Category Archives: enthusias

Choose How You Want to Feel

By Kare Anderson
Emmy-Winner | TEDx | Connective Behavior | Speaker | Columnist | Author | Strategist

Breandan and Emma, the couple up the hill from me in Sausalito have been married 54 years, they proudly told me last year. They walked, hand-in-hand past my home each morning, usually laughing, smiling and pointing out things to each other along the way.

Originally from Ireland, they listened, in bed, to BBC News at dawn so they usually had a tidbit of news to share with me if they happened to pass my home when I was finishing my lame attempt at morning exercises in the back yard.

When Emma died suddenly, Breandan stopped walking. He stayed inside their home and ignored my knock on their door. Several times. Later, when he started walking again, he told me his son, a motivational speaker on leadership, suggested that he start saying positive self-affirmations every morning “to lift his mood.”

He retorted, “My mood doesn’t need lifting! It’s right where it’s supposed to be.” So his well-intentioned son then mailed him a card pack with cheery faces on one side and, on the other, a series of upbeat daily affirmations. The card pack was entitled ”Yes, I Can!” to which Breandan hotly responded (to me, but not his son, I gather) “No I won’t!”

Write Yourself Through Your Journey to a Better Emotional Place

That gift inspired Breandan to get out of the old chair he sat in most days, with a morose look on his face, and take action, but not in the way his son intended. He wrote his own collection of “realistic affirmations.” I figured that the sentiments reflected his way of responding to grief, his stubborn resistance to being told to feel better and his core attitude about living life as it happens. Some were darkly funny. Yet his basic resilience started to shine through as he finished writing his sayings by the end of the year. “Not every cloud has a silver lining so start liking the clouds.”

I thought of Breandan when I read that Norman Vincent Peale may have been wrong, at least for some people, when he advocated saying positive self-affirmations to lift one’s mood. That’s a startling revelation for many of us Americans who have been bombarded with self-help messages based on the belief that positive affirmations are entirely beneficial.

“Repeating positive self-statements may benefit certain people, such as those with high self-esteem, but backfire for the very people who need them the most,” concludes social psychology professor Dr. Joanne Wood. Even those with high self-esteem felt only slightly better after repeating a positive self-statement.

The news gets worse for those with a low self-image Wood and her colleagues found:

• People with high self-esteem are more likely than those with low self-esteem to try to improve their moods when they are sad, as well as to savor their moods when they are happy.

• Those with low self-esteem sometimes even try to dampen their happiness, and engaging with others on Facebook seems to reinforce that reaction.

Don’t Fight Those Feelings. Instead, Notice Them, Then Choose What to Feel

Like obsessing more about the elephant in the room after being told to ignore it, being told to repeat “get happy” sayings, when sad, can make us feel even more sad. As Ed Yong concluded, “Statements that contradict a person’s self-image, no matter how rallying in intention, are likely to boomerang.“ “Don’t believe everything you think. “Thoughts are just that – thoughts,” wrote Pocket Peace author Allan Lokos.

Instead, of trying to change your feelings (as cognitive therapy attempts to do) change how you choose to view your thoughts. That approach calls on us to be mindfully observing what we are thinking and feeling from a calm pool, so to speak, without getting repeatedly sucked into the downward swirl of them. As Thich Nhat Hanh wrote, “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

Practicing this way we can notice what we are feeling in the moment without immediately reacting, thus becoming better at choosing how we want to act. This approach is called ACT:Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. To reinforce that practice, “think of yourself as a kind friend,” suggests Duke University psychology professor Mark Leary. That bolsters yourself-compassion and thus your happiness. “One is a great deal less anxious if one feels perfectly free to be anxious, and the same may be said of guilt,” Alan Watts wrote.

Breandan, by the way, has begun writing his memoir, describing some of the adventures he shared with Emma, the people they met and the joy of living with her “through thick and thin.” His writing enables him to take the ACT approach, to observing and accept his sadness at his wife’s passing and to choose to focus, instead, on the many of the happy times they enjoyed together. He showed me the quote he chose for the first page:

“In the end, just three things matter:

How well we have lived

How well we have loved

How well we have learned to let go” ~ Jack Kornfield

As Byron Katie would say, he is “loving what is.” See more ideas at my Quotable and Connected column at Forbes.


UPW Tip of the Day: What is the force that determines what we try or fail to try to accomplish in our lives? It is our beliefs—about what we’re capable of, about what’s possible or impossible, about who we are. In Haitian culture, a person’s belief in the deadly power of the witch doctor “pointing the bone” can indeed cause death. But the real killer is a sense of certainty—the belief—not the witch doctor. – Tony Robbins

What do you believe?

We all have beliefs, ideas, judgements, and expectations…

  • Beliefs about others,
  • Beliefs about the world, about luck, about their careers.
  • Beliefs about ourselves
  • Beliefs about fears and limitations.

What beliefs do you have about your fears and phobias? Do they serve you well? Do they empower you? Many of us have fears from our childhood or false/needless fears that hold us back, that limit us, and that just don’t really help us. Maybe it is time to reevaluate those fears?

What beliefs do you have about yourself – your talents, your goals, your successes and your failures? Do they serve you well?

Did you ever notice that our believe appear to be true, that they appear to be reality?
Becareful what you believe.

Once in a while I believe that we all need to step back and look at our own beliefs and evaluate them.

Do they help us? Do they empower us?
You can change your beliefs. You can change the meaning behind events and things around you.

\Your truth is the truth, so make it work for you, make it serve you and your world better.

Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives. -Tony Robbins 

Simple Stuff – smile edition

A smile

It’s not the career you choose, the friend you marry, or the path you take that determines success or happiness in life, but that each day, in some small way, you seek to amaze as much as be amazed. –Mike Dooley,, The Universe


A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. Phyllis Diller


The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.-Thomas Paine


A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside. -Denis Waitley


If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it. -Andy Rooney


Remember even though the outside world might be raining, if you keep on smiling the sun will soon show its face and smile back at you. -Anna Lee


A Smile is the best make up any girl can wear –Unknown



Have the life you want, starting now!

IdeasActionStart Now to get the life that you want…

Some people know early in life I knew what they want to do when they grew up.

I did not – or maybe I should say I did but it changed. I wanted to be a fighter pilot then a corporate jet pilot but my eyes were quite bad and I am colored blind. A doctor thought I had a heart murmur too, although that was later to be found incorrect.

Some people have a vision, I know a good guy who began a process in his high school years that can only be described as “lifestyle design.” It required hard work, but no harder than the work you do every day. Today, he is reaping the benefits of his early investment. I can say that he has freedom and control in his life while being able to make an impact on the world. I do believe that You and I can have this too, if you start your own lifestyle design today. Let me show you how.

“More control over your life leads to better performance, better productivity, and more happiness.” – Daniel Pink, Drive


Designing Your Life – By Craig Ballantyne

We all want a better life. We all want a little more control over how the day goes, over what we do with our hours, and what we are able to achieve.

Fortunately, attaining greater control of your life is possible, although it often requires an unconventional approach.

It begins by realizing that when it comes to the life you live, you have two choices. You can be PRO-active or you can be RE-active. You can either decide how it’s going to go (pro-active), or you can leave it up to your surroundings to make that call for you (re-active).

Only those that choose to be proactive are able to develop the control in their life that leads to happiness. After all, as Jim Rohn says, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

I started on my path to lifestyle design early, beginning at the age of 13. In my childhood I developed a love for reading, writing, healthy living, and helping others. I wanted to turn this passion for creativity into not only a job, but also an amazing livelihood.

I knew what I wanted to do. I just didn’t know exactly how to do it. But I realized that I needed to eliminate everything that didn’t take me in that direction.

This led me to a decision. I would avoid spending time and energy on anything that was not purposeful. If it didn’t get me closer to my goals, I was going to find a way to avoid it.

I knew that activities like cutting the lawn and other household chores were not going to get me closer to my dreams. Instead, I needed to be out earning money for college, training at the gym, and reading everything I could on health and fitness.

Obviously, this was an approach to life that didn’t impress my parents. They called me lazy. They wanted me to voluntarily do more work around the farm. But once I did what I had to, I then spent the rest of my time working towards my goals.

This has been my winning approach to life ever since.

Today, the life I live looks nothing like that of a stereotypical lazy person, I get up early to write for several hours and always make time for a rigorous workout. Perhaps a better way to describe my behavior is that I’m selectively lazy. It’s a trait that I recommend to you as well.

As long as the work is self-directed and supports my vision, I’m willing to do just about anything to succeed. But if I judge the activity to be a waste of my time, I avoid it.

The bottom line is that you too can design your life around you. Of course, to achieve greater control in your life you are going to upset a few people along the way.

First of all, not everyone even believes the simple proposition that they can take control of their life. Therefore, you must expect blowback when you start to take control of yours.

People might say to you, “Who are you to live this way? That’s not normal.”

But as the Stoic philosopher Epictetus writes, “Don’t be concerned with other people’s impressions of you. They are dazzled and deluded by appearances. Stick with your purpose. This alone will strengthen your will and give your life coherence.”

Second, you can only achieve greater control in life when you are in a position of strength to demand it. To attain a position of strength, you must have leverage. My leverage is the ability to create products that people will pay for.

I spent years working hard to build up my valuable skills in selling fitness and personal development products. These skills, something author Cal Newport describes as Career Capital in his book, “So Good They Can’t Ignore You,” are what give you the leverage to call the shots in life.

But once you get to that point, you still need to manage other people’s expectations to minimize the frustration and resentment that they might have about the level of control you have over your schedule.

Finally, there are your own inner demons to deal with. I grew up relatively poor, wearing patches on the knees of my pants to grade school, and watching my parents save money by doing everything themselves. To them, money was not something that you could simply go out and get more of. These attitudes about money can both help and harm. It is good to be wise with your money, but not to let your relationship with money become an anchor opposing your progress.

You’ll likely have similar internal mental baggage as you start to design your life. This resistance could be more powerful than other people’s opinions. The fact is that you could be your greatest enemy in living the life of your dreams.

My advice to you on dealing with this is as politically incorrect as the rest of today’s topic. But here it is:

You need to develop an air of superiority. You need what Dan Kennedy calls, “controlled self-confidence, bordering on arrogance.” Basically, everything your mother told you was wrong.

But I encourage you to accept and embrace this mentality. You need to believe that you are capable of doing great things, of living an above-average life, and of making an extraordinary impact on the world. You won’t achieve this by thinking of yourself as a normal Joe-Schmoe.

I’m sorry, but that’s the politically incorrect truth.

Look at it this way. If I didn’t know that my work is more valuable than say, cutting the lawn, then I wouldn’t have made the time to help hundreds of thousands of people each day with our Early To Rise content.

Instead I’d be wasting my day saving $20 per hour rather than creating the ETR $100,000 Transformation Contest that is changing the lives of tens of thousands of people.

This is not average thinking.

But we are not average people. Nor should we want to be. The average person, as you know, gets average results and lives an average life. The average life, according to statistics, is a life of stress, debt, and watching four hours of television per night. Average is not good.

You must live different. You must be proactive with your lifestyle design.

You’ve probably thought about doing things differently. You’ve developed a desire for more control. But for some reason, you’re waiting for permission to go ahead and finally take action on it. If so, then by all means, consider this “Permission Granted.”

Don’t wait any longer to design your life to maximize your contribution to the world.

You may feel unsure at first. You might even feel that you are not worthy. Years of having the scarcity mindset passed down to you from your parents can be a terrible set of chains to drag around for life. These chains can be tough to unshackle. But lose them, you must.

You might try and tell yourself that you are too shy, humble, or modest to take this approach to life, but you must let this go.

Just like the first time you talked to someone of the opposite sex when you were twelve years old, it might seem hard at first, but after you try it, and get a little feedback, you’ll try it again, and the process will get easier each time.

You must realize that in order to add value to the world you must allow yourself the time to do so. And that means cutting out the day-to-day activities that someone else can do for you.

I’m here to tell you, and even to give you permission, that if you want to live the life of your dreams, then you must stand up and take control over it right now.

We’re not getting any younger.

When it comes to taking control over how you live the rest of your life, this is no time to hold back. You must first decide what is right for you, and then go after it with all of your energy.

As Mark Ford advises, “Identify what you want to do, with whom, and where.”

Answer those questions, create your vision, and begin designing your life today.


In closing, do you know people that are not happy with their present life?

Yet, do those people take even a moment’s time trying to define their ‘ideal life’? No, most do not.
Do they take time or effort trying to build a plan or taking action towards their ideal life? Typically no.

Do you?

I do on occasion but I confess that I sometimes have put in the time and effort to make a plan, then I put it in a drawer and forget about it for a while.

Take time and just write even a paragraph about your life – the life you want.

How can you go after or chase something without knowing what you want?

Words To Live By: Clarity


(This is one of a part of a series of WORDS TO LIVE BY. This series grew out of a workbook I first made for my young daughters and discussed at the dinner table. These Words include values, good ideas, and Words to aspire to….and learn from….enjoy!)


clar·i·ty- /ˈklærɪti/ Show Spelled [klar-i-tee] Show IPA

noun 1. clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.

2. the state or quality of being clear or transparent to the eye; pellucidity: the clarity of pure water.

Synonyms 1. intelligibility, exactness, simplicity.
Clarity is something I think, as a whole, society, us, most of us, lack.
What do I mean?
Are you really clear about what you want in life?
Are you clear about your desires, dreams, goals?
For instance – I know many people, including myself, often talk about earning more and having a home business or something independent. We know we want more money, more independence. We know we want some sort of money set aside for a nice retirement, but then we stop there.
Clarity provides an idea, goal, understanding, transparency that we need.
If you can sit down and clearly write out your goal/plan/intention/idea, if you are clear what you want, all parties benefit.
How many times have you felt uncertain, uneasy about something?
You just don’t feel right about it – often because you’re unclear about it, undecided, on the fence, etc.
I’ve had situations where I was in a bad financial jamb. I was cooked for the forseeable future.
For a long time I just tried to ignore or avoid the problem.
I felt uneasy, upset, stressed, confused, etc.
Then one day I told myself I’d sit down for 5 minutes and review all my statements and paperwork. Just 5 minutes.
Even though my situation didn’t improve, reviewing the problem – becoming clear what the situation was, did help.
Then I took a piece of notebook paper and wrote a very simple plan to move ahead.
I assure you that the plan was not complicated, high-tech, creative, or brilliant.
But I was now clear on the problem, and clear on action steps that I could take.
I felt a lot better. A simple step helped!
I confess that my wife told me I seemed happier. I saw a friend that day and he said I seemed more relieved (He knew my situation).
My wife and I have had challenges in life and we approach them differently for all sorts of reasons. Like any relationship, we had to communicate our expectations and come to some sort of agreement.
Many times, relationships are stressed because people don’t communicate, they don’t share expectations, and they aren’t clear with each other.
Now my wife and I sit down and spend just a few minutes on our budget, expectations for the week, for the next few months, for our common goals – we work together to get clear on our life.
It is a simple step that we didn’t take before and it added to our financial problems.
When you’re working, going to school, doing anything worthwhile (even not-worthwhile), being clear about what you want makes such a big difference.
  • How many people do you want to reach today with your message?
  • How do you want to contribute to the world/society/family/life?
  • How much income do you want to earn this year/5 years/10 years?
  • What kind of work do you want to do?
    How many pages do you want to write?
  • What things do you want to improve upon in _______?
  • WHat does freedom/independence/the ideal life really mean to you?
    What is the ideal day life for you?
  • What do you want people to ‘feel’ when you talk to them?
  • What is important to you – GET CLEAR!
We so often go through the motions, get lost in the noise, listen to society.
Our inner voice is so much better, so much more powerful.
You may believe in something else, but I believe in some sort of Creator.
I believe that the power or Source or whatever you want to call it is not just “out there” but it is IN US.
We are part of this Source/Creator/God.
If we get quiet, listen to ourselves, and get clear on what WE want, and let our inner voice guide us, rather than someone else, I believe that we can act with guidance from the Source/Creator/God – it is almost divine guidance.
It doesn’t need to take long either. Just take a few minutes and get clear on one thing….right now.
Below are some more thoughts on Clarity……

Think about the recently famous Felix Baumgartner’s Supersonic Jump from the Stratoshpere (on October 14th, 2012). Have you seen it or heard about it? If not – it’s OK – I wrote a post about it here on this site.

The reason why thoughts of that jump filled my mind is because Felix Baumgartner accomplished a very clear goal he set for himself about 5 years ago… it took him that long to train for it… but his intentions were crystal clear even though that goal 5 years ago might have seemed a little unrealistic.

I know it took him 5 years to accomplish it but you’d be surprised what you can accomplish in 30 days.

Just as an example, when I got laser focused on my blogging almost 60 days ago now, my blog traffic went from daily visitors in the teens and twenties to hundreds .

I sometimes listen, watch, and read stuff from a marketing guy named David Wood.  David Wood spends close to 2 hours on the subject of clarity in this one podcast (and much much more) and how to set goals in such a way that they become so crystal clear that you can actually feel them as being accomplished.

Also, here is a video by Tony Robbins where he emphasizes how important clarity is to accomplishing goals.

What Tony Robbins says in that video is right on the money…

“Life Will pay whatever price you ask of it.”

Without clarity, you cannot accomplish any goal that you set for yourself.

You too, can have clarity, implement these methods in your business and start making the income that you deserve.

Here is more from another website worth sharing..


Do you ever get so busy with the details of your life and the countless things you need to complete, that you end up feeling exhausted and disconnected?

The result: Your mind becomes clouded and unable to focus and you start to make poor decisions regarding your priorities. You end up working hard instead of working smart.

What do you do when this happens? Do you take the time to step out of the situation to regroup? Or do you continue with what you’re doing, all the while feeling that you’re running out of time, besides you still have a massive list of tasks to complete.  In the past, my natural inclination was to do the latter and, in the end, I would be left feeling burnt out with my spirits down.

Lately I’ve been running around preparing for several major changes in my life.  I’ve felt my mind becoming consumed by the problems revolving around these changes.  My eating schedule became irregular and my decisions felt clouded.   When my clarity started to fizzle, I found myself making decisions and judgments based on emotions rather than on logic or intuition arising out of clarity.

The following is a simple technique I’ve used to reconnect myself to what’s most important: my inner self.  In doing so, Clarity came.

Clarity Day

I’ve always been attracted to the idea of a Spiritual Day or a Clarity Day, in which you spend the whole day disconnected from the information world and the many distractions of modern life, and start to connect within yourself.

If this sounds too mystical, don’t get caught up with the words, they are just linguistic symbols to communicate ideas.   When you really get into such a day, it can become a source of great bliss and understanding of one’s self.  During these times, we can experience tremendous personal growth, peace, and satisfaction.

This is also the perfect chance to clear out the noise and mental clutter that collects in our inner space from the hectic demands of our life.  Through better understanding of ourselves and our surroundings, we gain more than clarity, we gain self confidence.

Similar to Self Dates or Alone Time, on a Clarity Day your goal is to spend an enjoyable day on your own and away from everyday distractions.  Aim for minimal planning, so that you spend the day following your heart and enjoying the spontaneous expressions of the present moment.

Here’s an example of how I spent this past Saturday, when I deeply needed clarity and to connect with myself:

  • Basics – From 8am to 8pm. I was doing everything on my own, without friends or family. All distractions such as cell phones, home phones, computers, and TVs, were turned off.
  • Salon – I’ve always enjoyed getting my hair done. My favorite salon straightens my hair at each appointment. I sat there with my eyes closed and enjoyed being there. The girls kept asking me if I needed a magazine, and I would say “No thanks. I’m happy just sitting here.”
  • Walk – I walked out of the downtown Salon and drifted randomly uphill to the Capital Hill neighborhood. The day was so beautiful. I enjoyed looking up at the sky and passing by families of tourists and Saturday shoppers.
  • Café – I found a comfortable corner seat by the large windows at a local café. I pulled out my book and my journal. Periodically, I would sit back with my book in my lap and enjoy watching people. People are so interesting, and if you try, you can sense what people are feeling. I had a fantastic seat for people watching and deeply enjoyed the experience.
  • Meet a Stanger – I started talking with an interesting new friend who sat next to me. We talked about happiness, art, and creativity. It was very simulating and felt good to connect with another human being; they add meaning and dimension to your life.
  • Read – I read Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle. A short but enlightening read. It is full of bite sized wisdom to help find the stillness within you.
  • Meditation – 35 minute guided meditation. When I opened my eyes after the meditation, I felt like I was seeing the world with new eyes. I felt calm and happy. I followed this up by lying down on my yoga mat and visualizing all of the things I am grateful for. I got up feeling incredibly centered and present.
  • Journaling – with my new found clarity, I wrote out my thoughts and feelings. In doing this, it gave me a chance to organize my thoughts (which were the source of my problems), along with options for dealing with them. I’ve learned that recording emotional events and personal realizations in a journal can be a fulfilling experience. Especially when you read the entries several years later.

I stepped out of the day in a peaceful state and had regained my clarity. I felt like my spirit had been recharged. It also became clear that my problems are only as big as I perceive them to be, in my mind.

– See more at:



Henry David Thoreau famously wrote that most people (‘the mass of men’) live lives of quiet desperation.  Most of us probably wouldn’t describe our daily experience as ‘desperation,’ but there may be an uncomfortable feeling that we are drifting along, not having a clear aim, not having achieved what we dreamed about in the past and yet not knowing quite why.

Usually, this feeling is not painful enough to drive us into making any real changes, so the danger is that we can drift along like this indefinitely. Many people who have made significant advances in life have had periods of intense discomfort which have forced them to go inside, reflect and become more aware.

For most of us, there are things we can do to become clearer about where we are, what we want and how to get there. These practices may be less radical that sudden upheavals and painful experiences, but they can be uncomfortable – learning new things usually is – and a gentle persistence will be an important attitude to adopt if you attempt them seriously.


The kind of meditation the Buddha is said to have taught is most closely reflected in Vippassana or ‘insight’  meditation. The technique is extremely simple: no special apparatus or prior knowledge is needed, just a quiet place and a period of time. All you have to do it sit comfortably with a straight back and observe your breath. Nothing more. In time, the practice is intended to bring about clarity and insight into the nature of the self, and that of reality.

Some years ago, I attended one of S. N. Goenka’s famous ten day Vippassana retreats. The Goenka organization is a worldwide group dedicated to teaching the practice of insight meditation.  The retreats are tough – many hours of meditation, only two small meals per day, basic communal facilities such as dorms, and a strict code of silence. Attendees are not allowed phones, books, journals or any other form of intellectual stimulation.

The Goenka courses are excellent in the sense that they force you to meditate – there are quite literally no distractions, and one is forced to face up to the many obvious – and subtle – ways in which we try to avoid a practice which is so alien to our restless mind and which forces us to face some uncomfortable realities. But for those not quite ready to take the plunge, there are plenty of online courses available, such as those offered by Wildmind. It is also usually possible to find a local meditation centre offering guided evening sessions.


Meditation is a way of focusing on the present moment in a very intense kind of way; the practice of mindfulness is a way of being present throughout the day. It just means watching yourself, being a silent witness to your own feelings, thoughts and reactions, in order to gain clarity about everything you do, feel or think. We usually move through life in a fairly unconscious state, responding to circumstances in a conditioned way, unconscious repetition of learned behaviors.

Becoming more mindful is not easy –  it requires a great deal of practice but will, in time, lead to a great deal of clarity and insight into what drives us. With this knowledge, we can make better choices and exert more control over how we respond to situations and hence what we experience.

Two books I particularly recommended are Awareness by Anthony de Mello and Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana. De Mello’s book is full of anecdotes and stories which underline the importance and the (sometimes surprising) consequences of being more ‘awake .’

Our connection with the natural world

Although we might sometimes be tempted to see ‘nature’ as ‘something out there,’ separate from our experience, we are, of course, very much a part of the environment, and we naturally feel more centered and clear when we are close to our natural environment. We haven’t been living in houses and apartments for very long, and city living is a particularly new innovation which can be very stressful.

It is helpful to find time regularly to spend time in a more natural environment. This doesn’t have to mean trekking through the jungle – even walking through a park or a garden can bring great benefits. In Hong Kong, where I have lived for many years, it can be extremely difficult to find the time and the opportunity to get out into nature, but it is possible, and making a conscious effort to do so enables me to maintain more balance and perspective. If I can do it here in Hong Kong, I think almost anyone can!

More at

Be Happier: 10 Things to Stop Doing Right Now

From – a GREAT article!

Be Happier: 10 Things to Stop Doing Right Now

Sometimes the route to happiness depends more on what you don’t do.

sad and happy smiley face cupcakes

Happiness–in your business life and your personal life–is often a matter of subtraction, not addition.

Consider, for example, what happens when you stop doing the following 10 things:

1. Blaming.

People make mistakes. Employees don’t meet your expectations. Vendors don’t deliver on time.

So you blame them for your problems.

But you’re also to blame. Maybe you didn’t provide enough training. Maybe you didn’t build in enough of a buffer. Maybe you asked too much, too soon.

Taking responsibility when things go wrong instead of blaming others isn’t masochistic, it’s empowering–because then you focus on doing things better or smarter next time.

And when you get better or smarter, you also get happier.

2. Impressing.

No one likes you for your clothes, your car, your possessions, your title, or your accomplishments. Those are all “things.” People may like your things–but that doesn’t mean they like you.

Sure, superficially they might seem to, but superficial is also insubstantial, and a relationship that is not based on substance is not a real relationship.

Genuine relationships make you happier, and you’ll only form genuine relationships when you stop trying to impress and start trying to just be yourself.

3. Clinging.

When you’re afraid or insecure, you hold on tightly to what you know, even if what you know isn’t particularly good for you.

An absence of fear or insecurity isn’t happiness: It’s just an absence of fear or insecurity.

Holding on to what you think you need won’t make you happier; letting go so you can reach for and try to earn what you want will.

Even if you don’t succeed in earning what you want, the act of trying alone will make you feel better about yourself.

4. Interrupting.

Interrupting isn’t just rude. When you interrupt someone, what you’re really saying is, “I’m not listening to you so I can understand what you’re saying; I’m listening to you so I can decide what I want to say.”

Want people to like you? Listen to what they say. Focus on what they say. Ask questions to make sure you understand what they say.

They’ll love you for it–and you’ll love how that makes you feel.

5. Whining.

Your words have power, especially over you. Whining about your problems makes you feel worse, not better.

If something is wrong, don’t waste time complaining. Put that effort into making the situation better. Unless you want to whine about it forever, eventually you’ll have to do that. So why waste time? Fix it now.

Don’t talk about what’s wrong. Talk about how you’ll make things better, even if that conversation is only with yourself.

And do the same with your friends or colleagues. Don’t just be the shoulder they cry on.

Friends don’t let friends whine–friends help friends make their lives better.

6. Controlling.

Yeah, you’re the boss. Yeah, you’re the titan of industry. Yeah, you’re the small tail that wags a huge dog.

Still, the only thing you really control is you. If you find yourself trying hard to control other people, you’ve decided that you, your goals, your dreams, or even just your opinions are more important than theirs.

Plus, control is short term at best, because it often requires force, or fear, or authority, or some form of pressure–none of those let you feel good about yourself.

Find people who want to go where you’re going. They’ll work harder, have more fun, and create better business and personal relationships.

And all of you will be happier.

7. Criticizing.

Yeah, you’re more educated. Yeah, you’re more experienced. Yeah, you’ve been around more blocks and climbed more mountains and slayed more dragons.

That doesn’t make you smarter, or better, or more insightful.

That just makes you you: unique, matchless, one of a kind, but in the end, just you.

Just like everyone else–including your employees.

Everyone is different: not better, not worse, just different. Appreciate the differences instead of the shortcomings and you’ll see people–and yourself–in a better light.

8. Preaching.

Criticizing has a brother. His name is Preaching. They share the same father: Judging.

The higher you rise and the more you accomplish, the more likely you are to think you know everything–and to tell people everything you think you know.

When you speak with more finality than foundation, people may hear you but they don’t listen. Few things are sadder and leave you feeling less happy.

9. Dwelling.

The past is valuable. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others.

Then let it go.

Easier said than done? It depends on your focus. When something bad happens to you, see that as a chance to learn something you didn’t know. When another person makes a mistake, see that as an opportunity to be kind, forgiving, and understanding.

The past is just training; it doesn’t define you. Think about what went wrong, but only in terms of how you will make sure that, next time, you and the people around you will know how to make sure it goes right.

10. Fearing.

We’re all afraid: of what might or might not happen, of what we can’t change, or what we won’t be able to do, or how other people might perceive us.

So it’s easier to hesitate, to wait for the right moment, to decide we need to think a little longer or do some more research or explore a few more alternatives.

Meanwhile days, weeks, months, and even years pass us by.

And so do our dreams.

Don’t let your fears hold you back. Whatever you’ve been planning, whatever you’ve imagined, whatever you’ve dreamed of, get started on it today.

If you want to start a business, take the first step. If you want to change careers, take the first step. If you want to expand or enter a new market or offer new products or services, take the first step.

Put your fears aside and get started. Do something. Do anything.

Otherwise, today is gone. Once tomorrow comes, today is lost forever.

Today is the most precious asset you own–and is the one thing you should truly fear wasting.

 Jeff Haden learned much of what he knows about business and technology as he worked his way up in the manufacturing industry. Everything else he picks up from ghostwriting books for some of the smartest leaders he knows in business. @jeff_haden

How to make IT better….

We all want stuff to be better, right?
We want to improve ourselves and our world.

We want things to be easier, more fun, we want to feel better about things, right?
How does that happen? What can we do?

Things can ‘happen to us’, sure, but more than that, we make things better by little steps and action, EACH and EVERY Day.

It isn’t sexy, sometimes it doesn’t seem like it would be fun, but if we take action, even small actions, EACH day, we can really make BIG leaps.

Jack Canfield has some great ideas about this.

I hope you enjoy!


One of the basic first steps is to determine, write down and talk about what you do want, not what you don’t want. Be as specific as possible. Once you have clarified what you want, do the following each and every day.

1. Morning Intention, Visualization and Releasing

As soon as you wake up in the morning, take about 5 minutes to focus your mind on your desires, goals and intentions. Start by sitting in a comfortable position, closing your eyes and visualizing your desires and goals as already being fulfilled. Spend 30 seconds to a minute on each of your core desires and goals. You can also take a few moments to visualize your day going exactly as you would like it to.

When you do this, you will often find negative limiting beliefs that are the result of negative programming from your childhood will come up. You may hear thoughts like “I could never afford that,”“there’s no way I’ll ever get that,” or “who am I kidding?” coming up. If you do, use one of the many releasing techniques that are available (see the list below) to release the negative thought. Don’t fight or argue with the thought; just release it.

Remember to also spend several moments feeling the feelings you would feel if you had already manifested your desire in your life. The intensity of the feeling is what fuels the intensity of the attraction.

If you’re interested in learning a powerful releasing technique, check out my book Tapping Into Ultimate Success.

2. Use External Images to Keep you Focused on Your Desires and Goals

Keep yourself focused on what you want to manifest by surrounding yourself with visual images of the things and experiences you want to create in your life. There are many tools you can use for this, including creating a Vision Book from our Vision Board Collection.

Cut out pictures of the things you wish to own (like your ideal car or home) and pictures that represent the experiences you want to have (like the perfect relationship, your ideal job, perfect health, being at your ideal weight, more joy, inner peace or balance in your life) to remind yourself of how you want it to be. Put them somewhere where you will see them every day—on the mirror, the refrigerator, or in your Vision Book.

For even greater impact, combine your pictures with words that reflect your desired outcome, such as abundance, romance, fun, vitality, etc. I think you get the picture. When you look at any of these pictures, do what Bob Doyle, who is featured in The Secret teaches— think the thought, “THIS IS MINE NOW! THIS IS WHO I AM!”

3. Think a Better Feeling Thought

Start paying attention to the many times during the day that you have emotional responses (to other people, experiences, or your own thoughts) that are not in alignment with having or producing your desires. Pay special attention to when you feel disappointment, resentment, frustration or anger about your experiences and circumstances.

Remember, it’s your feelings (which are created by your thoughts, opinions, and beliefs) that are creating your current circumstances. You must make a shift by changing your thoughts to ones that make you feel better (i.e., raise your vibration). Remember that you must become a vibrational match for the things and experiences that you want to attract into your life.

It is especially important to focus your thoughts and behaviors on things that cause you to feel joy. Focus your thoughts on thoughts that bring you joy (your lover, your best friend, your grandchildren, your favorite vacation spot) and your actions on doing the things you love to do (pet your cat, work in your garden, listen to your favorite music).

4. Have an Attitude of Gratitude

It is critical to take time each and every day to focus on what you are grateful for! Some people do this in the morning before or after they visualize their desires; others prefer to do it in the evening. Focus on all of the things in your life (most of which you take for granted) that you are grateful for—your health, your children, your job, the nice weather, electricity, running water, a nice stereo system, your flower garden, your pets, your friends).

No matter what your situation, there are always things to be grateful for. The more you focus on what you are grateful for, the more things and experiences you will attract to be grateful for. You may wish to carry a “gratitude rock” like the one Lee Brower talks about in “The Secret”, or log your findings in a Gratitude Journal.

5. Take Action

There are two kinds of actions you can take. Obvious actions are things like, if you want a better car, going to test drive all of the models you are interested in and choosing the exact car you want to have, and saving 10% of your income in a “car account.” If you want to be a doctor, apply to medical school.

There is also what I call “inspired actions.” Once you begin to do the things described above, the universe will start responding by sending people, resources and opportunities you need to manifest your desired result. You are going to find that you have inspired ideas; you must act on them. You must follow those gentle proddings from the universe. Often these intuitive impulses will have no seeming connection to achieving your goal, but if you follow them, they will lead you down a path of wonderful fulfillment.

Here’s a quick way to know if the actions you’re taking are taking you closer to the fulfillment of your dreams and desires.

If you are feeling joy while you are doing them, then you are on the right path. Remember, joy is your internal guidance system, just like the GPS system in a car, telling you are taking the right actions. Follow your joy.

6. Acknowledge That it’s Working

If you start to see something change for the better, acknowledge that it is happening. Appreciate it. When you find the perfect parking space, acknowledge it. When you get the table you want in the restaurant, acknowledge it. When you receive unexpected income, acknowledge it. When you meet someone who can help you achieve your goal, acknowledge that Law of Attraction is working. The more you acknowledge that it’s working, the more it will work. It’s that simple.

If you are attracting things into your life that you don’t want, remember that the Law of Attraction is still working. Instead of thinking or saying, “It’s not working,” ask your self, “What am I focusing on, thinking about, talking about, feeling or doing that is bringing this into my life?”

If you want to know what you are thinking about, notice the results you are producing in your life. To change those results, you will first have to change your vibration by changing your thoughts and feelings.

When you make a commitment to take these actions each day, you’ll start to move forward, with confidence, in the direction of your dreams. Believe that they are not only possible, but that they are already in progress.

I’ll be back in two weeks with another edition of Success Strategies. Until then, see if you can discover ways to immediately implement what you discovered from today’s message into your life.

 Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at:

Super Simple Stuff


I thought this one was good enough to just offer up by itself.


I know I need reminded….FYI


The ultimate waste of time is to waste your thoughts, your focus, and your emotions stressed about things you cannot control. Those who are fulfilled have one thing in common: When an even happens that affects their lives, they quickly discern “Is this something I can control? Is this something I can influence? Or, is this truly something I cannot control and cannot influence?”  – TONY ROBBINS


Finding meaning in unpleasant jobs and situations

Have you ever been in a job or situation that was just unpleasant?

Maybe you were working with, or working for, someone that you didn’t like.

Maybe it was a boss that was imposing, micromanaging, etc. Maybe he couldn’t make a decision – or changed his mind a lot.

I look back to a position I got myself in….I was working for a guy who did have talents, yet he was not really a guy that you’d want to hang out with…..or work for….

It all started good. We both had plans and ideas. We came up with a strategy. But little by little I began to see him differently.

He didn’t make decisions – he always needed to think about it…but no amount of information or research on my part seemed to help him. When he did make a decision about something, he would soon change his mind. These changes not only wasted time, it wasted his own money, and soon began to erode morale.

He would walk around the office and huff a lot. He got upset by all sorts of things – little things. When we got a project he would get worried about it instead of getting excited by the possibilities. He often was short and rude with others.

At first I thought he was just a schmuck. Then I began to understand him. And I even began to feel for him. Most of his actions, or lack thereof, were based on fear. He was an older guy, he felt like he was unprepared for somethings, and he probably sometimes felt inferior.

He, like any of us, probably felt all sorts of emotions in business and life. But, unlike many of us, didn’t appear to have the tools or support network.

When you and I get scared, upset, anxious, we may vent or express some of it. But often we can deal with it. I believe he struggled with expressing his feelings. Without sounding disrespectful, he became a sad figure. I began to feel sorry for him. Once I disliked him and wished to be elsewhere. Then I began to notice his weaknesses and I saw that he didn’t have a choice to do much better.

Previously I had worked for him for a while and came to a point where I asked myself “Why am I here, what do I have to learn from this?”

Then I realized ‘why I was there and what I had to learn.’…..I was at home when I caught myself – caught myself huffing, getting impatient, getting negative. I don’t think that I was as bad as my boss was but I was still like him. And I don’t think that I was acting like that because of him. I think that I had acted like this for a long while. I knew that I got impatient and in some ways, this anger or grouchiness was my “thing”.

Victor Frankl wrote the wonderful book “A Man’s Search For Meaning”. We can find almost any kind of meaning in our lives about big or small things. The meaning we assign to something can inspire us or discourage us. The choice is mostly up to us, we assign the meaning.

So back to my job – I suddenly realized that I had meaning here – meaning to in some way help my boss handle things differently – or at least support him. I also realized that there was additional meaning – that I discovered more about me and that I needed – I wanted to change.

Suddenly a job that was sort of depressing, meaningless, and discouraging became better. I had skills, strategies and ideas that could help my boss. I had skills, strategies and ideas that could help me improve myself. I had the opportunity to see him, to see myself, and to realize that if I didn’t change, I might be like him someday.

Before, I wanted to get out of that job as fast as possible. I couldn’t wait and I was anxious about it. After I came to the above revelations, I no longer felt anxious about moving on. I still wanted to move on, and I knew I would in due time. But for that moment, I was there to learn, to improve myself, to improve my environment.  I was there to keep moving, not to wait for something better. I had patience.

I changed my focus and showed gratitude for a situation that I almost dreaded before. Things did improve. Things seemed easier. He was still huffy and impatient and indecisive but I tried to help. I think he noticed.
Guess what? It was the right thing to do. I think we both grew because of it. It was the loving thing to do. It wasn’t the easiest thing but I’m forever grateful for having that revelation. I have no regrets. I had faith, followed my heart, gave, and worked at doing what felt right.

Best wishes to you and your growth. Be aware of the meaning that you assign to events in your life.


Words to Live By: Enthusiasm

(This is one of a part of a series of WORDS TO LIVE BY. This series grew out of a workbook I first made for my young daughters and discussed at the dinner table. These Words include values, good ideas, and Words to aspire to….and learn from….enjoy!)

Enthusiasm – a : strong excitement of feeling : ardor <did her work with energy and enthusiasm> b : something inspiring zeal or fervor <his enthusiasms include sailing and fishing>

Enthusiasm comes from the root words meaning “in theos” or with/in God. So someone with enthusiasm is said to be ‘with God’ or have ‘God within’.

If you are religious, spiritual, or if you believe in God, the Universe, Source, Creator, Nature, whatever – you may consider trying to be more connected to that ‘Source’. If you believe good things come from your creator, whoever or whatever it is, you want to be connected or be a part of that thing, right?

A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm. Charles Schwab

Someone with enthusiasm is connected. Someone with enthusiasm may also be called passionate – or they have passion for that task or idea, right?

Generally, I am a low key guy. That is good in many cases throughout life. I am good with it. But it is sometimes not in my nature to get excited or enthusiastic about something. I have to work at it.  I recall once, as a young boy, my dad was trying to tell me that I needed to approach something with enthusiasm.

He defined the word in his own way and explained that when you’re enthusiastic, things go quicker and easier, people respond better, and you do a better job. He said that I needed to be enthusiastic. He wasn’t scolding me or otherwise; I could tell that he was sincere in trying to relate a life lesson. It was good stuff. At that time I thought about it but I wasn’t entirely on board.

(by the way, this one discussion with my dad planted the seed for me to start the Words to Live By series years ago for my daughters – I wanted a way to convey important ideas – like enthusiasm – to my kids, and have them able to be referenced later).

We’ve all been really pumped about something important in our lives. What was the last thing you were enthusiastic or passionate about? Try to recall the passion that you feel deep within you. It sometimes isn’t easy to explain or define.

“Enthusiasm is just a state of mind…an emotion…which you control. By control, I mean you can create it. If you want to be enthusiastic right now, this very second, you can create it. To start, just think about the work or service you like to do best. Can you feel a change, maybe a smile on your face?” ~Thomas D. Willhite~

This enthusiasm moves you in a direction that seems motivated by a force beyond your control.  As Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “It’s the inner excitement of being on the right path, doing what feels good to you, and what you know you were meant to do.”

Were you ever enthusiastic about something and you tried to ignore it and “it” just kept coming back? That’s probably because you feel or know in your heart and mind that it is the right thing for you in life at that moment.

“A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.”- Mary Kay Ash, businesswoman

Enthusiasm is feeling and knowing that it doesn’t matter what other people say. It means that this is the right thing to do. It means that there are no real challenges. There are no excuses. It means that the journey will bring joy.

Think of a child when he or she is enthusiastic. They ask for something or they believe that they can accomplish something. You believe that they’re going to hit hurdles and obstacles and you think “Just wait and see.” Sometimes they do hit the hurdle, sometimes I think they’re discouraged by adults like us. Regardless, their enthusiasm is pure – they just know that they can do “it” and they move ahead with joy and passion.

“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.” ~Anthony Robbins~

When did you feel like that? Do you remember how it felt when you were passionate? It was powerful, right? You felt happiness and joy. Even when you hit obstacles, if you still had that passion, you still enjoyed it, right?

I look back at things I’ve done – some easy things I did without enthusiasm looked bland and fell flat. Another task was actually quite difficult in retrospect but I was excited and passionate, and it was a joy the whole time.

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I once was promoted to a new group at a large bank. I suddenly got intimidated about the challenges ahead. So I hired a coach. She helped me find the “why” and find what I was enthusiastic about. I moved ahead fine and I did well. It was fun too!

TO quote Wayne Dyer again, Enthusiasm is “the greatest gift you can receive. And when it’s aligned with Spirit, treat it as a miracle, doing everything you can to hold on to it.

The presence of passion within you is the greatest gift you can receive. And when it’s aligned with Spirit, treat it as a miracle, doing everything you can to hold on to it.”

Enthusiasm seems to make the world cooperate with you, even co-create with you, doesn’t it?

Did you ever see the movie “Hairspray”? My daughters like it. In the beginning the main character is so enthusiastic about singing and dancing. She walks around the streets of Baltimore and sees all good stuff – all things seem to be encouraging her. In real life we’d say that she was naive or foolish. But simply put, she is passionate and enthusiastic and that’s what she sees in her life.

Do you remember when that happened to you? How did you feel?

Deepak Chopra said, “If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up.” This is what happens when we are enthusiastic.

“It’s faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

So next time you face a task, take a moment, take a step back and think of how you can be enthusiastic about it, think about the “Why”.  What are you enthusiastic about in life? How will this small task help that “big idea”?

Use enthusiasm in your daily ‘hum-drum’ life and it won’t be so hum-drum, you’ll enjoy it more.

Enthusiasm is something you have when you found or decided that you have found you true calling, your purpose, your joy.

%d bloggers like this: