Cancer Survivors' Fund

From Surviving to Thriving

  Weekly Motivational Messages

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What surprises me most about humankind?

That they get bored with childhood, they rush to grow up, and then long to be children again.

That they lose their health to make money... and then lose their money to restore their health.

That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live in neither the present nor the future.

That they live as if they will never die, and die as though they had never lived.


In this special moment in life ...

Think freely. Practice patience.

Smile often. Savor special moments.

Make new friends. Rediscover old ones.

Tell those you love that you do. Feel deeply.

Forget trouble. Forgive an enemy.

Hope. Grow. Be crazy. Observe miracles.

Make them happen. Discard worry.

Give. Give in. Trust enough to take.

Pick some flowers. Share them. Keep a promise.

Look for rainbows. Gaze at stars.

See beauty everywhere. Work hard. Be wise.

Try to understand. Take time for people.

Make time for yourself. Laugh heartily.

Spread joy. Take a chance. Reach out.

Let someone in. Try something new.

Slow down. Be soft sometimes. Believe in yourself.

Trust others. See a sunrise. Listen to rain. Reminisce.

Cry when you need to. Trust life. Have faith.

Enjoy wonder. Comfort a friend. Have good ideas.

Make some mistakes. Learn from them. Celebrate life.


Let Go of List of Errors

Where did that anxiety you feel in your stomach come from?

You were going along just fine, and then suddenly you began to feel fraught with anxiety about what you said or what you wrote or what you did, about how you could have done it differently, better, how you could have spoken up or not spoken at all, how you may have over-asserted yourself or not asserted yourself enough. The list could go on. There is no lack of recommendations for despair. You find an old list of errors you have made or might have made. You reread and reread this list, as if somehow despite its appearance, it might be helpful to you.

Helpful to you? Of course your anxiety-provoking list is not helpful to you. Quite the opposite. It is to the detriment of you.

You thought you were free of all your anxiety, yet somehow, little by little, it has crept its way back in again. Insidious is this little snake anxiety. How camouflaged it is as it slinks its way in, and you, you are not aware until suddenly it's right in front of you, and it has eaten away at your very foundation. Because of this anxiety, you feel undermined. You have gone back to that old and frayed shopping list. There is nothing worth buying on it.

I shall write you a new shopping list. Throw out the old one once and for all. Replace it with this one that I give to you now. This is your new shopping list I give to you. Understand it well:

"I am a fine person just as I am.

"I mean to do good, and I do.

"I no longer second-guess myself. I leave myself alone. If I don't like now what I said or wrote or did, I cross it out from all lists now, once and for all. What I did or didn't do doesn't matter. It is in the past. I know that the sun comes out, and that rain dries up. I am probably the only person thinking at all about this that I regret. There simply is no percentage in thinking of it, not even once. No matter how recent, no matter how big or how small, when I allow nagging thoughts from the past, I subtract from the strength of loving myself.

"It is important that I love myself. It is important for my sake and for the sake of all around me. I must not regret nor must I find fault with myself, for I am the leader of a parade, and it is for me to lead a calm content parade. My parade goes through all the side streets and the main ones too, and it goes according to the tenor of my thoughts. I want to lead the kind of parade I want to lead. I refuse to lead a dismal one.

"When my thoughts cause me anxiety, I drop those thoughts. I do not keep them for even one minute, for they are destructive thoughts. These thoughts worm their way in and don't want to let go. They have to be evicted, and I am the one who must evict them.

"This is easy to do now. I shake them off. I hardly give them a backward glance, and I say to them clearly:

"Regretful anxiety-provoking thoughts, you have no business being here. You don't belong here. You don't belong anywhere. You are like black-out shades, and you have pulled yourself down, and you have blocked my view.

"You want to keep me small and anxiety-ridden. But I see you now for what you are. You are a malcontent, and you like to step on my sense of well-being and sneak yourself and your other buddy thoughts in.

"You are invasive and erosive.

"You can't stay here any longer. You have to leave, and you have to leave now.

"So now, without further ado, leave. I throw you out, and you cannot come back."



I once told a man that I no longer voted.

He responded by telling me this.
The choice of whether I voted or not was why he waded through rice paddies, toted guns, and fought battles.

It wasn't long afterward that I began to vote again.

I once told a man a lie.

He responded by telling me this.
All of the decisions that he made were based upon the words that I spoke.

I have long since told the truth.

I once became upset over a gift I received, because it wasn't what I wanted.

The giver saw the disappointment in my eyes and told me this. He chose the most valuable gift he could find, because he felt I should have it.

I am since very joyful over each gift that I receive.

A man once told me a secret which I quietly whispered in another friend's ear.

The man told me this, after hearing his own secret repeated. The reason he told me the secret was because he trusted me, not my friend.

I no longer take trust so lightly.

I once gave a gift to a friend and she cried.

I told her it was just a small gift I had found. Her response was that it was not the gift, it was that I had thought of her.

I now give gifts often.

The shiny coin was not to be mine, so I had been told.
But on my way out the door, it found its way in my hand.
When it was discovered that I had stolen the coin,
I was quietly taken aside.

The owner of the coin told me this.
Integrity is given with a choice.

I have since chosen to stand with integrity.

Once I told a man of all of my dreams.

He smiled warmly and even chuckled then asked if I ever planned on living any of them.

I now choose the spending of my days very differently.

I watched a man daily as he walked... head down... so focused.

I was curious and inquired as to why he never looked up.

The look on his face was one of surprise, but he responded.

His world was so structured that he didn't have to look where he placed his foot and there was nothing else to look at.

I make it a point to never stare at my feet, for fear of creating tunnels. I wanted so much to merely be myself, going unnoticed and not draw attention.

And I was told this.

The fact that you do not conform makes you stand out all the more. I'm still thinking about that one.


Get Started and Don't Quit

(From Ruben Gonzalez's book "Becoming Unstoppable.")

There are two parts of courage that lead to success. The first part is the willingness to begin, to act in faith, to step out boldly in the direction of your goals with no guarantee of success. The second part of courage is the willingness to endure, to persist, to refuse to give up, and to keep on working harder than anyone else.

Most people talk themselves out of even going for their dream. And most of the ones who make the attempt quit as soon as the going get tough. It's so sad. Because everyone has the ability to make their dreams come true. It's sad that so few people have the willingness to do what it takes.

That's why we root for the underdog. That's why we love movies like Rocky and Rudy. Because all of us have felt like the underdog at one time or another. Because seeing the underdog win gives us hope that we can win too.

Once you get started on the road to making your dreams a reality, you must make the decision to never quit. The decision to never give up gives you a huge advantage. The person who is most determined usually wins.

A study on goals and perseverance found that 95% of the goals that people set are ultimately achieved, as long as the person didn't give up. Ninety five percent! That's almost a guarantee. A guarantee that if you refuse to quit you will eventually win. The main reason people fail is not because of lack of ability or opportunities. They fail because they lack the inner strength to persist in the face of obstacles and difficulties.

Don't worry about failing. Failing is how you learn. You can fail over and over again, but all it takes is one big success to wipe out all your previous failures. The only time you can't afford to fail is the last time you try. The more you persist, the more you will believe in yourself. And the more you believe in yourself, the more you persist. Your persistence is a measure of how much you believe in yourself and how much you believe in your ability to succeed. If you act as if you are guaranteed to succeed, your belief will grow. Because emotion follows motion.

What you do determines how we will feel. Act in spite of your fears and commit to not quit, and I'll promise you that the winner inside you will burst forth to propel you to victory.

Copyright © 2007 Ruben Gonzalez


Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Went Out In The Real World

1. Never give yourself a haircut after three martinis.
2. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
3. Any and all compliments can be handled by simply saying, Thank you," although it helps if you say it     with a SOUTHERN accent.
4. No books will be as good as the ones you loved as a child.
5. Some people are working backstage, some are playing in the orchestra, some are onstage singing, some are in the audience as critics, and some are there to applaud. Know who and where you are.
6. When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.
7. Never continue dating anyone whom is rude to the waiter.
8. Work is good but it's not important!
9. A person needs only two tools: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the tape.
10. If you tell a lie, don't believe it deceives only the other person.
11. The five most essential words for a healthy, vital relationship: "I apologize" and "You are right".
12. When you make a mistake, make amends immediately! It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm.
13. The only really good advice that I remember my mother ever gave me was "Go! You might meet somebody!"
15. Never ride a motorcycle when you're drunk.
16. If your date says that you are too good for him or her; believe it.
17. I've learned to pick my battles. I ask myself: Will this matter one year from now? How about one month? One week? One day?
18. The shortest line is always the longest.
19. At hard times I ask myself, "How do I feel? What do I want?" I use it whenever I'm at loss for words or thoughts.
20. Never pass up an opportunity to use the bathroom.
21. If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance!
22. If you move far from your family when you're young, consider choosing a career with an airline. Your need to see your family will last a lifetime, as will your travel benefits.
23. Living well really is the best revenge.
24. Being miserable because of a bad or former relationship just proves that the other person was right about you.
25. Never underestimate the kindness of your fellow man.
26. And finally, being happy doesn't necessarily mean everything's perfect. It just means you've decided to look beyond all of the imperfections.

So go out and don't let anyone steal your sunshine!


Creating Opportunity

An enterprising person is one who comes across a pile of scrap metal and sees the making of a wonderful sculpture. An enterprising person is one who drives through an old decrepit part of town and sees a new housing development. An enterprising person is one who sees opportunity in all areas of life. To Your Success…

To be enterprising is to keep your eyes open and your mind active. It's to be skilled enough, confident enough and creative enough and disciplined enough to seize opportunities that present themselves...regardless of the economy.

A person with an enterprising attitude says, "Find out what you can before action is taken." Do your homework. Do the research. Be prepared. Be resourceful. Do all you can in preparation of what's to come.

Enterprising people always see the future in the present. Enterprising people always find a way to take advantage of a situation, not be burdened by it. And enterprising people aren't lazy. They don't wait for opportunities to come to them, they go after the opportunities. Enterprise means always finding a way to keep yourself actively working toward your ambition.

Enterprise is two things. The first is creativity. You need creativity to see what's out there and to shape it to your advantage. You need creativity to look at the world a little differently. You need creativity to take a different approach, to be different.

What goes hand-in-hand with the creativity of enterprise is the second requirement: the courage to be creative. You need courage to see things differently, courage to go against the crowd, courage to take a different approach, courage to stand alone if you have to, courage to choose activity over inactivity.

And lastly, being enterprising doesn't just relate to the ability to make a living. Being enterprising also means feeling good enough about yourself, having enough self worth to want to seek advantages and opportunities that will make a difference in your future. And by doing so you will increase your confidence, your courage, your creativity and your self-worth - your enterprising nature.


Our Choices

We get so mixed up, trying to sort out our lives – our interminable tangles, conundrums, uncertainties, all in our minds all the time, chatter, chatter, choose, choose… and this detracts us from our purpose here. Which is – live life to the fullest and be happy and create the best you can.

We find ourselves focused on and living mediocre lives, our dreams stashed away in places we do not even remember, covered in dust since our childhood. And then we encounter the Law of Attraction, by "accident", start reading about it, attract people who support our vision of our new lives, and hope creeps into our lives, sometimes overnight. Hope that we can have more, hope that we can change things, and most of all, hope that we can be happy.

We have our bad days, our ups and down, but once an awakening starts, once we realize that we are in control, even if only for a moment, we start an unfolding of a whole process, planned and expected for lifetimes.. the unfolding of you into You – the expanded You, the creative You, the You who knows, the You who shines – and most of all the You who can move mountains by simply intending them.

Which of course you can. You are limited by your own limiting thoughts, and nothing else. What you intend you attract, and when you focus on the meadow beyond the padlock in the gate, the meadow becomes all there is – a new life, happiness, expansion. This is no sales jargon – it is who We are, who We can all be. And we change – let go of old constructs, gently move beyond them, shimmering shapes that we are, expanding into the bigger Us. Touching each other in the process, holding each other up, loving unconditionally and understanding each other's processes, the paths we all take to become Us.

There is hope. You are the hope. Live your life fully – live it out loud. It is all within your grasp.


In this special moment in life ...

Think freely. Practice patience.

Smile often. Savor special moments.

Make new friends. Rediscover old ones.

Tell those you love that you do. Feel deeply.

Forget trouble. Forgive an enemy.

Hope. Grow. Be crazy. Observe miracles.

Make them happen. Discard worry.

Give. Give in. Trust enough to take.

Pick some flowers. Share them. Keep a promise.

Look for rainbows. Gaze at stars.

See beauty everywhere. Work hard. Be wise.

Try to understand. Take time for people.

Make time for yourself. Laugh heartily.

Spread joy. Take a chance. Reach out.

Let someone in. Try something new.

Slow down. Be soft sometimes. Believe in yourself.

Trust others. See a sunrise. Listen to rain. Reminisce.

Cry when you need to. Trust life. Have faith.

Enjoy wonder. Comfort a friend. Have good ideas.

Make some mistakes. Learn from them. Celebrate life.


In Good Time

By Ralph Marston

Life always comes to you in good time. There's no need to rush it, and nothing to be gained by attempting to hold it back.

Some things will take longer than you thought they would. Go ahead and get them completed anyway.

Some things will arrive sooner than you anticipated. Go ahead and deal with them when they do.

Make good and thoughtful use of every moment that comes your way. Peacefully let go of any anxiety or resentment about how little time you have or how much time it takes, and simply give your best as time continues to flow.

In good time, you'll get it done. In good time, you'll look back and know without a doubt that you have indeed been moving forward.

The day ahead is filled with opportunities for joy and fulfillment. Give yourself completely to each moment as it comes, and in good time you'll fill your world with richness.


Carrot, Egg and Coffee

A carrot, an egg and a cup of coffee... You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again…

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.  She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft.

The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as he tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity...boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however.

After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water. "Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying. You might want to send this message to those people who mean something to you (I JUST DID); to those who have touched your life in one way or another; to those who make you smile when you really need it; to those who make you see the brighter side of things when you are really down; to those whose friendships you appreciate; to those who are so meaningful in your life.

If you don't send it, you will just miss out on the opportunity to brighten someone's day with this message!

It's easier to build a child than repair an adult. This is so true - may we all be COFFEE.


Learn to Dream Big and You Will Live the Life of Your Dreams

Let us start with a quote from Jim Rohn, one of the 50 world famous motivational speakers on personal development at Success University:

“Formal education will make you a living but self education will make you a fortune.”

We all remember the time in high school when it was much more important to win the football game of the season than getting an “A+” in chemistry. To be elected and honored as homecoming queen or king, being a member of the cheerleader team, or find out “who is asking Jenny out on Saturday” – those were the topics of interest.

Education in high school sort of happens without the conscious intent of the student. There are several reasons for this but the main one is, that going to school is not the primary choice of the student. He or she has to attend school. In most western countries it is prohibited by law to stay away from school. Sometimes students are taken to their classes even by police force. The common understanding of education is to go to school, get a job and earn a living.

Hence, the responsibility for the education and its outcome is placed on the teachers, the parents, the churches, the educational institutions and the environment. And they are doing their best. Self education however is much more powerful and totally relies on the student himself. It is self motivated, self responsible and the outcome is completely self earned. The power of self-education lies in its conscious choice. When we choose to take a course in fly fishing for instance, we will be going fishing sooner or later and try out what we have learned. Learning and taking action, testing out the new abilities to reach and achieve the goals we had in mind, describes the process of a conscious self-education.

Why is it then that so many people are clueless about how to live the life of their dreams?

The ability to dream decreases with the increasing age. If you listen to children speak about what they want to be later in life, they are so confident and self assured saying: I am going to be a famous lion-tamer. No doubt about it. We laugh about these childish statements because we think we know better. Unfortunately this is not the case. Many people give up their dreams and start to play small. They adjust their dreams to the life that meets them every day. They compromise and lose their passion, their determination in pursuing their goals of life. Slowly, slowly the mind repeats the same old story over and over again. Caught in the limitations of a mediocre life where big dreams are just soap bubbles, life gets boring and suffering takes over.

The limited mindset is focused on just earning enough money to keep out of debt and being able to pay the bills. This is definitely not what life is meant to be. And people know it. Somewhere deep down there is this nagging voice speaking to us constantly but we pretend to not hear it. It reminds us of our potential which is much, much greater than we could ever imagine. This sweet little voice tries to remind us to listen to ourselves, to our deepest longings, our wildest dreams.

It [the voice] cries out loud, that it wants to live and not be shut down in some mediocre life. It [the inner voice] expresses all the inspiration, the power of creation and the joy of life – a life of fulfillment, joy and happiness. Pursuing your dreams, no matter how big they are, gives you energy, inspires you and maybe for the first time makes you feel authentic. Dare to trust yourself on your dreams and dream as big as you can. Create a dream that inspires you, a dream that takes your breath away and watch the energy flooding in.

Once you start listening to yourself you will develop the mindset that you possess everything it takes to live the life of your dreams. It will strengthen your will-power, will give you confidence in making the right decisions and then… only then you are ready to start learning the principles and strategies to reinvent your life. There were people before you and there will be people coming after you but the only thing that matters right now is the choice you make about your life.


5 Essential Skills for the Future

So you want to have a successful career, one that lets you make the most of your abilities and gives you a sense of achievement. Well, there are a few skills you will need to make it big in the workplace of the future.
No matter what your industry or occupation, you will find that there is an increasing demand for people who are adept at some or all of the following 5 skills, which I believe are essential for success at work today and into the future.

Mastering change
Change is all around us and yet learning to master change is a skill that very few people are taught. The ability to analyse the changes happening around you and adapt quickly is vital in the new workplace. Understanding how you react and also how others react to situations can make the journey of change far less painful.

Thinking self-employed
Even if you have a permanent job with an organization you need to think of yourself as self employed. Managers are asking people to take ownership of their job and act as if it was their money they are making or spending. Becoming a person who thinks like an entrepreneur can open up a whole range of new possibilities and greatly improve your self-confidence.

Managing your own career
The new workplace demands that you design your own career path. It may be made up of a number of different experiences that eventually bring you to a unique position or it could resemble a more traditional route. Either way, it will be your responsibility to make it happen. This means you need to carefully consider your options each time you take a step, whilst keeping your eye on new developments in the marketplace.

Promoting yourself
In the past it was only sales representatives and marketing people who needed to know how to promote. Now it is a vital part of everyone's portfolio of skills to be able to make themselves known in a less structured, more competitive workplace. But there is more to self-promotion than a good résumé and the right clothes. You also need to learn how to network and recognize opportunities to help others, which in the long run will help you.

Lifelong learning
It has taken us a while but we have finally realized that learning doesn't end when we leave school. Innovations in technology and the information super highway make it essential for us to spend more time just keeping up to date. Learning is no longer restricted to the classroom. Everyday we learn in everything we do. The key is to recognize what you learn in these situations and how to apply it to other areas of your life.

How would you rate yourself in each of these skill areas? If the answer is less than excellent you have some work to do. So where do you start? What order of priority should you place on these skills.

Whilst they are all important, I think you should tackle them in the order they are listed and here’s why. To start with, mastering change will help you with all the other skills because they all require an ability to change. Next, the idea of thinking self employed will impact on your job searching strategies, which in turn affects how you manage your career, and so on.

Being successful in the new style workplace is easy . . . when you have the right skills.


Better Than Hope

Hope is something, but it is not enough to sustain you. Hope is just a glimmer. It is better to know than to hope. Hope has a disclaimer with it. Hope says that maybe something you want is going to happen. Maybe. It could. It might. There’s a chance, if you’re lucky. Hope is more like holding on to a thread.

A thread of hope is better than nothing. Hope lets a little light come in. Even to have an idea of a blessing to come is a good thing. Yet hope is a weak thing. Better to pull the shades up all the way.

As it is, hope carries a percentage of doubt with it. Can you imagine I saying to you: “I hope you get over your cold. I hope you pass your test. I hope there will be world peace some day.” A little lukewarm coming from me, wouldn’t you say? So is the wimpiness of hope.

If I were you, I would carry much more hope than the word hope gives you. Hope is lack-luster. I know a better word, more like a marketing word. It is sure to wake you up. It is sure to put stars in your eyes.

Desire is a word that carries more zip with it than hope. Desire is a wonderful word that exhilarates. I am all for you desiring all that you desire. Who should desire all that you do desire more than you? Desire is stronger than limping hope.

But there is another aspect I must point out, and you may not like it. You do not have to have everything you hope for! You do not have to have everything you desire. All your desires do not have to be fulfilled. You may think you would like total fulfillment of desires, but, you know, you have heard of poor little rich girls who get everything they want. Desires fulfilled so rampantly are not so fulfilling. This definitely is so when your desires are all about you.

So now I emphasize four more points:

1. Know that you can be in good standing, and still all your desires may not be fulfilled. It is not a bad mark against you when your desires are not fulfilled the way you would like or as soon as you would like.

2. You may want to expand on your desires. If you desire a new dress, odds are you will have to go to a store and buy it. If you desire a happier home, desire that you find ways to make your home happier. If you desire to make a home run, desire to hit the ball hard and to run fast. Desire is greater than just making a list of your desires.

3. Along with being a desirer, you want to be an appreciator. Here is a very good line: “Thank you, Mom, for this meal.” You can even say: “I’m glad for this ache in my heart,” that is far better than feeling neglected or sore about it.

What if even heartache is a good thing? It has to be. In heartache, a different kind of opportunity is being presented to you. A different vision is being presented to you. What is the gold in even heartache? In years to come, you will see the beauty and happiness of it. What brings heartache but a lack of comprehension and vision? Heartache will whisper its greater meaning to you, even when that may seem impossible. Even heartache has hope with it.


Recharge Your Battery
By Steve Dimeck

How many times have you felt that you needed to recharge your battery? How many times have you lost your inspiration and motivation? How many times have you faced problems and obstacles that discouraged you from persisting with your goal?

It was 4:15PM on a Thursday when I arrived at the hair salon to get my haircut. My hair appointment was at 5PM but I arrived there quite early.

As I set down in the comfortable leather chair in the little "waiting corner," I looked down to my left with an intention to pick a magazine from the big basket that was filled with maybe over 50 magazines.

I sorted through the magazines but nothing would catch my eye. There were so many different magazines; I couldn't decide which one to pick and read while waiting.

Then, as I lifted a big batch of magazines to choose from, one of them fell down on the floor. I immediately dropped all the other magazines back into the basket and took the one that fell on the floor.

The beautiful view of a tropical island in the background, surrounded by crisp clear water covering the entire cover of the magazine, got my attention.

The magazine contained a large number of photos from tropical islands, vacation resorts and everything tropical you can imagine. I submerged myself into the pictures so much that 40 minutes went by like 4 seconds.

When I was all done with the haircut, I asked Isabella (the hair stylist) if I could take the magazine. She said that it wouldn't be a problem because anyway they recycle the magazines at the end of each month when they bring new ones in.

The magazine is called Islands . When I went home I put it next to my computer and until today's day, it's still sitting there.

I look through it periodically. All my life I've lived in the northern hemisphere of the planet, and winter is definitely not my favorite season. Not to even mention the driving headaches when we get dumped with a few feet of snow.

The tropical theme has always been a dream place of mine.

So, every time I feel down, discouraged, marketing plan isn't working well, a goal doesn't get accomplished, problems and obstacles appearing out of nowhere, motivation is down, no inspiration, the world is coming down on me ... and so on ...

I take few peaceful minutes - no children, no computer. I pick up the magazine and literally isolate myself from this world. I transfer my soul to the tropical beauty shown in the pictures and I visualize myself living there and not just vacationing.

My battery gets recharged; I get the smile back on my face and I say to myself: "One day ...."

How many times have you felt down and depressed because of one reason or another?

How many times have you felt that you needed to recharge your battery? How many times have you lost your inspiration and motivation? How many times have you faced problems and obstacles that discouraged you from persisting with your goal?

What brought you up and what pulled you down during these crucial times?

I remember back in 1994 when I was starting college, a friend of mine gave me a study to read. The study came from a major corporate research. It was on "why executives rise to the height of their company and why other people don't."

The executives told in their words what they did to achieve such a success. I don't have that study anymore but I remember it very well because I'm still practicing what they said.

One of the steps was to have material goals. Something that you can see.

The material goals represent something far beyond material form. When you visually see the material goals that you're striving for, you receive the feeling of the kind of person you need to become in order to have them.

That feeling will recharge your fuel cells and bring your enthusiasm to the front line.

We live in a material world and we have to operate in a material world. We want material things because they're a representation of who we are.

What you want is good, because what you want is an extension of you becoming better.

And sometimes, you just need a basic material something to spark you into a higher level of achievement.

© Steve Dimeck


Do You Pass The Delayed Gratification Test?

It used to be that we all had the ability to be resilient. Life almost forced us to be. People were made resilient by World Wars, economic hardship and isolation. Today, we live in a society where resilience is not highly valued nor tested as often.

I believe that the average person today is less resilient because they have lost the ability to delay gratification. We want everything and we want it now! We live in a fast food, drive through, microwave, buy now, pay later society where the idea of waiting for anything has become unacceptable. If you don't believe me, watch what happens when a teller machine runs out of cash or a serious car accident blocks a busy road. Most people can't deal with the inconvenience and we get various types of "rage" as a result.

The test

Many of us would fail what researchers call the "Marshmallow test" which is designed to measure a person's emotional intelligence or EQ. Your EQ is seen as a much more accurate way to predict your success in life than your IQ. Researchers were keen to find a way to measure EQ in children so they could catch the problem early and help them develop their skills and improve their quality of life.

Their Marshmallow test for EQ went something like this:

·       100 x four year old kids

·       Placed one at a time in a room with a marshmallow on the table

·       Told by an adult they could eat it whenever they liked but if they waited for the adult to come back in 5 minutes they could have another marshmallow

·       Some ate it straight away, some waited a while and some waited for the adult to come back

·       Children then monitored regularly over the next 20 years to see how their lives turned out compared to their test results

·       Children who passed the test (and didn't eat the marshmallow) turned out to be socially competent, self assertive and able to cope with life's ups and downs.

·       Children who failed the test were stubborn, easily upset, resentful and prone to jealousy and envy.

Replace the Marshmallow with something you really want and substitute 5 minutes for 5 months or 5 years and ask yourself "would I pass the test?". It is really easy to give into the temptation of taking the easy way, of blaming circumstances for our failure to achieve or saying it's all too hard. The truth is we can all achieve our goals if we can learn to be resilient . . . to bounce back when things go wrong, to delay gratification.

What about you?

So take a look at what you are trying to achieve (or perhaps what you have given up on trying to achieve) and see if in fact the stumbling block for you is an inability to delay gratification. You can practice it in the simplest ways . . . finish that proposal before you get a cup of coffee, put going for a walk ahead of watching TV or do something that won't show immediate results but will help you in the long term. As a leader it is vital that you demonstrate the ability to be resilient, to role model that adversity can be a growth experience!  


212 Degrees
By Jennifer Gibbs

At 211 degrees, water is pretty darn hot. But at 212, it's boiling, and making steam. Only one degree, but there is quite a difference. While hot water is a nice thing when you are taking a shower, boiling water has a lot more potential. You can use it to cook, or to run a steam engine. I bet you are wondering what my point is. The point is, one degree made that difference. One, just one.

Take a look at your life right now. No matter where you are, or how happy you are with it, there is always room for that extra degree. The one that takes your from hot to steaming!!

Take a look at the results that you are getting out of life. Sit down and really think about it. What ways can you add that extra degree, and "Kick it up a notch" as Emerill would say?

You could:

·    Spend 10 minutes each day focused on one thing - anything you want it to be. In fifteen years, you'll be a bona fide expert!

·    Spend the last hour before bed planning the next day. You'll wake up with confidence and a game plan, important ingredients for a great day!

·    Read one book each month that is aimed towards improving some skill or talent.

·    Spend one hour each week studying up on your career field or industry.

·    Enroll in a free online or live course. These can be found using Google, at local schools, libraries, etc. Not only will you improve yourself, you'll also be able to meet other likeminded people to share your passion with!!

There are so many little things that you can do to improve your skills, and therefore improve your self. There are many things in life that we waste time on, professional and personal development are NOT some of them. Take some time to nurture your talents and your techniques.

Before you know it, you'll be boiling!!!


The Impossible Dream

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star


How to Conquer Fear

When it comes to personal development, dealing with FEAR is one of the most daunting tasks we take on.

This following article has two purposes: 1) to examine three excellent (and simple) realizations regarding the nature of fear; 2) to provide four activities to start conquering it.

REALIZATION ONE: Some fears are healthy, while others are unhealthy

When we are afraid of something that cannot actually harm us – like a spider - or something we can do nothing to avoid - such as old age - then our fear is unhealthy, for it serves only to make us unhappy and paralyze us. On the other hand, when someone gives up smoking because they are afraid of developing lung cancer, this is a healthy fear because the danger is real and there are constructive steps they can take to avoid it.

REALIZATION TWO: Healthy fears can be a very GOOD Thing

We need the healthy fear that arises from taking stock of our present situation so that we can resolve to do something about it. For example, there is no point in a smoker being scared of dying of lung cancer unless there is something that he or she can do to prevent it, i.e. stop smoking. If a smoker has a sufficient fear of dying of lung cancer, he or she will take steps to kick the habit. Healthy fears are the substance by which personal growth is made.

REALIZATION THREE: The Key is letting go of unhealthy fears

The critical element for dealing with fear boils down to LETTING GO of the unhealthy types; the ones where you begin to see there is NO action you can take to resolve a circumstance. Once you learn to really let go of unhealthy fears, your attention is able to focus 100% on the healthy versions and construct tangible ways to make your life happier and more fulfilling.

Here are 4 activities you can implement to start separating the healthy fears from the unhealthy ones in your life:

Make a List

Make a detailed list of all the fears in your life. Do not do this in one sitting, but take a few days to write a comprehensive list of everything you are scared. Once you feel the list is complete, separate the contents into two categories: Unhealthy Fears and Healthy Fears. Make a commitment to disregard your unhealthy fears and only focus on the healthy versions for a certain time frame (say, a week). This can be an extremely powerful and enlightening exercise. As an added bonus, make a few goals for improving the situations in your healthy fear column (remember, these are the ones you can do something about)!


Putting yourself in a completely helpless situation (being forced to jump from a perfectly good airplane is helpless, I assure you) is a wonderful way to teach yourself to let go of unhealthy fears. Why? Because once you commit to undergoing an activity like sky diving, it becomes clear the outcome is out of your hands. The only thing to do is let it happen, and release the inevitable fears that will surface. Furthermore, landing and telling everyone about it will give you a sense of accomplishment for being able to let go of an unhealthy fear. Of course, skydiving is not for everyone, and can be substituted with any physical activity that pushes the limits of YOUR fear threshold. Just make sure you complete it, no matter what it takes!


This recommendation is the pure opposite of the previous one, as meditation is the practice of going within and focusing the mind 100% in one area. Unhealthy fears reside deep within you and meditation is a terrific way to start becoming aware of them. For beginners, meditation itself can stimulate feelings of fear and frustration and learning to deal with them can be very beneficial to your mission of “letting go”.


The practice of visualization is an incredibly powerful tool for dealing with fear. When you start visualizing, see yourself accomplishing your most lofty goals. Flex the muscle of your imagination to actually see and feel what it is like to live in your ideal world. Making a habit of visualization conquers fear in a very direct way: the more time you spend thinking positively, the less time you have to be fearful.

Fear is an exceptionally inhibiting force for many people, but it does not have to be! Learn how to a) separate the unhealthy versions from the healthy ones; b) let go of the unhealthy types and c) focus on actions you can take to resolve the healthy fears. This can do wonders for your well being!


Eliminating Your Obstacles

by Ruben Gonzalez, three-time Olympian

Success is simple but not easy. Most people allow fear of failure to keep them from even attempting to pursue their dreams. They don't understand that failure is part of the price of success

You need to expect to fail and fall short many times before you reach your goals. That's just how life is. Since you will have many failures on the road to success, it is very important to learn how to remove the obstacles, roadblocks, and bottlenecks that are between you and your goals.

Once you have decided upon a goal, write down all the obstacles that you think might be slowing you down. Now focus on finding solutions to your obstacles. This might sound simplistic, but the fact is that if you focus all your energy into attacking your obstacles, you WILL eliminate them and will accelerate your progress.

Einstein said that you cannot solve your problems with the same level of thinking that created them, so you will need help. This is where mentors and reading can help you win more.

Successful people don't quit. They simply focus on finding solutions to their problems.

If you want the outcome bad enough, you'll figure out a way. And every time you find the solution to a problem, your 'solution-finding' muscles get stronger. Solution finding is a skill that will improve with use.

There are bottlenecks on the way to every goal. It is your job to identify the bottlenecks before you reach them. It's like driving a car down a road. If you are driving a short sports car, you can't see very far in front of you and you get caught up in every bottleneck. If you are driving a Hummer, you can see farther ahead and have more time to avoid the bottlenecks in the road.

Your ability to look ahead and remove bottlenecks will help you reach your goals faster than you can imagine. You can anticipate bottlenecks either through your experience, or through the experience of your mentors.

Typically, 80% of the bottlenecks will be within you. You are the biggest barrier to reaching your dreams. Successful people understand this. That is why they invest so much time in self-development. Successful people understand that the better they become, the better their results will be.

That's why I congratulate you for investing in yourself. You are doing what the top 5% of achievers do.

Fear and doubt are the two things that keep most people from having the courage to succeed. Most people simply don't believe in themselves. That is why the books you read and the people you associate with can have such a huge impact in your life.

One way to overcome fear and doubt is by acquiring knowledge and skills. If you know how to do something, you become more confident. The knowledge comes from what you read and from who you associate with.

Once you determine what obstacle is holding you back, set a goal of overcoming that obstacle.

By setting a goal to remove an obstacle, you are taking control of your life and your results and confidence will improve. Don't just set a goal. Set a deadline, come up with a plan, and get to work.

Once you remove the major obstacle that is holding you back, you will start making quantum leaps

towards your goals and dreams.

Copyright © 2007 Ruben Gonzalez   


Ten Commandments for a Long and Peaceful Life

1)       Thou shalt not worry, for worry is the most unproductive of all activities.

2)       Thou shalt not be fearful, for most of the things we fear never come to pass.

3)       Thou shalt face each problem as it comes. You can handle only one at a time.

4)       Thou shalt not cross bridges before you get to them, for no one yet has succeeded in accomplishing this.

5)       Thou shalt not take problems to bed with you, for they make very poor bedfellows.

6)       Thou shalt not borrow other people's problems. They can take better care of them than you can.

7)       Thou shalt be a good listener, for only when you listen do you hear ideas different from your own. It's very hard to learn something when you are talking.

8)       Thou shalt not try to relive yesterday for good or ill. It is gone. Concentrate on what is happening in your life today.

9)       Thou shalt not become bogged down by frustration, for 50 percent of it is rooted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive actions.

10)    Thou shalt count thy blessings, never overlooking the small ones for a lot of small blessings add up to a big one.


Definition of Goal Setting: How to Super-Power Your Goals

The Definition of Goal Setting is pretty self-explanatory – it is the process of deciding what you want (or setting a goal) and figuring out how to achieve it.

We all have goals, right? Well… actually… not exactly…

We have plans. We plan to make more money in a few years, we plan to find a better job, we plan to go on vacation in Europe and we plan to start a family when the time is right.

But all these are not goals. They are ‘wishes’, ‘desires’, or maybe ‘plans for the future’ at best.

Even those of us, who are familiar with the concept and definition of Goal Setting often set false goals for ourselves. This is actually one of the main reasons why only 10%-15% of people who have the motivation and skill to succeed, consistently achieve the results they desire.

Whether you are new to Goal Setting or consider yourself a pro, I urge you to take a few minutes and check if your goals are lacking some important characteristics or if they can be made more powerful and more effective.

Is Your Goal:

1. Challenging?

Make sure that your goal is challenging enough to motivate you, yet not too hard so that it discourages you before you have even started.

2. Specific?

How clear are you about what you want? If you were to share your goal with me, would I be able to picture it without asking any other questions?

3. Believable?

Are you confident enough in your abilities and your chances of success? Does your goal sound do-able to you?

4. Motivating?

Do you feel inspired by your goal or is it just something you would not mind having?

5. Limited in time?

Does your goal have a specific deadline, so that you can measure your progress along the way? In my practice, many people confuse goals with ongoing habits (e.g. “waking up early”, “going to the gym twice a week”). If your goal is based on something you have to do regularly for the rest of your life, you are setting yourself up for sure failure.

6. Enjoyable?

It is much easier to succeed at something that you enjoy doing, rather than at something that you have to force yourself into.

7. Written down?

Writing your goals down instantly makes them feel more tangible, more urgent and more desirable.

8. Breakable into smaller action steps?

Can you identify a number of steps that will take you from where you are now to where you want to be?

9. Easy to visualize?

Our mind thinks in pictures and, therefore, it is hard for our mind to focus on something like “tons of money”, “a beautiful body” or “a hot-looking date”. Make sure that when you think about your goal you can picture it up to the smallest detail.

10. Backed-up by a support team?

At times when your confidence wavers, is there anyone who can encourage you to stay on track and keep on moving forward?

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What Do You Stand For?
(From Ruben's book "Becoming Unstoppable.")

The top achievers in every field, the leaders, know who they are, what they believe in, and what they stand for. Knowing what they stand for helps them from wasting precious time and energy thus allowing them to accomplish many times more that the average person who has no clear goals or values.

You have to know what your values are because your values determine your beliefs. Your beliefs in turn, determine your expectations. And your expectations determine your overall attitude and what you are willing to do to get the job done.

Bottom line, your actions will determine your results, but as you can see, your values and beliefs determine what actions you'll take. People are happiest when they act in ways that are in sync with their values. If you are acting against your values, you will not be happy. So it is important to spend some time figuring out what your values are - because they will help you find the way to happiness.

One way of ensuring yourself that you are acting in harmony with your values is to trust your intuition. To listen to and trust your gut feelings. To listen to your heart.

Some questions that will help you determine what your main values are: What makes you feel good about yourself? What makes you feel important? What fills you with pride? What would you like to be known for? How would you like to be remembered?

Remember, you will become what you think about most of the time. Successful people constantly think about what they want to accomplish, about how they will accomplish it, and about being true to themselves as they accomplish it. About keeping true to their values.

Put it into action:

Write down three to five of your most important values. What are you best known for? What kind of person would you like to be if you knew you could not fail? Are you practicing these values on a daily basis? Write your own obituary. What do you want your friends and family to say about you at your funeral? What's something new you could start doing today to be more in harmony with your values? Start doing it today and watch your self esteem soar.


Monday mornings always seem to be here all too soon. Just when you are getting used to the weekend — Whoosh! — it's already flown by. And all too soon, it's Monday the dread day. But no matter how much we moan or groan, there is no escaping the M days.

But hey, don't let'em darn Mondays get you down. Get your spirits up, take a deep breath and charge on, full steam ahead. And just in case you find it hard, here are five ways to chase the Monday blues away.

Just get out
The best thing to do on a Monday morning is to get some exercise or go for a walk that gets your feel-good hormones working. Ah, exercise makes you cringe does it? Never mind then, just find a green spot (lawn or nearby park) to stroll or even just sit down. Fresh air, sunshine and greenery are tremendous mood uplifters.

Turn on the music
Once back from your exercise/ stroll, nothing works better than blanking your mind out with... some music. Take your pick — peppy numbers, lilting instrumentals, chants or whatever else works for you. Turn on your music system and let the notes set the tone for the day.

Wear your best
Make Mondays your look-my-best day and should be strictly for wearing the clothes you like most. Even if it means wearing that red shirt/sari you were saving for a special occasion. Instead of the greys and navys, go for bright colors, some of that sunshine yellow or fiery red is bound to rub your blues away.

Make your Monday Hater club!
If you're really down, call up a friend — in all probability, he might be equally blue and would love to hear from you. Or mail your pals and bitch about your blues. As all of them crib about Mondays (this does work!), you'd know you aren't alone and will feel better. Those not big on mails, read something funny, start the day with a smile!

Just hog it
For all you foodies — grab your favorite chocolate and eat it all by yourself, right in the morning. Nothing is better than the guilty pleasure of early-morning-chocolate. A high for sure. You're on a diet? Then make Monday your binge day. Believe you me, food is the best way to beat the blues.

Finally, make sure you finish all the dirty work on Friday itself. Keep Monday for a fresh start. That way, at least there's one thing less to bog you down on a Monday. Now that you know how to chase your blues, have a very happy Monday, remember the weekend's just five days away!


The Teachers I Will Always Remember...

By Steve Brunkhorst

All of us recall special teachers — people who not only taught us but inspired us in ways that changed our lives. William Arthur Ward once said, "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." Here are five life-changing values inspired by unforgettable teachers.

... Taught the Value of Learning and Knowledge

They were enthusiastic about their subject. However, they gave more than knowledge. They showed how learning could enhance creativity, spark interests, and uncover talents. They instilled in students a curiosity to learn and an undying passion to keep learning.

... Taught the Value of Respect

They treated others with honor. They explained how kind words, and sometimes silence, could prevent hurtful confrontations and turn enemies into friends. They taught the value of respect for the community as well as the individual.

... Taught the Value of Integrity

They demonstrated empathy for those who were ill or suffering from personal loss. They would go the extra mile to offer support. Their ethics inspired students to live with courage and approach life with honesty, dignity, and self-worth.

... Taught the Value of Responsibility

They taught that personal actions have consequences and that the individual must be accountable for his or her choices. They emphasized that when people think others are to blame for problems, that very thought is the real problem. They taught that each student was ultimately responsible for his or her learning and its impact on their future.

... Taught the Value of Perseverance

They taught that education continues until our last breath. They told stories about the hard times they had faced, and how God had often turned difficulties into blessings. They refused to let students quit after repeated failures. They demonstrated that "Faith is the assurance of things not yet seen."

Not all of these teachers taught in formal classrooms. Nor did they all have a formal education. Some of them are still teaching, and the education they provide is priceless.

I believe that the greatest gifts we can give our children are the same kind of values these teachers demonstrate. Then our children can also become unforgettable teachers, sharing values that will inspire happiness and faith for future generations.


Don't Ever Forget Who You Are

A well-known speaker started off his seminar holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, "Who still wants it...?" Still the hands were up in the air. "Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now, who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air. "My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We may feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you.

The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE. You are special-Don't EVER forget it."


Commit to Excellence

"Most successful people have something very important in common. Somewhere along the line, they made a decision to commit to becoming the best they could be in their field. They committed to excellence.

They realized that if they became the best in their field, the rewards would more than make up for the effort. So they made a decision to pay the price, do whatever they could, and make any sacrifice to become an expert in their field.

Once they acquired the skills and knowledge, which anyone can do, they started earning many times what the average people in their field were earning.

No matter where you are today, you can make a decision to commit to becoming the best. You can do it.
Remember, everyone who is now an expert in their field was once only getting started. They just made a decision, learned the skills, and started taking action.

It won't be easy but it's doable. It's possible. And the rewards make it more than worthwhile. You can change. You can improve. You can be better. You can do more. We all can. You can learn the skills that will propel you to the next level. It's just a decision away.

Once you make the decision to increase your skills and knowledge on the road to becoming an expert in your field, you will quickly move ahead of the pack. It will feel like you are running a race without competition because hardly anyone else even thinks of making that kind of commitment.

Ask yourself: what knowledge and skills do I need to master to become the best in my field? What would I have to know?

If you don't know, go to the experts in your field and ask them. They will help you if they see you are committed to excellence.

If you find an arena that you are suited to play in and commit to excellence, people will be amazed with how much you accomplish in your lifetime."

Copyright © 2007 Ruben Gonzalez


7 Ways For You to Be the Best You That You Possibly Can Be

Are you satisfied with your life and who you are? Are you living your life to the fullest possible? In this hectic crazy world it is very easy to lose sight of what is important. Many people have lost their self esteem and self respect. With the economy creating havoc in many peoples lives is it any wonder things are the way they are. There are so many people unemployed, many have lost their homes and families as well. And after losing all they had, they may also end up losing their most precious possession – themselves.

For many it is easy to give up, after all it is tough losing everyone one cherished and ‘loved’. I remember an expression I learned a long time ago, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. So I have to ask myself and you, are you tough? Do you have what it takes to tough it out? It is easy to give up and quit, but quitters never win. Do you want to be one of the quitters? I expect not, but life does throw us curves from time to time, the question really is how do we handle them? Here are seven suggestions for you to consider before you throw in the towel. Ponder these ideas and see how you can change and improve your life.

1. Do you know your purpose?

Everyone has a purpose, can you believe that, or do you see yourself as wandering through life with little or no direction. Are you hoping that things will work out, that you will find happiness, that prosperity will come knocking at your door? If you can find your life purpose you can turn around any situation ailing you at the moment. There are enough stories of people near the brink of total disaster or ruin who have found a purpose and turned it all around to become a success.

2. Do you know what your personal values are?

What is it that you value above all else? Do you know? Is it security, family, success, freedom, or just being happy? What is most important to you? If you do not know then how will you reconcile them to your purpose? Your purpose and values need to be aligned. Make a list of your values and compare it to your purpose.

3. Do you know what your needs are?

Have you been too busy taking care of everyone else that you have neglected yourself? Do you know what you need, or are you just satisfying everyone else. It is time to start taking care of yourself.

4. What are you passionate about?

Is there anything that you are passionate about. Find a bigger cause than yourself and get involved. There are many places where you can volunteer your time or services and by doing so you will get a better sense of self worth.

5. Are you living 100% on the outside instead of living from your heart?

Are you so busy looking outside that you have forgotten to go within? Perhaps you’ve heard the cliche, ‘go within or go without’. Do you take any time to sit quietly and listen to what is going on inside? Or are you like a leaf floating in the breeze.

6. Do you honor your skills?

What is it that makes you who you are? And if you are not sure then ask those close to you, you might be surprised what you hear. By sharing what you know and are good at you will increase your sense of self worth and self confidence.

7. Have you ever given of yourself and served others?

We are all part of humanity, living on this planet as individuals, yet at the same time as a family. Have you ever given back to the family, or to the planet? By giving of yourself you become richer in ways you may never have thought possible. Try it and see for yourself.

So the bottom line is regardless of your circumstances, or situation there is always hope. There are countless ways you can improve yourself and those around you. You are a child of the universe, there is not another one exactly like you. Please find your purpose and light your light so we may all see.

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How to Be Happy With Yourself

I have a deep rooted belief that you can do extraordinary things with your life when you are happy with yourself. As a communication coach, I’ve constantly seen a correlation between these two factors.

People who are happy with themselves are more authentic and more sociable; they have more initiative, take more risks and bounce back from failure faster. All these traits create a context where success and fulfillment happen a lot easier.

Being happy with yourself is certainly a wonderful condition, but it is also not very common. I find that most people struggle with limiting beliefs and self-image issues that prevent them from being in this condition.

If you want to be happy with yourself, chances are that you’re gonna have to work for it. Here are the most important ideas I think you want to apply:

1. Know Your Strengths

People who are displeased with themselves often believe that they have nothing of quality to offer. This is of course, baloney, but since they are unable to see their strengths, it seems like the truth to them.

For this reason, it’s important to know your strengths. We all have strengths, natural qualities that we are born with or we have developed. Unfortunately, many of us are not very aware of them. One of the best things you can do is to commit yourself to discovering your entire personality and clearly understanding your strengths.

2. Discover the Qualities under the Flaws

I’m frequently told that I’m stubborn. At one point, I thought this was a big flaw of mine. Eventually, in my quest for self-knowledge, I’ve realized that it was actually a quality that others labeled as a weakness: most of my opinions and decisions were based on solid logic and facts, and I knew this, so I was very firm in them. This came off to many people as stubbornness.

Many qualities are often labeled by ourselves or by others using words that reflect weaknesses; but if you look at the practical effects they create, you will notice that they are in fact, qualities. Take a good look at what seem to be your flaws: could some of them be strengths in disguise?

3. Annihilate Perfectionism

You cannot be happy with yourself if you ask of yourself to be perfect, to have no flaws and to make no mistakes. Perfectionism will kill your self-esteem and keep you in a perpetual cycle of self-hate.

It’s fundamental to realize that you don’t need to be perfect and perfection is an insane expectation, even if it’s very common. Don’t just know this at a conscious, rational level; let this idea sink in and make it a part of your very psychological fabric.

4. Learn and Grow Constantly

While perfectionism is insane, wanting to learn and grow is a very healthy thing. Psychologists believe that our most complex and our defining trait as human beings is the need for self-actualization: we want to be all that we can be. In order to do this, we need to constantly learn and grow.

Set specific personal development goals for yourself and work on achieving them. Read books, take classes or work with a coach; practice consistently all that you find valuable. When you know that you’re always improving and becoming a better person, you naturally tend to be very happy with yourself.

Do not expect for a miracle method that will make you love yourself forever. Reaching and maintaining a state of happiness with yourself requires just like growing in any other area, consistent practice. On this journey, you will find perseverance and the ability to have fun with it to be your best companions.

Enjoy yourself and keep walking!


Leadership, School Principals and Chick-fil-A
(From Ruben's book "Becoming Unstoppable.")

My first job in high school back in 1978 was working at Chick-fil-A. We had a horrible location up in a dark corner of the second floor of a small shopping mall in Houston . Back then Chick-fil-A had only 141 stores nationwide. But we were consistently in the top ten stores in sales.

Why did our store perform so well? It was all because of our Manager's leadership. Our manager, Steve Mason was the Gung Ho, motivator type that made working at a fast food restaurant a blast. Steve was always focused on making work fun and on getting us to constantly produce at a high level. There was always some kind of a contest
going on.

One time he divided the crew into two teams and for a month ran an upselling contest... you know, "Would you like fries with that, Sir?" Then he took the winning team to a FIVE STAR RESTAURANT for a 5 course brunch! After the contest, we had become so used to upselling our customers, that we kept on doing it!

Steve constantly tied the store's goals to our personal goals, so we understood that we were really working for ourselves. We understood that the work ethic and the life skills we were learning would make us all more successful in the future. Out of our crew came an Air Force officer, a college professor, an automotive service manager, and an author and Olympian...

Steve set high standards and which attracted high achievers. Our crew stuck together and became tight. We worked for Steve for three years and we still keep in touch 25 years later! Unheard of in the fast food industry.

It didn't take long for Chick-fil-A corporate to figure out that Steve was too valuable to just be running a store and he got promoted. Today, Steve's the Vice President of Operations of Chick-fil-A.

Unfortunately, the manager that replaced Steve was not the leader Steve was, and within 6 months we all quit. The restaurant ended up shutting down a few years after that.

Steve taught me a lot about leadership. He showed me that no matter what your circumstances are (bad restaurant location), a leader can single-handedly create a winning environment, a winning culture wherever they are. Leadership flows from the top down. Not the other way around.

You see it everywhere; when I speak at a school, I can tell what the Principal will be like before I even meet them. All I have to do is look around and talk to a few teachers. You can either feel their excitement and passion for teaching, or you feel a total lack of motivation and purpose. Or when you walk into a store, you know what the manager will be like just by looking around and talking to the

All of this goes back to the importance of associating with winners if you want to achieve more. Make sure your mentor, coach or leader has what it takes to help you on the way to the top.

Leadership comes from the top. Start becoming the best leader you can be... at home, at work, at the little league field, and in your community. Become a better leader and you'll attract and keep the top notch people to your team. And as you do, you'll be changing the world around you!

Put it into action:

Associate with winners and top performers. Become the best leader you can be so you can attract and keep the best talent.

Copyright © 2007 Ruben Gonzalez


Are You in Denial of Your Potential? 5 Steps to Become the Person You Are Meant to Be

How many times have you come across someone who doesn’t believe in themselves or can’t see how much potential they have?

We can all be in denial of our potential in some ways. We all have fears, insecurities and doubts-that can hold us back from becoming who we can be.

There are many reasons we can be in denial of our potential. A particular event or circumstance in our lives might have damaged our self-esteem, we may have been told lies by consistently been told we are not good enough, we may have failed and something and lost the confidence to try again, we may have done something we regret and now don’t believe we deserve to reach our potential… just to name a few.

Denial is generally accepted as a form of unconscious protection, a refusal to accept or believe. If we don’t accept or believe we have amazing potential-(which in fact we all do)- then we can’t feel bad if we don’t live up to it and don’t have to be afraid that we might find out all our worst fears and doubts are true about ourselves if we try to reach it. It can sometimes be easier to stay in denial and trust in our fears and doubts rather than in our potential.

Often the most inspiring people, or movies that touch us the most are those that have a story of overcoming an adversity, a self-doubt, a denial about themselves and through that realize their potential, rise to the occasion; their talents and abilities come alive and they realize the person they are and destined to be.

I have been on a recent journey of learning to believe in who I am more. I was in denial of who I really am and can be. I worried about my worth as a person. I have been plagued by fears, paralyzing doubts, insecurities and anxiety as I’m sure others have from time to time. But these things were stealing me away from who I could be. I have learned the most difficult thing is to overcome ultimately is how you think of yourself.

Here are 5 Steps that Helped me to Break Denial of My Potential.

Step #1 to Break Denial of Your Potential: Remove the Blocks

When we put a denial in place there are usually a lot of blocks behind it keeping it there. Understanding yourself more and what you are afraid of is key. Sometimes our blocks are so great and so many, piled up in front of us we can’t see anymore what we are capable of being.

Step #2 to Break Denial of Your Potential: Answer why should I?

Why should you try and reach your potential anyway? This quote by Maya Angelou, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” expresses so simply that everyone has a song and it’s not because we should but because we have a song that we should sing.

We are all born with many great gifts, no matter where we are or what walk of life we have come from. Fully developing and expressing these gifts in the world can be a fulfillment of who we are. It’s a shame for denial to get in the way of that!

Step #3 to Break Denial of Your Potential: Shift focus

Most of the time we tend to focus on our limitations or frailties. Often they can become in our mind much bigger than are. As part of denying we have any potential we can also tend to be very hard on ourselves, judge ourselves and be unforgiving towards ourselves.

But rather than focusing on our limitations or frailties, try focusing on your potential instead. What are the great things about you? What are you good at? Where do your core talents lie? Are you good with people? Are you compassionate? Are you excellent at a certain skill?

It’s amazing how this shift in focus can change your outlook. We spend so much time thinking negatively about ourselves, imagine all that time was spent believing in ourselves. Start to let go of the fears and doubts holding you back.

Step #4 to Break Denial of Your Potential: Believe the Sky’s the Limit

Thinking bigger or outside the square will help shake the denial and get you out of the here and now. When you discover what you are passionate about the sky really is the limit in terms of what you can do from that position. From an inspired position you can start to see and visualize what you can do and how you can do it.

Step #5 to Break Denial of Your Potential: Set Goals

The most practical way to get to a new position is to set some goals. Sit down somewhere you feel comfortable and allow yourself to think about things your denial may not have been letting you think about.

What goals do you feel will help you reach your potential and fulfill you personally?


Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?


How is this different from where you are now?


What kinds of things/changes do you think will help to get you there?

This positive practical action is a great step to help to steer you towards reaching your potential.

As we fulfill who we are as best we can the more contentment and joy we will start to feel in ourselves and share with others. Denial and lack of self-assurance can be what is limiting us from who we really can be.

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Strive for Balance in Your Life

In a university commencement address several years ago, Brian Dyson, CEO of Coca Cola Enterprises, spoke of the relation of work to one's other commitments.

"Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air.  You name them - work, family, health, friends and spirit and you're keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball.  If you drop it, it will bounce back.

But the other four balls - family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass.  If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered.  They will never be the same.  You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.  How?

Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.  It is because we are different that each of us is special.  Don't set your goals by what other people deem important.  Only you know what is best for you.

Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart.  Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or the future.  By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life.

Don't give up when you still have something to give.  Nothing is really over
until the moment you stop trying.

Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect?  It is this fragile thread that binds us to each together.

Don't be afraid to encounter risks.  It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find.  The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you've been,
but also where you are going.

Don't forget that a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.

Don't be afraid to learn.  Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.

Don't use time or words carelessly.  Neither can be retrieved.  Life is not a
race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery and Today is a gift that's why
we call it - "The Present."


Leadership Is Action Not Position

All successful people became successful and the reason is they gave some talent or ability in the service of others. You can contribute in some way to others no matter how small your talent. You too, can become successful.

No one achieves success without being of service. The successful do not use others, other people use the successful, for above all success is of service.

So everyone has to be someone to someone to be anyone. The essence of success is service.


Become A Volunteer

Summer is a perfect time to continue or start finding volunteer opportunities. Many students do it just to be able to put on their resume. However, volunteerism is a life time commitment. Feeling the responsibility to make a difference in the lives of others is one of the noble tasks we can do. We were so impressed by many of our students having done not one but several continuous volunteer jobs. Two hours every week is a requirement for every student to earn your tuition. 

Robin Sharma wrote a great short essay about volunteerism. Here is what he said:

“Giving the gift of your time by volunteering to serve those who have less than you is an excellent way to remind yourself on a regular basis of the abundance that exists in your life.

After a keynote speech on leadership I delivered to the sales team of a large insurance company, one of the firm's top producers told me that one of the reasons for his success was his habit of spending a few hours a week helping those less fortunate than he was. ‘Seeing what others don't have keeps me awake to all the good things I do have. It prevents me from taking things for granted and, even more important, helps me make a difference in the lives of people who real­ly need me.’

French physician Albert Schweitzer observed, ‘I don't know what your destiny will be but one thing I do know: The only ones among you who will be happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.’ And Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote, ‘One can never pay in gratitude; one can only pay 'in kind' somewhere else in life.’ Volunteering affords you the chance to help others and pay back the debt owed to those who have helped you.”

We will have a page on the website “showing off” to the whole world about your volunteer work and how you are helping others. What have you been doing it during the summer and what are you planning to do in the fall semester? Let us know.


12 Tips on Time Management

Do you ever make a to do list and give yourself a certain amount of time to do each thing but then when your time is up you only got a portion of your list accomplished and just wish you had better time management? If you said yes you are not alone, we all go through this on a daily bases but luckily I have 12 tips on how to manage your time more wisely, effectively, and efficiently!

1. You need to spend time planning and organizing

Give yourself 15 minutes to sit down and make your game plan and organize everything that needs to be organized. This is crucial because if you go through and make a quick list of things to do that is not effective at all, you could have missed important things or rushed through it and put things that might take more time than what you actually got!

2. Set Goals

Make sure you have your goals set for long-term work and short-term work. If there is some type of goal you want to achieve give yourself time to achieve it, whatever it may be. The only way to achieve is acting on it. Instead of putting it on the back burner and letting it sit there for awhile put your step to achieving your goals on your to do list. A little of time spent on it adds up to a lot of time spent on it!

3. Prioritize

Make sure you have your priorities straight. If you have something that has to get done, get it done! Why put off tomorrow when it can get done today. If you put your priorities first you will find yourself spending less time on them than you thought you would. If a priority of yours is spending time with your family, do it, then get your list done. Don’t let that time pass by because you will be thinking of it that whole time you are working on what ever you may be working on!

4. Use your to do list

Like I said earlier making a to do list, make sure you use it. There are so many times when I will spend the time on making a to do list then set it down and go do what I think I should be doing then look back at my to do list and notice how many things I forgot! A great tool to use is Gmail calendar. This is such a great tool, we can make an efficient to do list and always have it open in a tab to make sure we are getting it done!

5. Be flexible

Make sure you are flexible with your time. Give yourself more time than needed to accomplish a task. This is very important because don’t forget about transition time between things to get done. Sometimes you can spend 5, 10, 15 minutes between each task! So make sure you are flexible with your time!

6. Consider your prime time

Lets say you have a break when working or doing some type of activity around the house, job, or life in general. Is that break a prime time for your to work on your to do list? Most likely it is not. Make sure you find a good time slot that is your prime time. Whether it be early in the morning, afternoon, or at night. This is important not to be scattered with your work because many times we find ourselves forgetting to finish something that we have started. Sometimes I think I will have enough time to write an article or post and not finish. That evening I will make my list of things to do and then when working on stuff I remember that I did not finish a task that I started!

7. Do the right things right!

This is so imperative on whatever you are doing. If you are writing an article make sure you are doing it right and giving it your 110% effort. The worse thing to come across is when I read an article and you can tell the author just wrote it for quantity not quality! Make sure everything you do is amazing content and it represents you how you want it to. The quality of your presence is so important; don’t let one article ruin your reputation.

8. Eliminate the urge

If you stumble upon a great website that seems to distract you, you must eliminate that urge to go on. The TV can always be a bad urge to, if you have the TV on in the background and you are trying to focus, just turn it off. The TV will grab your attention and suck you in. Before you know it an hour has gone by and you haven’t started anything.

9. Do not double task

There was a study that I was reading up on that the average person that double tasks spends 80% more time on the two tasks put together than if you would have done the tasks separately. Double tasking makes it so you are not giving your 110% effort towards one task and can easily get distracted doing other stuff besides what your plan was to do. just trust me on my judgment don’t double task!

10. Avoid being a perfectionist

The sad truth is is that nothing can ever be perfect. So avoid attempting to be a perfectionist. If you are working on a task and feel that something is not perfect only give it a few revisions because if you try to make it perfect you will spend hours on trying to fix something that is not fixable. People love the way you are that’s why they are readers, viewers, followers, and friends of yours. There is nothing to prove to one. So when you write something or make a video just give it your best shot and if its not perfect in your own eyes that’s ok no one cares.

11. Conquer Procrastination

This is probably the most important tip of them all. Procrastination. We all hate the word but we all do it anyway. Like I said earlier why put something off till tomorrow if you can get it done today. Procrastination is nothing but evil, it brings stress and lost time in the long run that you could have used to work on something else. So when you tell yourself you will get it done today, you tell yourself right back and say NO I will get it done NOW!

12. My favorite tip – REWARD!

Every time you accomplish a full list of things to do reward yourself. This is so important in life. Make sure you give yourself a pat on the back and say Good Job for what you just did. Rewards can come in so many shapes and sizes! Whether it be taking yourself and the family to a movie or simply relaxing on the couch and watching some TV, whatever you love to do make that your reward when you get your list done!

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Cowboy's Guide To Life

Don't squat with your spurs on.

Don't interfere with something that ain't botherin' you none.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

The easiest way to eat crow is while it's still warm. The colder it gets, the harder it is to swaller.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.

If it don't seem like it's worth the effort, it probably ain't.

It don't take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.

The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with watches you shave his face in the mirror every morning.

Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.

If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.

Don't worry about bitin' off more'n you can chew; your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger'n you think.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

Generally, you ain't learnin' nothin' when your mouth's a jawin'.

Tellin' a man to git lost and makin' him do it are two entirely different propositions.

If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there with ya.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta' that comes from bad judgment.

When you give a personal lesson in meanness to a critter or to a person, don't be surprised if they learn their lesson.

When you're throwin' your weight around, be ready to have it thrown around by somebody else.

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back.

Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's sure crucial to know what it was.

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back into your pocket.

And, never, ever, miss a good chance to shut up.


The love that you radiate

By Nina Farrell

The eclipse, a full solar eclipse and the obliteration, or seeming obliteration, of the sun by the moon brings to mind, for me, how often we seem to forget the effect of our love, or lack of love, on the whole of the Universe.

We as humans see ourselves as "individuals" – insular, segregated, aside, away from others, and we experience loneliness in the midst of thousands in our massive cities. And there is surely nothing as difficult as feeling alone when one is surrounded by others, is there?

Yet, - we need to start understanding that there is no such thing as alone, no such thing as individuality – yes, there are our different viewpoints, our different perspectives on everything, but through it all, we are linked, merged, flowing in and out of each other, Source morphing, constant connection, our only sense of "separateness" in our minds.

As we become more and more aware that we do not "lose ourselves" by our comprehension of our Oneness, we feel ourselves augmented, refined, enlarged, lifted up, more and brighter and supported by the love that we radiate outwards, and inwards.

The love we feel for each other, from the smile to a stranger to our deep heart bonds, shines outwards to the furthest reaches of the cosmos and makes up the totality that is Source. From a non physical perspective the light can be seen, brighter than bright, soul light, heart light, the colors of the rainbow, pure blissful heart rending love. We are the creators of the great awakening while we are at the same time the ones who are awakening, in great waves across time and space. There is joy that rings out towards the stars, the song of Source that we can hear when we still the voice of our mind.

The love that you feel is never lost, even though it may not be reciprocated. No love is ever lost – it is the great driving force behind all growth and joy.

And so, may this day make you ever more aware of the love that you are, the pure liquid love that you are, ever expanding through your love for each other. Never hold back, never repress your love – it is Who We Are.


The Seven Habits of Highly Happy People

By: Marc and Angel Hack Life

Highly happy people all share happy habits. It’s as simple as that. The happiest people I know share seven very obvious habits. If you’re looking to expand your general happiness, you may consider adopting these in your own life.

1. Be a part of something you believe in.
This could be anything. People may take an active role in their local city council, find refuge in religious faith, join a social club supporting causes they believe in, or find passion in their careers. In each case, the physiological outcome is the same. They engage themselves in something they strongly believe in. This engagement brings happiness and meaning into their lives.

2. Share time with friends and family.
A happy life is a life shared with friends and family. The stronger the personal relationships are and the higher the frequency of interaction, the happier a person will be.

3. Reflect on the good.
Quite often people concentrate too much of their attention on negative outcomes and leave no time to positively reflect on their successes. It’s natural for a person to want to correct undesirable circumstances and focus closely on doing so, but there must be a healthy balance in the allocation of personal awareness. It is important to mindfully reflect on the good while striving diligently to correct the bad. A continuous general awareness of your daily successes can have a noticeably positive affect on your overall emotional happiness.

4. Exploit the resources you DO have access to.
The average person is usually astonished when they see a physically handicapped person show intense signs of emotional happiness. How could someone in such a restricted physical state be so happy? The answer rests in how they use the resources they do have. Stevie Wonder couldn’t see, so he exploited his sense of hearing into a passion for music, and he now has twenty-five Grammy Awards to show for it.

5. Create happy endings whenever possible.
The power of endings is quite remarkable. The end of any experience has a profound impact on a person’s overall perception of the experience as a whole. Think about reading a well written, thought-provoking novel. Now imagine the ending totally sucks. Even if the story was captivating up until the ending, would you still be happy recommending the novel to a friend? People always remember the ending. If the ending is happy, the experience creates happiness. Always tie loose ends, leave things on a good note, and create happy endings in your life whenever possible.

6. Use personal strengths to get things done.
Everyone possesses unique personal strengths. We all have different talents and
skill sets. Emotional happiness comes naturally to those who use their strengths to get things done. The state of completion always creates a sense of achievement. If this achievement is based exclusively on your own personal ability to get the job done, the physiological rewards are priceless.

7. Savor the natural joy of simple pleasures.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best things in life are free. They come in the form of simple pleasures and they appear right in front of you at various locations and arbitrary times. They are governed by Mother Nature and situational circumstance and captured by mindful awareness. It’s all about taking a moment to notice the orange and pink sunset reflecting off the pond water as you hold hands with someone you love. Noticing these moments and taking part in them regularly will bring unpredictable bursts of happiness into your life.

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Walking the Talk

by Ruben Gonzalez

Leaders in every field agree that there is a shortage of people who get things done. People who get results. That is great news. It's an opportunity for all of us. What that means is that if you want to move up in your field, all you have to do is to start getting results.

So how do you do that?

By becoming a person of action. Massive action!

Having good ideas is not enough. Even having great ideas is not enough. Ideas are a dime a dozen. However, people that implement ideas are priceless.

Everything that exists in this world is the product of an idea that was acted upon. Even the chair you're sitting in!

Successful people are active. They get it done. They don't waste any time. They have an urgency about them.

Passive people are not successful. Passive people procrastinate. Put things off. They wait for everything to be perfect before acting.

Well, I've got news for you. Conditions have never been or never will be perfect. What if Eisenhower had waited until conditions were perfect to invade Normandy? What if Kennedy had waited until conditions were perfect before deciding to put a man on the moon? What if Columbus had waited for conditions were perfect before setting out on his voyage?

When you are about to take a family vacation you probably don't wait until all the lights are green. You get started, and you handle the red lights as you come across them. Use that approach with everything else.

Do something. Get started. Move! Get some momentum going. If you don't, you'll regret it and you will be filled with stress. Stress comes from not doing what you know you should be doing.

Once you get started, once you are in motion, your mind starts focusing on how to get the job done. As soon as you get in motion you move ahead of the competition - all those poor souls that are still "thinking about it."

Action produces confidence. Inaction strengthens fear. Just think about when you were a kid on the high dive in your neighborhood pool. The longer you waited to dive, the worse the fear got. But once you decided to dive, the fear was gone and you spent the rest of the afternoon diving. Taking action made it fun. Exhilarating.

You know what you need to do. Do it now. Get going. Get started. You'll be glad you did.

If you won't do it now, do us all a favor and STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!

Copyright © 2008 Ruben Gonzalez


Be a Story Teller, Not Just a Speaker

Speakers are ordinarily people, from teachers to grandparents, from mountain climbers to cancer survivors. The platform provides them with a privilege and awesome responsibility to share their stories in a way that helps the audience to “wake up.” Good stories make people say, “Wait a minute. I can think or act differently about everything than I did before.” Stories are everywhere. Speakers learn to retrieve them and retell them to audiences as a way to show their humanness to show they care; to open people to possibility thinking and how making mistakes will lead to the courage to finally help them succeed. Because most of us define our thoughts visually, great stories help to enhance and even transform our lives.

Be unique. Think funny thoughts. Live and re-live your story when you are telling a story. Words are critical so be sure to pause when necessary and be in the now. Your words need to create an image in the audience’s mind so that they can remember your story. They may be a step away from their own story. This will strengthen the connection between you and them.

What is your story?



By Jorge Luis Borges

translated by Alastair Reid

If I were able to live my life again,

next time I would try to make more mistakes.

I would not try to be so perfect. I would be more relaxed.

I would be much more foolish than I have been. In fact,

I would take very few things seriously.

I would be much less sanitary.

I would run more risks. I would take more trips,

I would contemplate more sunsets,

I would climb more mountains,

I would swim more rivers.

I would go to more places I have never visited.

I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans.

I would have more real problems, fewer imaginary ones.

I was one of these people who lived prudently

and prolifically every moment of his life.

Certainly I had moments of great happiness:

Don’t let the present slip away.

I was one of those who never went anywhere

without a thermometer, a hot water bottle,

an umbrella, and a parachute.

If I could live over again,

I would go barefoot, beginning

in early spring

and would continue so until the end of autumn.

I would take more turns on the merry-go-round.

I would watch more dawns

And play with more children,

if I once again had a life ahead of me.

But, you see, I am eighty-five

and I know that I am dying.


Time Management Help For College Students

Time management for college students is an imperative. Classes, study time, student activities, work-study, and home life can pull students apart, especially if they do not have a plan. It is the scheduled and disciplined student who will not only succeed but have the best and most rounded college experience.

Get And Use A Planner 
Keep a planner or calendar with you always to write everything down- notes for class, schedules, invitations, thoughts, ideas, etc. A planner will have a section to schedule your time, keeping commitments in place, while allowing you space for notes too. There is also the option for an electronic planner in the form of a smart phone or PDA.

Schedule It 
Writing things down will keep you ready for mid-term, finals, or just the perfect storm moments (a week of two tests and two papers due). Soon as you get your syllabus, write when key test are and papers due. Schedule everything around those moments, meaning that you should slice papers into equal components toward completion. Topic decided by week one, bibliography developed week two, reading and notes taken weeks three-five, outline week six, etc. Scheduling mid-terms and finals by giving study time two focuses; one, preparing for the next class (able to participate and contribute), and two, drilling the facts for tests. After these are done, you can add back in student activities, work, and fun to the schedule.

Review Weekly 
Check to see if you are on target each week. If you find yourself falling behind, some non-academic activities will have to be cut. Also, the review will have the benefit of letting you know what is ahead of you too.

Do To-Do Lists 
You may not be able to schedule everything, everyday. Keeping a to-do list will let you know what you want to accomplish should you find free time or what is to be accomplished when have an hour scheduled that says “Library Time.”

Print And Post The Calendars 
Yes, you keep a planner. But posting a monthly calendar everywhere will keep everything you need in mind. Place one in the bathroom, another on the refrigerator, and if you have a problem with too much TV, tape one to the bottom of the TV. These calendars will help keep you on track. They also have the side benefit of letting others (friends and family) know when not to bother you.

Get Your Fun In 
No problem with you watching your favorite TV shows, going out with friends, or enjoying ballgames. Just be sure it is scheduled, otherwise it will take all your time before you know it. You can also use it as a motivator (see reward yourself). Friends want to go out on Saturday night? Know Saturday morning you are going to the library to get a paper’s outline done, and then you are studying while doing laundry in the afternoon. Then you can enjoy the evening, guilt free, knowing that you deserve it, as you are ready for the next week.

Reward Yourself 
One of the sweetest rewards is to be done when everyone else is hurting. Knowing your papers are done, you are more than prepared for finals, and everything is turned in, is a wonderful feeling. Find a way to reward yourself. Of course, you can reward yourself for smaller accomplishments through out the semester. Keep yourself motivated.

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You Are What You Think

You deserve every good thing that you are capable of acquiring through the use of your talents. The only real limitation what you can be and have, is lack of desire, persistency and determination... If you set goals and want to achieve them badly enough, nothing in the world can stop you, as long as you are willing to carry on persistently.

Here are some great quotes to ponder… The ones that you really like, put in your memory. Interestingly, you will find yourself using it. “YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK”

“It is important to believe in yourself. Believe that you  can do it, under any circumstances. Because if you believe you can, then you really will” Wally "Famous" Amos

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall” Confucius

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn”      Harriet Beecher Stowe

“The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work” Arthur Brisbane

We wish you much success in your finals. We know that each one of you always will remember that harder you work, more successful you get!

Please don't skip a meal and don't forget to drink lots of liquid. Meditate at least twice a day for ten minutes to rest your brain and body. Don't worry, be happy, and be healthy!


5 Study Tips You Wish You Had in College

College. These four years will be the only time in your life that it will be acceptable – even possible – to crank out two weeks of work in 48 consecutive non-sleeping hours, plan your whole schedule based on day-time television, and subsist on a diet of ramen noodles, Mountain Dew and Cheese Nips. But regardless of pimple-inducing eating habits and the sleep schedule of a sloth, college is about education. And, depending on which university you attend, that education can be quite rigorous.

Most high schools and home schools do little to prepare fresh-faced 18-year-olds for a full workload at the collegiate level. And freshmen scramble to figure out how to attend class, study, and actually pass (if not ace) their courses, all while balancing some of the “funner” parts of college. Most figure it out and by senior year they have their study habits down.

But wouldn’t it be nice to have pinned down the right studying routine a little earlier?

1. Study groups don’t always do that much studying.

Misery loves company, and I don’t know any student who is up to his and/or her ears in memorizing dates who isn’t miserable. The idea behind a study group is to bounce ideas off one another, glean off the smart kids anything you’re missing, and fill in the blanks on the subjects where you’re the weakest.

In reality it’s a time to eat chips, complain about the weather/your lack of preparedness/the professor/how late it’s getting. Study groups are social groups, especially when there are more than three of you. Try one out, and if you realize you haven’t learned a thing after two hours, don’t go back next time there’s a test.

2. Likewise, the library is a hub of social activity.

Depending on the size of your university, there may be multiple libraries to choose from. But, especially around mid-terms and finals, the library is a veritable hive of your friends and student colleagues. When you go there, expect to see people you know. Expect to see people who want to talk to you. Expect to spend the first 25 minutes to an hour mingling before you actually settle down to hit the books.

3. It isn’t embarrassing to ask your professor or TA for help.

Being completely overwhelmed by the amount of information and ideas presented to you as a freshman is normal, and it will continue for the duration of your college career. Take advantage of your professors’ office hours and any meetings your TAs offer. It’s okay to be completely clueless and to admit it to your professors. Ask them for guidance and ideas, for extra reading that will help you understand. Run paper topics by them. Most teachers are teaching because they enjoy helping young people learn – asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness or stupidity.

4. Your study habits are your own.

Every student has his and her own studying techniques. Flash cards, day-of cramming, group settings, solo-reading, listening to music, total silence: what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone.

As a college newcomer, it’s easy to be persuaded to study the “right” way, be it by your roommate, a professor, upperclassman, or your parents. While it’s good to try out a survey of different studying methods, you will learn quickly what works for you and what doesn’t.

Once you figure that out, you don’t need to sway from it.

5. Procrastination is a way of life

Procrastination is unavoidable in the university setting. Even if you don’t make a habit of it, there is no way you are going to be able to avoid putting off a project in favor of your friends, flipping through Facebook instead of finding primary sources, and taking a nap instead of reading.

Don’t worry. It’s okay.

Some students can procrastinate through all four years of college life and make it out with flying colors; for others, it will be their academic demise. If procrastination is a problem for you and your studying, you’ll need to conquer it. Some ideas:


Change the due date of all your assignments two or three days before they are actually due


Set goals and rewards for yourself: no texting until you’re finished reading, dinner with your friends only after you finish four pages


Avoid distractions. Once you have your information, go to a part of campus or town with no WiFi. Study in an unpopular building as opposed to the bustling library or common rooms.


Keep your room tidy and the fridge stocked: it’s easy to put off your work when you feel like there are things you need to do, like cleaning your room or grocery shopping.

Remember that college is about lots of things outside of education: discovering new interests, finding out new things about yourself, making friends, traveling, experimenting. So have fun – and study hard!


Success is Not Taught in Schools

By Jim Rohrbach

Today I want to share some “guidelines for a successful life” that you may not have come across in your formal educational process. I unashamedly describe myself as a formerly shy, low-self-esteem underachiever with a bad attitude – in other words, I was a pretty normal young adult. You may be able to relate to that, along with feeling lost, confused, scared, frustrated, and depressed about your prospects for the future. If that’s the case, don’t despair – I believe most people have a similar experience, something like: “OK – I’ve got my degree(s)… now what?” Relax – you’re not crazy, and you’re not stupid – you just haven’t been given a REAL education on what it takes to be successful.

So here are a few guidelines and resources I can share that helped me get it together:

Mission Statement

In his classic book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill interviewed over 500 highly successful people and found they all had what he called “a chief definite aim or major purpose.” So the first step in creating a successful life is to define your mission. If you need more clarity on your career direction, simply do an Internet search on “career assessments” – you’ll find a number of free online assessments to help you narrow down your choices.

Positive Mental Attitude

Henry Ford was quoted as saying, “If you think you can, or if you think you can’t, you’re right.” It’s critical for all of us to believe in ourselves, regardless of our current situation, because our circumstances can only improve if we believe they can. I highly recommend Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s book The Power of Positive Thinking.

Goal Setting

Once you’ve created a Mission Statement and believe you can achieve it, you’ll then need to set your goals in the four major areas of life: Mental (your career and financial goals), Physical (the shape of your body and what you put in it), Emotional (your relationships), and Spiritual (those things that help your spirit soar). The best teacher of goal setting is Brian Tracy.

Time Management

You can then manage your time based upon your goals in these four areas of life. I highly recommend you get a daily planner, then set an appointment with yourself every weekend to schedule all your activities for the upcoming week – you’ll sleep well on Sunday night if you do, because you will have a plan. The only people who fear Mondays are people who don’t know what to expect. First Things First by Stephen Covey is a fine book to help you do this right.


All great athletes, from the professional ranks to the Olympians, use mental rehearsal to picture successful outcomes in their sports. It’s no different for you. The basic technique is to put yourself in a relaxed state, breathing deeply with your eyes closed. Then use a “preprogrammed daydream” to see yourself achieving your goals, whether it’s completing a project, closing a deal, being in great shape, or improving a relationship. Check out Shakti Gawain’s book Creative Visualization.

Lifelong Learning

I was not the best student in high school – I graduated with a 1.74 grade point average because I refused to take studying seriously. I’m now very serious about not only my success, but especially the success of my clients. So I now have an annual learning goal – since 1998 I’ve read over 40 books a year related to my field. I’ve come to realize that when we stop learning, we’re dead. No budget for books right now? No problem – your local library has all the books you’ll need.


Finally, you GOTTA laugh at life! A well-honed sense of humor will help you keep perspective on your life, especially during the inevitable tough times, so you can stay focused on success without taking any setbacks personally. My best “coaches” on this? Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor, Jim Carrey, and The Marx Brothers’ movies.

I hope you find these guidelines and resources helpful and begin to apply them today. In the long run they’ll bring you the satisfaction of a life well lived. 


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