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Top 10 Tips to Discover Your Passion
by On February 2, 2010

lessons-to-be-happyThis week’s Top 10 Tips Tuesday is a guest post from vibrantnation.com on how to discover your passions in life.  Let us know what passions you have.

Be Free!
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What do you want to do with the rest of your life? We’ve heard it said a kazillion times that to achieve happiness we must find something we’re passionate about. Sounds easy. Right? Problem is some of us wouldn’t recognize our passion even if it jumped off a billboard, landed in our lap and gave us a bear hug.

Many of us have maxed out our Visas on books with titles like “Finding your Passion” or “Following your Dreams.” All well and good if you actually possess a genuine talent or pursue a special interest or hobby. Maybe you play piano or guitar or some other instrument. Or maybe you can sing, sew, paint, crochet, create crafty stuff, plan brilliant parties, bake fabulous cakes, design gorgeous flower gardens or are a genius with a camera. Perhaps you enjoy running marathons, love to build birdhouses or collect weird and interesting objects. For you lucky and blessed folks, finding your passion should not be too difficult. It’s right in front of you.

However, there are a considerable number of perfectly nice, well-adjusted, intelligent, kind and noble people out there who have been on a lifelong journey in search of their one true passion… and have yet to discover yet.

To you, I say: be bold, be daring and be totally unconventional in your quest.

1. Define what you are seeking.

What activities could you spend all day doing and even forget about meal time? Do you enjoy pastimes that stimulate your creative juices or ones that are relaxing? Would you prefer to be alone with your passion or share it in the company of others? What would you love to do even if you didn’t get paid for it? Keep in mind, it’s perfectly acceptable to have more than one passion.

2. Take a calculated risk.

Do something unexpected. Go back to school. Get that masters degree you always wanted. If you truly despise getting up each day and going to a workplace you loathe—quit your job. Crazy…especial in today’s bad economy? Of course. But why on earth would you continue to do something that makes you miserable every single day of your life? Indeed, a job pays a salary. But is the money worth being miserable? Ask yourself: Are you better off miserable or happy?

3. Cultivate your community.

Take classes at a local college, night school or community center. Select one course and attend every single class. It doesn’t have to be an intellectual pursuit. It can be beer making or stained glass or writing or photography or how to start a business, computer classes or a drama group. Network with other people during classes. Finish the course. You may decide you hate it or it might offer other related avenues for you to explore.

4. Take a trip.

Be adventurous. Often a change of scenery refreshes our soul, expands our mind, changes our perspective and offers a new focus. Travel to some place you always wanted to go…a few hours away or around the world. Better yet, go somewhere that is outside your comfort zone. If nothing else…read a travel book or watch a travel movie.

5. Move or Declutter your life. (I said these ideas would be unconventional.)

Do you hate where you live? Is your house or your town making you unhappy? Does the weather upset you? Is it too humid? Too cold? Do you feel trapped? Would you rather live by water? Or by mountains or palm trees? Would you be happier in a smaller home? I’m not suggesting that you run away from your problems. Perhaps all you need to do is downsize and rid yourself of all unnecessary baggage including people who do not validate your worth. What remains might well be your undiscovered passion.

6. Liberate yourself.

Give yourself the freedom to choose. This is not a self-centered approach but more of a realization that you have something worthwhile to offer to others. Never except excuses from yourself or anyone else. Be disciplined. Force yourself to move forward or sideways…at least in a different direction but never backward. Don’t stagnate.

7. Walk away from your fears.

Fear holds us back from living life to the fullest. Yet, the hardest thing in the world to do is to let go of your fear. Try walking away from your fear in baby steps. But absolutely no turning back. Are you afraid of heights? Go to the tallest building in your town and take the elevator to the top floor. Sometimes highrise hotels have restaurants on the top. Walk to the windows, stand there quietly and look down. Yes, it’s very intimidating. But once you’ve done it…you will be amazed at your sense of self-empowerment.

8. Surround yourself with supportive people.

Learn from them. Exchange ideas. Hang out with people who share your interests, who motivate you. Ask them what they think are your good points and what they like about you. Don’t be discouraged by naysayers.

9. Look outside yourself.

Help others by volunteering. Inspire those around you with a friendly smile, encouragement, compassion, kind words, thoughtful gestures, a neighborly good deed. Arrange a quiet, romantic evening for you and your special love. Pull out all the stops. Express your passionate side with your children, family and friends. Give them your time and your full attention. When we give ourselves to others, we reignite the love in our own heart and the passion in our own soul.

10.Embrace your joyful self and seize your opportunities.

Most of us are genuinely decent people. Recognize the goodness in yourself. We all encounter problems. Envision them as opportunities and find unique solutions. Keep a wide-open mind. In seizing opportunities, you may burst upon an unexpected passion. If you could do one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Still haven’t decided? Adopt a puppy. Care for it. Love it. And name it “Passion”.

Source:
http://www.vibrantnation.com/our-blog-circle/boomer-pie/ten-bold-ways-to-discover-your-passion/

Top 10 Tips to Overcome Adversity and Achieve Your Goals
by On January 26, 2010

Overcome AdversityWho said this? “Never give up! Never give up! Never, ever give up!”

If you answered “Winston Churchill”, you would be correct! Thank goodness, there were men like him in the day when the world needed them most.

His message, of course, was related to World War II, but its implications for our lives are profound.

If a person gives up on his or her dream, all that will surely follow is sadness and depression. You need to team up with someone who will encourage you to “never, ever give up”. If you do not have a friend, parent, sibling, or spouse who fills this role for you as your biggest supporter, it can be very, very hard to persist.

In fact, those who should and could be your greatest “fan” can often be the person who you allow to keep you from your goals. Notice I said, “the person you allow”. Yes, you give permission to others to make you a “victim” of their control or criticism.

It takes courage, stamina, and most of all, patience to persist in working toward something that nobody else believes in. The person who is hurt is the one who quits. Reasonable people can work it out.

Here are 10 ways to help you achieve your dream:

  1. Have a family/friend meeting. Explain how important this goal is to you and ask your family’s indulgence to allow you the time or money (or both) that you need to work on it.
  2. Ask your family (or friends) what they believe would be fair in regards to time and money you need to spend on your project.
  3. Once you’ve agreed on time and money, stick to the bargain. Take the time and money you need and that have been agreed to and diligently work to the maximum to achieve your goal.
  4. Do not cheat yourself or your family/friend by not pursuing your dream, especially after they have “given you permission” to go for it.
  5. Learn everything you possibly can. Spend a minimum of 1/3 your allotted time and money learning more about the subject you are pursuing. Become an expert in your field.
  6. Commit to goals, short term and long term. Start with the end in mind – long term goal – and work backward when writing goals. (That’s another whole subject in itself!)
  7. Work on your dream every day of your life. Fill all the minutes and hours you’ve allotted with serious determination one day at a time.
  8. Give it all you can.  There will be days when you don’t feel like giving it your best. Give it your best anyway for that day. True, it might not be your “greatest” day, but give it all you have every day.
  9. Keep a journal. Write down what you accomplish every day. Just a few words will do, or else you will create yet another job, which you don’t need.
  10. Celebrate your achievements! Reward yourself with pre-determined gifts. Even a little bag of jellybeans would be a worthy reward for a short term goal! For your ultimate goals, give yourself the greatest reward. And then set new goals. You CAN achieve more!

Associate with people like yourself who enjoy the same kinds of pursuits. During your friendships, offer support to your peers. They will then be there for you when you need it.

Without dreams, the poet has no rhyme, the musician no song, and the artist no beauty.

To dreams! Salute!

About the Author:
Joanna Robbins is the Editor & Publisher for Power-Teams.Com at http://www.theupdate.power-teams.com, a web site for internet entrepreneurs, as well as the Power-Teams Blog at http://www.power-teams-boxes.com

Article Source

Top 10 Tips to Stay Emotionally Healthy
by On January 19, 2010

lessons-to-be-happyEmotional health refers to your overall psychological well-being. People who are emotionally healthy handle stress well, deal with challenges as opportunities, have a positive self-image, and are able to sustain healthy relationships. Review the following tips on how to stay emotionally healthy.

1. Laugh often – Emotional benefits of laughter include feeling a sense of contentment and joy, shifting your perspective to a positive outlook, giving you more courage and hope, dissolving tense situations, and improving overall mood.

2. Do frequent feelings checks – Determine how you feel when you wake up in the morning. If the feeling is negative, figure out what’s causing it and take steps to resolve the unsettling situation. Reorient your emotions with affirmations and confidence to set a new tone for the day. Recognize any physiologic clues your body gives off as evidence of emotional stress.

3. Focus on the positive – Admit any negative feelings you may have, deal with them, and move on. Do not dwell on circumstances from the past or those you cannot control. Say positive affirmations and keep inspirational quotes handy. Remember that what you focus on is what you will attract in life, so put your energy toward that which you desire, not what you don’t want.

4. Take care of your physical self – The mind/body connection refers to how your body responds to the way you think, feel, and act. If you are physically healthy, your emotions will tend to be high. Bodily dis-ease or illness can create a slippery slope of negative emotions which self-perpetuate other physical problems, such as insomnia, upset stomach, and general aches and pains. Respect your body by exercising, eating nutritious foods, and getting proper rest.

5. Perform relaxation exercises – Dealing with emotional ups and downs can be exhaustive and confusing. Allow your body and mind to create a blank slate so that your intentions to heal the situation can come from a place of clarity, insight, and faith instead of fear or despair. Invest time and energy into practices such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, Reiki, sea salt baths, and massage.

6. Stay socially connected – Involving yourself in projects and activities with family, friends, or the general community is a strong aspect of wellness at any age. Pick an interest that you would like to learn more about, join a club focused on that particular hobby, and form connections with those involved. Social networking websites also offer an outlet for creating relationships based on similar interests.

7. Practice mindfulness – Mindfulness is the state of being fully aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions at any given wakeful moment. Living in the here and now is a powerful self-growth tool. You begin to learn that the feelings you experience are ever-changing, you discover underlying destructive patterns that you may not have noticed before, and you evolve by changing those fixed patterns into more dynamic approaches.

8. Channel your feelings productively – If you feel acutely angered or overwhelmed, instead of harboring negative emotions, release built-up tension through activities such as running, writing in a journal, or transforming stress into motivation to achieve your goals.

9. Avoid all or nothing thinking – Thinking in terms of black and white absolutes instead of shades of grey is a common element of depression. Words like disastrous, terrible, ruined, and never should be red flag signs that you may be thinking catastrophically. Situations may be unfortunate, but not a complete end-of-the-world disaster. Consider the point that even smart people don’t always make the best choices. You can learn from your mistakes and consciously choose a healthier path next time.

10. Begin a personal development journey – If you are ready and willing to heal your life, realize that you are in the driver’s seat. Think of ways to improve yourself, your relationships, and your overall life every day. Choose thoughts, feelings, and actions that are aligned with truth, love, and power.

Emotional health ties into physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Consider Dr. Ben Kim’s answer to the question, “What is the most powerful step you can take to dramatically improve your health?”: Learn how to effectively manage emotional stress.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational use only and is not intended to replace medical advice. Contact a physician if you have any questions or concerns about your physical, mental, or emotional health.

Author’s Bio
Alice Landry is featured at Examiner.com as the New Orleans Holistic Wellness Examiner. She is also a contributing writer for Suite101.com. As a registered nurse with holistic certifications in Reiki energy healing, medical intuition, meditation, and angelic guidance, Alice writes articles that she feels will educate readers and guide them on their personal growth journey to heal their lives.

Top 10 Tips to Get Started with Personal Development
by On January 5, 2010

law-of-attractionIf any of your goals in 2010 are along the lines of “improve myself,” “find balance at home and work,” or “be happier,” you are in the right place.  But getting started in the world of personal development can be overwhelming. 

So today’s Top 10 Tips Tuesday is devoted to tips to make the leap into the journey of personal development and creating a new you in the new your. 

Enjoy and Be Free!
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Are you totally happy with your life? It wouldn’t surprise me if your initial response was to ask the question “Is anyone totally happy with their life?” Fair comment. So let me rephrase the question. “Is there any area of your life right now that you are not happy with?” Is that a better question?

You may be one of the fortunate ones who can say they are happy in every area of their life. However, I bet you are like most people in our society, who are probably unhappy with one or more areas of their lives. If that is the case, let me talk to you about personal development.

Before I move on it may be useful to offer a definition of personal development. I decided to do some research on the internet and Google the term personal development. I was surprised to find that there were not really that many sites that offered a definition, although there were many adverts promoting personal development. I shouldn’t be surprised because Marketdata a research firm has estimated that the personal development industry is set to grow at a rate of 11.4 yearly through to 2010, to a value of $13.9 billion.

“Personal development is the deliberate growth or development of a particular individual to bring out their potential and capabilities making them more aware of their inner feelings, belief systems to become a more conscious, whole or healthy human being”.

I know that probably seems like a mouthful but it seemed to encompass my own thoughts about what personal development is. I decided to ask my partner to offer a definition:

“Strategies that enable me to enhance my life in all areas”

Now I do like this definition because it says what it is, simply and succinctly. The thing about personal development, is that it means different things to different people. When someone embarks on the journey of personal development, it maybe that they have chosen to improve their health, relationships, career prospects, finances etc. Sometime people talk about the mind, body and spirit, or physical, emotional and spiritual.

So how do you get started on the road to personal development? Well, first of all become aware of what you already have in your life and what you are grateful for and then think about what is missing, what do you want, I mean really want. Awareness has to come first, because without an awareness there can be no conscious decision to take action. Becoming aware also means asking yourself different questions and then seeking out the answers. So if your question is “There must be more to life than this?” your mind is already making an assumption that there is more to life and as if by magic you start to see things around you that maybe you did not notice before.

Below I have put together my top 10 strategies that I use regularly to keep myself motivated. As a bonus I contacted some of my friends within the personal development field and asked them to give me their top 3 personal development books and created a top 10 list. I hope this helps you to get started.

1. Take time everyday to do something for yourself. This is so fundamental. Many people go through their day giving of themselves to other people, their job etc. and don’t have time for themselves. Even if you give yourself 15 minutes, that is time with yourself to reflect and focus on the most important person in your life, YOU.

2. Read or listen to personal development material. You must find time to learn about personal development to read or listen to positive and inspirational messages. You could use the 15 minutes put by for yourself to read a chapter of a book. If you drive, put in a tape or CD, this is making use of net (no extra time) time.

3. Decide what you really want to do and do it. Often we think about what we want to do and make excuses as to why we can’t do it. The reality is that the time we have taken to think up excuses as to why we can’t do something, we could have done it. What have you been putting off doing? Take this opportunity to do it, clear out the clutter. Once you have done it there is space in your mind to think about other things.

4. Do not be afraid of making a mistake. You will only achieve success from doing. In history many brilliant ideas have come about because of a mistake. Don’t let fear of failure stop you from doing what you want.

5. Do not put off making a decision because you are afraid it may be the wrong one. Nothing is gained by sitting on the fence. So the sooner you make a decision, even if it is the wrong one, the sooner you can make the right one. Practise being decisive.

6. Keep a journal recording your thoughts, ideas, feelings and personal growth. Keeping a journal is a great way of measuring your progress. Looking back at your journey. It is also a great source of material for any projects you hope to do in the future. If one of your dreams is to write a book, why not start with jotting down ideas in a journal.

7. Be flexible and willing to change your approach if things are not working. Sometimes when you set your mind to do something, with a set plan, things don’t always go smoothly. Remember that as long as you are clear about your destination, you can always change your route, it may take you longer, but as long as you get there in the end.

8. Visualise your goals on a daily basis. Better still put up pictures of your goals so that you can see them on waking up and going to bed. Our minds respond better to pictures than words.

9. Get yourself and elastic band and put it around your wrist. Make sure it fits loosely. Every time you find yourself thinking a negative thought pull the elastic band and let go so that it snaps back onto your wrist. Yes, it will hurt. That is the whole idea. Keep this up for the next 30 days and notice what happens.

10. Celebrate your achievements. Award yourself for any progress that you make because you deserve it.

Source:
http://www.articlesbase.com/self-help-articles/personal-development-10-tips-on-how-to-get-started-553427.html

Sonia is a Personal Development and Success Consultant. She has been involved in the personal development industry for over 20 years primarily in the public sector. When you visit her website be sure to download the free Confidence Building ecourse and sign up for her success strategies and tools newsletter.

Sonia Harris © 2007
Personal Development and Success Coach

The Top 10 Goal Setting Tips
by On December 29, 2009

business-success2010 is here and it is now time to focus on what you want to accomplish in the New Year. If you haven’t set your goals yet…what are you waiting for!! This list is a great place to start. And if you have set your goals, this Top 10 List will give you a checklist to ensure you are set up for success.

1. The first step to goal setting is being specific!  Examine your life and figure out what you want to change, then narrow it down to one specific thing you can realistically change in a specific time period.

2. Once you have chosen your goal, write it down and post it where you will see it multiple times a day. A customized screen saver is a great way to keep your goal in front of you; a note on your fridge or taped to your TV remote can work too!

3. Break down your goal into milestones, and mark your calendar with a completion date for each one. If your goal requires daily tracking, make a chart and hang it next to the calendar. That way when you drink your bottle of water, do your yoga workout, or write in your journal, you can mark your progress and see how far you’ve come!

4. Get backup. Tell someone about your goal, and ask for tough love! There will be times you want to give up, and a good hard shove is just what you need. A friend or spouse can help remind you about how great it will be to reach your goal!

5. Reward yourself. Whenever you complete your next step towards your goal, give yourself a small but tangible reward. Light a candle and enjoy the smell; treat yourself to a non-sugar chocolate mint; read a chapter in the book you’ve been saving or just reach around and pat yourself on the back! You deserve it!

6. Mix achievement with affirmation. Positive affirmations can get you psyched about your goal, and reassure you that you have what it takes to last the course. Remind yourself that you are capable, you are strong and most of all you are willing to do whatever it takes to meet your goal.

7. Use every trick at your disposal to reach your goal. If that means getting up while everyone is in bed to study a new language in peace and quiet, that’s what you will do. If you decide you bit off more than you can chew don’t beat yourself up – simply kick the final goal’s deadline a month down the road and instill a midpoint goal to get you ready to face the extra challenge.

8. There’s no shame in asking for help. If you just can’t drag yourself out in the rain for that mandatory jog around the block, ask your friend or spouse to come with! Who knows, it might end up being fun getting soaked together, and you can bond over the slap of jogging shoes on wet pavement with the promise of hot coffee at home.

9. Don’t let your momentum fade after reaching your goal. You won! You did it! Now – set another goal! Goal setting should be an ongoing process, leading to bigger and better things every year you live.

10. Never, never, never give up. Fight for the person you know you can be. Set goals that make you push yourself, but don’t give up if you miscalculate and set the bar a little too high. Readjust and keep going – you can do it. Be your own strongest supporter, and you will find your goals get set higher and higher as your self confidence takes off and you learn to surpass even your own expectations!

Source: http://www.selfesteem2go.com/goal-setting-tips.html

Top 10 Gifts that Don't Cost a Thing
by On December 22, 2009

Don’t have much to spend on presents this year? These ideas cost next to nothing, but offer priceless memories.

1.  Smile!
Take a wonderful photo of your recipient’s child or pet. Make a paper frame or enclose it in a pretty card.

2.  Lesson Plan. Volunteer the gift of a skill: Show a friend or relative how to knit, swim or use a digital camera.

3.  Snow Day. Give a neighbor a card promising to shovel her driveway on the day of the first big storm. If you live in a warmer climate, guarantee to tend the lawn one weekend.

4.  Babysitters’ Club. Offer the couple down the street a free evening of looking after the kids. Or you can promise them some pet-sitting while they’re on vacation.

5.  Portable Gardens. Give plant cuttings that can be nurtured throughout the winter and planted in the spring. If you’re in the South and your garden is in season, give flowers, fruits or vegetables.

6.  By the Book. For the constant reader, use holiday or other cards to make bookmarks. Cut the cards into strips that show complete scenes (Santa coming down the chimney, for example). Punch a hole at the top of every strip and pull a ribbon through it.

7.  Site Map. Give your recipient a list of off-the-beaten-path Web sites related to her interests (gardening, antiquing). Add a brief comment for each site. For a striking holiday background to your list, download free color pages from activityvillage.co.uk. (Click on the Seasonal Pages link on the left side of the main page.)

8.  Words of Love. Send an audio letter to a faraway relative. If you have young relatives who don’t live near you, record yourself reading a children’s book so you seem that much closer.

9.  Write It Down. If you like to write, compose a poem or a very short story for your recipient. Include references to events in her life and jokes that just the two of you share.

10.  Clip and Save. For your favorite hard-core coupon clipper, assemble a collection of the best coupons you can find, plus a guide to coupon sites like coolsavings.com.

For more affordable gift ideas for everyone in your circle, check out QuickandSimple.com’s 100+ under-$50 gift picks, including cool gifts for guy, fun gifts for deserving divas, and under-$10 gifts that don’t look cheap.

Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.

Top 10 Questions to Ask Yourself
by On December 15, 2009

What-Are-Your-ValuesTop 10 Questions to Ask Yourself and Why Self Knowledge is the KEY to Having the Life You Want

When you know yourself and act in accordance, the path becomes clear.

Start by asking yourself some specific questions. Keep a record of your answers in a notebook or journal.

Here are 10 questions to begin your journey and remember, YOU will always be a WORK IN PROGRESS.

1) If you could do anything you want to tomorrow, what would it be?

The answer should not be something that is an escape from what you ordinarily would be doing, but in more positive terms of a true dream.

2) What are your core values?

Core values became yours in childhood and you would not be you if you did not respect those. Make a list and then pare it down to the 5 that speak to you most strongly.

3) What are your special talents?

4) What do you do better than most people you know?

5) What were your dreams as a child?

If you have trouble remembering, go back and look at early photographs. Notice details to jog your memory.

6) What is the thing you are most proud of accomplishing in your life so far?

If you are tempted to answer “getting into college” or “passing the bar”, ask yourself something more personal and unique. For example, ask yourself if “getting into college” would have been the choice you made if it hadn’t been expected of you. Would you have preferred to learn a trade had it been an acceptable choice? What moments of triumph did you have as a child?

7) What will you regret not doing in your life if you continue as you are now?

8) What do you want people to say about you after you are no longer living? What is your legacy?

9) What do you want to do when you retire?

10) Outside of parents who influenced your life more than anyone else; who had an impact on your life and what was it about that person that meant something to you?

The next step is to put self knowledge into action. That means you begin planning your life based on what you know about yourself. You notice if WHAT you do, act, behave, work, and make choices are in sync with WHO you are. It is complex because we are all influenced by the outside world to make the choices we do.

In the immortal words of Joseph Campbell, “Follow your bliss.”

When you know yourself and act in accordance, the path becomes clear.
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Source:
http://www.frugalmarketing.com/dtb/self-knowledge.shtml
© 2004 Dorene Lehavi, Ph.D

Dorene Lehavi, Ph.D. is principal of Next Level Business and Professional Coaching. She coaches Professionals and Business Partners and teaches teleclasses on techniques to break through barriers to the next level. Dr. Lehavi offers a complimentary coaching session so you can experience how coaching can work for you. Visit http://www.CoachingforYourNextLevel.com

Top 10 Ways To Improve Your Brain Fitness
by On December 1, 2009

brain_exerciseYesterday, Roger Seip wrote about training your brain to make that muscle stronger.  For today’s Top 10 Tips Tuesday, we offer 10 ways you can improve your brain’s fitness. 

Be Free!
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Brain fitness has basic principles: variety and curiosity. When anything you do becomes second nature, you need to make a change. If you can do the crossword puzzle in your sleep, it’s time for you to move on to a new challenge in order to get the best workout for your brain.

Curiosity about the world around you, how it works and how you can understand it will keep your brain working fast and efficiently. Use the ideas below to help attain your quest for mental fitness.

  1. Play Games
    Brain fitness programs and games are a wonderful way to tease and challenge your brain. Suduko, crosswords and electronic games can all improve your brain’s speed and memory. These games rely on logic, word skills, math and more. These games are also fun. You’ll get benefit more by doing these games a little bit every day — spend 15 minutes or so, not hours.
  2. Meditation
    Daily meditation is perhaps the single greatest thing you can do for your mind/body health. Meditation not only relaxes you, it gives your brain a workout. By creating a different mental state, you engage your brain in new and interesting ways while increasing your brain fitness.
  3. Eat for Your Brain
    Your brain needs you to eat healthy fats. Focus on fish oils from wild salmon, nuts such as walnuts, seeds such as flax seed and olive oil. Eat more of these foods and less saturated fats. Eliminate transfats completely from your diet.
  4. Tell Good Stories
    Stories are a way that we solidify memories, interpret events and share moments. Practice telling your stories, both new and old, so that they are interesting, compelling and fun. Some basic storytelling techniques will go a long way in keeping people’s interest both in you and in what you have to say.
  5. Turn Off Your Television
    The average person watches more than 4 hours of television everyday. Television can stand in the way of relationships, life and more. Turn off your TV and spend more time living and exercising your mind and body.
  6. Exercise Your Body To Exercise Your Brain
    Physical exercise is great brain exercise too. By moving your body, your brain has to learn new muscle skills, estimate distance and practice balance. Choose a variety of exercises to challenge your brain.
  7. Read Something Different
    Books are portable, free from libraries and filled with infinite interesting characters, information and facts. Branch out from familiar reading topics. If you usually read history books, try a contemporary novel. Read foreign authors, the classics and random books. Not only will your brain get a workout by imagining different time periods, cultures and peoples, you will also have interesting stories to tell about your reading, what it makes you think of and the connections you draw between modern life and the words.
  8. Learn a New Skill
    Learning a new skill works multiple areas of the brain. Your memory comes into play, you learn new movements and you associate things differently. Reading Shakespeare, learning to cook and building an airplane out of toothpicks all will challenge your brain and give you something to think about.
  9. Make Simple Changes
    We love our routines. We have hobbies and pastimes that we could do for hours on end. But the more something is ‘second nature,’ the less our brains have to work to do it. To really help your brain stay young, challenge it. Change routes to the grocery store, use your opposite hand to open doors and eat dessert first. All this will force your brain to wake up from habits and pay attention again.
  10. Train Your Brain
    Brain training is becoming a trend. There are formal courses, websites and books with programs on how to train your brain to work better and faster. There is some research behind these programs, but the basic principles are memory, visualization and reasoning. Work on these three concepts everyday and your brain will be ready for anything.

More Fun Ways to Live Longer

Source:
Author – By Mark Stibich, Ph.D.
http://longevity.about.com/od/mentalfitness/tp/Mental_fitness.htm

Top 10 Things to be Grateful For
by On November 24, 2009

gratitudeWith Thanksgiving this week, take some time to think about what you are truly grateful for – that is the reason for the holiday right?

Make sure to enter our gratitude contest too!  All you need to do is answer this question:

What 3 “outside of the box” items are you truly thankful for and WHY?
Submit Your Answer

Here is a Top 10 List of Things to be Grateful for:

1. You’re breathing. You owe your life to the world not the other way around. How are you sharing you natural gifts with others?

2. You have a roof over your head. I’m guessing that you do if you have time to read Top Ten lists!

3. You have enough food in your stomach. Again, an assumption but if you’re reading this, I bet its true.

4. You have a computer. You’re reading this on it right?

5. There is something beautiful that you can look at right now. It may be in your home or outside -check out that
flower or cloud.

6. You have online friends. You do, don’t you? If not, join us on twitter.

7. You have opportunities and possibilities. Yes you do. Unlimited. Really.

8. The sun will rise and set. And you don’t even have to do anything.

9. You can read -therefore you can keep learning. Life long learning rocks.

10. You’re able to read Top Ten Lists. Fun, huh?

This Top 10 List was taken from http://authenticlifeinstitute.com/self-employment/top-10-things-to-be-grateful-for/

Top 10 Personal Development Books
by On November 17, 2009

readLooking for a great read? Pick up a personal development book and invest in yourself and future.

Do not think you have time to read? Check out our Reading Smart workshop where you will learn how to read faster and increase your comprehension.

Top 10 Personal Development Books

There are tons of personal development or self help books out there. Some are good, some are terrible. So how do you tell the good stuff from the mediocre?

This list will be a great starting point, as it lists and briefly reviews ten of the best personal development books out there. These books cover a wide variety of sub-genres within the personal development area, but all of these can help you get into the right frame of mind and on your way to personal growth.

  1. Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Anthony Robbins
    Tony Robbins is the absolute guru of self improvement, so it should be absolutely no surprise. It was between this one and “Unlimited Power” as to which one was best. Robbins set the standard for much of self help, and while there is some criticism about some of the advice being “fluff,” the majority of the advice is very solid, as can be seen by the sheer number of copycats. This book is a great addition to any self-help library.
  2. Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anywayby Susan Jeffers
    The number one obstacle that gets in the way of people wanting to change their lives is fear. Author Susan Jeffers attacks this obstacle head on in this classic self improvement work. Jeffers bravely uses many personal examples from her own life, discussing the crippling effects that fear has on every aspect of your life, and how to work on yourself to get to the point where you can conquer it. Learning that failure is not a big deal, but that seeing chance as an opportunity to do something great (as opposed to a chance to fail) is the fundamental lesson behind this book that has helped thousands to achieve their goals and push ahead in life.
  3.  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    It’s an older book that has been around for quite some time, but classics are classic for a reason. This book was released in 1990, and has remained in print ever since. This was a groundbreaking book when it was released and has sold over 10 million copies. This book is different in that it doesn’t give you a quick list of “easy actions” to take, but requires a deeper paradigm shift that helps you chance how you think, act, and approach problems. This is a book you will take copious notes over as you study this book in detail – this isn’t one for skimmers?
  4. Coach Yourself to Success : 101 Tips from a Personal Coach for Reaching Your Goals at Work and in Life by Talane Miedaner
    One of the instant appeals of this self improvement book is that there are a large number of tips, many of them practical and allowing for instant action. It can be difficult to make a huge change of thinking in your life, while many smaller steps are so much easier to implement. This has been a favorite among many self help fans.
  5. Do One Thing Different: Ten Simple Ways to Change Your Life by Bill O’Hanlon
    Bill has the credentials, as he is a certified professional counselor, marriage therapist, and author of 16 self-improvement books. This book is written with short easy to digest chapters, focusing on concentrating on fixing the current day instead of spending a lot of time digging up the past. This book is also divided into three parts, each based on a different part: changing the doing of the problem, changing the viewing of the problem, and applying solution-oriented therapy. This focus on changing the now instead of dwelling in the past is the breakthrough many need.
  6. Create Your Own Future: How to Master the 12 Critical Factors of Unlimited Success by Brian Tracy
    “Create Your Own Future” is a quality self help book that combines the two goals most common with people looking for a quality self improvement text: improving the personal life, and making a lot more money. This book concentrates on twelve principles that can help you achieve both, and gives examples of actual real world plans that show you how you can accomplish these goals.
  7. Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want And Getting It by Henriette Anne Klauser
    This self-improvement book is specifically aimed at teaching individuals to clear their minds of all the every day distractions that make goal setting impossible. The power of clearly writing down goals, wishes, and the small steps to take to get there comes out clearly in Klauser’s book. Her techniques are intended not only to clarify goals, but to help with the self-confidence needed to accomplish them.
  8. The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferris
    This book is one of my personal favorites, and rates right up there near the very top of my own list. This book won’t be for everyone, but it is a great combination of focus on personal change and improvement (which directly leads to changing your life), changing your thought process, and gaining independence and freedom in the work place and life. This book works for normal employees as well as entrepreneurs, and the stories, additional resources, and challenges to conventional thinking make this a quality work helpful for anyone wanting a radical change in both their personal and business life.
  9. The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren.
    This one obviously has a religious Christian slant, so it may not be for everyone, for many of that faith this book has been nothing short of life changing. Some “spiritual but not religious” people have found this best seller helpful and useful, as well, since many of the lessons focus on concentrating and looking honestly at your own life and working on small steps to improve yourself that add up and help bring meaning into your life.
  10. Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin.
    This one is aimed specifically at businesses, but not only is Seth Godin’s unique look good for building your own business, but the mentality of this book and great allegories can apply to your personal life, as well. Thinking differently from the majority is a skill that never hurts, especially in improving (if not outright changing) your life.

Written by Shane Dayton, August 22, 2008, associatedcontent.com