Category Archives: self-esteem

The Pursuit Of Personal Excellence

Personal excellence is gained by the gradual result of always striving to do better.

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential, these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.

Personal excellence is not about being a perfectionist. It is not a goal to be reached, a project to prove anything to anyone, satisfy anyone’s expectations, or unnecessarily stressing ourselves through being obsessive and impatient. Personal excellence is a personal resolve to do whatever we are doing the best we can, in the moment with an openness to the possibility of better ways.
Personal excellence is the life-long process of developing specific mental skills that will lead us to increase the levels of our intelligent self-direction. It is a process of becoming the best person we can be and is reflected in how we are, as well as what we do. Personal excellence is a journey of positive development beyond one’s self. It manifests in self-defined and self-valued achievements that reflect one’s best efforts.
Personal excellence is indicated in people who develop their gifts and talents to the fullest, achieving a harmony in how they think, feel, behave, and believe that leads to productive relationships and outcomes.
It seems as if those pursuing personal excellence do go about some things differently. In some cases, these behaviours are planned and quite deliberate, while in others they are implicit and not done consciously. The good news is that many of these behaviours can be learned and cultivated as we pursue our own pathway towards personal excellence.
There is nothing more satisfying than overcoming a challenge that was previously deemed insurmountable; nothing more satisfying than looking back at who you are now and realizing that you have grown much more than you thought you could. To be human is to live to our highest potential.”

Personal excellence in virtually all domains is guided by mental factors. And the experiences of exceptional performers suggest that there are six critical elements of excellence: Commitment, Belief, Full Focus, Mental Readiness, Distraction Control and Constructive Evaluation. These elements combine to form a “Wheel of Excellence” that provides a working framework to guide the pursuit of personal excellence.

  1. Commitment: The first essential ingredient guiding the pursuit of personal excellence is commitment. To excel at anything we must have or develop a very high level of dedication, self-discipline, passion, joy or love for what we are doing. We must truly commit ourselves to be the best we can be and continuously strive to make personal improvements and meaningful contributions. We require commitment to persevere through the ups and downs associated with becoming our best and maintaining our best performance in order to achieve personal excellence.
  2. Belief/Self-Confidence: Personal excellence is guided by belief in our potential, our goal, the meaningfulness of our goal, and trust in our capacity to reach that goal. Believing in ourselves and having confidence in our capacity allows us to extend our limits, create our own opportunities and push through performance barriers. Where there is firm belief in our capacity to carry out a mission and absolute connection with our performance, doors are opened to higher levels of excellence. When negative thoughts interfere with trust, performance wobbles. In the same way that belief can unlock doors, doubts can place limits on possibilities and potentials. In the presence of belief our performance blossoms; in its absence we can never touch our potential.
  3. Full Focus: Focusing is the single most important mental skill associated with performance of personal excellence. It refers to the ability to concentrate fully on what we are doing, seeing, reading, hearing, learning, feeling, observing or experiencing while we are engaged in the activity or performance. Focusing fully not only allows us to connect totally with what we are experiencing, but also frees us to perform without being disturbed by distracting thoughts.
  4. Mental Readiness: Personal excellence requires us to become skilled at getting the most out of our daily learning and living experiences. This begins with a commitment to make the most of each learning and performance opportunity. Personal excellence demands that we develop an effective way to enter a high-quality, focused performance zone on a consistent basis. We need an effective mental plan that is capable of bringing us to an intensified state of readiness for learning and performance. To excel at learning, performing, or living, we must extend an openness to learn and a commitment to an ongoing personal growth. We must engage ourselves in a continual process of self- discovery, and act upon those discoveries that lead us to our best focus and best performances. Our focus is the leader. When we discover what works best and feels best, we must follow that path, even in the face of obstacles from others who may dictate another path.
  5. Distraction Control: The fifth element of personal excellence is controlling distractions. And it refers to our ability to maintain or to regain a positive, effective focus when faced with potential distractions, negative input, or setbacks. These distractions may be external, arising from our environment, or internal, emerging from our own thoughts or expectations. Maintaining and regaining a constructive focus is an essential part of performing to our capacity on a consistent basis, whether distractions occur before, during, between or after events. Developing our ability to refocus in a positive direction is an extremely important factor affecting the consistency of our performance in all areas.
  6. Constructive Evaluation: Personal excellence entails us to develop an effective process for personal evaluation, and act upon the lessons drawn from these evaluations. Constructive evaluation includes looking for the good things and targeting areas for improvement in ourselves, our performance, and our experiences. We can draw inspiration, confidence and joy from reflecting on positive experiences and personal achievements.

“To achieve something that you’ve never achieved before, you must become someone that you have never been before.” – Les Brown


How to Build Your Child’s Self Esteem

How to build your child’s self esteem. Self-esteem is about liking who we are, and how we value ourselves. It is how we perceive our value to the world and how valuable we think we are to others. Self-esteem affects our trust in others, our relationships, our work, and nearly every part of our lives.

For children, it comes from knowing that they’re loved, accepted, secured and that they belong to a family that values them. It’s often been said that children learn what they live.  So if you’re looking for a place to start helping your child build positive self-esteem and self value, then you should show them your positive sense of self and strong self-esteem.  Be positive when you speak about yourself and highlight your strengths. This will teach your child that it’s okay to be proud of their talents, skills and abilities.

“Self-esteem is your child’s passport to a lifetime of mental health and social happiness. It’s the foundation of a child’s well-being and the key to success as an adult. At all ages.” Ask Dr. Sears

Your child also benefits greatly from honest and positive praise.  Find something about them to praise each day.  You could even give your child a task you know they can complete and then praise them for a job well done after they’re finished. Give her/him compliments as often as possible. Whenever they do something right, you can say: “I am very proud of you”, “you are very special”, or “I like the way you have done it”. Show your child that a positive act merits a positive praise.

When your child’s feeling sad, angry or depressed, communicate openly, honestly and patiently with them. Listen to them without judging or criticizing.  They may not fully understand why they feel the way they do, so the opportunity to communicate with you about it may be what’s needed to help them sort through a difficult situation.  Suggest positive behaviours and options as solutions, and make sure to leave that door of communication open so they know the next time they feel badly, they can come to you for help and know that you won’t judge or punish them for how they’re feeling.

“Discipline is helping a child solve a Problem. Punishment is making a child suffer for having a problem. To raise problem solvers, focus on solution not retribution.” ― L.R. Knost

Teach your child a sense of purpose, the importance of setting goals and developing a plan to meet that goal and complete that task. Your child should have goals that give him/her purpose and direction and an avenue for channelling his/her energy toward achievement and self-expression. Small projects are the best to start off with in the beginning.  Ensure that it’s an appropriate task for your child, and not too complex.  Don’t only give praise at the end of the project, but praise their accomplishments during the project as well.

“Self-esteem is the real magic wand that can form a child’s future. A child’s self-esteem affects every area of her existence” ― Stephanie Marston

Give your child a sense of responsibility, a chance to show you what he/she is capable of doing. Let him/her to engage in tasks without being checked on all the time. This shows trust on your part, a sense of letting go.

Be proud of your child, and let her/him know that how proud and fortunate you are to be her/his parents. Never compare your child to others saying, “Why aren’t you like Mary?” And when others make such comparisons, make sure that your child knows she/he is special and unique in her/his own way.

Most importantly, tell your child “I love you” each and every day. Show love and affection to your child many times throughout the day, in fact. All our dealings with our children, starting from infancy, should be done with a lot of affection and love. A baby who is dealt with love and affection will get a subconscious feeling that she/he is worthy and important enough to be loved. When they’ve behaved badly or have done something negative, remind yourself that it’s not them you don’t like, only their behaviour. Criticize their actions, not them, say to your child, “You are such a good and special child, you should not be engaging in such an activity,” instead of saying, “you are a bad child”. Tuck short, sweet and loving notes in their lunchboxes or coat pockets, or even send them a card in the mail.  Soon, they’ll learn to say “I love you” just as easily and honestly in return.

“Parents are provided with a unique, never-to-be-repeated opportunity to set up a “self-esteem bank account” in which the child will store many positive things about him or herself. In the years and decades to come, this “bank account” will balance out negative experiences, which are unavoidable”.


How to Learn to Love Yourself

How to learn to love yourself. We have all heard this statement many times: “You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else”. In order to bring health into your life, to experience true closeness and connections with others, you need to be taught to love aspects of yourself again and again. You need to see yourself as a worthwhile human being; you must give acceptance to yourself. The only way to learn self-love is by being loved precisely in the places where we feel most unsure and most tender. Unfortunately some people, because of unlucky factors in their lives, invariably stemming from childhood or adolescence, feel inferior, possess weak concept of themselves and face the world with dejected, or hostile attitudes.

“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha

We have to strengthen the sense of our self-love so that we will be able to tackle life’s situations healthfully, without allowing prejudices against ourselves to eat its way into our minds. It is not an easy task to erase the deeply ingrained negative attitudes permeate our cultures, and every day people we know may try to submerge us in them. But we must not allow ourselves to be coerced into adopting stereotyped, humiliating attitudes toward ourselves. We have to learn to love ourselves, respect ourselves and constantly seeking ways to invite transformation for the sake of our self growth. If we are dissatisfied of who we are, no amount of change could possibly persuade us that we are worthy and lovable. We must specifically examine ourselves as we are, realistically, without falling prey to negative ideas, which would short-change our estimate of ourselves. We must redouble our efforts to accept our shortcomings and to look humanely upon our blunders. But moreover we must have hope that there are always products and ideas for us to work toward our own betterment. Life is all about transformation, as each individual on Earth is discovering in a physical body new ways of experiencing life. And through this process of searching, each one of us is developing a deeper level of understanding of life and a greater ability to express our unique essence. It is important to realize that we are all beautiful in our own ways, complete in our authentic selves, and the more of the authentic we become, the more our beauties will shine. “You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!”  ~Eckhart Tolle

  • You are not your worst failure. Everyone has a past. Some pasts are filled with darkness, some with light and most are filled with a mixture of the light and darkness. Of course our pasts tend to leave a mark on us, and our opinions are typically formed on the basis of what we’ve experienced. But you must not allow yourself to look at yourself through lenses tinted by your past. Your past may shape you but it deosn’t define who you become. To a great degree you are what you think you are, and you can do what you think you can do. Your attitude toward yourself can give you a lift or pushes you to despair. It is your choice. Always resolve to be charitable in your self-appraisals, to see yourself in your best moments, to strengthen this pleasant vision of yourself, based on reality, not myth, but on positive picture of reality. I believe that anyone can build up this mental image of himself with compassion to the extent that life is tolerable, even rewarding. “Mistakes don’t make you a failure but beating yourself up makes you feel like one.” ~ Frank Sonnenberg
  • You have nothing to prove. Self-worth is about believing in yourself, in your capabilities during triumphs and defeats. It’s about feeling good about who you are, regardless of what others might think. We don’t need to prove to the world that we are good, or we don’t have to hide the things we have done that might not look pleasant. We just have to accept and forgive ourselves and hope that others do the same. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore everyone and never listen to anything, but what it does suggest, is that your feelings, thoughts, and actions have validity and finally need to be directed by you. Authentic feedback is two-way whereas pursuing validation is one-way as you’ve already made up your mind but are just look for confirmation. “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” ~Maya Angelou
  • Practice accepting yourself. We have to learn to value and accept ourselves for who and what we are for all the good parts, as well as the parts that we think need improvement. Self-acceptance begins with recognizing judgements against ourselves and moving our focus from judgement and blame to tolerance and compassion. Acknowledging our self-judgment will help us to discover areas or attributes within ourselves that we have unproductive feelings about, which can destroy self-acceptance, such as shame, disappointment or guilt. We must identify our strengths, so that we can give balance to the work of accepting our shortcomings. When we recognize the areas of our life which need improvement, then we must try calming our “inner critic” which will reduce reinforcement of our negative thoughts about ourselves, and will help us in creating room for tolerance, forgiveness, and acceptance. Always have compassion for your limitations and be prepared to reverse every negative thought about yourself with a positive thought. Self-compassion is the basis of self-acceptance, and it means validating our own self-worth, instead of letting our self-approval to be the decision of others. Remembering that we often learn from our past mistakes, being thankful for the lessons and accepting that making mistakes is a part of life, will help us to consider our past in a productive way. “When people are not accepting toward themselves they are often obsessed with acceptance by others” ~Nathaniel Branden
  • Know that you matter. Despite all the obstacles and problems that life throws at us, and regardless of all emotional pains or low points that we may experience sometimes in our lives, but we have to realize that we completely matter. We matter, not because we think we are important, or others tell us that we are, or because of our financial situations, our looks, performances, or popularities. But because GOD put us here. The world would not be the same if we were not here or if we do not fulfil our purposes. We all have specific talents and experiences which can help and transform others, which can change and leave people differently from how we found them, and this metamorphose lives forever. So it is important that we concentrate on our superpowers instead of our weaknesses, connect with others, build-up our confidence one step at a time, and be empowered to fulfil our vocations. “I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” ~Hafiz of Shiraz
  • Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths. ‘When we notice parts of ourselves that we consider weaknesses, I wonder if we can stop for a moment and look at them closely, to see if, somewhere, there are underlying strengths there as well”. When I look back on my life, I realize that I have always been feeling emotions intensely. And I have the tendency to give of myself hundred percent in any relationship, although I have hardly been receiving the same reception from others. I can always look at this characteristic I have of giving love and care totally as a weakness. But on the other hand, the fact that I have the capacity to give myself in this way, without any reservation, can be seen as strength. Despite the fact that feelings and emotions can hurt, but the ability to feel is a gift. And the ability to convey feelings to others is a gift to them. To hold back emotions is to keep back a special gift from the world. “Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

We can choose to love, the same way we can choose to be angry, sad, hateful or unforgiving. When we start loving ourselves, amazing transformations begin to happen. We learn to let go of negative emotions and feelings; we look at our mistakes as experiences to strengthen our characters and improve ourselves; we stop longing to be someone else; we start looking at everything around us as an opportunity for growth; we experience love and magic in our hearts, in our lives; and miracles begin to happen.

“A man who loves himself takes the first step toward real love.” ~ Osho


How Emotions And Thoughts Can Affect Your Mental Health

How emotions and thoughts can affect your mental health. Mental health consist of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Mental health is usually used as a substitute for mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia, but according to the World Health Organization, mental health is: “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his/her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his/her community.”

Thoughts are our mental perceptions, our ideas, our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. They include views and aspects we bring to any situation or experience. Although thoughts simply appear in our minds, we don’t create them, and life experiences and education have great influences on them. But we have control over how we think, and we can resolve to change how we think.  As for our emotions, we can view and experiene them as the flow of feelings. And while they are universal, but each one of us experience them and respond to them in a different way. Emotions are influenced by our thoughts and perceptions, and the way we perceive an event or interpret a situation gives rise to corresponding feelings. Emotions which can be experienced or conveyed without any reservation, attachment, or judgement gravitate to flow smoothly; on the other hand restrained emotions such as fear, guilt, hurt and negative feeling are able to kill our hope and  mental energy and cause us a lot of physical and mental health problems. Consequently when we become aware that our thoughts and emotions can affect our mental health, and have great impact on our attitudes, our behaviours, and our relationships, then we can choose to adjust and regulate our thoughts and emotional responses to any triggering events. There are few positive feelings which can simply change the emotional effects of negativity and increase psychological abilities that enrich a successful life:

  • The value of Positivity: Anyone can tell you that one key to living a healthy, happy and flourishing life is having positive attitude, and experiencing positive emotions. But I also know that we all have what it takes to deal with difficulties. That is what winning a positive attitude is about. It is about strengthening ourselves mentally to fight with our own negativity.  People who are generally positive have problems just like everyone else. What separates them from everyone else is that they know that their problems are simply part of the process of life”. Dr. Barbara Fredrickson discovered that: “Experiencing positive emotions broadens people’s minds and builds their resourcefulness in ways that help them become more resilient to adversity and effortlessly achieve what they once could only imagine. With Positivity, you’ll learn to see new possibilities, bounce back from setbacks, connect with others, and become the best version of yourself”. Emotional benefits of positivity reduce stress, lower levels of distress, better psychological and physical well-being, minimize rates of depression, improve sleep and enhance a greater sense of overall happiness. “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Forgiveness: Forgiveness is about releasing our own feelings and finding meaning in the worst of life’s events. We practice forgiveness to be free of the inner violence of our rage, anger, fear, and resentment. Forgiveness is an act of acceptance that negative situations can happen and by letting go of the negative emotions surrounding those situations, we can learn to become less anxious, angry, bitter, stressed and depressed. As we let go of grudges we’ll no longer define our life by how we’ve been hurt; and we might even find compassion and understanding in our hearts. Forgiveness not only improve our mental, emotional and physical health, but also lead us to healthier relationships, greater spiritual and psychological well-being and higher self-esteem. “It is time now to let go of the past and embrace all that awaits you”.
  • Gratitude: Gratitude means thankfulness, counting our blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that we receive. Gratitude is essentially the recognition of the unearned increments of value in one’s experience. The benefits of gratitude are extreme and powerful. Studies demonstrated that being grateful improve both physical and mental health, psychological wellbeing and attitude, and our relationships with others. Gratefulness makes us feel good and increase positive moods such as joy, interest, alertness, determination, and optimism as well as improve our self-esteem. By practicing gratitude we become less depressed and stressed, more likely to help others, and make greater progress toward achieving our personal goals. “When people in great numbers choose to practice, integrate, and embody gratitude, the cumulative force that is generated can help create the kind of world we all hope for and desire, for ourselves and for future generations”.
  • Emotional Resilience: Emotional resilience simply means one’s ability to adjust to stressful situations or crises. Resilient people are able to adapt to adversity of life without lasting difficulties, while less resilient people have a harder time with stress and life changes. To some degree, emotional and physical resilience are something we are born with. Some of us have always been the “sensitive kind” while others are not bothered by anything. However, psychological and social research have shown that emotional resilience can be learned or improved upon, no matter what level of it we are born with. We can gain and build on our emotional flexibility by practicing perseverance, optimism, learning from our mistakes, sense of humour, managing our strong feelings and impulses, avoid seeing crises as hopeless problems, accepting that change is a part of life, Moving toward our goals, taking decisive actions, nurturing a positive view of ourselves, taking care of ourselves, and maintaining a hopeful outlook. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved” —Helen Keller


Building Self Confidence

Building self confidence involves encouraging a positive but realistic attitude toward yourself and the world around you and appreciating your worth, while at the same time behaving responsibly towards others.

“Self confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings” Samuel Johnson

The confidence one has in himself, the way he sees himself down deep, is fundamental in his adjustment to himself and the world he lives in. My aim in writing this article is to help you strengthen this self confidence so that you will tackle your life situations healthfully, without allowing prejudice against yourself to eat his way into your mind.

“Self confidence is a learnable skill, like typing or riding a bicycle. You develop it with practice” Brian Tracy

There is a story about the great Michelangelo. Working in a stone quarry in Italy, the great sculptor was overjoyed at the sight of a huge, oblong block of stones. He touched it. Within it he saw the spirit of Moses. After many, many hours of working on the stone, chipping it, shaping it, he brought forth his great work of art, his great creation of Moses and the Ten Commandments.

Now may I ask you to be your own sculptors, your tools compassion and understanding, so that you can see in your mind’s eye the best that is in you, as Michelangelo pictured Moses, so that you can work to make and keep this best image of yourself as a reality. For your self image and how you value yourself is closely linked with your self-esteem and self confidence.

“Don’t be your own worst critic.  Be your own best coach.  Learn from your mistakes, but encourage yourself to new heights. Each time you fall down, be the first to pick yourself up.  Confidence is a habit you can grow.  The seeds are the thoughts and beliefs that empower you to take action.”

It is your self confidence, which, more than anything, can guide you to years of dynamic living. If you give yourself acceptance, if you see your success and try to perpetuate them, if you believe in your capability, life will hold no great fears for you, and you will remain in the mainstream of life, doing, feeling, relating, connecting.

“Building self confidence is like building muscle, you start with basic structure and then you build on it”

You can think of confidence as a muscle, then pay attention to all the chances you get to flex it throughout your day.  It even starts with how you get out of bed.  If you don’t think of yourself as confident, then act “as if” and gradually you’ll find your groove.

Keep in mind that while competence breeds competence, confidence comes first – you have to believe to achieve.  Above all, don’t anchor your confidence on external people or things.  Flow it from the inside out, starting with your own belief in you.

I offer you the Ten Commandments for a purposeful and creative living: C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-C-E:

  • C: Concentrate on a stronger self image.
  • O: Offer it full partnership in your life.
  • N: Never let it disappear; you must work to reinforce your sense of self.
  • F: Fulfil yourself with your self image; it is your best friend.
  • I: Infuse your self image with compassion when you meet setbacks.
  • D: Develop it every day; only your true sense of self can make you strong.
  • E: Elevate yourself with your self image so that you need not fear competition.
  • N: Nourish it; don’t let a false sense of selflessness convince you that it is not basic to your happiness.
  • C: Create a climate in which it can grow; spend time every day thinking, with humility, about yourself and your world.
  • E: Enjoy it; continually reactivate the success instincts, the success mechanism, within you.

“Self-improvement without self-love is like building a house upon sand. You can build and build, but it will always sink” Vironika Tugaleva

Remember this: Only you, with the self confidence you build in yourself, in your mind, and which you carry with you into life, in your mind, can create giving relationships with people, productive relationships in the world of work and interests, which can make your years bubble with life.

Confidence implies forgiveness. You feel too big to be threatened, too self-reliant, too nimble at relaxing away emotional hurts. So you are able to forgive.

You forgive others with no strings attached, a clean slate, and no vestige of condemnation. A difficult task, but you can do it.

And you forgive yourself as you forgive others. For forgiveness is but another reflection of confidence, instant confidence.

As you go through the process of improving your self-image and increasing your self confidence, try to think of yourself as a separate person. Picture yourself as a stranger who is on a path toward positive change. Be sure to celebrate this person’s accomplishments.

“Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy” Brian Tracy


Active Living

Active Living is about getting more out of life by giving more of yourself every day. Having lived by this philosophy for as long as I can remember, I know firsthand how life changing it can be. We all have the power to live a life that we love, and achieve amazing things.

“We become happier, much happier, when we realize life is an opportunity rather than an obligation” ~ Mary Augustine

How do you spend your day? The minutes and hours that tick away on your wristwatch, are they your opportunities or your burden? Or do you move towards life activities, eager seeking new adventures, mastering new concepts, and understanding more about human fellows? Time move too fast for you, you can’t get minutes and hours to embrace your interests in the world.

“Life” is a misleading word because people do so many things with it. The person who frets in self-pity and vegetates while others pass him by is half alive. If you are like this, don’t be ashamed, you have millions and millions of people for company. But realize that you must try to change so that you have a chance to know what happiness is. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” ~ Wayne Dyer

For there is happiness, there is power in life activities. There is joy and strength in moving forward, toward other people, toward the processes around which civilization has festered its approval or its permissiveness. When you wake up in the morning, you must alert yourself to the day ahead, to the possibilities for joyful living that the coming hours will bring if you use them fully. The things you do during this day may not shake the world, but they may make your world.

Unfortunately, however many people are passive to life and they withdraw from its pleasures. It is this, the moving away from life attitude that must be reversed; it is this rejection of people’s creative potentials that must be exposed as absurd.

When you want to, go fishing and salute the sunshine, but actively not passively, otherwise even the fish will say, “I won’t bite”. Can’t you move about a little more?

Let us first talk about the hysterical flight from work at about five o’clock each day, a flight as urgent as one from an approaching hurricane or from a Marine invasion. Is work such an affliction? Many people these days seem to think so. Work is like an alarm clock to them; they are clock watchers who cannot wait for the signal to get away. I really disagree with this concept. I think that productive work is one of the true goods of life; when you work productively, you manufacture more than money, you also manufacture a sense of self-esteem for yourself. Thomas Carlyle, the Scottish essayist-historian wrote: “Blessed is who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness… Even in the meanest sorts of Labour, the whole soul of a man is composed into a kind of real harmony the instant he sets himself to work.” I agree with his opinion as I have seen people functioning harmoniously in the world of work whose souls perished once they lost or gave up their jobs.

It is true that some people work at jobs ill-suited to them; their work is enslavement because they do not enjoy it.  They work only for money. They do not feel the exultation of a person who pours his most productive powers into his work.

If this is your situation, you must think about remedying it because your chances for a creative living are slim if you feel dead in your work. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” ~ Steve Jobs

May be you haven’t given your job the attention it deserves. May be you haven’t opened your eyes completely to the potentialities around you. May be you are not aware of the fact that you, not the job, might be at fault. Try to remember that in many instances, you create the opportunity, not your job.

If your job is at fault, then you have to try to find another line of work if you can. Even a small cut in pay may be worthwhile if you are able to switch to work which makes you feel more alive. If it is impossible you may convert your work productivity in enriching hobbies. Never withdraw from productive work into sluggishness. You are a human being, not a mattress, and you should utilize your human resources all your life to attain a feeling of completeness. “Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.” ~ Johnny Carson

Your Time Is Yours to Enjoy:

When you finish work you have the gift of time, but what will you do with this gift? Chances are that your hours are shorter than they used to be, even if you are a house wife, so you still have more time to enjoy yourself.

But you may say, “I don’t know what to do with my time”. This is a terrible problem, or I should say that, time is not the problem, you are the problem. You have to realize this and do something about it. Sometimes a small child in a fit of temper might destroy a genuinely loved object, but if you are reading this article, I assume that you are not a small child, and your period of experimentation is over. You must now know what you are doing. You have tools at your command. One is wisdom, the same values gained from your years of living. Surely you can see the preciousness of your free time. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of”. You must learn to use this life-stuff, to fill it with active living, not with boredom, apathy, resignation. Would you empty your wallet or pocketbook into a trash can? Then why throw away time, which is also valuable? You must use your time energetically, productively, to enhance your feeling of true participation in and enjoyment of the life process.

You must realize that leisure time is just as important as work time. You are a whole person not a working machine, and you and you alone have the opportunity within you to keep yourself whole. Leisure time may mean many things – sport, painting, cooking, card games, gardening and a lot of other activities. You must realize that leisure belongs to you, like your eyes, your heart, take it. You must find one aspect of leisure which will help you reach self-fulfilment. Take a look at yourself in the mirror, ask yourself, who you are and what you are doing with yourself. This self-confrontation needs an answer. You can’t be on the fence of indecision. Once you honestly make a response, you will find the activities that will make you happy.  Once you find the activity which makes you happy, then play it to the full. Concentrate creativity on the activity. When you play tennis, play tennis. When you are gardening, garden as if it is for the moment the most important thing in your life. Concentration doesn’t mean exhausting yourself with too many activities. Choose one, and master that, then move on to another. You will find great satisfaction from these leisure-time activities, which you have made them a part of your new creative life.

“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~ Nelson Mandela

 


Self Image

Self image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment. ~ Maxwell Maltz

“Uncertainty” is the key word in our lives. We must live with uncertainty and lead our ship through life’s rugged path, or retreat from life into a womb, an illusion since there are few guarantees to reassure us. We must learn to master these dangers to the best of our ability, and still live contentedly.

“Life Is Like Riding a Bicycle. To Keep Your Balance You Must Keep Moving” ~ Albert Einstein

After the “traumatic” process of our birth, we live the uncertain, minute-by-minute moments of infants in which a tolerant smile is followed by an indignant roar of rage and a howl of laughter, all within the space of thirty seconds.

Then it come the uncertainties of childhood, in which we depend on our parents, where destinies fluctuate according to complex economic, emotional, and sociological factors which we cannot yet understand.

The period of adolescence that follows is even more uncertain. Are we children or adults, or what we are? How should we behave toward adults? What is this called sex; is it good or bad and whose opinion do we ask and what do you do about it? Why do my parents still treat me as a child? Am I grown up, or am I?

Adulthood brings with it new problems, new uncertainties. The choice of vocations, the decisions to be made about marriage, marriage partner, and children, about business commitments and political views, insurance protection and community participations, or non-involvement, gambling or non-gambling strategies. I could write pages and pages on the conflicts a responsible adult must face and the uncertainties surrounding his decisions and the outcomes of his considered choices.

Throughout their lives most people worry about tragedy striking, the breadwinner losing their jobs, a fire that wipes out one’s home, an automobile accident in which a loved one is crippled, and these are real possibilities that one must learn to live without burying his head in the sand.

What is the answer to this dilemmas of life? It is simple, really, more life, reaffirmation of life, while there is life – life, with the help of a healthy self image that will give you the sense of certainty you need.

Some day we will all die, that is GOD’s law of life and there is nothing we can do about it. But while we lived, did we truly live?

Did we really live or just occupy space while we went through motions of living? Did we enjoy every year, every month, every week, and every day – or did we manage to passively endure the dull moments? Did we see the green trees, smell the beautiful flowers, share with our friends, taste our lamb chops, love our work – or were we so obsessed with worry that life could not enter into our troubled minds?

“Life is a great and wondrous mystery, and the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here right now. Don’t miss it” ~ Leo Buscaglia

As babies, we are born with smile coming through the first howl of pain, while we live, we must live constructively so that time and again a smile might break through the pain.

Now what about friendship – one of the chief ingredients of a rich life? There is a saying to the effect that “dog is a man’s best friend,” but I do not automatically fall in this silly sayings like this. I am fond of dogs, but if my observations are correct, a dog will be far from your best friend if you do not take care of him in the style to which he is accustomed.

Man’s best friend – any man’s best friend, is his self image. If he sees himself as a good guy, he is on the road to contentment; if he doesn’t, he will cause his own downfall.

“Love yourself and treat yourself as you would treat your best friend. You deserve the same love you give others”

John or Mary or Tom may be your friend and may be a valued friend, but your best friend is your self image. Another person may like you, may even go out of his way to help you in a crisis, but he cannot participate completely in your joys and  heartaches; more he cannot give you the capacity for success or failure, for self-acceptance or self-esteem. Your self image can give you this capacity and a sense of certainty as you live. If you see yourself as agreeable, if your picture of yourself is satisfying, you live with marvellous form of certainty; the conviction that when uncontrollable factors go against you and events temporarily oppose your desires, you will support yourself.

There will always be moment of adversity hitting you from the external world, as well as self doubts plaguing you from within. The real test of friendship for yourself is whether you rally to your own aid when you need the consoling sustenance of your best friend – YOU.

When you are sure of this internal cushion in crisis, then you know how to be certain in this uncertain world.

“We can learn to be our own best friend.  If we do, we have a friend for life.  We can buoy ourselves up, give ourselves comfort and sustenance the times when there is no one else” ~ Mildred Newman & Bernard Berkowitz

You can say to yourself “But the uncertainty is real; how can I relax?” You may protest that my point of view is not realistic. But I assure you that it is. And I assure you that I, too, know of life’s dangers as I have experienced them a lot in my life. We all go through grief, loss, shock, horror, and misfortune at some stage of our lives. There may be times in our lives that we feel tired, depressed and even walking sometimes seems an effort. Our thoughts may be incoherent and we lose contact with reality and retreat from the world of people and pain. But finally we realize that we have to continue with our life. We begin to see friends again. We learn to laugh again, and pick up the pieces and put them together. This is the way you must live your life. You must survive struggles, survive uncertainty, pick yourself off the floor, and go back to a creative living. But you need a friend at times like this, your self image, for a proper self image is the powerhouse within you that enables you to stand up under stress. Indeed, the power of your self image, intangible as it is, can outdistance the uncertainties with which you may wrestle.

Life holds many surprises for us, not all pleasant, and the person who would live creatively in today’s world must develop a strong self image. You cannot rely on luck and you cannot base your life on the opinion of other people. You must do it yourself and do it in a world full of frustrations and dangers. You must constantly work to improve your mental image of yourself, to feel better about yourself. You can do this if you are willing to work hard, without preconceptions of magical solutions, following these suggestions:

  • Every day you have many occasions to look into mirror; when you brush your teeth, when you wash your face, when you shave, when you powder your nose, or comb your hair. Go beyond these simple functions and use the mirror to help you, to become reacquainted with the outer image of a self you may have lost sight of in the rushing pace of life today.
  • Learn to accept this physical image of yourself and the inner self behind it.
  • You must recover your sense of self. Many people have lost this sense and do not understand that they have lost it or the sorrowful consequences of this loss.

You have to understand this: You can have expensive house. Two cars, a sizable bank account, and real estate, and still feel poor, if you have lost touch with a wholesome self image of yourself.

If you feel poor, then uncertainties will frighten you, and you will find them all around you.

Pliny the Elder, the famous Roman writer, once commented that “the only certainty is that nothing is certain”.  But the life insecurities need not worry you; they need not keep you from full living. Not if you feel that you are a worthwhile person. You must be able to allow yourself joy. You must feel at one with yourself. Then a sense of security will replace worry, and you will be able to live happily with a minimum of uncertainty.

 


How to Stop Worrying

How to Stop Worrying – “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” ~ Leo F. Buscaglia

Worries are those nagging thoughts about something you fear might happen. They are kind of thoughts which come into your mind and make you feel discouraged and anxious. The next thing happens, you actually start believing in those thoughts and feeding them with more arguments. Which in turn get you into a deeper state of confusion and sadness. Next thing you know, you find yourself there in that deep mud hole. You look around and all is doom and gloom. As Arthur Somers Roche said:  “Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained”

How to break the worry habit before it breaks you:

  • Block all negative thoughts from coming into your mind in the first place by keeping busy. If for some reason they do come in- address them right away. “What are the odds against this thing’s happening at all? What can I do to prove that this is not true? Be a lawyer arguing against that negativity. You can write all your thoughts down and counter argue them on paper or you can talk them out with someone you trust.
  • Co-operate with the inevitable. When Sir Henry Fawcett was a young man of twenty-five, he was blinded in a hunting accident. He had just graduated from Cambridge University as one of its most brilliant students and the world seemed like an apple rip for the picking. His own comments on the accident are: “Before twenty seconds had passed, I decided that not even this would hinder me from achieving the highest for which I was intended.” But he went on to become a professor in Cambridge. This man of faith refused to use this incident to build a tower of fear.

By fighting against the inevitable, you are using up a lot of  the energy you require for the more important areas of your life, and by not allowing yourself to let some things go, you will end up constantly tense and stressed out.

“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Dwell on positive things, and positive ways of happy living. We spend hours and hours dwelling and ruminating on the negative and fearful things in our lives. We worry about what could go wrong, instead of focusing and paying attention to the rational, the positive and the good. If you study and relive your past experiences, analysing them, and “getting in touch with your feelings”, you will only reinforce those feelings. If you want to get away from a problem, you should not focus on it.  Focus on what is rational, the positive, the beautiful, and the nice. When you got worries out of your system you can feel the quiet tranquillity. You can see the beauty, the wonder.

“Your life will follow your expectations. What you expect is what you will get. If you dwell on positive thoughts, you will move in that direction; if you continually think negative thoughts, you will live a negative life” ~ Joel Osteen

Ways to cultivate a mental attitude that will bring you peace and happiness:

  • Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health, and hope, for “our life is what our thoughts make it.”
  • Get past your enemies instead of getting Even with them. “Let’s never try to get even with our enemies, because if we do we will hurt ourselves far more than we hurt them” ~ Dale CarnegieRegardless of how you have been wronged by others in your life, and how justified you might believe you are in seeking revenge, it’s important to remember that life isn’t a game and simply getting even doesn’t mean you’ve won the battle; it just means you’ve lost your self-respect. As Martin Luther King Jr said in one of his quotes: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
  • Don’t expect gratitude. If you go around expecting gratitude, you are headed for a lot of heartaches. There are thousands of people who are ill from neglect, ingratitude and loneliness. They longed to be loved but the only way that they can ever hope to be loved is, to stop asking for it and to start pouring out love without hope of return. If you want to find happiness, let’s stop thinking about gratitude or ingratitude and give for the inner joy of giving. “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting”
  • Find yourself and do not imitate others. As it says: “envy is ignorance” and “imitation is suicide”, you need to find your true self, and be yourself. We all have a built in set of personal values. If we lose touch with those values we lose touch with our authentic self. When we violate those values we violate our relationship with the person we really are. In order to be yourself, you have to identify those values and make every effort to live by them. We can only be the person we were meant to be, by connecting with our true self and by feeling comfortable with who we are.
  • Forget our own unhappiness, by trying to create a little happiness for others. “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared” ~ Buddha

Doing things for others, whether small, unplanned acts of kindness or regular volunteering – is a powerful way to boost your own happiness as well of those around you. Kindness and caring also seem to be contagious. When you see someone do something kind or thoughtful, or you are on the receiving end of kindness, it inspires you to be kinder yourself. In this way, kindness spreads from one person to the next, influencing the behaviour of people who never saw the original act. Kindness really is the key to creating a happier life. “When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.”

“Life laughs at you when you are unhappy. Life smiles at you when you are happy. But, Life salutes you when you make others happy” ~ Charlie Chaplin

  • Count your blessings, not your troubles. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow” ~ Melodie Beattie

Counting your blessings, acknowledging and appreciating all that you already have in your life is a powerful technique that works as an antidote to worries. Noticing what is right in your life instead of worrying about what could go wrong in your life, make you feel happier and in peace with yourself. Always be satisfied with what you have and be determined to get what you want. Life has many ups and downs, but in any given situation if we analyse what we possess instead of what we have lost, we realize that God loves us and HIS blessings are always with us.

“The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.” ~ Zig Ziglar

 


How to Get Motivated

How to get motivated – One of the most important factors that lead one to their goals is the drive. This drive is known as motivation. It is a zest and determination with a kind of excitement that leads one to persevere to reach greater achievements, in no matter what avenue of their life; be it – personal or professional. The factors that motivate an individual keep changing as one climbs the ladder of age and maturity. And also, achievement of one goal sets the ball rolling for another one to be achieved. “Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another” – John Dewey

There are times when one faces a period of de-motivation and everything seems bleak. It is then that they need to find what would motivate them back into action.

People who appear to be motivated in everything, are successful in understanding how to motivate themselves in a variety of settings and tasks. Two things contribute to your motivation for any task: what you expect from yourself and what value you place on achieving a goal. The key to motivation is understanding that you have the power to change both your expectations of yourself and the value placed on a task.

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavour.” – Vince Lombardi

Now let us look at the tips which can help you to get motivated:

  1. Rise for reason: Find a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Most people state that their reason to getting out of bed in the morning is to go to bathroom! Certainly there is something more motivating you can use to get yourself going. If you have loved ones, and you are doing it for them, that is more powerful than just doing it for self-interest. Doing it for you is good too, but you should do it for something that you really want to happen, for really good reasons. “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it” – Lou Holtz
  2. Energize yourself: Exercise dramatically affects mood and attitude. You might think working out is about your physical wellbeing, which it is, but it is also about your mental wellbeing as well. Moderate and reasonable exercise will do amazing things to create and keep your motivation high.
  3. Set achievable goals: It is difficult to sustain your motivation if you do not find meanings in your work. Goals can provide you with directions and nurture your motivation. Indeed, long-term goals are like road maps: they can help you envision your paths and give you good targets to achieve. Short-term goals are like checkpoints: they can give you affirmations that you are making efforts and moving forward to your long-term goals. The significance of a man is not in what he attains but in what he longs to attain” – Kahlil Gibran
  4. Reward yourself: Everyone likes to be rewarded for completing a good job. Rewards can be motivating and give us the additional push to carry on. Whenever you have accomplished a task or a target you set, give yourself a decent reward. Take time out to recognize what did get done and celebrate the accomplishments.
  5. Be action-oriented: Over thinking give you a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged. Paralysis by analysis is a very real hazard for people who simply can’t get enough information. Learn what you need to learn, and then get moving. Keep your energy high by jumping in and getting started. As Ian Percy said, “Business needs fewer mission statements and more missions”
  6. See opportunities instead of obligations: Instead of something you have to do, approach tasks, as something you want to do because of what you have to gain from it. Remind yourself that by completing a task or a target you set, you will be one step closer to achieving your goal.
  7. Spend time with people who share your goals and interests: Enthusiasm is contagious. Just talking about something you love can stir up motivation in yourself and the people around you. The people you meet might have new ideas and interesting perspectives that can reignite your passion. Passion is caught, not taught.
  8. Talk to someone who has already achieved what you want: Nothing is more inspiring than seeing that your goals truly become reality. When you want to give up because your goals seem impossible to reach, find someone whose success will inspire you. Ask them about how their success feels and the personal fulfilment they experienced. “Determination – it’s the key to all human success”.

“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal, you do not change your decision to get there” – Zig Ziglar

  1. Be happy: Happiness is largely a choice. As Abraham Lincoln said: “People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”. If you love life and you love what you do, you will tackle every task with energy and enthusiasm. If you are a “glass half-empty” person chances are that nothing will ever seem good to you. Spend time every day doing something that makes you truly happy.
  2. Visualize: See yourself achieving your goal. View it like a movie in your mind, but make it a complete sensory experience. When we visualize our desired outcome, we begin to “see” the possibility of achieving it. Through visualization, we catch a glimpse of what is, in the words of one writer, our “preferred future.” When this happens, we are motivated and prepared to pursue our goal.
  3. Recognize your accomplishments: Acknowledging your achievements, even in a small way, increases positive emotions such as self-respect, happiness, and confidence. Always take a moment to reflect on what you have achieved and be proud. Of course achievements come in all shapes and sizes and while they are all worth acknowledging, some will be more meaningful to you than others. I’d like to suggest that you find ways to create memories around your most important successes, then in the future if you should have moments of self-doubt or find yourself facing a particularly difficult obstacle you will have some tangible reinforcement of what you can do when you set your mind to it and how far you’ve already come.
  4. Set meaningful goals: Meaningful goals are those that are within reach, but force you to work hard. Make sure your goals are measurable within a set time period, for maximum value. Goals that are vague, or that don’t have a deadline, aren’t very satisfying even if you manage to complete them. Accomplishing a valuable goals really means something, because it is a reflection of hard work. As a result you will feel much more motivated to pursue them. “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” – Andrew Carnegie

Having enumerated all these tips and tricks to attain self-motivation, but still you seem to feel lacking that much needed drive, there is one last thing that you must try. Whatever it is that you have been meaning to do, or wanting to achieve, JUST DO IT! Keep on aiming high and go for it! Actually getting your hands dirty best solves the problem of motivation. By “forcing” yourself to just do it, your momentum will pick up gradually as you go along and before you know it you have finished the task or have finally achieved your goal. Divide and conquer is the key.


The Inner Power

The Inner power is a quality which makes us a winner or loser. Confidence, an instant confidence that wells and swells within us, when we need it, this must be our inner power.

Samuel Johnson once wrote that: “Self-confidence is the first great requisite to great undertakings”

Instant confidence is something we all need, no matter who we are, no matter what our age and our status in life. It is an inner fire that can make our hearts sing, building the positive habits that will flow smoothly into fresh, crisp living.

We all have this inner power, to one degree or other. It is in all of us, waiting to be used.  In our lives we have known failures, successes, and mixed experiences. If we minimize the failures, resolving to rise above them and make a habit of drawing upon the confidence of past successes, seeing them in our mind, tasting them again and again, humbly, not boastfully, self-confidence becomes a second nature to us.

 “Nothing holds you back more than your own insecurities” Susan Gale

We have all known some success in life, no matter how small, no matter how humble, no matter how trivial in the eyes of others.

These successes are the base upon which we can build our inner strength, we must learn to emphasize in our mind these better moments of ours, to see them in our mind, to feel them in our hearts, until they become part of what we are as a breathing, living, thinking, seeing human being.

Over and over and over, because this is not a simple, automatic process if we have many failures to cope with, in our life. We must picture these good moments in our mind, we must remember that we came into this world to succeed, not fail.

Over and over and over, we must manufacture for ourselves our most successful product, our force for success. These repeating, previsualizing, reemphasising the winning moments in our lives, creates in us an ongoing drive, which is instant confidence.

It is debatable, perhaps, whether your coffee is better slow-brewed or instant. It is also debatable whether your orange juice is better squeezed by hand or instant.

But there is nothing debatable about instant confidence. It is a value to those who feel it, it is a priceless value, and there can be no doubt of this.

“Self-trust is the first secret of success” Ralph Waldo Emerson

We need this feeling of belief in ourselves, this instinctive feeling of belief in ourselves, to fully utilize our resources, so that we can constructively plunge forth into life activities. We need this feeling to accelerate us forward into a dynamic pattern of living.

We must understand that there is a good within us, forgive our faults, and rise above the blunders in our life to our triumphs of self-assertion and achievement.

It is no overnight undertaking, but, in terms of days and weeks and months and years, we can enlarge in our mind this successful image of ourselves, supplemented with new, rich experiences, until we have within us a great, shiny weapon, the instant confidence.

“Confidence comes naturally with success, but success comes only to those who are confident”