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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

8 Grand Love Letter Ideas By Edward Bordi

Is preparation really necessary? That's debatable.
Sure, you can write a love letter on a whim with no thought whatsoever. I suggest you do that, there's certainly a place for it - it's spontaneous, it's fun and it's sincere (often times). So go for it; that is, if you can.

But the problem is that it's not so easy for some.

And even for those who can, an unhurried, deliberate and well-planned love letter is much better. Of course that's my opinion, but here's why I feel that way. It shows you care, that you're not always in a hurry, that you're willing to take time out of your busy schedule and do nothing but think about her, do something for her. Like write her a very special love letter or better yet, a series of love letters.

Be resolute and don't delay.

Decide what you want to write about - there are literally thousands of things to say. You're limited only by your unlimited imagination. It's true, but if you're imagination seems to have stalled then maybe one of these eight ideas will help jump-start it.

There are literally thousands of things to say... you're limited only by your unlimited imagination.

Take them and use them, be my guest. Some may be new (or at least new to you), but others are old, tried and tested. Pick one, pick them all.

Eight Grand Love Letter Ideas

1. Just because

2. Top 10

3. Best of the month

4. The treasure hunt

5. The secret message

6. The plot

7. Dream it

8. If you were

Love Letter Idea # 1 - Just because

Write about whatever moves you. Think of your special someone and ask yourself who, what, where, why, when, how. Write from your heart.

Love Letter Idea # 2 - Top 10

"...reasons I love you," "...places we've been," "...things you say," "...adorable habits," "etc..."

Love Letter Idea # 3 - Best of the month

Slow down and take notice. Soak up every minute you have. Enjoy the way her hair falls across her cheek, her dimples, her smile, the way she moves, talks and laughs. Remember the jokes, the stories and the dreams. I know you could list a thousand things if you just took the time.

Well, take the time! Record the best things in your journal. One day each month, review them and pick your favorite. Now write her a love letter .. "the way your hair falls across your cheeks... softly, lovely, ..."

Love Letter Idea # 4 - The treasure hunt

Buy something nice and hide it. Write a love letter a day hinting to its location.

Love Letter Idea # 5 - The secret message

Write a letter with a dual message. It's just a regular old letter until you apply the decoder - then you see the love letter appear.

Love Letter Idea # 6 - The plot

Remake your favorite romantic movie or book with you and your true love as the leading man and lady. Blueprint the book and send her a page or a chapter at a time. You can do it.

Love Letter Idea # 7 - Dream it

Imagine a life with no constraints for you and your true love. Take her into your dreams and don't leave out a single detail... "the color of her sandals...," "the flower in her hair," ...

Love Letter Idea # 8 - If you were

If you were a melody, a desert, a landscape, a book, a movie, etc.

So there you have it, eight grand love letter ideas. Now start WRITE-ing a love letter of your own.

Edward BordiLevel: Basic PLUSEdward A. Bordi is a committed husband and father. When it comes to love letters, he wrote the book, "The Love Letter Handbook."

Saturday, June 27, 2009

18 Love Letter Benefits By Edward Bordi

It is amazing that such a simple gesture as writing a love letter could have such a profound impact on you and your true love. Not to mention on all those watching you, observing your commitment to love.

What's more, writing frequent love letters

1. Builds excitement that's not easily quenched. Each letter when prepared with care is like a surprise gift, tucked behind the couch just out of sight that appeared out of nowhere on Christmas morning.

2. Instills a joy that can endure the storms of life and that can even place an upward curve on sweet lips that have been crying all day. A couple heartfelt words on a sheet of paper can work wonders.

3. Recovers happiness lost during the clutter of busy days, screaming kids, yelling bosses, traffic jams, spilled coffee or whatever the crazy episode of the day happened to be. All the worries of the day melt away when you know someone loves you no matter what!

4. Creates hope even where hope never existed. A word of encouragement - a simple "I support you," "We'll get there together," or "You can do it!" in a romantic love letter can make you a believer.

5. Produces a forgiving spirit out of your commitment to write frequent love letters - a habit that will result in a desire to keep your relationship pure and free from bitterness and grudges.

6. Encourages communication that results in a closer more intimate relationship; more meaningful conversations, more talking, joking and more laughing.

7. Stirs passions resulting in more nights out together, more flowers with a note two pages long, more mornings with breakfast in bed and more hugs and kisses with no prompting whatsoever.

8. Cultivates trust and commitment that keeps growing stronger as you establish this excellent habit - writing frequent love letters.

9. Promotes romance... more alone time, more tenderness, more compassion, more concern, more fun and more tiny surprises for no reason at all.

10. Discourages destructive behavior by filling your heart and mind with love, tenderness and compassion; leaving little and eventually no room for anything bad.

11. Relieves stress by helping you to relax, laugh and maybe even cry happy tears. A love letter takes your mind off your troubles, if even just for a few moments.

12. Reduces fighting and tension by replacing those horrible, kill-joy, stress-creating parts of every relationship with patient loving conservations, prompted by a love letter. Who wouldn't want to reduce or even eliminate, if at all possible, fighting and tension?

13. Abolishes sadness with a few genuine words like "I love you," "I'm here" or "Just wait until you see..." - words that can change your mood instantaneously. Telling them you love them, sharing a happy note or hinting to a fun surprise works every time.

14. Eradicates loneliness with communication that's sincere and hard to challenge. Commitment to sharing deep thoughts, concerns, worries, hopes and dreams can only result in a closer relationship and not one that's more distant.

15. Dissolves boredom because writing and reading love letters is a fun and exciting activity that never gets old. You can easily spend a lifetime pursuing your lover's ever-changing wants, needs and desires.

16. Sets a good example for all those around you who are watching you and your commitment to love. Your friends, relatives, neighbors and children are watching you. This is your chance to be a good role model. As it's been well said,
... good character is caught, not taught.

17. Endorses faithfulness by filling your heart, mind and soul with love for your one and only true love. And by committing to keep filling your heart, mind and soul with things lovely and good.

18. Deters deceit because it is hard to genuinely move in two separate directions at the same time. Perhaps some can, but even so, writing frequent love letters with words of love, compassion, hope, joy and happiness will eventually tug on the conscience, suggesting change.

If writing a love letter truly could produce that list of benefits, then why not invest even just 5 minutes a week and bring back the lost art one letter at a time.

I made a personal commitment to write frequent love letters to my darling wife; to warm her soul, nourish her heart, to make certain she knows and feels my love, to add excitement, surprise, joy, hope and everything good to her life.

I challenge you to do the same for your true love.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

5 Ways to Have the Perfect Night Out With Your Friends By Jane Worthington

Going out with your friends to the same old, crowded bars can be a drag after a while. If you're in the mood to have some fun, and to make the night stand apart from all of the others, then take a look at a few guidelines to having the perfect night out with your friends.

1. Pick a theme.

Choosing a theme always makes a night out on the town, more interesting and fun. It serves as a way to distinguish this night, from every other night. For example, a "White party" means everyone wears white, and it unites all of your friends for the evening. Or the always popular "80's night" is fun. This way, people can get a little silly and have fun while doing it.

2. Choose your bar wisely.

If you decide to go with a theme, the bar you go to should complement that theme. So, if you're going with a formal, white party, the bar should be upscale and appropriate, like the White Horse. If you're not going with a theme, the bar is even more important, because you want to choose a place where everyone can have fun and be comfortable. You want somewhere that has comfortable counter bar stools and a nice atmosphere. Choosing a club or a bar that is really loud can get in the way of the conversations you could be enjoying, somewhere else.

3. Wear comfy shoes.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't wear your favorite heels, but it means to keep in mind that you're trying to have a fun night out. Wearing those 4 inch heels are only going to cause you pain later in the night, meaning a decreased amount of fun.

4. Choose a set amount of money to bring with you.

There's nothing worse than waking up the day after a night out and realizing you spent way too much money. To prevent this from happening, take a set amount of money out with you and even if you spend it all, at least you know you didn't go over your budget.

5. Know when to call it a night.

When you start feeling tired or worn out, have the sense to know it's time to go home. The best nights are the one where you go out and have a blast, and still make it home in time to catch a good night's sleep and wake up tomorrow feeling energized for the beach! If you end up pushing yourself by staying out, chances are you're going to spend more money, and you'll look back with a different attitude than if you had gone home when you first started thinking about it.

Typically, enjoying a night out with friends doesn't require a list of things to remember, but keeping these things in mind can turn a good night into a great night. So with these simple ideas, next time you're trying to plan a night out it will be better than all the rest! Of course, you can always plan a night in with your friends, and throw a party at home to save some money if you want to take a break from going out all the time.

Jane WorthingtonLevel: PlatinumCreative Writer who loves to write about anything and everything under the sun and online! ...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

4 Steps to Unleash Your Creative Genius Posted by Marelisa Fabrega

James M. Higgins, author of 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business, defines creativity as the process of generating something new that has value.

Creative ideas run the gamut from new associations of existing ideas, elements, or concepts, to radical breakthroughs which extend the boundaries of human knowledge and create paradigm shifts. That is, you don’t necessarily have to make a quantum leap to be creative; you can begin by finding ways to improve an existing product, or by modifying a process to make it more efficient.

Creativity can mean identifying an untapped market for an existing product, finding a new solution to a problem, finding creative ways to resolve a labor dispute, and so on. In addition, creativity is not the sole domain of the arts—whether it’s painting, theatre, music, architecture, dancing, literature, and so on—but is important in any field, from medicine to business, and from engineering to economics.

Also, creativity applies to all facets of life. You can use creativity to solve daily problems and to think of new ways to deal with everyday challenges; you can use creativity to find novel ways to increase your income and finally build your nest egg, you can find creative ways to get your child to go to bed at night, you can be creative when it comes to finding a way to get your employees to arrive at work on time in the mornings, and so on.

Developing your creativity is one of the best things you can do to lead a more satisfying and fulfilling life. Fortunately, as most creativity experts hold - including Jack Foster, Roger von Oech, Edward de Bono, and others - creativity is a process that can be learned, practiced, and perfected. Below you will find four steps you can follow to be more creative. These steps are roughly modeled after the five step technique set forth in the creativity classic, A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Webb Young.

1. Gather Information on Your Subject Matter

The first step involves gathering information about the topic at hand. Read everything you can on your subject matter: go to the library and check out books, go to your neighborhood bookstore and browse though interesting reading material, read magazine articles, subscribe to a newsletter, surf the internet for information, subscribe to blogs dedicated to your topic, and so on. You can also talk to people who have knowledge on the topic and ask them lots of questions, go to a lecture, enroll in a seminar, and even take an online class. The more you know about a topic, the more likely you are to come up with creative ideas for that subject matter.

2. Digest the Information and Apply Creativity Techniques

The second step involves digesting and working with the raw material that you gathered in the previous step. There are many books on creativity which offer the reader different creativity techniques to help in the generation of ideas, and at this point you can begin applying these techniques to your problem. Some creativity techniques are intended to “open your mind” and encourage “free thinking”, such as idea generation and brainstorming sessions, guided imagery, and other expansive techniques. For example, you can begin by releasing all of the preconceived ideas and assumptions you have about the topic and disregard fixed lines of thinking and rigid behavior patterns.

Other techniques create constraints and force your mind to focus, such as setting time deadlines and other methods that force you to converge on a particular course of action. For example, in problem-solving contexts, the random word creativity technique has been shown to produce great results for those who apply it. Basically, a person confronted with a problem is presented with a randomly generated word and is told to make associations between the word and the problem as a creativity goad. By combining expansive and constraining creativity techniques you can come up with several different alternatives to choose from for solving the problem at hand.

3. Take Time for Incubation

The third stage is letting go. You just drop the subject entirely, go do something else, and let the unconscious mind deal with the problem. After a period of intense concentration, Albert Einstein would take a nap or find another way to detach from whatever he was working on. He found that during these mental breaks his unconscious mind would go on thinking about the challenge and surprise him with an insight when he least expected it.

Isaac Asimov was quoted as saying that when he got stuck writing a book he would simply put the project aside and start writing a completely different book. When he returned to the original project he would find that his unconscious mind had figured things out and the ideas would just flow. Therefore, after a period of thinking hard about a problem, the next step is to either work on something entirely different, or to relax: practice deliberate frivolity, go to a museum, go to the movies, or go for a twenty minute walk. Many people have reported “Eureka” moments while taking time for incubation.

4. Refine the Idea and Make it Real

The final stage is where you use trial and experimentation to test, edit, refine and polish the idea. In addition, at this step you need to make your idea real. In her inspiring book, Creative Companion: How to Free Your Creative Spirit , Sark tells the story of an Australian artist named Ken Done who created a painting he thought would look great on bed sheets. He took the idea to a sheet company but they turned him down because they just couldn’t visualize bed sheets with his painting on them. Ken then went home, took a white bed sheet, painted his painting on it, and took it back to the sheet company. The bed sheet he painted looked so fabulous that the sheet company immediately placed a large order. It’s not enough to come up with great ideas, you have to act to turn those ideas into reality.


Begin implementing these steps in all areas of your life, whether it’s your home life, at work, or anything else you’re involved in. In the words of Abraham Maslow: “The key question isn’t ‘What fosters creativity?’ But it is why in God’s name isn’t everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might be not why do people create? But why do people not create or innovate? We have got to abandon that sense of amazement in the face of creativity, as if it were a miracle if anybody created anything.”

This guest post was written by Marelisa Fabrega who blogs at

Friday, June 19, 2009

2 Simple Ways to Raise Your Self-confidence By Rose Blood

A person’s self-confidence means a lot nowadays. It affects just about everything in their life. Meaning: If you have bad self-confidence, life will not be easy for you, actually life will be a LOT more difficult. Luckily human mind is easily tricked. Of course, that is the main reason people have bad self-confidence in the first place. Only reason anyone is shy/lonely etc. is because their brain tells them all those horrible things that will happen, if they go and talk to that cute babe who has been checking them out for the last five hours. Eventually, if the case is a completely lost case, one of three things will happen:

1.Guy will not get his act together and just nervously stares at the floor, until it is time to leave.

2.He goes and talks to the girl, but is too nervous to make up any small talk and ends up making an ass of himself. And later at home, he vows never to talk any females again.

3.He gets his act together, makes a great impression, gets some sex and notices a massive growth in his self-confidence.

Lucky for us, there are some super-nerds who have found ways to fool your brain and win your greatest fears. And these don´t even take too long to do either!

The sweet failure: First of all, what makes us be so afraid of a confrontation? The fear of failure.

The dreaded feeling, that our world will end permanently, if we fail. Which in turn, makes us more nervous than we should ever be. Simplest thing to do, in order to avoid this horrifying fate, is to visualize the worst consequence that will happen. For example. Lets say you go and talk to that beautiful babe on the edge of a dance floor. You step in to the room, your belt breaks and your pants fall down and at the same time you piss on yourself. Sure, everyone in the room might laugh at you and you go home ashamed and smelling like piss. But is it the end of the world? HELL NO. Once you realize that failure really doesn't end everything, taking risks really is not that tough and at the same time, your self-confidence skyrockets.

My name is Bond, James Bond: Now this is a funny exercise you can do anywhere. Just close your eyes, and imagine James Bond. Just about any situation is fine, in a bar, home sleeping, at work in the office. Just imagine James Bond walking around, see how he walks, looks, talks, what does he think, how he talks to women, how about men? Now the nice part, put yourself behind him and walk INSIDE him. Now YOU are James Bond, you think like him, you walk like him and most of all, you are just as CONFIDENT as he is. Then just open your eyes and say to yourself: My name is (your name) and I´m the greatest womanizer in this world. It works.

Roseblood is a rather unknown author of the powers of the mind, having trained for many years in the occult arts and struggled with his self-esteem, he has now opened a great site dedicated to people having trouble with these things and since he is such a nice guy, he gives it all for free.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Escape Your Rat Race By Martha Beck

Feeling trapped by a job, relationship, or routine, but terrified of making a change? Martha Beck shows you how to feel your way to freedom.

Sheila and I are conversing at a drug treatment center, where she's been remanded. Counselors are listening, so we can't plan a way to break her out. As it happens, escape is the last thing on Sheila's mind.
I'm not coaching her through the woes of being institutionalized for drug use but prepping her for her upcoming release. "In here everything's simple," Sheila says. "Outside I'll have to deal with my crazy mom, get a job, pay the bills. I don't know how to handle that without drugs." When I ask her to picture a peaceful, happy life, Sheila draws a blank. "I can't imagine anything except what I've already seen," she says. The despair in her voice is so heavy it makes me want to huff a little glue myself, but two things give me hope: a fabled land known in the annals of psychology as Rat Park, and a montage of other clients, once as hopeless as Sheila, who went on to live happy, meaningful lives. The concepts I learned from Rat Park, channeled through the behaviors I've seen in those courageous clients, just may transform Sheila's future.

But first, what is this mythic Rat Park? And how might it relate to you? The term comes from a study conducted in 1981 by psychologist Bruce Alexander and colleagues. He noted that many addiction studies had something in common: The lab rats they used were locked in uncomfortable, isolating cages. Testing a hunch, Alexander gathered two groups of rats. For the first, he built a 200-square-foot rodent paradise called Rat Park. There a colony of white Wister rats found luxurious accommodations for all their favorite pastimes—mingling, mating, raising pups, writing articles for newspaper tabloids.

The second group was housed in the traditional cages. Alexander offered both groups a choice of plain water or sugar water laced with morphine.

Like rats in other studies, the traditionally caged animals became instant addicts. However, the residents of Rat Park tended to "just say no," avoiding the drug-treated sugar water. Even rats that were already addicted to morphine tended to lay off the hard stuff when in Rat Park. Put them back in their cages, however, and they'd stay stoned as Deadheads.Alexander saw many parallels between these junkie rats and human addicts. He has talked of one patient who worked as a shopping mall Santa. "He couldn't do his job unless he was high on heroin," Alexander remembered. "He would shoot up, climb into that red Santa Claus costume, put on those black plastic boots, and smile for six hours straight."This story jingles bells for many of my clients.

Like Smack Santa, they spend many hours playing roles that don't match their innate personalities and preferences, dulling the pain with mood-altering substances. Miserable with their jobs, relationships, or daily routines, they gulp down a fifth of Scotch, buy 46 commemorative Elvis plates on QVC, superglue phony smiles to their faces, and head on out to whatever rat race is gradually destroying them.Sheila was actually a step ahead of most of my clients, in that she knew she was locked up. Most people are trapped in prisons made of mind stuff—attitudes and beliefs such as "I have to look successful" or "I can't disappoint my dad."

Ideas like these—being deeply entrenched and invisible—are often more powerful than physical prisons. When we're trapped in mind cages, gulping happy pills by the handful and fantasizing about lethally stapling coworkers, we rarely even consider that our unhappiness comes from living in captivity. And if we ever come close to recognizing the truth, we're stopped by a barrage of terrifying questions: "What if there's nothing better than this?" "What if I quit my job, lose my seniority, and end up somewhere even worse?" "What if I break off this relationship and end up alone forever?" "What if I get my hopes up and the big break never comes?"When the alternatives are staying in the familiar cage or facing the unknown, trust me, most people choose the cage—over and over and over again. It's painful to watch, especially knowing that liberation is only a few simple steps away. If you suspect that you might need to engineer your own prison break, the following pieces of commonsense advice can set you free forever.

You Don't Have to Know What Rat Park Looks Like"I just don't think I'll ever find the right life for me," Sheila frets. "Of course you won't!" I say. "How strange to think you would!"It amazes me how often people use that phrase: "Find the right life." Would you walk into your kitchen hoping to find the right fried egg, the right cup of coffee, the right toast? Such things don't simply appear before you; they arrive because you rummage around, figure out what's available, and make what you want. (If you're rich, you can hire a chef and place your order, but you're still creating the result.)Bruce Alexander's rats were hand-delivered into paradise. Lucky critters, indeed—but not nearly as lucky as Alexander himself, or the rest of us humans, who have the astonishing ability to envision and build Rat Parks. All animals are shaped by their environment, but we, more than any other species, can shape our environment right back. We can cook the egg, brew the coffee, paint the room, change the space. We can fabricate our Rat Parks, and we must, if we want them built to spec."But I don't know what I'm trying to build," Sheila protests when I tell her this. "How can I create something when I don't have a clue what it looks like?"Time for commonsense suggestion number two.

You Don't Need a Map to Find Your Rat ParkI often invite clients to play the dead-simple game You're Getting Warmer, You're Getting Colder. The client leaves the room, and I hide a simple object—say, a key—in a tricky place, such as the inside of a cake. (Not that I would have done this with someone locked up. Like Sheila. Absolutely not.) When the client returns to the room, he almost invariably stands still, and asks, "What am I looking for?" Obviously, I don't answer him. The only feedback I'll give is "You're getting warmer" or "You're getting colder." Eventually clients will start moving. Guided by the words warmer and colder, they quickly identify the general hiding area. Then there's a period of confusion, fueled by assumptions like "Well, she certainly wouldn't hide it in the cake." They go back and forth for a bit, then stop and demand, "Where is it?" Again, this gets them nothing. Peeved, they revert to following the "warmer/colder" feedback until they arrive at the object. I've never had a client who didn't ultimately succeed. Not one.My point: Life has installed within you powerful "getting warmer, getting colder" signals. When Sheila thought of leaving the treatment center, her tension, anxiety, and drug cravings soared. The time she had to serve was "warmer"; her outside life, "colder." Certain activities were freezing cold—dealing with her mother, working, paying bills. As we examined each of these, we found that her guidance system was giving her beautifully clear messages. For instance, being around sane noncriminals, even officials at the treatment center, felt "warmer" than Sheila's crazy dope-dealing mother. Working in the cafeteria, with its institutional predictability, was "warmer" than her old cocktail waitress job, where she'd flashed her flesh to elicit unpredictable tips from drunken customers. Living within her economic means felt "warmer" than credit card shopping sprees she couldn't afford. True, Sheila was a long way from her own Rat Park. But with the knowledge that her navigation system was functioning perfectly, all she had to do was play her life as a game of You're Getting Warmer, You're Getting Colder. The same is true for you. It isn't necessary to know exactly how your ideal life will look; you only have to know what feels better and what feels worse. If something feels both good and bad, break it down into its components to see which are warm, which cold. Begin making choices based on what makes you feel freer and happier, rather than how you think an ideal life should look. It's the process of feeling our way toward happiness, not the realization of some Platonic ideal, that creates our best lives. "My life is so far from perfect," Sheila says as we end our session. "I don't know if it's fixable." She's ready to hear my third and last piece of commonsense advice.

You Don't Have to Make Big Changes to Get ThereThis step is something I stole from philosopher and engineer Buckminster Fuller. Bucky, as his friends knew him, chose for his epitaph just three words: call me trimtab. Trim tabs are tiny rudders attached to the back of larger rudders that steer huge ships. The big rudders would snap off if turned directly, but, as Fuller famously said, "just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So…you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go."Every life is a series of trim-tab decisions. Should you read tonight or watch TV? Choose what feels warmer. Self-help or thriller? Choose what feels warmer. Cuddle with the dog or banish him from the bed? Choose what feels (psychologically) warmer. If you make mistakes, no problem; you'll soon feel colder and correct your course.

Making consistent trim-tab choices toward happiness is what steers the mighty ship of your life into exotic ports, safe havens—in short, into every Rat Park you can imagine, and then some.I say goodbye to Sheila not knowing whether she'll set her trim tabs toward happiness or back to her drug-abusing cage of a life. I've learned not to get my hopes up with humans, who aren't nearly as clear-sighted and authentic as rats. But our session reminds me to keep following my own tiny feelings and impulses to their distant and amazing destinations. So instead of worrying about Sheila—or me, or you—I'll choose to trust our powerful instincts, our desire to be happy, our amazing human capacity for invention. You may choose cynical despair instead—it's all the rage in intellectual circles—but if you care to join me, I think you'll find it's a whole lot warmer over here in Rat Park.

Martha Beck is the author of six books. Her most recent is Steering by Starlight (Rodale).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Five Ways Keeping a Journal Can Change Your Life - Posted by Ali Hale

Have you ever started keeping a journal – perhaps starting on a particular milestone like your birthday, or January 1st – only to give up after a few days or weeks? Like many projects which we’re initially enthusiastic about, writing daily or even weekly in a journal can all too quickly become a chore. After all, what difference can it make to write down words that no-one but you will see?

There are several ways for keeping a journal to change your life, and I’ll show you how to achieve each in just ten minutes a day. Still think it’s not worth it?

1. Your Journal Offers Self-Insight

Do you ever wonder who you really are? Do you have problems which occur again and again – patterns of behaviour that you just can’t break out of? Keeping a journal for an extended period of time lets you learn the truth about yourself: how your motivation waxes and wanes, how many projects you let fizzle out after a brief burst of excitement; what topics you return to again, and again, and again…

Ten-minute exercise:

If you’ve been keeping a journal for a while (even if it’s fallen by the wayside recently), read through some old entries. Do you spot any patterns? Look for strong emotions that occur frequently, such as anger, misery, excitement. You might also take note of recurring problems or difficulties. For example, do entries about lack of sleep coincide with stressful periods such as exams or project deadlines at work?

2. Your Journal Builds the Writing Habit

Are you an aspiring blogger, author, poet, journalist or writer of any description? If you’re making serious attempts at writing, you need to be disciplined about it – no professional writer works just when they’re “in the mood” or when “the muse descends.” Developing the habit of writing regularly (ideally every day) will be a bigger factor in your success than your raw level of writing skill. You will get better if you practice, and your journal is an ideal place to do so – no-one will laugh at clumsy phrases or failed experimental pieces, and you can write about whatever topics inspire you the most.

You can even write about your writing; building the ability to think about how you write will give you insight into your strengths and weaknesses. Being able to explain how and why a piece of your writing worked will let you replicate that achievement in the future.

Ten-minute exercise:

Set aside a period of ten minutes to write a journal entry every day. Even when you don’t think you have anything interesting to say, honour that commitment and write something. Some people are inspired by writing prompts, famous quotations, or simply picking a topic (work, family, health, goals). Even the busiest of us can find ten minutes in the day – set your alarm earlier, if you have to. It’s worth the effort: a hundred and fifty words a day – easily possible in ten minutes – adds up to over fifty thousand words in a year. Once you’ve built up your journaling like this, you’ll find it much easier to work on your other pieces
of writing.

3. Did you keep a journal at any point as a child or teenager?

If so, and if you still have it, go back and re-read some entries: I guarantee that you’ll have a few great laughs and smiles in doing so. There might be references to incidents you’d previously forgotten, or particularly telling phrases or observations. Keeping a journal today means you can look back in five years, ten years or in old age at what you were thinking about, dreaming of, hoping for … it’s the closest you can get to time-travelling back to meet a past version of yourself.

Ten-minute exercise:

EITHER: Pick up one of your old journals and flick through it. What stands out? Are there incidents described that you’d forgotten? Have your views on a particular issue or topic changed radically?

OR: If you’ve never kept a journal in the past, use a page of your current one to write a letter to yourself in the future. Jot down some thoughts about the main strands of your life – are you happy with your job, your relationships, your health and fitness? Write down where you see yourself in a year, and in five years.

4. Your Journal Holds You Accountable

Many people like to record facts and figures in their journal, especially ones which relate to an important life change. Calories consumed, exercise done, cigarettes not smoked, alcohol units drunk … whatever the nature of your change, your journal can help you to achieve it. Seeing your progress in black and white helps you to carry on when your motivation is at rock-bottom, and for some people, the knowledge that they’ll have to record their failures is enough to keep them on the straight-and-narrow.

Ten-minute exercise:

Pick an area of your life where you want to improve: perhaps you want to get up early every day. For the next week, write down how you did each day – it’ll only take a minute or two, and you’ll be able to see if you progress as the week goes on – or if your enthusiasm quickly peters out.

5. Your Journal Encourages Positive Thinking

When you write in your journal, don’t dwell on things that went wrong. Focus on the positive aspects of your day or week – even when you have to dig hard to find something. It might take a while for you to notice the effect, but you’ll soon be seeing faster change in your life: we tend to move towards what we’re focusing on. Time coach Mark Forster advocates writing a daily “What’s better” list, recording the things which were not just good but better – this is a powerful way to focus on growth.

Ten-minute exercise:

If you’re reading this in the evening, how do you feel your day went? (Morning readers – use yesterday.) Chances are, you can think of lots of frustrations, things that went wrong, things that didn’t get done. Get your journal and write “Things which were good today”. List at least five. They don’t have to be big things – something as simple as “I saw a beautiful sunset” or “I left work on time” are fine. Now how do you feel about your day?
our Journal is a Gift to Your Future Self

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Flirting Mistakes Men and Women Make - Jane Rock

Flirting can be fun, but also scary if you do it wrong. You can get rejected in a heart beat if you do it wrong. To help eliminate nervousness and help increase your chances of correctly flirting, you must AVOID these flirting mistakes.

1. Male/Female Friend

A female or male friend can definitely help with dating since they KNOW what the opposite sex likes. If you have a female/male friend trying to help you land dates, the person you are trying to find can look down upon this. They may feel like you are too scared to try to find someone on your own or just to shy. Try not to overuse your female/male friend when trying to land your special someone.

2. Bragging

You definitely need to share your job, skills, etc... with that special female/male, but remember there is no reason to brag about it. You don't need to come out and state the obvious about your HUGE salary and your successful career. Women/men can see the clothes you were, the place you live in, and the car you drive to see how well you are off. There is no need to state the obvious because it can be a HUGE turn off for women/men. Bragging must be avoided. There are certain ways to tell men/women that you are well off, just don't do it in a bragging way.

3. Talk about Just Yourself

It is definitely a big turn off when woman/man does all the talking, especially about just THEMSELVES. Try to focus on listening instead of talking. If you notice you are doing all the talking, try to use something like, well you know all about me, let's find out more about you! Try to focus more on being a good listener than a speaker. The person will appreciate and like you much more!

4. Horrible Pick-up Lines

Pick-up lines are cute and great to maybe share with some close friends. They are not something you should use on a guy/girl when trying to land them. They just aren't effective and should NOT be used. If used the wrong way, it could cost you any chance that you may have had with that person. A woman may feel like they are like every other woman you talk to, using those lines over and over again. It's better to just be yourself and use pick up lines such as a simple "Hello". Smiling and saying hello is probably the best pick-up lines you could ever say.

If you can avoid these 4 common mistakes, you should have no problem flirting effectively with that special someone. Women/men love to flirt and be flirted with; you just have to be careful in the way you do it. In however you approach flirting, I wish you the very best of luck! Most people will get discouraged and give up when a woman or man gets rejected for flirting the wrong way. Don't let this be you! There are millions and millions of other fish in the sea.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Flirting Techniques: Body Language and Speech

Flirting, that wonderful behavior that puts two people together is a skill that everyone can learn to maximize. Obviously, flirting behavior involves both verbal and non-verbal communication. Essential to successful flirting is learning how to incorporate both of these to achieve success. First, let’s start with the basics.

Eye Contact

• An admiring glance is sufficient to indicate that you are interested.

• Avoid staring since this can appear threatening in a new relationship.

• You do not need to make eye contact continually while talking. Constant eye contact can make the other person nervous.

• When he is speaking, look at him more frequently than you did when you were speaking.

Body Posture

• Tilt head to one side to indicate your interest in what he is saying.

• If you are sitting, refrain from keeping your legs consistently crossed.

• Likewise, if you are sitting, cross and uncross your legs to bring attention to them.

• Refrain from crossing your arms tightly, even if you are nervous.

• Lean slightly towards the person rather than backwards or to the side.


• Flip your hair gently to maintain his attention.

• Twirl a small bit of your hair once or twice throughout the conversation. More than that will make you appear nervous.

• Bring your hands up to a small and silent clap in response to something clever that he has said.

• Bring your hand slightly downward to emphasize a point that you have made.

• Slightly extend an open palm to offer an invitation to agree with you.

• Toss your head back gently when you laugh to emphasize your delight.

• Nod your head occasionally to indicate agreement or continued interest, but avoid
multiple nods since they can be distracting.

Verbal Communication

• Use a light-hearted banter initially in the conversation to allow both of you time to relax.

• Chat the man up on general subjects initially, until you discover his interests. Then, focus on what he likes.

• Use a tone of voice that isn’t grating on the nerves, too loud for the situation, or too desperate in nature.

• Match your non-verbal cues to your verbal communication.
People tend to notice appearance, body language, and tone of voice prior to the style of speaking and the content of the conversation. Therefore, it isn’t so much what we say but how we say it.

The tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, and body posture more than the words spoken indicate interest. The most successful flirt is often the well practiced flirt. Exercise caution, however, when flirting and be safe.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Forming Friendships As an Adult Woman - By Janis Ferer

Building a Social Circle from Scratch

Ever heard the saying "you've got to have money to make money"? Of course you have; everyone has. Well, there is a lesser known sister saying to this one that goes something like "you've got to have friends to make friends". And while I don't necessarily agree with the former (although it can certainly help), I whole-heartedly believe the latter, or at least that it makes the process a lot easier.

The truth is that when you already have a circle of friends, it is much easier to invite others to join or meet "new members" through these established friendships. You are out and involved in doing things socially, and that is where the majority of other folks are too - out and about. However, when you are starting from scratch in building a circle of friends, it can be a bit difficult to even get your foot in the proverbial "social" door. The reality is that you aren't out and about simply because you don't have anyone else with whom to be out and about there. Personally, many of my favorite activities involve more than one participant or are simply more fun when shared with another- playing tennis, attending concerts, dining out, catching up over a glass of wine, or enjoying the requisite weekend BBQ. Of course you can be happy doing your own thing, but when shouting "who wants another burger", it is nice to hear a reply other than the sound of your dog licking his chops!
All the Lonely People, Where do they all Come From
A report came out in 2004 -- the General Social Survey -- which stated that the average American's circle of confidants, the number of people with whom they discuss important topics, is just two. While two was the average number, the study emphasized that the modal respondent claimed to have no (zero) confidants -- that is, the majority of respondents said that they have no one with whom they discuss significant topics. The report concluded that folks in the U.S. are socially isolated and basically lonely.
Unfortunately, a host of other reports on similar topics agree that Americans as a lot are a fairly lonely bunch, and are so for a bunch of reasons:
We spend a significant amount of time alone in our cars commuting to work: our commutes are longer than they've ever been
We work much longer hours than what Americans used to work
We aren't as involved in our communities as we used to be:

we don't attend church
we don't volunteer, and
we don't hang out with our neighbors, or even borrow sugar anymore

We move fairly frequently and to places farther away than we used to
We divorce more often
They had the Best of Intentions
So how does an adult go about making new friends and forming a social community in a new town, or under new circumstances (such as after a divorce or relationship change)? Well if you turn to the internet and search for terms such as" adult friends, women friendships, make new friends"; you'll either find a slew of "adult" websites or another slew of social networking sites designed for high school and college-aged kids. Additionally, you'll find tons of articles providing identical suggestions on how to make friends in a new town. These always include:
Joining a church or synagogue
Talking to people in the grocery store, coffee shop, or post office
Taking up a new sport
Signing-up for a continuing education course
These are all great suggestions, so I'll ask you to try any of them and let me know how they work out. What? Oh, you aren't religious you say. Okay, so scratch that one from your list. Don't have time to feed your children, let alone volunteer. I completely understand. Let's wipe that one from the list as well. Tried talking to the woman in line in front of you while waiting for your extra-foam-double-mocha-espresso and got no reply? Well, some folks just aren't social before their fifth latte.
You get the idea - while these lists and suggestions are certainly well-intended, rarely do they actually pan out in the fast access to "New Friend Town" for which you are hoping. Don't get me wrong, these avenues can be very successful over time. But if you'd like to move a bit faster, than perhaps we'd better return to the wonderful world of the web.
Move over Sonny, Auntie is Coming Through
Our children have grown up with access to the internet, and therefore have never questioned that it could provide information, products and services to answer absolutely every need they could ever think that they might possibly have, today or at any point in the future. I think you get my point - the internet is a powerful and successful tool, the ability and strength of which our children have great confidence in.
Therefore it is no wonder that they might be the first of us (demographically speaking) to use the internet in new and somewhat more successful ways. Meeting people online is a perfect example of this. When a couple of college kids wanted to know who else was attending their school, they didn't turn to a tried and true paper catalogue of students to check out profiles, they developed an internet-based catalogue and let every student put their own profile on it. The result is one of the most successful concepts of our time: it is current, and dynamic, and still a great way for these boys to check out all the "hot chicks" in their classes!
Once we saw all the fun that our kids were having online, the adult demographic finally got the point and started developing site for themselves. Because, honestly, meeting people online is smart and convenient. It overcomes all of the hurdles from which traditional methods suffer and offers some unique benefits:
It removes the element of chance. Yes, you could meet a great friend in line at a coffee shop, but if you happen to be running late on a particular morning, well then, there goes that opportunity.
It removes the necessity of proximity. You don't have to be running in the same park, at the same time, in the same direction in order to meet a gal who would be a great running partner for you
It removes the necessity on reliance. New friends are met online without the necessity to rely on chance encounters, common interests performed at the same place and time, or with mutual friends. Perusing profiles online allows you to meet someone whom you otherwise would never have run into, happened upon, or come across at the neighbor's cocktail party.
It works on your time. Regardless of whether that time is during your lunch-break, at midnight when everything else is done, or leisurely on a weekend. The internet and its websites are open for business at anytime, and the time most convenient for you.
It expands your possibilities. You live in Scottsdale and love to travel and your husband doesn't. You have a group that you like to travel with, but none of them are interested in the safari of which you've been dreaming. But Rhonda in Roswell is, and she is retired and can go anytime. Meeting people online means that your "marketplace" for new travel buddies is unlimited.
The list of benefits goes on and on, but this article doesn't have to. The net-net of this story is that meeting people online is a very smart thing to do, an easy thing to do, and a great way to expand, create or revive your social circle. Everyone is doing it, because it works, and works well.*
So if you are a woman who is looking to meet other women for friendship and for sharing hobbies and other interest, check out websites online targeted at you - especially the only website (that I know of) designed specifically for women-only for the purpose of facilitating friendship between women.
*Of course, whenever meeting anyone online, even if just two women seeking platonic friendships and a cup of joe, precautions should be taken, like meeting in a public place, exchanging personal information only when confidences have been established, etc.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Friends Over Family - Which is More Important? by James Baptiste

Growing up as a young adolescent in the mid 80's, I faced alot of situations that I now look back on and wish I could turn back the hands of time. I chose my friends over my own family and had I known then what I know now, I would be well prepared for the things I encountered later on in life.

They say experience is the best teacher and that is so true because I had to learn the hard way. Once I was able to put my life back in perspective, I realized that the streets have no loyalty to you. It is the streets that brought me much pain and grief in my life and I feel compelled to teach these kids out here now that there is another option. They do not have to accept the negative stigma that society places on them as long as they stay grounded. I am a living example of this til this day and I hope someday that my book "Suspended In Time" will be able to help them understand that there is nothing out there on the streets but trouble.

I am often perturbed by the current attitudes of our younger generation since they have a lack of concern about their future and the path their lives are heading. I want to lead by example because every one needs to hear something positive every now and then, especially when the forces around them are all negative. The current state of our youth is dominated by people who dont care nothing about them, especially most of these rappers whom they look up to as God Himself. The harsh reality is those very same people they idolize and mimmick are not as real as they portray themselves to be. People have to understand that music is just another form of expression and just an art form.

These rappers are not gangsters because if they were, they would not be entertaining but I have to let them know that. They are not going to jeopardize their careers just to uphold some street image and these kids need to really understand that alot of what they see and hear on television is just entertainment.