Sabtu, 07 Februari 2009

Stop Procrastination and Take Action

by: Greg Frost

Procrastination is a bad habit that can turn into a rapidly downward spiralling journey. It starts of innocently as an avoidance of tasks and responsibilities that need to be fulfilled, but if allowed to develop can turn into a nasty habit. There are many negative and harmful effects of procrastination, and it is vital that you learn to recognize the signs and take action to stop procrastinating.

If you have acknowledged that you have a problem, its time you sat up and did something about it. Don’t let procrastination ruin your life, relationships and job. Here are some suggestions that we have to encourage you to stop procrastinating.

Tip #1: Positive thinking

There is no such vocabulary as “cannot be done”. Your responsibilities can be done, no matter how daunting and challenging they may seem initially. Tell yourself that you can do it, and that you choose to do so. Recognize the fact that procrastinating is bad for you, and that you choose to overcome it, either by speaking to someone you trust to guide you, or by other self help means. The key here is that you want to overcome your habit of procrastinating, and that you choose to take positive action to do so.

Tip #2: Be Well Equipped

Part of getting any task done is having the right tools to do it. Make sure that you are well equipped mentally as well as physically. If it is an assignment that is due, make sure that you have done your research, or spoken to the tutors or superiors that you should have spoken to. Draw up a schedule to help you plan out what needs to be done, and what you have to do to accomplish your task.

Tip #3: Be Realistic

It is impossible to suddenly quite being procrastinating. Understand that it is as much a bad habit similar to smoking or drugs, and you need time to overcome this problem. Set yourself realistic goals, and draw up a chart to show yourself improving. Give yourself rewards for finishing tasks on time and before deadlines. With regards to your responsibilities, make realistic plans on how to go about doing them. Do not expect yourself to finish a 10,000 word assignment in a day, but space out your preparation and actual work over a reasonable amount of time.

Tip #4: Prioritise

You have a dozen tasks to complete, but you need to pick one. And that’s where you first started procrastinating, by choosing the easiest and least consequential task. Draw up a to-do list, and mark each item as urgent, important and unimportant. Do the tasks that are urgent and important first. Plan your time wisely and allow for breaks, which are just as important for you to unwind and relax your mind so that you don’t get too stressed.

Tip #5: Take Small Steps

It is no point to set yourself the task of scaling Mount Everest, when you have trouble climbing up two flights of stairs. You are overcoming the bad habit of procrastinating, do not expect miracles to happen just because you have decided to act and stop procrastinating. For each task that may seem Herculean, break it down into small components and parts that can be accomplished separately. Set about completing these small parts, instead of attempting to conquer the entire project in one go. You will find it more manageable and less daunting, and succeeding at each step will motivate you to give yourself a pat on the back.

It is possible to overcome procrastination, you just need to put your back into it and persevere. Use these 5 tips to stop procrastination and take action today.

How to Relieve Stress for Free

by: Greg Frost

When talking about stress, stress management experts will always emphasize that the focus should be on making stress work for you, rather than eliminating stress. Without a doubt, it is impossible to live a stress free life in our times, when the needs of money and material wants and needs drives us to study hard and work harder. It is also perhaps a little known fact that stress need not always be bad.

Stress refers to our reaction from the conflict between our external environment and us, leading to emotional and physical pressure. The key is in learning to distinguish when the levels of stress are too high, and how to take steps to reduce the level of stress so that it remains optimal for you. Here are 3 tips to help your relieve stress for free!

Tip #1: Always set Goals

At the start of each day, week or month, it is crucial that you set yourself goals. These goals should be SMART, meaning that they have to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. Remember that your goals should always be realistic, and by pursuing the goals that you have set out you will be able to achieve more than you thought you were capable of in the time span you have set yourself. It is no point to set goals that are overly ambitious, as the end result may be undesirable, with you unable to meet your goals and hence feeling stressed out and experiencing a lower sense of self confidence.

Tip #2: Improve your Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence here is taken in the context of managing your emotions, especially in relation to stressful situations. This is usually measured by an indicator known as the Emotional Quotient, or EQ. Most often, your emotional reactions may be more extreme than called for, and this is due to your perception of threat to your emotional wellbeing. It is important that you do not adopt extremist views with regards to any situation, though it definitely does not mean that you should not have an opinion. Remember that there is no strict black or white, and that our opinions should always be flexible along the gradient of gray.

Tip #3: Time Management

With proper time management, you will find that 24 hours a day is more than sufficient for you to complete everything that you want or need to, including rest. Before you go to sleep each night, review what you have done for the day, and what you are planning to do the next day. Follow a set of priorities, or draw up a daily to do list, complete with a realistic amount of time allocated to each task. However, there is no need to be overly rigid to the timetable as certain tasks may require more time due to greater complexity than accounted for.

In Other Words?

by: Steven Gillman

People use the expression "in other words" because sometimes other words are necessary to better understand something. You probably use it yourself, but how often do you actually think about the words you are using, and the effect they may have? How often do you change the words you use in order to change your perspective or get a better result?

To Think In Other Words

That the words we choose affect how we see things, and even affect our physiology, isn't a new idea. It is easy to prove it to yourself. Just have a friend try to relax while you tell him, "make that tension jump right out of your muscles." Afterwards try it again with, "let the tension drain from your muscles and flow out of your body." Both instructions communicate the same basic idea, but the second is more effective at getting the desired result; relaxation.

In other words, words are used to accomplish something, so why not use the ones that are best suited for the job? It's an idea that makes sense for communicating with others, but it is perhaps even more so when communicating with oneself. Your own "self talk" can dramatically affect whether you get the results you want.

Suppose you repeatedly say something like, "I can't handle this," when in tough situations. You are programming your subconscious mind to believe that you are not capable of doing certain things, and with time this will become more true the more you repeat it. That may not be the result you are hoping for.

In reality, you're probably just tired and frustrated. You actually are "handling" the situation in some way, but you would like a better way to do it. So why not say that instead? When you are tempted to say "this is too much for me," or "I can't handle all this," say, "I'll find a better way to deal with this." This instruction to your subconscious mind is almost certain to be more productive.

Better Words

Below are a few examples of words or phrases that may not be getting you the results you want, followed by some possibly more productive alternatives. These are just to get you thinking. If they make sense for you, use them, but experiment with your own alternatives as well. Think in terms of the goal, and find the words that are most likely to help.

"I can't..." Replacements: "I can..." or "I'm choosing not to right now.."

"This always happens..." Replacement: "Sometimes this happens..."

"I always do the same thing... Replacement: "I make this mistake sometimes..."

"This is so overwhelming..." Replacement: "I'm busy with many goals..."

"I have to..." Replacement: "I choose to..."

This last one reminds you to accept responsibility for your actions. Phrase it this way, and you feel compelled to either reaffirm your choices or make new ones. This prevents you from thinking that others or the "situation" forces you to do things - a very negative and unproductive perspective.

"Never," and "always" commonly show up in phrases that are counter-productive. They are sometimes powerful de-motivators that drain your energy. "This never works for me," or "I always screw up," are not likely to help you get results that you want, are they? Avoid over-generalizing like this, unless it is more like, "I always find a way to get things done." In other words, start using better words.

Laughter Is Truly The Best Medicine

by: Laurie J. Brenner

If there's one thing I have to admit about my mother is that she was always right about this: Laughter Is The Best Medicine.

If you can't laugh about yourself and the things that happen to you - you're headed for a heart attack or some other malady, it's the way the body works. Laughter lightens the moment and strips away the seriousness that many of us approach life with; it releases the pain and chases away your personal rainstorms leaving a bright sunshiny day.

Scientists have also discovered that laughter strengthens your immune system and increases your cardiovascular flexibility (your blood vessels exercise through dilation).

According to Dr. Goodheart, the laughter doctor, laughter convulses your diaphragm, which in turn massages your internal organs. Massaged internal organs are happy internal organs and they cooperate by staying plump and juicy.

She says that laughter also causes you to gulp in large portions of air, oxygenating your blood. When that air is expelled, it's been clocked at 70 miles an hour, providing the lungs with an excellent workout. By laughing, she says, you lose muscle control, which relaxes the skeletal system. According to Dr. Goodheart, four-year-olds laugh 500 times a day, while adults laugh a mere 15! She's convinced that if we laugh as much as a four-year old, we've have the heart rate and blood pressure of that same child.

On top of all that, she continues, laughter causes the brain to produce hormones called beta endorphins which reduce pain and causes our adrenal glands to manufacture cortisol, which is a natural anti-inflammatory that's wonderful for arthritis.

Laughter also provides a catharsis, which means to purify or purge, to the emotions. It also brings about a spiritual renewal or release from tension. You notice how sometimes you'll see a comedian on television, and while he may not be that funny, something just makes you laugh uproariously? Your body seems to know that it needs the chemicals that are released through laughter.

I've always felt better after a good belly laugh or two. For me that means some very large-sounding snorts and a few donkey brays thrown into the bargain. Some people won't even go to the movie with me because when I start laughing I cannot stop. My daughters always used to go, Mom! as they slunk down into their seats trying not to be seen.

When someone's laughing, others laugh along. It's contagious. You can't help it. Oftentimes in my movie-theater laughter excursions, I have motivated a whole theater-full of people laughing right along with me. All this during the credits! (John Belushi being escorted through the prison in the opening credit scenes of The Blues Brothers. If you notice very carefully, while walking he has his butt cheeks pressed ever so tightly together as he's leaving the prison. It was a subtle physical comment that kept me laughing. The more people turned and looked at me, the harder I laughed! Finally, they just gave up and joined me!).

The Difference between Laughter, Humor, Teasing and Tickling

However, there is a difference between laughter, humor, teasing or tickling. Humor is your way of looking at the world, it's an intellectual exercise. It's your idea of what's funny; it's not the actual act of laughing.

Teasing and tickling are really a way of ridiculing someone. Tickling is something beyond someone's control and is actually a physical invasion of sorts. Children laugh when you tickle them because the body works that way, but it's actually a form of emotional ridicule that can result in very unpleasant feelings.

Teasing usually has an edge to it. People say they're teasing, but essentially they are dead serious. I think teasing is a passive-aggressive way of hurting someone through the guise of humor. Teasing, according to Dr. Goodheart, "involves our having information about something that another person has very strong feelings about - usually painful feelings - and then bringing that information up without permission." She also says that as people become very good friends they might give each other permission unconsciously to push each other's buttons. Husbands, wives, lovers, and friends play with each other's pain with permission. "When you tease without permission in order to trigger laughter, it's very manipulative and controlling."

All in all, when you're feeling down and need a lift, try laughter. It may be hard at first, but just try laughing. Force yourself. Pretty soon, you'll find yourself laughing at your own laughter and the looks you get from your family members. They'll begin to wonder what's so funny and the corners of their mouths will crinkle up in the beginning of a smile. Now you're laughing because they give you these quizzical looks wondering what you're laughing about.

Pretty soon, your laugh is real, your belly aches, the tears flow from your eyes, and the world takes on a different hue.

As for me when I laugh like this, I need Depends. I laugh so hard sometimes I wet my pants and that has nothing to do with my age.

I can still hear my friend's mom yelling at me today nearly 38 years later (while grinning ear to ear) to get off her brocade couch whenever I started laughing.

She knew what would happen.

The Law of Attraction, Television & You

by: Richard Blackstone

The law of attraction tells us that you bring into your life that which you put your attention on. The secret to life is to put your attention on what serves you and take your attention away from what does not serve you.

Does your spiritual growth come from the television? Does television spew forth spirituality information? We know it uses religion a lot to send its messages but is that the same as spiritual enlightenment? We often create a habit of watching television no matter what it is that we are watching.

We get into a habit of talking bad about others and ourselves and it just seems normal to us. Our environment seems to encourage us to play a role in life that has nothing to do with who we really are. We get feedback daily from the television that encourages us to make decisions that stifle our thinking and therefore our creativity. Our non-conformity conforms to the marketing plans that bombard us daily.

Hey, here's a novel idea. Don't turn on the television. It's just an idea but think about it. The immutable universal law of attraction tells us that we attract into our life that which we put our attention on.

If you watch three to four or more hours of television a day you are putting a lot of attention on whatever it is that you are watching. If you just did this for one day it wouldn't affect you much, but if you do this every day and maybe a little more on the weekends, then you can begin to see the cumulative effect that this has on the overall input into what you think.

Let's just take one aspect of television and examine how it influences our lives. Remember these are just words. These are words that we are receiving through our physical sense of hearing with the addition of a visual context that adds emphasis to the overall message.

We are going to look at the national evening news. It doesn't matter which network you are tuned to because they all say the same things. Every night we are subjected to the lead story, which is the most sensational story of the day. My dictionary defines sensational as: 1. Arousing intense interests 2. Intended to shock, thrill, etc. (Kind of sounds like a carnival show)

Let's examine this daily input into our thoughts. The commentator has been carefully selected and programmed to create an image of fairness and trust. We are supposed to trust this fair-minded person who is relaying the news of the world to us in an unbiased way. That is the image that they all project to us.

We are lead to believe that they are doing us a great service by reporting to us the information, that puts into summary form, what has happened that particular day that they feel is important to you. Have they ever asked you what is important to you? Or are they trying to tell you what is important to you?

This is how subtle it is and how easy it is to influence collective thinking. Just the mere fact that you are listening to the news means that you are going to be influenced by the news. You may not have had a thought about being sick but the nightly news report tells you there is a national epidemic of the flu going around and, all of a sudden, you begin to wonder if you are going to get the flu. You feel fine but you now have a thought in your head that you might get the flu.

They take a commercial break and the first advertisement is for flu medicine. You didn't have a thought in your head about being sick just five minutes ago but now you are thinking to yourself that you should probably get some flu medicine tomorrow. You are susceptible to the flu, the nightly news just told you the flu bug is going around and you were fortunate enough to see an advertisement for flu medicine.

The next morning you wake up with a sniffle. You tell yourself, via your thoughts, that you are getting the flu. You go to work and tell a co-worker that you have the flu and will probably miss work in a few days because that is how the flu works on you. Lo and behold, you develop more flu-like symptoms and you become so sick that you can't go to work for a couple of days.

That's how subtle it is and that's how powerful our thoughts and words are. The flu example is bad enough but we are being fed much more sensational news than the flu bug. We are being fed huge doses of fear daily. Morning, noon, and night we are being told, via words on the news that we must live in fear of just about everything that is happening in the world.

We are told to fear the weather, fear earthquakes, fear the flu, fear the poor, fear our enemies, fear our school systems, fear foreigners, fear our food, fear children who commit crimes, fear the environmentalists, fear just about everything. This is the “news” that we subject ourselves to daily.

Now, I am not saying if this is right or wrong. I am only saying that in my observation this is what is so.

One final observation. I will let you answer this yourself since you are the only one who really matters here. Do you believe that the television news is based mostly in fear or in love? What is your answer?

Here's the kicker question. “Does that serve you?”

How To Make Many Friends Easily

by: Ivan Campuzano

How to make many friends easily..

With every goal you have in life, people will always be a critical part of it. How fast you reach your goals depends on how well you deal with people and the level of influence you have on them. In order to really influence people you must become a person who is likable. How do you become likable? You must have a sincere interest in other people. Every person on this earth wants to feel important, so you need to treat everyone with the up most importance, because they deserve it. Remember no one is better than you and you are not better than anyone, we are all human beings who deserve the same amount of respect.

Becoming Likable:

Setting the Stage

Your goal in meeting people should be to consciously be the first to initiate and set the stage for conversation. Most people are hesitant to be the first, don’t be like most people step out of your comfort zone. I know that if you are a shy person that this can be one of the hardest things for you to do, but the more you do it, the more you condition your self for it to become second nature. As a small kid I used to be really shy but I noticed that the kids that where outgoing tended to be the happier kids so I began to step out of my comfort zone and now I feel I can walk up to almost anyone. This is going to take time; things don’t happen over night but don’t let this discourage you. Many people feel that for you to become proficient in something takes around five years. Don’t waste anytime, start today and each day after that will get easier. Each different experience will later serve as a reference to remind you, that you can approach almost anyone. By being the first to initiate conversation you also automatically have a certain degree of control, you are able to draw people into your own rhythms. Have you ever noticed how persuasive people are able to seduce you to their ways, dictating your body language and basically synchronizing it to theirs? This is because people naturally imitate other people as a way of communicating with the other person. So if you are the first you get to decide what angle to approach. So if the person you are approaching appears sad, approach them with a big confident smile. Odds are they will slowly begin to smile; you will automatically change their mood. Now you will have a better chance of having a better conversation.

In setting the stage you will need to train your self to pick up any subtle signals that the person you are approaching is giving off. With time you will be able to sum up a person in a blink of an eye and from what your subconscious catches use it help you set the stage. This will require you to have an open mind and immerse your self in as many different worlds/cultures as possible. That’s why I never limit my self to one particular set of friends. I have friends from all sorts of backgrounds. I have friends who are skaters, basketball players, artists, musicians, writers, etc. By having so many friends with diverse interests I quickly learn about their worlds. By knowing what kind of stage to set up you will know how to get the other person to think very highly of you. For example by being observant you will catch the subtleties in the way a person appears to be (The way he is dressed, body language, tone of voice, language, etc.) which will help you to imagine placing your self in there shoes. By really imagining what being that person is like it will give you a good idea of how he/she is feeling. This in turn helps you get a better idea of what appproach to use when trying to communicate effectively with them. When I am able to pick up persons subtleties I will know what topics, questions, and general things that appeal to them which gives me information to work with in the process of winning that person as a friend. Like if know this person is really passionate about cars, I will ask a question with the minimum knowledge I have about something that he knows or thinks he knows a lot about.

Now you set the stage for Mike who will love to tell me exactly why the Mitsubishi EVO is better. When someone is knowledgeable about something it’s in their nature to tell you because it is one more opportunity for them to show how great or smart they are. You have to cater to their ego and never test or contradict their ideas, because their ego will not accept someone who is supposed to know less tell them they are possibly wrong. If I would have told him that I heard that the Subaru WRX is better, we would have just gotten in an argument that he would not have backed out of. But I didn’t and now they will love me for it, because I was taking interest into what he enjoys.

Body Language

Whenever you approach someone for the very first time your body language will do most of the talking and the other person will immediately have a first impression of you. So you must always be aware that whatever you say your body is also in agreement. If you say one thing and your body says the opposite you will come out as someone fake. We have all seen the girl that walks up to another girl and says “I’m so happy to see you…how you been? look so good…” but their body language is saying “what are you doing here….I’m not really listening to what your saying” this is easily seen and can be one of the rudest things you can do in trying to make new friends. Always approach someone with open gestures and a smile. If you approach someone with crossed arms, this will automatically make the other person defensive and question your motives. Approach them with open arms and a gentle smile, smiling is infectious if the other person has a stern look on their face the moment youapproach them with a smile you will gradually notice that they will smile too. This usually sets it up for a good conversation because both people are in good moods. Try this - if you’re in a neutral mood right now, put a big smile on your face for no reason if you pay attention you can feel your body changing and your mood immediately start to change. People who are in good moods will place a lot more importance to what you have to say.

Questions and Listening

Your next goal is to sincerely try to find out as much as you can about the person. Ask quality questions; find out what is important to the person, goals, beliefs, interests, etc. The key is to be sincere so the person feels comfortable and is more likely to open up. Try to have a calm demeanor refrain from being overly eager as this might scare the person. You must be able to match the mood of the person. If the person is excited to tell you a story you must become excited as well. If the person is telling you a sad story you must show sincere empathy. Be open minded and really listen to the person.

Listening: Try to listen at least twice as much as you talk. Listening requires more than just pretending to listen or simply hearing a person talk. Listening and hearing are two completely different things and the person can tell if you’re really listening to them, or simply hearing them speak. Being a good listener is a skill, you must become an active listener. Remember this is all about the other person, who cares if you don’t get to talk about your self. In the end the other person will love you for it. They will tell their friends

“Man I really enjoyed talking to that person”….why is that? Was he a very interesting person? “You know what…I really don’t know why…I really don’t know much about him”

This shouldn’t bother you because in the end you greatly benefited from the situation as well. If you’re an effective listener you will gain a better understanding of that person’s thoughts, perspectives, feelings and actions. You have to remember that most people would rather talk than listen, but most of the time this person is not very influential. Take this as an opportunity to become more persuasive and influential.

Sometimes the problem with most people is that listening to them doesn’t have much value. They feel that in order to get people to like them they must do a great deal of the talking. Think about that for a minute, how do you like it when another person is talking so much that when you try and say something they still keep talking. You eventually quit listening to that person because you got to annoyed. Now sometimes you don’t need to do most of the listening, you constantly need to evaluate the situation. Sometimes people really want to hear what you have to say. In this situation still try and get the other person involved and flip around the question that they just asked you.

People who talk too much

1. People always talk about them behind their backs

2. In group settings they feel they always need to say something just to feel like they are contributing.

3. Usually have very big egos

4. They ask questions that they already have the answers too

5. Because they are so focused on having something to say aren’t even listening to what someone is saying.

People Who Listen Effectively

1.Get the whole picture, than they can act accordingly.

2.Everyone loves a good listener so you will make tons of friends.

3.No one talks bad about you, who ever said “man that kid just loves to listen too much”

Good listening is going to really take effort. The reason is that people can think a lot faster than people can speak. What ends up happening is that you begin to think of other things as that person is speaking. Than you become consumed with those thoughts. Next thing you know the other person asks you “So than do you think I did the right thing”. You weren’t listening so you have no idea what to say. This is one of biggest turn offs in trying to become friends with that person.

Things to avoid when Listening

Don’t Interrupt

Because you have the upper hand by thinking faster than someone who is speaking, you will become tempted to interrupt. Don’t because the other person will get the feeling that you don’t care what they are saying and want to bring back the topic of conversation to you. The other person might also have great momentum going in telling you a story, but when you interrupt them their story doesn’t carry as much feeling when they go back to speaking. You also show that you are one of those people who enjoy speaking more than being a good listener. When you interrupt you are also making assumptions of what you think the other person is about to say. This might cause you to miss out completely different information. Because you interrupted them the other person might not even want to continue telling you about it.

Don’t Finish Other Peoples Sentences

Don't Offer Advice too Soon

Compliments + Appreciation

The way to make people feel important is through sincere compliments and appreciation. Most people go out their way to do something, to get other people to notice them, yet most people don’t. Get in the habit of noticing the little things about people. In the end the little things are what matter and what end up making a person unique so pay attention. Next time you see them, be the first to give them a sincere compliment on something even as simple as their hair cut. By making other people feel good about them selves you should also feel good for doing it, it’s a win win situation.

Many times people walk around with the mentality that other people owe them something, nobody owes you anything. Whenever anybody does anything for you show your appreciation and let them know you don’t take anything for granted. Be spontaneous get the person a small gift when they don’t expect it.


Once you find out what is truly important to someone you must provide encouragement. Everyone has dreams and aspirations. Be the one who encourages them to pursue their goals. Any insight or information that’s empowering will provide a boost to their confidence. Most people are so afraid of failure that they will not pursue their goals. They will give you all the reasons why their goals are out of reach. Your goal should be to switch their focus on the negative reasons to the ways how they can make it happen. You have to remember that whatever we focus on becomes our reality, so when you focus only on the negative aspects that’s all you will see. When they give you a reason why they can’t do it, ask them if that’s really a reason or a mere excuse. If they are excuses show them how destructive it is to be in this mental state. Make them realize that all their hopes and dreams are in danger all because of petty excuses. One of the best feelings you will get in dealing with people, is when you get another person excited about his goals or ideas. Now that the person is excited you need to point them in the right direction. Help them research the world they want to be in; find out as much relevant information. Help them create a plan and deadlines that will help them reach their goals. Start with small attainable goals, this will help them gain momentum and than move onto more challenging goals. By being active in the whole process you will build a deeper and more influential relationship with that person. He will not see you as a mere friend but as an ally in their journey to success.

Plan and Organize Social Events

One of the best ways to develop a meaningful experience with someone is through a social event. Whenever you participate in an event or trip your relationship with those people will become even greater. When I studied abroad in Prague I have never developed such strong relationships in such a short amount of time. I met people from all over the world and on the weekends we would take trips to other countries. On these trips I made incredible bonds, because everyone was on an adventure of experiencing new things together. Experiences are always magnified with more people involved. Just think about when you are watching a funny movie all by yourself you begin to laugh but than realize no one is there to enjoy the moment with you and your experience is quickly diminished .

I hope all these pointers will help everyone become more influential, take care and much success to everyone!