Saturday, May 29, 2010

From thinking to doing

Human behavior expert Theodore Bryant, author of the book “Self-Discipline in 10 Days: How to Go from Thinking to Doing”, has conducted self-discipline courses, workshops, and seminars for over a decade. He explains that everyone is made up of different selves. Often, your different sides want to go in different directions, which causes inner conflict. While part of you wants to clean the kitchen and balance the check book, another part of you wants to grab a bag of chips and a diet coke and veg out in front of the TV.

Bryant calls the side of you that tries to sabotage your efforts to be self-disciplined, Hyde. And, yes, the part of you that wants to be self-disciplined is Dr. Jekyll. The author cautions not to think of Hyde as an enemy, but, instead, he advises that you regard Hyde as a part of you which you’ll want to recruit to help you in your efforts to achieve your goals, resolutions, and objectives.

Here are some of the strategies you can use to overcome the resistance which Hyde will put up whenever you try to take action toward achieving your goals:

Excuses and Action Oriented Self-Talk

Whenever you hear yourself coming up with an excuse as to why you can’t take the steps necessary in order to accomplish a goal you’ve set for yourself, remind yourself that it’s just a tactic being used by Hyde to avoid doing the work. In order to counteract Hyde’s negativism, use action oriented self-talk.

Action oriented self-talk is positive, specific, and present tense. Suppose you tell yourself that you’re going to spend the next two hours organizing your closet. However, you get distracted by other things and, two hours later, you haven’t accomplished anything productive. What happened? Hyde started working on your subconscious to get you to do anything but clean your closet. What you need to do is replace Hyde’s self-defeating subconscious messages with positive, specific, present tense messages.

Once you make the decision to organize your closet, begin saying the following out loud: “I am now organizing my closet.” When you do this, the subconscious mind will turn all of its attention to organizing the closet, regardless of what you may actually be doing at the time. Your subconscious mind will begin sending messages to your motor functions, emotions, and other members of your physical and psychological network that will be in line with organizing your closet. In addition, it will begin to look for ways to organize your closet.

Here’s an example used by Bryant: You’re sitting in your favorite chair reading a magazine. Part of you begins to think that your time could be used more productively by working on that eBook you’ve been meaning to write. However, Hyde begins to say: “I’m reading a magazine.” Therefore, your subconscious turns all of its resources toward reading the magazine. At this point, Dr. Jekyll needs to say: “I’m working on my eBook.” Now, your subconscious will begin to point its resources toward working on your eBook:

* You’ll begin to feel agitated as you sit there leafing through the magazine.
* You’ll start getting ideas for things to include in your eBook.
* You’ll feel like getting up, sitting at your desk, turning on your computer, and getting to work on your eBook.
* As long as you keep repeating your positive, specific, present tense message, you’ll feel compelled to work on your eBook. Repetition is the key to success.
* If you say it out loud, it will be even more powerful than simply repeating it silently.

Hyde might try to convince you that you will take action to achieve your goals; you’ll just do it later. After all, if you want to start exercising you’ll need a new jogging outfit. You can’t possibly be seen in any of the old work out pants and ratty t-shirts you have in your closet. And in order to buy new exercise clothes, you first have to pay off your credit card balance in full. After all, getting out of debt is another one of your goals. So, you see, exercising is not something you can do at the moment. But you’ll do it later. (Hyde is quite devious.)

The tactic to use here is to question whether there’s a legitimate reason to delay getting started, or if it sounds suspiciously like one of Hyde’s clever excuses. Remember, Hyde is like a little kid who will come up with all sorts of ruses to avoid his parents’ orders to clean his room. It’s perfectly fine for you to exercise in the clothes you already have; the perceived obstacle of needing a new jogging suit is just Hyde trying to trick you into spending an hour surfing the Internet instead of exercising.

Fear of Failure

Bryant points out that study after study has shown that the greatest obstacle to personal success is fear of failure. The pain of past failures lingers in the shadows of your subconscious, reminding you of how awful you felt the last time you failed. Why would you want to set yourself up to feeling like that again by pursuing a new goal? Just sit back and enjoy your TV show. Go ahead, put your feet up on the coffee table. You could even grab that pint of Rocky Road ice cream you have in the freezer. That feels nice and safe, doesn’t it?

We’ve been trained by society that failing is shameful. Is it any mystery, then, that we’re so reluctant to attempt anything at which we can’t be sure of succeeding? When part of us wants to do something, and part of us is dragging its feet because it’s terrified of failing, it’s like trying to drive a car with the handbrake on. In order to succeed at achieving your goals, you have to fully invest yourself in the task at hand.

The trick here is to separate your performance on a given task from how you feel about yourself. You probably have a tendency to say to yourself: “If I fail at this, I’m a failure.” You need to begin regarding failure as evidence of experimentation and attempts at self-growth, instead of seeing it as a blow to your self-esteem. Refuse to link failure to how you feel about yourself. As Bryant points out, failure is not a tombstone, but a stepping stone to success.


You’ve known for a while that you have a Hyde lurking around in your subconscious, haven’t you? After all, how many times have you made goals and resolutions with the best of intentions to follow through, only to find that you never get started, or that you leave things half-finished? Bryant offers many more clues in “Self-Discipline in 10 Days” on how to recognize Hyde’s attempts at sabotaging your efforts, and what to do about it.

What types of things have you caught Hyde doing to try and prevent you from getting things done, or to stop you from taking the risks you need to take in order to accomplish your dreams?

This article is a reprint from one of my favorite blogs . . .

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A position of positivity

You may feel happy and upbeat today. A lively and entertaining mood may come over you, leading you to observe your life and your prospects with an optimistic eye. Even if you face challenges as your proceed down your path, you’ll likely look for the blessings in each new difficulty you encounter. You can inspire the individuals with whom you work and play to look at their own lives with more hope and enthusiasm. The good-natured outlook you project can serve as a positive example that drives others to look to you for guidance. Your optimism may give you the strength to help others overcome the distressing situations they come upon. You will likely be blessed with the ability to put a positive spin on the darkest of circumstances today.

Optimism can help you retain an upbeat attitude and hopeful outlook as you move through life. Outside forces can wield a strong influence over what we feel and how we choose to respond to those feelings. When you believe that the future will be bright, you create a wellspring of buoyancy in your soul that you can draw from when your worldly concerns go awry. You’ll never balk or be disheartened when faced with circumstances that slow or block your progress. Your positive nature will allow you to take a playful stance when dealing with distressing or difficult situations. The blessings inherent in life’s good and bad aspects will always be apparent to you. The optimism you hold in your heart today will allow you to show a smile in any situation.

Source: Daily Om

Sometimes I have a difficult
 time remembering this!

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Satisfying your desires

Your mind is always searching, like a squirrel always searching for acorns. The squirrel sits, surrounded by the acorns it has gathered.

Is it seated 'blissed out' in the midst of acorn consciousness?

No! The squirrel is wondering where it can find its next bunch of acorns. With all due respect, this is also what your ego-based mind has in store for you. Its basic rule is to never completely satisfy you, to keep you looking for the next treasure, constantly searching for the fulfillment of your next desire.

It is important that you understand the force of your desires. They are addictions, and being addicted to anything simply means that you feel there is something you need to make you Whole that you do not have.

Source: (Bartholomew through Mary-Margaret Moore,
from the book, Reflections of an Elder Brother)

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Life is best shared

Could I Have This Kiss Forever
Enrique Iglesias/Whitney Houston

The time we pass in the company of our loved ones is valuable because it affords us an opportunity to explore the range of closeness we share with the important people in our lives. As we move through life’s trials and triumphs together, we form the emotionally intense memories that act as the foundation for the bonds of friendship and love. Since we remain in contact and are able to reconnect regularly, we can realistically view our relationships as dynamic and able to evolve. We are thus more apt to make strong commitments and trust that the people we care about will be steadfastly loyal in their dealings with us. The camaraderie you feel today can open your mind to new worlds of closeness that are deeper and more profound than what you have experienced in the past.
Source: The Daily Om

Nothing is more beautiful!

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Five minutes to happiness

Devoting time each day for
happiness will change your day
and change your brain chemistry

It can be so easy to get caught up in the rigors of modern life that we tend to forget that happiness need not come with stipulations. Happiness becomes something we must schedule and strive for—a hard-won emotion—and then only when we have no worries to occupy our thoughts. In reality, overwhelming joy is not the exclusive province of those with unlimited time and no troubles to speak of. Many of the happiest people on earth are also those coping with the most serious challenges. They have learned to make time for those simple yet superb pleasures that can be enjoyed quickly and easily. Cultivating a happy heart takes no more than five minutes. The resultant delight will be neither complex nor complicated, but it will be profound and will serve as a reminder that there is always a reason to smile.

So much that is ecstasy-inducing can be accomplished in five minutes. Alone, we can enjoy an aromatic cup of our favorite tea, take a stroll through the garden we have created, write about the day's events in a journal, doodle while daydreaming, or breathe deeply while we listen to the silence around us. In the company of a good friend or treasured relative, we can share a few silly jokes, enjoy a waltz around the room, play a fast-paced hand of cards, or reconnect through lighthearted conversation. The key is to first identify what makes us dizzyingly happy. If we do only what we believe should bring us contentment, our five minutes will not be particularly satisfying. When we allow ourselves the freedom to do whatever brings us pleasure, five minutes out of 14 wakeful hours can brighten our lives immeasurably.

It is often when we have the least free time or energy to devote to joy that we need to unwind and enjoy ourselves the most. Making happiness a priority will help you find five minutes every day to indulge in the things that inspire elation within you. Eventually, your happiness breaks will become an established part of your routine. If you start by pursuing activities you already enjoy and then gradually think up new and different ways to fill your daily five minutes of happiness, you will never be without something to smile about.

Source: The Daily Om

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Be yourself

~ Express Yourself | Madonna ~

"Always be yourself, express yourself, have
faith in yourself, do not go out and look for
a successful personality and duplicate it."

Bruce Lee

What a beautiful quote!

How many of us follow the trends and look just like any other person in the way we dress and express ourselves?  

The key word in the sentence is "follow" . . . are you a leader or a follower?

Why not set your own trend instead of duplicating another one?

Be yourself, be unique and different!

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A Time for Everything

The following article is actually my horoscope for today, but I'm posting it since it applies to every one of us in everyday life. It is all about balance.

There have been times in my life where I let my job take over my life, leaving little time for my personal life and responsibilities. Rather than find the right balance, the result was total burn out and leaving the world of employment.

We can all relate to feeling stressed out about one thing or another. Stress is a natural reaction that can be a good thing if used correctly, however, allowing it to consume you will result in complete overwhelm . . . at least that is how it happens for me.

If you’re preoccupied with your obligations, you may feel stressed today. Your chores, professional duties, and domestic responsibilities may vie for your attention and leave you feeling anxious and tense. Though you may have a lot to do, you’ll likely feel more relaxed and focused if you allow time in your schedule for recreation and the activities you enjoy. If your schedule is quite full or your duties are pressing, you may have only a limited amount of time to put aside thoughts of work and focus on having fun. A game of cards with a coworker or a chat with a friend could restore your equilibrium and help you complete your tasks more efficiently. Including fun in your future agendas could help you commit today to the concept of balance. 
Achieving a life balance that includes both work and play in amounts you find rewarding can help you feel more relaxed. It can be as difficult to concentrate on your obligations while you dream of fun as it is to enjoy yourself when you are fixated on projects and deadlines. 
Taking breaks when you are engrossed in an important task affords you an opportunity to clear your mind of clutter so you can return to your duty with a clear mind. Likewise, giving yourself permission to put aside all thoughts of work allows you to immerse yourself in recreational activities. Finding time for both fun and work today will ensure that you get the most out of both.

Source: The Daily Om

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