Friday, July 30, 2010

Stop Being a Punching Bag!

by Saalik Siddikki

Does everybody feel tempted to use you as a punching bag, any time and anywhere without expecting a counter-blow?  If so, you are trapped in a terrific situation.  What should you do – drop down to disintegrate or build resistance to be felt rock-hard and cause an agonizing reaction to the punchers? The choice is exclusively your own. 

There would have been a number of reasons for your state of being a punching bag and these reasons must have roots deep into your early childhood.  Now recall your memories when you were perhaps six or eight year old. 

·        Did everybody at home make a mockery of you?

·        Were you the only one, for everyone at home and in the neighbourhood, to be taken as a natural scapegoat for everything wrong done by others?

·        Did you always or mostly feel nervous in the company of boys of your age group or a bit elder and preferred to avoid their presence around?

·        Was it usually your mom whose lap was always the best solace for you?

·        Were you ignored by your parents, brothers and sisters for no apparent reasons?

·        Were you underweight and skinny and felt misfit in the atmosphere?

·        Did you have any other weakness in your personality that prevented you from expressing your true self before others?

·        Did your teachers treat you as the twelfth man of their team?

·        Did you take shelter in escaping from challenging situations that required leadership initiatives?

Well, nobody in the world could help you determine the reasons that transformed you, slowly, silently and irritatingly, into a punching bag.  You could never have been satisfied with yourself in accepting such a humiliating existence.  There would be moments when you might have had an irresistible urge to rebel against your helplessness, to explode like a volcano.  The question is why didn’t you?  What stopped you from breaking the shackles of torture and agonizing pain? 

Think about it seriously.  It was always you who chose to nestle in the comfort zone of complacence and retreat instead of stubbornly reacting to every blow that you received.  Perhaps no one ever extended a helping hand towards you to get you out of this quagmire that continued to swallow you like an insatiable vampire.

How old are you now? 14, 18, 25, 30 or above, and are you still the same punching bag that people love to pound?  Come on man, stop punching your ego and burst out of the shell of self pity.  Yes, self pity is the most lethal poison that is taking its toll.

How long will you be deceiving yourself?  Make up your mind now, right at this moment and get rid of the cloak of helplessness – burn it down to ashes.  It is just like burning your boats to not leave a chance to back away from the battleground of realities.

The realities are hard to face but you have to.  Do a little self talk, take a bold decision and stick to it.  Remember, God does not like you to remain like this for a single moment.  You have enough courage to defy God’s will.  Why can’t you defy people’s will?  You certainly can and you should.

You have two options now.  One, move out of the reach of people’s punching range and it is not that easy.  You cannot create your own special world minus bullies – they are in abundance everywhere.  Two, turn yourself into a bag of rock-hard cement so that when, from now on, anybody punches you, he would break his own knuckles and forget about repeating it.

You may face a little embarrassment occasionally but, ultimately you would succeed in keeping the bullies at an arm’s length. 

Do it now or you would never be in a position to do so.  If possible, look around to find a mentoring friend to help you in taking a courageous decision. 

It is only you who is to take action now.  It is only you who is to transform into a new being.  It is only you who is not to act like a punching bag any more.










Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tips For Dealing With Rebellious Teens

By Nicole Mayer


Teenagers in general go through some tough times, which is simply a part of transitioning from a child to an adult. Even teens that perform great in school, never come home late, stay involved with school activities, and have amazing friends will have tough periods. However, for parents of rebellious teens, it seems as if the world is ending. Struggling teens are going through extreme hormonal changes, dealing with peer pressure, and trying to establish their own identity, opinions, and thoughts on top of the transition.

Interestingly, while most parents think that rebellious teens do not listen, could care less what is being said, and sometimes may not even love them, the truth is that troubled teens are actually looking for reassurance, support, encouragement, guidance, and even discipline. Some struggling teens become so bold with decisions that they find themselves in uncomfortable and even dangerous situations while having no clue how to get out. Therefore, parents should step in to provide the teenager with a sense of comfort in that they do not have to be in control or make adult decisions just yet.

With the right type of parental help, rebellious teens can get through the tough years easier. Some parents make the mistake of thinking that once the kids become teenagers, they can be friends, setting the parent/child relationship on the back burner. However, at this time more than any other in life, the teenager needs a parent, not a friend. When parents try to be friends with struggling teens, there is a sense of no one being in control, making the rebellious teen feel insecure and even unloved.

Of course, rebellious teens may not always show appreciation but parents need to understand some of the acting out is merely for show. On the other hand, some rebellious teens are crying out for help because they are struggling with something major. In this case, the teenager may have been molested or raped, be involved with drugs or alcohol, or become caught up with a bad group of friends. For parenting help, a number of things can be done that makes it easier and more effective when dealing with a rebellious teen, which could include intervention or rehabilitation in severe cases.
  • Failures - Many struggling teens fear the parents will be angry, disappointed, or unforgiving when they fail. Teens need to be provided with reassurance that everyone fails. Additionally, the teenager needs to know the parents forgive and love them unconditionally. With this comes an opportunity to provide parental help through communication and guidance.
  • Listening - Another mistake that parents make is not listening to a rebellious teen. Instead, parents are too busy counseling, criticizing, and questioning, which is a shame because a huge opportunity to get inside the teen's mind and heart is being missed. This means parents do not understand what things the rebellious teen is facing so the right parental help could be provided. 
  • Boundaries - As mentioned, while most rebellious teens swear they want more freedom, the truth is they need set boundaries. The key is allowing the teenager enough room to fail, which is how he or she will learn but setting enough restrictions to keep the teen safe. 
  • Decisions - By the time a child becomes a teenager, it is imperative that parents start letting him or her make decisions. When dealing with rebellious teens, this would start out small and over time progress. By giving struggling teens room to grow and mature they actually respect the parents more, which begins to create a stronger bond while diminishing anger. 
  • Praise - Finally, even though rebellious teens may do numerous things wrong, rather than always focus on failures or mistakes, parents need to praise them for the actions and decisions they do right. This type of "reverse psychology" provides parenting help that shows the teenager attention can be obtained by doing good things, not bad.
Nicole has been a active author online for many years. Not only does this author specialize in Affiliate Marketing she also has a passion in diet, computers and helping troubled teens. You can also check out her latest website Camps for Troubled Youth at http://www.campsfortroubledyouth.com/ which explains what you as a parent should expect out of Military Schools along with information on camps for teens.

Teenage Discipline - Dealing With Out of Control Teens

By Osho Thomas Cooper


The subject of teenage discipline may mean different things to different people. For some people, it means imposing limits on what their teen child can and can't do. For others, it may mean punishment for an inappropriate act. Yet for others, mentioning the subject of teenage discipline can induce anxiety. Many parents are struggling with out of control teens, and are not sure what to do to turn the situation around.

The first thing to do is to remain calm and relax. You may be wondering exactly how you are supposed to do that when you feel nothing but stress, and maybe even fear, surrounding this situation. The answer: Don't forget to breathe. Have you ever noticed that your breaths become shallow and fast paced when you are angry or anxious? Taking just five minutes to breath in and out through the nose can make a world of difference in your mental state. You will notice your breaths becoming slower and deeper. You will feel calm. Once you are feeling calm, you will be much better equipped to handle a stressful situation involving a teen.

The next thing is to have trust. Trust yourself! Trust that you are a good parent, and that you can turn this situation around. Trust in your child that they will be able to change destructive patterns. The only constant that exists anywhere in the universe is that everything is impermanent, and therefore subject to change. This applies to a bad situation as well. This situation can be turned around.

When a situation involving destructive teen behavior has gone on for a long time, it is time for a new approach. Are there biological factors involved such as bi-polar disorder, or depression? Is the child being properly medicated for these ailments? Are there certain environmental factors that act as triggers to the aggressive behavior? All of these things can be determining factors as to why teens act out.

What part are you playing in this behavior? I know what you're thinking. But, here is something to consider. Every relationship involves projection. We are projecting onto the other person, and they are projecting right back to us. Do you think it's possible for another human being to carry the full weight of our idea of who they should be? If you say that out loud, it sounds ridiculous. And, really it is ridiculous. It's not possible for another person to be exactly who we think they should be. Being aware that there is projection from both parties involved is a great way to begin to see who that person really is, rather than who we think they should be.

If you would like additional information on dealing with teenage discipline, be sure to visit http://squidoo.com/teenage-discipline-help

If you find that the info given within this article does not offer enough help for your situation, be sure to visit http://teenagediscipline.us to get the help you need.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Break Your Speed, Man!

by Saalik Siddikki

Are you striving hard to achieve your desired targets without any apparent results, dashing fast like a sprinter towards the victory line and not reaching it?  Your passionate endeavour, focused pursuit of goals and concentrated effort for attaining goals is proving to be a futile exercise?  If yes, it never implies that you are a failure. 

Thousands of people, from all walks of life, have to go through the same agonizing pains and torture in everyday life.  We all create goals, short-term, mid-term or long-term, to achieve sooner or later.  A lot many people do not succeed on various frontiers for different reasons.  Nevertheless, if you are not rewarded with an achievement in spite of your hard work, zeal and zest, you might be running extraordinarily fast and ignoring, either consciously or unconsciously, the milestones that may act like energy-boosters and enhance your inner strengths for a better performance.

You may be running at a faster pace than is required.  If you are facing all the above challenges, you need a speed-breaker of self-dialogue to lessen your pace, to analyze the whole situation and change your strategy.

It is also a probability that you may be running simultaneously on multiple parallel tracks without being consciously aware of it.  Under such frustrating circumstances it is of colossal importance to break your speed and while doing so, never let the goal skip your mind and vision.


Check your speed, steps and the level of exhaustion.  You cannot afford to drain your energies in the beginning of your dash or run in zigzag.  Keep taking notice of your intellectual, spiritual and tangible resources and reset your pace not repeating the errors in any way.

Speed-breakers are essential to let us keep our driving smooth and stable for a long run and save us from mishaps.  Never take them as nuisance.  They are constructed to help you enjoy your journey and save others too from your mistakes as well. 

Keep driving on but with a controlled and manageable speed to reach your destiny.



Sunday, July 18, 2010

Power of Greed vs Ambition

by Saalik Siddikki


Synonyms of Ambition carry an air of positivity :

Goal
Aim
Aspiration
Objective
Dream
Hope
Desire
Purpose

Synonyms of Greed are shrouded in negativity : 

Gluttony
Voracity
Ravenousness
Greediness
Hunger
Insatiability
Self indulgence

Now the question is what passion a positive thinker should fuel to achieve success - ambition or greed?

We normally see ambition tagged with a desire to attain positive goals while greed labelled as a negative emotion to gain advantages or benefits by hook or by crook.

My point is what if we replace ambition with greed to achieve positive goals?  Whether it makes sense or not is not an issue here.  It has just occurred to me that the massive force of negative energy should be used to attain targets.  The intensity of negative energy is beyond question.

Think about a nuclear bomb and watch your reactive thoughts.  Do you visualize nuclear energy providing electricity and fuel to run the industry or act as a steering power to move huge ships in the seas?  Not at all.  Your mind, in a fraction of a second, goes back to world war II when America used nuclear bombs to cause devastating damage in two Japanese cities.

But now the nuclear energy is used in other fields for the benefit of scientific and medical research and producing energy for positive usage.

Similarly, we can use the power of greed to achieve our set targets merely because of its intensity.

Keep your thoughts focused on your targets but think like a greedy villain with an insatiable lust for success and achievement who does not give a damn about anything in the world while pursuing his objectives fiercely and ferociously.  

It does not mean, in any sense, that you should take steps to cause damage or loss to others.  

Thinking like a villain and using the fuel of greed simply means to build a fortress against lethargy, procrastination, complacence, lassitude and indolence which are internal hurdles in your way to march towards your destiny.

Eliminating each of the above hurdles is imperative to achieve success and you cannot take risk of ignoring these nuisance.

So, try to change your thinking pattern and take full advantage of the fierceness of negative emotions.  I am sanguine it would lessen your chances of failure and enhance the prospects of success positively. 





Wednesday, July 14, 2010

22-year-old becomes youngest IIT teacher

MUMBAI: IITians often liken the generation gap between themselves and their teachers to that between MS-DOS and Windows. This semester, however, the students on the Powai campus can look forward to someone much closer to their age: a physics teaher who has just entered his 20s. 

At 22, Tathagat Avatar Tulsi, who has never studied in a classroom, plans to ask his students how they would want to be taught. "I have never taught in a class. But I believe I can come down to the level of a student and help them understand the subject," he said. 

Having completed high school when he was nine, his graduation in science at 10, an MSc in Physics at 12, and his PhD in Quantum Computing from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, at 21, Tulsi says he is going to write to the Limca Book of Records to include him as the youngest faculty member in the country. 

Having achieved a lot pretty early in life, Tulsi may seem like a young man in hurry, but he has set a huge task for himself—to come up with an important scientific discovery, which will probably lead him to his ultimate dream: to own that shining piece of gold with Alfred Nobel on the obverse. 

The "wonder boy", who suffered humiliation in August 2001 when a delegation of scientists taken by the department of science & technology to Lindau in Germany for an interaction with Nobel laureates, suggested that he was not a thinker, but a "fake prodigy" who had "mugged up" theories. Putting that behind, the Patna boy will stay on the Powai campus in the faculty quarters and work towards achieving that dream. 

That "not-so-distant" goal is probably why Tulsi chose teaching over a vocation. "I want to pursue my research and at IIT-B, I will have the leisure to continue my research and one day set up a lab focused on quantum computation in our country." Going to foreign shores is currently not on Tulsi’s plans. He chose the Powai college over Waterloo University, Canada, and the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER), Bhopal, both of which had also offered him teaching jobs.


Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/22-year-old-becomes-youngest-IIT-teacher/articleshow/6164969.cms



8 Tips For Controlling Stress When Job Hunting

By Dorene Mahoney

There is much about a job search over which one has no control, including timing and the state of the job market. Adding to your stress may be dwindling finances and deeply ingrained beliefs around productivity and responsibility. Every day without an interview, offer, or meaningful employment can be excruciating, depending on one's unique circumstances.

Stress is a normal part of the territory. However, preparing early for inevitable disappointments and ongoing uncertainty will help limit your level of discouragement. I advise clients to establish a routine practice and support system:

• Set reasonable expectations for yourself and other family members who are counting on you. In the beginning of a coaching relationship, I often meet with the client and spouse together to ensure alignment on acceptable timeframes and opportunity and salary expectations. Areas of misaligned expectations brew resentment and guilt that, then, start fights.

• Establish a daily or weekly job search routine that your family agrees on. Over an extended period it isn't reasonable to spend eight hours a day in search tasks. Two hours a day, once you get going, is pushing it. Normal may be two hours, three days a week, interspersed with networking activities. Irrespective of your circumstances, looking for a job is hard on self esteem-you're marketing yourself, and more times than not employers will say, "No thanks," if they respond at all.

• Decide with your family how you will devote the rest of the hours during the week. Will you take over some of the tasks of others in the household who are working or in school? Will you start a project that you promised you'd do when you had time? Will you go back to school or sign up for training to enhance your resume? Will you do volunteer work that uses your expertise to serve a non-profit whose mission you feel passionate about? Retaining some schedule of healthy productivity will rescue you from overwhelm and feelings of resignation.

• For most adults who are responsible for bringing in income, being without work is rare. Plan for pleasure and personal reflection. Consider taking time each day or week to take a hike or go to the beach or read a book purely for the fun of it.

• Take care of your physical needs. Get adequate sleep, exercise and eat healthy food. Try to spend time in Nature every day, getting plenty of natural light. Tending to your body will give you needed stamina for what may be a long haul.

• Identify positive individuals among your friends and acquaintances, and ask them to support you during the process. Be specific. For example, regular inquiries such as, "How is the job search going?" may feel like an indictment. Give them words to say that will feel supportive, such as, "How are you holding up? What are you doing to take care of yourself?" You may ask these individuals to meet for coffee on a regular basis, just to listen to you talk about your journey. 

If you don't want them to move into advice, say so up front-people who care about you will naturally try to help, and often these very thoughtful moves will have just the opposite effect. However, you don't want to admonish them mid-sentence: these individuals are valued resources that you should handle with care.

• Avoid sharing your feelings with individuals who continually disappoint you or who judge how you are proceeding. Acknowledge that some people are empty wells, and formulate acceptable responses to their inquiries and comments. 

In fact, come up with several reasonable responses to the question, "How is the job search coming?" You will likely get this question from everyone who knows of your situation, and in most cases the circumstances will not be right for a heartfelt discussion. This is not being dishonest. This is acknowledging a truth and taking care of yourself.

• When you're feeling good about yourself, prepare a list for your wallet of activities that always make you feel better. Examples might be: take a shower, call a long-distance friend to catch up, take the dog for a walk, brush your teeth, go to the gym, explore a new area of your county, do something to surprise your spouse or someone important to you, begin a house project, work in the garden.

A final note: it is not about perfection-you will have down days and, perhaps, many of them. It's about acknowledging this fact and being prepared to respond when a bad mood does set in.

Dorene Mahoney uses experience as a management consultant and business executive in human resources to provide career and leadership coaching to individuals by phone or in person in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dorene helps her clients find clarity and bring forth new confidence and innovative possibilities for action. http://www.stepwellcoaching.com

7 Habits For Successful Job Hunting


If you are looking for a new job then it is important that you manage your time effectively. The reality is that the job market is a very competitive out there and to get the job you want you have to work at it. There are a number of habits that you should acquire to improve your chances of getting the job you always wanted.

1) Making contacts: Getting the job that you want will depend on the number of contacts you make. It really is a numbers game. The more contacts the better chances you will have of landing that job. Every week set yourself the target of making 30 to 40 contacts per week.

2) Persistence: You need to keep going and never stop searching until you get that job. Plan your week out by doing a mixture of following up your leads and finding new ones. Do not stop until you have a confirmed job offer in your hand.

3) Do your research: If you have an interest in a particular industry or company then thoroughly research it. Learn everything you can about it. If you are better informed and have plenty of knowledge this will help you during the interview and give you a running start when you get the job.

4) Follow up: Do not think that sending out your CV is enough. Most employers are very busy therefore, follow up after you send out your CV. State this is in the cover letter you send with the CV. Keep on top of your contact job leads by phoning them up on a regular basis in order to keep your finger on the pulse.

5) Get organised: Set up a system that includes schedules of when you contact your job leads, send out your CVs and cover letters and when you research for new job leads. Write this entire schedule down in a spreadsheet or print out and record all the contact details of your leads.

6) Take a break: Although you have to work hard at this you will need a break to have some recovery time. Schedule in some me time. This could be at the weekend where you can slow down or take a day off and do something that is fun and interesting.

7) Stay fit: People who are in better shape health wise have a better chance of getting a job quicker compared to people who are unfit and overweight. Doing regular exercise will give you more energy and you will feel more positive about yourself.

James Mako has been writing articles for over 2 years on subjects he is passionate about. Why not check out his new website that provides information about luxury shower curtains and the latest range of designer shower curtains and accessories.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Burn Your Boat!

by: John Boe

I believe that the great NFL Hall of Fame coach, Vince Lombardi, had it right when he said, "The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor." Do you agree with coach Lombardi or are you the type of person who has difficulty staying focused and keeping commitments? Do you allow the negative influences of fear, anxiety, self-doubt and worry to dominate your thinking and sabotage your results?

Sadly, most people fail to achieve their goals, not because they're lazy or lack self-motivation, but because they were never "fully committed" to succeed! I can't think of a single great achievement that has ever been attained without first a plan of action and then an unshakable commitment to its accomplishment. Walt Disney was arguably one of the most creative dreamers and determined men of the twentieth century. Walt understood the power of commitment and would frequently tell those around him, "When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably."

The ancient Greek warriors were both feared and respected by their enemies. In battle, the Greeks established a well-deserved reputation for their unsurpassed bravery and unshakable commitment to victory. The key to their overwhelming success on the battlefield had far more to do with how the Greek commanders motivated the warriors than it did with issues of tactics or training. 

The Greeks were master motivators who understood how to use a "dramatic demonstration" to infuse a spirit of commitment into the heart of every warrior. Once the warriors had been offloaded from their boats onto their enemy's shore, the Greek commanders would shout out their first order, "burn the boats!" The sight of burning boats removed any notion of retreat from their hearts and any thoughts of surrender from their heads. Imagine the tremendous psychological impact on the soldiers as they watched their boats being set to the torch. As the boats turned to ash and slipped quietly out of sight into the water, each man understood there was no turning back and the only way home was through victory.

In your sales career your battles are not fought with weapons on foreign shores, but within the confines of your own mind. A truly committed salesperson does not have the luxury or the time for the self-indulgence of negative thinking. The true underlying motivation for all success is a deep and unwavering commitment to the task at hand. The sales profession is a demanding and challenging career, but it is also personally rewarding and financially lucrative for those who are fully committed to becoming successful.

If you are being pushed around mentally by thoughts of fear, anxiety, self-doubt and worry, it's time to "burn your boat" and become fully committed to your sales career!
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Who Else Wants Career Success?

Follow This Proven Method

by: Andrew Rondeau
If you want to climb the career ladder...you must have a 'network'. Try these ideas and get noticed!
Sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know that matters.

The difference between 'getting by' at work and having a successful career is not solely dependent on technical skills or knowledge. We all know colleagues who have strong 'people skills' and not the strongest technical abilities but who nonetheless possess a distinct position of leverage or influence at work. These individuals are focusing on their strengths and use the power of interpersonal skills and networking to their advantage. If you want to climb the career ladder, you should too! And you can.

One should never underestimate the power of influence gained through networking. The expansiveness and quality of one's social and professional networks can significantly enhance career potential. How can one go about building a supportive network? This article will explore two practical and simple ways that, when used strategically will yield the results you want to achieve.

The first things to do are collect and organise the business cards from the people you meet so that you have their contact information. Obviously collecting cards is just the first step. Find reasons to send contacts an email, call for advice or to give some information related to their interests. Don't do so incessantly, but regularly - once a week or biweekly is appropriate. It generally depends on the significance of your reason to contact them and their past receptiveness. Take the time to research their company website so you can make relevant connections and based on 'inside track' information of what's important to them.

Keep in mind that just as it is sometimes awkward to reconnect with old friends or acquaintances after a period of not seeing one another, the same is true in regards to building a network. The longer you are out of touch with business associates the more difficult it is to reconnect and get 'back in the loop'. To help you make this a consistent priority, be strategic about your contacts - jot down regular reminders in a planner or electronic organiser so that you don't leave your connections to chance.

Another way to expand and strengthen your network is to invite contacts to an informal gathering or information session that you organise about topics of general or mutual interest. You may facilitate the discussion yourself or bring in a speaker. You could arrange such meetings at a local coffee shop or restaurant - many will set aside a meeting room upon request. On the invitation - whether it be by email, fax or regular mail - outline the proposed agenda and indicate that 'coffee or tea is provided - other menu items are at the cost of participants" - unless of course you are able and willing to cover the entire bill! This can be a relatively low-cost way of meeting with contacts and sharing ideas.

This intentional way of meeting your contacts on a regular basis strengthens not only the relationship you have with each of them, but also allows for your contacts to meet one another - an opportunity for which they will be grateful. Such efforts are similar to making an investment that you hope will grow at the opportune time.

These two ways of building your network - regularly connecting with contacts and organising meetings or discussion forums are simple yet effective career-enhancers. Give them a try and get noticed at work!

CHANGE or BE CHANGED

by: Jim Clemmer

George was 53 when he had his first attack. He'd smoked for almost 40 years, was badly overweight, had an extremely high fat diet, and handled stress poorly. This warning shocked him into joining a smoking-cessation program. George and his wife also learned about healthy eating and improved their diets. Within a few months he'd lost his huge stomach, was very cheerful, and full of new energy. He was a changed man.

But slowly the memory of his big scare faded. He started having just a cigarette or two. His between-meal snacks turned into high-fat meals. As his health deteriorated and his mood blackened, he needed more cigarettes and food to cheer him up. By the time he approached his 59th birthday, he had convinced himself that he'd never had a heart attack.

That Christmas, his family questioned George's return to his old, destructive habits. They begged him to return to a healthier lifestyle. George defended his overeating and smoking by saying, "If I can't live the way I want, then life's not worth living." Three months later, he had a massive heart attack and died. He chose not to change — so he was changed.

Some changes appear unexpectedly as a sudden crisis. An accident, act of violence, death, or natural disaster may come out of nowhere to hit us when we least expect (or deserve) it. But most crisis points come with warning signs — if we choose to see them.

After he lost his job, a production worker at a manufacturing plant said he could "see the writing on the wall" four years ago when the company set up a flexible manufacturing pilot project to experiment with how to automate his circuit-board assembly task, among other jobs.

So what did he do during that time? Curse, pray, and organize his co-workers to decry how unfair things were? Did he try upgrading his skills while the "writing was on the wall"? He sat and waited for four years to have his fate decided for him. He chose not to change — so he was changed.

Many "sudden changes" are really the next big step in a series of activities that we may have helped create or allowed to continue. These changes may be the result of our failure to change our habits, lifestyle, growth patterns, or skills.

Unless a crisis actually kills us (often it just feels like it will), it's an opportunity for us to change. It's a chance to choose a new path.

But those change choices are seldom easy. Sometimes I can be like one of those old spring-powered pocket watches: I have to be shaken hard to get me going. However, when we choose the road less traveled, we'll reflect back years later and say that, while we wouldn't want to live through the pain again, it was nevertheless an important turning point. It was one of the best things that happened to us. It seasoned and strengthened us.

Responsiveness to change is as important to organizations as it is to people. There are two kinds of organizations in today's world: those that are changing and those that are going out of business. The business and government graveyard is filled with the corpses of organizations that failed to respond to inevitable changes.

Similarly, there are also two kinds of people: those who are changing and those who are setting themselves up to be victims of change. As the world continues to march on around us, if I am only maintaining the status quo — if I'm not growing — then I'm falling behind.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

12 Easy Steps to Create Positive Self-Talk Leading to Your Success

Have you ever noticed a trend in the thinking patterns of successful people? Have you ever wondered why it seems like success comes so easily to some people and so difficult for others?

It all has to do with your beliefs and self-talk.

People that achieve success in a consistent basis have one thing in common. Whether they are successful athletes, executives, business owners, or artists, they all know that they will succeed. They know this before they even attempt to achieve the goal they set out for themselves. They envision themselves living the way they want to live and feeling the excitement, gratitude, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from reaching what they set out to do.

Positive self-talk is the dialogue that goes on in your mind. It is where you believe in yourself and are confident in your capabilities to the point that you are certain that you will succeed. Here is a list of steps you can take to create positive self-talk to get ahead in life.

1. Choose to create positive self-talk.

When you realize the enormous power that thoughts have over your actions and view of life, you should make a decision to stop living your life with self-imposed limitations. Once you opt for a life filled with opportunities, potential, and fulfillment, you take the most important step to creating the reality you desire.

2. Feed your mind.

Choose to look for good things to focus your thinking on. Focus your attention on positive, uplifting, and encouraging words to say to yourself. For example: "I don't have to finish everything in my task list today" or "Dealing with this client will make me a more patient person." Choose to look for the silver lining.

3. Practice persistence.

Now that you realize that your self-talk has been going on for decades, you must know that taking back control over your self-talk will not happen overnight. It is a progress that will require your effort.

Continue to find ways to remind yourself to stop and analyze any negative self-talk and to counter it with a positive message to yourself. As you do this, it will become easier. You will reach a point where you do this without realizing it and building your positive self-talk will actually become second nature.

4. Observe your self-talk.

Try to relate to your thoughts as scenes in a movie theater screen. When you put yourself in the role of a third party or outsider, it is a lot easier to practice neutrality and to see a situation for what it really is. By becoming an observer of your thoughts and self-talk, you are better able to assess their validity or lack thereof in each thought or thinking pattern. In time, you will also be more apt to seeing trends in triggers that cause the negative self-talk to take place.

5. Reframe your Thinking.

When you become aware of having a negative thought, give it a positive spin. For example, if your self-talk tells you "I'm never going to get the promotion. I'm late to work yet again!;" remove the negative opinion and the judgment from it. Then, you can reframe it into a more positive message like "I was late to the office today, what can I do or avoid doing to get here on time?" Don't allow your self-talk to beat you up so much. Take control of it and give them a spin. Focus on how you can avoid doing the behavior again.

6. Watch for Absolutes.

A lot of people have a tendency to use phrases like "I always," "I never," or "I am" with negative self-talk. These phrases can be terribly harmful to you. They create an instant limitation on you and your capacity for change. Avoid them at all costs. A good way of doing this is asking yourself questions regarding the self-talk message.

7. Ask yourself Questions.

Ask yourself questions like: 1. What led me to this thought?, 2. What would be a better solution or way to handle the situation I'm facing?, 3. What would allow me to overcome this challenge?, 4. What is another potential outcome in this situation?, 5. What would be the worst thing that could happen?, 6. If the worst thing that could happen did happen, how would that affect me? Is the effect really that bad? Is it fatal? These questions are a great way of combating limiting self-talk.

8. Stop the Thought.

While you are in the middle of listening to your negative self-talk, stop your thoughts mid-stream by saying "Stop". If your surroundings allow you to say this out loud, do so. The physical act of saying "stop" out loud will make you better aware of the frequency in which you are stopping negative thoughts, when it happens, where you are when it happens, and what is happening right before it.

9. Rubber-Band Snap.

Wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it each time you hear negative self-talk in your mind. If you can't say "Stop" out loud, this is a great alternative. The physical pain you feel from this action will be a huge motivator in stopping the negative self-talk.

10. Replace Negative Self-talk with Other Messages.

A lot of people find it easier to replace negative self-talk with positive messages than to remove self-talk altogether. Some things you can do to replace your negative self-talk are: A. Use more gentle words to refer to yourself and to situations. (For example instead of thinking "I hate being late," replace that thought with "I really don't like being late.") and B. Change Limiting Self-talk like "I can't win this case!" or "I'm not going to be able to get that client!" to questions like "Why would I not win this case?" and "What can I do to prepare for it better?"

Self-limiting statements are extremely harmful. They not only increase your stress in response to a situation but paralyze you from finding solutions to the problem. Replace these thoughts with questions instead. This way, you'll be in the right frame of mind for finding ways to solve the problem. Asking yourself, "How can I win this case?" or "What can I do to get that client?" is much more empowering, isn't it?

11. Learn Discipline.

View your practice of removing and changing your negative self-talk like you would a work out plan. You are not going to see results right away but will feel great once you do. Just like there will be days where you are not motivated to go to the gym, there will also be days where you are not motivated to keep track of your negative self-talk or counter it with positive messages. Doing it however helps us develop our discipline and drive.

It gives us a sense of pride for our accomplishment and a sense of control over our life. It's an incredible boost of confidence!

12. Modify the Golden Rule.

We are creatures of habit. It's no wonder how easily we can fall into patterns of self destructive thoughts and behavior. Instead of continuing to be your own worst critic, teach yourself to be your best support. Be respectful to yourself and treat yourself with the same compassion and kindness that you would treat others around you. Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't want another person to say to you.

Sonia Gallagher is an Executive Life Coach at Time for Life, LLC. She works with Lawyers, Business Owners, and Executives who are ready to get more clients, more profits, more free time, and to reach new levels of Success through Balance.

Request a Free Success Reboot Coaching Session now and don't forget to get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Success through Balance free!