Wednesday, April 30, 2008

5 Strategies for Lasting Change

A note from for Thursday April 30 2008

Give a “high five” to this amazing Thursday.

According to some of my mail, yesterday’s offering certainly stirred up many of our subscribers. With the year being 1/3rd over, plans are being firmly adjusted to make sure intentions are met.

I was very excited yesterday to hear from one of my friends who is going through some of the craziness caused by the real estate debacle currently being experienced in the U.S. I hadn’t heard from her in a while, and was a tad concerned as she wasn’t returning e-mails, or phone calls.

This friend, who is also a subscriber, and who does read the “daily reader” (even though she hadn’t responded to my e-mails) was inspired by yesterday’s offering to drop me a note to say she needed more of that “stuff”.

So, by her prompting, we draw on one of our contributors for today offering.

5 Strategies for Lasting Change
Helaine Iris

“Be the change you wish to see.” Mahatma Gandhi

In the last issue of Along The Purpose Path I told the story of a client who’s been working to make a change in her life. She wants to grow her business while at the same time, decrease her stress level and increase how much she enjoys herself. She’s not alone.

My client’s breakthrough began when she made a mental shift from a state of striving to state of thriving.

What seems to make the difference between those who thrive versus those who strive comes down to the willingness to identify what is and isn’t working in life; and then making the appropriate changes. Yet, studies indicate that most - over three-quarters of us - fail to follow through on the changes we set out to make.

The reality is change is difficult for just about everyone. Those who do manage to follow though on life changes aren't simply lucky. Instead, they've mastered the skills to not only make change easier, but also to make their changes sustainable over time.

It's a cliché that bears repeating. Rome wasn't built in a day. Change happens one step at a time. The most effective change a person can make is when it’s taken in small increments. People often get stopped because they don’t shift their focus from the big picture long enough to effectively plan. When you don’t have a solid plan, and support for your plan, it’s easy to get bumped off course and become disillusioned.

The good news is every time you successfully implement a change, small or large, your life gets better. Success builds new evidence that change is possible. It spreads confidence and a sense of achievement throughout your life.

It’s the Spring season. It seems there's something magical about new beginnings that inspires most of us to reexamine our lives, renew our commitment to a goal or resolve to make changes. Some of us aim even higher toward a complete reinvention of our selves.

As a Coach, I earn my living by helping people make changes in their personal and professional lives. So it won't surprise you to hear me suggest these five strategies you can begin using to make changes, stop striving and begin thriving in the year ahead.

1. Identify the “gap”

A “gap” represents the difference between where you are currently and where you want to be. An example of a gap might be: I want to be exercising regularly but I’m currently not exercising at all. Or I want to start my own home business and I’m currently employed. There can be small gaps or there can be big gaps.

Having the life you want is really a matter of identifying and closing your gaps. This perspective can reduce the feelings of overwhelm. Instead of looking at life as one huge problem, you begin to see a series of gaps that needs filling one at a time.

Once you identify your gaps, you have a road map to follow.

2. Reveal and disqualify the disempowering beliefs that energize your gap Now that you have identified your gaps you can begin to close them.

At the heart of every gap is an underlying belief or story that is limiting. It's necessary to flush out these disempowering beliefs that may get in your way of closing the gap. Usually, these beliefs are transparent to us, and we aren't aware of how powerfully and pervasively they operate to control our choices. When you shine the light of awareness on these beliefs, they're neutralized, and you’re able to make more empowered choices in closing your gap.

Let’s play with examples. What might be a disempowering belief behind my exercise example? What thoughts or stories might be transparently shaping your inability to stick to an exercise program?

I can’t follow through anything Exercise is hard and I hate it There’s not enough time
Once the limiting thought is revealed, now what?

3. Build a positive case for yourself

After revealing the belief, it's important that you find out what's true about you and your life. You need to inquire to discover if your beliefs are real obstacles or if they’re just a product of old thought patterns. Go back to the exercise example. “I don’t follow through on anything.” Is that true? Can you find examples of where you have followed through on something? If so, make a list that disqualifies this particular belief. This process will help you build a more positive case for your own success, and when you notice yourself slipping into the old thought pattern, you can shift to what's true something more true and much more positive. It’s really a matter of building new thinking habits and practicing them.

When you get to the truth, you feel better. In the example, all the energy tied up in resisting exercise can now go into exercising.

4. Make a plan and take action

Here’s where the rubber meets the road. All the inspiration and awareness will only go so far. Who hasn’t had the experience where you get inspired about something and go off to accomplish it only to lose steam and give up on your dream or project?

That’s where having a solid plan comes in, an action plan. Write out the steps of your plan. Be specific. An important part of designing a successful action plan is building an accountability structure. When you’re accountable to specifics or someone else you have a better chance of following through with what you say you want.

This brings us to the last step.

5. Create a circle of support

We all need support. Often the difference between getting successful results and not, depends on how well supported you are.

I was just working with a client who wanted to introduce a new routine into her life. She questioned her ability to stick to it. When I asked her what in the past helped her stay on track with something new she said, “Telling someone my plan made me more accountable. By speaking my intention out loud made it harder to just blow it off”. Then I asked her whom she would tell about her new plan. She decided to tell her husband and use him for her accountability. You could take it a step further and ask the person to periodically check in with you how you are doing with your commitment. Now, that’s support.

A circle of support can mean a lot of different things. It can be your partner, your best friend, colleagues at work, or your family. Meaningful support can be any or all of these people, the more support you have the better. The only critical distinction is that you are supported for YOUR agenda, not the supporters.

Establishing and calling on your "circle of support" will help you sustain yourself through all of life through challenging times and through great times.

Why not give this strategy a try. Begin to thrive in your life. I’d love to hear your thoughts, feedback and successes. Email me at

It’s YOUR life…imagine the possibilities!

Helaine Iris is a certified Life Coach, writer and teacher that loves her life. She works with individuals, and self-employed professionals, who want to thrive in their business while crafting a life that's in absolute alignment with their highest ideals, deepest values and gracefully masters the complexities of modern living. For a solution focused complimentary session visit her website

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

From Surviving to Thriving in A World of Change!

A note from for Wednesday April 30 2008

Say “aloha” to the midweek point.

Well, as of today, 2008 is now officially 1/3rd over, and you know I’m going to ask the questions.

1. Are you on track to fulfill your goals and intentions?
2. If you are, congratulations!
3. If you are not, why not?

There is 2/3rds of this great year left, and now is the time to check in and make the adjustments necessary to bring in all of your intentions on plan.

I’m keenly aware that most of us are inundated with the changes happening all around us, We can, however position ourselves to take advantage of, and prosper from, all that is presented to us.

Today offering from our friend Philip, may be just what you need with your coffee today.

From Surviving to Thriving in A World of Change
by Philip Humbert

Recently I did a training for the local electric utility on the skills and resources for thriving in a world of constant change.

What struck me is that I never thought about a utility having to cope with “too much change!” It’s not like we’re going to stop using electricity or their customers are all going to a competitor! They dam a river that’s been around for a million years, they make electricity, send it through the power grid and bill their customers. How stable is that?!

Yet even the electric utility industry is swamped by change. People come and go. Regulations, standards and new software over-whelm them. And of course, there is competition from other energy sources, so even in the stable world of electric energy, the stress is enormous.

How about in your world?

Constant change both thrills and threatens us. We love the new opportunities, but too often we end up running as fast as we can just to stay even. New competitors, new tools and new skills challenge us every week. I’m typing this on my brand new laptop and I love it! But it’s taken me three days just to configure the stupid thing, and it still doesn’t “look and feel” quite right! Change is the constant in our world.

Here’s the thing: We want to grow and develop! We want new tools, new adventures and new resources. Most of the time, we welcome change with open arms. But, sometimes it’s just too much. We’ve become infatuated with anything “new” whether it enriches our lives or not.

Sometimes the “old” is good enough. Sometimes the familiar is more comfortable and actually more effective. I have a friend who uses an old-fashioned slide-rule partly for the nostalgia, but also because it’s faster than doing calculations on his computer. Sometimes, the old is good.

Here are three suggestions for thriving on change:

1. Maintain lots of “personal bandwidth. That means taking superb care of yourself! People who are happy, healthy and rested simply do better than people who are tired, hungry, stressed or worried. Practice extreme self-care. Maintain your personal bandwidth.

2. Celebrate the Big Picture. Know what’s going on and understand the context of your world. Remember, some people lead, other’s follow, and some just don’t have a clue. Be a leader! And that means seeing the big picture, knowing where your world is going, and being out in front.

3. Invest in Tools. Knowledge and skills matter! The more you know about your industry and what’s happening (and who’s leading), the more options you have. Remember, “leaders are readers.” And I love the quote from Buckminster Fuller: “You can’t learn less.”

Our world is infatuated with anything “new” or “improved” and that’s not going to change. What you can control is your response to change. Master it! Learn skills for evaluating change. Learn to “respond” rather than merely “reacting.” Use change and growth and transformation to your advantage rather than merely trying to hang on and endure! For the rest of 2008, make change (and growth!) your friend.

Use it to your advantage.

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100 Quotes from "The Secret".

A note from for Tuesday April 29 2008

Welcome to Tuesday.

I had an interesting e-mail yesterday from an associate that I haven’t chatted with in quite some time. The tone of his note caused me some concern as it was rich with language of defeat and despair. We agreed to chat quickly by telephone.

It seems things hadn’t been working out for him quite as well as he “thought” they should have been. When I got deeper into the chat with him I asked him what was in his immediate 360 degree world. You know, in his working environment.

He described the typical bland office, black files, two old awards for something, a bookcase with work manuals, a few “gifted” books, worn rug, and two chairs he bought at an office close out sale. His computer was six years old and had been upgrade internally three times since new, he has a five year old picture from a vacation with his family on his desk, and he has a plug in coaster for keeping his coffee hot (I’ve never even seen one of those).

Folks, you get the picture.

I asked him how he would feel if a fire were to erupt in his office overnight and destroyed everything in it. He thought for a moment, and then he started to laugh. He said, “as there is nothing I could have done about it, I’d probably be happy”.

So, you can guess what my suggestion to him was. Yes, drag everything out to the backyard and light a match to it. And you know, I think he just might.

I sent him today’s offering as a place to remember what is really important. I think you’ll appreciate it also.

100 Quotes from "The Secret".

1. We all work with one infinite power
2. The Secret is the Law of Attraction
3. Whatever is going on in your mind is what you are attracting
4. We are like magnets-like attract like. You become AND attract what you think
5. Every thought has a frequency. Thoughts send out a magnetic energy
6. People think about what they don't want and attract more of the same
7. Thought = creation. If these thoughts are attached to powerful emotions (good or bad) that speeds the creation
8. You attract your dominant thoughts
9. Those who speak most of illness have illness, those who speak most of prosperity have prosperity
10. It's different from "wishful" thinking
11. You can't have a universe without the mind entering into it
12. Choose your thoughts carefully ... you are the masterpiece of your life
13. It's OK that thoughts don't manifest into reality immediately (if we saw a picture of an elephant and it instantly appeared, that would be too soon)
14. EVERYTHING in your life you have attracted ... accept that fact ... it's true.
15. Your thoughts cause your feelings
16. We don't need to complicate all the "reasons" behind our emotions. It's much simpler than that. Two categories .. good feelings, bad feelings.
17. Thoughts that bring about good feelings mean you are on the right track. Thoughts that bring about bad feelings means you are not on the right track.
18. Whatever it is you are feeling is a perfect reflection of what is in the process of becoming
19. You get exactly what you are FEELING
20. Happy feelings will attract more happy circumstances
21. You can begin feeling whatever you want (even if it's not there)... the universe will correspond to the nature of your song
22. What you focus on with your thought and feeling is what you attract into your experience
23. What you think and what you feel and what actually manifests is ALWAYS a match-no exception
24. Shift your awareness
25. "You create your own universe as you go along" ~Winston Churchill
26. It's important to feel good ( ( ( (((good))) ) ) )
27. You can change your emotion immediately Â… by thinking of something joyful, or singing a song, or remembering a happy experience
28. When you get the hang of this, before you know it you will KNOW you are the creator
29. Life can and should be phenomenal ... and it will be when you consciously apply the Law of Attraction
30. Universe will re-arrange itself accordingly
31. Start by using this sentence for all of your wants: "I'm so happy and grateful now that.... "
32. You don't need to know HOW the universe is going to rearrange itself
33. LOA is simply figuring out for yourself what will generate the positive feelings of having it NOW
34. You might get an inspired thought or idea to help you move towards what you want faster 35. The universe likes SPEED. Don't delay, don't second-guess, don't doubt...
36. When the opportunity or impulse is there ... ACT
37. You will attract everything you require-money, people, connections... PAY ATTENTION to what's being set in front of you
38. You can start with nothing ... and out of nothing or no way-a WAY will be provided.
39. HOW LONG??? No rules on time ... the more aligned you are with positive feelings the quicker things happen
40. Size is nothing to the universe (unlimited abundance if that's what you wish) We make the rules on size and time
41. No rules according to the universe ... you provide the feelings of having it now and the universe will respond
42. Most people offer the majority of their thought in response to what they are observing (bills in the mail, being late, having bad luck...etc.)
43. You have to find a different approach to what is through a different vantage point
44. "All that we are is a result of what we have thought"-Buddha
45. What can you do right now to turn your life around? Be Grateful
46. Gratitude will bring more into our lives immediately
47. What we think about and THANK about is what we bring about
48. What are the things you are grateful for? Feel the gratitude... focus on what you have right now that you are grateful for
49. Play the picture in your mind-focus on the end result
50. VISUALIZE!!! Rehearse your future
51. VISUALIZE!!! See it, feel it! This is where action begins
52. Feel the joy ... feel the happiness
53. An affirmative thought is 100 times more powerful than a negative one
54. "What this power is, I cannot say. All I know is that it exists." ~ Alexander Graham Bell
55. Our job is not to worry about the "How". The "How" will show up out of the commitment and belief in the "Why"
56. The Hows are the domain of the universe. It always knows the quickest, fastest, most harmonious way between you and your dream
57. If you turn it over to the universe, you will be surprised and dazzled by what is delivered .. this is where magic and miracles happen
58. Turn it over to the universe daily... but it should never be a chore
59. Feel exhilarated by the whole process ... high, happy, in tune
60. The only difference between people who are really living this way is they have habituated ways of being
61. They remember to do it all the time
62. Create a Vision Board-pictures of what you want to attract ... every day look at it and get into the feeling state of already having acquired these wants
63. "Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." Albert Einstein
64. Decide what you want ... believe you can have it, believe you deserve it, believe it's possible for you
65. Close your eyes and visualize having what you already want-and the feeling of having it already
66. Focus on being grateful for what you have already ... enjoy it!! Then release into the universe. The universe will manifest it
67. "Whatever the mind of man can conceive, it can achieve." ~W. Clement Stone
68. Set a goal so big that if you achieved it, it would blow your mind
69. When you have an inspired thought, you must trust it and act on it
70. How can you become more prosperous?? INTEND IT!!
71. 'Checks are coming in the mail regularly'... or change your bank statement to whatever balance you want in there... and get behind the feeling of having it.
72. Life is meant to be abundant in ALL areas...
73. Go for the sense of inner joy and peace then all outside things appear
74. We are the creators of our universe
75. Relationships: Treat yourself the way you want to be treated by others. Love yourself and you will be loved
76. Always cultivate a healthy respect for yourself
77. For those you work with or interact with regularly .. get a notebook and write down positive aspects of each of those people
78. Write down the things you like most about them (don't expect change from them). Law of attraction will not put you in the same space together if you frequencies don't match
79. When you realize your potential to feel good, you will ask no one to be different in order for you to feel good
80. You will free yourself from the cumbersome impossibilities of needing to control the world, your friends, your mate, your children...
81. You are the only one that creates your reality
82. No one else can think or feel for you .. its YOU .. ONLY YOU
83. Health: thank the universe for your own healing. Laughter, stress-free happiness will keep you healthy
84. Your immune system will heal itself
85. Parts of our bodies are replaced every day, every weekÂ… Within a few years we have a brand new body
86. See yourself living in a new body. Hope leads to recovery. Happy leads to a happier biochemistry. Stress degrades the body
87. Remove stress from the body and the body regenerates itself. You can heal yourself
88. Learn to become still and take your attention away from what you don't want. Place your attention on what you wish to experience
89. When the voice and vision on the inside become more profound and clear than the opinions on the outside, then you have mastered your life
90. You are not here to try to get the world to be just as you want it. You are here to create the world around you that you choose
91. And allow the world as others choose to see it, exist as well
92. People think that if everyone knows the power of the LOA there won't be enough to go around .. This is a lie that's been ingrained in us and makes so many greedy
93. The truth is there is more than enough love, creative ideas, power, joy, happiness to go around
94. All of this abundance begins to shine through a mind that is aware of it's own infinite nature. There's enough for everyone. See it. Believe it. It will show up for you
95. So let the variety of your reality thrill you as you choose all the things you want. Get behind the good feelings of all your wants
96. Write your script. When you see things you don't want, don't think about them, write about them, talk about them, push against them, or join groups that focus on them. Remove your attention from don't wants and place it on do wants
97. We are mass energy. Everything is energy. EVERYTHING
98. Don't define yourself by your body. You are an infinite being that's connected to everything in the universe
99. Our bodies have distracted us from our energy. We are the infinite field of unfolding possibilities
100. Are your thoughts worthy of you? If not, NOW is the time to change them. You can begin right were you are, right now. Nothing matters but this moment and what you are focusing your attention on

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

What's Up With Your To Do List?

A note from for Monday April 28 2008

Welcome to a brand spanking new and shining week.

To all of you who wrote on the weekend about what you derived from Friday's video offering, I thank you. Isn't it just wonderful to "stumble" on happiness? Certainly brings clarity to the quote, "You're as happy as you choose to be."

So, on that happy note, here's the deal for today, in fact, for the whole week, just to celebrate May arriving safely.

Our friend Laurie Santos lays out the rules.

What's Up With Your To Do List?

Here's a challenge: throw your "To Do" list out! I know you are thinking, "Did I just read what I think I read?" Yep, you sure did. Throw them all out!

Why in the world would I challenge you to throw out your coveted "To Do" List(s)? In one simple sentence: you are too attached to the list and not attached to the joys of life! Instead of walking through the world with a clear, relaxed mind, that "To Do" list(s) has become, well, yet another thing to do. Daily you are creating new tasks, chores, or items to scratch off the list, but have you checked-in with yourself to find out what would bring you the most joy right now in this very moment? Perhaps that should be item number one on your "To Do" list!

I'm one for saying that this "To Do" list that people think will bring them balance and keep them on-track actually keeps them out of balance and off-track. I believe such is the case because folks tend to beat themselves up if they don't check off every item or even worse, they continue to add items on the list all day long. How in the world can the list ever fully be completed if we keep piling more stuff onto it? If we are seeking a more calm, tranquil, fun, and joyous life, I think you would agree that the list tends to keep us "in stuck" and prevent us from just being; it keeps us in the "doing."

So, I am daring you to throw the list(s) out and I guarantee you that the big things that you feel need to get done will get accomplished and the little things, well they will get done, too, tomorrow or the next day or the day after that!

Join me and countless others by throwing out your lists today in an effort to live a more abundant, prosperous, fun, meaningful and balanced life!
To your success,

Life Coach Laurie, "The Extreme Dream Coach"

Today, forget the "doing", and enjoy your "being".

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Stumbling on Happiness

A note from for Friday April 24 2008

Welcome to the end of the typical week.

As is now our normal practice, we present to you another amazing video to wind up the week.

Bestselling author of, Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert describes some surprising information about your happiness.

Gilbert describes a study where patients suffering from amnesia were asked to rank several paintings in the order they like them. They were then told they could keep a painting from the middle of their rankings. After the researchers left the room the patients quickly forgot about the whole encounter. When asked to rank the paintings again, however, they ranked the one they owned as being the best.

This means that our tastes are often sculpted by what we have available. As Gilbert points out, our psychological immune system can keep us happy even through depressing circumstances.

You’re going to like what he has to say.

Enjoy Stumbling on Happiness

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Success - There Is No Try

A note from for Thursday April 24 2008

Say hello to Thursday.

Next week we’ll be celebrating the end of 1/3rd of 2008!

“Egad”, he says, “1/3rd of the year gone by, and I’m not 1/3rd of the way to achieving my dreams and intentions for the year.”

Does this sound like something that you might just be saying to yourself?

Not to fret. The great part of it is that we still have a full 2/3rd’s to get the plan into full and complete fruition. But, we can’t dally!

So, no excuses.

Today’s offering may provide a compassionate “prod”.

Success: There Is No Try
By Dennis Harting

One of the quickest ways to change your life is to raise your standards. The concept of turning unacceptable behaviors into acceptable actions instantly lifts the level that one operates at. A main component of this is to accept responsibility for one's decisions, actions, and results.

To improve everything that you do, it is important to understand that there is no such thing as “try”. This simple statement is what gives people the option of not being successful. In any situation, there is only do or do not. Either the action was taken or it was not. To believe that there are any other options is to open oneself up to deflecting the responsibility. The statement “I'll try” pre-paves the way to offer up an alibi if questioned later.

The successful do not have this in their vocabulary. If one is going to climb the achievement ladder, then a commitment to success must be made. This is done by making a decision to be successful. For many, a true decision cuts off the possibility of any other outcome. Having a “try” mentality does not lead to the definitive action necessary for accomplishment. The more one commits to a positive outcome, the greater the likelihood that will be the result.

Picture in your mind what someone looks like when trying to do something. What are they doing? Is anything being accomplished? Certainly, effort is being exerted. There is some action taking place. However, nothing is really happening. Imagine that I am instructed to move a huge boulder that weighs thousands of pounds. I try to move it by pushing with all my might. For hours I exert effort until I am at the point of exhaustion. What have I done? My response can be that I “tried” to move the boulder. Nevertheless, a successful mindset tells me that I failed to move the object. I simply was unable to complete the task.

A “certain” mind is a powerful weapon. When one states “I will accomplish this”, tremendous forces begin to line up to assist in the completion of the task. People are drawn to others who have that clarity. They also appreciate that commitment. The more individuals see the persistence of another, the better the chance that others will get involved.

Problems are handled easier when one adopts this outlook. Cutting off the possibility of failure enlists the creative forces of the mind. It is amazing how many options one can amass when the absolute commitment to achievement is undertaken. “Trying” leads to a stagnant mind. The idea of offering the excuses for failure is already in motion. Instead of focusing upon a viable solution, the mind begins to concentrate on generating believable reasons for the incompletion. Incidentally, what we focus upon usually creates the results that we experience.

Taking responsibility for all what we do is what leads us to take responsibility for our lives. The talents that are within each of us are much greater than we believe. Also, holding ourselves to a higher standard of accomplishment, rather than excuses, leads to an improved life. Our entire existence is made up of a series of life circumstances. The better each situation, the more success we enjoy. Replacing “try” with the word “will” enables us to claim our power for success. There are incredible talents within each individual that are immediately brought to the forefront.

We move from excuse maker to producer.

Dennis Harting is the Head Coach at Your Rich Life. He is an acclaimed speaker, trainer, and best-selling author. His international best selling books include Your Easiest Million and The Ultimate Procrastination Handbook. He also has had thousands of articles published worldwide. His programs and more information can be found at:

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This is the Happiness Secret

A note from for Wednesday April 23 2008

Welcome to the midweek point.

Yesterday’s Earth Day message certainly struck home with some folks, and to all who reflected your thoughts back to me, I thank you.

One of the underlying themes though, is, there is still a huge amount of unhappiness around out there. Now, we have covered this subject many times here at the “reader”, and I think it’s a grand time to address it again.

Sit back, get some tea, and enjoy today’s offering.

This is the Happiness Secret
By David Leonhardt

Is there a secret to happiness? You probably are expecting me to say "NO, there is no secret." While it is true that there are many factors that affect our happiness, I believe there is one secret that determines whether those factors will work for you, and that is the secret to happiness.

But first, a few words of background. In 2001, I published the first edition of "Climb Your Stairway to Heaven: The 9 Habits of Maximum Happiness." I did all the things authors do, right up to getting myself some media interviews. Being an old hand at media relations (actually, Canada's second-most-quoted consumer advocate at the time), you would think I would have been superbly prepared for the question that almost every journalist would ask me: "So, which of the 9 habits is most important?"

What?! Which one is most important? Why, they are all important, of course. That's why I wrote about them all. I was obviously too close to the forest to see the trees. Or, in this case, the tree.

After being asked this question a few times, I was forced to think, and think hard. And out of nowhere, I had an "Aha!" moment that stands the test of time five years later. One of the 9 habits I wrote about is more important than the others. One of my 9 habits activates all the others. One of my habits is the secret to happiness.

"Count Your Blessings"

It sounds so simple, and so, well, almost corny. But let me give you a concrete example of how this works. Have you ever bought a new car? Remember the pride you felt and the excitement when you made the choice? When you signed the papers? When you drove it off the lot? Do you remember that "new car smell"?

Then something happened. Where is that pride today? Where is that excitement now? What happened to that "new car smell"?

Simple. You stopped counting your blessings. When you bought the car, it was a step up. Perhaps it was a better car. Or a bigger car. Or simply a car that would spend less days on the hoist. You were grateful. You were appreciative. You were counting this blessing.

It does not take long for a new blessing to be taken for granted. And the new car becomes just another thing in your life that you take for granted. Consider this incredible set of statistics:

99% of people in the developed world take shelter for granted.
99% of people in the developed world take breakfast for granted.
99% of people in the developed world take lunch for granted.
99% of people in the developed world take dinner for granted.
99% of people in the developed world take clothing for granted.

At the risk of sounding trite or glib, most people in the developed world take cars, televisions, computers, vacations, toasters, freedom of speech, paper clips and thousands of other conveniences for granted. In fact, a TV remote control that requires a battery change or a web page that takes more than five seconds to load are considered serious irritations.

Who is happier, the person grateful to be able to change those batteries and wait for that web page? Or the person grumbling about the time it takes and the inconvenience and the bother and why can't things work better? (Why don't they make things like they used to? Why does the lineup have to be so long? Why is it so cold outside? Why do I have to go to work today?)

Of course you have every right to complain any time you choose. Nobody wants to take away your right to be unhappy. But I would love to take away your unhappiness, if you are willing to take action.

This is where "counting your blessings," simple and even corny, is not as easy as it sounds. Our knee-jerk reaction is to complain, to grumble, to be frustrated, to feel almost offended when things don't work out "perfectly", just the way we want them to. Imagine poor God, sifting through the millions of prayers he receives daily. Despite the cornucopia of blessings we receive, I am willing to bet that he receives ten times more "Gimmee" prayers than "Thank you" prayers.

Counting our blessings in this day and age of entitlement is not as simple as it sounds, and it sure is not easy to do. In fact, billions of dollars of advertising conspire to reinforce the belief that whatever we have is not good enough and that we deserve better. Who is there to tell us we have enough? Who can help us feel happy with what we have?

You. Only you. Are you ready to give up your own natural knee-jerk reaction and choose to be happy?

You can have all the confidence in the world, but if you do not actively feel grateful for the fruits of your confidence, it will not bring you happiness. You can have immaculate health, but if you do not think about how wonderful that is, it will not bring you happiness. You can smile, build friendships, achieve success, win the lottery, or do whatever you desire, but if you are not saying every day, "Wow! This is wonderful. This is grand. I am the luckiest man (or woman) alive because of this," don't expect it to bring you happiness.

Yes, there is a secret to happiness.

The secret is gratitude.
The secret is appreciation.
The secret is to count your blessings.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

What and When Is Earth Day?

A note from and a hearty welcome to Tuesday 22nd April 2008.

This is Earth Day, aren’t you just buzzy to be a part of it. I know I am.

The question is, do you know how Earth day got started?

Here’s the scoop!

What and When Is Earth Day?
When I first conceived of Earth Day,
a global holiday to celebrate the
wonder of life on our planet, I
thought long and hard about the
day on which it should fall. It must be………You’ll Enjoy the Rest Here!

Also, when you’ve read about Earth Day, click here to enjoy
Connecting a Million Hearts

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Getting Rich

A note from: for Monday April 21 2008

Welcome to another lovely late Winter week. Not to fret, Spring lurks someplace close by.

My thanks for all of the feedback from Friday’s video offering. It’s warming to see that so many folks appreciate magnificent language. When our friend Brenda first shared it me, I thought I’d surely never attempt to speak English again.

Wade’s message brought many of us to a new level of appreciating for the delicate nature of our “ethnoshpere”, and the part we can all play in preserving its beauty. Now, if I can only sort out the Celts. :-)

We get this week started with an offering from our friend and major contributor, Philip Humbert.

Getting Rich
byPhilip Humbert

We live in turbulent economic times and the headlines are full of alarms. Of course, that's what sells newspapers and attracts attention. After all, the networks won't sell many ads for a broadcast that headlines, "Nice Day, Millions are Safe and Happy!"

At the same time, I've received an astounding number of calls and emails from people facing real panic over home foreclosures, lay-offs, health or education costs. I have no idea why I'm suddenly getting these emails--it's a new thing compared to past years--but they concern me. While I hope the fear is largely based on media hype, for individual families, the anxiety is real.

Obviously, millions around the world (this is not just an American problem) are faced with rising prices, especially for food. We're faced with economic uncertainty and in too many cases, with real emergencies. Some of us are losing our jobs, our homes, even our hope. This is not acceptable!

Fortunately, history shows that over time things tend to get better, but what about the family who needs help today? As individuals and as groups, I think we should be upset about this. We need to get involved.

We need community conversations about globalization, housing costs, health care and job training. Fortunately, most Wealthy Attitude subscribers live in democracies where we can voice our opinions. We can agree, or disagree. We can share our point of view--especially if we are willing to listen to opposing viewpoints. In this election year, get involved. I'm not suggesting any particular candidate, party or perspective, but I think democracy is a good thing and it works best when people get in the game.

On a personal level, however, I think we also need to be dramatically more aggressive about individual responsibility. I'm going to say some very blunt things, and some of you will disagree. Good for you! But here's my point of view:

1. Debt is bad. Most of us live beyond our means. As individuals and as a nation, we are addicted to spending money we don't have. Consumer and credit card debt is nuts! Pay off debt and set yourself free.

2. Greed is bad. Many (not all!) foreclosures happen because buyers got caught-up with brokers and took "leverage" to ridiculous extremes. People bought homes, cars, vacations, and other things counting on rising incomes and luck to bail them out. Like any form of gambling, over time the casino wins and the players lose. Every time.

3. Ambition is good. I love setting goals and having big dreams. A healthy desire to create, to have more and live better is good and it's best when based on solid plans, hard work, and patience. In building a great life, some boredom and routine are good. Adrenalin is usually a bad sign.

4. Saving is good. The hardest part of getting rich is accumulating the first $20,000 in savings. Week by week, putting money in a savings account is something any child can learn, and it's the first step to wealth. Live below your means, save a little every month. Getting rich fast is exciting, but rare. Getting rich slowly is easy and absolutely reliable.

5. Investing is good. The second step to getting rich (after learning to save) is investing for growth. I'm talking about Warren Buffet's attitude of steady, predictable growth over a lifetime. If you want to speculate with some of your hard-earned savings, I suppose that's alright, but never confuse speculation with investment. They are different games and have different results.

These are turbulent times and the news media may bring bad news for a long time to come. I don't know about that. But I do know each of us is in charge of our own decisions. We have the power to live well and we can encourage others to do the same. We can do our work and build a great life. We can save for the future and make a difference in our community.

And along the way we can love well, and maybe have some fun!

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cultures At The Edge Of the World!

A note from: for Friday April 18, 2008

Welcome to another typical week’s end.

We are rapidly approaching the end of the fourth month of delivering the “Daily Reader” in this new format. I wanted to say a hearty “thank you” to all who have shared your thoughts and recommendations with me since we re-launched in January. I deeply appreciate you.

As the format has developed we have settled into a pattern of having four “readers”, and one “video” to round out the week. The responses so far reflect that this pattern is one that most folks appreciate.

In that spirit, we wind up this week with another amazing video offering. One of our friends and long time supporters forwarded this offering to me earlier this week, (thank you kindly Brenda) and I wanted to share it with you immediately. While biding my patience till the weekend, I have re-visited this piece four times, simply because the language in so very beautiful.
With stunning photos and stories, National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis celebrates the diversity of the world's indigenous cultures, now disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate. He argues passionately that we should be concerned not only for preserving the biosphere, but also the "ethnosphere" -- "the sum total of allthoughts and dreams, myths, ideas, inspirations, intuitions brought into being by the human imagination."

Give yourself the gift of 22 minutes to view this, and I promise you’ll feel very rewarded.


Enjoy this outstanding weekend and I'll see you on Monday.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Learning To Let Go With Love!

A note from: for Thursday April 17 2008.

Welcome to Thursday.

This week is proving out to be one of incredible learning here at this desk. The correspondence is flowing, the lessons are rich and varied, and the “people” involved, are wonderful.

Again, I’m going to get right to it today.

The offering on the table today can be construed many ways. The one that speaks to you, is the one that you should pay attention to.

Learning To Let Go With Love
by Priya Shah

One of the hardest things for any person, man or woman, is letting go of a relationship that’s not meant to be. We are often attached to the illusion that this person is “the One” for us, and that if we don’t have him or her, we’ll never find somebody new.

Holding on to disappointment, hurt, blame, anger, resentment, and bitterness, we convince ourselves that “all men are jerks” or “all women are bitches.”

If you’ve just got out of a relationship and are harboring a lot of resentment against your partner or against the opposite sex, now is NOT the time to start dating again. Your anger and bitterness will poison even the most loving relationship.

When we hang on to baggage from past relationships, we end up projecting our pain on to others in our lives – our families, children and, eventually, our new partners.

Our emotional baggage is usually rooted in our relationships with our own parents, or in bad relationships we’ve had in the past. We have to lighten our load and heal our pain before we can love again.

Some of the practices you need to cultivate in order to heal yourself are:

· Radical Personal Responsibility: Take responsibility for the role you played in your relationship, either by taking inappropriate action, not acting altogether or expecting too much. Stop blaming your partner. Own your feelings, so you can change them.

· Self-Awareness: Are there patterns that keep repeating in your relationships? Do you have a tendency to get into relationships with abusive people, or become abusive yourself? Become mindful of your reactions to people and situations. Learn to identify your patterns, and the unhealthy beliefs that are causing them.

· Acceptance: Accept yourself and your partner the way you are. Accept the fact that the relationship was not meant to be, that it didn’t work because it was not your highest and best.

· Forgiveness: Learn to forgive yourself for all the damage that your anger and pain may have caused, and forgive others for being human and acting out their own anger and pain.

· Gratitude: Be grateful that you’re out of a bad relationship, so you can be with someone better suited to your needs. Be grateful for all the lessons you’ve learned from your partner.

· Compassion: Learn to look at all people as human beings dealing with their own pain. Spend some time seeing the world through their eyes and you’ll become less judgmental.

· Detachment: Learn to let go of unhealthy attachments to people, things and situations.

· Independence: Stop expecting other people to give you the love and acceptance you should be giving yourself. Learn to meet your own needs, let go of expectations, and enter a healthy, inter-dependent relationship.

· Optimism: Optimism is not essential, but it makes life so much easier. An optimistic outlook, positive attitude and belief that everything happens for the best, can help you bounce back from your loss. Have faith that the best is yet to come.

It takes a lot of tears, hard work, and introspection to break the chains of the past. But it's worth every moment! The feeling of freedom and contentment that you experience is just awesome.

Getting rid of your anger and hurt will help you stop blaming others for your pain, and allowed you to see your former partner as they really are – a wonderful, sensitive human being with the capacity to love, to care, and to hurt just as deeply as you.

It will allow you to love life again, to see the beauty in every experience, to be non-judgmental and open to new relationships.

No time spent in a relationship is ever wasted. Ever experience is a lesson and only when you learn the lesson will you progress to the next level. So stop beating yourself up over all the years you “wasted” with that “loser.”

If it didn't work, it was probably not meant to be. You can’t force someone to love you, just as you can’t force commitment or marriage. These are stages that should happen naturally, when it feels right for both people.

Contrary to popular opinion (and sad love songs) love is not meant to hurt. If you’re in pain, what you’re experiencing is not love, but attachment or codependence. Too often we fall in love, not with our partner, but with the IDEA of being in love.

It’s best to let go of a relationship that’s causing too much pain. Instead of wallowing in the past and writing your own sad love song, do your inner work, get rid of the anger and disappointment and get on with your life.

Let go of your partner with love, so you can move past your hurt, and learn to love again.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Most People Will Not Be A Success!

A note from: for Wednesday 16th April 2008

Welcome you to the midweek point.

I want to get right to it today.

I got an e-mail from someone yesterday “moaning” that they just couldn’t seem to get their life, or business, in the order they desired. So, being the nice Scottish soul that I am, I invited them to give me a quick phone call to discuss. I think they might have regretted it. :-)

First thing I asked when we dispensed with the usual pleasantries was, “tell what you have written on the goal cards you have in your wallet?”. I knew immediately that this was going to be a very short conversation, and it was.

When I pointed out to this fellow that, if he were going to set out from his home in Utah to drive and visit a relative in New Brunswick, Canada, he would in reality need a “map”. He agreed. At that point he said, “I think I’ll get back to you later”.

How is it possible in this day and age, with all of the amazing information we have, that some fully grown, adult bodied, able folks, who can read and write, and who own computers, can still think that they can get what they desire in life without a plan. GGGrrrr.

Share today’s offering around……Please!

Most People Will Not Be A Success!
Jerry Moyer

You may not like it but the simple truth is that most people will not be a success. This is not because they don't have the potential but rather because they don't understand how success works.

Let's cut to it. Most of you have heard about goals. Most people know about "goals"...they just don't usually reach them! This isn't how it needs to be. Most people "play" with their goals. If you want to be a success and reach your goals this simply won't do.

When looking at goals, I look at it this way. Goals help you get from where you are to where you want to be. Having an actual goal will help you move from where you are to where you want to be.

Ok...let's get started!

#1. Decide what you want.

#2. Write it down on a card.

#3. Carry the card in your pocket at all times.

#4. Read it as often as possible every day!

The purpose of a goal is to raise the level of conscious awareness. When you're going after a forces you to stretch yourself, you're striving for something new. The truth is that everyone who is, or ever was successful, either consciously or unconsciously set a goal.

I'm going to finish here with a quick exercise to help you write a goal card.

The wording on the card is of critical importance. We are going to "re-program" the sub-conscious mind. Everything you write must be in the present tense.

Start your card with "I am so happy and thankful now that...."

Present tense. Now that. This isn't a fantasy...we're going to start living the goal right now. Like the farmer who plants the seeds knowing the crop is coming, we are planting seeds.

The remainder of the goal card is up to you. The keys are keeping it in the present tense, making it a "worthy goal", and something that will stretch you. It makes no sense writing a goal that you already know how to do...or have done before.

"I am so happy and thankful now that I am ..............................................................................................".

Go ahead. Fill in the blank with anything you want. You must put it in writing to make it real. Something you just occasionally think about isn't a goal. It's a fantasy and will never happen. Write it down. Make your goal card and you'll be in elite territory. Statistics show that only 3% of the population actually have written goals. Don't fall into the trap. Take the time right now to write a goal down on a card.

A few ending thoughts. You don't need to know how you are going to accomplish your goal. You don't need to have the answers to these type of things at this stage.

What you need is simple. You need to have a "goal".

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Three Steps to Instant Success

A note from: for Tuesday April 15 2008

Welcome to Tuesday.

I seriously fell of my chair laughing yesterday. Wanna know why? O.K. I’ll tell you.

One of our long time subscribers is a teacher/instructor at a fairly well known business school. I’d just love to tell you which one, but I can’t. If I mentioned even the town it’s in, you’d know the school. Anyway, our subscriber friend sent me a “911” e-mail.

What happened was, yesterday he was checking out The Wealthy Attitude website on his laptop, in his class, during his lunch break. His next class were to see a video presentation he had on his laptop, so it was attached to a projector.

Right before the class he was called away for a phone call and he left his laptop open. The class arrived to no teacher, so, being responsible students they clicked the laptop into action, started the projector, and lo and behold, The Wealthy Attitude.

As he had been watching last week’s video, My Stroke of Insight, he was on the Take 5 and Relax Video page. Well, the intrepid students started to click on some video links in the page. When he arrived back his class were deeply into the Tony Robbins video, up on the screen for all to see and hear.

Needless to say, and as he described in his note to me, he had to spend the entire class explaining The Wealthy Attitude website, and here’s the rub, his class want more of it in their class. I’ve even had a number of his students subscribe already to the “Daily Reader”.

Now, why the “911”? He’s asking me to take part in a tele-class for his students to talk about The Wealthy Attitude. What a hoot! Me, the home-based business advocate, in a tele-class with students in a renowned traditional business school. Somebody hold me down! J J

I’ll keep you informed.

Up and on with today’s offering. I go back to our friend Philip today to draw on something that will assist some folks who wrote to me over the weekend. I’m very sure it will also assist you.

Three Steps To Instant Success

This week I reviewed some notes I took at a Seminar with Jim Rohn several years ago, and one of Jim's many amazing insights jumped out at me. Jim has helped thousands of people reach their goals and I want to share just one of the KEY pieces that impressed me.

I was reminded that success is based on a simple 3-step process:

1. What We See

I'm told that the average North American sees over 3000 marketing messages every day. They are everywhere! Fortunately, we have learned to ignore the vast majority of them.

In the same way, at this very moment you are breathing, you are sitting on a chair, and a there are a thousand things going on around you that your brain automatically filters out to let you concentrate. Our ability to "filter" allows us to survive! If we couldn't do that, we would be over-whelmed and unable to function.

Out of all that "data" around us, we select a few things to notice and care about. We respond to a baby's cry. We answer a ringing telephone. We focus on our bank statement, our bills, a lover's touch and so forth, and this is important - high achievers focus on ("see") things differently than failures!

High achievers literally do not "see" the television programs others find captivating! High achievers "see" opportunities others miss. They "see" solutions others ignore.

What you "see" or focus on determines your destiny.

2. How We Interpret What We See

Shakespeare observed that nothing is "good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Most people know the story about the glass that is either "half-full" or "half-empty." Everything we "see" is interpreted and the only difference is that winners constantly interpret life in ways that work to their advantage.

Where one person interprets a slumping economy as threatening their business, another finds an opportunity for growth. Where one person sees a problem, another seizes opportunity.

Winners view things differently. They grasp solutions, seize opportunities and find reasons for optimism.

3. What We DO About What We See

Everything comes down to action. Peak performers actually DO get up a bit earlier, stay a bit later, and work harder (and smarter) than other people. In the end, our lives are not created by our intentions but by the results of our daily activities.

Now, it is true that our actions are shaped by many things! Of course painful experiences and mis-fortune and bad luck play a part. Let's not kid ourselves. But the most important influences on our daily actions are (1) what we see, (2) how we interpret what we see, and (3) how we respond.

The steps to success begin by surrounding ourselves with things that move us forward. Read great books! Listen to great audio programs! Get around smart, talented, creative people! If you see stress and trouble every day, you will be influenced by it. If you see opportunity and optimism, if you see determination and courage and hope, you will inevitably be shaped by these things.

Here are two practical applications of these truths:

1. I no longer subscribe to a daily newspaper. For many years I was addicted to it, but then I noticed that starting my day with 20 minutes of trouble and controversy was not creating the life I wanted. So I took action, canceled our subscription and now I read something more useful.

2. Every week, I work with a coach who reminds me of my values and goals. Every year, I attend at least two personal development seminars. I hang out where the GOOD stuff and the GREAT people are!

Invest in your future. Get where the GOOD stuff is!

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

How to Survive and Thrive on Chaos

A note from: for Monday April 14th 2008

welcome to the start of another week of opportunity.

My sincere thanks to all who shared over the weekend about the impact that the video “My Stroke of Insight” had on you. Some truly amazing awareness’s where were revealed.

This week we are going to be witnessing some of the impact that the economic conditions that prevail currently on the continent are going to have. The news on the weekend does not bode well for some business sectors.

However, as is always the case, some entrepreneurial souls will find some very creative ways to advance their businesses during this chaotic time. Our friend Philip offers us a perspective that is highly worth your attention.

How to Survive and Thrive on Chaos
By Philip Humbert

This is a time of chaos. In the past two weeks one airline has canceled 3000 flights (yikes!) and three airlines declared bankruptcy. We all know about the mortgage crisis and problems in the housing market. And of course, it's an election year. Chaos reigns! And winners will find a way to thrive on it.

The most effective people in the new century will be those who thrive in a world of chaos. They do not believe the world is actually "chaotic" because the laws of cause-and-effect still apply. You still get results based on intelligent action and focused effort. But they understand we live in a world that "seems" chaotic and they thrive on it.

Peak performers in the 21st century will be comfortable with ambiguity. They know they will never have enough information. They know the rules are constantly changing, and yet they play "flat-out" because they expect to win. They know that action and calm, purposeful effort in the midst of the storm are still the keys to success.

I'm intrigued by how easily disrupted our lives are. I was in an airport this week, and the variety of responses was mind-blowing. Thousands of people were upset, angry, tense or confused. But here and there, little clusters of people were getting work done. Sure they were tired and sometimes hungry, but they were on their computers or cell phones. Or they were taking naps, reading, playing cards or talking with other stranded travelers.

In the midst of chaos, winners do not fall into over-whelm and dysfunction. They get things done. As the old cliché says, When life gives them lemons, they make lemonade.

Several things are necessary to thrive in the midst of chaos:

1. Exceptional boundaries. Winners structure their own lives and refuse to get caught up in other people's drama. They know how to close their doors and ignore disruptions. They know where they are going and they tolerate few, if any, distractions.

2. Exceptional vision. They know their priorities and their desired outcomes. They know what they want and they can see, taste, smell and even touch their results in advance. They have goals rather than mere hopes or dreams.

3. Exceptional self-direction. Winners are in charge of their lives and chaos around them is merely someone else's drama swirling nearby. They maintain their inner calm. They are not easily lost or confused. They know their priorities and their direction, even when their flight is canceled.

4. Exceptional optimism. They see chaos as opportunity. Chaos "stirs the pot" and opens doors. Rather than annoying or frustrating them, they love it! On a wild and windy day, a rainbow may appear at any moment and they welcome it.

5. Exceptional Reserves. They take care of themselves. They eat well, rest often, save and invest wisely and when opportunity knocks, they are waiting to answer the door. They operate from strength and stability, while a chaotic world wreaks havoc on the competition.

6. Exceptional response-ability. Rather than reacting from anger or anxiety, they see an ever-changing world and thoughtfully respond to opportunities that present themselves. Most people react; winners respond.

John Lennon observed that "life is what happens while you were making other plans." Life will not wait until we are ready or until we catch our breath. Winners thrive on chaos. They'll see and seize opportunities, and they'll love the wild ride.

In a world swirling with change and chaos, they invest in themselves and they get things done.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Stroke of Insight

A note from for Friday11th April 2008

Say hello to the typical week's end.

It has been an outstanding week here. Tone of feedback from subscribers about every subject we ever cover. Thank you all for your notes, and I congratulate each and every one of you that is taking this magnificent thing called your life, and owning every part of it.

We end the week with another incredible video presentation. I wanted to send it along the minute I saw it myself, but restrained until I could deliver it to you for the weekend.

It's a touch longer than we normally send you at 20 minutes, and I wrestled with sending it for all of about 6 seconds. I believe that once you have seen this piece, you'll be very glad you spent the time giving yourself this gift. Share this one around.

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another. (Ray, this one is for you my dear friend).

Enjoy Jill's Presentation Here!

Have an awesome weekend and I'll see you on Monday.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pulling Against the Leash

A note for: forThursday 9th April 2008

Welcome to Thursday.

We are having such an amazing week here at this desk. Communications with subscribers is wonderful and highly enlightening. Some folks have realized that to gain control of their financial life, they have to be in control of what it is they do to generate finances.

Also, I’m reminded yet again that many North Americans do not really know what it means to struggle. For the most part, many of today’s baby boomers and younger, have never lived in abject fear and poverty. Many of the immigrants who now call this amazing continent home, clearly are aware of what it means to eke out an existence day-to-day, and they set examples everyone could learn from.

I know I get strange reactions when I talk about the upcoming economic corrections ahead of us, as many, many people continue to take the “ostrich” approach to their financial future. But folks, I’m going to continue to drive the point, the J.O.B. world holds absolutely no security, and that home-based entrepreneurship is going to the saving of many people.

Today’s offering proposes something that is worth some of your time.

Pulling Against the Leash
By Joyce Shafer live a dog's life.

While in the park, I saw a young girl walking her miniature dog. Something caught its eye that I couldn't see yet because shrubs blocked my view. The dog would surge forward, barking non-stop at the top of its miniature voice, and the leash would pull it back. I watched this surge/pulled-back action repeat over and over, and thought that life is sometimes like that. Then, I saw what was causing the behavior when a man came around the point with a very large dog on a leash. Whether wise or not, the little dog was fearless in the presence of the bigger dog. That little dog believed in itself. It was 100-percent into its dogness. It was authentic.

We talk about how nice it would be to live a dog's life. We mean that in terms of how dogs have their needs met and are lavished with affection, sleep when they need to, and are always ready to play. If we think about this, we could create a "dog's life" for ourselves. Emphasis on the COULD. And we could note that in our human lives, we aren't always so fearless about taking on challenges, no matter the size. Nor are we always as passionate about them as the little dog was.

Sometimes we surge forward and are pulled back. Are we as willing to aim to gain even a few "inches" if that's what we can do at that moment? The little dog was focused on a target and was willing to continue moving forward until it reached it.

The little dog's target may have been an inappropriate one. I don't know what its expected outcome was, but had the bigger dog been in a bad mood, the outcome might not have been a desired one. And let's not ignore that there was a protective control factor at work here since both people monitored what was going on so they could prevent a negative result.

When we are aware of our connection to the larger consciousness and how we participate with it, know and trust that it operates on our behalf; we see it functions like the people, the caregivers, who held the leashes. When we focus on targets that are inappropriate for us and may actually create negative or unpleasant outcomes, we should appreciate the "fail-safe" that is in place. The little dog was forced to abandon its target because it was on the end of a leash. It did not focus on the inappropriateness of straining to hit a target it shouldn't. We, however, are able to pay attention and recognize that a particular target is not the right one for us. Perhaps, it actually led us to a different target, the one we should aim at.

We can consider and choose, reassess, change our target at will, take aim, and reach it. We may recognize that aspects of a dog's life are ones we'd like to have, and as I said earlier, we COULD create for ourselves; but we also have the option to decide, mindfully, what is truly appropriate for us.

Also, consider how a dog owner must appear to the dog. We probably appear as quite powerful to them. We'd benefit if we thought of ourselves the way our pets do. And another thing we can borrow from a dog is to choose to "wag our tails" in joy and play more often.

A dog is always willing to make the most of every moment.

Life is what we make it.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sure-Fire Mental Strategies to Fight Stress

A note from:

Say hello to the midweek point.

My mailbox yesterday contained a few notes from subscribers who were dealing with some quite stressful issues. Most of them had to do with money. And yes my American friends, the “R” word is now in everyday conversation.

I have long been an advocate of every single “salaried” having a home-based business. Apart from the obvious tax incentives, having a community of like-minded folks to work and play with helps incredibly with taking the typical “stresses” away from the day.

North Americans are in for an economic bumpy ride, (and no Mike Y, it’s not my opinion) and many should be setting their sail in a whole new direction.

Today’s offering by Karla Brandau will help quell the “stressors”.

For our subscribers who want to see another economic option, go check out:

Sure-Fire Mental Strategies to Fight Stress
By Karla Brandau

I distinctly remember my first experience with a tiger at the zoo. The tiger was a gorgeous creature. It moved with subtle power. The fur was radiant and I had an urge to cuddle up and stoke that soft coat like I would cuddle and pet our precious family kitten, Mollie.

Then the zookeeper came to feed the tiger and I stood in amazement as it grabbed a 30-pound steak and--without any manners--wolfed it down in two bites.

Satisfied with its meal, the huge feline opened its mouth and roared. The sound was deafening and I took four steps backwards with astonishment to make sure I was well out of harm's way. The strong steel fence separating us suddenly looked frail!

Stress can be as seductive as this tiger at the zoo. There is a very flimsy fence that separates us from the good stress that moves us into action (the fulfilling kind of stress called 'eustress' or urgency) and the bad stress that cripples productivity (that we experience as 'distress'). For instance, when we are seduced by a personal "pity party" - the magnificence of the tiger - we elicit unwarranted sympathy from others while excusing ourselves from taking action. We are figuratively stroking a fierce tiger that has the power to devour us in two bites.

Science has proven that distress affects your body in a myriad of ways from headaches to backaches. So figuratively speaking, the fierce tiger of distress eats at your body. How long has it been since you were still for a moment and "listened" to the tension in your body? Does your body have to ROAR like the tiger to get you to slow down and reduce your distress levels? Or can it whisper to you and have you take action?

Just last week I picked up a book I had not opened for years, The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. Again I read the first paragraph: "Life is difficult. Once you accept that, it no longer matters." I was inspired to reevaluate my stress levels and stop stroking the stress tiger but rather, strengthen my stress fence.

Your stress fence, or the wall between you and the tigers of life, helps you accept the things you cannot change. This, in turn, helps you find life wonderful, even though it is definitely not perfect.

Five strategies to help you stop stroking the stress tiger are:

1. Understand what you can and cannot control. Taxes, God, the weather, and whether your kid parts his hair on the right side of his head, are things you cannot control. When you stop and realize that you can't control something, this step alone puts you closer to mental health. You can stop banging your head against the wall trying to control events and people performing out of sync with your preferences. Once you accept the fact that you can't control an event or a person, you can take direct action by applying coping skills.

2. Use your power of choice. Your mind is a phenomenal organ: it has the ability to make choices. Once you realize that you have a choice between stress or distress, or that you can see obstacles as opportunities, you have developed the ability to choose healthy alternatives to distress. You can choose to re-label events, see other viewpoints, and let go...

3 Re-label events. Your mind labels everything that happens to you, assigning each event as 'good', 'bad', 'terrible', 'wonderful', etc. If you don't like the stress the assigned label is causing inside of you, use the mental technique of re-labeling. For example, imagine with me that you made a mistake at work, which was then dutifully brought to your attention by a co-worker. Your mind will probably quickly label this as a 'bad' experience. To re-label this event, consciously label it as a 'learning' experience.

4. See other viewpoints. If your car battery dies - a bad thing - you take the attitude of gratitude that it happened at home, not at the grocery store or the edge of a major freeway.

5. Learn to let go. Perhaps the hardest of all the skills discussed here, this may be the most difficult because, to a certain extent, we love our individual pity parties that enable us to feel sorry for ourselves. We wrongly think that no one else in the world has pain like our pain. One easy way to let go is to take a look around, observe someone else experiencing distress, step out of your world and step into theirs, and then help them. It is amazing how much better you will feel.

Karla Brandau, CSP, is an expert in change, leadership and team building in the flat world. She offers keynotes and workshops to move your organization forward. Sign up for her monthly newsletter, From the Desk of Karla Brandau by going to Karla

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Building Momentum

A note from: for Tuesday 8th April

Welcome to this wonderful Tuesday.

I have to say that I’m celebrating today as I have heard from a whole bunch of people who are venturing into the entrepreneurial world for the first time. The economic conditions that prevail in North America are urging some folks to take complete responsibility for their financial experience.

To best serve this courageous group, today’s offering is a leg up, and for your veteran’s it might be just what you need to see.

Building Momentum
By Michelle Paquette

Congratulations! You've signed the dotted line and you're officially a business owner. Now what? The good news is that you've managed to conquer the initial step of getting started. What typically follows is pondering, "What do I do next?"

There is so much to do and it can feel overwhelming to filter through all of it. It is quite common to feel stuck and paralyzed during this start-up stage. Since you have successfully sought out the right people to help you lay the foundation, the next phase is to develop your business.

Most business owners are eager to get going with their new venture. Excitement permeates the air. Oftentimes, you are telling everyone you know (a great marketing tool, by the way, so stick with spreading the word). You may ask, "If I'm so enthusiastic, why don't I know what to do next?" Think back to your first job. You probably had some training and support from your boss and other colleagues. As a business owner, you may feel alone, since this is your company and you don't have anyone to lean on for support.

The good news is that you have a skill set, which is what led you to start a business in the first place. Building upon your strengths is key to running a successful business. Know what you're good at and outsource what you're not. Trying to do it all isn't always best.

There is a learning curve with starting up and part of the trials and tribulations stems from the growing pains of figuring out what works and doesn't work for your particular business needs. There are, however, some helpful tools that all business owners should consider. To begin, here are a couple of helpful hints:

By allowing yourself to operate at a slower pace, you avoid the pitfall of burnout, which is experienced by many business owners. Deciding to start your own company perhaps was led by a decision to get out of the rat race of the corporate world, yet you're finding yourself working 60+ hours a week without any downtime. This scenario is quite typical, so you're not alone. Some simple ideas to consider:

1. Take a lunch break. Step away from your desk. Research shows that going out to eat and taking a break helps your flow of productivity. You'll actually help to replenish both your physical and mental well being. As a result, you'll actually become more productive.

2. Instead of squeezing another hour of your day into a business lunchtime meeting, schedule a lunch date with a friend. Balancing your personal and professional life helps your overall productivity, too.

3. Use your lunch break to take a walk, enroll in a yoga class, or go to the gym. Mid-day exercise is a great way to clear the mind, release endorphins and increase energy.

Now that you've given yourself permission to take a break and rejuvenate, you're probably ready to conquer the world (or, at least the next item on that things to do list). Some simple ideas to consider:

4. Change your perception and direction. Instead of having 10 items to finish in a day, reduce that number in half. You'll realize that you're actually crossing off more, therefore, feeling more motivated to take on the next day and the rest of the week.

5. Re-adjust the instant gratification setting. Instead of immediately responding to e-mails and answering every incoming call, choose to set aside an hour or so during the day to return calls and respond to e-mails.

6. Get some assistance. Paperwork can be a drag for business owners. If you're a small company, you may not have the budget to hire a full-time Administrative Assistant. One option that has become increasingly popular is a Virtual Assistant. Your VA is hired on an hourly basis and can help out with a variety of tasks, including sending out e-mail blasts or data entry. The VA works remotely, so he/she doesn't take up extra office space and the contract is typically on an as needed basis
With balance and focus, you will be able to reduce burnout and build momentum. Each goal you finish is another stepping stone on the path toward developing your business. Take time to give yourself kudos for your hard work and dedication. It may sound simple enough, but taking stock of where you were helps you gain perspective on where you're headed.

Be mindful that during your first year of business operation, there will be many peaks and valleys, ups and downs. It may feel a bit tumultuous, but if you're aware of what to expect then taking the ride can be quite fulfilling and rewarding.

Michelle Paquette, MA, is the founder/owner of All Ways Consulting in Agoura Hills, CA. She offers life, career and business coaching services and strategies for entrepreneurs and business owners.

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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Getting the Right Stuff Done

A note from:

Welcome to a brand spanking new amazing week.

With all of the feedback from Friday’s video offering, it appears that everyone certainly chose “Love”. I’m grateful to all who shared your “choice”. Thank you.

Choosing love over fear is undoubtedly the choice of leaders. Still, many folks get sucked into fear based reactions simply because they have neglected some practices locked into place.

Our friend and regular contributor, Philip Humbert, gets us underway in this new week with some very sage advice.

Getting the Right Stuff Done
By Philip Humbert

A while back the news program, "60 Minutes," did a segment on Americans working "24/7." They showed a couple where the wife has the "bare minimum" of two cell phones, and the husband multi-tasks all day long, talking with several people, working on his computer and exchanging emails, all at once.

Like most people, I want to get more done, and as a coach I love helping my clients achieve more, earn more, and live better. It's all in a day's work, and it's fun! But too often the strategy people use to "get there" is to work more or harder and, unfortunately, it almost never works. How can such an ineffective strategy be so seductive? Why do we live this way?

Whatever happened to the vision of "leisure time?" Whatever happened to the day when "labor saving devices" would do our work for us? What in the world happened?!

Far too many of us consider a 60, 70, or even 80 hour work week to be the expected standard. Whatever happened to the 40-hour week our parents and grandparents fought for? Read the statistics. Most of us are sleep-deprived. Most of us are in debt. Most of us have high blood pressure, headaches, ulcers or other stress-related discomfort. Diabetes, associated with life-style choices, is becoming epidemic. How did this happen?

How can we change it?

There are no easy answers. We value the income that we think will only come with hard work, long days, and busy lives. That's such a tempting path! But, I think we can manage our lives much better, and some steps in that direction are actually easy and fun. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Learn to say no. Too often we think we "must" explore every invitation or opportunity that comes our way, and that's a mistake. We get endless invitations! You can stay out all night, work all day, travel, do good and important things every hour of the day. But is that how you really want to live your life? Learn to say no, even to good and wonderful things.

2. Spend less than you make. Remember the old saying, "time is money?" It works the other way around, too. If you spend less, you'll immediately be less busy and less stressed. When money is not a "problem," time management gets easier, too.

3. Live your values. Every day, review the things that are vital to you. Re-write your vision or purpose statement, talk it over with your spouse, make a recording describing the life you truly want (NOT just the stuff you'd like to own!), then listen to it every morning.

4. Have a plan. Every morning review your schedule, make a list, write stuff down. Then cross off a few items. They aren't that important, you won't get them done anyway, and you'll have more fun. Be honest. Plan wisely. Do the things you want to do, with very few "have to's." Life's better that way.

5. Have more fun. Meditate or dance every day. Laugh out loud. Leave love notes or send a text message to your kids. Be sure to hug and kiss and tease and play with the people you love. It'll remind you what you're working for.

6. Use time management. Practice "single handling." Work standing up. Put time limits on meetings, calls and activities. Close your office door so you can concentrate. At least twice a year read a book or take a seminar to remind yourself of the life you want. Get very, very GOOD at this!

This is your life. Don't blow it!

It's been said that time is the only resource any of us truly has, and once it's gone, it's gone forever. Work as hard and as much as you choose, then quit! Work can be rewarding and delightful, but don't let it be an addiction.

Earning money, building our businesses and "getting ahead" are things we DO, not something we ARE.

Remember the distinction.

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