydreaming or wishful thinking.

2.      Don't Blame Yourself For Everything - Sure, you might have made some mistakes in the past. But stop blaming yourself for everything that went wrong. People with depression blame themselves for being weak or unable to cope.  Stop trying to find out all the mistakes you made. Learn to accept your shortcomings without focusing too much on them.  Accept the fact that nobody is perfect and that you, like many others, had shortcomings and made mistakes in the past - no big deal!

3.      Indulge In Activities That Make You Feel Good - Depression can make you forget the fun and joy of living. You don't find pleasure in anything. So an important step to overcome depression is to bring back feelings of pleasure and fun into your life again.

Think of activities that you enjoy doing. It could be reading, cooking, browsing the internet, spending time with a close friend, going out for a walk, sitting in a garden or whatever.  Find out an activity which you feel safe doing and which does not tire or bore you.  Find an activity which makes you feel relaxed and even brings a smile to your lips.

Once you identify one or two such activities, make a commitment to indulge in those activities for at least 30 minutes every day without fail.  At first, this may seem pointless. But persist with it and you will begin to notice the difference in your feelings and behavior.   Don't worry if the activity seems silly or not much fun to others.  You’re the important one!

Author: Kent Swigg

Friday, 8 June 2012

How Can You Get More Happiness Into Your Life?

What is it that makes you happy? 

Pretty much everyone has a hobby they enjoy doing...whether it's an artistic talent like painting, photography, scrap-booking, or if it's a technical task like organizing....we all have things we like to do.

Generally, if you lose track of time while you do something you enjoy, that's a good sign that you are doing something that brings you joy....and what if you could turn it into a successful career?  Then you'd have a LOT more joy and happiness in your life. Think about it, how much time do we spend at an average job each day? Each week? Each year? For our whole lives? That's a lot of time to be spending frustrated, miserable, annoyed and anxiety-ridden. Wouldn't you rather do something you love to earn a living?

If you have several things you like to do in your spare time, you could combine them into a career, or choose one or two of your favorite things to do!

Why spend years doing something for a job that you don't like or don't enjoy when you could make more money doing what you love?  It is possible and many people have done it.

The first step to turning your talent or hobby into your dream career is to believe it is possible. That is actually the most important step. If you don't believe it's possible, then any other actions you take to make it happen will be fruitless, because within'll be expecting to fail.

Once you've convinced yourself it's possible to have your dream career doing what you love, the next important thing to do is to decide to make it happen, and make a promise to yourself that you won't give up.

Then it becomes a case of goal-setting.

Make a detailed list of everything you want in your dream career. Include your desired pay, hours, location, working with people or alone, travel, paid time off, and so on.   Then you need to brainstorm some possibilities that you could do with the details on your list.  Consider starting your own business, getting a career in a field doing what you most enjoy, become a freelancer...the possibilities are endless and you CAN do it.

Once you've brainstormed the possibilities, do some research and then make a decision. After you've decided, write up a clear goal. Make sure your goal is detailed and has a realistic deadline. 

Most importantly of all - post your goal where you'll see it often.  The refrigerator door might be the ideal spot!

Author: Mary Monica Moore

Monday, 4 June 2012

The Power Of Patience

Paul Davis says that patience is a foreign concept to many of us these days, when everything seems to happen at the speed of light. Many people seem to be going through life like their hair is on fire. Some have called this the "microwave generation”.  Such are acknowledgments that patience is a rare character trait now.

Have you ever lost your patience? Of course you have. We all have. Circumstances and people can sometimes push all of us over the edge and try our patience.

Here are some tips to help you patiently possess your soul:

1.       Rule your tongue. The tongue is to your body what a small rudder is to a big ship. By ruling and harnessing your tongue, you can control yourself entirely. The tongue is connected directly to the heart. So by putting a restraint on your mouth you simultaneously stop any impure thoughts from excessively filtering through your heart and mind. Negative thoughts don't serve us well anyhow and need not to be dwelt on.

2.      Pray to your Creator to help you master your moods and govern your emotions. Praying is a wonderful exercise that takes your negative energy, harnesses it and utilizes it for good to employ the resources of the unseen world.

3.      Find something humorous about the situation and leverage it for laughter. Humor lightens the heart, fills the soul with joy and lessens the load of our day. Laughter is an elegant and fun way to diffuse tension. Everybody likes to laugh. You will be far more popular among people if you can skilfully turn tense situations into laughable moments. Learn to leverage tense times for good times. You can do so be reframing the issue and seeing it from a comic's perspective.

4.      Give thanks for the opportunity to learn something from the situation. Possess an attitude of gratitude. Let your thanksgiving exceed your complaining. Find something to be thankful for and focus on that rather than the minuscule problem. The more you can dwell upon that which you are thankful for, the easier it is to rise above your current dilemma and conquer it.

5.      Love people unconditionally. Many tense situations involve people. It is quite easy to lose it and lash out at people. We all make mistakes. Some more than others. Nevertheless see people through the eyes of the Creator. Nobody is beyond redemption. Each of us has something to offer humanity. Practice preferring others over yourself. Be polite. As you embrace good manners, your impatience will diminish as you seek to maintain your own dignity and integrity. Overcome evil with good.

6.      Look for the big picture and meaningful message within the mess. Be a lifelong learner. Take something positive from the experience regardless of how painful it may be. Leverage the life lesson from the situation. The Chinese see problems as opportunities. Their character for problem and opportunity are both the same. Many of the world's greatest discoveries, breakthroughs and entrepreneurial fortunes came about from an initial problem. By looking at the problem differently than everybody else, solutions were found and opportunities did abound.

7.      Remember peace is priceless. World history has proven to us that once peoples and nations angrily explode and go to war with one another everybody suffers. Consider the countless lives that have been lost and the massive destruction of nations that has occurred as a result of war. Peace therefore is a priceless commodity that should be cherished every day. Let peace then reign in your own heart and mind first. By giving way to peace in your own heart and mind, agitations will be lessened, brought into proper perspective and the atmosphere around you will be far more pleasant and peaceful.

8.      Believe for breakthroughs and assistance beyond yourself. If you desire to get somewhere in life, your relationships and your profession, know assuredly that the universe will conspire to give you what you want when you believe. Childlike faith is a force that attracts to you what you inwardly desire. Believe that your deepest desires are intertwined with those of others and will surely come to pass when you simply trust. After you have done all you know to do, trust in serendipity to intervene and orchestrate the rest for you.

9.      Take your time. Don't be in a hurry.  As the white rabbit said in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, "The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get."  That certainly has been my personal experience. The faster I frantically work on something the more apt I am to make mistakes and thereafter have to go back and fix my errors. It is far better for us to settle into a good pace and regulate ourselves within, lest our emotions get the best of us.

10.   Ask for help. Practice humility and politely ask for help when you need it. Of course when you do so perhaps those to whom you are turning for help may not be immediately available. Some may have no desire to help you. Nevertheless give people the opportunity to help you. Then when they are in need you make sure to return the favor.

11.    Sing a song and rejoice within. Find something happy to think about. Go on a brief mental diversion. Take a few minutes vacation for your soul to settle down and rest. Sing a happy song. Play a tune that makes you feel good. Change your mood and mental state by making a melody in your own heart. Singing will lift you up and cause you to rise above your circumstances.

12.   Purpose to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Detach as best you can inwardly from the problem and objectively see it for what it is. Read about this subject and see how others have overcome it. Develop yourself to be your best so you can be a problem-solver not a problem creator. Remember that complaining only magnifies and enlarges the problem. Quiet inner reflection and pondering on a solution brings it into proper perspective as you journey toward the solution.

Give yourself the gift of patience. Don't allow your inner world to be disrupted by what goes on outside of you. Remain in control and master your emotions. You are greater on the inside than anything you face on the outside.