Laws of Attraction - Can They work For You?

There are a lot of ideas being peddled these days about the Law of Attraction, much of it instigated through 'The Secret'. Don't know about you, but for me there was an amazing sense of belief in watching the movie, belief that we can all make our dreams come true. Like many of you reading this, I set out to prove that it can and will happen.

The problem in all of this is the tendency to believe that gratification will be instant. Now wouldn't that be nice! But that's the stuff of dreams. Unfortunately it doesn't quite work that way. Consequently, many people tend to become disgruntled, disillusioned, and ask why it seems to be working for some but not for them.

What better time than in the recent economic downturn, to really put into place the mandates of the Law of Attraction? But what actually happened was that too many people lost even more faith. The fear of ever picking up the pieces again after share losses, the desperation as people lost their jobs, and the overall uncertainty, meant that, however unintentionally, people changed their positive inner beliefs to negative ones. Well, we all know the ramifications of that! You see, those times of uncertainty are the times when you really have to hold faith. You have to look at your life every day and be positive about what you have and what you should be absolutely grateful for, instead of focusing on the all-consuming negatives.

I watched a documentary recently about an Aboriginal man who was once a successful actor. He was extremely well-spoken, clearly well-educated, and had enjoyed the fruits of his acting skills.

Unfortunately he began to experiment with drugs, and with that, he allowed his job opportunities to slip away. Still on drugs he needed a way to support his habit and so, he took to burglary. He was good at that too! In time though, he was caught and sent to prison. He was accepting of his fate and did his due time, several times, eventually reaching the decision that he was getting too old for prison life!

On his final coming out, he decided to make a documentary of his wayward living. It was a disturbing story by all accounts, but for him it was life-changing, for in doing so, he reclaimed his life.

What impressed me about him was that he was still able to attract his past co-workers and enlist their help for the documentary. He never ever engaged in blame-passing for what had happened to him. Sure, he had regrets, but he never ever lost sight of who he was and his faith in himself remained strong.

It's that sort of faith, that belief that things will get better, that will allow the Law of Attraction to work for you too. But first you must overtly and consciously, invite success into your life. Make it a daily occurrence. And then, take steps, patient steps, to ensure that it happens.

Just watching a movie such as 'The Secret' won't change your life. It may change your belief system, it may give you hope, but then it's up to you. Thereafter what you will have to change are your entrenched habits, those same habits that have weighed you down in the past. That will involve much education on your part, an education that will challenge you to grow.

Think about it this way. If you wanted to lose weight, and you simply went to the gym or for a jog each day without actually doing anything about your diet, do you think that would work? Probably not! Oh you might lose a little weight, you might be better toned, but the results would be generally disappointing. In time you would lapse into your bad habits and your weight would inevitably creep up again. You know, the weight-loss industry has built an empire on broken promises. It thrives on human failure. Don't be part of that failure!

So my advice to you if you truly desire success, is to be hungry for knowledge. Invite support wherever you can. Learn from those who know. And don't forget, that as you journey towards success, take time out to help others to succeed as well.
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Highly Recommended Self Improvement Books To Read

You have got to motivate yourself in order to motivate others. If you do not know how, then it is time to browse through some self improvement books on how to go about it.

Read on a few self improvement books…Here are a few:

1. 21 Indispensable Qualities of Leadership: Becoming the Leader Others Will Follow John C. Maxwell

Why do some people consistently inspire others to follow their lead? In this self improvement book, the author identifies these top traits as character, charisma, commitment, communication, competence, courage, discernment, focus, generosity, initiative, listening, passion, positive attitude, problem-solving, relationships, responsibility, security, self-discipline, servanthood, teachability, and vision.

Maxwell breaks down leadership qualities into easy to understand character qualities. Character is what defines a leader, and these traits are what people of character have. A must-read for leaders in any position.

2. Discover Your Strengths Marcus Buckingham

The self improvement book that helps you find what you are strong in and encourages you to work to make those stronger. That instead of working against what you know you're good at. You can also take the personal survey that is in the book.

3. Five Patterns of Extraordinary Careers Spencer Stuart

A remarkable book about how to stand out from your peers and have a better career. One lesson learned: It is better to ask for forgiveness after the fact than it is to ask for permission ahead of time.

4. Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson

Of course, what book list would be complete without this self improvement book that is all about change. Another book that is well worth the listen, but also worth reading.

5. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Steven Covey

Another must have in your self improvement book collection. If you like to read a lot of books, you are practicing one of Covey's habits, "sharpening the saw."

6. How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci Discover Your Genius: How to Think Like History's Ten Most Revolutionary Minds Michael Gelb

This self improvement book helps you to think more creatively and be more artistic. These factors are important no matter what position you may be in.

7. The Brand You 50 Re-imagine Pursuit of Wow! Tom Peters

A motivational book urging readers to achieve more.

8. What Should I Do With My Life? Po Bronson

A self improvement book that tells us that it is okay not to know what you want to do. That even the people we think are completely happy may not be. And that we make our own happiness, it all depends on how you deal with it.

9. Rhinoceros Success Scott Alexander

This was recommended to me by my last manager. An incredibly quick read. The book is all about leading, and how sometimes you have to do the unpopular to make a difference and stand out as a leader. Be a rhino!

10. Advanced Rhinocerology Scott Alexander

A nice sequel to Rhinocerous Success that you will also enjoy. A few things it reminded me of is that leaders are often under attack from all sides, and it's important to watch your own back because often nobody else will.

These are just some of the more popular self improvement books you can check out whenever you want answers to questions you have been keeping inside for too long.
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Creating Success Begins With You

Can you possibly imagine yourself without goals? Not even very short term goals, like presenting that financial statement after lunch? Or maybe submitting that daily accomplishment report at the end of the day?

Without goals, our lives have no direction. It resembles a piece of driftwood floating in the ocean, going where the current goes and where the wind blows. If you live such a life, will you be able to achieve success, even a seemingly insignificant accomplishment? Are you willing to live life this way - simply going with the flow with no clear destination in mind?

You know you have to take action and do something now or are you going to take the chance of creating success pass you by, again?

Success stands for different things for each individual. Your concept of success may be finishing a doctorate degree; another person will say she achieved success if she loses those excess pounds and achieve her ideal weight, still someone else may declare that his idea of success is paying off his debts and acquiring financial security in these troubled times. One thing, however, is common in all these scenarios – the key to success begins with you.

You are the only one who holds the key. Your family and friends may help you achieve whatever your aspirations may be. You may use amazing goal setting tools and apply effective goal achieving techniques but it will still go down to you. There are too many questions and by looking deep inside yourself and really contemplate on these issues, you will find the answers.

The first step to success is to reconcile yourself with your issues, compromising and finding balance. When you have found peace of mind and harmony within yourself, you are ready to take on any challenge life may bring.

Another thing you should remember is to never underestimate the power of positive thinking. The sheer power of your thoughts will be your catalyst to achieving success. A healthy dose of optimism never hurt anybody and surely not you and your goals. And don’t forget to maintain your drive, enthusiasm and motivation all throughout.

You should also associate yourself with like-minded, successful people and learn from them. Learning is a continuous process; at first you may seem not to know what you’re doing but slowly by observing successful people and learning form your own mistakes, you will get the hang of it and sooner that you know achieving success will come naturally and with less effort.

To achieve success you need to have a fit and healthy body. Success will be a hard to get hold of if you constantly fall off the success wagon because your body can’t keep up. When you are striving hard for success, stress and pressure are given factors and you have to manage them effectively. You should also provide yourself with the right nutrition to make sure you are fueled to take your game to the next level.

Creating success begins with you - your mind and body. Be an optimist - cultivate positive thinking, and sustain your enthusiasm and motivation. Be healthy - eat right and lead an active lifestyle.
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Therefore how do you keep calm, composed and maintain self worth in a very tough surroundings? Here are some tips you will to contemplate as a starter guide to self improvement.

Imagine yourself as a Dart Board. Everything and everyone else around you'll become Dart Pins, at one point or another. These dart pins can destroy your self esteem and pull you down in ways in which you won’t even remember. Don’t let them destroy you, or get the best of you. So which dart pins should you avoid?

Dart Pin #one : Negative Work Environment
Beware of “dog eat dog” theory where everybody else is fighting just to induce ahead. This can be where non-appreciative individuals usually thrive. No one can appreciate your contributions even if you miss lunch and dinner, and stay up late. Customarily you can work an excessive amount of while not getting facilitate from people concerned. Stay out of this, it can ruin your self esteem. Competition is at stake anywhere. Be healthy enough to compete, but in a very healthy competition that is.

Dart Pin #two: Different People’s Behavior
Bulldozers, brown nosers, gossipmongers, whiners, backstabbers, snipers, folks walking wounded, controllers, naggers, complainers, exploders, patronizers, sluffers… all these kinds of folks can pose dangerous vibes for your self-worth, likewise on your self improvement scheme.

Dart Pin #3: Changing Atmosphere
You can’t be a green bug on a brown field. Changes challenge our paradigms. It tests our flexibility, adaptability and alters the approach we tend to think. Changes will build life difficult for awhile, it might cause stress but it can help us notice ways that to improve our selves. Modification will be there forever, we should be susceptible to it.

Dart Pin #4: Past Experience
It’s okay to cry and say “ouch!” when we experience pain. But don’t let pain transform itself into fear. It might grab you by the tail and swing you around. Treat every failure and mistake as a lesson.

Dart Pin #5: Negative World Read
Have a look at what you’re looking at. Don’t wrap yourself up with all the negativities of the world. In building self esteem, we must find out how to form the most effective out of worst situations.

Dart Pin #half dozen: Determination Theory
The approach you are and your behavioral traits is claimed to be a mixed end product of your inherited traits (genetics), your upbringing (psychic), and your environmental surroundings such as your spouse, the company, the economy or your circle of friends. You have got your own identity. If your father is a failure, it doesn’t mean you have got to be a failure too. Learn from other folks’s experience, therefore you’ll never have to encounter the identical mistakes.

Typically, you'll want to surprise if some individuals are born leaders or positive thinkers. NO. Being positive, and staying positive may be a choice. Building self worth and drawing lines for self improvement is a choice, not a rule or a talent. God wouldn’t return down from heaven and tell you - “George, you will now have the permission to make self-worth and improve your self.”

In life, its onerous to stay robust specially when things and people around you retain pulling you down. When we get to the battle field, we have a tendency to should choose the correct luggage to bring and armors to use, and decide those who are bullet proof. Life’s options offer us arrays of a lot of options. Along the battle, we have a tendency to can get hit and bruised. And wearing a bullet proof armor ideally means ‘self change’. The sort of change that comes from within. Voluntarily. Armor or Self Amendment changes three things: our attitude, our behavior and our means of thinking.

Building self worth will eventually result in self improvement if we have a tendency to start to become accountable for who we tend to are, what we have a tendency to have and what we do. Its like a flame that should gradually spread sort of a brush fire from inside and out. After we develop self-worth, we tend to take control of our mission, values and discipline. Self-worth brings concerning self improvement, true assessment, and determination. So how do you start putting up the building blocks of self esteem? Be positive. Be contented and happy. Be appreciative. Never miss an chance to compliment. A positive way of living will help you build self worth, your starter guide to self improvement.
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Law of Attraction - The Secret Journey From 1879 to Present

The law of attraction states that if you want something badly enough and believe that you'll get it then you will. It's not about chance or fate but rather influencing the natural order of things by projecting a need so great that you actually motivate that thing into happening.

The entire concept is very similar to Peter Pan and his never ending chant of "I do believe in fairies. I do, I do," when confronted with the possibility that Tinkerbell might die. So right there you see that it's not just about desiring something, it's about reaching as deeply down as you can and wanting it with your entire soul. About wanting it and believing without a doubt that you'll get it.

The idea that thoughts could affect the world outside of the head has been debunked and abused by critics as was expected considering that the idea is a new-aged one and has been steadily growing in popularity.
They say that thought cannot influence chance while others claim that chance is neither here nor there in the equation since it doesn't exist in the first place. Whatever the belief there are still a hefty number of followers out there who have studied and practiced the technique and sometimes received amazing results as rewards for their efforts.

The New York Times were the first to use the particular catchphrase Law of Attraction. Granted the phrase was used in 1879 and had very little to do with the actual exercise of the law of attraction but still, it was a huge turning point because at that moment people began to consider it as a more viable idea.
It was no longer the simple ramblings of crock-pots and psychics. It was a legitimate term with legitimate backing and while tat one sentence out of a thousand may not have revolutionized the minds of every critic within reading distance, it did start the stirring pot for something much bigger.

By 1902 electrical engineers, physicists, were beginning to put more credit behind the concept and in 1904 a movement began that would stretch over the next six years and pop up randomly every dozens of years thereafter. Thomas Troward, the poster child for the New Thought Movement, believed that your thoughts preceded any physical manifestations of them and that any action that the mind engages in is simply the seedling for something greater.

"A seedling which, when left alone, attracts the ingredients and nutrients that it needs to a physical manifestation." Bruce MacLelland said in his book "Prosperity Through Thought" Force, 'You are what you think, not what you think you are.' The quote pretty much summarizes the entire principle perfectly, a feat which authors who came before and after MacLelland, and who mentioned the subject too, were not able to accomplish nearly as well.
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7 ways To Boost Self Confidence

There are many ways to boost self confidence, but it is a process that takes time to reach the point at which you feel confident. You need to take it little by little outside from where you feel safe. Don't jump in at the deep end, trying to take too many steps too soon because this may have an adverse effect on you. There are some basic points to help boost self confidence that can be easily followed.

#1 One of these is to take care of your appearance, particularly if you are going out, dress well and avoid looking scruffy because this will make you noticeable. People will start to notice you and give you positive or flattering comments. Being presentable will help to boost self confidence and make you proud of yourself.

#2 Have positive thoughts about achievements, or just try to think positively. You may need to talk out loud to yourself to examine what you are thinking. If your confidence is low much of what you say to yourself or think may be negative. Try and stop yourself and turn it into positives. By controlling your negative thinking you can boost self confidence in the process.

#3 Get yourself a piece of paper and write down what you consider to be your good points and things that you have accomplished. Put it somewhere so that you can see it every day, but only so that you can see it. Take a copy to keep with you in your wallet. Use your list as a reminder of your points to make you feel good about yourself and to boost self confidence. As time passes you will need to add other achievements to it.

#4 Develop the things you are good at. Everyone is good at something. Observe how you react in different situations, particularly in a stressful situation. Everyone is different and will behave in a different way, for example being in control and not losing your temper. If you are able to recognise your own shortcomings and are able to develop your positive points this will increase your self-belief and boost self confidence.

#5 Maintaining your general health is important for feeling confident. A good healthy diet plays a big part in your general well being, and feeling well makes you feel positive. Exercising regularly to maintain fitness and keeping excesses in check helps to boost self confidence. Keeping in good shape and feeling well leads to a good appearance and a good feeling about yourself.

#6 People notice how you carry yourself. If you walk around briskly it gives the impression of energy. Be aware of your posture, stand up straight, don’t slump your shoulders, walk upright with your chin up and not looking at the ground. This will give you a feeling of self confidence.

#7 When holding conversations with people make eye contact with then. You do not need to stare at them because this will make them uneasy. Move your gaze from time to time to avoid the impression that you are staring. This shows that you have an air of confidence.

Give any of these tips a try and see what it could do for you. Don’t do too much at once, then you will start to feel the effects of your efforts to boost self confidence and
generally feel good about yourself.
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3 Steps to Daily Success: Using Motivational and Inspirational Quotes to Achieve Your Goals

Changing our day-to-day behaviors may be easier than previously imagined. By meditating on and repeating motivational and inspirational quotes, we are better prepared to change our thought patterns, behaviors and in turn, change our lives.

Here's how it's done.

If we believe something to be easy, we find little, if any, struggle in accomplishing it. However, if we imagine something to be difficult to accomplish, then our struggle becomes more apparent. In fact, if we imagine that it is difficult to change a specific behavior, then we will always find experiences that will justify that belief.

Take this for example.

We wake up one morning and decide that:

"This is the day I start losing weight. When things get difficult, I will not reach for junk food, but instead I will focus on something else to keep my mind occupied. It'll be tough at first, but I'm going to give it a try."

If you continue with this thought pattern and belief, don't be surprised to find yourself struggling more often than not. Why?

If we look at this example closely we find a couple of thought patterns and beliefs already in place. We have determined to do something good for ourselves, but we do ourselves a disservice by choosing certain negative thought patterns, beliefs and words that go along with it.

We have said,

"When things get difficult...."
(This is already assuming that there will be difficult moments! Strike one!)

"It'll be tough at first..."
(This is already assuming it will be difficult at first! Strike two!)

"...but I'm going to give it a try."
(Remember the movie "The Karate Kid"..."There is no "try", there is only "do". Strike three!)

Now there are hundreds of products out there that will assist people in losing weight. Some, if not all of them, may work for various people at various stages of their goal. But for many people who have convinced themselves that losing weight is difficult, some products may fall short when our thought patterns are stronger than our desire to change.

Here is something that I've done to change a behavior I no longer desired.

I recently lost 20lbs in about 12 weeks. I didn't like the way I looked, felt or even thought for that matter. I needed to change and take some action towards it.

First, I realized that I had to change my way of thinking about losing weight. My old thought patterns were no longer working for me. My thoughts were like little tiny pictures that I projected in my mind of how heavy I was. I no longer wanted these pictures or thought patterns a part of my life. I had to choose a thought pattern and belief that would be easier to think about.

I chose this thought,

"Losing weight is easier than I thought."

Perhaps not the most ideal for everyone but it worked for me.

Secondly, I chose a word I wanted to focus on for that day, week or month to help me in accomplishing my goal (Start with just a day, or just an hour for that matter. Keep it simple.) The word I chose needed to be in relation to the change I want to make. For example, I chose the word "FOCUS", as I felt that that's what I needed to think about most of time; focusing more on losing weight than gaining it. Choose any word as long as it relates to your situation. Examples include Attitude, Energy, Action and Believe.

Following that, I scoured the Internet for motivational and inspirational quotes that resonated within me that related to that specific word I chose. Quotes that I could remember, especially ones that really spoke to what I wanted to accomplish.

But here's the most important part.

I needed quotes that were powerful enough to change my thought patterns the moment I read them. Quotes that REALLY spoke to me when I my eyes fell upon them. Quotes that forced me to pause and think for a moment. Quotes that had that extra "edge" where my mind said, "Yes. This is one."

These are all signs of a quote that held power for me. I "focused" in on the following quotes.
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought." Buddha

"The only way to discover the limits of the possible, is to go beyond them into them impossible." Arthur C. Clarke

"It's not what you achieve in the end that matters, it's who you become in the process." Author Unknown

In fact, I found dozens of quotes that I resorted to from time to time, but these three I always came back to. They spoke of who I was, what I wanted to accomplish and who I wanted to become as I worked towards my goal.

I wrote them down. I carried these quotes with me constantly. I read them and meditated on them whenever I had the opportunity to. At work, home or at the gym (yup, I finally got myself to exercise, primarily by focusing on Arthur C. Clarke's quote!), I focused on these three powerful quotes to help me FOCUS on what I wanted.

Because I changed my thought patterns, over time, I can honestly say I am 20 lbs lighter and a whole lot happier. Yes, I'll be the first to admit that accomplishing the goal involved more than just thinking but it all began with my thoughts. The thoughts then permeated into my actions. (Now I need to FOCUS on maintaining that weight, so for me a whole new thought pattern begins.)

Here are the three steps again:

1. Decided to change your way of thinking about a behavior, making it easier for you to think about it. Phrase it in a simple way.

2. Choose a word to focus on to change that behavior for a period of time.

3. Find a minimum of three motivational or inspirational quotes related to that specific word that are powerful enough to change your current thought patterns the moment you read them. Meditate on them and repeat them, silently or out loud, every chance you get.

Be patient. Stick with it. Give it some time.

Why do you think companies offer a 30-day money back guarantee? They know that if you do something for 30 days it becomes a habit and you no longer need to return it! (Learned something, huh?) Give it time.

The first step to what you want to accomplish is changing your mind and the thought patterns and beliefs associated with your behavior. Thoughts are the precursor to action, meaning that thoughts occur before any action takes place. That's what needs to be changed first. Your thoughts.

It worked for me and I hope this inspires and motivates you to achieve your goal.

Think positive.
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Gain Confidence and Boost Self Esteem in 5 Simple Steps

We all want to become more confident and feel good about ourselves so we can live our very best life. Here are some ways to gain confidence and raise self-esteem:

1. Do something that requires a decision and a follow-through.

Have you been putting off writing that letter to aunt Martha? Is there a friend you’ve been meaning to call? Wash the car, tidy the garden or clean the house. You’ll gain confidence by setting goals (even small ones) and following through on them.

2. Enjoy something you do well.

Do you have any hobbies or sports that you enjoy playing? Some things like going swimming, painting or writing can hold your attention and get you into a state of ‘flow’. While you are in the flow you forget about everything else.

Afterwards, you’ll feel competent and capable. It’s a great way to boost your self-esteem. If you don’t have any particular hobbies or pastimes that you enjoy make an effort to try something you’ve always wanted to try.

Picture yourself doing it, and then give it a try! It doesn’t have to be something big - it can be as simple as joining a walking club.

You’ll find that you are more centered and happier if you do something that puts you in that flow at least once a week.

3. Shift the focus.

It’s been shown that low self-esteem develops hand-in-hand with individuals who put too much focus on themselves. You can gain confidence by doing something that focuses on someone else or even something else.

You’ll find that when you are in a situation where you are meeting new people, you immediately become less nervous when you focus on the person you are meeting.

At the end of the day, you’ve interacted with others and will notice that you feel much lighter.

4. Relax, already!

Learning to become more relaxed is a great life enhancer. People who are more relaxed have fewer problems with their memories and are more likely to take the bumps in the road of life in stride.

The practice of meditation has gained popularity for this reason. You might want to look into Tai Chi, which involves physical relaxation techniques.

Whatever method you decide on, take relaxation seriously. The benefits are just too great to ignore. If you’ve never considered relaxation important, think of it this way: if you can attend to something that results in feeling good, how can you not gain confidence in your personal abilities?

5. Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished.

Think small. An accomplishment is an accomplishment! Some things you could put on your list: passed my driver’s test and got my license, scored a goal when I played hockey, managed to save enough money to go on a trip and so on.

These are just a few ideas you can use to gain confidence and boost your self-esteem. Use these ideas as a base point and add these things permanently in your life.

Keep in mind, people are not born with good self-esteem, most of us have to work at it. It develops from your thinking and the things you do daily to make yourself feel good.
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Self Improvement Tips To Benefit You

Self Development is a key component of any successful person. Today I explore the word Failure - and why it isn't real!

No-one is actually born successful are they? no - not even Paris Hilton! (debatable whether she ever was of Wax...OMG!) Anyway -

I am a true believer that those who choose to actively acknowledge their issues and seek to improve their situations are the only ones who really succeed in life (makes sense?)

Self improvement is not for everyone though - there always has to be the whingers amongst us! But somewhere, someday, somehow we all must take responsibility for ourselves and stand up and be counted! We must take responsibility to improve ourselves and make it a top priority in our lives!

Most people have had bad situations in their life or childhood that can make for a really good excuse, to not make the most out of life. I choose not to allow any of the misfortunes in my life to be excuses for moving forward and being successful!

I choose to get on with it and be a success at everything I do! - You can too!

Today.......I want to start by exploring the unreal word that is - FAILURE!

Hvae you shyed away from something new, just out of fear of failure? I know I have in the past!As a matter of fact - most people have at some time in their life! I know it and you know it - no one likes to fail. Can anyone put their hand up and say they are happy to feel like they're ineffective, inefficient, weak or lacking in any way? not me! thats for sure!

Think about this - failure doesn't exist - not until YOU say it does, anyway! If you get out the old dictionary - you will find several definitions of the word 'failure'. You will find some of these: a state of inability to perform a normal function adequately, a failing to do or perform, a lack of success, a fracturing or giving way under stress.

Check out these definitions - do you see what they have in common if you consider goal acheivement: failure is merely a PERCEPTION.

If you believe you have failed, then you most certainly have! If you believe you don't have the ability to succeed, then you don't. and you won't! If you believe you can't handle the pressure of achieving your goals, surely you wont reach them! If you believe you're not or can't be successful, you're not and you won't be! Failure only really exists in your own mind! The moment you decide to give up or stop working toward your goals, failure is born and it is real.

Lets say that you never do that though? You never say this sort of negative stuff and instead, you strive to reach your goals, bit by bit, baby step by baby step - there's no failure then, is there?

This little snippet of info should be particularly encouraging if you've been working hard towards your goals but are not yet seeing many or any positive results yet. All you need to do is keep going and you cannot fail! Now this is self improvement at the roots! Improve your mindset! - You CAN do it! You WILL do it! You ARE doing it!

Here are three tips to improve yourself and keep your mind strong and focused on your goals:

1) Never allow yourself an easy way out. Heaps of people do this without even knowing they are doing it! They are happy to work hard on their goals until the going gets too tough or its not as easy as they thought and then they give up. Don't do that! Commit yourself to making your goals happen, no matter what! Never quit, never admit failure, never lose your determination.

2) Don't set yourself up by putting unrealistic timeframes on your goals! It's okay to set a general timeframe, but surely you have to know that circumstances are not always in your control (crap happens!) so you can't be totally sure when your goal will actually be achieved. Do you feel like, in order to claim success you must set an exact time to complete your mission? If so - you are really just aiming for failure! Don't do that! Instead, get a general idea of when you'd like your goal to be completed, but then take it a day at a time and focus on making progress towards you goal, not on reaching the finish line in as little time as possible. (sensible? - I think so!)

3) Finally, are you one of these people that see obstacles and setbacks as failures? The two are completely different. An obstacle, setback or delay means only one thing: it's not time for your goal to be achieved yet. That's it! It doesn't mean you failed; it simply means you're not done yet. You've got to keep moving forward and find a way around the problem.

I personally believe that self development and self improvement should be a daily mission for everybody who really wants to succeed in life.
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The Power of the Negative

The vast majority of us learn very early on that we are expected to deal with facts. In and of itself this might not be such a terrible thing. The trouble starts when we combine with this the idea that we also learn very early on where these facts come from. Typically we are not learning that facts come from testing hypotheses and finding evidence for a piece of information, but rather that facts are synonymous with statements. As we have learned that facts are true, when we are provided with a statement that is held up as a statement of fact, we tend not to question it. Obviously there are times when taking this approach to dealing with the world is hugely advantageous.

“The stove is hot”

“It’s raining”

Provided with these statements and taking them to be facts our understanding of the world, at an emotional and cognitive level, adapts appropriately and we can tailor our behaviour to deal with the implications of these facts, for example, “stay away from the stove”, “get a coat”.

Such statements don’t need to be questioned. This of course doesn’t mean that they can’t be, but for practical purposes taking them at face value is unlikely to cause any of us anxiety or distress. If one were to take a Gibsonian view of these statements (which admittedly is a little odd as Gibson’s theories were concerned with visual perception) we might say that these facts “afford” a clear understanding of their meaning and implications. We are not bound by those implications, just as one is not bound by affordances in visual perception, but they provide opportunities and information for decision making in the widest sense, including thinking, feeling and behaving. Crucially, such statements are neutral, they are not laden with values and this might explain why we tend not to question them. However, the situation is not so simple. If we consider statements that are value laden there still is a tendency to treat them like they afford clear understanding of their meanings, and we don’t question them even though there may be a broader set of possibilities behind them.

Let’s consider some positive statements.

“You’re performance today was brilliant”

“You have a nice way of dealing with people”

Would you be prepared to take these statements, perhaps feel a little embarrassed, but take them as statement of fact and not question them? Probably. But what exactly do they mean? What makes up a brilliant performance, and how does knowing that help you hone your skills, adapt your emotions, thinking and behaviour? Equally, what constitutes a nice way of dealing with people? Knowing what “nice” consisted of, when regarding dealing with people, you could gauge your performance and use this knowledge of your attributes in other situations. We don’t tend to question the positives, but naively accept them, and in doing so we don’t really learn anything from them.

Objectively this is pure laziness, but if we explore this issue a little more deeply we can understand why this laziness makes a certain amount of sense. Think about the effort that would be involved in trying to tease apart the deeper meaning of what someone is trying to communicate with these positives. How would someone react if you asked in return, “What exactly do you mean when you say nice?” How would you react if someone asked you that after you had complimented them? It feels a little strange. Just like when we ask a casual acquaintance, “How are you doing?” we don’t expect to hear anything other than, “Not too bad”, we expect that a compliment should be enough. You look good; you did well, great goal, what else is there that you need to know?

Social convention dictates that positive information stops there, and this means that other than being a sense of comfort, reassurance and fostering good relations, it isn’t particularly functional. That isn’t to say that it isn’t pleasant and enjoyable, and can have strong motivational influences, but what do you learn?

Now let’s get a little paranoid - how much do you trust compliments and positive statements? 100%? Do you completely and absolutely take everything positive said to you without a tiny pinch of salt? Does your critical voice ever speak up and place nagging doubts in your mind, either about the speaker, or about how their opinion might be different if they knew you better? Let’s pretend that there are sometimes doubts. So, positives are not particularly informative, you can’t really learn from them and you can’t be entirely sure that they are 100% truthful. As far as personal growth goes perhaps they are not quite the bargain the might be. Feel good, yes, and that is powerful, but their power is coming from someone else. You haven’t increased your power from them, your personal understanding of your talents, skills, biases, weaknesses etc. Someone else is in a position of power to convey these blessings upon you, and as we’ve begun to suspect, they may not be 24 carat gold.

If neutral statements aren’t going to help us in our quest for personal growth and understanding, and positive statements aren’t, the only thing left would be the negative statements.

How could negative statements help us develop, after all, the negative statements that we are so good at keeping in our heads, that running commentary that intervenes and deflates us, probably couldn’t be considered to be a source of vital information that leads to our self-growth? That’s true. But it is through what we can learn from the negative reactions of others - the things they say, the way they respond, - that we can start to challenge the voices in our minds, and the voices outside.

If you know what it is that you are doing wrong, you can change it if you decide to do so. The great thing is that people are only too happy to let you know what it is that you are doing wrong. Probably the only thing people like better than talking about themselves is telling other people what’s wrong with them. Remember that you aren’t obliged to change to satisfy anyone, but if you want or need to develop in a certain area of your life, then knowing where you are now, and how that isn’t as good as required, and knowing the specifics of where you are going wrong, it’s almost like you have been given a map of how to develop. Now that’s a map worth having, and you’re getting it for free. Whilst someone else might feel that they are getting to vent at you, you can collect useful information and use that to build up an understanding of what is expected, and develop strategies to get there.

Who is it that is benefiting, the person criticising, or the person criticised?
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How to Have Power over Others.

If power begins in controlling something, then are we powerless prior to controlling?

Yes and no.
We have potential, which is a power in itself, but unused and undirected potential is NOTHING.

Are we powerless prior to controlling?

I would say we are not powerless, but ignorant (Which is a version of powerlessness, I guess.)

We don't know that we have power and don't know to know to test it.

The end of all powerlessness begins with awareness.

A Samurai Warrior would learn this by practicing a meditation of sitting on the top of a mountain with his arm extended and sword pointing skyward in a position ready to fall. He would meditate on that fleeting moment when a balanced piece of metal would turn into an unpredictable falling/killing weapon. His awareness was on the potential of the weapon. When he learned that then he could study the application of it's power.

What is power?
What is power like?
How great is power?
Where is power now?

To Know. To Will. To Dare. To Keep Silent.
These were the powers of the Sphinx and they remain dormant in all of us to one degree or another.

You don't know what you don't know. Thus you must seek knowledge in whatever realm you wish to control.

You must Will and Dare to use that knowledge.

To keep silent. This is where power turns to craft. It is the most subtle application of power. So subtle it may seem that things are all happening in your favor when in fact they happen by your design.

A bolder resting precariously on a cliff, a bow string pulled tight, these have a quality of potential force, What the Chinese strategist, Sun Tsu, called "shih". With just the right action and the force is unleashed.

The silent art of power and control is to see the potential force in everything and arrange it so that, if released, it works in your favor.

The keys to this power are first to know what you want far into the future and to know it in rich and glorious detail. The next step is to develop a presice and detailed plan to your goal and to meditate upon it day in and day out. By having this constantly on your mind you will function with the greatest efficiency toward your goal.

You will see the world about and know "This action will lead me to my goal. This action will lead me nowhere."

This task that is unnatural for most of us because of our natural tendency to focus on the thoughts of the present and to respond to the urgencies at hand. To master this skill we must alter our thinking and see every action that we perform as an act of manipulating "shih".

To do this is the height of Sphinx-like power and makes mere men to seem magical as if they controlled the forces of nature.
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14 Key Self Improvement Skills

It can be helpful to take a high level perspective on self improvement, looking broadly at all the important skills. This can help identify areas you may be weak in, and serve as a mental checklist to help you focus. While this is not an exhaustive list of elements important to personal development, these are some of the most important.

1. Continuous Learning: Take responsibility for your own lifelong personal development, knowing that it’s the secret to success in all areas of life, and your most valuable asset. Your knowledge and experience is personal wealth you can never lose.

2. Positivity: Find the positive aspect in everything, accepting what cannot be changed, and acting on what can, towards a positive result. Don’t let circumstances drive your state of being, let your state of being drive your results. Smile and use humor to help drive a positive attitude and share it with others.

3. Personal Excellence: Strive to do your best in everything you do. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Not only to achieve superior results, but so that if you fail you can remain positive rather than wishing you had tried harder. Look to be creative in your personal excellence rather than follow the safest, lowest risk path.

4. Honesty: Maintain honesty and integrity in all that you do. Trust and respect by others is hard earned, yet can be permanently lost over the smallest lie. Decide that honesty is one of your core values, and stick to it at all costs.

5. Know Yourself: You are a unique individual with your own strengths and weaknesses, all others have these also. The difference with a successful person is they have learned to leverage their strengths, and to identify their weaknesses so they can improve those areas through learning and practice. Accept yourself as you are without comparison to others, if you look you will find much about yourself to be proud of and thankful for.

6. Appreciate the Moment: Seek happiness in the present moment, even in the simple things around you such as nature, a good conversation, or a good meal. Excessive contemplation on the past or future steals this appreciation from you. Some techniques to support this is getting out in nature, and meditation.

7. Communicate Well: Learning to communicate well with others is an essential skill, which includes speaking, writing, listening well, and body language. Nearly everyone can still find areas to grow with these skills, and should receive constant attention. Becoming a good listener is one of the top areas of improvement you should seek, become truly interested in other people and it will work wonders.

8. Embrace Mistakes: Mistakes are a prerequisite to personal development; you must choose either courage and success, or safety and being average. Mistakes are a learning opportunity so long as you are not repeating your mistakes, if you have learned from a failure then pat yourself on the back. Carry this to other’s mistakes also, forgive them with this understanding in mind.

9. Embrace Change: Change is a constant part of life, and integral to personal development and success. Become excited about change, and look to it with a positive attitude. Be a leader by being the initiator of positive change. If you fear change, then you fear personal development, as self improvement is about changing yourself.

10. Increase Your Value: Know that personal development is not a selfish activity; rather it increases your value to others, ranging from relationships, business, and career. Too many people focus on changing others, which rarely works as well as changing yourself. Make a difference externally by changing yourself internally.

11. Be Giving: Seek to be giving, compassionate, loving, yet humble, knowing you receive what you give out. This is a secret to finding happiness in life.

12. Balance: Seek balance in all areas of life, considering family, relationships, career, business, health, leisure, and spirituality.

13. Gratitude: Be thankful for the gift and opportunity of life. If you have a spiritual belief, pursue the core tenets of the teachings and make them part of who you are.

14. Find Your Excitement: Find things in life that excite you, and act on them. Embracing things which excite and motivate you will move you more quickly into success and happiness, and attract the things you need to get there. This attitude will support and integrate with all the above tenets.
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