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November 2005

What we are here for

I was walking into the local grocery store today when I saw two, lovely, older ladies getting out of a car. It seemed to be a mother and daughter both beyond retirement age. It touched my heart to see how gently the daughter helped her mother to her feet, held her arm, and guided her steps as they both walked to the store's entrance. I felt my soul grow brighter as I watched this scene of tenderness, caring, and love. It made me smile to think that this loving bond had lasted well over seventy years and was still going strong.

I waited until both of these beautiful souls got to the door and then held it open for them to go through. It delighted me when the mother turned her tiny, smiling face to me and said, "Why thank you young man." I could see from the surprised sparkle in her eyes that she hadn't expected this tiny act of kindness and help. As I smiled back at her, though, I could see that she and her daughter had done a far kinder and more helpful act for me. They had shown me again what life is truly all about. It is about loving each other, caring for each other, sharing joy with each other, and helping each other from the second of our first breath until the moment of our last sigh.

God put us in this world to love each other just as He loves us. To do anything else is to stray from our purpose and invite misery and unhappiness into our lives. We are here to love everyone be it the family, friends, strangers, or even enemies. We are here to show and share that love with every smile we give, encouraging word we say, or kind act we do. Sometimes it is the easiest thing in the world to do and at other times it is the most difficult. Still, it is what we are here for and what we are made for. May we all follow those wonderful, old ladies' example and joyously show our love for each other unconditionally.


Understanding People

“No one ever understands me!” Many complain thus. Only a weak mind would wail like this! For, no one with mental toughness would moan like this! On the contrary, they claim that they understand the others around them.

This is applicable even to couples. Many couples live like enemies under one roof, because of a lack of understanding.

In everyone’s mind, there is a map of how others should be. We create pictures based on this map — how to laugh when happy, how to cry when sad, how to behave when angry... The answers to these are well defined in everyone’s minds.

We constantly try to view others in terms of our maps. If someone does not fit the image, we get upset. The question however is, should the map fit the territory or should the territory fit the map?

Here is an example.

A wife had the notion that speaking aloud was tantamount to showing disrespect to others. Her husband, from a different culture, felt that speaking aloud on an important issue would draw attention to the point being talked about.

What would be the result of this difference in perceptions?

Whenever the husband wanted to emphasize what he was saying, he would raise his voice. The wife would consider this as disrespect and move away. According to the husband, walking away from a discussion was disrespectful to others. So he would raise his voice still further and say, “Listen to what I have to say before you go!”

Just consider for a second, what would happen if the reactions were violent?

An ordinary conversation between the two would create a great rift between them.

Another example.

A wife was brought up in a culture in which the word ‘goose’ was a term of endearment. She liberally called her husband ‘goose’, meaning ‘darling’ or ‘sweetheart’.

The husband, from a different culture, viewed this as an insult. While studying in school, he had been branded as an ‘goose’ for no fault of his. This lingering insult surfaced whenever his wife addressed him thus.

Again consider for a second, what would happen if the reactions were violent!

When you converse with another, particularly while dealing with a problem, do not look at the literal meaning of the word spoken. Doubly check how the spoken word is understood by the spouse. There is a tantrum trigger in everyone.

Let your experience guide you. Please understand, each word triggers a subjective meaning in an individual. This subjective meaning depends on one’s own background. Be sensitive to others.

Check out this incident.

A Saint was delivering a discourse. During his discourse, he asked one of his favorite disciples, “Krishna, has it got in?” (he meant, had the student understood the lecture).

Krishna, whose attention had been diverted by a rat entering a hole in the wall, answered, “All except the tail has got in.”


Struggle & Victory

Many of us have a high regard for Japanese products. They are sold all over the world. Many American and European companies fear the invasion of Japanese products in their markets. Let us take the example of Honda, a leading automobile manufacturer.

In the centre of this company, we find the perseverance of an ordinary Japanese man named Honda. Honda was a simple person. He wanted to design a new type of piston to improve the performance of cars. He was sure his attempt would yield path-breaking results. He offered his designs to Toyota. The engineers turned him down even without meeting him. But he did not lose heart.

His repeated attempts to meet Toyota engineers finally succeeded – but they only ridiculed him. But he did not lose heart and put in a lot of effort to convince them. Finally he obtained an order to supply pistons to Toyota.

Honda invested all his resources – money, materials, knowledge, hard work as capital and constructed a plant to produce pistons.

Suddenly, there was an earthquake in Japan that destroyed his factory. Yet, Honda had faith in his own ability. Once again, he started construction.

Just when it was ready and production was to begin, World War II broke out. Bombs rained on Japan, and most of the country was devastated. So was Honda's factory.

Although Honda lost his factory, property, wealth and friends, he did not lose his self-confidence. He continued his efforts and began to construct his factory for the third time.

Today, the Honda Car Company produces and sells more cars than Toyota.

Honda is not only an example of “perseverance”, it has also added honor to concept.

Most of us wilt when we face minor setbacks. We back out when problems recur. Successful people are always a part of a solution, not victims of problems. This is seen clearly from the life of Honda.

Einstein was dismissed from school with a remark that he was a dullard. Had he given up then, the world would never have known the greatest scientist of all times.

Norma Jean Baker was a young girl who aspired to be a model. The modelling company rejected her. She was offered the post of a clerk.

If she had buried her dreams of becoming a model, a wonderful film artiste called Marilyn Monroe would never have become the dream girl of thousands.

Music was the very life-breath for Beethoven. His hearing was impaired. At the age of 46, it became worse and finally he turned totally deaf.

For a great musician, nothing could be more devastating than this impediment.

An ordinary person would have been very distressed but Beethoven overcame the handicap.

He created great compositions including five rare symphonies.

A newspaper owner told a young artist to pursue any vocation but art because he did not possess creative ideas.

However, the young artist went on to build the Walt Disney empire through his original idea of Mickey Mouse.

In 1962, the Decca Recording Company turned down the work of the Beatles. The Beatles turned out to be great singers. “We will succeed” – this desire should burn like an ember within us.

The ember of enthusiasm should never be put off.

In order to reach the peak of success, it is only natural that one has to overcome many impediments.

Just as mountaineers face obstacles like stones, thorns, wild beasts, cold, snowstorms along the way, one has to face difficulties while progressing towards success.

If one gets disheartened and withdraws from pursuits, the joy of success will not be attainable.


Power of Personal Charisma

By: Brian Tracy

Become An Irresistible Person

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines charisma as “a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure.”

Develop Personal Magnetism
Charisma is also that special quality of magnetism that each person has and that each person uses to a certain degree. You have a special charisma to the people who look up to you, who respect and admire you, the members of your family and your friends and coworkers. Whenever and wherever a person feels a positive emotion toward another, he imbues that person with charisma, or attractiveness.

Project Yourself Positively
In trying to explain charisma, some people speak of an “aura.” This aura is a light that is invisible to most people, but not to everyone, and that radiates out from a person and affects the people around that person in a positive or negative way. The halo around the heads of saints and mystics in many religious paintings was the artist’s attempt to depict the light that people reported seeing around the heads of these men and women when they were speaking or praying, or in an intense emotional state.

Control The Impression You Make
You also have an aura around you that most people cannot see but that is there, nevertheless. This aura affects the way people react and respond to you, either positively or negatively. There is a lot that you can do, and a lot of good reasons for you to do it, to control this aura and make it work in your best interests.

Sell Your Way To The Top
If you’re in sales, this aura, reflecting your level of charisma, can have a major impact on the way your prospects and customers treat you and deal with you. Top salespeople seem to be far more successful than the average salespeople in getting along with their customers. They’re always more welcome, more positively received and more trusted than the others. They sell more, and they sell more easily. They make a better living, and they build better lives. Salespeople with charisma get far more pleasure out of their work and suffer far less from stress and rejection. The charismatic salesperson is almost invariably a top performer in his field and enjoys all the rewards that go with superior sales.

Influence People Around You
If you’re in business, developing greater charisma can help you tremendously in working with your staff, your suppliers, your bankers, your customers and everyone else upon whom you depend for your success. People seem naturally drawn to those who possess charisma.

They want to help them and support them. When you have charisma, people will open doors for you and bring you opportunities that otherwise would not have been available to you.

Enhance Your Personal Relationships
In your personal relationships, the quality of charisma can make your life more joyous, happier. People will naturally want to be around you. Members of your family and your friends will be far happier in your company, and you will have a greater influence on them, causing them to feel better about themselves and to do better at the important things in their lives.

Action Exercises
First, identify the people with whom you seem to have a lot of charisma - the people who know you, like you, respect you the most. How could you increase your charisma with these people?

Second, identify the people who have charisma to you, the people you most like and respect and admire. What is there about them that you could copy or emulate?
If you think charisma, you’ll have more of it.


Conversation with God

God: Hello, did you call me?

Me: Called you? No, who is this?

God: This is GOD. I heard your prayers so I thought I will chat.

Me: I do pray. It just makes me feel good. I am actually busy now. I'm in the  midst of something... Life has become hectic. It's rush hour all the time.

God: Well I want to resolve your fight for time, by giving you some clarity.

Me: Tell me, why has life become so complicated now?

God: Stop analyzing life. Just live it. Analysis is what makes it complicated.

Me: Why are we then constantly unhappy?

God: Your today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. You are worrying because you are analyzing. Worrying has become your habit. That's why you are not happy.

Me: But how can we not worry when there is so much uncertainty?

God: Uncertainty is inevitable but worrying is optional.

Me: But then there is so much pain due to uncertainty.

God: Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.

Me: If suffering is optional, why do good people always suffer?

God: Diamond cannot be polished without friction.Gold cannot be purified without fire. Good people go through trials but don't suffer. With that experience, their life becomes better not bitter.

Me: You mean to say such experience is useful?

God: Yes in every term. Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the
test first, and the lessons afterwards.

Me: But still, why should we go through such tests? Why can't we be free from problems?

God: Problems are Purposeful Roadblocks Offering Beneficial Lessons to Enhance Mental Strength. Inner strength comes from struggle and endurance, not when you are free from problems.

Me: In tough times how do you stay motivated?

God: Always look at how far you have come rather than how far you
have to go. Always count your blessings not what you are missing.

Me: What surprises you about people?

God: When they suffer they ask "Why me?" When they prosper they never ask "Why me?" Everyone wishes to have truth on their side but few want to be on the side of the truth.

Me: How can I get the best out of life?

God: Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence.
Prepare for the future without fear.

Me: One last question. Sometimes I feel that my prayers are not answered.

God: There are no unanswered prayers, at times the answer is no.

Me: Thank you for this wonderful chat. I am so happyto start this
day with a new sense of inspiration.

God: Well keep the faith, and drop the fear. Don't believe your doubts and doubt your beliefs. Life is a mystery to solve not a problem to resolve.

Trust me, life is wonderful if you know how to live.

Best wishes for a good cause.


Committing to the Commitment

At the age of 67, Thomas Edison watched as fire destroyed much of his work and equipment.  Time to retire?  Time to hang up the lab coat?

No way.

"All our mistakes are burned up," the inventor said.  "Now we can start anew."

There is a time to retire, but Edison knew his time hadn't come. The fire that consumed his work didn't destroy the fire that burned within him to continue his work.  Edison's commitment remained.

People tend to associate commitment with emotions.  If they feel the right way, then they can follow through on their commitments. But true commitment doesn't work that way.  Commitment is not an emotion; it's a character quality that enables us to reach our goals.

Emotions go up and down all the time, but commitment must remain rock solid.  A solid team - whether it's in business, sports, marriage or a volunteer organization - must have team players who are solidly committed to the team.

Let's look at four things every team player needs to know about being committed:

1. Commitment is usually discovered in the midst of adversity.

You never know the level of your commitment or that of a team player until things get tough.  Every one of us could stay committed to a marriage if everything was always good.  Every one of us could stay committed to good health as long as we were healthy.  The trick is to stay committed to the commitment when the economy takes a turn for the worse or when you lose your biggest account or when your plant burns to the ground.

Commitment, because it is a character trait, is revealed, not built, by adversity.

2. Commitment does not depend on gifts and abilities.

Commitment and talent, I have found, are unconnected.  Many very talented people lack commitment.  Many people who lack skills and talent are tremendously committed.  So if you find somebody who's extremely talented, there is no guarantee that there is a high level of commitment.

For this reason, it becomes a great day when we connect talent with commitment - for ourselves and for those on the teams we lead.  The moment that happens, the team goes to a whole new level.

3. Commitment results from choices, not conditions.

In writing about choices, Frederic Flach notes that most people look back on their lives and point to a specific time and place that marks a significant life change.  "Whether by accident or design," Flach writes, "there are the moments when, because of a readiness within us and a collaboration with events occurring around us, we are forced to seriously reappraise ourselves and the conditions under which we live and to make certain choices that will affect the rest of our lives."

Our commitment springs from those choices.

4. Commitment lasts when it is based on values.

Establishing commitment from a team is a critical piece of leadership, but leaders I work with are equally concerned about sustaining that commitment.

I've found the only way to sustain commitment is to link it with the personal values of an individual.  Once your commitment is based on your values, you have no problem sustaining it.  Values are what drive your choices; they transcend your talents and skills and they stand up under the tests of adversity.

Commitment based on something other than solid values usually is a house of cards; when the wind kicks up, the house comes down.

This article is used by permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell’s free monthly e-newsletter "Leadership Wired" available at http://www.injoy.com.


Great Quotes!!!

"What we do on some great occasions will probably depend upon what we already are, and what we are will be the result of previous years of self-discipline."
- H.P. Liddon

"Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself."
- Abraham J. Heschel

"Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work.  But if you're not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were."
- David Rockefeller

"Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it."
- Colin Powell

"Never do a wrong thing to make a friend or to keep one."
- Robert E. Lee


Understanding People

by John C. Maxwell

Successful leadership is about 90 percent people knowledge and 10 percent product knowledge. Henry Ford once said, "You can take my factories, burn up my buildings, but give me my people and I’ll build the business right back again."

You can have strong people skills and not be a good leader, but you cannot be a good leader without people skills. In my thirty plus years of leadership, I’ve discovered that many people in leadership positions fail to ever gain a proper understanding of the people they lead. As a result, neither they nor their people ever reach their potential.

But successful leaders are able to discern the needs of their people instinctively, then take action to meet them. The following is a list of the most common needs of people and how to meet them effectively. Though every item may not be true of the people you lead, take the time to determine what items do describe them. Then commit to take the proper action to put you and your people on the road to success.

1. PEOPLE LIKE TO FEEL SPECIAL... COMPLIMENT THEM
The highest compliment a person can receive is one given by his or her leader. Mark Twain said, "One compliment can keep me going for a whole month." Take the time to notice your people’s work and don’t hesitate to tell them when they’ve done a good job. Make a habit of being generous and sincere with your compliments.

2. PEOPLE LOOK FOR A BETTER TOMORROW... GIVE THEM HOPE
Jean Kerr said, "Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have isn’t permanent." In other words, when your people are having trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, remind them of the purpose of their work and help them envision what their work will accomplish. With hope your people will work harder and longer to see a task through to completion.

3. PEOPLE NEED TO BE UNDERSTOOD... LISTEN TO THEM
Every leader would be wise to heed the Cherokee saying: "Listen to the whispers and you won’t have to hear the screams." Don’t judge what your people want to tell you before they’ve told you. Take time to understand their point of view and listen to their suggestions. It’s the best way to ensure that they’ve been listening to you and it opens the door to innovative ideas for improvement.

4. PEOPLE LACK DIRECTION... NAVIGATE FOR THEM
Don Herald said, "Unhappiness is not knowing what we want and killing ourselves to get it." Part of your job as a leader is to help your people figure out what they’re most passionate about, then help them pursue it. Sometimes that may involve a position change within your organization or even allowing a person to pursue another opportunity. But when you understand that effectiveness comes as a result of surrounding yourself with people who love what they do, it’s not difficult to let a person go who doesn’t enjoy their work. Spend your best time developing and giving direction to those who are passionate about the work your organization is accomplishing.

Tom Peters said, "Techniques don’t produce quality products or pick up the garbage on time; people do, people who care, people who are treated as creatively contributing adults." Before you ask anything of your people, make sure you’ve taken the time to understand and meet their needs. In doing so, you will give yourself a decided edge in maintaining their continued support.

This article is used by permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell’s free monthly e-newsletter "Leadership Wired" available at http://www.injoy.com/">www.injoy.com.


Your Subconscious mind!

"The power to move the world is in the subconscious mind."

-- William James

Our subconscious mind creates our lives perfectly according to how it has been programmed. It works 24 hours of every day, 365 days per year. It accepts instructions from the conscious mind, checks on old inner programming and executes.

The subconscious mind acts on old beliefs stored over a lifetime. Many of those beliefs you may have accepted without thinking. Or you may have absorbed them when you were too young to exercise choice. Many of the beliefs that govern your life may no longer match what you now hold to be true.

Nonetheless, the subconscious mind is the director till you rewrite the scripts. Put some effort into getting it working on your positive, conscious intentions instead of your old limiting, unconscious beliefs and your life will change.

"If a man devotes himself to the instructions of his own unconscious, it can bestow this gift [of renewal], so that suddenly life, which has been stale and dull, turns into a rich unending inner adventure, full of creative possibilities."

-- Marie-Louise von Franz


Its Okay to Dream!

“Don’t discard your fantasies as merely wishful thinking. Honor them as messages from the deepest part of your being about what you can do and directions you can choose.” -- Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer

What are your deepest heart-felt desires, dreams and visions?

Our deepest desires and dreams align with the essence of who we are. The more we align with that essence, the more our life holds meaning, purpose and fulfilment.

Do you have a sense of your destiny?

"Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born." -- Dale E. Turner

“Everybody builds a dream in their lifetime. You’re either going to build your dream, or somebody else's. So build your own!" -- Christopher LaBrec


Travel light: JC Maxwell

Hi Winners,

This is a phenomenal article from JC Maxwell. Just shed the baggage and move on. You will understand what I am saying after you are done reading this!

Cheers,

Karthik

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TRAVEL LIGHT

BY JOHN C. MAXWELL

One of the first international trips my wife, Margaret, and I took together was to Japan. When we were choosing luggage for our journey, we decided to get the biggest suitcases we could find. It seemed like a logical idea at the time—after all, the bigger the suitcase, the more we could pack in it.

Unfortunately, while we were packing, it never once occurred to me that we were going to have to carry those bags wherever we went. Now, if you know anything at all about Japan, you know that traveling by rail is often the best way to get around there. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time lugging our suitcases in and out of train stations. I remember going to one particular depot with two bags that were as big as me, both stuffed nearly to bursting. I was struggling to get to the train with my suitcases, Margaret was struggling down the street with hers, and neither of us was very happy about the whole situation.

Finally, I'd had enough. I stopped right where I was, put the suitcases down and said, "Margaret, anyone who can carry these suitcases can have them! I'm just going to leave them right here. I'm not carrying them anymore."

That little incident, which my sweet wife and I jokingly say is closest we ever came to getting divorced, taught us a valuable lesson: Travel light.

Margaret and I learned this lesson so well that, on subsequent trips, we've literally gone out of the country with nothing but our carry-on luggage. In addition to preserving our marital bliss, traveling light alleviates the stress of keeping track of numerous bags, saves time previously spent waiting around at airport baggage claims and keeps us from getting worn out before we ever get to our destination. On top of all that, it doesn't take us nearly as long to unpack once we get home.

As helpful as it is to travel light on a business trip or vacation, it's even more critical to travel light through life. Let me explain what I mean. Many people go through life with far too much emotional baggage. They didn't necessarily intend to fill the biggest bags they could find with their personal junk, but along the way, they've somehow managed to collect quite a stash. A chip on the shoulder here; an ugly batch of pent-up anger there. Ten years' worth of hurt feelings here; three decades of rejection there. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture.

Sadly, these individuals fail to realize the damage their excess baggage is inflicting on themselves and others. For example, a recent survey indicated that people with emotional problems are 144 percent more likely to have automobile accidents than those who do not have such problems. In addition, one of the study's most sobering findings was that one out of every five victims of fatal accidents had quarreled with someone in the six hours before the accident.

This is why it's so important to practice what I call "keeping short accounts." When you keep a short account, you ask for forgiveness quickly when you hurt someone. When you treat someone badly, you make it right as soon as possible. You don't hold grudges. You don't go to bed angry. You don't allow your own injured feelings to fester into bitterness or resentment.

The importance of keeping short accounts really hit home with me when I had a heart attack several years ago. As I lay there, honestly not knowing if I was going to live or die, I felt a tremendous amount of peace because I knew my relational ledger was clean. Ironically, the thought that kept coming to my mind during those first tense hours was, "I don't have to call anybody on the phone." It was true. I didn't have to make any last-ditch apologies or ninth-hour requests for forgiveness because I had made an intentional effort to travel light through life.

From a practical standpoint, traveling light means that I have to ask somebody to forgive me almost every day. It means that I often have to sit down with Margaret and say, "I'm sorry for using that tone of voice; I was wrong." It means that I have to initiate reconciliation with people who have offended me, not wait for them to make the first move.

None of this is easy. It's often humbling and hard on my ego. And yet, the alternative is much worse. Failing to travel light blurs your focus on what really matters and impairs your ability to live and lead effectively. So if you're carrying a bunch of excess baggage, get rid of it. Write a letter. Make a phone call. Do whatever you need to do.

Just do it now. You've got more important things to do than cart around unnecessary—and potentially life-threatening—luggage for the rest of your life.

"This article is used by permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell's free monthly e-newsletter 'Leadership Wired' available at www.MaximumImpact.com."


Great Quotes

"There are only three kinds of people in the world -- those who are immovable, those who are movable, and those who move them."- Li Hung Chang, Chinese leader

"Success is knowing my purpose in life, growing to my maximum potential and sowing seeds that benefit others."- John Maxwell

"We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give."
- Winston Churchill

"Wealth, like happiness, is never attained when sought after directly.  It always comes as a by-product of providing a useful service."
- Henry Ford

"Nothing fails quite so totally as success without God."
- Vic Pentz

"Don't confuse success with significance.  Madonna is one, and Helen Keller is the other."
- Erma Bombeck

"If there had been no fear of failure, neither would there be any joy in success."
- Paul Tournier

_________________________________________________________________

"This article is used by permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell's free monthly e-newsletter
'Leadership Wired' available at www.INJOY.com."


Quote of the day!

"Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen."
- Peter Marshall

"All worthwhile men have good thoughts, good ideas, and good intentions, but precious few of them ever translate those into  action."
- John Hancock Fields


Just do it

"Everyone who has ever taken a shower has had an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off, and does something about it that makes a difference."

-- Nolan Bushnell

Creativity and intuition are meaningless unless you put the ideas that arise into action. We must make some effort to do things differently or to do different things, or our lives remain the same.

"People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives."

-- J. Michael Straczynski


Goal setting

Setting Your Goals
By: Brian Tracy

In my conversations with hundreds of top salespeople over the years, I have found that they all have one thing in common. They have taken the time to sit down and create a clear blueprint for themselves and their future lives. Even if they started the process of goal setting and personal strategic planning with a little skepticism, every one of them has become a true believer.

Becoming A True Believer
Every one of them has been amazed at the incredible power of goal setting and strategic planning. Every one of them has accomplished far more than they ever believed possible in selling and they ascribe their success to the deliberate process of thinking through every aspect of their work and their lives, and then developing a detailed, written road map to get them to where they wanted to go.

The Definition of Happiness
Happiness has been defined as, "The progressive achievement of a worthy ideal, or goal." When you are working progressively, step-by-step toward something that is important to you, you generate within yourself a continuous feeling of success and achievement. You feel more positive and motivated. You feel more in control of your own life. You feel happier and more fulfilled. You feel like a winner, and you soon develop the psychological momentum that enables you to overcome obstacles and plough through adversity as you move toward achieving the goals that are most important to you.

Determine Your Values
Personal strategic planning begins with your determining what it is you believe in and stand for-your values. Your values lie at the very core of everything you are as a human being. Your values are the unifying principles and core beliefs of your personality and your character. The virtues and qualities that you stand for are what constitute the person you have become from the beginning of your life to this moment. Your values, virtues and inner beliefs are the axle around which the wheel of your life turns. All improvement in your life begins with your clarifying your true values and then committing yourself to live consistent with them.

Fuzzy or Clear?
Successful people are successful because they are very clear about their values. Unsuccessful people are fuzzy or unsure. Complete failures have no real values at all.

Build Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem
Values clarification is the beginning exercise in building self-confidence, self-esteem and personal character. When you take the time to think through your fundamental values, and then commit yourself to living your life consistent with them, you feel a surge of mental strength and well-being. You feel stronger and more capable. You feel more centered in the universe and more competent of accomplishing the goals you set for yourself.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, decide for yourself what makes you truly ha ppy and then organize your life around it. Write down your goals and make plans to achieve them.

Second, begin with your values by deciding what it is you stand for and believe in. Commit yourself to live consistent with your inner most convictions - and you'll never make another mistake.


You deserve to be Happy

You Deserve To Be Happy
By: Brian Tracy

Achieving your own happiness is the best measure of how well you are living your life and enjoying your relationships. You can learn how to be happier and more fulfilled in everything you do.

Everyone Is Different
Happiness in life is like a smorgasbord. If 100 people went to a smorgasbord and each put food on their plate in the quantity and mix that each felt would be most pleasing to him, every plate would be different. Even a husband and wife would go up to the smorgasbord and come back with plates that looked completely different. Happiness is the same way. Each person requires a particular combination of those ingredients to feel the very best about himself or herself.

Listen To Your Heart
And your mix is changing continually. If you went to the same smorgasbord every day for a year, you probably would come back with a different plateful of food each time. Each day-sometimes each hour-only you can tell what it takes to make you happy. Therefore, the only way to judge whether a job, a relationship, an investment, or any decision, is right for you is to get in touch with your feelings and listen to your heart.

Be True To Yourself
You’re true to yourself only when you follow your inner light, when you listen to what Ralph Waldo Emerson called the “still, small voice within.” You’re being the very best person you can be only when you have the courage and the fortitude to allow your definition of happiness, whatever it may be, to be the guiding light of every part of your life.

There Are No Limits
A very important point on the subject of happiness is whether or not you feel that you “deserve” to be happy.

Accept the notion that you deserve all the happiness you can honestly attain through the application of your talents and abilities. The more you like and respect yourself, the more deserving you will feel of the good things in life. And the more deserving you feel, the more likely you will attain and hold on to the happiness you are working toward.

Make Happiness Your Key Measure
You should make happiness the organizing principle of your life. Compare every possible action and decision you make against your standard of happiness to see whether that action would make you happier or unhappier. Soon, you will discover that almost all of the problems in your life come from choices that you have made - or are currently making - that do not contribute to your happiness.

Pay The Price
Of course, there are countless times when you will have to do little things that don’t make you happy along the way toward those larger things that make you very happy indeed. We call this paying the price of success in advance. You must pay your dues.
Sometimes these interim steps don’t make you happy directly, but the happiness you achieve from attaining your goal will be so great that it totally overwhelms the temporary inconveniences and dissatisfactions you have to endure in order to get there.

Action Exercises
Here are three steps you can take immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, accept that you deserve all the joy and happiness you can possibly achieve through your own efforts.

Second, make your own happiness the chief organizing principle of your life and judge everything against that standard.

Third, be willing to work hard and pay the price for the satisfaction and rewards you desire. Always go the extra mile and your success will be assured.


Get out of your comfort zone

"When coasting in our comfort zones, we don't grow. We continue to do more of the same.... Maintaining a comfort zone can, paradoxically, lead to discomfort in the long run. If by being comfortable we avoid important life issues, internal tension accumulates.... Eventually, as both internal and external pressures for change persist, the ‘comfort zone’ ceases to serve us."

-- Eric Allenbaugh

It takes effort to change. What do you most want to change in your life? Make a list of what you can do to start the process. Try journaling, perhaps. Read books. Take a course. Find a mentor. Seek out support.

How will you commit time to make it happen? When are you going to start? Your life is passing quickly!

"Be not afraid of changing slowly; be afraid only of standing still."

-- Chinese Proverb


Imagination

"The man who has no imagination has no wings."

-- Muhammad Ali

Imagination is a tool of the soul. Our imagination gives us the opportunity to 'try on' new qualities and perspectives in our life. Through imagination, we can explore our past, problems, patterns, processes, plans, perceptions, principles, passions and purpose to uncover new possibilities.

Without imagination, we stay stuck in the realm of the material, the past, the superficial and the literal. We remain one-tracked, instinctual and one-dimensional.

Our imagination comes from the soul, subconscious and senses. Only through our imagination can we become multidimensional, experience more love, create more beauty, manifest more results, change our conditions, rewrite the past, and connect with divinity, purpose and others.

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'"

-- George Bernard Shaw

"Reason can answer questions, but imagination has to ask them."

-- Ralph Gerard


Your Life's Purpose

50 Questïons To Help You Find Your Life’s Purpose – By Lance Beggs ***
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Let’s get straight into it!

If you want to live a happy life, then you MUST spend some time deciding what you want to do with your life, and then make the effort to live that life with passion.

It’s up to you!

No one else is going to do it for you.

So, take some time out from your busy day-to-day routine, and consider the following questïons.

1. What is my life’s purpose?

2. If I had to take a best guess at my life’s purpose, what would it  be?

3. Who am I?

4. What is the most important thing in my life?

5. What do I love to do, more than anything else?

6. If I had only six months left to live, what would I like to achieve?

7. What would I like to leave the world, as my legacy?

8. What would I do with my life, if I knew I could not fail?

9. If monëy, or time, or current responsibilities were not an issue, what would I like to do with my life, more than anything else in the world?

10. What activities have I discovered that give me the most pleasure?

11. What do I still want to learn?

12. When I was a child, what did I dream of doing with my life?

13. What has been the greatest challenge that I have overcome so far in  my life? Could I help other people to overcome that same challenge?

14. What challenge would I love to overcome, and then help others achieve the same?

15. Who are the people I most admire?

16. Why do I admire these people?

17. How would I define their life’s purpose?

18. What qualities do these people possess that I’d also like to be  known for?

19. What is the biggest dream I have ever had for my life?

20. What subjects did I enjoy most in school?

21. What sport have I most enjoyed?

22. What art or craft have I most enjoyed?

23. What social activity have I most enjoyed?

24. What hobbies have I pursued?

25. What hobbies do I wish I had pursued?

26. What would I like to do, if only other people didn’t think it was silly?

27. Where in the world would I most like to live?

28. Who would I like to live there with?

29. Where in the world would I like to work?

30. Who would I most like to work with?

31. What would my perfect day be like?

32. Is there a spiritual side to me, waiting to be unleashed?

33. What would I like to do, RIGHT NÖW, which would bring me the most happiness or pleasure?

34. What special gift do I have that I could give to the world?

35. What makes me cry with joy, or brings tears to my eyes?

36. What would I like to do this weekend, just for fun?

37. If I could be granted the power to change the world, what would I  do?

38. If I were given three wishes, what would they be?

39. What is something that scares me a bit, but would be really  exciting if I did it?

40. What does my heart say I am to do with my life?

41. What qualities do I possess that I am really proud of?

42. What have I done in my life that I am really proud of?

43. If I had time available to contribute to a charity, or some cause,what would it be?

44. What am I usually doing when I suddenly realise that time has flown by, and all my focus has been on that one task?

45. What do I want to do on my next vacation?

46. Who in history would I most love to be, and why?

47. What do I most regret not doing, so far in my life?

48. At the end of my life, what would I most regret not having done?

49. What is my life’s purpose?

50. If I had to take a best guess at my life’s purpose, and just get started with something that excites me, what would it be?

Ponder these questïons for a while. Pick out one that you can reallyrelate to, and ask yourself the question over and over and over, until you have an answer.

The answers are within. If you ask, you will receive your answer.

You can live a life of purpose. You can live a life of passion and success! Ask, until you get your answer. And then take massive action.It’s worth it, I promise.

Lance Beggs.

About the Author:
Lance Beggs is the author of the "How to be Happy Nöw" newsletter, and the soon to be released "How to be Happy Nöw" book. His mission is to help others live a life of meaning, love and happiness.