Saturday, December 15, 2007

Improving Your Life For Free

By Bradley Marks

You can spend a fortune looking for ways to increase the quality of your life. You can cut a big check to a plastic surgeon. You can build a new wing on your house. You can try to impress the guys at the club with your new Rolex.

Those who are looking for a slightly less garish way to get the job done can still drop big money in hopes of a little self-improvement. You see folks who eschew the consumer path to a happier life sinking their resources into guides, gurus and seminars.

Here's the deal, folks. You can start improving your life right now without spending a dime. There are plenty of free things you can do to start making life a little better. Let's look at few of them:

Smile. Smiles are free. And they have this strange ability to put you in a better mood. That's true if you're looking at them, but it's also true if you're flashing one. It's as if your mind will start to adjust to comport with your expression. Smile more.

Sleep. Nothing can drag down the quality of life quite the way sleep deprivation can. If you're not getting enough sleep, you need to make adjustments as soon as possible. You'll experience a huge upgrade in the quality of your life once you've paid off your sleep deficit.

Senses. We all have a series of senses. Appreciate them. Think about them as you use them. Enjoy the taste of the mustard (or mayo, for that matter) on your sandwich. Appreciate the beauty of vivid colors. Notice the way the wind really feels on face as you walk outside. Experience your senses. Don't just let them "run in the background". You'll feel more alive when you do.

Sunlight. Get outside. The body likes it. In fact, it needs it. You don't need to roast yourself to a crisp on the beach, just get a little sunlight every day. Make a point of it. You'll start to notice a difference, especially if you approach that outdoor time with the aforementioned sensory mindfulness.

Those are just four examples of the free ways you can start improving your life immediately. And they're just the tip of a very big iceberg. There's nothing inherently wrong about spending a few bucks to learn something new and potentially powerful. Just remember that there are a few ways to make a difference on the cheap, too.

Are you ready to learn more about improving your life? There is a wealth of insight and perspective available. We are talking about potentially life-changing information!

If you are ready to get started, I wholeheartedly recommend that you look at this site. I know you will be glad you did:

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Prerequisites for Becoming a Life Coach

If we really want to help people regardless of our credentials whether as a psychologist, counselor, life coach, doctor or friend we will need to as much as possible embody the following (we are using the word subject in the place of the words patient or client):

1. Care for the other and sincerely desire to help him or her. The subject will feel if we really care or not.

2. Accept whatever we hear and have an open mind. We must be able to hear that the other has murdered someone without judging him. The degree to which the other can open himself is dependent on how accepting he perceives us.

3. See what others call evil as weakness and ignorance and fear rather than as evil. Ignorance and misinterpretation of our true nature leads to a wide variety of ego-centered and often destructive behaviors.

4. Study and understand the functioning of the mind by observing ourselves and others and by studying what already has been discovered by the sciences of psychology, sociology, philosophy and religion.

5. Keep clearly in mind that our work is to reconnect him/her with inner strength and guidance, not make him/her dependent on us.

6. Be open to the unique ways in which each individual grows and heals himself. Do not be so caught up in systems or labels or specific procedures or in what you know, so that you cannot respond to this unique individual in his/her own specific way.

7. Employ only the techniques that you yourself have experienced a number of times. Only then can you really understand this technique and know when to use it and how to handle any crises which may be provoked by it.

8. Practice what you teach. Although this role does not allow us to teach, we occasionally do so through our behavior or attitudes, or by making suggestions or expressing perceptions or life philosophies. We, ourselves should live these ideals that we are expressing.

9. Be simple, honest, humble and admit when you do not know the answer, or feel confused or cannot help.

10. Be ready to give time and energy even without payment when necessary. Supporting another human being who is in need is not a product to be sold.

11. Learn to be sensitive as to when to push the subject towards discovering or breaking through and when to give him space to prepare himself/herself, or live in his/her illusory security. This sensitivity must also be learned in relationship to our own personal process.

12. Keep up your own evolutionary self-knowledge process in ways which suit you.

13. Become very proficient in active listening as this is the backbone of this whole system.

14. Know all the techniques well, or do not use them.

15. Refer the client to others when you cannot help, either because you do not have enough time to help properly, or you cannot be objective with this person, or when the problem is beyond your ability to help.

16. Never interfere in the persons private life, suggesting that he/she should get divorced or leave his/her family or get an abortion. Just support him/her in choosing from his/her own options, without projecting your own needs or feelings.

17. Keep total confidentiality - secrecy concerning whatever others share with you.

18. Those who are spiritually oriented may want to pray for guidance in every word and action, so that our every move shall be for the others benefit and not for our affirmation or security.

Perhaps you would like to add other prerequisites that come to your mind and send them to us.

Robert E. Najemy, author of 25 books and life coach with 30 years of experience, has trained over 300 life coaches and now does so over the Internet. Become a life coach. Over 600 free article and lectures at

Monday, November 12, 2007

Don't Be A Perfectionist

Dont Be A Perfectionist
by Allison Whitehead

We all want to be successful in our chosen career, especially if this involves a business we have set up ourselves.

Working for yourself can easily mean an increased workload the word delegation is not part of your vocabulary if you are self-employed and on your own. It is natural, therefore, to push yourself to (and beyond) the limits to satisfy your customers, meet new orders and get each job finished on time and to the highest standard.

However, there is a big difference between wanting to succeed and do well in business, and becoming obsessed with total perfection. Nobody likes to fail, but when a healthy dislike of failure becomes an all-consuming fear, you and your business are likely to suffer as a result.

Due to these perfectionist tendencies, there are many people who are not as successful in business as they might otherwise be and it is all due to their frame of mind.

So how can you avoid becoming a perfectionist?

One of the most important things to remember is how to spot the early signs which could mean you are setting your sights much too high for anyone to reach.

Allow me to give you a personal example. When I first started to write, I used to get very depressed and self critical when a piece of work was rejected. I felt as if the rejection was a personal one as if the person who returned my work had actually told me I wasnt good enough, rather than just my work. Sometimes it would be weeks before I could pick up a pen again, so strong was the fear of failure.

Eventually I came to realise I was failing myself. Nobody likes to be rejected in work or otherwise yet continually playing safe leads to a stagnant life and dwindling opportunities for success and advancement.

Once I had found new determination, I began to see my rejections as part of the learning process, rather than seeing them as failures. They were part of the journey towards my goal of being published regularly, and as such were hugely important. In time, acceptances began to outnumber rejections, and I became more confident in my work. I had changed my focus, and as soon as I stopped being hard on myself and focused on my end goal, rather than on each stumble I made along the way, I got better at what I was doing. My frame of mind changed when I stopped trying to attain perfection, and I started to analyse my rejections to improve my work the next time round.

Some people have perfectionist tendencies in them by nature, yet they can easily develop in any of us. This is especially true if you are in the early stages of setting up your own business. In this situation, it is quite likely that you will have invested money in your new venture. You will want to make sure your money works for you in establishing your own business.

It makes sense to want to produce the best work possible, yet you should always be aware of when to stop. This is the essential difference between the person who achieves success and the person who does not.

Lets say, for example, that you are in the business of making furniture. In that case, you could have a checklist of all the points and stages which need to be fulfilled and completed before the item of furniture can be considered finished.

Once you have ticked off every item, the work is finished. Full stop. No arguing. You have to be firm with yourself.

The person who is always obsessed with trying to attain that unattainable point of perfection will continue with every job they work on, thinking that if they could spend just a little bit longer on this part or that part, they would improve the work still further. Rejection and failure lead to fewer results, fewer earnings, and missed deadlines spelling disaster for the business in question.

By breaking down a job into manageable portions, you can help to avoid what may otherwise be a daunting task. When you tackle a large project in several bite sized portions, you will be much less likely to slip into the role of the perfectionist.

This method of tackling the onset of perfectionism will also build your confidence, no matter whether your business has just started out, or has been up and running for several years. When you are able to satisfy your customers with a job well done, you will be able to say to yourself, Hey, I did a good job there. I know Im capable of doing that again. Maybe I will try branching out into another area to see how I do

And you will be setting more goals for yourself, broken down into stages, to keep your creativity and enthusiasm fresh without veering towards perfectionism in everything you do.

The successful person has more confidence in their own ability to get the job done adequately. The perfectionist, with their need to get everything done just right (and with their eye on the perfect end product, rather than breaking the job down into realistic and manageable stages), never finishes the job at all.

So what happens when things do go wrong?

Well, it doesnt mean you are a failure. We all make errors now and then and yes, sometimes they are whoppers. It can be easy to become lax in your work if you have had a good streak of success. And to prove it can happen to the best of us, I shall admit to a personal catastrophe which taught me a well earned lesson.

A few years ago, I was enjoying a particularly good run of acceptances in my work. I was breaking into many new markets and making connections which I was sure I could capitalise on, if I worked at it.

Still happy with my successes, I set about writing an article for a market which I had been contributing successfully to for quite some time. I dashed something off and sent it out the next day, still wallowing in my run of successes. It was one of those days where nothing can go wrong, no matter what you do.

But it did. My effort was (deservedly) returned with a rejection slip, and I realised how easy it can be to let your efforts slide.

Fortunately, I learned my lesson from this error. This is another important difference between the perfectionist and the person who simply wants to do their best.

The way to avoid looking on every error as a major disaster is to analyse what went wrong, and why it happened. Once you know the answers to these questions, you will be able to make sure the errors never occur again.

In this way it is possible to turn every bad event into a positive one, by discovering what can be learned from it in order to do better in the future.

There comes a time when you have to finish a piece and move on to something new. If you are one of those people who find this hard to do, you could be asking too much of yourself. Know when to let go, and your success rate will improve.

If you recognise yourself as a perfectionist, write the following proverb on a piece of paper and tack it above your desk: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

It worked for me, and it can work for you too.

About the author:

Allison Whitehead has written and published many articles on positive thinking, goal setting, and personal improvement issues. Her latest book, The 5 Secrets of Successful Goal Setting, is now available. Download your FREE PDF preview from

Friday, November 09, 2007

How To Recognize Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a devastating disease that effects millions of people every year. Recognizing alcoholism in yourself or someone else can be difficult. Alcoholism is defined as a disease that allows a persons use of alcohol to interfere with their life and the basic functioning of their daily tasks, needs and responsibilities.

The clinical way of looking at alcohol is by examining the amount of alcohol a person consumes. A women who drinks more than seven drink per week or more than three drinks a day and a man who drinks more than 14 drinks per week or four drinks in a day would be considered an alcoholic. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor.

Warning signs of alcoholism may vary form person to person. Usually though these warning signs will be obvious. The following list outlines some of these signs.

- misses a lot of work or school
- losses interest in family, friends or activities
- depression
- drinking to cope with any problem
- insomnia
- being intoxicated often
- moody
- drinking related health problems

These are some of the noticeable warning signs. More serious behaviors can also serve as a wake-up call. Risky behavior like drinking and driving should be taken seriously.

Alcohol when taken in moderation is a nice way to relax or enjoy a social engagement, where when alcohol becomes a problem it can effect everyone who is close to the alcoholic. Some things that can tell a person they may be having a problem with alcohol are:

- worry over not having alcohol or money to buy it
- hiding alcohol so others do not know you have it
- often wishing to be drunk or get drunk faster
- unable to stop drinking once started
- hearing others comment on your drinking

Alcoholism should always be taken seriously. If you or someone you know has a drinking problem professional help is available in every community. Recognizing the problem is the first step to finding a solution.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Be A Visionary Thinker And Not An Idle Dreamer

Self motivation is something many of us find hard. We know what we want but we just can't seem to get motivated to do anything about getting it. But, if you're going to get to where you want to get to, you need to be a visionary thinker and not an idle dreamer.

Too many people dream of the life they want but are unable to be any plan of action into getting that life. We all dream. Dreaming is the easy part. But how to change a dream into a vision - a vision that will propel us in to that life?

Many successful people have the ability to role-play the life they want. They may not be where they want to be, but that doesn't stop them from acting out the life they want; the life they know, one day, they'll have. The ability to do this is important. Many of us are rational thinkers, and know that we could make every aspect of our 'dreams' come true, but we take absolutely no action towards making any of them likely to happen.

We can all learn a lesson from watching children. All children learn about themselves and the life they're going to live through play. They simply play at being the person they want to be; a doctor, a teacher, a scientist, a mother. They use props around them to act out the life they going to have. They will show everyone one around them, the husband they going to marry, the car they're going to have, the new worlds they'll be the first to discover. I'm not suggesting that we all revert to playing like children, however role playing and vocalising our future will helps us. But why does acting out our dreams make an impact on our motivation?

Firstly, it helps us to feel some of the pleasure and enjoyment which the realization of our dreams will bring. It has been shown, time and again, that we are much more likely to achieve goals which trigger strong emotions in us.

Secondly, role playing implants unforgettably inspiring, vivid images in our subconscious. Even imaginary seeing is believing.

By expressing your vision, you turn your daydreaming of mixed up, meandering and unconnected images into lifelike, linked and solid visions. Your visions will be lifelike, linked and consistent; more like a believable documentary than a whimsical fairytale. The more you believe in your goals the more likely they are achieved. You can use the picture power of your imagination to fix a vivid, detailed, inspiring image of your desired future in your subconscious mind.

We can also use our visionary thinking from the past to help motivate us for the future. We can use the wisdom we have gained from our life and re-apply and re-kindle the dreams of our childhood and youth. Don't be afraid to recollect those grandiose dreams. By honestly re-experiencing the dreams and aspirations of our earlier life, we can confirm that those dreams of yesteryear are, at heart, the dreams we carry in our heart today. But now we can use our experience to find an acceptable compromise.

Robin O'Brien is founder of a website and who is pursuing a journey inner self discovery. You can visit his site to read many more self improvement articles.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Does the Law of Attraction Work?

For all your failings, and despite your many mistakes, life has picked you; it has believed in you, and it has given you a human body to explore its vast regions.

Using your will, you have sought to change the surface of your world, and time and again, you have felt despair and frustration when what you hoped to manifest either did not appear or appeared somehow diminished when it finally did show up.

Does the Law of Attraction not work?

Does it work for some and not others?

Does it work some of the time and not at other times?

Can you really create your own reality?

Let me explain.

But, first, we must understand the concept of wholeness.

The literature on this subject is exhaustiveranging from obscure references in sacred texts to the findings of physicistsconsciousness is inextricably connected with the whole and cannot be separated into parts.

The entire notion of separation is an abstraction only. For anything to exist at all, be it as obscure as a dust particle, the whole of causation is necessary.

Even the idea of an objective reality, long a tenet of science, has now been refuted by quantum mechanics.

A subatomic element can either be a particle or a wave, depending on how the experiment is measured.

In other words, the conscious intention of the observer determines what is observed.

What has this got to do with the Law of Attraction?

Pretty much everything.

You, the observer of reality, influence the quantum field, with every thought and feeling that you have.

You are always manifesting, whether you like it or not.

Most often, however, you are manifesting what you dont want and then blame it on the Law of Attraction for failing.

See, in order to change any aspect of your reality, whether it is a condition of aloneness, poverty, or illness, you have to change WHO YOU ARE and not WHAT YOU WANT.

When you are in a state of want, your vibrations are that of lack, regardless of what you may be visualizing or affirming.

Consequently, your realization comes back to you void or stripped down to a pathetic version of what you truly desired.

Thus, for example, if you are poor and need a job, and you affirm and visualize diligently, your underlying sense of lack may either give you nothing or it will give you a job that is totally unsatisfying to you.

Why does this happen?

It is because you are not vibrating your desires in a clear way.

Your emotional current, regardless of what your mind is projecting, is holding on to lack, limitation, scarcity, and negativity.

When you change WHO YOU ARE you will start getting WHAT YOU WANT.

Saleem Rana's new novel, 7 Days in The Garden of the Goddess Of Wealth answers tells you in detail how to use the law of attraction for prosperity. It also comes with software. You can find out more at

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Motivation - The Defining Moment Of Self-Improvement

For any aspect of self-improvement, there has to be a reason for you to start and keep going. That is your motivation - the reason for doing what you do. In order to attempt any sort of improvement in your life, you need to be motivated in some way to get started. Strategies for self-improvement start with defining what it is you want to achieve and then charting a course through which you can effect the improvements or changes. These do not have to be drastic changes - they could be something as simple as making time for yourself to write in a journal each day or something to improve your health, such as quitting smoking.

Motivation comes from within. It is something that you want to do for you. This is what keeps you going, getting up each day and going off to work. Children are often the motivating force behind parents saving money, when they would ordinarily blow it on something frivolous. You know that you will need money for your children's higher education or to give them the extras that they want, such as toys and brand name clothing. This is the reason that you work each day, maintain a home and spend time enjoying each other.

If you don't have something to look forward to or see some sense of gratification in what you do, then there is no motivation to get doing it. Just meeting with colleagues helps you get a sense of who you are and your place in the world. Socialization, confidence and improvement are three main aspects of life. When you enjoy life, you can be motivated to achieve great things. Achievement does not have to be something that everyone recognizes. It can be something as simple as learning to make a quilt or to use a saw to create beautiful woodwork. The end result is the feeling of accomplishment that you have in yourself.

If you need self-help information or have articles on self-help issues, visit our Self Improventment issues section for more in-depth resources. Free Article Distribution

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Embarrassment of Self Development

For a long time I yearned to improve myself; my true inner self, but something was holding me back. I made a lot of excuses back then; I didnt have time; I was too tired; I wasnt sure what direction my search should take. However, the truth was I felt embarrassed about opening myself up, especially to those close to me. All that changed when I went for a stroll along a Danish beach.

I went to Denmark for a short camping holiday. I stayed on a small island in the North Sea. It was beautiful, very peaceful; just what I was looking for. On about the third or fourth morning I went for a stroll along the beach. The beach stretched the entire length of the island, about 20km and it was about 2km wide!

After about an hour or so, I came across a young woman who was doing some type of oriental martial art. She was all by herself and seemed totally absorbed in what she was doing. Maybe this is not so strange, but what really seemed incongruous (and darn right silly to me) was that she was wielding a Samurai sword. I really did find myself thinking how silly she looked and actually became a little annoyed. My first thought was: What a poser. Did she really love herself so much she thought other people would want to see her performance with a sword? I found myself wishing she would lose her footing and fall down, and then I could say: thats what happens when you think so highly of yourself. But she didnt fall over; she kept moving, slowly and gracefully.

I continued walking along the beach. I tried to enjoy the remainder of my stroll but I kept thinking about the young woman and her sword! Why are some people such exhibitionists? I kept muttering to myself. I was no longer casually strolling along the beach, looking out to sea; I was marching, hunched over, looking at the sand beneath my shoes. I had become self-absorbed; lost in my not-too-pleasant thoughts. I was brought back to this world when I almost walked into an elderly couple. I apologised profusely. They smiled back and said not to worry; they hadnt been looking where they were going either. They were a sweet old couple, with weather beaten but healthy looking faces with open smiles. It was clear that they were very much in love with one another; they each had a hand resting on the others waist. I dont see too many elderly couples who still walk together with their arms about each and so they appeared a little odd. But what was really strange was that neither of them was wearing any clothes!

I was embarrassed, naturally. But the elderly couple werent. They were in no hurry to move on and they began to talk to me. They told me they were Danish and came often to the island. They asked where I was from and had I been before. They went on to tell me that they had been together 42 years and had 2 children. They also told me many things about themselves and asked many questions about myself. And soon, I forgot about their nakedness and felt at ease, and enjoyed our little conversation.

After a time, the old man said that they must be getting on their way and so we said our goodbyes and continued our separate walks; not once did they make any attempt to explain why they were naked. As I thought about the old couple I couldnt help but smile. They were so gentle and at ease with the world. I knew that they were what I wanted to be; free. Totally free from what others may think of them, totally free of any inhibitions to live the life they wanted. My mind then turned toward the young woman I had seen earlier. I knew, of course, that she was not an exhibitionist seeking attention. She was also free. She was doing what she wanted because it made her content. In truth, the annoyance I felt when I first saw her was not for her but for me. Annoyed because I was embarrassed, about what others might think, to do what I really wanted in life.

I came to a stop and stared out to the grey North Sea. I knew that I must break free, not from the world or people around me, but from me; myself. Without the thought crossing my mind I began to undress. I can honestly say I felt no shyness that day when I removed my last garment. I felt no different than when I undress to take a shower. I left my clothes behind and walked into the sea. I didnt stay long, less than a minute, the water was freezing. But the dip had felt like a baptism. I walked back out and picked up my clothes. I did not dress but made my way back down the beach from where I had come from.

A while later I passed the young woman. She was sitting crossed legged with the sword across her lap, looking out to sea. When I stepped across her line of vision she looked at me and smiled.

I smiled back.

Robin OBrien is founder and editor of and