4 Ways to Stop Your Suffering & Attain Peace of Mind

By Dick Sutphen

Whatever you refuse to face consciously you must suffer unconsciously.

In fact all your current suffering is the result of situations you have refused to confront. You’ve refused to act, repressing your thoughts, feelings and emotions until they are like a rubber life raft held just below the surface of the water.

You can stand on the emotional raft, forcing it down, but when you run out of energy to do that, or when you are not guarded, the repressed emotions surface and you experience the effects.

The only way to resolve the conflicts in your life and attain peace of mind is to deal with them as directly, honestly and efficiently as possible. There are four steps to end suffering and to attain peace of mind:

1) ACCEPT SELF-RESPONSIBILITY: In accepting karma as your philosophical basis of reality, you accept self responsibility. Your problems are karmic situations you need to experience to learn and grow. There is no one to blame for anything you’ve ever experienced. And remember, wisdom erases karma, and the law of grace supersedes the law of karma (if you give love and mercy and grace in your life, you will receive the same in return).

2) ACCEPT THAT WHAT IS, IS: Accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can and have the wisdom to know the difference. Remember, you cannot change another human being.

3) DEVELOP DETACHED MIND: The goal is to enjoy all the good stuff life has to offer, but when outside conditions change, refrain from sinking into the basement of emotions (anger, hatred, desire for revenge). Allow negativity to flow through you without affecting you.

4) HARMONIOUS VIEWPOINT: The way you experience life is based on the way you choose to view what happens to you. Your viewpoint is the deciding factor in whether you perceive life as a troublesome journey or a harmonious experience.

Four steps to end suffering and obtain peace of mind! I’ve been working on these four wisdom points for 40 years and I’m still not there. But I can’t imagine living my life without this philosophical back up.

Psychology’s Newest Secret

By Dr. Sean Sullivan & Dr. Carol Morgan

As a communication professor, I have also done training and speaking to businesses and other organizations over the years. And what amazes me the most is that some of them don’t realize how things like communication skills, the ability to get along with people, and mental health issues are intimately intertwined with the success (or failure) of their business.

The good news is that over the last few decades, this is starting to change. That’s why businesses bring communication/relationship experts such as myself into their organizations so that they can work on the “human” aspect of business.

One thing you may not know about me is that I am continually seeking out other professionals in all sorts of fields who are doing similar – yet different – work. One such person that I have been working with for about a year now is Dr. Sean Sullivan, a performance psychologist based in San Francisco honored by OpenCare for having one of the top psychology practices in the city.

I see so many parallels in the work we – both with individuals and organizations. It’s so exciting to see what is on the cutting edge of psychology, and how Dr. Sean is bringing it into the mainstream. I’ve come to think of Dr. Sean as San Francisco’s psychologist.

So in order to learn what exactly he’s doing, why I think it’s so ground-breaking (and why you should care), I’m going to let Dr. Sean’s own words describe this powerful phenomena that can change not only your business life – but your personal one as well.

Here we go …

As great scientific discoveries so often do, psychology’s newest secret is finding its way into the business world.

To improve employees’ performance, contentment and health – i.e. overall wellness, leaders are beginning to harness a discovery that shifted how psychotherapy is practiced.

It’s only the beginning…

What’s the big secret?

I call it “Mind Exercising.”

A Mind Exercise is a strategic meditation that guides your attention through specific shifts with the intention of achieving and maintaining “real life” results.

Think of Mind Exercise as meditation’s high-performing cousin. You can Mind Exercise to improve your tennis game, customer service style, sales results or personal relationships.

Brain scientists have concluded that how and where you direct your attention produces measurable changes in your brain’s structure, physiology and function. A changed brain produces changed results.

The impact of Mind Exercise is not only theoretical or intellectual; it’s psychological, physiological and practical too.

How does it work?

Mind Exercise works like physical exercise. Just as the right physical exercise can improve your body’s strength and function so you perform better at particular tasks, the right Mind Exercise can improve the strength and function of your attention so you perform better at particular tasks.

How much practice produces measurable results?

Let’s look at examples of meditation research results that relate to changes to the brain that have been found in meditators.

Eight weeks of strategic meditation has been shown to increase the thickness of the hippocampus—a pair of thumb-sized structures located in the center of your brain that are vital to your ability to learn and remember.

When you manage your stress effectively your hippocampus can generate roughly seven hundred new brain cells every day. When unmanaged stress accumulates your hippocampus cells can shrink and die.

A shrinking hippocampus is associated with stress-related conditions such as anxiety and depression, and lifestyle choices like being sedentary and eating junk food. Your performance is negatively impacted in very real ways when you don’t manage your stress effectively.

What are other important findings?

Improvements in attention and concentration, (i.e. less mind wandering), have been repeatedly found in empirical research on meditation’s effects.

The average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013 (National Center for Biotechnology Information, at the U.S. National Library of Medicine).

Where does Mind Exercise come in?

Meditating with the intention of achieving a specific goal — Mind Exercising — is meditating strategically to change your “real life.”

With the right practice, you can reduce stress and access your ideally focused state of mind and body for performing at specific tasks that are important to you.

My clients typically set five to twenty-minute appointments with themselves throughout the day to complete Mind Exercises that relax their brain and body and strategically reconnect them to their personal, real-life, intention.

Mind Exercising can improve performance of teams as well. Group objectives are integrated into a customized Mind Exercise sequence that team members complete on a schedule. The exercises align team member’s mind-body state with their intention to produce clearly defined results.

Strategically applied habits of mind can lead to increased productivity, propagating a virtuous circle of improving performance and propelling teams toward shared goals.

What’s the rub?

The rub is that research indicates a variety of specific requirements must be met to realize many of the benefits of meditation. My experience is that the same criteria apply to benefiting from Mind Exercise.

While the benefits of meditation and Mind Exercise are significant, developing an effective practice is a commitment.

What’s the best way to begin?

Since maintaining your Mind Exercise practice after the initial fun and excitement of learning something new wears off is a challenge, it helps to clearly understand how your brain is changing, and how that will benefit you if you keep it up over time.

I developed an online learning format to guide people through the sequential steps my clients and patients take when they begin a Mind Exercise practice. You can complete the steps free at BeYourPurpose.com anytime.

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Dr. Sean Sullivan consults to organizations about brain training and Mind Exercise and maintains a performance-focused psychology practice awarded as, “One of the Top Psychology Practices in San Francisco in 2015,” by OpenCare. Dr. Sullivan is the author of two popular books about Mind Exercising: The Mind Master’s Silence Journey and Be Your Purpose. Join Dr. Sean live on Periscope to meditate and Mind Exercise.

Are You In The Wrong Job? A Five Question Quiz

By Mary Miller

1. Are you trying to get answers from Google?

2. Have you watched Office Space more times than you’d like to admit?

3. Do Sunday nights make you break out in a cold sweat?

4. Are you no longer able to manage your stress like you once could?

5. Do you often escape into the bathroom during a meeting to scream, cry, or punch something due to frustration?

If you answered yes to the majority of these questions, then you are probably in the wrong job. Your job fits you as well as your 5 year old’s sweater. The problem is that it’s a really well-paying job, and you have no idea what you’d do instead.

That is why…you’re still there…with a reoccurring case of the “Mundays.” But your grip on the ladder is starting to fail you and you don’t know how much longer you can hang on.

The good news is that you’re the architect of your own life. Yes – your life. This isn’t just about your career; it’s about your life.

Here’s what you can do about it.

Stop to think about what is causing your stress? Look for your triggers

• Write down why this is the “job from hell” – be specific. What doesn’t fit (i.e. too many details, no time to think etc)?

• Now take that and turn each negative statement into a positive one (i.e. I get to work on one project at a time, I have time to think & plan – it’s part of my job)

• Which parts of your job do you like?

• When did you stop liking your job?

• Now for the hard one…does part of the loathing you have for your job come from your attitude? If so, how?

Don’t be like the 52.3% of Americans who are unhappy with their jobs (2014, Conference Board, the New York-based nonprofit research group). Chose to do something about it! To do something about it NOW click here.

How to Get Rid of Guilt in One Day

By Steve Goodier

In Turin, Italy, an anonymous citizen wrote the tax office enclosing 10,000 Lira in the envelope and explained he had cheated on his income tax. He said it caused him to lose his appetite. Then he added, “If my appetite doesn’t improve I’ll send the rest.”

It sounds like an easy weight loss program, but I don’t think it could work for me. Guilt doesn’t keep me from eating. It has kept me awake more than once, however.

William Wirt Winchester’s widow Sarah built a bizarre mansion in San Jose, California, to assuage her feelings of remorse. It is a house built over a 38-year period at a cost of over five million dollars. The 160 room house has stairways that lead to blank walls, corridors that lead to un-openable doors, 13 bathrooms, 13 stair steps, 13 lights to a chandelier, 13 windows to a room…strange.

Her husband was the son of Oliver Fisher Winchester, manufacturer of the famous Winchester repeating rifle. The house is referred to as the “guilt house,” and was conceived as a never-ending building project to provide a home for spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles. Instead of addressing her grief and remorse in more therapeutic ways, Sarah’s project occupied the rest of her life.

The late Erma Bombeck called guilt “the gift that keeps on giving.” (She also said she came from a family of pioneers – said her mother invented guilt in 1936.) And it CAN be a gift that keeps on giving when it isn’t laid to rest. It can keep on giving problems to everyone it touches – emotional, physical and spiritual. It seems that if we don’t find a way to deal with it, guilt may deal with us in some frightening ways.

Do you have unresolved guilt? I’m not talking about “good” guilt, the feelings of shame or remorse that keep us from doing something incredibly stupid or hurtful. I mean unnecessary guilt. Over-anxiety and self-loathing about that which can no longer be changed.

If so, it may help to remember that:

● In one day you can recognize where your feelings of guilt come from.
● In one day you can decide to make necessary amends to those you may have hurt.
● In one day you can decide to ask for forgiveness from others.
● In one day you can exercise your spiritual power and choose to be at one with God and the universe.
● In one day you can decide to be gentler with yourself and allow yourself to experience the healing balm of acceptance.
● In one day you can resolve to learn from the past and not repeat your behavior.
● In one day you can choose to do something constructive with that guilt, and then continue every day until it is only a memory.

And best of all, that one day can be today.

Reset Your Life: And Get A Free Flight!

By Cierra Savatgy-King

Do you want to think right, feel good and become a better you? We have the perfect way for you to start the new year healthier, happier, and experiencing a Belize vacation you’re most likely in need of.

Get a *free flight* to Reset Retreat, a women’s personal growth and yoga retreat in adventurous Hopkins, Belize when you book your retreat. The retreat is providing flights from various US cities, including Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, New York City, Oklahoma City, Miami, Boston, and Newark. If your city is not listed, don’t worry. They are providing an equally discounted amount off the retreat for guests located in other cities.

“We love to pamper our guests,” says co-founder Natalie Jenkins, “and having the opportunity to be their personal concierge for this retreat is amazing. It’s just another way to provide our guests with an exceptional experience.”

To take advantage of the offer, which expires January 15, 2016, simply sign-up here to receive your complimentary code for the February 19 – 24, 2016 retreat. (See terms)

The retreat is all inclusive and highlights the best of Belize while focusing on the best of its guests. Reset Retreat helps you release yourself from bad habits, toxic relationships, needy friends, family and unappreciative coworkers by giving you the time and space to heal, reset and grow. The luxury private villa, Villa Verano, is a perfect setting to combine personal growth with exceptional experiences. Enjoy daily yoga, life coaching sessions, cultural explorations, tropical adventures and relaxation and make a resolution to allow yourself to become the priority.

Interested in ways to reset at home? Check out these blogs… You deserve it.
10 daily things to reset your patterns
How to add mindfulness to your everyday
Simple reminders to love yourself

How To Stop Trying To Control Outcomes

By Dick Sutphen

When you live with expectations and desires, it follows you want to control outcomes. You want things to unfold in your favor. But you can’t control outcomes in life. The best you can hope to do is increase the odds through wisdom.

If you’re desiring a particular outcome, step back and ask yourself, “What’s the fear associated with the outcome?”

Explore the fear, including the worst that might happen if things did not turn out in your favor. If you’re committed to an outcome, the fear will be related to loss: The loss of love, loss of control, loss of finances, or the loss of self-esteem. Which applies to your situation?

Then ask yourself, “What if I could take the fear out of my desire?”

If there were no fear, the outcome would not matter. Logical.

So we’re back to resolving fear, a subject I write about a lot, because I’m working on it all the time.

As New Agers, we believe we can create our own reality, and I know this to be true, when we’re talking about finding happiness and fulfillment and living an abundant life. Reality is created by the way we view and accept what is. But don’t confuse this with controlling outcomes that in any way effect other people.

In other words, if you want if you want Leigh to fall in love with you, that is not within your power to control, no matter how many mind-programming CDs you use. The same is true with winning the pageant, getting your book accepted by a major publisher, or desiring a beautiful sunset.

Expectations and the desire to control do not work. Both are fear-based emotions, which we incarnated to rise above.

Many New Agers believe in controlling their thoughts. But it can’t be done. You can catch yourself when you’re thinking negative. You can use thought-stopping techniques which condition you, over time, to reduce fearful thinking. But out-and-out control of your thoughts isn’t an option.

What you can control is your behavior–your actions.

Mystics have always said a wise seeker learns to live without desire. Easier said than done. Probably not going to happen in this lifetime, but finding a self-actualized balance seems to me a worthy goal.

How To Avoid The 7 Deadly Sins Of Value-Breaching

By Dan Munro

Before we talk about the 7 deadly sins of value-breaching, let’s first discuss what it means to live by your values. This concept is core to all of my work, and I believe it to be the foundation of self-confidence. It is the cure to neuroticism, helplessness, and lack of purpose.

Living by values is about knowing the difference between the Real Self (who you are being right now), the Ought Self (who you’ve been conditioned into believing you ‘should’ be), and the Ideal Self (the person you wish you were, living by your values consistently). Quite often we are confused about the difference between our core values and the expectations of others. If you’re not sure, I suggest you read this

When you live by your values you won’t feel any need to explain your behaviour to yourself (e.g. “I didn’t say hi to that girl because she’s on the phone”), because you’ll feel deeply satisfied with your actions. You’ll know deep down you did the right thing for you. Explaining it to others will seem pointless, because you’ll feel that it has nothing to do with them.

Conversely, whenever you have to justify, rationalise or otherwise explain your own behaviour to yourself or others, there’s a good chance you’ve breached your values and are trying to rid yourself of the guilt associated with this.

With valued-living you are following a code, but it’s about motives, not rules. You are not bound to what you do, instead you focus on WHY you do it. It’s all about reason and purpose. Values may look different in actions from one day to the next, but the reasons for those actions are consistent, e.g. to be honest, or courageous.

This style of living is all about action – thinking and talking about your values is not the same as living by them. Stop telling people you are [insert value here, e.g. honest], and show them you are instead.

HOW DO WE KNOW IF WE ARE NOT LIVING BY OUR VALUES?

Learn to recognise the feeling I call The Authenticity Gap – a shameful sensation of conflict between your Real Self and your Ideal Self (after filtering out the distraction of the Ought Self). This guilt usually arrives some time after the action is taken, and often is most recognisable as regret for missed opportunities. Any time you think “I should have done X”, you are probably experiencing The Authenticity Gap.

This guilt about past actions, based on how they let you down, is related to your beliefs about what is ‘right’. In an emotional moment, such as feeling afraid, it’s easy to forget what we believe is right. Later on, upon reflection, we realise we did not live by our values. Valued-living, when done right, will never leave you feeling guilty.

The Authenticity Gap is caused by your normal human desire to stay in your comfort zone. It’s all about safety. We are most likely to sacrifice our values for the perception of safety, such as a secure relationship, career, or finances. To engage in valued-living, we must be willing to risk all of these things and more.

Values require you to accept that you have nothing to lose.

Generally the question becomes “Would I rather be safe or have integrity?” – you will rarely be able to guarantee both at the same time. Think about this: people can stop loving you at any time, redundancy is always a marketplace-shift away, and money is easily lost; so there’s no such thing as safety! You may as well aim for values; at least you have control over those.

THE 7 DEADLY SINS – HOW ARE YOU BREACHING YOUR VALUES?

So let’s have some fun with this and look at how people breach their values. For the sake of context I thought it would be interesting to use the 7 deadly sins as a basis for this. After each I’ve listed some values you could focus on to rid yourself of the sin. Here we go…

WRATH – Trying to get retribution because you feel something has been taken from you. This often follows irrational blaming of external sources for your internal pain, such as thinking that society is at fault for you having low self-worth. Wrath builds from feeling that life is somehow “unfair” and that you are entitled to ‘pay-back’. At its worst, wrath involves wanting others to suffer to appease your own suffering.

Examples: not allowing someone into your lane when you’re mad about traffic; talking crap about someone when you feel they have betrayed you; hitting someone when you’re upset.

Values breached: abundance, acceptance, giving, love.

GREED – Neediness through seeking of external validation, often demonstrated by attachment to possessions. You’ll find yourself allowing others to be harmed in order to externally benefit yourself, such as sleeping with someone on false pretences. Greed stems from being unable to find internal satisfaction without external rewards. Like all of these sins, it is based on core insecurity (ironically, this is exactly what valued-living cures).

Examples: selling something you know is low quality; hiding something from others that you would feel forced to share if they knew; keeping secrets; hoarding possessions and money.

Values breached: presence, compassion, empathy, abundance, acceptance.

SLOTH – Most often demonstrated as procrastination and avoidance of doing what is right for you. Laziness is a common way of describing it. The short-term focus on being comfortable right now, rather than creating a long term rewarding life, leads to constant instant-gratification decision-making, which is the cause of most peoples’ long-term suffering.

Examples: putting of what is important; sleeping too much; bingeing on television and other unproductive time-wasters.

Values breached: courage, determination, decisiveness, leadership.

PRIDE – An unhealthy and insecure attachment to an externally-validated identity. Proud people often take credit for good luck instead of being grateful for their privileges. Pride creates a belief that you are better or worse than other people, as an entire person, and facilitates a constant comparison with others. You’ll find you are not able to enjoy situations unless you ‘win’, and you’ve lost joy in the process of living in the moment. Life for proud people tends to only exist briefly, when achievements occur, and the rest of your time is spent just worrying about the next win.

Examples: feeling attached to identity (e.g. “I am the Nice Guy”); avoiding things you feel you won’t be good at; getting upset when someone challenges your beliefs.

Values breached: gratitude, honesty, presence, patience.

ENVY – The toxic and cowardly state caused primarily by being attached to external measures of self-worth. Envy is the process of attributing excuses to your failure to live by values, by claiming others have advantages over you, so that you can relieve the guilt of not taking courageous action yourself. Through feeling entitled to rewards without requiring effort or having to endure discomfort, you’ll blame others for taking away opportunities you believe are yours by right.

Examples: blaming others for your negative mood; coming up with reasons why you can’t succeed the others do (e.g. “They are naturally charismatic, I can’t do that”); disliking people because they are successful.

Values breached: honesty, responsibility, courage, passion.

LUST – Simply put, lust is about wanting to GET; having an unhealthy attachment to external rewards. If you feel entitled to receive external pleasures without having to earn them, and you are focused on instant gratification, this is probably an apt translation of lust. The entitlement leads to a lack of restraint and patience – you’ll start bulldozing your way to gratification rather than enjoying the process of getting there. Then you’ll feel resentment when rewards are withheld.

Examples: lying to get what you want; manipulating others into doing things for you; forcing someone to give something to you by guilt-tripping them.

Values breached: giving, respect, gratitude, presence.

GLUTTONY – Through an excess of external comfort sources, wasting resources, and an imbalanced use of fuel, you become a glutton. Your neediness drives a desire to consume as much as possible, most likely to relieve pangs of perceived scarcity. By deriving comfort from consumption you become locked into a cycle of bingeing and avoidance of pain.

Examples: pigging out on high-sugar foods; hoarding; watching the entire Game of Thrones series without break (actually, I’m OK with this one).

Values breached: respect, presence, discipline, abundance.

VALUES REDEMPTION

You can always go back to living by your values, there is no ‘failure’. When you commit one of the value sins, it means that you simply went off track. Your values are patiently waiting for you to re-join them. No matter how long you’ve been off track, all you have to do is live by your values in a single moment and everything is OK again!

I once worked with a gang member who had consistently harmed people for over 20 years. Then one day he started being honest, caring and productive. As soon as he started doing that he felt an immediate boost in self-worth. The past no longer mattered to his measurement of self. Valued-living is what you are doing RIGHT NOW, and to quote Metallica; nothing else matters.

The key to redeeming yourself after sinning is to take action. Rather than trying to ‘not do’ something, identify which value has been breached and create an action to live by it. Trying to not sin gives you no direction and nothing to work with. Aim to eliminate the sin through positive action instead, e.g. ask yourself “What could I do to be more honest today?” and follow through on the answer.

You’re human, which means that you will always have times where you breach your values. So forget about being perfect. It’s about getting back on the horse and reducing the amount of time you wallow in sin. You can’t undo your past errors but you can make up for them. Rather than wishing for a different past, create a rewarding or reparative present action.

Self-honesty and acceptance are the key elements to managing value-breaches. First admit you did it, then accept it happened – only then will you be able to do something to get back on track.

How To Let Go Of Your Past

By Dick Sutphen

“There is no vitality to the past except the life our minds give to it. The only thing the past is good for is to keep us stuck in the old patterns from which we’re trying to liberate ourselves. Our personal histories are the parts of our lives which hold us where we are,” says Swami Chetanananda in “Choose To Be Happy.”

If we cannot expand our awareness beyond our past — beyond our limitations — how can we possibly hope to grow? And do not compare the present to a past that is over and done, or you are courting real unhappiness.

People will tell you to learn from the past. Good advice. But learning what you “don’t want” will not support you for long. “Don’t want” doesn’t work. What do you want?

“Mind lives in the past because it lives in knowledge,” says Osho in “Guida Spirituale.” “Knowledge means that which you have known, understood, learned. And existence is now and mind is then; existence is here and mind is always there. Mind looks backwards; it is like a rear-view mirror. If you are backing your car the rear-view mirror is okay, but if you are going forward then it is dangerous to go on looking in the rear-view mirror. And if you become fixated on the rear-view mirror you are bound for an accident. You are in great danger, you are being suicidal. Life always moves forwards; it has no possibility of going backwards.”

Some counselors would have you searching your past for understanding to help you heal your stresses and dramas. But according to Swami Chetanananda. “All you’ll find in tension is more tension. Believe me, if you insist on standing in and sifting through garbage, the only thing you’re going to become is dirty at best and ill at worst. Reliving stress does not relieve stress; obsession with trauma can only traumatize.”

As a final thought, consider that your “ego” is a result of the past. So to give up ego means to give up your history. Your whole history. All that you have been up until this moment in time. But if you would drop your ego, you would be free of the past. This is not something you do one time and have it handled. Releasing the past has to be done regularly, otherwise it will accumulate. Every moment, the present turns into the past, so if you continue to collect, a new ego will arise.

Do not live in the past. Do not live for the future. Live in the timeless NOW. Easier said than done, but certainly a worthy goal.

12 Wrong Assumptions People Often Make About Their Life

By Dr. Carol Morgan

So you think you know how the world works, huh? Sure, we all do. We all like to think that we have it figured out. But do you really? Many times, people make assumptions about life that simply aren’t true. Here are 12 of them.

1. People are watching your every move and judging you.

We live in a world that is highly judgmental. Every time you open up a celebrity magazine, you read about how the latest beautiful actress has suddenly gotten “fat.” And if you’re not a superstar in your chosen field or your kids aren’t getting straight As, then you’re a loser. At least that’s probably what goes through your head. And you also think that’s what other people think. They don’t. Most people are so busy judging themselves that they don’t even give you much thought at all.

2. You have “failed,” when in fact you just haven’t succeeded yet.

Anyone who has ever achieved greatness has “failed” more times than they have succeeded. Donald Trump lost all his money many times, only to make it back again. George Lucas got Star Wars turned down by countless movie studios. And Michael Jordan got cut from his high school basketball team. If any of them had given up because they thought they had “failed,” then where would they be now? Nowhere.

3. If you ignore a problem, it will go away.

Ahhhhh. The ostrich. Keeping your head in the sand and hoping the problem will go away. Well, here’s a newsflash for you: It won’t. I don’t care what the problem is—it can be problems with your marriage, at your job, your kids—it won’t go away unless you take action to fix it.

4. You need to be perfect.

You don’t. Perfection is just an illusion. It doesn’t really exist! The problem is that we all think it exists. What is “perfect” for one person is not perfect to another. It’s all subjective. So instead of chasing perfection, how about chasing happiness instead? Do things you love. Spend time with people who make you happy. That’s a much better goal than non-attainable perfection.

5. Everything that goes wrong is other people’s fault, not yours.

Personal responsibility—it’s a lost art in our culture. We see this every time we hear crazy law suits where someone is suing a restaurant because they spilled their own hot coffee on themselves. Sure, other people contribute to problems. But it’s up to us to adjust our attitude and reactions to that. All you can control is your perception of the problem, and then take action toward personal responsibility.

6. You just can’t do it.

You can. You can do anything that you set your mind to. So stop making excuses. I don’t care what your goal is, if you want it badly enough, you will find a way. If you don’t want it enough, you will find excuses. Spend some time really examining what you want. Then go after it.

7. All of your expectations of other people are reasonable.

Expectations are deadly. If people don’t live up to your expectations, then you are disappointed and it creates problems. Think about this: how do you feel when other people place expectations on you? It feels suffocating, doesn’t it? So let people be who they are. If you don’t like it, then stop hanging around them.

8. You think “this” is permanent. It’s not.

I don’t care what “it” is: an unsatisfying job, unemployment, being single, or being in debt. It can all be changed. All you need to do is believe it. Then take action. The only thing that is permanent is death. All other things change. One of the sayings I love is, “And this too shall pass.” It’s true. Really, it is!

9. You’re not important.

Everyone is important. You don’t need to be a CEO of a company or Oprah to be important. We all have our own little niche in the world. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you are hugely important to your kids. If you’re a cashier at a fast food restaurant, you’re important to the people who are trying to buy food. Reframe “important” and believe that you are valuable in your own way.

10. You think you’re always right.

Perception is reality. That’s a motto I live by. And you should too. Just because you don’t agree with someone else’s point of view, well, that doesn’t make them wrong. And just because they don’t agree with you doesn’t make you wrong either. Everyone is “right” because it is their perception of a situation that matters. And that’s it. So agree to disagree.

11. Something is holding you back.

The only thing holding you back is yourself. Examine your beliefs. Do you think you’re smart? Capable? Worthy? That you can add value to the world? If you don’t, then you need to figure out why because those thoughts are like a cage that keep you stuck. Being stagnant isn’t healthy. So learn to get out of your own way and believe you can do it!

12. You can’t be happy.

You can. It doesn’t take money. It doesn’t take beauty. It doesn’t take fame. It doesn’t take any of that to be happy. But you know what it does take? A decision. A decision to be happy. Yep. That’s it! Another motto I have is, “It’s only a problem if you think it’s a problem.” It’s all about viewpoint and attitude. You are in control of both of those. So changing your thinking will change your life and ultimately make you happy!

Set Your Set-Point: Uphold Your “Happiness Level” For Life

By Kristi K. Hoffman

We get to set our own goals in life. How beautiful is that? There is great power in realizing our own ability to challenge ourselves and set our GPS toward our loves and talents. And, even more beautiful still is that when we meet our goals, we get to re-calibrate them, and raise the bar to an even more exciting level.

In addition to goal-setting is establishing a personal set point. A set point is that place where you’d like to maintain, stabilize, and stay, as it relates to key areas in your life. Set points are important because they provide structure—something to aim for and stay committed to for future success. Consider your set point a personally satisfying, quantifiable objective you wish to maintain.

Set points help you step up to your next level, aim for and reach your life dreams and goals, uphold your “happiness level” for life. They are your sustainable happy place. Your set point may (will) change and evolve as chapters in your life change. But that’s the beauty of being able to set, reach, and recalibrate your own goals.

Establish a set point for these four areas:

Weight: Know at what weight (range) you feel good, healthy, and fit. Work with a physician, and as necessary, explore working with a dietitian, a fitness expert, and/or use your FitBit or My Fitness Pal app to stay consistent. Consistency, habit, and discipline are key core competencies here.

Work/Career: Know what measurable objectives you need to reach to be successful, to get the promotion, to seal the deal, to perform at peak levels, to get high marks on your evaluations, to set yourself up for future success. Drive, desire, and organization will help you with this set point.

Financial: Know where you’d like to be financially to live the lifestyle that makes you feel happy, comfortable, fulfilled. Be diligent about paying off debt, staying debt free going forward, and building a savings for your dreams. Discipline, perseverance, and patience will be critical core competencies to help you here.

Personal: Know who you’d like to impact, what your future self looks/acts like, what organization you can assist to make this world a better place, what actions will build a fit, healthy, fun life. That is living the Total Package Lifestyle! Introspection, desire, and passion will be key here.

Once you know your set points in these four areas, write action steps for each, to keep you steady and on track every day. Keep your set points your reality by staying focused on them, and working diligently towards maintaining these core goals. Notice the personal bliss you begin to feel as you achieve your set points. Now that’s a beautiful thing! #TotalPackageLifestyle

10 Ways To Get Up When You’re Feeling Down

By Steve Goodier

Do you ever feel blah? Ever wish you had a permanent “picker-upper”? If so, this may be for you.

In the 1920s, if you were looking for a little pick-me-up with your mid-afternoon snack, you might have reached for a cold, refreshing glass of 7-Up. Well, it wasn’t called 7-Up back then, it was called “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda.” (Say THAT three times fast!)

Inventor C. L. Griggs’ original recipe included the antidepressant lithium until the 1940s as a “picker-upper.” The original Coca-Cola formula also included a “picker-upper” — cocaine.

Today, people not suffering from serious depression understand that they usually don’t need mood-altering drugs to cope with daily life. But most folks struggle with bouts of mild depression, despondency or “the blahs” from time to time. How do you pick yourself up when you’re feeling down, without the aid of Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda?

I hope I’m not telling you anything new when I say that talking about the reasons you’re down, making needed changes, watching your diet, getting enough exercise and sleep, developing a positive mental outlook and utilizing spiritual resources are all important pieces of our emotional puzzles. But one important strategy for feeling better (and one that’s LEAST used) is as important as the rest. It is helping others in need.

1. Visit a shut-in neighbor.
2. Write a letter.
3. Call a friend who has been struggling.
4. Volunteer at church, synagogue or the local food pantry.
5. Rake someone’s leaves.
6. Bake homemade bread for a new neighbor.
7. Wash your spouse’s car.
8. Volunteer to baby-sit for a young mother.
9. Plan an unexpected act of kindness.
10. Give a gift for no reason at all.

The needs are abundant, and those who put aside some regular time to do something kind for others will often forget they were feeling low. Why does is work? I don’t know … it just does. Reach out and lift somebody else up and for some wondrous and magical reason, you lift yourself up, too.

Corrie Ten Boom beautifully said, “The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.” And if you’ve been feeling low, the best time to donate a piece of yourself is now.

6 Ways to Value Yourself

By Talya Flowers

Our values often shape who we are, how we view life, and our expectations and standards that we have of ourselves and others. I love and enjoy people because we both can learn something from one another. I value an amazing sale because material items come and go. I’m not one who pinches pennies, but I do like to save. So, finding an item that I really like that’s marked down makes me feel like I am being wise with my money, especially when it frees me up financially to be a blessing to others. Others may value love, success, trust, family, and/or careers. Either way, what we value speaks highly of how committed we are to a particular thing or person.

In the past, I valued other people above myself and would go above and beyond to make sure someone else was comfortable and happy because I believed the unconscious lie that humility was a true mark of beauty. When I denied myself, I subconsciously told myself that others’ needs were more important. And that their opinions thoughts and desires were more valuable than mine. I was sending myself the message that I should go above and beyond for other people but not for myself because that would be considered stingy and selfish.

I watched “What are your values?” by motivational speaker Kenny Graham and I was shocked when he asked “What do you value about yourself?” I have really never asked myself that question. I was so caught up in valuing other people that I forgot that I, too, am valuable. I am more than enough. I deserve the best. I am the best. I am a jade emerald. And that’s not in a conceited or arrogant way; it is a certainty, a fact that cannot be compromised.

When I know my value, I stop running toward things that hinder my success or my self-respect. I stop allowing people to hurt, use, or abuse me. I become more selective of the people that I allow into my inner sanctum. I watch and study their life principles. I compare them to mine and then I either promote or demote. I no longer have time to be telling people what they should be doing because I value myself. I am no longer going to pour water into an empty bucket.

Graham asks the question “what do you value about yourself?” in his video. I am going to take his question further and ask “do you “know” your value?” Not by the worlds standards, but by Gods standards. What does it mean to know? It means to be certain, to be firm, to be steady, to be assured, to be secured, and to be anchored. What does it mean to “value?” It means to protect, to cherish, to embrace, to accept, to admire, to love, to respect, and to invest.

Do you know your value? That’s the key to winning in life. Realize that you are a priceless, precious treasure that the maker has created in his image. Despite what anyone says or does to you in the present, the maker loves you and considers you valuable. Despite what may have happened in your past, the maker is the anchor which makes all things new and gives us assurance that we can begin again. Know who you are in Christ and give from a place of love. And that my friend can never be taken by anyone. Here are my suggestions for knowing your value:

1. Trust God

He is the orchestrator of your value and he never changes. He is the same today, yesterday and forever. Allow his stability to become yours.

2. Exercise

When you and I exercise, we have more energy to get all of our tasks completed. More energy means that we annihilate our to-do list, which makes us feel much more confident and valuable.

3. Eat healthy

Exercising and eating healthy are two of the most important aspects of our life. Eating healthy gives us more fuel for our day. Instead of feeling tired and fatigued, we feel energized and ready to take on the world which increases your value in yourself.

4. Affirm yourself

Think and say: “I am valuable, I am love, I am loved, I am more than enough, I am special.” How can anyone know your value, if you don’t believe it for yourself?

5. Love yourself

If you could see me writing this, I am shouting “LOVE YOURSELF.” You have to love you first before loving anyone else. You have to show yourself that you love all of you. And then tell yourself as well.

6. Keep commitments

We love over committing our schedules and helping everyone else but ourselves. Value yourself enough to keep the commitments that you’ve made to yourself.

11 Ways To Boost Your Confidence

By Anisha Joshi

Confidence – a personality trait that each one of us aspires to have, but very few people actually possess. Most of the people develop their confidence with the passing time because they need to be confident in every task they do and thought they have. You want to buy/sell the shares of a particular company; you want to propose someone; you want to give the perfect presentation – it all requires the confidence. Wearing branded clothes or driving a fancy car can’t make you feel confident. Confidence is the attitude; it’s all about how you feel about yourself. People will criticize you for various reasons, and not everyone will support you. But you need to know that you have the power within you to boost your confidence with these 11 ways:

1. Wear comfortable and clean clothes

Your first impression is the last impression. Hence, your clothes say a lot about you – even before you open your mouth to speak. It is important to wear clean & comfortable clothes. This will allow you to take away your attention from your own appearance – which can be a major distraction. As a result, you will be able to focus on your discussions and will appear confident. When you are totally involved in doing something, low self-esteem vanishes and your confidence is boosted.

2. Sit straight and show your confidence

Take a look at the videos of all successful public speakers. Notice them and their gestures. They all are comfortable while speaking and show an outstanding confidence. Their gestures, facial expressions, straight posture, and everything else depicts their confidence. Start with sitting/standing with your spine erect. Gradually, work on your gestures and facial expressions. You, too, can do it.

3. Be yourself

Be yourself. Because each of us is unique. You look the best when you are “you.” It is wrong to compare yourself because “you can’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree.” Being yourself, you will realize you are special and unique. When you realize you are special, you automatically become confident. Love yourself for who you are

4. Give time to your passion

Your passion is a creative action that you love doing. When you are spending time on your passion you “feel complete.” This feeling makes you confident. You enjoy your own company, you appreciate your existence, and you do have a reason to be confident.

5. Respect and care for your own body

The reason why most people don’t feel confident is because of their physical appearance and ailments. Everybody wants a beautiful and healthy body, and it is a major factor in boosting your confidence. Hang a photo of the super star, like whom you aspire to be. Seeing her/him everyday will motivate you to wake up a bit earlier and work upon your body. Take care!!

6. Use optimism & positive affirmations

The thoughts and affirmations in which you tell yourself hold the highest importance. So, instead of saying “I can’t do it,” say ” I will give my 100% and I will do my best.” Instead of feeling “Life is of no use,” say “Life can be made amazing , I too can be happy, because there are many people who are happy living an amazing life. I need to discover my dream and paint my own life.” There is so much to say about being positive, but the whole crux is: Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.

7. Be in the company of confident people

You become like the people around you. Surrounding yourself with confident people makes you feel that attitude for being confident. You don’t need an specific amount of bank balance, or a certain quality of education, or a branded outfit to boost your confidence. You just need to feel it. Watch people who are confident and learn from them: you will get your piece of inspiration from that group of people around you.

8. Talk to those people in your life who believe in you

Confidence is all about believing yourself. There are times when all concepts of self-motivation fail, but when someone else counts our “qualities” to us, we feel better. So there must be a few people in life who love us and believe in us. Have such people and treasure them.

9. Count the successes you have achieved earlier in your life

We are born. We learn the ways of life. We learn to walk while being toddlers. We learn to eat by ourselves when we are in play group. We learn to read and write in 1st grade. And life keeps on moving – each year we have something to applaud about our own live. But with all the hustle & bustle, and glistening shadows of life, we forget our own achievements. It may be school grades, appreciation certificates, appraisals at office, or we may have helped someone while crossing the road, or be the reason for someone’s smile. There are so many things that can be counted under the list of achievements – materialistic, physical, spiritual, emotional or social level.

10. Smile: fake it, till you make it

A smile is a sure sign of a confident personality. Smile a while. Let it spread a mile. Let it be the reason for another smiles. Very soon it will become your own nature.

11. Believe in the higher power

Call him God, Angels, Prophet, Energy or anything as per your religious customs. But there is a higher power, which always protects you and has always taken care of you and will continue doing the same. Believe in this higher power is like a backbone to confidence. Anything can fail but a strong faith that someone is there to help you out will always boost your confidence.

 

4 Ways To Get Out Of The “Anger Danger Zone”

By Steve Goodier

Anger is just one letter short of danger — it seems to be as true in English as well as in practice. Dr. Bedford Williams at Duke University has determined that students who score high on a “hostility test” are in far greater danger of dying young than their peers. In fact, those who are prone to anger are in greater physical danger than those who smoke, have high blood pressure, or even high cholesterol.

Not that we should never be angry. It is a normal part of life. We all get “worked up,” “overheated,” or just plain “hopping mad” at times. Those closest to us know it best. (Just ask my kids!)

One little boy said about his mother: “When she starts to act real weird, you have to look scared and serious. Don’t giggle. When mommies are mad, they get madder when you giggle.”

The good news is that simply getting angry does not seem to be the problem. Well-directed anger can be a helpful emotion. But staying angry is dangerous — to our health and to our relationships.

Here are four simple steps that can help move us out of the danger zone when we feel as if our hostility is running the show.

1. Control it.

Uncontrolled anger will take over.

2. Talk it out.

Don’t keep it in and let it fester.

3. Act on it.

Do what needs to be done to resolve the situation. Helplessness will only provoke more anger and, eventually, despair.

4. End it.

Just as there is a starting point for anger, there must be an ending. Make a decision not to prolong destructive hostility.

It can help to remember that for every minute we’re angry, we lose sixty seconds of happiness and sixty seconds of peace. The sooner we get out of the danger zone, the sooner we can get back to truly living.

3 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Dreams

By Amanda McPherson

Something inside of you is saying that you want more…that you have more to offer the world. But, the thing is, it just stays there—sitting stagnantly inside that head, that heart, that gut of yours…

Why?

Here are three ways you may be sabotaging your dreams:

1. You are waiting to feel “special”

Here’s the deal, the people who are out there living their dreams are special.  Yep,that’s right.  They were born with this super fantabulous specialness chip, and you simply didn’t get. Sorry. You’re out of luck.

How ridiculous does that sound?

When we look at the people who we admire; the people who are using their unique gifts in a way that fills them up and makes them shine from the inside out, we aren’t looking at some kind of alien from the Planet of Specialness of which we don’t belong.  Those people don’t have anything you don’t have —except maybe the realization that they didn’t have to be “special” before they started pursuing their dreams.

Take the pressure off of yourself to be “special” and allow the flawed, imperfect, brilliant, unique, authentic you to put one foot in front of the other.

2. You think you’re “lazy”

A mentor of mine once told me, “I don’t believe in lazy”.  She went on to explain her belief that there is always something deeper behind a person’s laziness— Maybe it’s a fear of failure. Perhaps it’s disbelief that you really can be happy; or that you deserve to be. Or, maybe, you have no tolerance for the discomfort and hard work that comes with leaving your comfort zone.  The next time you blame your “laziness” for not pursuing your dreams, I encourage you to look deeper. Examine it.

Don’t let yourself believe in lazy.

3. You don’t want to be an acorn

You’ve probably heard the analogy about how every beautiful oak tree once had to start out as an acorn. But, I mean, who the heck wants to be an acorn?! We want to be beautiful, big, strong oak trees, darnit!

I am going to take this opportunity to practice what I preach about vulnerability and share something with you—I would love, loooove, loooooove to be sitting on a couch across from Ellen someday (yes, as in DeGeneres). You know, just us girls. Chatting like old pals about spreading kindness, empowering women…saving the world…yada, yada, yada. Whoa! That’s some serious Oak Tree dreamin’, right? Sure, I’ll admit it. I have some big dreams. But, if I put that kind of pressure to succeed on every word I write or speak,I’d be paralyzed.

You have to be willing to be an acorn.

Tonight, being an acorn means sitting home on a Saturday night to write this post. Other days, being an acorn means submitting my writing to a publication and having it rejected. And, some days, this little acorn gets watered and fed by hearing that my words helped someone in some way.

It’s okay to have big Oak Tree dreams.  But, you can’t skip being an acorn. And, honestly, you don’t want to because it feels pretty darn good.

So, what is holding you back from pursuing your dreams? I really hope you’ll take the time to search for the answer to this question.

The world is waiting to receive what you have to offer.

5 Easy Steps To Making Your Dreams Come True

By Darin Dillinger

Many people ask me a lot of questions about my life. Here are some of them: (1) how did I lose 400 pounds naturally, (2) how did I so easily make the decision to move to Hollywood, (3) how do I always meet such amazing people, and (4) how do I stay so positive.

Well, it wasn’t always easy. However, I learned that determination and really good intuition leads me to where I want to go. I could go on forever about the lists of books that I read to get me here. But instead, I’ll cut to the chase and list five easy steps on making your dreams happen:

1) Wake up every day acting like it’s your birthday!

I know this is silly, but your birthday always makes you feel like you’re invincible and that you radiate possibilities. And it’s a re-birth of sorts. Imagine every day is your birthday, and act as if anything is possible.

2) Listen to “God’s Whispers” …

I am not religious, but I am very spiritual. I use the word ‘God’ loosely, so it could be termed Universal Whispers. When you send a dream out to the Universe, God (or the Universe) will start sending you back signs. So you need to start talking about your dream and then start listening to the whispers around you. And remember that there are no coincidences. Luck is simply when preparation meets opportunity. You prepare yourself to see the opportunity when it arises.

3) Put it out there!

The more you tell people about your dreams, talk about it in your head, and write it down on paper, the more your brain begins to believe all of the possibilities. It’s like tunnel vision. Start saying you deserve it, and also say you already have it. Plus, when you start talking about your dreams, then people will support you and will be on the lookout for signs, too. You will probably hear things such as, “That’s a great dream! Hey, I know someone named John and he wants to do this too. I should help you two get connected!”

4) Always give thanks for who – and what – you have.

When we are happy and thankful, we literally generate a different vibration. This is actually a scientifically proven fact. The more we can live in a space of appreciation, the more positive things will come to us. But you need to remember this daily.

5) Eliminate the naysayers from your life.

Maybe your naysayers are family members, friends who you thought supported you, or perhaps even colleagues. People who put fear into you instill limits on you because they are afraid that you’ll succeed. In fact, they fear your success because they believe it’s possible. So you need to remember that you are as limitless as you see yourself.

6) Take a photo.

When you take a photo of your dream, it programs the brain to see it.

7) Put your photo(s) EVERYWHERE!

My absolute favorite people have vision boards. I call it a ‘SHINE ON’ Wall. On my vision board, I have pictures of people I want to meet, people who inspire me, positive quotes, jobs that I want, trips I want to go on, and the body I desire to create. I make it my shrine. I light candles every night with sage, and then reflect. When this happens, you will radiate your desires and dreams.

These are some of my tips. They are based on my reading and my experiences, and they are easy steps to start.

Let me leave you with this … VIBE STRONG!

Want To Know The Secret To HAPPINESS? Here It Is …

By Dr. LeslieBeth Wish

Had rotten parents who abused, neglected, criticized or abandoned you? Or something happened to you later in life such as assault or rape? Or your disappointing love relationships hover overhead like mylar balloons glinting at your failures?

Well, here’s the good news: rotten pasts for any reasons don’t have to mean you will have an unhappy life. Positive psychology researchers such as Martin Seligman, author of the inspiring book, “Learned Optimism,” studies resilience and how to develop the positive effects of optimism on your health, coping mechanisms, problem-solving ability, emotional regulation and more.

Seligman identifies several traits that make optimistic people, well, so optimistic. I discovered very similar findings when I was researching the effects of childhood abuse on women’s career and love happiness. Look at the abbreviated list below. Check the ones that describe you.

Optimism Checklist:

I am intelligent.
I can regulate my moods and impulses.
I enjoy planning for the future.
I may not have had a great childhood, but I’ve triumphed over it.
I regard myself as successful.
I like taking on challenges and learning new things.
I can soothe myself without relying on substances such as alcohol, carbohydrates, shopping or impulsive sex with just about anyone.
Even though my life is not perfect now, I enjoy and cherish it.
I’m good at problem-solving.
I can handle disappointments and setbacks.

Obviously, the more you checked, the more likely you are a happy optimist.

Psychologist Philip Zimbardo has developed a method he calls Time Perspective Therapy, which he uses to help people change their negative outlook. The Wall Street Journal article from August 27, 2013, “Still Hung Up on Your Past? A Therapy Says ‘Let It Go’ is an overview of Zimbardo’s analysis of what makes people happy. He discovered that happy people have the following view of themselves:

I love and value my past.
I enjoy my present and know how to balance work and pleasure.
I like planning for the future and believe I can accomplish my goals.

But, oops—what if you don’t agree with these statements or if you didn’t check many things on the Optimist Checklist? Here are some secret tips to help you gain the benefits of optimism.

1. How to deal with the past.

Okay—so you had parents who wouldn’t win any parenting awards. Or later in life you had some very bad experience in love, life and work. Zimbardo recommends meditating or making a list of your positive attributes.

These can be good, but the women in my study for my book, “Smart Relationships,” used these methods that yielded potent results. Use them repeatedly whenever you feel down and out of control over your mood and life.

Make a chart with four columns. In the first column list a negative thought, idea, feeling or regret you have about you and your life.

In the second column list your parents’ or caregivers’ negative words or actions toward you.

In the third column, describe how their words and actions tell you more about them and how they were treated as children. If you take your time and focus on what you know about them, you will increase your ability to see that the words you carry in your head and that your view of you may truly not be true about you!

In the fourth column, now write your good attributes and your rebuttal and revisions to your negative self-view.

The women in my study found this exercise helpful because it brings to the surface all those negative thoughts and fears so you can then battle against them.

2. How to deal with the present.

Zimbardo recommends elevating your mood by exercising and rewarding your work effort with something enjoyable such as getting a massage or going to dinner with friends.

These are great suggestions. Going to dinner with friends is very effective because social engagement has proven to boost your immune system, coping mechanisms, sense of belonging and feeling valued and less alone. Exercising also strengthens your immune system and triggers the pleasure hormones in your brain.

Here are some other tips that the women in my study used.

Make contact with friends, family and the community. Email, write or call a friend. Make plans every month to be with people whom you like and who care about you.

Volunteer. Being active and giving in your community is great medicine. You feel valued, and you get a perspective on the lives and struggles of others. Don’t ignore your circumstances, of course. Your pain is your pain and it is important. Volunteering, however, is a great way to get out identifying with being a victim—or using it as an excuse not to take action.

Do things that scare you. Yes—that’s right! Doing things that make you feel nervous or stupid become a training ground that makes you more comfortable with new things. This desensitization can enable you to take some necessary, moderate and realistic risks in your life. For example, if you are afraid of starting a business, I suggest that you attend seminars, read books and consult with successful people. Yes, you will feel anxious, but the more you expose yourself to what frightens you, the more you develop inner strength.

3. How to deal with your future.

Zimbardo recommends learning an new skill and thinking about what’s good in your life. Here are some more suggestions from the women in my study. These tips are much easier to do if you took the advice above.

Okay—it’s time for you to make another chart. In the first column make a list of what you would realistically like to accomplish in the future.

In the second column list all the things you need to do to achieve those goals.

In the third column list all your fears and the things that hold you back. Now go back to that very first chart I asked you to make in how to deal with your past. Do you see similarities? How many of your fears come from them?

In the fourth column write some words of encouragement, including your rebuttal and revisions to the negative input from your parents and caregivers. You will most likely have this inner dialogue between the old and new you for the rest of your life. But the more you increase your awareness, the more you can rewrite a different view of you and your future happiness.

Be featured in Dr. Wish’s next book about intuition! Click here to tell her your story!

And also check out more of Dr. Wish’s advice in one of her other books right here:

4 Secrets To Staying In Love

By Steve Goodier

The results are in. I have learned that, after careful consideration and endless debate, The Perfect Man has finally been named: “Mr. Potato Head.” Let me tell you why. He’s tan. He’s cute. He knows the importance of accessorizing. And if he looks at another girl, you can rearrange his face.

I don’t know if Mr. or Ms. Potato Head is right for you. But I’m not a big believer in the idea that we MUST find a perfect match, anyway. There are plenty of happy people who are not paired with someone else. And there are also plenty who may not say they found Mr. or Ms. Right, but are living quite happily with Mr. Almost Right or Ms. Close Enough.

Marriage and long-term commitments may not be for everyone, but if you plan to be with someone a long time, can you stay in love? Does a lifetime relationship have to seem more like a life sentence? I think we’re tempted to believe that real love is a myth, a long-term relationship is a marathon, and romance is for kids. Are there secrets to staying in love over the long haul?

I believe in love and romance, and I know it can last a lifetime. I also believe there are a few simple things we can do to help our love grow over the years.

Here are 4 secrets to staying in love:

1. Find time to date.

I don’t mean time to rehash the stuff you talk about all week long. Get away and talk about things that matter. Use this as time to focus on one another, not to solve problems or to raise issues. There are other times to bring up difficult subjects.

2. Understand what delights the other and then make it happen.

“The romance is over,” says Marlys Huffman, “when you see a rosebush and start looking for aphids instead of picking a bouquet.” What makes him laugh? What brings her pleasure? And what can you do today to delight each other?

3. Remember why you got together in the first place.

When you focus first on his faults, you’re not thinking about his strengths. When you’re busy pointing out her imperfections, you’re not enjoying those qualities that attracted you to her initially. Choose to appreciate that which first drew you together and remember it often.

4. And always – plan enough time for fun.

And don’t always plan times for fun — be spontaneous. Laugh. Go places. Play.

A woman from Charleston, South Carolina was overheard to remark that it was her 53rd wedding anniversary. When asked if she planned a special celebration, she smiled and said softly, “When you have a nice man, it really doesn’t matter.” I suspect they learned the secrets of staying in love.