Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Real Art Of Conversation

The real art of conversation is in listening. The grand object for which a gentleman exists, is to excel in company. Conversation is the mean of his distinction, the drawing-room the scene of his glory.

In company, though none are “free,” yet all are “equal.” All therefore whom you meet, should be treated with equal respect, although interest may dictate toward each different degrees of attention. It is disrespectful to the inviter to shun any of her guests. Those whom she has honoured by asking to her house, you should sanction by admitting to your acquaintance.

If you meet any one whom you have never heard of before, you may converse with him with entire propriety. The form of “introduction” is nothing more than a statement by a mutual friend that two gentlemen are by rank and manners fit acquaintances for one another. All this may be presumed from the fact, that both meet at a respectable house. This is the theory of the matter. Custom, however, requires that you should take the earliest opportunity afterwards to be regularly presented to such a one.

The great business in company is conversation. It should be studied as art. Style in conversation is as important, and as capable of cultivation as style in writing. The manner of saying things is what gives them their value.

The most important requisite for succeeding here, is constant and unfaltering attention. That which Churchill has noted as the greatest virtue on the stage, is also the most necessary in company, to be “always attentive to the business of the scene.” Your understanding should, like your person, be armed at all points. Never go into society with an absent mind. It is fatal to success to be all distrait. The secret of conversation has been said to consist in building upon the remark of your companion. Men of the strongest minds, who have solitary habits and bookish dispositions, rarely excel in sprightly colloquy, because they seize upon the thing itself, the subject abstractly, instead of attending to the language of other speakers, and do not cultivate verbal pleasantries and refinements. He who does otherwise gains a reputation for quickness, and pleases by showing that he has regarded the observation of others.

It is an error to suppose that conversation consists in talking. A more important thing is to listen discreetly. Mirabeau said, that to succeed in the world, it is necessary to submit to be taught many things which you understand, by persons who know nothing about them. Flattery is the smoothest path to success; and the most refined and gratifying compliment you can pay, is to listen. “The wit of conversation consists more in finding it in others,” says La Bruyère, “than in showing a great deal yourself: he who goes from your conversation pleased with himself and his own wit, is perfectly well pleased with you. Most men had rather please than admire you, and seek less to be instructed, nay, delighted, than to be approved and applauded. The most delicate pleasure is to please another.”

It is certainly proper enough to convince others of your merits. But the highest idea which you can give a man of your own penetration, is to be thoroughly impressed with his.

Patience is a social engine. To listen, to wait, and to the wearied are the certain elements of good fortune.

If there be any foreigner present at a dinner party, or small evening party, who does not understand the language which is spoken, good breeding requires that the conversation should be carried on entirely in his language. Even among your most intimate friends, never address any one in a language not understood by all the others. It is as bad as whispering.

Never speak to any one in company about a private affair which is not understood by others, as asking how that matter is coming on, &c. In so doing you indicate your opinion that the rest are de trop. If you wish to make any such inquiries, always explain to others the business about which you inquire, if the subject admit of it.

If upon the entrance of a visitor you continue a conversation begun before, you should always explain the subject to the new-comer.

If there is any one in the company whom you do not know, be careful how you let off any epigrams or pleasant little sarcasms. You might be very witty upon halters to a man whose father had been hanged. The first requisite for successful conversation is to know your company well.

There is another precept of a kindred nature to be observed, namely, not to talk too well when you do talk. You do not raise yourself much in the opinion of another, if at the same time that you amuse him, you wound him in the nicest point, his self-love. Besides irritating vanity, a constant flow of wit is excessively fatiguing to the listeners. A witty man is an agreeable acquaintance, but a tiresome friend.

In addressing any one, always look at him; and if there are several present, you will please more by directing some portion of your conversation, as an anecdote or statement, to each one individually in turn.

It is indispensable for conversation to be well acquainted with the current news and the historical events of the last few years. It is not convenient to be quite so far behind the rest of the world in such matters.

“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”

Spiritual Meditation Practice

Spiritual meditation can reintroduce you to the part that has been missing

By practicing spiritual meditation you become more and more you

Spiritual Meditation helps turning one’s life into a more beautiful, harmonious and happy one. When mind, body and spirit are in harmony, then everything seems right with the world. Finding inner peace through spiritual meditation is not altogether an easy thing, if people do not make time for it. Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that in an era filled with the promises of high technology and modern medicine, we are reaching back to the wisdom of traditional cultures and indigenous peoples to find beauty, to cure our ills and to ease our minds from restless anxiety. People seem to be now finding more time to reflect on the things that may make them happier in the long-term that they can bring forth within themselves. “Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit“.

Ancient philosophies focus on a holistic, interconnectedness approach which involves the practice of spiritual meditation, promoting long-term good health, rather than merely trying to correct health problems as they arise. Treating the whole person, rather than merely a specific problem, has been an evolving idea that is gaining popularity now in the West. Slowly the medical establishment is beginning to acknowledge the vital concept of balancing a healthy mind and spirit with a healthy body.

“The more regularly and the more deeply you meditate, the sooner you will find yourself acting always from a center of inner peace.” – Swami Kriyananda​

Awareness of the breath is one of the most basic and widely practiced forms of spiritual meditation, the two other major forms being repetition (aloud or silently) of a word or phrase, or visualization of an object or (in the religious context) a deity. Different people will find these different approaches of spiritual meditation more or less appropriate to their own needs. Many may need to try several before hitting on the form with which they feel most comfortable with ultimately.

Some instructors teach people a very simple form of spiritual meditation. People sometimes have fears or misconceptions about meditation, and believe that they may not have control of the situation. Another objection may be that meditation is some kind of odd religious practice, but although meditation does form a central part of some of the world religions, it is perfectly possible to practice it outside of any religious context.

The ability to discover and draw from inner resources of health, strength and tranquillity is essential to achieving an individual, balanced person. Yet in a culture dominated by unrealistic ideals of physical beauty and twenty-four hour positivism, it is important for people to tap into more sustainable practices of lasting energy, such as spiritual meditation. It has become increasingly difficult, and more important than ever, to discover within ourselves that which truly defines peace – clarity of mind, sense of purpose, physical well-being, and spiritual fulfilment.

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” ― Dalai Lama


To Be A Parent

To be a parent is the most difficult job in the world and it’s the one job that no one does any training for. New parents get tons of advice from family, friends and experts in the media. All this advice is sometimes contradictive and it’s very confusing. Sometimes, you just have to follow your own instinct. After all, no one knows the child like his or her own parents. If a strong bond is forged between parent and child in the early years, the family will survive the difficult teenage years, which will surely come. Parents have different parenting styles when it comes to the thorny issue of discipline. Debates rage on which methods are the best.

One of the constant arguments is over corporal punishment, to smack or not to smack. Smacking was commonplace when I was a kid and it was part of life. It was probably overused and some parents did it out of habit, rather than as a well thought out strategy to instill a sense of right and wrong. I tended to be smacked when I was being a nuisance rather than for the times when I was actually doing something bad. It was an unthinking response of the older generation, a lot of the time. Sometimes, it was calculated of course, and more like going to the Head Teacher’s office to get the cane. The next generation started to question parenting styles and a lot of people rejected smacking altogether.

If smacking is outlawed in the home, what can replace it? There are different measures, which parents employ, according to their choice of parenting styles. Stopping TV for a week or two is one way, or grounding a child may do the trick. It’s really a mercenary act of getting them where it hurts. Some kids will prefer a quick smack to being grounded and not being able to see their friends. Sending a child to his room doesn’t seem to work like it used to. These days, children’s bedrooms are full of the latest gadgets and home entertainment centres. It’s not exactly a place of punishment or quiet reflection!

Parents are very busy people, running a home and holding down jobs. It’s tempting to give in to children’s demands when you come home exhausted from a day at work. Kids can sense weakness and know when to strike! Parenting styles may have relaxed over the years and no one wants to go back to the Victorian severity when children were seen and never heard. However, it’s important that we don’t tip too far the other way. We don’t do our kids any favour’s by giving in to their every whim, and what they need most of all is having our attention. When it comes to knowing how to discipline your child, we can focus on one important key area: giving them the positive attention they need and crave.

Kids need attention, plain and simple. If we don’t give it to them, they will seek out any attention they can get-even negative attention. They will push our buttons with negative behaviours, as to them, even having a negative attention is better than having no attention at all. This doesn’t mean we have to be at our child’s side 24-7 – just taking a few minutes, once or twice a day to spend one-on-one with our child, with no distraction, and doing something they want to do, will help our kids to become more cooperative and less likely to seek out attention in negative ways.

Although life is busy for everyone, and finding extra time in the day may be hard at first, but we have to think of this as an investment in our relationship with our children and in improving their behaviours. When it comes to knowing how to discipline our child, giving them what they need to avoid poor behaviours in the first place can have a great impact.

” It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men ”    Frederick Douglass


Mental Health

Mental health could be described as a state in which every individual realizes his or her own abilities of how to cope with normal stresses of life, of how to be able to work productively, and how he/she is able to make a contribution to his or her community

Your mental health is an amazing part of what makes you as a person. Personal development is a way of life that effects your mind, actions, and how you treat others around you.  It plays a vital role on your over-all wellbeing and the relationships around you.  Often times, we get so caught up in the physical aspects of what’s on the outside and forget to take care of the inside. Exercising our brain consciously and subconsciously is an important factor when improving one’s life and creating a healthy state of mind as we age.  When we are depressed, stressed, tired, and frustrated it effects everything we do as well as the people closest to us.  I remember someone telling me in a depressed state, that she couldn’t even watch television because she didn’t want to watch the living. When I get down, I often think of that comment and it reminds me of a place I don’t ever want to be. Isolating yourself from others could turn into something very dangerous and unfortunately help will only start with one person. YOU! Although there is a laundry list of books and professional help, also recommended, but if this article gives you a jump start to just get you slightly motivated to move forward, then moving an inch is greater than lying still.

Depression and anxiety will use every good power that you have against you. Keep in mind that the most talented individual wouldn’t get anywhere without persistence.  Persistence and determination are the first steps to controlling your thoughts and feelings.  Many medications can trigger depression, make sure to consult with your doctor to see if this has any effects on the way you are feeling.

Studies indicate that the most common reason for depression is the lack of interests and activities. When improving your personal life, interests and activities are vital in mental health, self-esteem and happiness. Although this does not help much when fighting boredom, or other problems but you can best improve your mental health by practicing many of them until you do well.  When we are depressed, it is easy to forget all of the things we liked to do.  Motivation can help us overcome trying something new or remembering exactly what made us happy. Asking friends and family to help motivate me is a tool that I use when I’m in the need of a little push. Reward yourself when accomplishing tasks, such as getting the laundry done before watching your favourite television show.

Negative thinking also plays a major role in depression. The happiest of people experience the same pain, suffering and sorrows, just like a person depressed. To accept troubles gracefully and keeping a positive attitude is where you’ll find how some people cope with things on a different level. Ask yourself, are your expectations realistic?  Accepting a situation for what it is can eliminate your negative feelings.  Taking action for your own negative ways of thinking and turning those thoughts positive means that you are motivating yourself to change.  Tackle what is bothering you, and take a bad situation and turn it into something good.  A little humour helps my situation from time to time, meaning laughter does a great deal for our mind and body. Try not to constantly worry about being happy. Developing interests, activities, friendships and learning how to cope with the emotional pain will conquer your personal problems and further solve your thinking habits.  Doing this will get you on the road of happiness, as long as you put forth the effort.

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”

Improving Your Personal Life

Improving your personal life is achieved by turning your wants into needs. Throughout our lives, we all have the desire to be all we can be, although some of us ignore this desire. Many times, we may stay in our comfort zone without realizing that we are passing up opportunities to do something that we truly enjoy. Of course, the money may be good, your bills are paid and you find it easy to work with repetition. Yet, are you happy?

When you are ready to improve your personal life, you must turn your wants into needs. I need to be successful. I need to be a great parent. I need that promotion. I need to save my relationship, etc.

How to be your own life coach:

Many of us spend time convincing ourselves that our dreams will never come true. We may feel that our dreams do not amount to anything. Poor self-esteem hinders the quality of life. In addition, you miss being your own coach. You can turn the negative thoughts into positive reflections, which will guide you to improve overall personal life. The next time you feel like turning yourself into a destructive thinker, breath deep and say, I love myself, just the way I am, with all perfections and imperfections. Learn to walk tall and habitually think about what you want to achieve. Set plans, write down your goals, and take action to reach those goals. You may want to learn something simple. Learn how to be a better cook. Stop yelling at the children.

How to take steps in becoming a better you:

Thinking positive is a great start to improving overall personal life. Surrounding yourself around good influences will encourage you to acquire better behaviours. You will learn to practice these new habits daily. Once you conquer your obstacles, you can mark off the list of poor behaviours you have written down.

Tips for personal development and growth:

Learn to say no. For some of us, our natural instincts lead us in the right direction to helping others. Are you sacrificing your needs however, to consistently take care of other people’s needs? Are you taking time out of each day to pamper yourself for fifteen minutes or so? Are you taking actions to stop persistence that spreads yourself too thin?

If you spread yourself too thin, it will lead to sleepless nights, since you will feel anxious and depressed. Do you constantly keep yourself in the centre of drama? If so, do not allow others to drag you down. Try to stay away from situations that drag you down and take you beyond your control. If you are focusing on the wrong items in life, you are not improving overall personal life.

Do you tell yourself that you are not good enough? Do you say you are not strong? Do you feel like you are not enough? Do you feel like you deserve what you get, when what you get causes you sadness?

For some people it is easy to focus on negativity, which causes them ongoing depression. If you are one of those people at interviews, when asked about your qualities, skills, etc., speaks out rambling off your bad qualities, you need to stop now. What you are doing is taking away your opportunities to achieve. Some of us are lost at words when it comes to speaking highly of ourselves. For some people this seems selfish, or boisterous, yet it is not. Learn to become your own best friend and give yourself frequent compliments. Stop focusing on yourself and criticizing your every move, and forget about the past mistakes and focus on your future. Sure, we can say it is easier said than done; yet if you put forth effort, it is easier than you believe. So many times, we do not take full responsibility of our own actions. We rather live a life blaming others for our mistakes or misfortunes. Do not obsess over past mistakes, live in denial, and stop blaming others to see how your life will improve. We all make bad choices in life. This is a part of living. Learn from your mistakes and move ahead. Treat each new experience as a point of learning. Next, we can learn how to wake up to improving overall personal life.

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”  George Bernard Shaw

How To Improve Myself

How to improve myself over the years has become the main method for achieving my goals in life, as some of the biggest things in my life I believe are directly attributable to it.

I believe that sometimes, when all our doubts, fears and insecurities wrap ourselves up, we always come up with the idea of “I wish I was somebody else.”  More often than not, we think and believe that someone or rather, most people are better than us. – When in reality, the fact is, most people are more scared than us.

You spot a totally eye-catching girl sitting by herself at a party, casually sipping on a glass of Asti Spumante. You think to yourself, “She looks so perfectly calm and confident.” But if you could read thru her transparent mind, you would see a bunch of clouds of thoughts and you might just be amazed that she’s thinking “are people talking about why I am seated here alone? Why don’t guys find me attractive? …I don’t like my ankles, they look too skinny… I wish I was as intelligent as my best friend.”

We look at a young business entrepreneur and say “Woo… what else he could ask for?” He stares at himself at the mirror and murmur to himself, “I hate my big eyes… I wonder why my friends won’t talk to me… I hope mom and dad would still work things out.”

Isn’t it funny? We look at other people, envy them for looking so outrageously perfect and wish we could trade places with them, while they look at us and thinks of the same thing. We are insecure of other people who themselves are insecure of us. We suffer from low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence and lose hope in self-improvement because we are enveloped in quiet desperation.

Sometimes, you notice that you have an irritating habit like biting off your finger nails, having a foul mouth, and you – of all people, is the last to know.

I have a friend who never gets tired of talking. And in most conversations, she is the only one who seems to be interested in the things she has to say. So all of our other friends tend to avoid the circles whenever she’s  around, and she doesn’t notices how badly she became socially handicapped – gradually affecting the people in her environment.

One key to self-improvement is to LISTEN and TALK to a trusted friend. Find someone who you find comfort in opening up with even the most gentle topics you want to discuss. Ask questions like “do you think I am ill-mannered?”, “Do I always sound so argumentative?”, “Do I talk too loud?”, “Does my breath smell?”, “Do I ever bore you when were together?”  In this way, the other person will obviously know that you are interested in the process of self-improvement. Lend her your ears for comments and criticisms and don’t give her answers like “Don’t exaggerate! That’s just the way I am!”  Open up your mind and heart as well. And in return, you may want to help your friend with constructive criticism that will also help her improve herself.

One of Whitney Houston’s songs says “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” True enough. In order to love others, you must love yourself too. Remember, you cannot give what you do not have.

Before telling other people some ways on how to improve themselves, let them see that you yourself is a representation and a product of self-improvement. Self-improvement makes us better people, we then inspire other people, and then the rest of the world will follow.

Stop thinking of yourselves as second-rate beings. Forget the repetitive thought of “If only I was richer… if only I was thinner” and so on.  Accepting your true self is the first step to self-improvement. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others only to find out at the end that we’ve got 10 more reasons to envy them.

We all have our insecurities. Nobody is perfect. We always wish we had better things, better features, better body parts, etc. But life need not to be perfect for people to be happy about themselves. Self-improvement and loving yourself is not a matter of shouting to the whole world that you are perfect and you are the best. It’s the virtue of acceptance and contentment. When we begin to improve ourselves, we then begin to feel contented and happy.

“Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

Staying Motivated

Staying motivated to excel at your job or to be an example to your employees, should not be something you do only when the spirit moves you.  It’s an ongoing process that should include every facet of your business life. This means your mental attitude, physical well-being and appearance, work atmosphere, your interaction with others (clients and employees alike), and your off-the-job environment.

Motivational experts get paid big bucks to tell professionals, striving for success, that they must constantly examine these factors.  How do you do that?  Follow the 5 tips that follow, and watch the changes.

  1. Maintain a Positive Attitude – Let’s realize that life is only 10% of what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. We’re responsible for our own actions and attitudes, and changing them when appropriate.  When you’re around people/things that are uplifting and positive, you feel that way.  You have more confidence in yourself, and know you can change whatever needs changing. If you can make your workplace such a place you’ll find happier workers and higher production. You might even find your employees look forward to coming to work!
  1. Leave Personal Troubles Home – Everyone has problems, but they don’t belong at work. Turn your attention and energy entirely to your on-the-job tasks. This will actually be good for you because you’ll get a mental break from your troubles.
  1. Create Positive Affirmations – The reason for writing goals for your business is the same as creating positive affirmations on paper. What your eyes see and ears hear, your mind will believe.  Try it!  After you’ve written them down, read them aloud to yourself – and do it every morning when you get into work.  You’ll be amazed at what happens.  Come up with a set of new ones every month.  Statements such as, “I’m an important and valuable person,” or “I know I’ll make good use of my time today.”  Repeating them out loud every day at a set time will help reinforce positive actions.
  1. Make Sure Break Times Are Really Break Times – This is an area where most bosses/entrepreneurs fall down. You become so intense about the project or situation you’re working on that you don’t ease up.  Thinking that it’ll be solved in the next few seconds, and then you’ll get a cup of coffee can lead you right up to quitting time.  Regularly adhering to a specified break schedule, even if you’re the boss, releases the tension.  If you work on a computer this is even a greater problem because before you realize it – you’ve been working in that same position for hours.  The best answer to this is to set yourself a reminder on your appointment calendar for every 2 hours, and let the computer reminder chime send you the alert to move around. 
  1. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise – I know that lately it seems that “exercise” is the cure-all to every physical ailment or your love life, but despite that there is some truth to that ugly word.  By “exercise” I don’t mean that you should go out and join a gym and spend your lunch-time, 3-days-a-week there working out.  What is really beneficial and workable is that at those chiming alerts from your computer, get up and walk around your desk or room.  Maybe go outside and get the mail and enjoy the sunlight (if you’re an entrepreneur that has a home office), or just get up and do a few stretches.  Concentrated, tense thinking – typing – plotting plans – or whatever your work, makes all those muscles tighten up and knot up.  Then when we move we “ooh” and “ouch” because we’ve knotted up into a ball of tension. Periodic stretching, even at our desk, or just getting up and walking over to the window and getting a different view can help.  One of the greatest disservice modern business décor has done to us, is making our offices pristine, sleek, unencumbered spaces.  There is nothing more relaxing than getting up from your desk and walking over to a peaceful, serene, seascape or pastoral painting and just drinking it in visually.  Momentarily transporting your mind out of work and into that place does wonders.  A few good paintings and less shiny chrome in offices would benefit us all. 

It only takes a little concentrated effort on our part to keep motivated and productive, which leads to success.  I know you’re going to hate hearing this, but it’s true anyway – and that is, “WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS – MAKE LEMONADE!”

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

 


Basic Law Attraction Concepts

Basic Law of Attraction Concepts is a secret in the universe that can bring you good things, happiness, wealth, and physical well-being.  You only have to know how to apply it.  A few basic concepts of the Law of Attraction can help you on your way.

One of the concepts central to the Law of Attraction is that the things you think become reality.  The things you think are energy, just as the entire universe is energy.  As you ponder your reality, or simply let thoughts run through your mind, you are shaping your reality.  You do this by means of the Law of Attraction.  The energy you send out collects with like energy.  Then, the universe responds to your feelings by returning the energy back to you.  This happens for good or bad feelings.

Another basic concept is that it is too difficult to monitor every one of some 60,000 thoughts you have every day.  The goal, instead, should be to foster a feeling of happiness, gratitude, and well-being.  This will go further than trying to change every thought individually.  Feelings are important to the Law of Attraction.

One assumption of users of the Law of Attraction is that life is meant to be joyous and fulfilling.  Many people feel that their lives can be no more than difficult work situations, unhappy relationships, poor health, and a mountain of debt.  Unless these people change their attitudes, they can never know the abundance they can get through the Law of Attraction.

There can never be a lack of anything that you want if you follow the Law of Attraction.  This is another concept of the movement.  It means that there is enough for everyone to have what they want.  This is especially true because some people want certain things and other people want something else.  According to the Law of Attraction, what you want is always possible.  One concept of the Law of Attraction can be stated as something like, “what you get is what you see.”  What this means in this case is that when you see a result, you will vibrate with energy based on that result.  If you see well, you will send out good energy.

This energy will return to you in the form of more positive results.  So, if you want positive results, you need to find a way to see the good in situations.  This is how the Law of Attraction works.  If you see good, more good will return to you.  The concept of asking for particular things is a part of the Law of Attraction.  When you command the universe to give you what you want, you can get it.  To do this, you must believe in it.  Then, you must accept it as if you had already gotten it.  Then you will find the Law of Attraction bringing all kinds of good things your way.

The Law of Attraction is at once both simple and complex.  You must only ask and receive.  Yet, to do that in confidence, you must work to restructure your whole way of thinking.  To do this it is good to study the concepts of the Law of Attraction.

” The Soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts ” Marcus Aurelius