Category Archives: self image

Listening to Others Generates Creativity and Connection

Listening to others is an art, a path to other people’s heart.

Listening to others, especially those with whom we disagree, tests our own ideas and beliefs.

Listening to others forces us to realize, with humility, that we don’t have a monopoly on the truth.

Listening to others actively and emphatically, or having ears for others is hard sometimes, but we must learn to practice it so that we will be able to master it. We must develop the capacity to hear others. It is important to hear what others say, not just to hear ourselves talk.

Listening to others (Having ears for others) is the third facets in planning a creative day.

The art of emphatic listening to others is the art of understanding; it is the art of progress; it is the art of having a meaningful conversations with others. In this art of listening we have to think of our ears as two extra eyelids, we have to be non judgmental and not making assumptions. By listening to others we learn to open our ears to the opinion of other; we learn that others are just as good as we are, even if they have faults, as we have faults too. We learn to open our ears to reason because reason very often has a difficult time in this world, and people refuse to listen to it.

Listening to others is a path to other people’s heart, an effort requiring patience, sometimes a battle with yourself, and a skill you need to learn in order to evolve as a person and unleash your potential.

Many of us have gotten used to talking without listening to others. This problem unfortunately is common in our modern society; and since the attitude that characterizes our narcissistic society is “no view is as enlightened and informed as my view,” we don’t even bother to consider what others have to say.

When we listen, we communicate. And how we listen determines how well we can communicate.

The word conversation generally brings to mind talking. However, if you’ve ever seen two people trying to talk to each other at the same time, you’ll know that listening is just as important. In fact, listening is half of a successful conversation; you take turns to talk, and everyone feels heard. This is great communication.”

If we listen well and honestly, we become part of a creative communication that invigorates, challenges, renews, excites and may contribute to an exchange of ideas that benefits everyone. If we don’t listen well, we will not grow or learn or interact with others in a way that is rewarding to everyone.

Not listening to others well is to be a selfish act, as we shut ourselves off from others. It is not necessarily a form of arrogance, but it may well be interpreted that way. People don’t like to be around the inattentive, mind-wandering listeners. In fact, people flock more readily to the good listener than to the self-involved, brilliant declaimer, who mainly wants to hear himself, or herself.

Just as we sometimes need to talk out our problems, having someone truly listen to us may make us feel better about life in general. We may not even be looking for advice or counsel as much as we are looking for validation of who we are. Being listened to, is reaffirming and comforting. And listening to others, truly listening, is often the best form of learning about life or helping to solve a problem, either at work or in a personal relationship.

We have to have ears for ourselves too, to listen to the heartbeat of our mind, to the clock within us that clicks away the joys and sorrows we are heir to. If we have to shut our ears, then we have to learn to shut them to prejudices, to skirting around the truth, to the daily threat of negative feelings.

Enterprise is a matter of communication, of self image, of strength, of going toward life without fear. It is a matter in planning a creative day.

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

 


Be True To Yourself and Reach Your Potential

Be true to yourself as it is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Be true to yourself, and your feelings. Those are the only things in your life that will never lie to you.

Be true to yourself, make each day your masterpiece, and most importantly believe in yourself.

Be true to yourself is a statement that we hear all the time, but it is the truth. We all have our own values, beliefs, personality traits, and desires. When we deny any part of our authentic self, we die a little death on the inside. Our uniqueness makes us who we are. By being true to ourselves, we also give everyone else permission to do the same.

To be true to yourself (Return to yourself) is the second facets in planning a creative day. In order not to retreat from life, but return to it during our creative day, we must utilize our potentialities. Thinking is a great gift; it is what makes us superior to the animal. Whatever our capacities, we can think within those capacities. Whatever we think our limitations are, we must think clearly within those limitations we give to ourselves. And we are sure to learn that we are more than we think we are. We must learn that such understanding is not mere meditation; it is a thought in action. Thinking here is not passive but an active process.

To be true to yourself, to the best version of yourself is not a onetime event. It is a continuous decision you must make every day, or even every hour. Sometimes you make good decisions and you can be true to yourself. Sometimes you betray your true self. Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up, don’t rebuke yourself, and keep in mind that it takes courage to be true to who you are in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else, measuring you up or judging you at every turn. But also know this that whoever you are, you have got that courage within you. And if you make up your mind, you can search deep down and gather that courage to be your true self.

You must take time off every day, even if only ten or fifteen minutes to review yourself, to return to yourself, to return to your realistic self image. You must admit your failures, but realize that they are part of the process of living. None of us is perfect; we dare not to deny ourselves the opportunity to improve.

As a part of your creative day, you must return to yourself and remember:

  1. That you can succeed in your future undertakings as you once did in the past.
  2. That in order to be true to yourself, you can correct mistakes and rise above your failures.
  3. That every day is a new lifetime and you have to start anew to reach your goal.
  4. That in such realization you become your own creator and plan the day for yourself positively.
  5.  That negative feelings take you away from yourself and make you less than you are.
  6. That every day you must fight negative feelings and struggle to arrive at self-fulfillment.
  7. That arrogance keeps you away from learning of how to be true to yourself, to be true to others and it keeps you away from GOD.
  8. That in returning to yourself you have the opportunity to profit from your mistakes. You can compassionately remove self-hatred and improve your self image.
  9. That with a strong self image you will never need to withdraw from life, and you can always be true to yourself.

Why is return to self a face of creative day?

Because when you feel this sense of inner strength, you can be true to yourself and you will not use any excuse to retreat from life.

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

 


Mind Concentration Is The Secret Of Strength

Mind concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.

Mind concentration can be cultivated. One can learn to exercise will power, discipline one’s body and train one’s mind.

The very essence of education is mind Concentration, not the collecting of facts.

Mind concentration is the first step in planning a creative day.  Concentration means taking our mind off many things and putting it on one thing at a time. Mind concentration offers a problem though, and that problem is how to clear our mind of all distracting factors. Can this be done? Yes, and with a simple approach.

First let’s divide up this matter of mind concentration into two categories:

1- There is a long term mind concentration, such as in dieting to lose weight. We have to concentrate our mind on this single goal over weeks and months, without swerving from it.

2- Then there is short term mind concertation; that we have to focus our mind on an immediate problem, such as leading a creative day.

Think of mind concentration in terms of a book or a play, with a beginning and an end. Thought must have a beginning and an end too. Therefore we know that there will be an end to our thought, an answer; and we can feel assured that by reaching that end we will be able to develop the mental muscles of concentration.

A letter must have a beginning and an ending. The difficult part about writing a letter is the act of sitting down and starting it. But when we began it, then the end is in sight. The same way goes for mind concentration, once we start to concentrate on what we want to do, then the end; the living of a creative day, is in sight. And anything that is in sight; well we are almost there already.

Concentration is vital to our well being. When we sweep out everything except the planning of a creative day, we take dead aim at our objectives.

Then the mind concentration will be as simple as this: the mere act of willing to begin.

Begin, try, and you have solved the problem of mind concentration. Accordingly the concentration implies courage, as you must be able to take off and plunge. You must feel a sense of alliance with your internal resources, your inner power, and your self image.

Mind concentration also implies liberation from negative feelings. You must free your self image to grow. Too often we enslave our thinking; we tie ourselves with self-critical abuse; we put chains on our thoughts; and we obstruct our feelings with walls of self-consciousness.

We influence ourselves with rationalizations; we dig up false reasons for our needless limitations; and we sentence ourselves to life imprisonment, where our only crime is a series of mistakes and blunders.

You must free yourself from such thinking which makes a shrinking of your self image, and helps you to come to an understanding of your strength.

People with a good and healthy self-esteem are able to feel good about themselves for who they are, appreciate their own worth, and take pride in their abilities and accomplishments. They also acknowledge that while they’re not perfect and have faults, those faults don’t play an overwhelming or irrationally large role in their lives or their own self-image.”

If you have really big problems with depression, negative thinking and heavy moods, they probably won’t go away without professional help. But if you want to tackle the problem by yourself, the best resource I’ve ever found by far is a book called Feeling Good, written by David D. Burns. If you really want to get rid of your negative thoughts, you first have to understand what they are, where they are coming from, the different types of negative thinking that exist and how to deal with them. You can find all the answers in the mentioned book.

Many historians feel that the late President John Kennedy will grow with the years, as intellectual measure his importance to the world and place him in real perspective. If so, surely it will be a reflection of his ability to concentrate his thinking and to free it from limitations. He encouraged imagination in political life and in international relations.

Our world may not be as vast in scope as President Kennedy’s was, before his tragic death, but it can be just as meaningful to us as his world was to him.

In order to live a creative day you must first of all be able to concentrate with courage.


How To Stop Having Negative Thoughts

How to stop having negative thoughts. Let go of negative thinking as it can become a habit of mind, and it can have a serious, sometimes devastating impact on all aspects of your life. It seems unfortunately that with most people, positive thinking requires some effort, whereas, negative thinking comes easily and often uninvited.

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.” Eckhart Tolle

You must get rid of all your negative thoughts and false beliefs about yourself. You must redirect your frustrated aggression and resentment and find ways to overcome your feelings of loneliness and emptiness.

May I assure you of this: If you’ve never failed at anything, it is certainly that you never really tried anything? Or in the words of Roman philosopher Seneca, “If thou art a man, admire those who attempt great things, even though they fail”

Was Thomas Edison a failure? Of course not. The thought is absurd. Yet dozens of failures preceded most of his brilliant creations. Edison learned from his failures and built his success on them. Discovery is born on error; there are no creations without unsuccessful experiments.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” Thomas Edison

This sums up one of the most important lessons that I have learned from life:  Blunders, errors in judgement and applications are unavoidable unless we retreat from life into a state of apathy. And even then in that state of idleness, we still make mistake. The secret of successful living is to rise above our failures to our good moments. This is the key concept, to forget our errors, to stop grieving over them, to have compassion for our own human fallibility. Then unburdened with guilt, we can step out decidedly into the world, seeing ourselves at our best, formulating our goals, and bringing out into the game of life, our success instinct.

Never deny your mistakes, admit them freely. But learn from them to minimize your mistakes in future. Be tolerant toward yourself as you would be tolerant toward a friend or you must throttle your experimentation.

“Without failure we can learn nothing, and yet we have learned to treasure success as the only acceptable standard” Wayne W. Dyer

Every day examine the negative beliefs which pull you down. Do you feel stupid? Are you obsessed with the feeling that you are ugly? Or do you torture yourself with the thought that you are weak? I don’t know what negative beliefs you use to determine yourself. But I can assure you that your thinking is irrational. In examining your accusations against yourself, let’s see if you are not being unfair. If you punish yourself as being “stupid”, on what do you base this charge? Granted that you have been unwise, perhaps many times, have you never been wise? Have you never been shrewd? Have you never been intelligent?  Then your self-criticism is basically self-mutilation. What it comes down to, is that you feel you have no rights; you believe in short-changing yourself.

OK, sometimes, there might be a grain of reality to them, but are these the devastating indictments that you build them into? No, this is irrational thinking. People are people. The strong are weak, and the weak are strong. Some low-to-medium IQ people have rare common sense. Some homely-looking women are devoted friends and can look beautiful. Some people with physical handicaps are most compassionate. Some emotionally unstable people are extremely brilliant. These are greys; there are no black and whites. But what do you do to yourself with your negative thoughts? You make yourself all thumbs, all negating.

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” Albert Einstein

Now that you have examined your negative beliefs about yourself and are in the process of reducing them to reasonable proportions, let’s see how to stop having negative thoughts about yourself. If you can’t, at least maintain them at the reasonable dimensions so that you can live with them.

Go to the next step now, and visualize a success picture, one that you are really proud of. Fill your mind with it, see it, smell it, feel it, grab hold of this success picture and hold it in your mind. When the critical thoughts counterattack, kick them out, and do this process again and again. You have read and heard about people with a pacemaker in their hearts; who are living so graciously and with peace in mind; learn a lesson from them. Let your self-image be the pacemaker of your heart, your mind, and your soul. Each day reactivate your successful instincts until the success habit becomes part of you. Until it hypnotize you.

So how to stop having negative thoughts; Say to yourself: I shall concentrate on the confidence of my past successes, not on my past failures. I deserve the good things in life. I am the captain of my ship, and I shall steer my mind to a productive goal.

 “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul” William Ernest Henley


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 behaviors 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 channeling 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 Live Life with Passion and Aliveness

How to live life with passion and aliveness. Express your aliveness by giving; of yourself, of your resources, of your heart. ― Patti Digh

 In our difficult world there are many easy solution; but these solutions are not always the best ones. If you are bored, you may spend your spare time engulfed in a combination of engagement with television, radio, movies; but wouldn’t you feel better if you actively tackled some project, some hobby, something to which you committed your creative passion?

If you are lazy, you can stick a precooked dinner in the oven, but perhaps you might have cooked a better meal yourself, and enjoyed the living involved in doing this chore.

You can even spend your day resting on your bed, all alone, sealed off from life, but couldn’t you do better? Needless to say, I am not against television, movies, radios, or precooked dinners; nor am I against resting in moderation.

What I am against is an essentially passive way of doing things. When you are passive, you retire from the excitement of life and the enjoyment of stimulating give-and-take. You move away from the life process; you kill life in yourself. Yet life can invade you, can inflict suffering on you, while you lie helplessly, passively, a victim of your own inertia.

You might say but “I am in debt” and “I have to save my energy for making money”. But does being a spectator help you? Yes you may have financial problems; most people do, but a boring and passive life will not stimulate you to overcome them. Your strength is not premature burial of your participation in life. It is in your passionate pursuance of an active philosophy, in optimistic, realistic, active living.

“Everything is a gift. The degree to which we are awake to this truth is a measure of our gratefulness, and gratefulness is a measure of our aliveness.” ― David Steindl Rast

Do, create, and innovate. Stay in the world, and do not baby yourself. You do not have to be perfect, but you do have to take part, you do have to be involved, and you have to remain in the mainstream of life.

When we think of aliveness and passion, we think of a freshness and vigour, a spring to the step and a ring to the laugh. We think of driving curiosity, of eager creativity. If it is aliveness and passion that we seek so ardently, we can find it at any chronological stage in our lives. The American poet Helen Hunt Jackson once wrote that “whom the gods love, live young forever”.

I do not know who the “gods” love, but I do know that if you have a gentle respect for yourself, a belief in your fundamental goodness, you will feel alive and “young” as long as you live. You will not dedicate your life to indifference and complaint, to the emptying out of your sorrows and miseries into the nearest ears, which you hope will be sympathetic.

Aliveness, passion, vitality, aflame with earnest endeavour must be one of your most cherished aims in life regardless of any age.

When does your preparation start? It starts right now. If you are sixteen, forty six, or sixty six, it starts right now.

You begin with a basic process of self-education; it is a fairly simple process, yet we all seem to overlook it in the smothering clamour of miscellaneous, often irrelevant data that clutter up our minds in this hustle-bustle world of ours. In this self-educative process you need master the terminology of no dictionary. You don’t have to hold college degree or to understand the theory of relativity. You must simply come to grips with yourself. You must assert the power of integrity of your self-image. You must establish the authentic dignity of your self-image on a realistic base as a foundation for full living at present age; now.

Life is not a picnic; sometimes there is no food at all, and ants and mosquitoes to boot. You must survive your failure and disappointments; charge back off the floor and keep punching. There are no handouts; you can expect only what you give yourself. You can only count on the spark and fire and friendliness which you, the thinker, give you, the acting person in life.

“Own your disappointment, acknowledge it for what it is, and move on.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

Suppose you lose your job or your business venture is failing. You feel depressed; who wouldn’t? You feel frustrated, perhaps nervous or angry. For two or three days you may be hard to get along with; and fair-weather friends will avoid you. But how are you thinking now that all this is in the past? Are you bogged down in a state of depression, blaming yourself for your mistakes, hating those whose actions hurt you? Is your mind a staccato messenger of criticism, piercing you with reminders of what you might have done and with what you might have been? Do you see yourself over and over, blundering, and hate what you see so much that you end up losing sight of yourself entirely, blotting out the self image that is your best friend in life?

Or do you see yourself kindly? Do you see yourself making mistakes, yet forgive yourself and tell yourself that you are only human? Do you then resolve to avoid this type of mistake, if possible, yet with a determination to accept yourself if you err again? Do you then see yourself in your good moments, making wise choices, carrying out intelligent actions, achieving what you wanted to achieve? Do you carry this image of yourself back into your mind, this image of yourself accomplishing your goals, this image of yourself as the kind of person you can be?

“A failure is not a loss. It’s a gain. You learn. You change. You grow” ―Michael Barata

If you can rebound from failure, any failure, in this accepting, non-judgemental, positive way, your self image once more restored, on your side, you will feel aliveness and vitality all the years of your life. Your problems will not terrify you when you think of them; instead you will feel hope because the pattern of your thinking is hopeful.

GOD created life in us so that we could live passionately and actively in this world HE fashioned. GOD made us, with our marvellous bodies and our complex minds, so that we could have meaning and happiness in our lives.

If you believe in a Higher Power, you must believe in the purpose in life, no matter how difficult the world may seem during depressing periods.

Tear fear from your heart; bury your negative thinking, and tell off friends who try to convince you that life is dull.

“Smile every chance you get; not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have and all the problems you know you don’t have”


Bring Joy And Fulfilment Into Your Life

Bring joy and fulfilment into your life. Life can be as joyous and meaningful as we choose to make it. Joy is what makes life beautiful. It runs deeper than mere ‘pleasure’, is more enduring than mere ‘fun’, and is more intense and thrilling than mere ‘happiness’. Joy is what helps us to get through challenges, heals our wounds, inspires us to greatness, and fills our souls with goodness. What brings joy and fulfilment into your life may be completely different from what provides others a sense of satisfaction and achievement. “The road to self-fulfilment is different for everyone. Everyone has a special plan and purpose on this Earth. That is why your path to personal fulfilment will take a unique course as well as present different opportunities to realize it”.
As human beings, we give a great deal of meaning, or no meaning at all, to various things in life. Sometimes we give more value and significance to things like a new car, a fancy house or the latest gadget on the market, rather than spending our energy and time on things which can contribute more value and joy to our lives. “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life”. ~ Jean Shinoda Bolen
You can find meaning and satisfaction in your life if you know where to look for it. To help you find your path, there are some day to day ways that people have come to follow in order to reach a significant and rich life. You can use these following steps as guide to bring joy and fulfilment into your life:
1- Choose your words wisely: “You can’t take back words you’ve already said, and you can’t take back someone’s tears that already shed”. We all have our favourite expressions, the ones we come out with now and again. We are constantly bombarded with the words of others. What do our words say about us? How the words of others affect us? What effects do these words have on us, on our emotions, on how we value ourselves? We can play this game a few times, we will discover just how the words we use and the words we hear every day can affects our moods and transform our feelings for good or bad. And with this awareness we will start choosing our words more carefully, selecting those which make us feel good, bringing joy and fulfilment into our life, and avoiding those which make us feeling bad. “Simply by changing your habitual vocabulary – the words you consistently use to describe the emotions of your life – you can instantaneously change how you think, how you feel, and how you live.” ~ Tony Robbins
2- Love and accept yourself: “We are who we are, and no amount of wishful thinking will make us someone else, will make us different”. So accept yourself for who you are, and be willing to improve and take appropriate steps to change yourself, if it is possible for you to do so. Acceptance is not giving up or resignation. It is recognizing of things as they are; a recognition that can help us to move on with our lives, enhancing ourselves, making our lives and our experiences more positive and more fulfilling. Self-acceptance also involves the idea of having compassion for ourselves and love ourselves despite all our limitations, weaknesses and imperfections. “Love yourself, accept yourself, forgive yourself, and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.” ~Leo F. Buscaglia
3- Work to build up your self image: You bring no joy into your life if you don’t like your image of yourself; you can’t live on the top floor of a building which has no foundation. You will not find joy in work, in travel, in conversation, in power, in money, or in beautiful scenery, if your self image is inadequate. Search around in your mind each day for your successful memories. Get into the habit of searching those wonderful moments, and bring these realistically joyful times front stage centre. See yourself this way successful, acting and thinking the way you like to act and think; reactive these positive images each day. Not only must you focus on your picture of contentment, but you must also be kind to your areas of weakness, if the joy and fulfilment are to be factors in your life.
4- Unearth your hidden wealth: What is this hidden wealth? It is your creative gifts, your talents, your abilities for doing and for giving. But why do you keep them hidden? Is it because you fear of criticism or because your resources, unused to exposure, may seem imperfect? Almost every person alive has some area of excellence, some genius, the expression of which make him/her feel more alive, more important as a person. What a pity that so much of this self- expression is wasted! For undeveloped resources have no more value than unmined, buried precious metals. If you cannot reach them and bring them into open, others do not even know they exist. Worse still, even you do not know of their existence and in your ignorance, you deprive yourself of so much joy and fulfilment. You don’t need shovels or bulldozers, land titles or contracts to unearth your precious gifts; all you need is this determination that you are going to give yourself and your spirit the same loving attention that you would to the treasures of your material world, your car, your front lawn or your kitchen. “Don’t die with your music still in you” ~ Wayne Dyer
5- Give to others: This is a world in which sometimes the only thing that seems to matter is the “fast buck”. It is one of the great tragedies of civilized life today that we emphasize less importance on giving to others without any expectation. Yet there are still people, even though they won’t admit it, have a tremendous craving for love and acceptance. They also long to express their goodness, to give of themselves. Through careful, considerate treatment which may surprise most people or even arouse their suspicions, if they feel that your friendliness is genuine, they will respond warmly. If they have long felt deprived of affection, the extent of their gratitude may amaze you. The Law of Giving is really simple: if you want more joy, give joy to others. If you want love, learn to give love. If you want happiness, help others become happy. And if you want to become wealthy, learn to help others become materially affluent. True wealth is not shown through earthly possessions, but by leading a fulfilling life. And there is nothing more fulfilling than knowing we have made a tangible difference in the lives of other people. In helping others with no self-serving motives, we may find the greatest satisfaction we have ever known. “Give others all that is alive in you; your interest, understanding, your knowledge, your humour, everything in you that’s good. In doing so, we enhance the sense of aliveness in others while enhancing our own. When we give, we get a ‘heightened vitality’ of what it means to be human.” ~Erich Fromm
6- Set worthy goals: Having goals and working towards them is an essential part of being human. It gives us a sense of direction, purpose and meaning in life. It is not only enough to select goals, but to focus our attention on them, and then achieve them.
Part of finding joy and fulfilment in life is to have a Higher Purpose. Something to strive for that is larger than us. It is everyone’s desire to matter and to make a difference in this world, whether at work or in other people’s life. And by giving to someone or something that is bigger than us, is how we achieve deep meaning and satisfaction in our lives. We all need to feel that our lives stand for something and we make somehow useful contribution to this world. We can only find joy and fulfilment in our lives when we find ourselves working towards something which is important to us. Viktor E. Frankl once said: “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
7- Nurture and enjoy loving relationships: Relationships are one of the biggest sources of joy and fulfilment in human lives. Studies show that people who have large, supportive circle of family and friends, a fulfilling marriage, and a thriving social life, are more content and satisfied in their lives. That’s why nurturing our relationships with our loved ones is one of the best emotional investments we can make. If we concentrate to build connection with others, we will soon receive the benefits of more positive emotions. And as we become happier, we will attract more people and higher-quality relationships, leading to even greater positivity and enjoyment. It’s the happiness gift that keeps on giving. These relationships we have with people who we love and care about, and the people who love and care about us, determine of how we are doing as human beings. “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” ~ Anais Nin

Your life is yours alone. Others can try to advise you, but they can’t make a choice for you.  The way we live our lives is important as it impacts our community, our society and the world. Our positive contribution to the community and society paves the way for the development and enhancement of many lives. The good impact that we leave behind initiate others to do better. The better is developed into the best by others that follow; so, the good legacy that we leave behind helps the world to become better. It’s not about earning a name or fame, it’s about giving back, as we all want our loved ones to have the best to their disposal and live a good and better life. “There are certain things fundamental to human fulfilment. The essence of these needs is captured in the phrase ‘to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy” ~ Stephen Covey


Enjoy Life to the Fullest

Enjoy life to the fullest, it has an expiration date. Life today should mean pleasure, but our modern concept of living is often just the reverse; negative in concept and implying the resignation of one’s self image. Modern living often means abandoning satisfaction because of a phantom called “twentieth-century anxieties”.

“Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.” ~Horace

Life should be a happy vocation. People should be useful to themselves and to others. Pleasure must be part of us; like our heart, our eyes, our hands, and our feet. It should know no race, no creed, no colour, no status, no age. The good feelings to life belong to us and there is no moral aspect to it except that it is immoral for people to fester in unhappiness.  “Live life to the fullest because you only get to live once”.

By forgetting the mistakes of the past, you can live each day to the full.  You can find pleasure in working, in living, in friendship, and every other aspects of your life, if you feel that you have a right to enjoy yourself. I am not a great believer in sin, but if there is sin, it is for people who sit around, finding fault with themselves for the mistakes they have made; mistakes which are only human.  “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing” ~George Bernard Shaw

There are so many people who waste the wonderful power of their imaginations and torturing themselves with their past blunders. It is sad but true that many of us who blame ourselves so severely have in reality lead lives characterized by hard effort and a constant attempt to be decent human beings; yet we give ourselves no rights.

When we criticize ourselves, we deny ourselves pleasure. Yet we have the right to feel free of fear, to feel free of guilt; to feel pleasure. In order to enjoy our lives to the fullest we have to find resolution within our minds to be happy. It is a victory of one’s positive thinking-imagining forces over negative thinking-imagining forces. We prepare ourselves to enjoy our lives as we strengthen our images of ourselves each day. We live vitally, allowing ourselves pleasure because we feel that we deserve it. “I have decided that no matter what is happening in my life, I will choose to be happy! Not because everything is perfect, but because I deserve it”.

Through strengthening your self image, through seeing yourself at your best, through encouraging your success instincts, you can create pleasure for yourself. But the unfortunate fact is that many people do not feel that it would be fair for them to be happy. They do not feel they deserve it, and they use rationalizations to explain their misery:

If only they had money…..

If not for that financial catastrophe……..

If that accident hadn’t happened…….

If not for that childhood disease which only they had contracted……

A tragic event from the past is dredged up and used to explain all the pain, all the lack of their pleasure in life. But what they don’t realize is that everyone knows tragedy, everyone knows pain; fate didn’t single them out for punishment. Successful, happy people know pain, too, but they just keep pushing forward through pain to pleasure. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain”.

Imagine a man sits at his desk; he is an executive for a large company. His desk is full of menus, letters, contracts, and other papers. Two lights on the side of his telephone flicker on and off, indicating people waiting to talk to him. He is in conference with two men who sit, waiting for his attention. He looks at his appointment book and notes that another vital conference is set for this day, and he must devote a few hours to a project which is behind schedule, and also he must dictate letters to A, B, C,….

The enormity of these pressures might overwhelm many of us. “It is too much for us” we’d say. But not this man. He feels pleasure and he enjoys doing it. He refuses to let a daunting imagination ruin his effectiveness. Instead he sees in his mind the successes that his day will bring. He Turns warmly to his visitors, listens attentively, does his best to respond to their needs and demands. He answers the phone, and getting to the heart of communicating instantly, returns to his visitors. He tells them what action he intends to take on the matters under discussion, dictates a message into a machine, turns back to them to ask if they are happy with his decisions. They are, and he ushers them to the door, shaking hands warmly. Nothing phony, simple pleasure in a direct, effective moving toward goals. This man projects his imaginations into action in a positive way. He accepts his right to feel happy and be successful. Many people fill their minds with destructive, depressing thoughts; and pleasure is caught in a squeeze in which it is crushed. They worry about disasters that never or rarely happen. The feelings of happiness and satisfaction from their work are not tolerated, and they obviously cannot function in the successful way that this executive does. They do not enjoy their work; they do not enjoy their life either. “We call pleasure the alpha and omega of a blessed life. Pleasure is our first and kindred good” ~ Epicurus

We must enjoy our lives to the fullest. We can feel pleasure in our every day of living. We can sing in the shower and feel musical thoughts in our minds and generosity in our hearts. It is a question, basically, of what we will allow ourselves. We must not block the attainment of our legitimate satisfactions. No years can be creative if we deny ourselves the principle of happiness and enjoying our lives to the fullest.

“If you think positive, any sound becomes music, any move becomes dance, any smiles becomes laughter, and the entire life becomes a huge celebration. So always think positive and live your life happy to its fullest”


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


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.