May 28, 2010

Turn Off TV

What does your TV cost you? How much money has your TV cost you? And I'm not talking about the sticker price of your Samsung TV. I'm talking about something far more important. Today's personal development blog is inspired by an article I recently read. I enjoyed its simple and evident truths, and they are resounded by words I have already heard from personal development pro's like Jim Rohn and Brian Tracy. I am certain you will find it both useful and relevant to your own life.

Turn Off TV Article

Jim Rohn's Thoughts on TV

Personal development legend Jim Rohn shares a similar story in some of his audio books and seminars. He asks a man who works for his network marketing team how much he thinks his television is costing him. The man succinctly gives him a fairly high number — he did have a nice TV after all. But Jim Rohn assures him that he's not asking about what his nice TV cost at the purchase. He is interested in how much the man thinks it costs him on a yearly basis due to the devastating hold it has put on his on personal development, growth, and productivity in the game of life.

The man is shocked. Mr. Rohn told the man he figures the TV cost him about 40 thousand dollars per year. When this story was relatively new in the early 90's 40 thousand dollars was a considerable sum of money, and no doubt it still is today. Fortunately for this man he turned his life around by turning off his TV.

I realize not everyone will turn off their TV. And I also want to remind you that extremes are generally not what I advise. I don't watch zero TV, but I also appreciate TV for what it can offer while still understanding just how much too much TV can take from your life.

Are You Amusing Yourself to Death?

By Alexander Green

I’ve often said that the first step to becoming a better investor is an easy one: Turn off the TV.

CNBC — and its competitors — will only make you dumber and poorer.

This comes as a surprise to many. After all, financial channels offer a steady stream of well-credentialed experts, men and women with impressive titles from prestigious firms. Most have PhDs, years of experience, or manage large sums of money. They look good. They sound sharp. They have insightful opinions and reams of arcane investment data tripping off their tongues.

How could listening to them possibly make you a worse investor?

Because the unstated premise behind these shows — which exist, of course, to sell advertising — is that investors should be in a near-constant state of reaction:

"The market is hitting a new high today. What should investors do now?"

"The Fed has left interest rates unchanged. What should investors do now?

"GNP was up an unexpectedly strong 3.8 percent last quarter. What should investors do now?"

They bring on an analyst with a bullish view and another with a bearish one — on stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, interest rates, or the economy — let them square off for a few minutes, then cut to commercials. A few minutes later, they come back and do it some more. This goes on day after day, week after week, year after year.

Near the market bottom in 2009, I was playing tennis with a friend who was badly upset about the market’s belly flop.

"I tell you," he said in utter disgust, "I’m really tempted to just turn off CNBC and sell all my stocks."

"There is another option," I reminded him.

"What’s that?" he asked.

"Just turn off the TV."

Lately I’ve been thinking that what’s good for investors might not be a bad idea for the rest of us. Why do so many bright, talented, educated people spend countless hours staring blankly at the tube?

The short answer, of course, is we enjoy it.

But do we, really? Is watching TV more fulfilling than what you’d be doing if you weren’t?

If you get specific about it, you may feel a little ridiculous. For example, have you ever told yourself something like:

  • Gee, I really need to get more exercise, but Dancing With the Stars is on in 10 minutes. (Maybe I’ll just watch them exercise instead.)
  • I promised my daughter I’d teach her how to play chess, but these Seinfeld re-runs are really funny.
  • It’s long past time I stopped in to visit my aging grandmother, but I can’t miss the playoffs!
  • I promised myself I’d learn to play the piano this year, but this week is the finals of American Idol.
  • I really do want to plant that garden. But I can’t miss my soaps.

If we’re challenged, of course, we have plenty of rationalizations.

Let a TV critic tell you that most of the programming is mindless junk and you’ll point to the educational stuff on The History Channel, Discovery, or National Geographic, even if that’s only a fraction of what you watch.

If he replies that you’re still being subjected to hours of commercials each week, you tell him you tape the shows and fast-forward through them.

If he counters that taping only allows you to consume even more television, you can always play your trump card: "Mind your own business."

After all, you’re an adult. It’s your life to live. You can spend it any way you want.

But, between South Park and Grey’s Anatomy, do you ever reflect on how you’re spending it?

Turn Off TV Personal Development Blog

Last week, I read journalist David Lipsky’s recently published collection of conversations with David Foster Wallace, the brilliant young writer whose Infinite Jest made Time magazine’s list of 100 All-Time Greatest Novels. (Wallace battled depression for years and, tragically, hanged himself in 2008. It was a tremendous loss, not only for his family and friends but for contemporary fiction.)

At one point in the interviews, Wallace says, "I’ll zone out in front of the TV for five or six hours, and then I feel depressed and empty. And I wonder why. Whereas if I eat candy for five or six hours, and then I feel sick, I know why…. One of the reasons that I feel empty after watching a lot of TV is that it gives the illusion of relationships with people. It’s a way to have people in the room talking and being entertaining, but it doesn’t require anything of me. I receive entertainment and stimulation without having to give anything back but the most tangential kind of attention. And that is very seductive."

Bingo. No matter how good the programming is — and let’s face it, some of it is excellent — or how rapidly you fast-forward through the commercials, the hours you spend in front of the tube is time you haven’t spent pursuing your goals, living out your dreams, or just interacting with another human being.

If you’re elderly and companionless — or housebound for some other reason — that’s different. But that doesn’t describe the majority of us.

Twenty-five years ago, Neil Postman warned of our consuming love affair with television in Amusing Ourselves to Death. In the book — a jeremiad about the danger of turning serious conversations about politics, business, religion, and science into entertainment packages — he argues that TV is creating not the dystopia of George Orwell’s 1984 but rather of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World:

"Spiritual devastation is more likely to come from an enemy with a smiling face than from one whose countenance exudes suspicion and hate. In the Huxleyan prophecy, Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk."

He concludes that we’d all be better off if television got worse, not better.

According to A.C. Nielsen, 99 percent of American households have a television set. Two-thirds have more than three. These sets are on an average of six hours and 47 minutes per day.

Forty-nine percent of Americans polled say they spend too much time in front of the TV. It’s not hard to see why. The average viewer watches more than four hours of TV each day. That’s two months of non-stop TV-watching per year. In a 65-year life, a person will have spent nine years glued to the tube.

You already know how little you’ll gain by watching so much TV. But have you also considered what it’s costing you?

I stumbled across this article, Turn Off the TV from the Early To Rise web site, and felt it really hit on some key points about television. In today's day and age, however, "tv" can be just as readily replaced by "internet".

If you aren't sure if you're watching too much tv or surfing the internet too much then simply start by monitoring your activities. After that, answer some questions such as: Are you ok with this much tv viewing? What will this cost me in 1, 3, 5, and 10 years? Is that okay? Be as realistic as you possibly can and don't sugarcoat it. If you'd rather be doing something else then start today.

Quotes About Television

To close this post, I'd like to share some fun and interesting quotes about television that I perused about while writing this blog post. I could probably write an entire post about tv quotes but for now just a few will suffice. (I suppose many people over the last century have quickly realized just how much we miss out on when we continuously escape to tv land.) Enjoy them, and remember to turn off tv!

A medium - so called because it is neither rare nor well done.

Ernie Kovacs

All television is educational television. The question is: what is it teaching?

Nicholas Johnson

Television has changed a child from an irresistible force to an immovable object.

Unknown Author

The publishers and others should quit worrying about losing customers to TV. The guy who can sit through a trio of deodorant commercials to look at Flashgun Casey or swallow a flock of beer and loan-shark spiels in order to watch a couple of fourth-rate club fighters rub noses on the ropes is not losing any time from book reading.

Raymond Chandler

We cannot blame the schools alone for the dismal decline in SAT verbal scores. When our kids come home from school do they pick up a book or do they sit glued to the tube, watching music videos? Parents, don't make the mistake of thinking your kid only learns between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

George Bush

If you came and you found a strange man... teaching your kids to punch each other, or trying to sell them all kinds of products, you'd kick him right out of the house, but here you are; you come in and the TV is on, and you don't think twice about it.

Jerome Singer

If you read a lot of books, you're considered well-read. But if you watch a lot of TV, you're not considered well-viewed.

Lily Tomlin

The television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little.

Ray Bradbury, The Golden Apples of the Sun

To close it all up, I want to wish you a safe and very happy Memorial Day weekend! Enjoy!

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May 25, 2010

Chinese Proverbs Quotes

Daily Inspiration with Chinese proverbs

Today's inspiration, motivation, and information comes from some unique Chinese proverbs quotes. You'll see there are a few categories so there's certainly something to float your boat!

Sometimes it's the simple stuff that really strikes a chord with us. And let's face it, short, wise sayings are one thing that people have come to recognize about far east sayings such as those from the Buddha and Confucius.

Chinese proverbs on life
Inspirational Chinese proverbs
Chinese proverbs about love
Chinese proverbs Confucius

Chinese proverbs on life

A book holds a house of gold.

A book tightly shut is but a block of paper.

If what we see is doubtful, how can we believe what is spoken behind the back.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.

A fool judges people by the presents they give him.

A rat who gnaws at a cat's tail invites destruction.

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

Do good, reap good; do evil, reap evil.

Do not remove a fly from your friend's forehead with a hatchet.

He who strikes the first blow admits he's lost the argument.

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.

If you always give, you will always have.

Inspirational Chinese proverbs

A diamond with a flaw is worth more than a pebble without imperfections.

A gem is not polished without rubbing, nor a man perfected without trials.

Raise your sail one foot and you get ten feet of wind.

Behave toward everyone as if receiving a guest.

An inch of time is an inch of gold but you can't buy that inch of time with an inch of gold.

A fall into a ditch makes you wiser.

To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.

Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself.

Be the first to the field and the last to the couch.

Dig the well before you are thirsty.

If you bow at all, bow low.

If you don't want anyone to know, don't do it.

Inspirational Chinese proverbs

Chinese proverbs about love

Married couples who love each other tell each other a thousand things without talking.

A flower cannot blossom without sunshine nor a garden without love.

Better a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.

Love is blind, and greed insatiable.

So lovers, to their fair one fondly blind, E'en on her ugliness with transport gaze.

The remedy for love is--land between.

Chinese proverbs Confucius

I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.

To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Silence is a true friend who never betrays.

Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it.

If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?

The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.

In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.

Real knowledge is to know the extent of ones ignorance.

He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.

To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.

It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.

Worry not that no one knows of you; seek to be worth knowing

Personally, I found these Chinese proverbs really neat. The most interesting part about the quotes (even though translated) is that they really help demonstrate the principle that old truths never change. That is a big lesson that Jim Rohn teaches, and a lesson that he was taught as well.

As always, don't bother memorizing all these proverbs and quotes. But instead of that, just pick a few and write them on a notecard, buy a poster with them or just try to use them in your daily language. Like Confucius said, by actually doing what you read on this blog you will take your understanding to a whole new level. The level only attained by putting these lessons into action!

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May 21, 2010

Les Brown HUNGRY Video

Today's personal development fun comes by way of the lively Les Brown, motivational speaker and true life change catalyst. Occasionally, I stumble across some longer videos and this is one of them. However, I never post stuff just for the sake of posting and you can be assured that I found the video VERY worthwhile to share it. But really, Les Brown doesn't need more selling -- he's quite the gifted inspirational and motivational speaker. His track record also speaks to that.

With that said, please do enjoy this full length Les Brown HUNGRY video and take notes. Share your thoughts and notes too! Once you're done watching the FREE movie please do share your thoughts (seriously, this is a 44 minute video that would easily sell for a pretty penny and be worth every cent).

Les Brown Hungry Video

Thanks for watching! I told you it would be worth it, didn't I? I know I'll be watching it again. Repetition is key in mastering the game of life!

There are other Les Brown videos on this blog as well if you are HUNGRY for more!

Watch this fun and highly motivational Les Brown HUNGRY video here

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May 18, 2010

Working from Home Tips and Home Study Tips

Working from home tips may not sound relevant or appropriate to your situation, but I assure you it is. How many of us actually conduct business in a traditional work at home sense? Probably not many. However, how many of us "work" from home (mind you, we are currently reading a self improvement and personal development blog)? I would venture to say that the vast majority of the readers on this blog consider themselves hard working individuals who work on themselves.

Working from Home Tips

Furthermore, working from home tips are equally as applicable to people studying at home -- whether college courses, high school, or simply learning for personal satisfaction and intrigue.

Although edited for you, I came across most of these work and home study tips while participating in a forum based around productivity and personal success.

The tips are broken down by broad categories to help you go from developing the right mindset and focus all the way to keeping your mind and body fresh and vital throughout your work day. I'm sure you will enjoy these techniques and tricks, AND that you will benefit from them once you apply them to your own life and home office or workspace.

Working from Home Tips and Home Study Tips

Preparing your mindset and focus tips

Pretend you have company coming over even if you don't.

Take a shower, brush your teeth, fix your hair, and pretend like you're going to a regular job where you're expected to look the part and be on time. If you wear perfume or cologne then put it on as well.

Got a real big day or an online meeting? Put on one of your best suits or outfits even if someone else won't see you.

Eat a hearty, well-balanced breakfast.

Get to your designated work area (home office, basement, attic, spare room) on time -- if you've got a "start work time" then be punctual.

Take regular breaks for lunch or snacks or coffee just as you would at any normal job. Employers don't want you to starve because they know it's bad for you and them.

If you're using the internet then only have the browsers or windows open that are for work-related purposes. If you have a huge favorites bar packed with enticing links and shortcut icons then use a seperate browser for work or a different computer without these distractions.

Consider working or studying at your local library for its peaceful atmosphere. The occasionaly change from your usual home office may provide a boon to your productivity and mental fortitude.

Go out to breakfast and just think about things and plan with a pen and paper (try to keep crumbs and stains off!).

Preparing your home office for work and home study

Have a designated place or room from which you work; do not just work from anywhere within your home, as this helps to "get" you and then "keep" you in the right mindset. Once you step into that place or room for work you are more likely to be in the "I am at work" mindset. And once you step out of that area or room you are back in the "I am at home again" mode.

Get your work table organized. Among the best home office organization tips is to simply remove distractions from your office.

If your feel your home office is too bland, instead of putting distracting items to spruce it up use small plants instead.

There's a book entitled "Home Office from Hell" by Jeff Landers.
Landers' key message was this: if you're interested in growth (he calls these people growth mavens), then you will eventually have to leave your house. I've got 4 kids (oldest one turned 7 today) and they don't "get" that daddy is "at work". Neither does my wife when things go haywire (think fish-fingers stuck to the walls, light-bulb blowing and dish-washer starting to leak all at the same time) -- "but you're here honey" (no, I'm not, I'm at work).
The other group Jeff calls the "lifestyle gurus", who are not so interested in growth and they tend to be happy at home, even when there are interruptions.
The one question you need to ask yourself is this: do you want to grow a business that runs on autopilot at some point and give you the freedom to do whatever you want or is it more a lifestyle thing, where you enjoy sitting around in your boxers?

Plan your day for success

Remind others around you that you are working.

Create your to-do list the night before to make yourself a lot more productive than if you leave it to the day you need to work on those tasks.

Get your "to do list" out and start working on it right away.

Prioritize your tasks using 80/20 rule so that you use your time most productively.

Eat away from my your desk and work area - do not work and eat at the same time. Take a break instead.

When you are done, be DONE until the next work day.

Set a timer (could be on your computer, could be as simple as a cooking timer) for periods such as 30 minutes and just work without distraction until the timer pings. Also set an amount of time for each item. 30 minutes to work on #1, 45 minutes for #2, etc.

If you prefer not to time yourself, try simply separating your time into 3 portions everyday. A daily plan example:
Morning: post article and bookmarking
Afternoon: source information
Night: write article

Take care of important errands in the morning and devote your afternoons and evenings to working at home to stay focused when working from home.

Home Study Tips

Working from home tips on productivity

Write a handwritten, detailed record each day of every action you have taken. Use a page per day or two page per day diary. If you took 30 minutes to write an article, add it to the paper list. At the end of each day you will have a very motivational PAPER record and list of your real productivity (the proper actions in your business). You can see that you did 25 individual things that day. You didn't just consume the internet calling it research.

Imagine your parents coming over (even if you're 30 or older). Just picturing them walking into a sloppy office and the ensuing questions about what you do with your time may be enough to whip you into shape.

Picture the results you want, but plan tasks.

Rejuvenating yourself while working from home tips

Go out for some air; go shopping for necessary things or just enjoy your favorite book store with a great ambience inside.

Take a "breather" of sorts. If you've never done it, you'd be amazed what a short walk around the neighborhood can do for your mental clarity and productivity.

Work for 2 hours straight on your to do list tasks and then have 1 hour off to do something else. Now that sometimes does mean you'll work alot longer in total but you'll manage to get alot more done and during those 2 "work" hours you will do work and get a lot done!
It's not always practical but you enjoy that 1 hour when it comes around and then by the end of it you'll usually want to get back to work again, too.

Watch the news (I usually would never recommend this!) to see the state of the economy and help you realize how fortunate you are to work for yourself and have the opportunity for incredible growth.

Set an hourly reminder to tell you to stretch, relax, and check that you're working on what will have the most impact -- this often jars us out of email and busywork and gets us refreshed and back on track.

Be aware of your own energy levels. If you find yourself treading water through tasks and making little progress; if you are getting distracted by emails or being lured into forum or private chats then that is a sure sign that it's time to take a break.

A good home office idea is to make a routine of reorganizing everything and cleaning up on a regular basis. You'll feel better and be more productive, so make it a thing to make sure and do that regularly.

Schedule mid-day exercise. It can help alleviate the common mid-day crash that many people experience.

Working it all out for YOU

As you go over these good studying and working from home tips I urge you to choose just a few that really resonate with you. Perhaps there's only one that really struck you, so go for that one. The key here is to aim for progress not perfection. On the other hand, if you're looking for radical change and you're very gung-ho about the idea then choose as many tips as you can, apply them, and watch your at-home productivity skyrocket!

If you're hungry for even more, then one of my favorite authors when it comes to time management, productivity, and doing the RIGHT things is Stephen Covey. He really gets you to think about things in a refreshing new way (he calls paradigm shifts). Really, one of his best techniques revolves around weekly planning that is so crucial to people working at home. As mentioned before, Covey helps people focus on more than just doing things right, but doing the RIGHT things. I would highly recommend his book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and the video The 8th Habit Updated 2008 CD/DVD.

These are two great programs that I have used with measurable success and shared with personal friends.

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May 15, 2010

Interesting Question to Ask - Create Your Future

Today's post is an exercise. And like a muscle and exercise, this blog is something you have to do. After all, that is where life change starts.

So, answer the following question and be as detailed as you'd like to be. Keep in mind that when you design your future the only limits are the ones you put on yourself. We need to be realistic, but we should also be realistic enough to recognize that the vast majority of us live far within our potential.

The interesting question to ask yourself is:

If your future looked perfect for you, what would it look like?

If you enjoyed the process and learned something about yourself (and you will learn about yourself when you give a sincere, honest effort) then be sure to check out some other profound questions to ask yourself. This blog tag makes semi-regular appearances as I come across these very questions in my own personal development quest.

Furthermore, I encourage you, as always, to share your thoughts and experiences with this exercise.

If you gained something from this article then I highly encourage you to subscribe to this blog. It's entirely spam-free and there are no games to play to subscribe or unsubscribe. It just keeps you up to date, motivated, and inspired!

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May 12, 2010

Les Brown Quotes Page

Brief Les Brown Biography: Les Brown is an award winning speaker, popular author, and most importantly he is a man who can change your life for the better. His story goes that he was a twin born into poverty and adopted at only 6 weeks of age. His adopted mother, whom he calls his real mother, raised them both around the poverty level. Not only that, but Les was labeled at "educable mentally retarded" while in school.

Les Brown Quotes Picture

While in school, one of Les Brown's teachers had a great impact on him when he told him that the labels other people give him do not have to define who he actually is. Les Brown persisted and eventually became a radio disc jockey to community leader, then onto a politician, and finally to becoming the notable speaker that we know today.

Les Brown's delivery is unique and packed full of energy and vitality. His message is uplifting and puts the power in your hands. He's into real fundamentals of success that everyone can apply successfully. Having said that, enjoy these Les Brown quotes and STAY HUNGRY!

Les Brown Quotes

Big Dreams and Fear Goals Focus
Responsibility Possibilities Self Improvement
Motivational Quotes Perseverance Forgiving

Big Dreams Quotes and Quotes on Fear

Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.

Life has no limitations, except the ones you make.

I advise you to say your dream is possible and then overcome all inconveniences, ignore all the hassles and take a running leap through the hoop, even if it is in flames.

A lot of people do not muster the courage to live their dreams because they are afraid to die.

When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up. Let your reason get you back up.

You cannot be wimpy out there on the dream-seeking trail. Dare to break through barriers, to find your own path.

When you face your fear, most of the time you will discover that it was not really such a big threat after all.

Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.

Don't let the negativity given to you by the world disempower you. Instead give to yourself that which empowers you.

Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.

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Les Brown Goals Quotes

Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.

Your goals are the road maps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life.

If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.

Goals help you channel your energy into action.

Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars.

You must see your goals clearly and specifically before you can set out for them. Hold them in your mind until they become second nature.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

You need to make a commitment, and once you make it, then life will give you some answers.

Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.

One of the most essential things you need to do for yourself is to choose a goal that is important to you.

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Quotes about Focus

You must take action now that will move you towards your goals. Develop a sense of urgency in your life.

You must remain focused on your journey to greatness.

Review your goals twice every day in order to be focused on achieving them.

Get your ideas on paper and study them. Do not let them go to waste!

You gotta be hungry!

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Quotes about Responsibility

Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.

Don't let someone else's opinion of you become your reality.

You don't get in life what you want; you get in life what you are.

You take on the responsibility for making your dream a reality.

Other people's opinion of you does not have to become your reality.

We must look for ways to be an active force in our own lives. We must take charge of our own destinies, design a life of substance and truly begin to live our dreams.

If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.

Les Brown Video Combo Package
Les Brown Combo Package Plus Free Jim Rohn (A mentor of Les Brown) DVD

Possibilities Quotes

I believe that life is a journey, often difficult and sometimes incredibly cruel, but we are well equipped for it if only we tap into our talents and gifts and allow them to blossom.

Live out of your imagination instead of out of your memory.

The things you want are always possible; it is just that the way to get them is not always apparent. The only real obstacle in your path to a fulfilling life is you, and that can be a considerable obstacle because you carry the baggage of insecurities and past experience.

The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the buts you use today.

Honor your commitments with integrity.

Change is difficult but often essential to survival.

If you view all the things that happen to you, both good and bad, as opportunities, then you operate out of a higher level of consciousness.

If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.

It takes someone with a vision of the possibilities to attain new levels of experience. Someone with the courage to live his dreams.

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Les Brown Quotes about Self Improvement

You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change.

If you don't program yourself, life will program you!

There are winners, there are losers and there are people who have not yet learned how to win.

Your ability to communicate is an important tool in your pursuit of your goals, whether it is with your family, your co-workers or your clients and customers.

Perfection does not exist - you can always do better and you can always grow.

All of us need to grow continuously in our lives.

Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.

Your smile will give you a positive countenance that will make people feel comfortable around you.

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Motivational Quotes and Sayings

We all need some form of deeply rooted, powerful motivation -- it empowers us to overcome obstacles so we can live our dreams.

I believe that life is a journey, often difficult and sometimes incredibly cruel, but we are well equipped for it if only we tap into our talents and gifts and allow them to blossom.

It's important to me that money not be important to me.

Some people would rather get even instead of get ahead.

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Quotes about Perseverance

Anytime you suffer a setback or disappointment, put your head down and plow ahead.

Just because fate doesn't deal you the right cards, it doesn't mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.

When you want something, you have to be willing to pay your dues.

If you fall, fall on your back. If you can look up, you can get up.

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Quotes about Forgiving

Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on.

If you are carrying strong feelings about something that happened in your past, they may hinder your ability to live in the present.

Your smile will give you a positive countenance that will make people feel comfortable around you.

Forgive those who have hurt you.

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May 8, 2010

Jim Rohn Changed My Life in Some Simple Ways

Jim Rohn changed my life in some surprisingly simple, yet profound ways. He often talks about the idea of leaving a profit. It's certainly one of his recurring ideologies and it is also one of his 5 major pieces to the life puzzle - lifestyle. Jim Rohn has effected my life in many ways, and his "leave a profit" way of living a higher life is a very tangible way he has impacted me.

Jim Rohn Changed My Life in Some Simple Ways

What does Jim Rohn mean by Leave a Profit?

If you haven't heard Jim Rohn then you are certainly wondering what this means. (If you know Jim Rohn and apply this lifestyle change then you're already reaping the better life.)

Basically, leaving a profit means adopting a profit producing lifestyle. One of Jim Rohn's personal examples include turning off the lights when you leave a hotel room. He learned this from Earl Shoaff, his personal mentor. Some people may rebut this by saying "Why do I care if a big corporation gets a bigger profit?" To which, Rohn and Shoaff would say that it's far less important that a company may get more money, but what is more important is that you begin a more positive thinking process. In short, the true profit is awarded to yourself.

Another example of Jim Rohn's leave a profit mentality is the cellophane wrapper. Jim said that before he met Mr. Earl Shoaff he used to just throw the little wrapper on the ground. Shoaff changed all that, and it was simple and easy. You just think about leaving a profit and living the higher lifestyle.

How Jim Rohn and Earl Shoaff changed my thinking

And how did all this change my life? 3 things popped into my head when this blog idea struck me. First of all, I used to leave many lights on when I left a hotel room. Quite frankly, I kind of liked it and I always was very aware that I did not have to pay any electric bill directly at a hotel. Additionally, I used to waste more hot water at hotels for similar reasons. Now that I've let Jim Rohn influence my way of thinking, however, I leave a profit.

The second simple way my life changed since studying Jim Rohn is with shopping carts. When entering a shopping or grocery store there are always carts in the parking lot. I used to occasionally bring one up with me. By living a more profit-minded life I almost invariably bring a cart with me, and I will go out of my way to do so.

Finally, Mr. Rohn influenced me with another simple lesson he learned from Earl Shoaff. It involves tipping others for their service. I believe Earl Shoaff's quote was this: If two numbers pop into your head, go with the higher number and become a higher thinker; you won't believe how much happiness you can buy for a few extra bucks.

Personally, that is strikingly true! If you apply this thinking/lifestyle/attitude technique then you won't have to think to yourself later on, "awww jeeze, I had to tip less to save a lousy dollar!" It's happened to me before. If you're human, it's probably happened to you too!

So there you have it -- a few simple ways that Jim Rohn has changed my philosophy and thinking patterns. I'm sure he can do the same for you IF you give him the chance. Jim Rohn really catapulted my journey into self improvement and personal development. I will certainly have more to write on him and about him in the future, but until then be sure to leave a profit.

If you want more from Jim Rohn and to add ideas and inspiration to your mind then check out one of the first audio books that I ever listened to from Jim Rohn. This CD really turned me on to some great ideas and I've given Rohn's material to some of my best friends, and I don't hesitate to recommend it to you. See more at his official web site The Challenge to Succeed 4-CD Set by Jim Rohn, and I promise you if you heed the advice of Jim Rohn your life will change.

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May 5, 2010

How to Build Self Confidence in 6 Steps

This was a really nice and useful article that I came across randomly. It's simple, yet provides poignant examples. The article also addresses a very important topic - self confidence. In short, the way we feel about ourselves (our self worth) determines exactly what we do in life, what we try to do, and what we avoid trying.

If you aren't trying to improve your self confidence or you don't know how to build confidence and self esteem then I would highly recommend you begin the process. In fact, start with this brief self confidence article.

How to Build Self Confidence in 6 Steps

The Self-Confidence Con By Harry Key

There is a funny concept among the softly-spoken, the meek, the apologetic excuse-makers that there is some ‘kind’ of person who is confident, capable and calm in the face of adversity. The have-nots usually disempower themselves further by making an assumption that confidence is like a genetic trait, written into the DNA of some, and left out of the chromosomes of another. It’s not, it’s a lie.

Confidence is a con – it’s a lie to yourself that you can be whatever you want to be. The trick is that confident people have mastered the ability of self-delusion, and once deluded, the lie becomes real – for being confident is simply imagining yourself as already confident. That will spread a perception among others, who will react to your new-found power as if it’s you, which will reinforce your behavior and presto-change-o, you are one of the confident people.

One cannot imagine oneself taller, and no matter what ‘The Secret’ tells you – you cannot imagine yourself a new sports car, but you can imagine yourself being confident and become it, immediately.

How to Build Self Confidence in 6 Steps

1. Act.

Stand up straight, sit up straight, look people in the eye and shake hands in a way that says: “I’m in charge here” – people will respond to your confidence and reinforce it, but that’s not all. Changing your physiology will break neural pathways that have maintained your previous patterns, abruptly disconnecting from your old posture will allow your brain to rapidly remap itself to a new, confident self. Ohio State University published a study that indicated job applicants who sat up straight while writing about their qualifications were more likely to believe the positive things they’d written about themselves than those who slumped while writing. So stand up!

2. Talk with words.

When you’re speaking, listen to your choice of words, and notice how you sound. Confident people speak like this is written – with authority. I don’t, umm, kind of make excuses as to why this is sub-standard, vis-à-vis my inability to, ahh, convince you, if you know what I mean? Speak with a voice of authority. Even if you’re out of your depth, it is far more impressive to say: “I have no idea what that means, explain it to me” than to try to pretend you get it or shrink into the shadows. Ask, and you’ll end up learning something new, and people will be impressed by your ability to admit it (and they’ll appreciate the opportunity to share their knowledge with someone so impressive and confident as yourself).

3. Use your outside voice.

More than the words you say, the power with which you say them is so important it almost deserves an article all of its own. Sit up straight, face forward and say something strange and untrue at the wall. Notice where the effort for is coming from – if you’re speaking from your nose, you’ll sound annoying, if you’re speaking from the front of your mouth, you’ll sound unsure and unconvincing, if you speak from your throat you’ll sound like an ordinary person, but: When you harness the power of your abdomen and fully utilize your diaphragm to speak from your stomach, your voice is resonant and commanding. The change is instant and very powerful, try it. Also concentrate on using a downward inflection at the end of sentences, the opposite to how you’d sound if asking a question. It has a hypnotic effect that causes people to react to your authority, which is why priests have been using it for millennia (think of The Simpsons). You don’t have to record your voice to do this well, just speak loudly from your stomach and keep going until you hit that sweet spot that feels confident – that’s when you’ll sound it.

4. Adjust your inside words.

If you have self-defeating inner dialogue, change it. The first step is to accept that affecting it is within your control, after all, you put it there! Affirmations can work well (standing in front of the mirror repeating positive things to yourself daily) but can feel a bit strange for some. The idea is to supplant the negative self-flagellation with anything positive. My suggestion is to concentrate of things that empower you, when someone compliments you, really take time to take that on board, and thank them sincerely. Replay that to yourself, using your inside voice. Consciously make an effort to congratulate yourself for a job well done for every little achievement. For positive-reinforcement ammunition, follow step 5:

5. Learn and teach something new

(Particularly something that involves speaking or interacting with other people). The links between developing new skills and developing self-confidence are well established. People who continually teach themselves new things are typically far more positive, happy and confident than those who have chosen to stagnate. Learning new skills will give you an open avenue for positive reinforcement, because the rate of improvement with new skills is so steep it allows you to constantly remind yourself of how good you are at overcoming obstacles. Teaching skills to someone else works even better, because an opportunity to share skills will cement your mastery of them, and the sharing will further boost your self-worth. Take time to compliment your students and other people around you (using your commanding outside voice) for anything they do well – they’ll appreciate it and feed back into this self-replicating cycle that is self-confidence.

6. Start right now.

Don’t benignly sit around planning for that day when you’re going to start the journey towards the eventuality that might someday lead towards you pointing in a more confident direction; start behaving, speaking and interacting confidently with the world around you right now. It should take no time at all. It’s as simple as closing your eyes (not right now or you won’t get to the end of the instructions) and creating a real and lifelike vision of yourself being confident. Make the image bright, loud and engaging, with sound and colour and light. Notice how it feels, smells, looks and sounds, then make it even bigger, louder brighter and closer to you; let it affect your physicality, make it real and exciting and amazing, larger than life, then stand up step into your imagined, confident self and make it real. Wear it like a new skin. Now go off and teach someone else how to be confident like you are now.

Now you’ve given yourself the skills you need to make the change that’ll make the difference, be prepared: Some people might not like it. You may have some friends and colleagues that valued your old self-doubt for their own reasons, and they might find your newfound confidence objectionable. Be prepared for that, and know that if you come up against resistance it probably relates to self-worth issues with them, regardless of what they tell you. You may choose to take time to offer to guide them along your path towards positivity and happiness, or leave them be.

Every change has a cost and a payoff. The payoff is that your happiness and confidence will attract confident and happy people into your life, and will affect the people around you for the better. You owe it to your friends and family to be all you can, so be generous, sharing and caring.

Harry Key is an Australian Bollywood actor, personal coach and writer who lives in Mumbai, India. He is exceptionally talented at writing excessively long sentences in the third person. For proof, check out his blogs:

This article was originally found at the blog:

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May 1, 2010

What To Say When You Talk To Your Self by Shad Helmstetter Book Review

Positive self talk... it's one of the few concepts in the self help and personal development industry that really can turn people off and light others up. Personally, I never thought too highly of trivial things like pepping yourself up with phony happy-go-lucky statements.

What to Say When You Talk to Yourself

Nonetheless, I read THE book on it. How did that happen? Well, I read Dr. Shad Helmstetter's "What To Say When You Talk To Your Self" for a good reason. Basically, like "7 Habits" author Steven Covey says word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertisement. I was not looking for a book on self talk. I probably wouldn't have picked up a book on self talk if it came right down to it. But in my personal development study I heard from greats like Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, and numerous others about the power of this book.

I probably ignored the first recommendation I heard for the book. Time and again, however, it was mentioned. And ultimately I gave in – my suspicions on self talk very much withstanding.

When it was all said and done, "What To Say When You Talk To Your Self" by Shad Helmstetter was a very good book to read. It exposed me to the idea of self talk. It's much more than merely telling yourself foolish fantasies. Self talk is something we all do. Most of us don't know much about it, and probably much fewer have a firm grasp on how to use self talk to their advantage. This book begins the process of putting you in control.

Value of "What To Say When You Talk To Your Self"

The most startling evidence of the book's value came early on. Shad posed a question regarding two completely identical people with one simple exception. The exception was that the one person spoke positively about their own ability, believed in their self to be capable. They had positive self talk. The other, exact duplicate individual simply had negative self talk. And the question he posed was this: Which of these two people would you bet on living a more successful and prosperous life?

The answer to me, and I imagine most people, is startling clear. Taking two identical people and injecting one with positive self talk would give them a huge upper hand in life. This reason alone, in my opinion, is reason enough to study self talk. I was pretty well sold on the idea after this brief exercise.

What's In The Book

"What To Say When You Talk To Your Self" is pretty thorough. It gives you information on self talk, what it can do for you, where it comes from, and how it affects you (consciously or otherwise). Furthermore, Shad Helmstetter is generous enough to sprinkle pertinent examples of self talk statements throughout the book. (I have already shared quite a few of these self talk examples on this blog.) I genuinely dislike products which merely tease you with minimal substance and really force you into buying additional products. Shad's book certainly passed that test.

The best thing about Helmstetter's book is that he informs you about self talk and what it can do for you, and then he gives you actual nuts-and-bolts techniques. He doesn't leave you hanging -- guessing, hoping, and wondering if you're doing it right. He outlines the how, when, where and what type of positive self talk to use in any situation.

What Shad Helmstetter's Book Did For Me

One of the major effects this book had in my life was that it taught and helped me to become more aware of what's going on in my own head, and how what other people say influences me. It's shocking to find out just exactly what is said from repeatedly subtle statements. It certainly helped me to identify people in my own life who are negative, although in very innocuous ways. I should emphasize here that I am not talking about people who are outright rude or nasty. Not at all! But hearing others' negative self talk WILL affect you if you aren't aware of it.

I am sure that if you simply read this book you will become more aware of your own self talk. Even if you don't do the exercises you will probably make minor improvements simply because you are more aware. If, on the other hand, you make a dedicated effort to improve your self talk you can make leaps and bounds in your personal development progress.

Final Words on "What To Say When You Talk To Your Self" Review

If you don't know anything about positive self talk then "What To Say When You Talk To Your Self" is for you. This is THE book on self talk. If you aren't sure how to use self talk, then get this book. If you want to improve your mental attitude and stop nagging, negative thoughts then Dr. Shad Helmstetter's book is a must. If you're interested in reading one of the notable self help classics then you no-doubt need this book on your reading list.

The book is quality. It delivers what it promises; and it does NOT make false promises like too many books in the self help genre. Self talk is far more than simply the words that go through your head. You'll improve your self talk, attitude, and become more aware of how words affect you, and this will improve your life.

I will close with some words from the book. Our greatest responsibility, according to Shad Helmstetter, is creating our own thoughts and determining the direction of our own future.

"Self-management is the difference between living a life of fulfillment and purpose, and living out our years frustrated and incomplete, contained by the shortsighted limitations of our own disbelief. Self-management is the final conquest. And its solution is within our reach."

I encourage you and all my friends to read and really apply what you learn from Shad Helmstetter's book as soon as possible.

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