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The Shining Light Of Hope

(category: Self-Improvement, Word count: 339)
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You will want to share something with someone today.

Actually, with at least two people.

One person that you know very well.

And one person that you do not know well at all, and also needs to hear from you today.

The one you know well needs to hear from you right now.

The one you do not know at all will become evident to you when you meet them today for the first time as you go about your day.

By sharing this message with both of them, you will also receive the message - which is exactly why you must share the message with them first.

The message is one of HOPE.

Hope is the feeling that what you want to happen... will happen.

It's what keeps us going when we feel overwhelmed with problems, frustrations, and situations that seem insurmountable to us at the moment.

And I am sharing HOPE with you right now.

HOPE that what you want to happen... will happen.

It's kind of like shining a flashlight on a dark and unknown path so you can more easily see the way to go.

It's like opening the door that seems too heavy for you to open it alone.

It's like giving a word of encouragement to someone who is having trouble solving a problem and under such stress they cannot see their situation clear enough to take that first step forward without your help.

Right now, call that someone you know and give them HOPE.

And throughout your day today, be on the lookout for that someone you don't know, who needs HOPE and shine a light on their path too.

By shining a light of HOPE on their path, you will shine the light of HOPE on your own journey's path too.

- - -

Mark Hendricks is a business and marketing expert; sales copywriter; a joint venture specialist; software developer; and author, speaker, consultant, mentor, and success coach.

You can visit his websites at: http://www.internet-success-system.comhttp://www.hunteridge.comhttp://www.market-soft.comhttp://www.swiftkickinthebutt.com

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Kill Objections With Sidewinder Precision

(category: Self-Improvement, Word count: 1011)
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It's one of those days. You make a passionate speech. Then, your mood is dashed as the audience lobs contradiction and rebuttal. You walk away dejected.

Hours later the perfect counter-reply pops into your brain. You groan. Why in the world didn't you think of that earlier??? You could just kick yourself in the butt.

Stop for a moment, and consider how many times this happened to you. Once? Twice? A dozen times?

People throw us zingers everyday. We deflate, especially when we fail to come up with a PROMPT defense.

Consider the following nasties that wreck our day:

"You're late again. You don't love me."

"That's lousy work; you're no good."

"Why are all you religious people so narrow minded?"

"If you love me you'll have sex with me. Since you refuse, you don't love me."

Don't you wish you had the perfect answers to these seemingly daunting questions?

As you read this and recall the countless frustrations you've faced, you naturally begin to wonder why there are some special people who always come up with the right answers. You've met them. The perfect debaters. The unstoppable negotiators. The superb orators.

Pocket that frown. You too can be an Aristotle . It just takes deploying the right tools. With proper semantic implements, you CAN be a master negotiator. You CAN manhandle arguments with ease. No longer will you say, "I wish I said xxxx when she told me that!"

The Sidewinder Method to countering arguments: THE PRINCIPLE OF SPECIFICITY

An argument, retort or remark can always be broken down into its constituent parts. By examining the innards of any statement, we often can identify logical lapses, semantic ambiguities and rational failures. This makes a statement VULNERABLE to counter attack.

Now, pause, take a deep breath , and etch this phrase into your brain:

"HOW SPECIFICALLY DOES...."

This is your first line of defense to ANY attack thrown your way. With such deft counter strike, you force the antagonist to examine his own statement. If his retorts are based on shaky evidence, he will see it almost instantly. Wait for his answer. Listen well. Then fire volley after volley of "How specifically does xxx " to each response. A chain of evidence will be needed to support his remarks. Without evidence, he will yield the high ground.

Why does the line "HOW SPECIFICALLY DOES..." work so well? It's because most people open their mouths without thinking! They say meaningless things that can be ripped to shreds after close scrutiny.

I urge you: have people back up their statements with concrete evidence. Questions of specificity unearth the evidence... or lack of it. This is your first step to achieving the skill of Objection Mastery.

Theory class over. Let's see some examples.

She says to you: You're late again. You don't love me. Ooohh nasty. How do you counter this with questions of specificity?

Tell her: "HOW SPECIFICALLY DOES MY BEING LATE INDICATE THAT I DON'T LOVE YOU?"

She says, "It means you don't care."

Tell her, "How, precisely do you know I don't care for you? My tardiness has good reason. I was tardy because I went out of my way to get you four dozen blue roses at a spot just out of town. I also made sure the kids were properly left with a responsible guardian so we won't have to worry about them tonight. And most importantly, I wanted to ensure that the restaurant we are going to is ready for us. That's why I was late. I wanted our evening to be perfect."

Let's try the other venomous barb now.

Your colleague says: That's lousy work; you're no good.

So you smile and firmly ask, " What precisely is the 'lousy' work you pertain to?"

He says, "You submitted the plan to Marketing for execution without consulting me. That's sloppy and in violation of SOP"

So you hold your breath and say, "How specifically, is being proactive in violation of SOP and sloppy work? I noticed you were busy with the accounting and had no time to concern yourself with branding issues. I simply offloaded tasks that would have rattled you and diminished your focus on your more crucial assignment."

He says, "I still should have been consulted. I want my inputs in whatever the team does. "

You say, "That's precisely why we are talking right now. Your inputs will always be welcome. Marketing can always modify their agenda since they're still in the process of integrating the programs."

He says, "I still feel left out. I don't like it."

You say, "How precisely are you left out? If it's influencing the final campaign, don't worry: you are the program manager. You will have a say even during final phase execution. The boss knows that we equally share the glory of the project's success. And the team looks up to you as their mentor. Surely you've noticed the pile of progress reports already in you inbox."

He says "Well, ok.... now that you put it that way, I gues you did a fine job"

Now let's try one of those lines we hear in teenybopper movies: "If you love me you'll have sex with me. Since you refuse, you don't love me."

Difficult to counter? Definitely not, with your standard phrase!!

Say, "HOW SPECIFICALLY does my desire not to have sex right now mean that I don't love you? You do realize that I love you so much which is why I want us to be perfectly prepared for all complications. I love you so much that I want to minimize the risk of unexpected childbirth. This is how much I love you."

So there you have it. The first technique to masterful objection mastery. Let's not put good theory to waste, shall we? Go grab a partner and practice. Have her throw argumentative remarks at you. Think briefly then counter with Questions of Specificity. See how long they can hold up. Just say "How specifically does..."

Smile and watch them fold.

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Insights Into Stop Smoking Hypnosis Therapy

(category: Self-Improvement, Word count: 499)
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Stop Smoking Hypnosis Therapy

Stop smoking hypnosis treatment is one of the oldest stop smoking methods obtainable. People have been using stop smoking hypnosis therapy as a stop smoking aid since the 1980?s and there are numerous individuals who swear by its effectiveness. Still, there is much contention regarding its use in the regulated world, as most scientists demand that its positive effects are mostly reported by the therapists themselves. Nevertheless, it is truthful that it is effective for assorted people, and it is a justifiable stop smoking aid to try, specially if you have tried all of the other stop smoking methods within reach.

All things considered...

Stop smoking hypnosis treatment involves the patient participating in a string of sessions during which the hypnotherapist guides the patient be means of a series of relaxation exercises, leading him or her into a extensive state of consciousness. During this period of deep relaxation, the patient is in a highly suggestible condition. The therapist uses this state to form suggestions regarding quitting smoking. The procedure may involve echoing phrases or reading statements that have been prepared for the session. These suggestions become a part of the patient's psyche, making him or her less liable to smoke during the day.

As a general rule...

Various stop smoking hypnosis therapists use relaxation rather than suggestion to assist patients stop smoking. They claim that the act of relaxation during the sessions allows the patient to better make do with the stresses of quitting smoking. Because many individuals turn to cigarettes when they experience pressure or irritability, this claim may in truth be true. However, there is still much controversy surrounding hypnosis stop smoking methods. Research has shown that hypnosis stop smoking support does seem to retain people from smoking for a restricted amount of time. Nevertheless, the staying power of the therapy is not as powerful as other stop smoking aids.

As it has been noted...

Numerous people recommend that stop smoking hypnosis therapy be used in conjunction with other stop smoking methods such as nicotine replacement stop smoking products like the patch or nicotine gum. That way, whatever is learned in the hypnosis session can be reinforced during the day. For people who would rather use natural stop smoking products, the patient can use herbal products to help keep his or her frame of mind elevated and to help remove cravings and stress.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step...

No matter how you feel about stop smoking hypnosis in principle, the only way to discover out whether or not it works is to try it yourself. If you have tried all of your other options and none of them have worked, hypnosis therapy might be the answer for you. However, you ought be informed that hypnosis itself does not work on various people. In fact, studies show that fifteen to twenty-five percent of the worlds population cannot be hypnotized at all.

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Reboot Your Commute

(category: Self-Improvement, Word count: 448)
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Commuting is one of those things that, if you are doing it, is something that you have to do rather than want to do. And if you have a negative attitude about your commute, it can quickly turn into something that starts to impact more than just the time you spend commuting.

Your attitude about the commute can carry into work, home, and play. When you arrive at work already in an agitated state, you'll need a cooling off period or your productivity will be lowered. Time is wasted preparing for the commute itself, either by having to hype yourself up or by dragging yourself down. It can also take its toll of your health, whether it is from increased stress or weight gain. Needless to say, commuting takes away from time that you would rather spend on other activities.

Wouldn't it be nice if you actually looked forward to your commute? It may seem overwhelming to try to picture the commute in a different way, but there are resources out there to help commuters change their perspective and even turn the commute into something positive and productive.

Following a simple program and making small changes is a great way to start turning your commute into a better experience. Programs are good because they provide structure and activities to see you through the needed steps and help you to understand

why the commute affects you adversely and how to change it.

One of the first things to do is think about what it is that drains you about the commute? Is it the time, the crowds, being away from home, fears and risks associated with traveling, or simply the boredom? In order to revert back to a time before the stress of the commute got hold of you, you first need to articulate what about the commute is draining. Then you need to do something about it.

Think of the commute as a tool that allows you to live your life in a better way. For example, instead of saying:

"I hate driving all the way to work. I wish I could retire. What's the use of having a nice house when I don't have any time to spend in it?"

You could say: "I commute to work so that I may live where I choose. In this way, I get the best of both worlds, a good paycheck and a good home. I even get to use my commute time in a way that increases my health and wellbeing."

Figure out what drains you, then you can act on that and move forward to help make your commute a positive force in your life.

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How To Use Your Emotions

(category: Self-Improvement, Word count: 453)
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Probably a third of all miseries that trouble humankind are emotional. Psychiatrists mostly discover that their patients are emotionally troubled and mentally feeble. Troubled people have their minds weakened or overwhelmed by strong emotions.

For instance, a paranoid may imagine that people don't like him. A diagnosis may show that the problem could be a very low self-esteem. "I don't think I'm a person worthy of anything," he may insist. Further diagnosis may show that the patient was abused or maltreated as a child. The trauma had impressed a negative emotion that stayed in him, grew, and finally took over his mindset and perceptions.

Let's take a simpler and more common example. A spirited talk about their child's birthday party somehow ended up on a sour note. Mary couldn't figure out why John suddenly became argumentative about what cake to buy. Later on, John admitted that cakes weren't really that important to him. He told her that any cake would do as long as their child liked it. It's just that he's bothered by how his boss has been treating him in the office. His boss has been criticizing everything he decides on. John couldn't take being opposed anymore, even with a simple decision on what cake to buy.

Everyday, many people are held prisoners by their emotions. They let emotions rule their lives and decide how everything would turn out. They behave as if they have no choice but to yield to their emotions. They let emotions use them.

If you choose to, you can use emotions to your advantage. Instead of letting them take over your life and ruin it too, you can use your emotions to build you up.

The truth is that emotions have no power to control anything or anyone. The only reason they seem to be so overwhelming is that they are usually given power to be so. Emotions are similar to power beggars. They wait to be given power. By themselves, they can do nothing. Once they are given importance, they grab that opportunity and take over. Remember, emotions can grow in power overnight.

The good news is that you can order your emotions to propriety. With the right training, you can enforce a process that submits the emotions to a practical will. A practical will is that which is commanded by a strong and practical mind. If a personality has this operation, it will be a progressively changing personality everyday. When a practical mind decides on what behavior to manifest and how to manifest it, a healthy personality is the result. A healthy personality is one that makes use of its emotions, rather than letting emotions use it.

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Adolescent Anger Management Strategies

(category: Self-Improvement, Word count: 520)
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Adolescent anger management is becoming more prominent in our society. Traditionally, children who enter this last acute phase of bodily and mental development can go through some rough times. As kids enter their preteen and then their teenage years, chaos can ensue at times for everyone involved. A child or young adult may feel that his or her body and mind are out of control occasionally, and the parents and teachers who supervise children at this age may tend to agree. Anger can spring out of nowhere to challenge innocent requests and reasonable expectations. Yet kids between the age of twelve and sixteen sometimes react in unpredictable ways, surprising those around them and even themselves and requiring the intervention of adolescent anger management strategies.

Today's teens face even greater pressures than those of the past. By age eighteen, most have witnessed thousands of murders on television and video games. Some are involved in violent or illegal gang activity. Others come from broken homes where domestic violence and substance abuse are the norm. By the time they start going through puberty, their entire existence may seem out of their control, and they may grow increasingly enraged, acting out their anger in antisocial ways that require adolescent anger management.

Adolescent Anger Management and Juvenile Delinquents

Sadly, many teens experience frustrations that drive them to vent anger toward people or things, breaking civil laws. This type of behavior often leads to incarceration, or at the very least, intervention by parents, teachers, law enforcement officials, and juvenile experts who attempt to train children how to respond in age-appropriate ways. Adolescent anger management programs teach kids individually or in peer groups how to identify negative feelings, work through them in the right kind of ways, seek help when needed, and practice more mature behaviors.

During periods of time spent at juvenile detention centers, teens involved in adolescent anger management programs can learn how to improve their behavior in socially acceptable ways. Therapists can help to point out alternative attitudes and behaviors to teens who have never seen positive responses to everyday irritations modeled for them by responsible adults. They may be able to learn directly from the therapist how to manage difficult feelings, and they can read resource materials or visit websites like anger-management-information.com (site is not complete yet) for more information about this condition, and how to address it. They will find others like themselves who are learning how to get along with people and accept the situations that cannot be changed.

Community Adolescent Anger Management Programs

If you have or work with a teenager that is struggling with angry outbursts and a poor attitude, get in touch with a teacher or psychologist at your child's school or a community social services organization that can direct you to self-help resources or a local adolescent anger management group that might be willing to admit your child. Letting unresolved anger fester or continue to be displayed in dangerous ways can lead to serious consequences. Get your teen the help that is needed for coping with this behavioral disorder.

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5 Ways To Maximise Your Personal Energy Supply

(category: Self-Improvement, Word count: 702)
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Different governments, officials, environmental agencies exhort us to conserve the energy we use in order to save the environment and sustain our continued existence on the planet.

On a personal level I think that we also need to know how to conserve, focus and maximise our own personal supply of energy. We unconsciously dissipate and waste our energy on people, situations, thoughts, attitudes and events which do not serve us well. This leaves less space and energy for creating and attracting the kind of abundance that we want in our lives.

Interestingly enough I've also found that as I conserve, focus and thereby maximise my energy, I tend to use less energy on craving and acquiring "stuff", but more energy focusing on what is truly important to me, thereby helping the environment.

So here are 5 Ways to Maximise Your Personal Energy Supply.

1. Release Resistance

Releasing resistance will affect a profound change in your level of energy and how you view the world. Resistance often feels as though we are going against ourselves in order to satisfy some internal authority or a myriad of "shoulds" "oughts" and "have tos". It takes a tremendous amount of energy to be resistant.

Related feelings and behaviour include: procrastination, using willpower and discipline to effect change (otherwise known as "I Have To Struggle To Achieve What I Want"!), stubborness, inflexibility, wanting to be right rather than happy (a very popular one:), holding onto self limiting beliefs way past their sell by date.

Releasing resistance can be as easy as just making a decision to let go of whatever you are holding onto. Energy therapy also helps release resistance at a very deep level.

2. Reduce time watching TV

Watching TV unconsciously is very exhausting. Haven't you noticed that when you watch TV continuously and do little else, you become extremely tired? That's because you are merely a passive recipient of information that you're not fully engaged with. On an energetic level, taking in all of those rays from the TV (similar to a computer) is overstimulating on a physiological level. Of course while you are watch TV, it means that you're not doing something more productive.

Am I saying that you stop watching TV altogether? No, but to be more selective and watch only those programs that you are engaged with. I'd also say that stop watching the TV news - all of that manufactured fear really affects you on a cellular level. I find that my mindset, moods and overall energy improve significantly when I watch less TV.

3. Consciously create vacuums

Ever heard of the saying: "Nature abhors a vacuum". If you clean out an area of your life, you are giving the Universe a message to bring in something to replace it. This is otherwise known as energetic and/or physical clutter clearing. Start with either. Most people find it easier to start with clearing out the physical which has an effect on their energies. You are consciously creating the space for change to occur and inviting what you want into your life. This is much much easier than efforting to make things happen.

4. Avoid/deal with Energy Vampires

One of the quickest ways to get an energy boost is to disassociate yourself from those with those whose energy drains you. It is very effective. Unfortunately, it also becomes a little more difficult if they are your partner, member of your family, work colleagues or boss. It helps to develop a stronger set of boundaries and energetic protection, so that they are less likely to affect you in this way.

5. Create quiet time for yourself every day.

Not to do anything (unless it relaxes you), but just to clear and refresh your mind. We are human beings, not doings. There are times when our crowded schedule and minds don't allow space and time for the creative to be welcomed in. Einstein liked to go sailing in the afternoons after working in the morning. Okay, most of us don't have this opportunity, but you get the point.

If you only do one of the above, then your life will undergo a profound change.

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So Your A Righteous Jerk

(category: Self-Improvement, Word count: 543)
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It's a funny world we live in. The lives we lead are all so different, so unique. It amazes me how many different versions of 'the truth' or 'right' there can be from just one situation and several witnesses. It makes me realise that there is no truth, and no right or wrong. Just interpretation.

Although I love this theory, I realise that it's a double edges sword, since I just loooove to be right. Sometimes I will battle to the death to prove my righteousness, only to be left with a lifeless corpse on my hands. It's relationship homicide. Unfortunately I often get this after I've killed them off, realising that the only thing I've really proved is that I'm a big fat jerk.

When I'm fighting to be right and dismissing the other person's point of view, I'm actually loosing so much more. People will either resist me or sacrifice themselves in order to shut me up (they're still resisting in silence, by the way). Either way, I come off being a jerk. And in case you haven't noticed, people dislike jerks. It's all about making people around you feel good about themselves, right (pardon the pun)? I need to remember this next time I'm shoving my (most likely stupid) opinion down someone else's throat. I've also got to realise that hacking away at someone trying to prove my opinion as the right one (and theirs by default: the wrong one) exposes a massive 'lack' in whom I believe myself to be. Ironic really. It's usually what I'm desperately trying to prove otherwise.

So next time you feel compelled to prove your point at the expense of invalidating another, give some thought to your motives behind it. A hundred percent of the time the underlying motive is an ugly one. I believe it comes down to one of the following (or a combination):

1) When we hold onto strong opinions and beliefs in order to create stability and comfort in a world of uncertainty. The cost to this is that hanging onto certain beliefs means living in a shallow world and limited choice. It consequently blocks any form of growth.

2) Another reason for tenaciously clinging to our opinions is the fear that changing them would lead to the loss of our identity. But we are not our opinions. We are people who hold opinions and can let them go if we choose to. When we learn from others, we don't lose our identity; we expand, enhance, and enrich it.

3) A third reason for wanting to be 'right' is low self-esteem (as I mentioned in my case previously). Some need to show off their 'superiority' to compensate for their feelings of inferiority.

You can see the cost to yourself with each of these motives, but I believe the biggest cost comes down to personal relationships being harmed, and a future loss of communication, either by communication being censored or closed completely, due to ones own proven narrow mindedness. So you're not only a jerk but a loser too. Just kidding! Just remember what you want to create in a relationship, not what you can limit by your need to be right.

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Work Life Balance And The Power Of Positive Thinking

(category: Self-Improvement, Word count: 1089)
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It's important to get a handle on mood swings or energy shifts if you want to maintain your work life balance and be successful in business. According to psychologist and researcher Martin Seligman, some folks appear to be hardwired to respond optimistically and hopefully to work life balance upset and life's ups and downs. Others are wired for opposite responses. Fortunately, you do not have to settle for the wiring you were born with. With practice you can improve your resilience and your hopefulness by acquiring solid positive thinking skills.

I like to think of the process of building hopefulness, resilience and positive thinking skills as an analogue to building physical fitness: it takes attention, concentration, commitment, and repetition. If you approach a workout program with those qualities, you can almost always improve your fitness.

The first hurdle to get over is the belief that you already need to be different in order to succeed. You don't. You are the way you are and you can start from here, overwhelmed, worried, anxious, whatever. Don't fall into your story about how you feel, but take a stand for what you intend to accomplish to restore your work life balance and where you plan to go. You do not need to feel better before you try these practices - do them now. Another caveat: Do not interpret your progress in the short term - measuring increase in strength and endurance after a single workout would be silly.

Seligman points out that people with an optimistic approach to life habitually accept positive thoughts and dispute negative thoughts. Those of us who are wired to be more pessimistic tend to dispute the positive and accept the negative. Optimists tend to assume that their life balance will be restored, good events will happen again and that bad events are an exception; pessimists assume the reverse. I am oversimplifying his rigorously considered arguments, and I encourage you to read the book if the science of this is important to you.

Here's a practice he recommends for shifting from hopelessness to hopefulness. I successfully use it with my clients to help them restore their work life balance. He calls it ABCDE for:

Adversity - Beliefs - Consequences - Disputation - Energization.

A - Adversity

Start by spelling out the nature of the situation. Notice that you can experience hopelessness in response to ostensibly positive situations as well as to negative ones. For example, getting a new client or being accepted into a final round of interviews can upset your balance and send you into a whirlwind of anxiety and fear that produces just as much hopelessness and overwhelm as not getting the job or not making the cut.

B - Beliefs

This is your opportunity to spell out the thoughts and beliefs that are fueling the negative response.

C - Consequences

Look at the consequences of your beliefs - what happened as a result? How do you behave? What happened then?

D - Disputation

Actively dispute the beliefs that break your life balance and send you into the downward spiral. This is where you practice arguing with yourself in a productive way.

E - Energization

When you have been effective in disputing the problem beliefs, you feel an influx of energy, a sense of renewed hope, or at least of peacefulness.

So, here's an example from my life:

Adversity:

I was excited about moving forward on two projects when I fell on my bike and cracked my ribs. I was okay and working hard with this for almost three days, then depression and anxiety set in and my usual positive thinking ability left me. Instead of feeling like moving forward I felt like bursting into tears.

Beliefs:

How will I ever restore my work life balance and get things done if I can't stop these mood swings? Maybe I am just not meant to lead these projects. I don't know enough and I can't seem to get started - I probably should have said no in the first place. It would be better to bow out now, as embarrassing as that will be, than to keep going and have a bigger train wreck later when I just can't make the grade.

Consequences:

These beliefs leave me feeling very sad and small, like a six year old, and then I wonder how a six year old can possibly be a leader. I find it hard to concentrate and I just want to hide.

Disputation:

Constant low-grade pain can take it out of anyone. The world is not going to come to an end if you delay things because you've been injured. And who says you have to do it alone anyway? Some of the problem is that you don't have enough information to go forward. That calls for making requests of others, not for blaming yourself. And when you're not leaning on yourself so hard, your positive thinking ability starts coming back and your mood lightens - so maybe it would be smart to cut yourself some slack this week after letting folks know what is going on. You don't have to crawl under a rock - you can reach out instead to restore your work life balance. And even if some work projects end up being passed on to others, there will always be other opportunities.

Energization:

I called and emailed colleagues to regroup. Not only did these conversations relieve my anxiety, they made simple next steps quite clear. In one case, my summary of a conversation ended up being exactly what our group needed to move forward. Who knew? I had been worried about making things happen on my own when all along my strength was in articulating and clarifying complex input from many sources.

See how this works? I do strongly recommend the book as there are many more practices in it that address different aspects of overwhelm and ways to restore your work life balance. But if you struggle with hopelessness and challenge yourself to work through this one exercise on a regular basis (and if that means five or ten times a day, so be it), your positive thinking skills will grow and you WILL get relief. Remember - don't measure change before it can happen - keep doing the practices long enough for significant positive shifts to take root and grow.

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