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Positive – Powerful – Practical Issue #1 February–March

Personal Power

RECHARGE! Don’t Let the World

Drive

You

Nuts! Michelle May shares how to be more mindful in life and business p.8


Everyone Wants to Move Forward Now, you can learn HOW YOU CAN is a book of HOW . . . specifically how to improve your personal performance and achievement. In this groundbreaking new book, renown peak performance expert John Von Achen walks you through a proven methodology guaranteed to help you reach your maximum potential. There is no hype in this book, no filler and no excuses. Only solutions for how YOU CAN produce better results in everything you are doing.

Meet the Author One word describes John Von Achen, RESULTS! John Von Achen is one of the most respected thought leaders and peak performance experts in the world today. He has become a legend when it comes to helping individuals and organizations achieve their maximum growth, performance and profitability. Known as an inspiring, forward thinking business leader, John Von Achen has consistently provided his clients “real world” solutions they can transfer into immediate results.

Learn more at www.youcan2012.com/


Personal Power Founder of RECHARGE365.com and RECHARGE! Magazine John Von Achen Editor-in-Chief Helen Bereschinova Copy Editor Oleg Vetoshnikov Designer Lubov Karmanova Cover story: Michelle May

Contributors: Mike Vardy, Michael W. Roberts, Cynthia Morris, Rajesh Setty, Jane Macondo, Donal Suter, Celestine Chua, Jason Seiden, Dan Waldschmidt, Dr Kem Thompson, Bryce Christiansen, Danielle Laporte, Michael Hyatt, Jennifer Gibson

Columnists: Mark Harrison, Kimanzi Constable, Anne Bachrach, Ellen Rogin, Dave Ramsey, Dana Lightman, Shirley B. Garrett, Nathan Feiles Owned and Operated by CENTE MEDIA, LLC. 1800 Pembrook Dr Ste 300 Orlando, Florida 32810

Health is your edge This month, we’ve taken this magazine’s name to heart with a cover story filled with ideas that will RECHARGE your health. Being your healthiest gives you the edge you need. The healthier you are, the more energy you have to be productive throughout long days…to be your sharpest during tough negotiations…and to lead your team to its greatest achievements.

Invest in mindfulness for the big payoff As this month’s cover story author explains, healthy living begins in the mind. Spending some time practicing mindfulness is a small investment that will pay big dividends. Mindfulness can become one of your key assets because it refers to your intention and attention. Intentions are goals and no entrepreneur moves forward very far without them. Attention is being constantly aware of your surroundings, your eating and exercise habits and how healthy you feel, physically and mentally.

You are what you eat Our cover story also provides some very specific tips for practicing mindfulness when you eat. For many of us, eating is a rather unconscious act. By becoming more aware of what and how you are eating, you’ll develop better eating habits…and that is a low-cost investment in better health.

It’s also healthy to visit RECHARGE365.COM Make the RECHARGE365.com Website a healthy, weekly habit. You can feed your mind with new articles, videos, podcasts and audio programs that you won’t find in RECHARGE! Our Facebook page and Twitter feed are the best places to learn what is happening right now!

Enjoy and achieve! The RECHARGE! Team February–March 2013 І 3


February–March 2013 Attitude 08 Investing in Wellness: A Simple Approach with a Huge ROI 12

The Magic of Believing That You Can Make It

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The Counseling Corner. Stress and Anxiety

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Doctor’s Diary. MAKE 2013 YOUR ‘CAN DO’ YEAR!

Lifestyle 18

Wreck-It Ralph's Top Ten Tips for Restarting the Game of Life

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Five Consequences of a Life Out of Balance

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How to Make The Most of Being Toast: Embracing Burnout

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BrainBlogger. The Right Amount of Exercise for Improved Mental Health

Wealth 26

Why Entrepreneurs Don’t Need to Sell Lemonade

30 Think Right about Your Money. 5 Steps to a Happy Money Marriage 32

Dave Says. Q&A with America's Leading Personal Finance Expert

Do you 4 І February–March 2013

to move forward?


RECHARGE! Content

Social 34 Are You Living Vicariously? 39

The Secret to Using Twitter

40 No More Difficult People. Setting Boundaries 44 Positive Directions for Life. What Children Need from Their Parents

Creativity 48 Living with the Fear of Learning and Creating 50 How to be Remarkable 52

Develop Your Creativity By Dealing With ‘Negative’ Realities

54 The Most Important Way a Parent Can Help a Gifted Child

Personal Organization 56

Get Out of Your Head & Get Things Done

60 Change Your Life. Life Without Goals 62

Tales of Life. I’m Wide Awake

64 Accelerate Your Results! 4 Steps to Conquer Fears and Start Living Life On Your Terms

More than just tweets Follow @Recharge365 on February–March 2013 І 5


RECHARGE!

Attitude

Investing in Wellness: A Simple Approach with a Huge ROI 8 І February–March 2013


RECHARGE! Attitude

Why do Fortune 500 companies invest millions of dollars in their corporate wellness programs? To increase productivity, decrease costs, and improve employee morale and retention – all of which translate to a competitive advantage. Those factors are also crucial to the success of entrepreneurs – perhaps even more so. Whether you manage hundreds of employees or work by yourself, are you investing in your personal wellness program?

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ut let’s be honest, do you really want to read another article about what you should eat and how much you should exercise? If you don’t know by now, then you’re just not paying attention. The problem is that maintaining a balanced, healthy lifestyle is challenging even under ideal circumstances. Add long, erratic work hours, meals with clients ranging from rubber chicken to exotic fare, and juggling personal and professional priorities…what’s an entrepreneur to do? Companies like Google, General Mills, and Proctor and Gamble are now turning to the ancient wisdom of mindfulness to enhance employee wellness. Mindfulness is proving to be a practical, flexible method for managing the challenges of our modern lifestyles. Mindfulness practices such as meditation, yoga, and present moment awareness increase energy, health, productivity, and happiness. Adding mindfulness to your personal wellness program will give you a competitive advantage too.

What is Mindfulness?

In the fast paced, high stress world of business, multitasking, distraction, and rushing are the norm. If you’ve ever lost your keys, missed an important part of a conversation while replying to a text, or found yourself at a four-way stop with no idea when it was your turn, you’ve experienced mindlessness.

On the other hand, mindfulness is intention and attention; in other words, purpose and awareness. If you set goals or write a to-do list, you’re already familiar with the power of purpose. Setting an intention is like GPS for your mind: you put in the destination and your brain figures out how to get you there. For example, setting an intention like, “I’ll find opportunities to fit physical activity into my day” tells your brain to notice the stairs and pace during your phone meeting. Attention is awareness of the present moment. This may include noticing your surroundings, physical state, thoughts, feelings, and other information available to you at any given moment. Instead of just telling you about it, experience mindfulness for yourself right now. First, set an intention to “plug in and recharge” for a few moments. Stop reading and pay attention to your body in your seat. Take a few deep breaths and simply notice how you feel. What are you aware of? Are you tense, tired, thirsty, etc.? If you notice that you’re uncomfortable, what could you change to feel more comfortable? Could you stretch? Take a break? Get a drink? You may be thinking, “Huh? That sounds too simple! All I have to do is set an intention and pay more attention? Can being more aware really help me become healthier, feel better, be more productive, and experience more joy in my life?” Yes! One of the benefits of mindfulness is that focusing on the present moment enables you to make 

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better decisions now. It’s common to “check out” rather than using the information available to you. For example, you may be distracted by email or television, preoccupied with regrets from the past or fantasies about the future, or unconsciously responding to triggers you learned years earlier. The tendency to ignore what’s happening right now forces you to act out of old habits instead of using the most current information to make decisions. Mindlessness leaves no choice but to react (re-act out the past) rather than respond to what is needed now (response-ability). This tendency to disconnect from what you’re experiencing right now affects your health, your work, your relationships, and other important aspects of your life. As a busy entrepreneur myself, I have experienced the difference that being more mindful can make in my professional and personal life. Our corporate mindful eating workshops help employees break habitual mindless and emotional eating. The following strategies give you a step-by-step process for incorporating mindfulness into your life several times a day.

Mindful Eating

 Whenever you feel like eating, first pause to recognize whether you’re hungry. Sometimes “I want a brownie” really means “I want a break.” When a craving doesn’t come from hunger, eating doesn’t satisfy it.  Next, decide how you want to feel when you’re finished. If you eat with the intention of feeling better when you’re done than you did when you started, you’re more likely to choose foods that support your goals and you’re less likely to overeat.  Choose food that nourishes your body and your mind. Our society is so obsessed with “eating right” that we sometimes eat things we don’t even like. Further, deprivation and guilt usually lead to more overeating.  Avoid working and other distractions while you eat. Sit down at a table – even if it’s just a snack. The sacrifice in work time will pay off in productivity and vitality.  Before eating, connect with your body by taking a few deep calming, centering breaths.  Take a moment to express appreciation for your food. It is a practice that can be easily expanded to gratitude for everything in your life.  Take in the surroundings, the ambience, and the mood. Appreciate the company or the solitude.  Notice the aromas, colors, and textures of your food. Your experience, and therefore your satisfac-

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tion, will be greatly heightened when you are mindful of the subtle details that make up each moment.  Select the perfect bite – not necessarily the healthiest – but the one you really want. If you save the best for last, you’re likely to eat it even if you’re full.  Place a small amount in your mouth. Flavors come from taste buds on your tongue and aromas you smell. If your bite is too large, much of the food will be on your teeth, cheeks, and roof of your mouth where there are no taste buds.  Savor the texture and flavors of the food on your tongue then slowly begin to chew. Breathe to allow the aromas to ascend to your nose.  What does it taste like? What ingredients can you identify? Are the flavors interesting, exciting, pleasurable, or just so-so. (Imagine how much less food you’d eat if you didn’t bother to eat food you didn’t love.)  As you swallow, notice the food gently and comfortably filling your stomach. Sit for a moment and let the flavors and experience linger.  Set your fork down between bites. If you’re focused on loading your next forkful, you aren’t paying attention to the one in your mouth.  Sit for a moment between bites to allow the flavors and experience linger.  Notice when you’re approaching your intended fullness. Becoming bored and distracted is a sure sign that you’re done.  How do you feel afterward? Energetic and ready for your next activity? What went well? What will you do differently next time? As you experience the benefits of eating mindfully, you’ll discover other areas of your life that will benefit from more intention and attention. Your investment in this simple but powerful concept can form the foundation of a wellness program that pays huge dividends. by Michelle May

Michelle May Michelle May, M.D. is the CEO of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Workshops (www.AmIHungry. com). She is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle. Download the first chapter free: www.amihungry.com/eat-whatyou-love-book.shtml.


Eat Mindfully Live Vibrantly Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat …guides readers out of the food-focused, diet-driven downward spiral that leads them to eat-repent-repeat

Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs Workshops and tools for clinicians, communities, corporate wellness programs, bariatric surgery, diabetes, binge eating, wellness retreats and more Workshop participants learn to: – Re-establish hunger as the primary cue for eating – Increase awareness of satiety for “portion control” – Recognize and address triggers for overeating – Balance eating for nourishment with eating for enjoyment – Eat mindfully with intention and attention – Discover vitality and joy in physical activity – Care for the whole self—body, mind, heart, and spirit

www.AmIHungry.com

Visit AmIHungry.com

Please contact:

 Download chapter one of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat (free)

Michelle May, M.D. Training@AmIHungry.com

480 704-7811

 One page educational handouts  Workshop Facilitator Training Information  Mindful Eating / Vibrant Living Retreats  Invite Michelle May, M.D. to speak for your organization or community


The Magic of Believing That You Can Make It

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f you are struggling right now to lead your business to growth then you are probably concerned that you don’t have the right business plan, the right sales people, or enough marketing. But the reality is that you need something else. You probably don’t need a better business plan.  The one you have works well enough already. You don’t need better sales people or more savvy email marketers. Your public relations is adequate. You accounting works well enough. What you need is hope. Lots of it.

It will change everything that you do.

It could save your life. It could turn around your business forever.

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And it’s probably the one thing you’re missing right now. It was October 13th in 1972. Flight 571 from the Uruguayan Air Force was flying over the Andes Mountains.  On board were 45 people, the entire Uruguayan rugby team and their friends and family. A flash snow storm high above the mountains caused the aircraft, a twin turboprop Fairchild FH227, to crash.  As the plane exploded against the side of the mountain more than a dozen of the passengers were killed instantly.  At 11,000 feet in blizzard conditions, 29 survivors huddled around a makeshift shelter sharing a can of sardines, a few chocolate bars, and a couple bottles of wine that they found in the wreckage of the plane.  That was all they had. 


RECHARGE! Attitude They waited for rescuers to find them in temperatures that plunged to -30°F.  The first night 5 more survivors died.  A few days later, an avalanche fell from the top of the steep mountains peaks above them. As the snow swept around them, several of the group were snatched from their shelter and swept over the side of the mountain to their death. Little did they know that the search-and-rescue effort for them had been called off days ago. The best search teams in the world couldn’t make it to them.  They were doomed to certain death. For days they waited. No food. Harsh conditions. The odds against them.  And then to stay alive they resorted to the unthinkable. The survivors began to eat the frozen bodies of their family and friends who had died in the plane crash.  They couldn’t build a fire in the swirling winds of the mountain top so they ate the frozen body organs raw. Hours turned into days. Days turned into weeks.  Weeks turned into a month.  One month turned into two.  That’s when hope began to die.  They had survived an unimaginable tragedy.  They had stayed alive for 60 days by resorting to cannibalism. And despite it all, they were still going to die.  Only 16 of them were left. That’s when Fernando Parrado knew he had to make a difference.  A poor child from a poor section of Uruguay, Fernando Parrado, was a knock-out a rugby player and captain of a popular team.  His mother and sister had died in the crash.   He was all alone.  If anyone was going to live, it was going to be because of him. To begin their escape he made snowshoes out of seat cushions and seat belt straps.  Using an old sleeping bag he put together a three-day ration of human flesh as food for their journey.  Fernando asked two other survivors, Roberto Canessa and Antonio Vizintín to go with him.  They left the crash site and headed west. To get out of the mountains, Fernando led his team up the mountain pass directly to their west.  The peak of the mountain was over 14,447 feet high.  From the

top of the mountain they could see the faint outlines of a road and the Pacific Ocean far away. They knew they had a longer trip than 3 days.  They started walking. For 10 days they walked up and over mountains until they finally saw signs of civilization  – green grass, a farm, and a river.  They had traveled 40 miles and were now in Chile. Too exhausted to go any further, they collapsed on the side of a river bank. A Chilean rancher found them and brought back the military and a medical support team.  It had been 71 days since their plane hit the side of the mountain. The next day, Fernando led helicopter pilots to the crash site where 14 of the survivors waited to be rescued. They had lived through the most horrifically improbable tragedy in history.  Weeks later as the dead were buried atop the mountain; the rescue workers marked the grave with an iron cross on top of a pile of stones. That still stands today as a monument to the tragedy and a memorial to the miracle of hope. Hope led by one man. Chances are your business isn’t exploding against the side of a South American mountain pass like Flight 571 did 40 years ago. You won’t have to eat the dead bodies of your friends and family to survive.  You have food in the pantry, a roof over your head, and 300 channels on cable TV. But your problems might seem just as horrific.  And they’re still solved the same way: “You need hope.”

You need to believe that you can make it.

You need to believe that no matter how tough things are right now that you can do what success requires. You can make it out alive. That’s what your business needs.  That’s what your life needs. More hope. by Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt Dan Waldschmidt is an international business strategist, speaker, author, and extreme athlete. His consulting firm solves complex marketing and business strategy problems for savvy companies all over the world. Dow Jones calls his Edgy Conversations blog one of the top sales sites on the internet. He’s been profiled in Business Week, INC Magazine, BBC, Fox News, The Today Show, and Business Insider, has been the featured guest on dozens of radio programs, and has published hundreds of articles on progressive business strategy. He is author of the soon to be released Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Can Achieve Outrageous Success.

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RECHARGE!

The Counseling Corner

By Nathan Feiles, LMSW

Stress and Anxiety The DoubleEdged Sword Known As ‘The Internet’

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t's incredible how much access we have right in the palm of our hands today. The options are almost endless. However, there's also a downside. Our computers and smart phones haven't only brought us endless avenues of being constantly in touch with our friends and families, and having shopping, music, games, and much more right in the palm of hour hands. Unfortunately, they have also can contribute to increased anxiety and mental stress. I hear many people talk about how much the world "has changed" over the past ten years, or so. But I'll raise a question, just for consideration: Has the world really changed, or has our awareness, perspective, and access to the world changed?

The Past World

Before the internet virtually exploded onto the planet, like a present day Big Bang, people mainly had three avenues through which to learn about events in the world: daily newspapers, radio, and news on TV. The word "daily" needs to be emphasized here. If you read something in the newspaper one morning and wanted to know more about the story, you either watched the news that night to see if there would be more information, listened to the radio, or you waited for the newspaper to arrive the next morning. That was basically how it worked. People would get their dose of daily news, and then they'd go about their day. Maybe 

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RECHARGE! The Counseling Corner they discussed what they heard on the radio or read in the newspaper with co-workers, maybe they thought about something in the news that resonated with their lives, but there was much less attention to the outside world because there was much less information available. People still had their own life issues to deal with – it wasn't a care-free time, by any means – but there was much less to be distracted by before the internet.

How the Internet and Media Contribute to Stress and Anxiety

With the existence of the internet, we have the world's biggest double-edged sword: having everything in the palm of our hands. Sure, we do have significant access at our fingertips. But, the problem is how much more information there is as a whole, and it's constantly being updated throughout each day. Now, it's not just the stories from the morning paper or evening news, there's seemingly an endless amount of space. The media is constantly searching for information, no matter how meaningless or irrelevant the stories may be. How often have you heard a story and wondered, "Why is this news?" Sure, this went on before the internet as well, but it was on a much smaller scale since the space for reporting was so limited. Now, if there isn't an updated or new story every few minutes, journalists are almost behind the game. As a result, we are being constantly inundated with information that is often magnified simply for the purposes of getting people to read or follow. The problem is, our brains only have the capacity to take in so much. Even if we check our phones all day long for news updates, most likely we're only seeing a small percentage of the information that exists now. So, if we're not constantly keeping up, we are also behind. And it's not just the news stories – it's keeping up with the lives of our friends and acquaintances through the various social media, and all other intrigues of the internet. This kind of environment creates an information overload. What people consider to be 'multitasking' is actually not possible. The human brain can't focus on more than one thing at a time. When we multitask, we actually are focusing on single tasks for bits and pieces of time. This can end up creating symptoms similar to that of ADHD, where it can become very difficult to focus on any one activity for a length of time. Attention span is essentially diminished because there is an overwhelming amount of information constantly surrounding us. We're like babies in a huge toy store – but imagine being in that toy store while trying to work, or

It's our job to manage what we allow ourselves to be drawn into, to understand what we're drawn to be with family, or study, or have interpersonal relationships at the same time. This is essentially what we do in our daily lives with the internet. As alluded to earlier in this article, it isn't only the amount of information that causes the stress and anxiety symptoms (though that gets its due credit), it's also the type of information. The media often utilizes scare tactics to draw an audience. It's subjective to say what is and isn't newsworthy, but it's hard not to notice the stories that strike unnecessary fear into people. So between the amount and type of information that is available, people's anxiety and stress increases. There's also the issue of certain resources that actually hurt more than help. For example, looking up illness symptoms on the internet. Many people begin diagnosing themselves with terminal illnesses or severe mental health disorders because they feel they have a couple of listed symptoms that correlate. When people have a fear, the psychological response is often to validate the fear with evidence, rather than to find a way to discredit the fear, so having too much information action can fuel a harmful thought-process. 

So, Now What?

To clarify, this article isn't meant to be anti-media or anti-internet, as much as it's meant to foster awareness of how our virtually unlimited access to the world can overwhelm us psychologically, resulting in increased stress, anxiety, and attention span and focus issues. The reality is, too much space for information means too much information. The hours in the days haven't increased from the pre-internet days, but how much 

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we try to cram into our brains in our days has dramatically increased.  Consider setting daily times for leisure activity on the internet – whether it's reading news stories, shopping, sports, etc.  If you work with a computer, consider shutting off the internet when possible to be more present.  Put your phone away, out of reach, and set a time to check the phone for a few minutes every so often.  Question news stories that stir anxiety or fear in you. They may be more dramatic (magnified) than necessary. Ask yourself such questions as, "Why is this being reported the way it is," or, "Why is this being reported at all?" The answer can often be, "Because people will read it."  It's our job to manage what we allow ourselves to be drawn into, to understand what we're drawn to, and to monitor how much time we spend away from present reality by being on our computers and phones. Setting boundaries and developing an understanding of what we see on the internet will help us prevent unnecessary psychological stress, anxiety, and focus issues.

Nathan Feiles, LMSW Nathan Feiles, MSW, LMSW is a licensed master social worker in the New York City area. In his counseling practice, Nathan works with individuals, couples, families, and groups, with an inclusive goal of helping people achieve a comfortable balance in their lives. He is known to utilize a variety of treatment modalities in his work in order to best suit the needs of each person. Nathan specializes in relationships, fear of flying, life adjustments and transitions, stress and migraines, anxiety and social anxiety, and phobias. He is also the creator of Fear of Flying?...Not Anymore!, a unique therapy approach to conquering a fear of flying. He is also the founder of the NYC Migraine Support Group. For more information about Nathan Feiles’s work, including a complete list of services, please visit his website at www.therapynathan.wordpress. com. Nathan is also available for presentations and interviews regarding any of the specialties listed above.

NYC Life & Relationship Counseling

Nathan Feiles, MSW, LMSW Relationships (Couples or Individual)

Migraines

Life Adjustments and Transitions

General Anxiety & Social Anxiety

Fear of Flying

Phobias

Stress Prevention

Other services also provided…

www.therapynathan.wordpress.com

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Nathan.Feiles@gmail.com

(917) 407-5488


RECHARGE!

Doctor’s Diary

Health advice from Dr Kem Thompson

H

MAKE 2013 YOUR ‘CAN DO’ YEAR!

ere’s a principle for you to remember every day of your life: your success in any venture starts with your thoughts about it. If you think you can succeed (in losing weight, stopping smoking, securing a high-income- paying job, finding your ideal partner, etc, etc), you're already on your way to getting what you want. Get that? Your belief about your ability to do a thing, determines your ability to do that thing. Henry Ford once said 'if you think you can or if you think you can't, you're probably right'. It's up to you to make things happen in your life. The way your mind works, it accepts whatever you feed it as reality. So if you feed it with thoughts of success (e.g 'I CAN lose weight healthily', 'I CAN stop smoking', 'I CAN find a high- income paying job, etc, etc)’, it will work to make it happen. Several things happen when you think this way, the most important one being that you'll become alert to opportunities (and they are all around you if you'd only open your eyes and look) to move you towards your desired results. Conversely, if you feed your mind with negative thoughts about your ability to succeed or your chances of succeeding, your mind doesn't bother to find solutions to your problems. It closes up. You wouldn't recognize an opportunity to help you out if it slapped you in the face. It takes the same amount of effort to think positive thoughts as it takes to think negative thoughts. If positive thoughts help move you towards your goals while negative ones move you further away from them, it makes sense to dwell on the positive. Positive thinking is but a step in the journey called 'success'. You need to back your thoughts with ACTION. You can think positive thoughts until your brain gets the cramps but if all you do is think and not act, you'd be wasting your time.

The good thing about positive thinking is that it puts you in the right frame of mind to take appropriate action. Choose to make 2013 the first of many ‘Can Do ‘ years. Always seek out reasons why you can rather than why you can’t. Mark Twain (and later Napoleon Hill) said that 'What the human mind can conceive and believe, the human mind can achieve'. The problem comes up after conceiving a potentially great idea. The little voice inside you starts saying things like 'that's a crazy idea' or 'nobody's ever done that before -who do you think you are?' or ‘there’s no way you’re gonna pull that off!’. Your friends and family make fun of your idea. You begin to get discouraged and to think 'maybe it wasn't such a good idea after all'. What should you do when this happens? Take control of your thoughts, that's what. Your mind has conceived it, remember, so your mind CAN achieve it. You just need to line up your thoughts and actions with what you want to do. Tell all those naysayers (internal and external) that you will succeed in reaching your goal. The next line of thinking after 'I CAN' is 'I WILL'. Feed yourself with thoughts like that about yourself (and act accordingly) and you'll see your confidence, awareness and productivity soar. You'll find yourself attracting those things you want into your life. Who says you can't make it? Tell them you CAN and you WILL. Then go out there and make it happen.

Dr Kem Thompson Dr Kem Thompson (MBBS, Dip. Performance Coaching, MRCGP) Family Doctor, Author, Speaker. Learn more at: www.doctorkem.com

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RECHARGE!

Lifestyle Wr e c k-It R a lp h 's To p Ten Ti p s fo r Re sta rti n g th e Ga m e o f Li fe

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RECHARGE! Lifestyle Whoever needed a restart in life? I know I have. And that’s really what Wreck-It Ralph is about.  Behind the cameos of video game all-stars like Pac-Man and Bowser, lies a heart warming story about a man who’s discouraged with his job and wants to make a change.

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alph’s a “bad guy” in the game he works at, but he’s also a person with feelings just like anyone else.

He feels lucky to have a steady gig, but knows it’s hard to do a job when no one likes you for doing it. He could probably accept his career if life after the 9-5 made up for it. But his home is a pile of bricks in a junk yard, and no one invites him anywhere…being a bad guy and all. Ralph is alone. But from his pile of bricks he has a view of the lives of those around him.  His work mates living in a nice apartment high rise.  His co-worker, Felix, getting pats on the back, thank you’s, and pie for doing his job.  And he can’t help wishing he had those things too. Which is how any of you would feel. So like all “heroes” he embarks on a journey of selfdiscovery, in search of a life he can be happy with. By the time the adventure concludes, you’re left with an inspiring, heartfelt, appreciation for what really matters in the game of life. Here are Wreck-IT Ralph’s Top Ten Tips For Restating the Game of Life

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One Game at a Time

The Super-Villain Support Group is one of the most humanizing elements of the movie. Here Bowser, Zangief, thePac-ManGhost, and several other video game icons gather to express their feelings of being the “bad guy”.  But if you look closely you’ll see their motto displayed across the wall, “One Game at a Time.” Life can be overwhelming when you don’t see your purpose or have a sense of belonging.  It can be devastating to feel things will never change.

The villains get by taking one game at a time. Don’t worry about the future.  Do the best job you can…one day at a time.

Are a Part of the 9 Mistakes Game

Sarah Silverman’s character Vanellope happens to be a “glitch” in her game. As such, she’s treated poorly by the other characters.  They break her belongings, shun her from competing, and leave her homeless.  She understandably feels like her whole life is one big mistake. But after every mistake comes the lesson. And Vanellope sure delivers on that promise as the movie develops. Mistakes are just as common in our game of life.  But the question is, do you learn and improve from them, or do you get frustrated and rage quit?

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Don’t Fear the Game Jump

In the Wreck-It Ralph world, characters don’t move from one game to another. It’s unheard of and only “evil” has come from anyone who has jumped games in the past. But sometimes it takes a change in pace or environment to discover your passions and what you really want from life. We game jump by changing careers, moving to a new city, or hanging out with different sets of friends.  The transition isn’t always smooth, but you almost always come away feeling good about your decision. The game jump may look scary and others may tell you it’s a bad idea, but the rewards can be priceless. 

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7

Heroes Have to Make Hard Choices

The moment I knew Wreck-It Ralph would be a hit and not just a gimmick was when the theater became silent and little sniffles began to spread across the audience young and old.  As if I wasn’t the only one noticing this, a little child behind me turned to his left crying, “Mom.. this is a sad movie”. To avoid spoilers, all you need to know is sometimes heroes have to make hard choices. And this will happen in your life as well. My mother had to make the choice to put her 8 year old boy through the pain of chemotherapy, radiation, and a bone marrow transplant so he could be cured of cancer.  To the 8 year old, these all felt like endless sufferings from a threat he couldn’t physically see.  But almost 20 years later…I’m here because of that heroic choice. The game of life gets bumpy and the answers won’t always be punch this or shoot that.  The important thing is to be ready to do the right thing, even if it hurts you or those around you.

6 Every Role is Important

In the game world, villains are taken for granted. The “good guys” are celebrated, appreciated, and held on a pedestal, while the villains slunk off to their shabby homes every night. But it’s funny how quickly the perspective changes once you take the villain out of the game.

Life can be overwhelming when you don’t see your purpose or have a sense of belonging 20 І February–March 2013

The kids show up to play and now there’s nothing for them “to fix”. They think the game is broken, so the arcade owner has to mark the machine as “out of order,” and now the people in the game are homeless. Suddenly the characters realize how important the “bad guy” actually was, and they’ll do anything to get him back. You might not feel your role in life is important…neither did George Bailey.  Even small impacts leave large ripples.  You never know who is depending on you despite the lack of appreciation and support.

5 Don’t Chase Shiny Medals

What’s the reward for beating a game? A high score, the prestige that comes along with it…a shiny medal. Ralph wanted respect and appreciation from his peers.  He thought maybe other people would treat him as an equal if he had a medal like Felix. So he goes off looking for one. Do you think getting a medal solves his problems? Not really. But we do the same thing.  We think if only I get that raise, promotion, or new job…then life will be better. We hang onto the hope of a new future for ourselves, only realizing once we arrive there, we still have the same problems. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs makes it pretty clear.  Shiny medals don’t get you the needs at the top of your pyramid; things like friends, family, your full potential. T h o s e things come from character, your heart, your personality.   Shiny medals will make you feel special for 


RECHARGE! Lifestyle a moment, but the kind of person you are will make you feel special for a life time.

4 You Are More Than a Job

The characters in the movie have a hard time recognizing they’re more than 2 dimensional programming. Ralph has several opportunities to make a difference, but he constantly remarks, “All I’m good at doing is wrecking stuff.” What do you expect when all people tell him is, “You’re just the bad guy who wrecks the building?” He eventually finds that’s not the case, but we often do the same things. We introduce ourselves to new people by our careers.  “I’m a carpenter, a banker, a receptionist.”  Like that’s what makes us who we are. But unlike the characters in the movie, we are 3 dimensional.  We have talents, hobbies, personalities and dozens of other traits that make us unique and remarkable. Resetting the game of life might mean a new career path or lifestyle, but it doesn’t change who you are. Like Zangief says, “Ralph you may be a bad guy…but that doesn’t make you a bad guy.

3

Don’t Change Who You Are

Ralph finishes up expressing his feelings in his Bad-Anon support group saying, “I don’t want to be the bad guy anymore.” Causing the other villains to gasp in shock…and to spit out fire balls in Bowser’s case. They quickly tell him, “Ralph, you can’t change who you are.”  Although it’s not true, the big discovery throughout the film is “Why change who you are?” Sure Ralph has some weaknesses.  He has a short fuse and he breaks things without having to try, but he’s also got some amazing strengths.  He’s empathetic and understanding, he can use his physical strength for good, and he genuinely wants to be a “good guy”. It’s who Ralph is that makes him a hero at the end. You all have talents of your own that may not feel that impressive or remarkable.  You might really admire someone in your circle and try to be just like them. It’s okay to develop new skills and traits, but don’t sacrifice “who you are” as a result.

Don’t Mess With The 2 Program

The characters in the movie have an incredible respect for following “the program.” Their memories are a program.  Their daily routine is a program.  Who they are is a program.

There is a set of rules and they need to follow them. But they never blame the program for their faults or problems. They take full responsibility for their fate. Today I see lots of people in the real world upset with the program. “I don’t have a job because the economy is bad.  I can’t be successful without an education. Life sucks and then you die.” The blame mentality is focused more on changing the program than changing their actions.  There are plenty of people that will waste plenty of time trying to make the program work for their needs… and it will drain them. The smarter way of winning in the game of life is to understand the program and then change your actions to succeed. You don’t run head first into Bowser’s chest, repeatedly wondering why he isn’t dying.  You go, “maybe next time I should try jumping on his head and see if that’s more productive.”

1

Remember the Bad Guy Affirmation

Of all the themes and messages throughout the movie, the one I felt will stick with me forever is the bad guy affirmation. The first time it’s said in the movie you laugh and think nothing of it. But then as Ralph finishes wrapping up the story, just before the credits roll, he ends by repeating the oath. I am BAD, And that’s GOOD. I will never be GOOD, And that’s not BAD. There’s no one I’d rather be than ME. by Bryce Christiansen

Bryce Christiansen Bryce Christiansen is the Editor-inChief of the new MyCareertopia. com. He’s on a mission to capture a corner of the career arena that isn’t already being served… helping careerists find their Careertopia.  A career that matches your values, fits your personality, and ultimately is a source of happiness rather than stress. Feel free to subscribe to their site today at www.mycareertopia.com

February–March 2013 І 21


Five Consequences of a Life Out of Balance If you are working more than fifty-five hours a week, you are working too much and likely out of balance. You may be able to work more than this for a season, but it is not sustainable. If you persist in working this much – or more – something will eventually break. When I first began my publishing career, I was determined to succeed. Part of what drove me was fear. I didn’t have any experience, and I was scared to death I would be found out. However, I was also driven by the desire to achieve. I would later learn from the StrengthsFinder™ test that my top strength is “Achiever.” As a result, I loved climbing the corporate ladder, moving from one level to the next. In those early years, I would arrive at the office at 5:00 a.m. and not leave until 6:00 p.m. Since I would usually be at my desk during lunch, this was thirteen hours a day. I would almost always go into the office on Saturday, too. I was routinely working seventy hours a week. My dear wife, Gail, was patient, but with several small children, she really needed relief. It took some serious marriage counseling for me to realize that my work/life balance was totally out of whack. It was simply not sustainable. Think of it this way: If you are working more than fifty-five hours a week, you are out of balance. You are putting at risk at least five very important assets.

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Your health. Early in my career, I thought I could get by eating junk food and not exercising. However, I learned that this will inevitably catch up with you. How many people do you know who have died young, simply because they refused to take care of themselves? Your family. You can’t afford a divorce. The cost is incalculable. Just ask those who have gone through one. You also can’t afford to ignore your children. If you don’t invest in them now, you will be forced to spend time with them later – in rehab, in juve, or worse. Your friends. Sadly, I didn’t really have any close, personal friends until about five years ago. I thought that my work colleagues and church acquaintances were enough. Not so much. I have several great friends now that mean the world to me. But I must

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have margin in my life to invest in those relationships.

4

Your effectiveness. I think you are the most productive when you are relaxed. Work is like golf – or any sport. The harder you work, the less effective you’ll be. You are the most productive when you are not stressed. The number of hours you work has almost zero correlation with your effectiveness.

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Your example. Your people will unconsciously mimic you. They can’t help it. As a leader you set the pace. If you work seventy hours a week, your people will think they must work seventy hours a week. Most of them won’t be able to keep up. And you will be responsible for the consequences. Don’t get me wrong. I still work hard. But now I have boundaries – and balance. I get into the office at 8:30 a.m. and I leave promptly at 6:00 p.m. I also work for two hours on Sunday evening, preparing for the new week. In total that’s about 50 hours – give or take. If you want to get your life back into balance, I suggest that you grab a copy of my free e-book, Create Your Personal Life Plan. It will equip you to live on-purpose, making time for those things that matter most. © 2013, Michael S. Hyatt. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.michaelhyatt.com by Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt Michael Hyatt is the Chairman (and ex-CEO) of Thomas Nelson, the largest Christian publishing company in the world and the seventh largest trade book publishing company in the U.S. Michael has written four books, one of which landed on the New York Times bestseller list. Since resigning from active executive role in Thomas Nelson, Michael has been having a great success as professional blogger and speaker. Learn more at www.michaelhyatt.com


RECHARGE! Lifestyle

ly r a e l c e h s And then If he was . d o o t s r e d n . u d o o w e b t us en fire, she m nard Coh o r c, by L e a f o n a o ~J

How to Make the Most of Being Toast: Embracing Burnout I

admit it: I’m burned out. Fried. Toasted. But this time, there’s something satisfying and tasty about being…roasted by the life I’ve chosen. I’m reveling in it. Rather than the usual “How’d I let this happen?, or, I’m weak, or, I should take better care of myself…” admonishments (from myself and others,) I’m curling up to my tenderized being and I’m really very pleased with the state of me. I’m devoted to tending the fire of knowledge, to blazing my own trail. Burn out is a natural part of shining Naturally. I welcome it now. Because I’m such a Typically Tough Cookie, admitting to burn out is not my first inclination. My re-

sponse to the creeping psyche crispies has been to put on more mascara and tighten my bra straps. But the evidence has been surfacing:

YOU KNOW YOU’RE BURNED OUT WHEN:

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Your friend asks where you want to go for breakfast and you say, “Anywhere they serve mashed potatoes and chocolate cake.” You start to feel a whole new sympathy for Britney Spears’ last breakdown because, “Poor thing, the pressure to be skinny, manage your millions, raise your babies, and remember your dance 

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routine must be out-freaking-rageous. Someone needs to nominate her for the Nobel.” When asked what famous historical figure you’d like to have dinner with, you choose Joan of Arc, “because I want to know if she was a nut-bar or truly vocationally inspired.” You start listening to inordinate amounts of music from high school (for me that would be The Cure) and Gregorian chants. You wear a hat, sunglasses, and a scarf to the grocery store. You wish you could wear your Uggs to business meetings. You generally feel like you’re walking through the world minus a layer of epidermis and it’s really windy outside. You totally relate to this “Overnight Success” video from Chris Brogan. When you hear some tragic news about brutality and violence, you want to collapse into a ball of sobbing guilt because, clearly, you’re not doing enough to save the human race from it’s mortal coil. Your  monastic fantasies are unceasing. You dream of living on an island only accessible by boat (but where, magically, FedEx and Pizza Hut still deliver.) Yep, you done be fried.

race for being exhausted.  They rest. Rest and excitement don’t have to be mutually exclusive terms. You can have some down time and still bubble with the anticipation of getting back into the game. My wonder goddess coach, Dyana Valentine puts it this way: “Your energetic vulnerability is helping you get clear on what you need.” Damn, that’s good. Take stock of all you’ve accomplished. You’ve come far, baby. And you’ve got the road rash and the muscle definition to prove it. “Life balance” is an insidious myth. Picasso, Oprah, Steve Jobs, Einstein, Maria Callas – they weren’t aiming for balance, they were aiming to rock their genius, and they’ve all had periods of burn out. Cozy comfort hiding quiet time can make for some amazing new ideas. On the seventh day, even God rested.

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When the Phoenix resurrects from the flames, she is even more beautiful than before

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RE-FRAMING BURN OUT INTO A BEAUTIFUL POSSIBILITY:

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You run long and hard, you get tired. That’s a fact. Marathoners don’t criticize themselves after a

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As the legend goes, when the Phoenix resurrects from the flames, she is even more beautiful than before. I will start a fresh fire and jump back into it. I’m gathering kindling in between unpacking my suitcases and naps. I’ve got Bigger Than Ever Plans. And maybe six months or six years from now, I will be burned out, spent, deeply satiated and in need of cocoa and solace again. I’m looking forward to it. by Danielle Laporte

Danielle Laporte Writer, blogger, speaker. Danielle is interested in liberating truth. She thinks feminine power and progressive commerce are revolutionary forces. In her own experience, if you steer clear of dogma and muster up more love than you thought you had to give, then your vitality increases, sweetness surfaces, unity happens. She believes in the creative power of pleasure. Danielle is convinced that the desire to be genuine is a divine imperative. She is the author of many books - THE FIRE STARTER SESSIONS, THE SPARK KIT to name a few. Contact Danielle at mailto:mailtomailtodanielle@daniellelaporte.com or learn more about her at www.daniellelaporte.com

24 І February–March 2013


RECHARGE!

BrainBlogger

Advice from an award winning health and science blog

The Right Amount of Exercise for Improved Mental Health

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any people live by the adage “If a little is good, a lot is better.” In some areas of life, that may well be true. But, when it comes to exercise, too much is not always healthy. A new study quantified the amount of weekly exercise that promotes mental health and found that, while too little isn’t healthy, neither is too much. Many studies have shown a subjective association between physical activity and mental health or overall well-being, but quantifying the effects of physical activity is difficult. The new study, published in Preventive Medicine, aimed to do just that and reported that the optimal amount of exercise for improved mental health is between 2.5 and 7.5 hours each week. The authors used data collected from the 2007 US Health Information National Trends Survey. They analyzed the self-reported physical activity data and mental health symptoms of nearly 8,000 adults. In addition to symptoms of psychological distress, depression, and anxiety and frequency and duration of physical activity that led to increased breathing, the authors considered variables such as age, employment, marital status, educational attainment, income, physical health, race, and ethnicity. Individuals who exercised between 2.5 and 7.5 hours each week were 1.39 times more likely to have better mental health than those who exercised less or more than that. Older age, college education, higher income, and good physical health were also positively associated with mental health. The authors report that exercising too much may lead to poor mental health, because the exercise likely occurs at the expense of other activities that are important for mental health, including family activities, social interactions, and leisure time. Or, frequent exercise may be part of a compulsion that is a symptom of poor mental health, such as anorexia nervosa or obsessive compulsive disorder, so it may not be the exercise itself that leads to poor mental health.

On the other end of the activity spectrum, sedentary behavior is also associated with poor mental health. In a 2010 study of screen-based activities among adults, sedentary behavior was independently associated with poor mental health. The current study is limited by recall bias, but the results still support a relationship between physical activity and mental health. Many studies have attempted to quantify the amount of exercise that leads to improved physical health, and at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week has become synonymous with a healthy lifestyle and prevention of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. But, mental health is more difficult to define and diagnose, which makes its prevention harder to measure. Still, moderation seems to be the key when it comes to mental health. A balance of factors that influence mental health, including physical health, social support, and relaxation time, is likely necessary to maintain an overall sense of well-being and life satisfaction. Sometimes, only a little is good, and a lot isn’t necessarily better. Hamer M, Stamatakis E, & Mishra GD (2010). Television- and screen-based activity and mental well-being in adults. American journal of preventive medicine, 38 (4), 375-80 PMID: 20307805 Kim YS, Park YS, Allegrante JP, Marks R, Ok H, Ok Cho K, & Garber CE (2012). Relationship between physical activity and general mental health. Preventive medicine, 55 (5), 458-63 PMID: 22981733 Maher JP, Doerksen SE, Elavsky S, Hyde AL, Pincus AL, Ram N, & Conroy DE (2012). A Daily Analysis of Physical Activity and Satisfaction With Life in Emerging Adults. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association PMID: 23088171

Jennifer Gibson Jennifer Gibson, PharmD, is a practicing clinical pharmacist and medical writer/editor with experience in researching and preparing scientific publications, developing public relations materials, creating educational resources and presentations, and editing technical manuscripts. She is the owner of Excalibur Scientific, LLC.

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RECHARGE!

Wealth

Why Entrepreneurs Don’t Need To Sell Lemonade:

5

Myths Stopping People From Starting Their Own Business

26 І February–March 2013


RECHARGE! Wealth

Starting your own business and turning it into a profitable enterprise is a fantastic way to grow your wealth and build your life around the things you love doing.

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nfortunately many people are put off, often because they don’t believe they are cut out for the world of business ownership. Perhaps this is the result of so much airtime going to media-savvy entrepreneurial exhibitionists, whose flamboyant publicity stunts and tough talking drives television ratings. Seeing these 800lb gorillas of the business world in action can leave us meekly asking ourselves selfdoubting questions, such as: If I am not an extrovert like Richard Branson or a tough talking Dragon, can I really make it in the world of business on my own? However the answer to this is simple – Yes you can, and just to convince you, lets start busting some of those popular entrepreneurial myths.

Myth 1 – Entrepreneurs are born, not made

So you didn’t run the school tuck shop or sell lemonade to your friends and neighbors at the age of 8. And you weren’t buying and selling cars, property and planes by the age of 18? Shame on you – well because of your failure to demonstrate an entrepreneurial flair in your youth, you must now spend the rest of your life working for other people! This is perhaps the biggest entrepreneurial myth going, but it is absurd to think that it is actually true. Entrepreneurs are shaped by their surrounding environments and everyone has the ability to adapt and change according to the circumstances in which they find themselves or the goals that they want to achieve. Nobody sets out to become an entrepreneur just for the sake of becoming an entrepreneur and very few do it just for the money. Businesses and social enterprises are started by people who want to make an impact or make people’s

lives easier. If you happen to find this calling later on in life, there is no reason why you cannot develop entrepreneurial skills to respond to it.

Myth 2 – Entrepreneurs take big risks

Yes, you often hear about entrepreneurs betting the farm on one single event that changed their lives and yes to become fabulously wealthy you have to take bigger risks, but these are stories concerning a small minority. Most successful entrepreneurs are very riskaverse and will do everything they can to avoid losing money. That is why they are successful.  They will do their homework and weigh up the risks of each situation, before fully committing themselves to it. There are also many types of businesses that can be started with very little up-front investment, significantly reducing the risk of losing money.  For example using your knowledge and experience to start your own consultancy will cost you peanuts to set up, but can be incredibly profitable. Alternatively taking on a franchise with a well established brand, business model and well thought out systems & processes can also help to lower the risk of losing your investment. It is also worth considering the risk of not starting a business.  No job is ever safe from the threat of redundancy and from a non-financial point-of-view, staying in a job that you dislike rather than pursuing your dream could leave you feeling very miserable indeed.

Myth 3 – Corporate employees and civil servants don’t become entrepreneurs

Employees who have spent the majority of their careers working in large organizations may feel that they do not have the skills or wherewithal to adapt to the beg, borrow or steal mentality of entrepreneurial life, but once 

February–March 2013 І 27


Some of the best businesses are those founded by small teams made of individuals with different, but complimentary skills sets you start your own business it does not take long to pick this up (minus the stealing part, obviously!). And in fact, large organization employees will have learnt many excellent skills during their careers, such as presenting their ideas, networking, managing systems & processes and managing projects. All these skills and experiences will be very valuable to them as they grow and run their business.

Myth 4 – Entrepreneurs go it alone

Entrepreneurs cannot be good at everything and behind every great entrepreneur there will be a team responsible for getting the best out of every single area of the business including sales, marketing, operations, IT and finance. Even solopreneurs operating one-person businesses, will rely on their accountants to keep the books tidy and outsource other aspects of their work to specialists when necessary. For people who are really worried that they lack one or two key business skills, maybe it is worth partnering up with other entrepreneurs to start a new business. Some of the best businesses are those founded by small teams made of individuals with different, but complimentary skills sets.  One partner might excel at sales & marketing, whilst another is responsible for operations & delivery, whilst a third might take the roll of finance director and makes sure the business is profitable.

28 І February–March 2013

Myth 5 – You need a lot of cash to start a businesses

As I mentioned beforehand, successful businesses can be started on a shoestring and still generate a decent profit.  In addition to this the financial discipline developed from starting a business on a very limited budget will help to ensure greater commercial success in the future. Back in the day, just before the Dotcom crash, technology start-up businesses constantly had cash thrown at them by the bucket load.  Some of these businesses are still around today, but too many spent their start-up funding on plush offices or hiring non-essential staff.  Perhaps had they bootstrapped better, they might have been stayed in business for longer. From a personal point-of-view it is a good idea to build up some cash reserves in the bank to cover 3 to 6 months of living expenses before you quit your job to start your own business; but even if you are not in a position to give up your full time job there is the option of starting a sideline or weekend business and testing it to see if it will make any money.

So what is stopping you?

Whilst we all love to hear stories of brash, fast-living, outrageous people who have hauled themselves out of poverty and made their fortune, the truth is that these types of entrepreneurs are fairly few and far between. Most business owners are regular people who just want to work for themselves. Some are loud and extrovert, others are quiet and introvert, some are good with money and others are good at selling.  They might own shops, be one-person consultancies or run lifestyle businesses, online businesses, factories or a fleet of taxis – but they are all entrepreneurs. The question is when are you going to join them? by Donal Suter

Donal Suter In between running his project management consultancy, Donal Suter is busy writing for the Money Saving Challenge, a personal finance blog that focuses on gaining control of your finances, boosting your income and saving for big, life-changing goals and experiences. Learn more at www.moneysavingchallenge.com


Get your copy of John Von Achen's latest audio book

free www.johnva.com/crisisproof-free3


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Think Right about Your Money

By Ellen Rogin

5

steps to a Happy Money Marriage

Fortunately, many couples are compatible in many respects; unfortunately, often the exception is their finances. Arguments about money can eat away at otherwise solid relationships. Through effective communication and thoughtful planning it is very possible to have money peace in a marriage. Here are 5 steps to marital money bliss:

30 І February–March 2013

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Know your partner’s money history

What financial lessons did each of you learn? Were your parents savers, hoarders, spenders? Was there a feeling of scarcity or abundance in your household? Knowing this information will give you both a deeper understanding of each other’s money


RECHARGE! Think Right about Your Money beliefs and why each of you deals with money the way you do.

the yang to your 2 Be partner’s ying

It is easy to view your spouse’s financial dealings as wrong if they are not handled in the same manner as you would handle them. For example, if you are a conservative investor and your partner is a big risk taker this can cause stress. However, with a thoughtful financial plan and effective communication you can use your differences in risk tolerance to build a sound investment portfolio including conservative investments balanced by some more aggressive ones. The most important factor in this step is to let go of the judgments you have about the way your partner handles money. Instead, take a deep breath and look for ways that you compliment each other.

Chart a course for where 3 you want to go

What do you and your partner want for your selves, your family and your community? What is the financial impact of these goals? For example, if you desire to travel to China in 5 years, how will you save for this goal? If you want to provide your children with the ability to go to a state college and graduate with no debt, how much will you need to save to accomplish this? Will your extended family need financial support? How does each of you feel about that? Planning your future lives together can be one of the most meaningful and important steps you can take as a couple to create a happy financial relationship.

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Job share when it comes to your money management

In most relationships there is one person who handles certain areas either because they enjoy them more or because these tasks are easier for them to do. Often one spouse does more of the grocery shopping, pet care or gardening. Similarly, one of you may do more of

Through effective communication and thoughtful planning it is very possible to have money peace in a marriage the bill paying or monitoring of your investments. However, when it comes to your finances it is very important that both of you understand your entire financial situation. Although you don’t need to handle all of the dayto-day decisions, you (as well as your partner) must fully understand your investments and financial obligations.

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Make this smart purchase

If you were to die would your family be able to maintain their current standard of living? What if your partner were to die? If you do not have enough assets to support your life style you will need life insurance to cover that gap. Similarly, if you or your partner were disabled how would it affect your financial situation? Unfortunately, some people find out this information too late. Don’t wait until there is a tragedy to discover neither of you got around to buying enough life and disability insurance. Better communication about money with your spouse may be as simple as setting time aside to talk about your finances. Why not make financial dates with each other. Plan time at a quiet restaurant or take a walk in a park and talk money with your honey.

Ellen Rogin CPA, CFP® Ellen shows people how to be great with money. Through over 20 years as a successful entrepreneur in the financial services industry and as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional, Ellen understands that many people have an uneasy and complicated relationship with their money. People undergo great anxiety as well as great joy in their financial lives. Ellen is hired by corporations, women's initiatives, organizations and associations to take the complex area of money and make it easy. Learn more about Ellen at www.ellenrogin.com

February–March 2013 І 31


RECHARGE!

Dave Says

Q&A with America's Leading Personal Finance Expert

Sallie Mae vs. selling the car

Dear Dave, I make about $70,000 a year, and I have $9,000 in student loan debt. I also have a car that would bring enough to allow me to pay off the student loans. Do you think I should sell? ~ Dave Dear Dave, Nice name! Seriously, there are two questions I ask when it comes to selling a car to pay off debt. One, is the value of your car and other vehicles – including motorcycles, boats and such – more than half of your yearly income? If so, then you have way too much money wrapped up in things that are going down in value. So, unless you’re talking about a super-expensive car, I’d say the answer on this one is no. The second question is this: Can you become debtfree, except for your home, in 18–24 months without selling the car? If the answer is yes, then I wouldn’t sell the car. There’s no reason to sell your car in this scenario, unless you just really hate the thing or need different transportation.

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In this case, it sounds like your car is a reasonable percentage of your income. I’d hold on to it and just save like crazy to kill off this student loan debt. With your income, it shouldn’t take more than a year. Good luck, Dave! ~ Dave

Paying the parents

Dear Dave, I have $1,000 in credit card debt, a $12,000 car loan and I owe my parents $20,000. The loan from my parents is causing stress because all I can afford to give them is $200 a month. They don’t need the money, but they’d like to see it paid off soon. What can I do? ~ Jacob Dear Jacob, If you’re not already living on a written, monthly budget, that should be the first step. You say your parents don’t need the money, right? So, they’re not living on bread and water without your payments. I think the biggest thing causing them stress is the 


RECHARGE! Dave Says fear that you’re being irresponsible and living without a plan. Make out a simple, realistic budget, and sit down with them to explain what you’re doing and how you plan to address things. Start a debt snowball, and begin knocking out your debts smallest to largest. By the time you pay off the credit cards and the car, you’ll be able to give them lots more than $200 a month. Just ask mom and dad to stick with you a while longer. I think it will make them feel better to see that you’re serious about getting your finances in order! ~ Dave

Better safe than sorry

Dear Dave, My wife and I are 70, and we have $950,000 in annuities in the market, plus $68,000 in our emergency fund. The only debt we have is our mortgage. I’m considering converting our stocks to a money market account to lower the risk. What do you think? ~ Howard Dear Howard, There are two sides to this. One is the asset allocation method, where as you grow older you move away from equities like mutual funds toward safer, more conservative investments like money markets, bonds and certificates of deposit. This is standard financial planning theory. I disagree with that theory, and here’s why. Statistics show that if you make it to 72 years of age and are in good health, you have a high probability of living into your nineties. If you’re making around one percent on your money market and inflation is four to five percent, then your money isn’t going to be worth a lot. You need to outpace inflation, at least with your investments, in order to break even. You might move some cash over to money markets and CDs for your own peace of mind, but I’d also recommend growth and income mutual funds along with some balanced funds. You want the entire group to be hitting the four to five percent range over the next

several years, so you can at least keep up with the rising costs of gas and bread. In my mind, you’re avoiding one type of risk by moving everything to money markets, but you’re taking on a different kind of risk – the chance you’ll get tackled from behind by inflation. My advice is to balance things out so you can sleep better at night, but at a pace where you and your money stay ahead of the curve! ~ Dave

Is this an emergency?

Dear Dave, My wife just had our first child. As a result, we now have $2,500 in medical bills not covered by insurance. We’ve got $7,000 in our emergency fund, and I make about $25,000 a year. Should we dip into our savings for this or set up a payment plan with the hospital? ~ Matthew Dear Matthew, Congratulations on your new baby! I know this is going to make the new year extra-special for you. If I were in your situation, I’d write a check today and knock out that hospital bill. This definitely falls under the heading of “emergency” in my mind, so pay the bill and jump back into rebuilding your emergency fund. You’ve done a good job of saving on $25,000 a year, but let’s look around and see what you can do about making more money, too. Additional classroom education or extra training in your field could increase your income pretty quickly. Your emergency fund probably needs to be a little bit bigger as well, and it’ll be a lot easier to make this happen if you’re bringing in more cash. I’m sure you’re a hard-working guy, but the truth is it’s going to be pretty tough for even a small family to make it on what you’re bringing home now. Life happens, and the unexpected can become a common occurrence when there’s a little one loose in the house! ~ Dave

Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times bestselling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 5 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

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RECHARGE!

Social

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RECHARGE! Social Have you ever been addicted to watching a show or playing a game before? Have you ever thought about why you were (or are) addicted to it?

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ost people perceive addictions to shows or games to be a result of the enjoyment we get from watching or playing them. While this is indeed true, this is the surface-level reason. There is a reason, a deeper reason, as to why we enjoy doing these activities, and this reason may not be obvious at first sight. To illustrate what I mean, I’ll use a personal example.

Projecting Inner Desires Onto Reel Life My Interest in Rom-Coms

For the longest time ever, I was a big fan of romantic comedies (also known as rom-coms). I was never a fanatic, but I would gravitate toward such films if I ever watched movies. When watching action movies or TV dramas, I would be especially intrigued by the romance subplots, even if they weren’t the main highlights of the shows. I never thought much about this interest. I just thought it was a regular girl thing. I mean, there’s a reason why they call rom-com films chick flicks, right? Most girls adore the typical romance storyline where boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, both face obstacles in the course of their relationship and they eventually overcome them to be with one another. Marketers know it, film executives know it, and this is why romcoms are released every year with great results, despite the fact that most share the same plot line and at times, the same actors.

An Underlying Reason

However, there came a point when I was curious as to why I – or most girls for that matter – had this special interest in rom-coms. After all, if there is anything I have learned from my work in personal development all these years, it is that there’s always a reason for everything. So, I asked myself: ”Why am I usually interested in rom-coms (or shows with romance storylines)?”

The replies I got were quite revealing. I realized it was partly because I wanted to have the kind of romantic encounters and interactions that the characters would have. I also wanted to be in a fulfilling relationship that the female leads would usually end up having toward the end of the shows. My interest in the rom-com genre and the typical boy-meets-girl plot line stemmed from my desire to have a fulfilling, romantic relationship in my life. Hearing this from my subconsciousness made me realize that I was subconsciously playing out my innermost desire whenever I watched movie/TV characters meet, fall in love, and get together on screen. Sometimes I would even re-watch past films and shows, just to relive the memory. While I would feel happy each time I watched these shows, looking back, I can’t help but feel that this was only a false, feel-good factor. Watching the shows did not change anything in my reality, for my world was exactly the same before and after watching. While it might seem like a harmless pastime, in actuality, I was deferring my life with every show I watched and every character I attached myself to. Seeing the characters happy and together with the person of their dreams made me feel happy, fulfilled, and satisfied, but the truth was that this was an intention I had yet to realize for myself.

Deciding Between Living Through the Reels and Living in Real Life

This then brought up the following question in my mind: “Would I rather watch characters play out their love lives on the screen and live vicariously through them, or would I much rather work on creating my own story that was way more fulfilling and exciting than that of the characters’?” The answer was obvious. The former would only lead me to live my life through others, and these were not even real people to begin with. (Not that it would matter even if the shows were based on real-life people and real-life stories.)  The latter scenario would fulfill me more than the former ever would. 

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Realizing this helped me to shake out of my dependency on rom-com shows, because I was merely using them to feel good about myself. It also got me to start approaching love in a more proactive manner, rather than think about it in a reactive fashion. Whatever happens after that is a separate thing altogether and not something I hold any expectations toward, but the most important thing is at least I take some action about it. (Read: Finding Love: 8 Tips on Attracting Authentic Love Into Your Life)

Why We Enjoy Certain Movies, Dramas, or Games (The Danger of Vicarious Living)

Now, I’m not trying to put down the activity of watching shows or playing video games. I actually think they make for good recreational AND educational activities. Many shows and games do carry some pretty meaningful messages and values that we can learn from. I have personally learned a lot from watching shows and playing games as a child. Even today, I continue to learn a lot from them. Not only that, shows and games can also be great ways for us to learn about human relations, the world, different cultures, and so on. Before I traveled to US, my main exposure to the country was from movies and shows. Many Hollywood movies tend to be set in New York City, while drama series I’ve watched before (such as Buffy and Charmed) were set in the west coast, in California. , since many Hollywood movies and dramas are set in New York City (or some urban, fast-moving city). Of course, shows and games are always good ways to unwind when we just want to kick back, enjoy, and relax after a long day of work. However, I’ve noticed that if we’re not careful, we can fall into a trap where we use movies, dramas, or games to live our lives. As we see onscreen characters grow, achieve their goals, and hit life’s biggest milestones, sometimes we can mistake that as us growing, achieving our goals, and hitting our lives’ biggest milestones, when none of that is happening in reality. This is known as vicarious living, where we attach ourselves to the onscreen characters, imagine us as them, and then assume their emotions, actions, thoughts, revelations, accomplishments, and lives as ours, when they aren’t. Vicarious living is dangerous because it gives us the illusion of growth and achievement, when none of that is happening. We become wrapped up in a mental illusion that we are achieving a lot in our lives even though we might be doing absolutely nothing every

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day. We get this impression that we are pursuing our goals when all we are doing is merely watching the characters pursue theirs. And we might even think that we are living highly fulfilling and purposeful lives when all we are doing is just living our existence through other people – fictional characters, no less. It’s possible that people live vicariously through real-life people, such as reality TV stars (the Kardashians, anyone?), celebrities, singers, actors, famous people, and so on. That makes the situation no different than living vicariously through fictional characters. Your sense of growth, fulfillment, and accomplishment is all but an illusion. In the more severe cases of vicarious livers, people might even think they are those characters. Think crazed fanatics and people who obsess about a certain movie, drama, or game beyond the levels of a regular fan. These people dedicate their lives to that very movie/drama/game or a particular character in the movie/ drama/game, to the point of worship and idolatry. When you remove those items or characters of worship, what do you have left though? There’s nothing that’s left but hollow souls, because those people have basically built their entire lives around others, rather than themselves. (Read more about finding yourself: Finding Your Inner Self)

Solution: Create a Life that’s More Exciting Than What You See in Movies, Dramas, and Games

Ultimately, the reason why you would want to live vicariously through the lives of others, be it a fictional character or a real person, is because you find others’ lives more interesting or exciting than yours. Your interest toward them is a clue of something that you want for yourself and your life, but have yet to fully achieve that yet. For example, someone who regularly plays RPGs (role-playing games) to fill his/her time might be doing so because he/she yearns to live a more purposeful life like that of the characters in the game, but isn’t doing so at the moment. Someone who is always watching drama serials might be doing so because he/she is lacking progress in his/ her life whereas there seems to be so much drama and action going on in the characters’ lives. Someone who watches idol dramas endlessly might well be looking for (more) love in his/her life like the lead characters in the dramas are getting, but isn’t getting it him/herself. So if you want to tackle this issue, if you want to break out of the invisible lull of movies, dramas, and 


RECHARGE! Social

Be open to being in a relationship and open yourself up to knowing more people games and start living a conscious life in reality, what you need to do is simply to create a life that’s so exciting, so much more exciting than that of the characters’ in the movies, dramas, and games, that you want to be in it 100% of the time. Here’s how you can do that, in just two easy steps: Identify what’s so exciting or interesting about the movie, drama, or game. If you want to watch this show or play this game, there must be something enticing you about it. What is that? This is precisely the reason why you would rather spend time in that reality than in your present reality. Identifying this is the first step. Figure out how you can start realizing this in your life today. By bringing that into your reality, you are realizing your desire in the real world, rather than in real life. This marks the point where you break out of passive living and actively manifest what you want into your life.

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Example #1: Desire for Social Connection

There were times in the past when I would get engrossed in Let’s Plays (game playthroughs with commentaries by the players themselves). Besides my interest in the games themselves, I found that this was because listening to the players’ commentaries (which were often times quite funny) made me feel like I was in the company of a friend, a close friend. Hence, I was actually drawn to the videos because they provided me with a sense of social connection which I would not get if I were to, say, write or work. This was then a clue that I was not having enough social activities and I should increase my level of social activity every week. So I did just that. I began to arrange for meet-ups with my close friends, as well as friends I had not been connecting with for a while. Every week, I made sure that I had at least three social appointments. At the moment, I’m averaging about (at least) four to five meet-ups every week, and it’s making me feel absolutely awesome and energized. Subsequently, my desire to watch such videos has decreased, save for instances where I’m just looking to kick back, relax, and enjoy after a long day of work. 

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Read:  Ask Celes – How Do I Meet Like-Minded People?  10 Useful Tips To Make New Friends | Manifesto version  The Secret To Meaningful, Fulfilling Social Relationships (How To Remove Social Anxiety From Your Life)

Example #2: Desire for More Action in Life

Another example is someone who loves action movies and spends a big chunk of his pastime watching them. When he looks deep into this interest, he realizes it’s because his current life is too boring; too mundane. He works in a job that bores him; his routine is the same every week; he rarely goes out and when he does, it’s the same one to two friends he has known since high school. He craves for a life of more excitement and action and watching action movies helps him to channel that pent-up desire. What’s the resolution for such a situation then? Simple: Start doing things that actually excite him. For example, finally quitting that job he feels “meh” about and pursue what he really, really likes, which is music; adding more activities into his weekly routine; taking the step to know more people, such as people who are into music as well, while keeping in touch with current friends. As he does this, he realizes that action movies become less and less exciting for him. Today, he finds that his life is so exciting that he would much rather spend his days writing songs and playing music or hanging out with his new buddies than just watching movies all day long, which is something he used to do in the past. Read:  Not Getting What You Want? Time To Change Your Actions  Goal Achievement: Execution

Example #3: Desire for Romance

A third example is someone who is enamored with the romance movies and idol dramas (like I used to be). Why is this so? Perhaps he/she wants to have more romance in his/her life, but isn’t getting it. Perhaps he/ she is in a relationship at the moment, but the relationship isn’t as fulfilling as he/she thought it would be. What’s the action step for such a situation then? If the person is looking to be in a relationship, then he/ she should take a more proactive approach to meeting compatible people. Personally, I just signed up for Lunch Actually, a premier matchmaking service, because I want

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professionals to help me out in finding someone compatible, and also because I want to be meeting people who actually are a good match with what I’m looking for (over hitting the pub or bar scene, or going out with the random guy who hits on me on the street). For others, they might find that online dating works better for them, or getting friends to set them up is a better approach. Different people have different preferences, and it’s most important that you do what is most comfortable for you. Of course, note that it’s not about going all out just to get a romantic partner, because that might suggest certain fear-based factors at work. Be open to being in a relationship and open yourself up to knowing more people and meeting more people; at the same time, work on your goals and your life, and don’t define yourself by whether you have a romantic partner or not. Read:  Are You Looking For A Relationship To Complete Yourself?  Finding Love: 8 Tips on Attracting Authentic Love Into Your Life On the other hand, if the person is already in a relationship and feels that it’s lacking romance, then he/she should work on that. Perhaps he/she can take the first step in increasing the romance factor by giving his/ her partner random surprises, being more physically affectionate, and so on. His/her partner might reciprocate from there. If the situation doesn’t improve, then he/she should talk it out with his/her partner in an amiable, non-confrontational manner. Read: Ask Celes – What Can I Do If I Want To Change Someone?

Example #4: Desire for Familial Connection

The last example is of someone who enjoys watching family dramas or shows where there are positive displays of familial relationships. Reason? Because the person has an estranged relationship with his/her family members and secretly longs for the same kind of relationship with them. Personally, I used to love watching displays of family affection on television for this very reason, as I mentioned in How I Found Peace in My Relationship with My Parents, Part 1: A Child’s Wish. For such an individual, the next step then is to work on improving his/her relationship with his/her family. Perhaps he/she can reach out to his/her family members. Perhaps he/she can make it a point to do one act of kindness for each of them every week. Perhaps he/ she can schedule to have a family dinner every 


RECHARGE! Social weekend. Perhaps he/she can arrange for some common activity to do with his family, say fishing, going to church (if that’s what they do), going to the park, going on a road trip, and so on. Read the 4-part series on How To Improve Your Relationship With Your Parents

Final Words

The end result of your actions is that you’ll now have a life that is so exciting, so fun, and so fulfilling, that you would much rather live in it any time, any day, than do anything else. For me, I have found that the more I work on realizing my goals and dreams, the less appealing summer blockbuster movies and fancy new games are to me. Whilst I used to spend the better half of my days watching shows and playing games, today I’m more interested in writing articles, recording new web lectures, creating great value content, building my business, connecting with friends, and meeting new people. These things are a whole lot more exciting to me than many shows and games out there today. I hope you’ve found this article useful. If you know anyone who might find this article useful, please pass it his/her way. As an addendum, check out this article I wrote back in 2009: If Your Life Was a RPG, What Type of Character Would You Be? ;) Also check out: Top 10 Reasons You Should Stop Watching TV by Celestine Chua

Celestine Chua Celestine Chua is the founder of Personal Excellence, community for people passionate about achieving excellence in life. On top of running Personal Excellence, she also does keynotes/speeches where invited. Celes speaks at events and conferences and has worked with Wharton Business School (University of Pennsylvania), Kimberly Clark, The Asia Business Forum, de Baak, Ministry of Defense (Singapore), JobsCentral, NUS Global Alumni Network, People’s Association, National Library, Singapore Institute of Management, and more. Her blog is now one of the top personal development sites in the world with over 1 million pageviews every month. Learn more about Celestine at www.personalexcellence.co/about.

The Secret to Using Twitter T

witter is a non-linear, hyper-speed form of communication that makes no sense to the analytical mind. The secret to using Twitter is to recognize that what you’re experiencing is a direct pipeline into other peoples’ internal dialogue. Twitter is a digital tool that lets you read their minds.

Tweets are ideas without explanation

Tweets are thought fragments. When we talk to ourselves, we don’t use a lot of set up; we don’t explain to ourselves where thoughts and ideas come from. They just sort of pop into our heads. At 140 characters, tweets are the thoughts that have popped into other peoples’ heads, without the explanation we tend to wrap around ideas when communicating them to others. The analytical mind doesn’t like this. The analytical mind wants thoughts communicated to it linearly, in a “tell me what you’re going to tell me, tell me, then tell me what you told me” sort of way. That way takes too long and is unnecessary. Try to keep up here.

The value of tweets is often more in their context than their content

The value of a tweet like, “Earthquake’s over; I’m safe.” is clearly in the content. But what about a tweet like the one below? 

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Twitter is a direct pipeline into peoples’ minds, and minds move too fast Do I care that Mark’s sitting on the tarmac? That he hasn’t slept? That he’s talking with someone named “bostonwriter”? From a content standpoint, probably not, but that’s just the analytical side of our brains poo-poohing a communication it doesn’t understand. From a context standpoint, this tweet is gold: it’s a doorway to a friendship. Think about how you make and maintain friendships: by taking an interest in someone’s life and reacting. By picking sides and letting someone know, “Hey, I’m on your side.” Now quiet your analytical mind and consider this tweet the same way you’d consider a comment by a buddy over a beer. When I do that, a number potential responses become possible:  “Hey, Mark, how was Boston?”  “Glad to be back at SFO?”  “Hey, my home airport is ORD – tell me about it!”  “Successful trip?”  “Was the trip business or pleasure?”  “I’ll be in SFO in two weeks; grab a drink?”  “I can’t do those all nighters anymore; my body crashes.”  “I remember when all nighters were a badge of honor. Now they’re just a pain in the ass!” With all of these, the content of the conversation is no more important than the content of the conversation you have with friends over dinner or while watching a game. It’s the context of the conversation that matters instead. But try telling that to your analytical mind!

Tweets are frenetic

If you try to sit down and read all the tweets from everyone you follow starting from the last time you logged in until now, you’ll fry. Twitter is a direct pipeline into peoples’ minds, and minds move too fast  for that. There’s also a lot of noise you don’t care about. (If I could read all my readers’ minds right

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now, I bet a good percentage of them would be thinking about either their last or their next meal!) When I talk with someone, I don’t back them up to our last conversation and ask them to share every thought they’ve had since then. I just glean what I can from our conversation in the moment, and then move on. Twitter needs to be approached the same way: when you engage, you’re getting a snapshot of what people are thinking in that moment. Look at the photo, decide to engage or not, and move on. Will you miss good stuff? Yep. But you’ll find good stuff, too, and you won’t go crazy in the process.

Turn off your analytical mind!

That’s the secret to Twitter. Of course, learning to communicate less analytically takes time. From my experience and from the data I’ve seen, it can take about a year to figure this out. After that, you’ll know how to read minds (digitally). And here’s the really interesting part: when I ask people if they think Twitter is worth a year learning curve, a lot of people shrug. They don’t know. But if I ask if they’d invest a year to learn how to read minds, they say, “Of course!” Well, there you go. Twitter is digital telepathy. Start using it now, and you’re a year away from reading minds. by Jason Seiden

Jason Seiden Jason Seiden is Co-founder and CEO of Ajax Social Media, a training company on a mission to help 1 million professionals learn to use LinkedIn and social media to drive business more efficiently. Learn more at www.jasonseiden.com


RECHARGE!

No More Difficult People By Dana Lightman

Setting Boundaries T

his is the fourth article in a series of articles on how to effectively deal with difficult people by Dana Lightman, Ph. D.  Your mother insists on calling you three times a day.  Your friend is always late in meeting you as planned.  Your customer yells at you about the late order.  Your neighbor plays loud music late into the night.  Your colleague insists you join yet another committee.  Your spouse makes comments about your weight. Do these scenarios depict difficult people? Well, the answer is “It depends.” In reality, there’s nothing inherently problematic about any of these situations as long as it doesn’t bother you. But if you feel criticized, humiliated, violated, angry, taken advantage of, drained or disrespected, it may be that your “boundary” has been crossed. Boundaries are limits you set on how others treat you. Think of them as imaginary lines that keep others from imposing unwanted behaviors on you. Boundaries protect you physically, mentally and emotionally; they are essential for creating a sense of personal space, respect and power. Effective influencers are skilled at establishing boundaries. They know what their limits are and how to protect them. The objective of boundary setting is not about getting the difficult person to change. Instead, it is about you deciding what you will and will not tolerate (knowing your limits) and communicating this honestly and directly when you need to (protecting your limits). To develop strong boundaries requires self-awareness, which is the ability to pay attention to how you are feeling in different situations. Self-awareness helps you identify where your boundaries are. By recognizing when you feel angry, violated or resentful, you can delineate where you need more space, distance, respect or freedom.

Perhaps you were told as a child that it’s selfish to say “no” or you fear rejection if you stand up for yourself or you don’t want to let others down. Remember, if you don’t tell him, your difficult person might never know that he has violated your limits.

TAKE ACTION Step 1: Recognize where you need to set boundaries. Use the statement below to start identifying difficult situations that cause you to feel drained, disrespected or taken advantage of. Give yourself a brainstorming session in which you keep jotting down ideas without censoring them for about ten minutes. Reflect on what you discover about where you need to set limits. “Here’s where I draw the line. It is not acceptable for anyone to ______________________________.” (Examples: make comments about my appearance; go through my possessions; take out their frustrations on me.) Step 2: Overcome obstacles to protecting your boundaries. The statements below indicate areas that you need to address in order to strengthen your ability to protect your boundaries. Use this list to identify faulty beliefs and examine how these ineffectual thoughts keep you stuck in unproductive interactions with the difficult people you encounter. I lie about my needs, thoughts and feelings when I think the truth will be upsetting. I feel pressured to say “yes” in order to get approval. I shouldn’t have to tell other people when they cross my limit; they should realize it. I over schedule and over promise because I don’t want to let anyone down. I feel selfish whenever I focus on my own needs, wants and desires 

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Boundaries protect you physically, mentally and emotionally

want to cloud the issue with an emotional exchange or a debate on the merits of your boundary. Remember, your objective is to educate this person about your limits. The best way to do this is by being clear and direct. Tell them what they were doing that violated your boundary. Let them know how you are going to protect it. Let’s use the examples above to see how you can put this into action:

 Your mother insists on calling you three times

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I hate the idea of someone disapproving of me. I want to avoid this at all costs. I feel resentful doing things for other people even when I say “yes.” I get so drained from helping others that I collapse or explode. I feel worthy when I override my own needs in order to please others. I’d rather let someone take advantage of me than have to tell them “no.”

When you know a difficult person has crossed your boundary, what’s the best way to exert your influence? First, make sure you are calm and neutral. You do not

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 

a day. “I need to limit my personal calls during the day in order to get my work done. I will give you a call in the evenings.” Your friend is always late in meeting you as planned. “I make it my responsibility to arrive on time and am frustrated when you are late. I would like you to honor our time arrangements.” Your customer yells at you about the late order. “It’s not ok to yell at me. If you continue, I’ll have to leave the room.” Your neighbor plays loud music late into the night. “I’m not sure that you realize how loud your music is. Please stop playing it so loud after 10 o’clock.” Your colleague insists you join yet another committee. “I’ll have to decline. This doesn’t fit into my schedule.” 


RECHARGE! No More Difficult People  Your spouse makes comments about your weight. “It’s not ok for you to comment about my weight. Please stop.” Even though you’ve communicated with honesty and sincerity, there is no guarantee that the difficult person will cooperate. If this is the case, you may want to repeat your statement or request. You might also consider adding a possible consequence if they continue disregarding your limits. For example,  “If you show up late again, I won’t schedule anything else in the future.”  “If you continue yelling, I will assume you are not interested in receiving help from me and will stop working on this problem.”  “If you continue to make remarks about my appearance, I will leave the room/house.” As you know, you cannot control the response or behavior of another person. Even after you have delivered your request with clarity and graciousness, you may be dealing with a difficult person who simply refuses to honor your boundaries. In this hopefully rare instance, it’s your choice how you want to proceed. Depending on the situation, you can choose to negotiate further, follow through with the consequence you previously

warned about, or end the relationship. Regardless of the outcome, you still have control over your reactions. The next time you feel the urge to say “yes” to a friend or family member when what you really want to say is “no,” try being honest and decline the request. See what happens. Learn to set firm limits by making small, incremental changes. Next article: Assertiveness Skills

Dana Lightman Dr. Dana Lightman is an accomplished motivational keynote speaker and trainer specializing in the field of optimism and positive psychology. She brings over 25 years of experience as a presenter, psychotherapist, coach and educator to a wide range of audiences at conferences and conventions, corporations, hospitals, non-profits, universities and schools. As the founder of POWER Optimism in 2001, Dana published her first book, POWER Optimism: Enjoy the Life You Have… Create the Success You Want in 2004, followed by the No More Difficult People Series in 2011. Learn more at: www.danalightman.com; www.NoMoreDifficultPeople.com

Dana’s three most requested programs: ▶ Energize Your Peak Potential ▶ Leadership with a Positive Edge ▶ There’s No Such Thing as Difficult People Call to book Dana for your next program! www.danalightman.com 215-885-2127 www.NoMoreDifficultPeople.com dana@danalightman.com February–March 2013 І 43


RECHARGE!

Positive Directions for Life

By Shirley B. Garrett

What Children Need from Their Parents

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Hint, It’s Not More Stuff! 2

he holidays are finally over and your kids have returned to school. January is an excellent month to assess your life and set your goals for the New Year. It is common to set goals for weight loss, career advancement, and future travel plans. Have you remembered to set your Parenting Goals? Do you have a Parenting Plan? Most people make elaborate plans, special purchases, and detailed preparations to go on vacation. Yet, for the more important long-term journey through parenthood, many parents only prepare by having a baby shower. Some parents read a book or two, but do they follow through with the information learned? If a parenting exam were required before pregnancy, how many people would pass? Parenting is a twenty-four hour, seven days a week training program, to teach children how to become responsible, healthy, and independent adults. What a huge task! Parenting is important; it is one of the most influential leadership positions that you will ever hold. Think of your family like a business, a family business. All successful businesses have a mission statement, goals, and a plan to chart their path. To be an effective parent you need to know your goals and have a plan. In addition, you need to check your plan on a regular basis to make sure you are moving toward your goals.

Step 1: A Mission Statement

Start with a Mission Statement, which proclaims your creed and the basic belief system of your family. The following are some examples of family Mission Statements. “Our family is committed to quality, love, respect, good communication, and outstanding teamwork.”

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“We, the Smith Family, will honor and cherish each other and do our best to make a positive impact on the world.” Please stop now and complete this step of the process.

Great, your family now has a Mission Statement. Post it where the whole family can see it on a daily basis.

Step 2: Parenting Goals

To formulate your Parenting Goals, complete the following steps. On paper make a list of the ten accomplishments or qualities you want your child to possess between the ages of twenty-four to twenty-nine years of age. Here are some suggestions.  Be independent  Have a good education  Be of good character  Have a loving marriage  Own a home  Be alcohol and drug free Please stop now and complete this step of the process. Congratulations, you just completed your Parenting Goals, which are the outcomes you are trying to achieve as a parent. If you wrote more than ten goals, that is commendable.

Step 3: Write Out Your Action Steps

On paper, write the ways you as a parent (now and in the future) can help your children be successful in the following areas. Make each of the below questions a heading. 


RECHARGE! Positive Directions for Life

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What can I do to help my children to be confident and have good self-esteem, so they can achieve their goals in life? What can I do to teach my children about saving money, avoiding debt, develop wise spending habits, and to invest savings for the future? What can I do to teach my children good relationship skills, including effective communication, conflict resolution skills and anger management? What can I do to help my children be successful in both school and later in a career? What can I do to encourage my children to grow both emotionally and spiritually? What can I do to teach my children to be kind, generous, and considerate people with good manners and effective social skills? The more specific and detailed your ideas, the easier they will be to implement. Please stop now and complete this step of the process.

What Your Children Need

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A parent’s time and attention. This is difficult with dual career families. Therefore, schedule your family time the same way you would an important meeting at work. Your children deserve more than the leftover scraps of time from your life. In a single parent home, this task is more difficult to fulfill. Enlist help from extended family, friends, or organizations, like Big Brothers and Big Sisters. During family time, give 100% of your attention to your children. Avoid interruptions, unless your job requires you to be available for emergencies. Responsibilities. Household tasks not only teach children life skills and increase self-confidence, but also instill self-discipline and time management skills. You have a cleaner house and your children learn to become capable adults. Stephen Covey would call this a “win-win” situation. Consistency. Children thrive on predictability, routine, and they need to know the family rules stay consistent. Children want to trust their parents. When parents make empty threats or promises, it is lying. This erodes trust. You have also taught your children lying is an acceptable behavior. If you say it, do it! Strong-willed parents. In the family hierarchy, parents are the boss, not a friend or buddy. A parent needs to stand strong against the whining, pouting, and other manipulative games used by children. This doesn’t mean you can’t play and have fun with children. Just be clear about who is in charge. Discipline provided through consequences. Children need to learn that, in the real world, there are positive and negative consequences for all behavior. The power company won’t spank, scold, or yell at your children. They will however, turn off the utilities. If you steal your children’s consequences, you steal their life lessons. This makes you a learning thief. Clear thinking and responsible parents. Children need mentally healthy parents who take care of themselves, so they don’t burden their children with 

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Instill good habits early, or your children will later suffer from the negative consequences of their bad behavior

You may realize you need to do some research. You need to know how to use skills in order to teach them. You can’t be an expert on every topic, so be willing to ask knowledgeable people for help. Every skill you teach, good behavior you reinforce, and bad behavior you consequence, should be focused toward the achievement of your Parenting Goals. Keep in mind your behavior sets the strongest example of all.

Step 4: Monitor Your Progress

Place your Parenting Goals and your Action Steps where you can review them often. Schedule a time on a monthly basis to check your progress. In the busy world of work, children’s activities, household duties, and homework, it is easy to lose your focus and hit a detour. You certainly don’t want to get lost on your journey through parenthood. Your children need your guidance and leadership. You can’t lead effectively, if you have lost sight of your goals. Congratulations, you have completed your Parenting Plan.

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RECHARGE! Positive Directions for Life untreated mental health issues and substance abuse problems. Children are very observant and know what is going on in your home. Parents are the caretakers of children. Children are not equipped to take care of parents. If you need help to be a better parent, seek assistance. Be great teachers. Parents are responsible for teaching their children right from wrong, social graces, life skills, money management, safety, and all the other important lessons necessary for survival, and to live a responsible, productive, and happy life. This means parents have to make a life-long commitment to learn, so they can pass on their knowledge, wisdom, and skills.

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What Children Don’t Need

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What children don’t need is more stuff! They think they do. Children aren’t mature or knowledgeable enough to know what is best for their growth and development. This is why parents are in charge. Kids don’t need the freedom to come and go as they please. They lack judgment and life experience. Children and teens believe they are “bullet proof.” There are thousands of grieving parents every year, who know that is not true. Supervision is vital. Your youngsters don’t need to grow up feeling entitled to everything they want. They are entitled to food, clothing, shelter, safety, and love. Cell

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phones, cars, and designer jeans are privileges. The more your children have to earn these privileges, the more they will respect these items and take better care of them. Firm and consistent parenting and following your Parenting Plan will take more effort in the beginning. Your payoff will be savings in time, effort, money, and heartache, as your children grow older. Instill good habits early, or your children will later suffer from the negative consequences of their bad behavior. To honor all parents, who selflessly give their time to the children of the world, I will end with a quote by George Bernard Shaw. “Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anyone to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family.”

Shirley B. Garrett Dr. Shirley B. Garrett, Psy,D, LPC, DAC combines her experience in marketing and sales with over 25 years of experience the field of psychology, to offer insights to the business community. She is interested in the people factors that affect productivity and quality control. She is available for keynotes, breakouts, consulting and personal coaching. Contact her at DrGarrett@PositiveDirectionsLLC.com. Visit her website: www.PositiveDirectionsLLC.com


NOW Practices for Professional Selling


RECHARGE!

Creativity

Living with the Fear of Learning and Creating 48 І February–March 2013


RECHARGE! Creativity You know that feeling: the slow dread creeping up your body, the fear that all of your effort could be for nothing. What if you spend tons of time learning to play a new instrument or writing your new novel or painting your supposed masterpiece? Are you going to succeed? Or, are you going to look like a fool?

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hese are the doubts that plague us when we try something new. You might be learning or creating, but those same doubts can come rushing in. What if, what if, what if. Creation, art, learning: all of these involve an investment. They involve a risk of our time and our self-esteem. You can try and play it off and say that you don’t care, but you wouldn’t be taking the time to learn or create if you really didn’t care. You’re giving a part of yourself to be able to grow in some way. It’d be nice if that investment was rewarding in some fashion.

Facing the Challenges of Learning

Last week, on my blog I posed the question, “Why do adults quit learning to play a musical instrument?” I heard a lot of interesting answers, but fear stuck out to me as one that is quite wide-reaching  – even though we don’t like to admit it. Seriously, who says, “I’m scared of learning”? But it’s not really the learning we fear, is it? It’s the feeling of being exposed. It’s the feeling of trying something and realizing that we might really and truly fail at this new hobby or project. Even if we succeed in learning a musical instrument, then there is the fear of performance to get over. And we go through this same cycle all over. Now, we know that people are going to be watching and judging. Why would we ever willingly submit ourselves to such a thing? And yet, people do it all the time.

Fear Is Okay

Fear is normal. It really is okay. It’s not fun, but it is okay. Seth Godin really breaks down the process of fear in Linchpin, and Robert Pressfield writes about the battle we face as creators in his books, as well. Suffice it say, both authors agree that fear is a positive indicator of growth.

That’s not to say that the fear of touching a hot stove or playing in the street is something to ignore, but the fear that rises when we want to protect our self-esteem from what terrible things could happen is a sign that we are truly challenging ourselves. I’m working on an ebook that includes some of these same ideas in a much more in-depth way, but I came across an idea that I had to share.

Struggle ≠ Incompetence

Struggling with a new concept doesn’t mean that you’ll never understand that concept. Challenging ideas aren’t easily grasped. Lessons that really force us to push beyond our current abilities are always going to be difficult. The better you get at your instrument, the more it will take to truly teach you something new. Instead of hiding in the safety of playing the same music we always have, we can take the chance to get better at our craft.

The Fear Doesn’t Always Go Away

Just because you’re determined doesn’t mean that you won’t feel fear about the process. In his book Do the Work (affiliate link), Pressfield brought up the example of Henry Fonda. 

The battle must be fought anew every day February–March 2013 І 49


“Henry Fonda was still throwing up before each stage performance, even when he was seventy-five. “In other words, fear doesn’t go away. The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day”. (If you haven’t read any of Pressfield’s non-fiction work, go find it as soon as possible.) The good news about the fear associated with learning is that it isn’t as concentrated as the fear of performing. With performance, we get this crazy notion that we have only one attempt at being absolutely perfect (even though perfect is boring). With learning, the process of fear is more spread out. We worry that we’re not learning fast enough or that we’re not going to get everything down just right. How do you get past that slower fear? With one of my favorite answers right now, community. Find someone else who’s learning. Better yet, find someone who is better at your instrument than you are. Play your instrument for that person. I know, now we’re back to the whole issue of performance, but this is different. This isn’t a matter of trying to win over the entire world. This is about playing your instrument for one person, and that individual is there to help you get better. Big difference. You’ll find reassurance, and you’ll find helpful tips that can help you get better. I spent as much time as I could with other guitar players when I first started out to try to understand their approach to the instrument, and they were always excited to talk more about their playing.

Just for Musicians?

These ideas easily apply to painters or writers or anyone else who learns an artistic craft. All of us face fear in the creative journey. Some of us handle it better than others, but it’s an emotion we all feel. The trick is, we can face that fear. We can conquer that fear by creating in spite of it. by Michael W. Roberts

Michael W. Roberts Michael W. Roberts is convinced that technology and creativity can actually help to make life simpler and more enjoyable. He shares his thoughts on the process at MichaelWRoberts.com and on Twitter at @michaelwroberts.

50 І February–March 2013

How to be Remarkable You and I both know that one cannot become remarkable overnight. We also know that being remarkable has many benefits – the biggest one is that you have a better opportunity to make a bigger difference in this world. So, how do you get started? How do you take a proactive approach to become remarkable? During my consulting engagements at Foresight Plus, I get to see many smart people transforming themselves to be remarkable people. It’s a joy to watch and a privilege to be part of that process. Here is the approach that has worked time and again.

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Identify one or two of your core skills:

Find out one or a maximum of two skills that you are extremely good at. How do you know you are good at them? Not by you thinking that you are good at them but the results you produce when you are using those skills. Results you produce will have a final say in this matter. Let’s suppose that the two skills are marketing and storytelling.

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Understand where someone is going:

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Move the needle for that someone using your core skills:

Take someone in your network and really understand where they are going – their hopes and dreams. This is easier said than done. You need to be REALLY listening to what they are saying and watching where they invest their time and energy to understand where they are going. Let’s assume that this person wants to become an entrepreneur.

This is the most important step. Your goal is not to just move the needle but move the needle using your core skills. In the above example, you 


RECHARGE! Creativity will see how to move the needle for that person using your core skills – marketing and storytelling. It is important that you move the needle using your CORE SKILLS. Think about the old adage – “if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” That adage has positive use cases too. In this case, your core skills are the hammer and you now have to find the nail in their journey. So, in our example, you would use your marketing and storytelling skills to help them become a better entrepreneur.

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Structure your life to receive more meaningful requests for help:

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Repeat the above as many times as you can:

Like everything else in life, the more you practice, the better you get at it. Since what you are engaging in is a contact sport, practicing this method will automatically push you to make a difference in the lives of others in the area that matters most to them. So, in our example, you will find someone else in your network and repeat the steps. The million dollar question: How do you know you are on the right path? The million dollar answer: You will know it because when you are on the right path, it will progressively cost you less and less to move the needle for someone by using your core skills. Very soon you will notice that making a difference is not only easy but it is fun and effortless. Follow the above steps and whether you want or not, you will be on a path to becoming remarkable. All the best. by Rajesh Setty

Create opportunities for people where they ask for significant help in the area of your  core skills

This is where you amplify your efforts to be remarkable. Create opportunities for people where they ask for significant help in the area of your core skills. One way to do this is by writing extensively or speaking on the topic of your core skills and establish thought leadership. So, in our example, you will speak, write and engage in conversations about marketing and storytelling.

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learn more you will realize that there is so much more to learn. The more you invest in your core skills, the more you can make a difference using the very same skills. So, in our example, you will read more on marketing, storytelling and other adjacent fields.

Relentlessly invest in getting better at your core skills:

When it comes to learning, there is rarely a finality. You can keep going as long as you want. As you

Rajesh Setty Rajesh "Raj" Setty is a serial entrepreneur and a business alchemist based in Silicon Valley. He currently serves as the president of Foresight Plus, LLC.  He has been instrumental in founding several technology and publishing companies in US and India. Raj is also a published author with 12 books to his credit so far. Raj has been a member of the Band of Angels since 2007. He is an award-winning teacher at the Founders Institute and a mentor at Thiel Foundation's 20 Under 20 program. Raj has been blogging since 2005 and as of today, has more than 1825 posts on his blog. You can follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/rajesh301 or on Twitter at twitter.com/rajsetty

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Develop Your Creativity By Dealing With ‘Negative’ Realities

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t would be nice to believe that the life of a creative person is one long, happy adventure. But despite the freedom and satisfaction that can come from working as a creative professional, it’s not all fun. As a coach for writers, entrepreneurs and other creative types, I’ve seen the range of emotions that accompany making something. It’s not always sunny, and frankly, it can get pretty dark in there. But I do find that acknowledging the darker emotions inherent to the creative process helps my clients cope with them. When we realize that fears and insecurities point not to our own shortcomings but to a necessary part of creative maturity, we can relax a little. The negative self-talk from our own inner critic can pipe down. Great, you’re thinking. I’m normal to feel like crap when I think about writing my book or building my blog. But it still hurts when your project doesn’t live up to your expectations or you’ve been rejected for a grant once

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again. Compassion for my clients plus several coaching tools goes a long way toward seeing them through difficult emotional cycles. Here’s a peek inside my coaching toolkit; see how many of these challenges apply to your creative life and try my strategies to overcome them.

Self-doubt

Many creative people deal with crippling self-doubt. But doubt is inherent to the creative process. You’re making something new, so of course you’ll have doubts. Much of the time you may feel clueless. And that interferes with cultural notions that we should know what we’re doing all the time, look good while doing it, and pretend everything is okay.

My Strategy – Values

Tap into your values. There you’ll find your deeper motivation for creating. For example, when I remember my  value of curiosity, I turn self-doubt into adventure. What’s


RECHARGE! Creativity going to happen? Will I be able to pull this off? I turn these fears into exciting inquiries. I don’t know the answers, but I’ll use my curiosity to override the doubt.

Hopelessness

You want so badly to see your vision realized. You yearn to see the impact of your work. But your vision can sometimes seem too large to hold – you can’t imagine how you’ll actually pull off writing an entire book. When you linger too long examining the big picture, you can easily slip into futility.

My Strategy – Step by Step

My Strategy – Develop Professional Relationships

You don’t have to suffer in isolation. Commit to having healthy relationships with trusted colleagues, peers and mentors. Consider a board of directors for your business or projects. Maintain regular contact with them about your projects. A coach, a peer, a colleague or a partner can often have an objectivity you lack. Yes, obviously, you’re saying, I need peers. But how to find them? Almost every enduring relationship I have sprang from my own initiative. When I meet people who share my interests, I follow up to further the connection.

Vision is necessary, but we also need to know when to turn our telescope from the sky and to what’s right in front of us. When you’re overwhelmed by the enormity of what you want to create, make sure to know your next steps. Do one thing to become more organized. Get focused on the next best step, and get support to stay on track.

Jealousy

Impatience and Irritability

Julia Cameron invites us to use jealousy as an indicator of what we want for ourselves. While this is useful, jealousy can still feel awful and there are times you don’t always want to take the high road. Connect with a trusted friend or colleague. Give yourself five minutes to complain as much as you want about your jealousy. Ask your friend to simply listen. When you’re done, they may be able to provide feedback on how you can use the jealousy to fuel you rather than stop you. I hope my strategies offer new ways or reminders of how you can overcome negative emotional states that threaten your creative impulses. Simply knowing they’re inherent to the creative process and not proof of your likely failure can help cope with them. What helps you deal with negative emotional states so you can keep creating? by Cynthia Morris, CPCC

If you’re like me, you go through that phase of the creative cycle when you get very cranky. It’s usually when I am close to finishing my project and I just want it to be done. I’m tired of making decisions and I’m tired of the work. I’m also terrified of launching, and I grow impatient and irritable.

My Strategy – Break for the Body

Take frequent breaks from work. You may think you should just push a little more, just keep going and crank it out. If you’re irritated or impatient, slow down with small breaks. Better yet, let your body lead you away from frustration. Without exercise, my desk job would be intolerable. I rotate between tennis, yoga and bicycling, plus walking. Exercise grounds me, slows me down, and gives my brain a needed break. My best insights come while I’m exercising. This alone will help you the most with managing negative emotions.

Sense of Isolation

People often feel isolated in their creativity. Spouses, children and friends may not understand your creative needs. You, too, may feel isolated in the solitude of your studio. Or, you may not feel comfortable or able to articulate your ideas, and the inability to share your work can contribute to a sense of isolation. You grow tired of trying to explain and reserve your ideas and enthusiasm for yourself. But alone, you can stagnate, miss vital clues, and feel lonely.

Much as we’d like to think we’re above petty comparisons, it can really hurt to see a peer doing better than you. Someone else’s success can trigger your inner critic, and the negative blah, blah, blah that ensues can be really painful.

My Strategy – Vent

Cynthia Morris, CPCC Cynthia Morris is the author of the Paris novel Chasing Sylvia Beach and the how-to guide Create Your Writer’s Life. Through her company Original Impulse, Cynthia helps writers, entrepreneurs and artists be empowered by their talents. Subscribe to Impulses, her free e-newsletter at www.originalimpulse.com

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The Most Important Way a Parent Can Help a Gifted Child The most important thing you can do as a parent of a gifted child is understand yourself as a gifted adult. If you have a gifted child, it is likely that YOU are gifted yourself. Before you dismiss the idea that you may be a gifted adult, please consider: - exceptional cognitive ability runs in families - if one family member is gifted, it is likely that all family members are A gifted child's parents might not be gifted but that is the exception. If one spends time in the gifted community, the link between gifted parents, children and their siblings is plain. Yet, for the most part, the issue of parents of gifted children being gifted themselves is not addressed by experts offering advice to gifted parents and not often discussed in forums on parenting gifted children. It's as if parents think their children are gifted because of some kind

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of magic or fluke. Sometimes each parent thinks the other parent is the reason their child is gifted. Whatever the reason you have overlooked your own giftedness until now, it is time to consider it. That parents of gifted children often do not acknowledge their own giftedness is a particularly significant omission since many parents of gifted children make a significant investment in identifying a suitable school or homeschooling their gifted child. And many parents are also invested in the unique social challenges of their gifted child's development. Parents of gifted children often describe their children's social and academic experiences so vividly it is as if the child is describing it him or herself. I believe many of us advocate for our children from a place that's more than simple parental concern but because we've been there ourselves and hope our children will know something better. 


RECHARGE! Creativity

Taking care of yourself first ensures you have the ability to help someone else help themself As a parent of gifted child, does it matter that you know if you're a gifted adult? I think it does. Here's the analogy: on an airplane, what does the flight attendant tell you do if you're travelling with your child and the oxygen masks drop down from the ceiling in an emergency? They tell you to first put the mask on yourself before helping your child. Taking care of yourself first ensures you have the ability to help someone else help themself. Beyond the analogy, our children look to us as models – how can we expect our children to embrace and be confident in being gifted if we deny our own giftedness? Understanding that we are gifted ourselves helps us in supporting our children and their giftedness. To be a role model as a gifted adult is the most powerful message we can send to our children, beyond any words or formal education we can offer them. So if you are the parent of a gifted child, please consider if you are gifted yourself. Go back to those checklists you have that help you determine if your child is gifted – do they describe you as a child? Or contact Mensa and write a standardized intelligence test. Or answer the questions below from Mary-Elaine Jacobsen's The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius(tm). You can answer the questions yourself or, if it's easier, answer the questions as others would describe you:

Complexity

- Do you have many interests? - Do you see the outcome of situations before others around you?

- Do you regularly approach an idea from a different perspective than others? - Do you have an exceptional memory? - Are you able to perceive things about a situation that most others don't? - Do you react strongly to hypocrisy and injustice? - Do you do and/or think faster than others around you?

Intensity

- Are you verbally skilled? - Do you actively seek high risk activities? - Do you have a high level of energy? - Do you have an unusual sense of humor? - Can you, when interested, demonstrate exceptional concentration? - Are you sensitive emotionally – easily hurt and/ or easily affected when others are hurt?

Drive

- Are you curious? - Do you set high standards for yourself and others? - Are you notably persistent in areas that are important to you? (Note: this trait can take the form of perfectionism and appear as extreme procrastination). - Do you prefer to work autonomously? - Do you 'march to the beat of your own drum'? Generally, do people consistently describe you as 'too much'? Too intense?Too smart? Too complicated? Too sensitive? Too hard working? Too much energy? If you answered yes to most of these questions, you are likely a gifted adult, particularly if your child has already been identified as gifted. Take advantage of the resources that exist for gifted adults. Many of us find it easier to take care of our children than ourselves but the truth is, the best way to care for our children is to care for ourselves. So if you need an excuse to explore your own possible giftedness, use that one. Even better, just do it for yourself. Article Source: EzineArticles.com by Jane Macondo

Jane Macondo For more about Gifted and Talented Adults: identification, traits, theories and information about work and careers, please see: www.gifteduniverse.com.

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RECHARGE!

Personal Organization Get Out of Your Head & Get Things Done How to Create a Basic Productivity System 56 І February–March 2013


RECHARGE! Personal Organization There are tons of productivity systems available for you to use, and for those who are just getting started in their quest to have a better handle on their tasks, projects, and goals it can be quite…daunting. This post will show you how to set up a basic personal productivity system that will cost you a small investment of your time (which you’ll receive back tenfold or more), and having to keep a few simple tools at the ready to keep you on your game.

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tep 1: Decide on paper or digital

In order to figure out what system will work best for you, you need to figure out if you are more of a paper-based planner person or someone who thrives on use digital tools to manage your tasks and time. The best way to wrap your head around this is to ask yourself a series of questions. You don’t need to dwell too long on them, but you do need to be brutally honest with yourself. Otherwise you won’t get the most of your system…or out of you. Here are some ideal ones to ask yourself:  Are you comfortable with technology?  What types of devices do you have and do you use them often?  Do you remember things better when you write things down, store them online, or use an audio recorder?  Do you have handwriting that is legible?If you use a paper planner, is it overflowing or has it barely been touched?  How do you consume the news and books?  Do you read them online or in paper form?  Do you like to keep you to-do items in your face, close at hand, or do you not even keep one  How do you organize your digital files? Once you have figured out if you are more of an analog or a digital productivity type, then you’ll need to arm yourself with the proper tools.

Step 2: Picking the tools

First off, you’ll want to assemble several writing instruments for your setup. Ensure you have at least 3 different colors at your disposal so that you can deal with

certain tasks and certain projects in varying colors. Doing so will help you with your focus and keep things in perspective. (I use a multi-pen for this). Now you need to decide on what analog paper product(s) you are going to choose. Some examples include the following:  Dave Seah’s Emergent Task Planner: This tool gives you a great idea of how to structure your day in order to make sure you don’t try to take on too much – and how to get the most out of your day with the things you want to get done the most.  Productive Flourishing Free Planners: Over at Productive Flourishing, you can grab free paper planning sheets that can help you not just get things done, but figure what method of planning works best for you.  Creative’s Outfitter by Behance: This site offers a variety of tools to help you plan things out, including tools specific for Behance’s own Action Method system.  Frictionless Tools: If you want something with less structure, looks good, and will help you get things done then give Frictionless Tools a look. Simply put, they are simple to use and give you the bare necessities to get out of your head and get things done.  EISENHOWER Pad: A different approach to the task management niche in that it relies on the 4 Quadrants approach originally popularized by Dwight Eisenhower. Also available as an iPhone and web application. The last thing you’ll need is some sort of paper-based wall calendar for your home or office to keep track of appointments and “absolutes” at a glance. The key to 

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Capture the things that you come across that require action on your part throughout your day using a calendar is that you should only keep those things on it – and never put deadlines on a calendar, either. Otherwise you’ll wind up just working to the deadline rather than trying to beat the deadline. If you’re going digital, you’ll need to decide on what digital product(s) you are going to choose. Here are some of the ones I’ve tried and have offered some of the most complete and versatile solutions.  Evernote: One of the most widely used (and adaptable) productivity apps out there. Even if you don’t use it for task management, grab it regardless. It’s incredibly useful for note-keeping

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and storing research. Evernote also has partnered up with Moleskine to help out those who love paper get into Evernote – worth checking out if you are a recent paper-to-digital convert or want to move from paper to digital in a more seamless manner.  Asana: Ideal for collaborative projects/tasks and keeps you out of your email inbox. Alsohas a mobile version and iPhoneapp.  IQTELL: While it is currently in beta, this webbased app is looking to bring all of the tenets of an essential productivity setup together in one place. I’ve been putting it through the paces, and I’m liking what I see so far.  ToodleDo: This app is best suited for those who want power in a task management application that is cross-platform.  Remember The Milk: Another incredibly popular app, favoured much in the same way that ToodleDo is favoured…its power and versatility.  As for a calendar solution, other than Google Calendar and iCal, you can augment your choice with the use of the following cross-platform tools:  Doodle: The Next Web has covered Doodle before, and it’s one of the best meeting schedule tools out there.  Clarity: Clarity stepped up to fill the void that Tungle.me left, and that may just make it a worthy enhancement to your online calendar. 


RECHARGE! Personal Organization Step 3: Journaling and Goal Setting

No matter what type of productivity setup you’re going with, now you’ll need to allocate a notebook (or an app like Day One) that is dedicated to journaling only – and then commit to a journaling schedule that is no less than one time per week. I suggest you start by journaling once weekly and then building from there as you see fit. If you’re stuck for a journaling topic, use the opportunity to review your week gone by and forecast the week ahead. No matter where you find inspiration, do what you can to keep yourself connected to where you’re at and where you want to go.Go with gratitude when all else fails you. That’s just another way you’ll stay on track. Both the analog and digital types need to lay the groundwork for goals by doing some long-term thinking. Map out your goals for the following timelines: 5 Years, Next Year, Current Year, 6 Months, Three Months and Current Month, using a separate page for each. Don’t edit yourself. Let the ideas flow. Start from the further point and work your way to the current month, making an effort to tie in each level to one another as you go. Now that you’ve done all of this, go for a walk or run to clear your mind. Give yourself a break. After all, you’ve just set the foundation for a system that – if followed – will work.

Step 4: Capturing the essentials

Capture the things that you come across that require action on your part throughout your day. If you can do them immediately, then do them and skip capturing them. If you have a routine that you adhere to, then capture that routine on your tool of choice and revisit it when needed. But do not put that routine into your main productivity tool. When beginning this effort to improve your productivity, the more you have in there, the more stress it will cause (even if you are doing everything you’ve captured). Capture involves the non-routine stuff. If you can capture it into your main productivity tool directly, go for it. Otherwise, use a notebook or index cards for now. (You should have some form of analog tool with you at all times because – let’s face it – higher-end tech can fail.) Transfer all captured items to your main digital tool at the end of each day. (at the very least – but do not do so more than two times per day. The idea is to “be” productive and not “do” productive, remember. If you have taken care of some of the things, do not transfer them.

At the end of your day, plan out the next day before you go to bed. By planning tomorrow today, you are removing all of the questions that may be swirling around your head about what needs to be done when you return to work. Leave work at work. Plan ahead so that you can move ahead.

Step 5: Review and Revisit

Again, you can journal this if you’d like, but it is the key to success for every week hereafter. Reviews are what will keep you moving in the right direction, rather than stop you moving altogether. This step is crucial to the longterm success of your setup, so do not cut corners with it. The other thing you should revisit after 30 days is how well your system is working for you. If it isn’t doing it for you, then it could be that rather than being a fan of paper, you’ve found you’re more of a digital personality than you thought. You’ll also want to revisit goal timelines and re-evaluate, adding new goals, abandoning less desirable goals and crossing off those you have accomplished.

Conclusion

Systems and structure are important. They are the foundation for being more productive. But they don’t have to be complicated. In fact, the reason most people abandon a system (or don’t both to set one up at all) is because they seem too…daunting. That’s because many of them are made out to be complicated. Getting out of your head doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, staying inside your head makes things more complicated. By spending a little bit of time figuring out what will work best for you and your habits, you can put yourself in a great position to get out of your head and get things done. by Mike Vardy

Mike Vardy Mike Vardy is a husband, father, independent writer, speaker, podcaster and "productivityist". He is also the author of the book, The Front Nine: How To Start The Year You Want Anytime You Want, published by Diversion Books. You can learn more about his other work at his website, MikeVardy.com, visit his blog at Productivityist.com, and you can follow him as @mikevardy on Twitter.

February–March 2013 І 59


RECHARGE!

Change Your Life

by Mark Harrison

Life Without Goals We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life we have waiting for us. ~ Joseph Campbell

N

obody ever told me about goals. When I was at school, we were not asked to think about the future very much, and no one ever spoke about setting targets or planning to achieve something or get somewhere in particular. For the most part, I just went with the flow, accepting things as they were. It was a happy childhood – carefree and secure. My parents were quietly supportive and did what they could to help with school, but they didn’t push me to excel and I didn’t have any great sense of ambition. More than anything else, however, there was a sense of possibility. There was no striving or struggle or competition, and I didn’t have any clear idea about how I wanted things to work out. But what I did have were all kinds of dreams about the future. They were like the dreams a child standing on a shore and looking out over the ocean might have, imagining all the wonderful things that lie further out than he can see. I spent a lot of time in my head. Imagination was a great friend. Despite the lack of stress and striving, I did well at school and went to a good university. Through a series of (what appeared to be) chance encounters and fortuitous circumstances, I found myself in a career I loved.

I’ve never been competitive and have never felt driven to climb the corporate ladder, but leadership roles and positions of responsibility came anyway and carried me along into situations which I would not have chosen but which, in the end, have been fertile grounds for personal growth. They have enriched me and changed me and, I believe, they have enabled me to make a contribution. It’s been a journey I could never have engineered but one which has been deeply rewarding. What strikes me about the past, though, is how things have worked out without much focus or effort on my part. Over the course of my life, I’ve sometimes set goals for myself but, looking back, I don’t think a goal has ever really helped me to achieve anything. The goals I’ve set have rarely produced the results I was looking for, and the things I consider to be the greatest achievements in my life have had nothing to do with goals. Indeed, they have often been the result of getting exactly the opposite of what I thought I wanted. Now I have just about abandoned setting goals, mainly because they seem to miss the basic point that life is not really about getting anywhere. There is no arriving – it is not that kind of journey. It’s not linear – it’s more 

Goals make the assumption that we know what we want

60 І February–March 2013


RECHARGE! Change Your Life circuitous, more of an ebb and flow. Things emerge, they develop and grow, they fade away and are replaced by something else. The tide moves in and out, the seasons come and go. Life moves in cycles, not in lines. As a young man, I came across the Tao Te Ching, a book which resonated with me very deeply. One of Lao Tzu’s verses is: ‘a good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.’ To focus on the destination is to focus on an illusion. There is no destination, only an endless journey, and to become fixated on a point in the future which never arrives is to miss the journey itself. Of course, it’s also worth remembering that you don’t know what you want. You probably think you do, but you don’t really. The things you think will make you happy probably won’t, while things you never thought of doing or being could be the richest and most rewarding experiences. Goals make the assumption that we know what we want. This is very wrong. Another quality I’ve often noticed about goals is that they tend to make you feel bad, and this is the surest way to kill your desires. Goals are a statement of lack, of dissatisfaction, and they cause you to act from a place of not being fulfilled. Feeling good about yourself and about your experience of life – enjoying every situation – is a key to success: it is from this place that abundance grows. I think we like goals because they give us a sense of control, and this is something we crave. But I am convinced that our direct influence on events, even on our own lives, is far less than we like to imagine, and that there is more going on ‘behind the scenes’ than we can know. So much in life is unpredictable – the locus of control we have is far more limited than most of us like to believe. We blame ourselves for failure and we congratulate ourselves for success but, often, the outcome has little to do with us.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. ~ Lao Tzu

There is a better way to live than the endless striving of goal setting. It’s a life with more authenticity and, perhaps counter intuitively, a way of living that brings about greater success and happiness. The cornerstone is what Joseph Campbell called ‘following your bliss’ and being open to all of life’s possibilities. It is about loving every experience and so necessarily doing something worthwhile, creating something of value or providing service, and this is bound to lead to happiness and fulfillment. It’s important to follow your intuition. According to Lao Tzu, ‘A good artist lets his intuition lead him wherever it wants. A good scientist has freed himself of concepts and keeps his mind open to what is.’ Skillful living is about being observant and trusting your own inner wisdom, not about making plans and contriving ways to achieve them. It is about being open to all of life’s experiences and also being willing to accept that you probably don’t know what’s best for you but that, if approached in the right way, every experience can turn out to be a rich and rewarding adventure. It’s also important to keep things simple, not to think too much, not to plan too much. You know less than you think. Let life carry you. We tend to over complicate things. Goals and plans are really just another way of our trying to exert control over a world which is, in the end, deeply mysterious and beyond our knowing. Most important is giving up, not in the sense of being indolent or lethargic, but submitting to the great flow of life and letting its energy flow through you and carry you along. Setting goals is like sailing against the wind. Wiser to let the wind take you – feel its power and follow its course. Go with the flow. Immanuel Kant’s recipe for happiness was simple – something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to. Happiness is not about goals – it’s about dreaming, it’s about relinquishing our false ideas about control, and it’s about being open to all the marvelous possibilities the future has in store.

Mark Harrison Mark Harrison is the editor of ChangeYourLife.net, a collection of resources to help people change their life for the better. Download Getting the Life You Want from the site for free.

February–March 2013 І 61


RECHARGE!

Tales of Life

By Kimanzi Constable

I’m Wide Awake I

have to confess something to you; I used to be a BIG TV addict. I can clearly remember when the DVR was first announced and my unadulterated joy at getting to use it. It wasn’t long before I had that thing loaded to the gills; every single minute was maxed out. My days were dedicated to watching all of my favorite shows. I would rush through work so that I was able to get home and watch all the latest episodes. I want to clearly paint this picture for you, if you asked me any question about any major TV show at that time I could give you the right answer. I lived through each character and if they went and did something exciting on the show I felt like I was there with them. People would ask me what I did over the weekend and I would say I went to….. And did this amazing thing, I was completely lying! During this time I was absolutely miserable in my job and hated what my life had become. For years I told myself I was making a change and making more of my life and for years I did absolutely nothing about it. TV was my escape from all of this but instead of helping me improve, it held me back. I didn’t effectively execute anything, I just got lost in the shows, pretending that it was my life. Now don’t misunderstand me and think this is an article ranting against TV. In my second book one of the nine steps I talk about is to “cut out the negative” from your life. You are the only one who can determine what’s negative and holding you back, you might decide it’s TV, you might not. The key is to be honest with

62 І February–March 2013

yourself. I had no desire to improve my life because I thought that imaginary life was my life and things seemed just fine. So for years and years I kept up with the shows and fell behind in my life and dreams. It’s sad that sometimes it has to take something drastic happening to wake us up to what’s really going on in life. For me it was the death of my father that showed me how short life is and how I was completely lying to myself. So in the end some good came out of some bad and I woke up. I said enough was enough and started on this crazy path that has led me here, talking to you. Once I finally woke up I got to work on improving my life and being effective in all that I wanted to do in life. 

It has to take something drastic happening to wake us up to what’s really going on in life


RECHARGE! Tales of Life What’s holding you back from improving your life?

I can’t be with you 24/7 so I don’t know what’s going on in your life. What do you want to do with your life? How do you want to be effective? What improvements do you want to make in your life and the world? When I got honest with myself I realized I wanted to improve the world by spreading inspiration and hope for the “little person”, the person that felt stuck in life because that’s who I was. I want to ask you to be honest with yourself when it comes to these questions. The only way you can move forward and make a lasting impact in the world is to be honest and take action. Is there anything negative in your life that needs to go? It might not be TV but is it something else? To improve I had so many things that I had to cut out of my life that ranged from negative eating habits to negative, toxic friends. These things were all holding me back and if you have anything negative holding you back you’re going to have to let go. I personally know how hard it is to cut ties with someone you’ve been friends with for all your life, it hurts so badly! However, if they tell you that the things you dream about doing will never work, if they aren’t supportive or worse, negative then it’s only going to hold you back. It’s hard enough to make changes with all the doubt roaming around in the back of your head, having those negative voices making the doubt louder only hurts you.

One key to being effective: accountability

In order to succeed you need to have a good support system, you need a person or persons that will be there for you and will lift you up when you fall. If you are making positive improvements in your life you will fall, we all do. That support system will reach their hand out and help you stand up when you fall. One key feature though is they have to be honest. When you are starting to slack and aren’t using your time or talents effectively, then they should call you out. This kind of group is the main reason I pushed forward with improving my life. After I took action on my dream of being a writer I completely failed and they helped me get through the disappointment and get back up. Now we are all accountable to each about everything. We tell each other our goals and how we want to improve and we keep each other on track. If you don’t have a structure like this you need one, it will help you

succeed in making those changes and improvements you’ve always wanted to make. In order to be effective and improve there is another route you can go to stay accountable: make your declarations public. I have seen people do this in fun and crazy ways. One of my Facebook friends wanted to lose weight so he took pictures of himself with his shirt off, the whole world could see where he was at with his weight. He then would work out and diet and take a picture of his progress every week and post it to his Facebook page. Now that’s really bold but it kept him accountable and extremely motivated to lose the weight! If you think this is the most effective method for you to make improvements in your life, then I tip my hat to you but the point is making yourself publicly accountable can and will work. The only way to effectively improve your life is to take action At the end of the day, at the end of all your research and planning it will mean absolutely nothing if you don’t take action. This is where many who want to improve fall off or give up, it sounds so great in our heads but to actually put our feet to the ground seems scary! Look, life is short and we’re not promised a tomorrow, we have to take advantage of every second we have today. Are you truly living the life you deserve? Are you living a life of no regrets? I didn’t say a life of no failure; I mean have you at least tried? Right here and right now, this is your call to action! You can do this, I have faith in you but it has to start somewhere. If there are improvements you want to make in your life I want to ask you even this week to take one small step forward. Once you take that first step, take another and another and before you know it you’ll look up and see the finish line. Take action today!

Kimanzi Constable Kimanzi Constable is an author who has self-published two eBooks and sold over 45,000 copies. His first published book will be out this February–March. For twelve years he has worked at a job he has absolutely hated, last year he decided to do something about it. He is an international speaker, coach and consultant. His mission is to help people live the full and abundant life they deserve. You can find him at talesofwork.com.

February–March 2013 І 63


RECHARGE!

Accelerate Your Results!

Advice from Anne M. Bachrach, The Accountability Coach™

Steps to Conquer Fears and Start Living Life On Your Terms

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e’ve all been afraid to try something new at one time or another. Why is that? And it seems as we age, our fear controls more and more of our willingness to try something new. We prefer to forego a new experience because we want to avoid whatever bad thing we think could happen. Or maybe the anxiety is just too stressful for us to even contemplate facing our fears. Whatever the reason, we justify that trying something new is not worth the risk. Most of us learn to live within our comfort zone by default because we base our daily decisions on whether or not they cause feelings of anxiety. Every action we decide to take is based on whether it lands inside or outside our comfort zone. As humans, most of us have the tendency to remain within the boundaries of our comfort zone, to avoid situations that cause feelings of anxiety and fear. And although it may feel like we are in control, we are actually out of control. When we live our life inside our comfort zone, we allow our fears to control our daily life When we remain inside the boundaries of our comfort zone, we essentially stop growing and stop learning. Sure, you can choose to live the rest of your life in your comfort zone, but if you are unhappy with any aspect of your life, know that it will not change until you step outside your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is nothing more than an imaginary “safe zone.” This “safe zone” is nothing more than an imaginary area in which the mind has predetermined strategies to deal with circumstances that occur within those boundaries. In other words, your mind craves a controlled environment where it has a pre-determined set of actions to deal with a certain set of situations.

64 І February–March 2013

When it has past experiences to refer to, it can recall the details of a past success and apply the success strategies to a present experience. This set of past successes is what creates a “safe zone.” The mind knows exactly what to do when faced with those situations without anxiety or fear. However, step outside your comfort zone and the mind suddenly has no past experience to calculate a strategy from – this is what causes feelings of anxiety and fear. Feelings of anxiety are often assumed as a “bad” sign, but that is not necessarily true. Obviously if you are faced with a life-threatening situation, then feelings of anxiety would be rational; but when faced with a non-life-threatening situation – exaggerated anxiety is not a rational response. This is not to say that the mind is not serving a very valuable reaction, but left uncontrolled, the mind will create irrational anxiety. Your mind craves a controlled environment where it knows exactly what to do. When faced with a new situation, the mind doesn’t have past experience to refer to and will create imaginary and often exaggerated outcomes. This exaggeration can cause such anxiety that we never want to try something new because of the stress. We choose to remain in our comfort zones, because our fear outweighs our desire for new experiences. While it’s natural to feel some anxiety or nervousness before trying something new, it is not natural to let fear control your life experiences. Life is meant to be lived – not passed by. So how do you overcome the anxiety of trying something new? You simply ask yourself if the feelings of anxiety are rational. This isn’t to say that you won’t face situations which present real dangers, but what if some or all of your anxiety was based on false assumptions 


RECHARGE! Accelerate Your Results! imagined by your mind – would you be more inclined to try something new? What if you could have new experiences without getting hurt or experiencing pain – would you do it? Now ask yourself how you don’t know it wouldn’t happen exactly that way? Think of a baby learning to walk. When they fall down, they instinctively get back up and try again. And they keep trying until they succeed. In fact, there is nothing a parent can do to stop an infant from making repeated attempts to walk successfully. It's an inherent strength we all have, but allow our fears to take over as we get older. Remember learning how to ride a bike? You were scared right? Sure, we all were when we first started. As we kept learning we got braver and go a little faster and take turns a little sharper. The more we rode our bike, the more confident we became. Eventually, we were racing our bikes downhill. I’m very afraid of heights and yet I wanted to try hang gliding. My husband thought I was out of my mind, but he didn’t say a word to me as I was strapped into the hang glider with the expert next to me. We soared with a hawk above us and it was

an experience that increased my confidence to do many other things that initially scared me. You are the one who determines the outcome of your experiences. If you know your experience will be completely positive – there is nothing stopping you from doing it. Here are four practical steps you can take to conquer fear and start living life on your terms:

1

Analyze the rational possible outcomes

When faced with something new, think rationally about the possible outcomes. Most of the anxiety we feel is based on our mind’s inability to calculate an outcome and it exaggerates the possibilities. This exaggeration is what causes fear and anxiety. If there is real danger, then obviously it requires consideration. As an example: Robbing a bank, stealing a car, and killing someone could potentially present life-threatening circumstances, but attending a networking event does not. If you are not faced with lifethreatening dangers or negative consequences – just do it! The more new experiences you engage in, the less fear you will 

When we remain inside the boundaries of our comfort zone, we essentially stop growing and stop learning February–March 2013 І 65


experience in the future. As your “database” of past experiences grows, your mind will have more information to refer to when faced with new situations. The more past experiences you have, the less fear you will experience because the mind will know exactly what to do to create a successful outcome.

2The past doesn’t equal the future

There is no written rule that says just because something happened a certain way in the past, that it is pre-determined to happen the same in the future. Explore whether the anxiety you’re feeling from a past experience can rationally be applied to your current situation. Sometimes the mind can create irrational relations – as an example: You experienced hurt in a past intimate relationship and assume it will happen in your next relationship.

3

Visualize positive outcomes

When facing any new situation always come into it with a positive attitude. Following the law of attraction, you will attract the same energy you bring to the situation. Set the intention for a positive experience and visualize a positive outcome. Feel good about your new experience before you even attempt it. A little bit of anxiety is normal, but don’t let it control the situation. You want to go into all new situations with confidence and assurances that everything will turn out the way you want to experience it.

4

Just do it!

The only true and tried way to rid yourself of fear is to just do it! Have you ever heard of the phrase, “Feel the fear and do it anyway? “ Don’t let fear control your life – you are the one in control. Choose to live life the way it is meant to be experienced. While there may be some risks involved with trying something new, the

value of what you have to gain far outweighs any fear you will feel. Don't wait to start conquering your fear – start today. Make a list of things you are afraid to do and set a time frame when you want to have them all accomplished. Maybe it's calling someone you would really like to do business with, but have too intimidated to ask. Or perhaps you are afraid of heights, but have always wanted to skydive. Whatever it is you would like to accomplish, but have been afraid of, write them down on your list. Next to each item write the positive results that will come from doing what you are afraid of doing. For the client you've been too afraid to call, you generate a lot of revenue (How much revenue specifically and for how long? Not to mention referrals that can result of this new client.) . For skydiving it will be conquering your fear of heights and increasing your confidence. Once you have all of your tasks written down, prioritize them based on how they will positively impact your life. Place the item with the biggest impact at the top of the list and work your way down. Start at the top of the list and work your way down until you have them all accomplished. Anytime you feel the fear and are considering passing up a great opportunity to spread your wings, take yourself back to your childhood. Remember that you learned how to walk with nothing more than instinct and how to ride a bike with practice. Trying something new allows you to build your confidence and wonder what you were so afraid of to start with.

Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first. ~ Frederick Wilcox

© Anne Bachrach. All rights reserved.

Anne M. Bachrach Anne M. Bachrach is known as The Accountability Coach™. She has 23 years of experience training and coaching. Business owners and entrepreneurs who utilize Anne’s proven systems and processes work less, make more money, and have a more balanced and successful life. Anne is the author of the book, Excuses Don’t Count; Results Rule!, and Live Life with No Regrets; How the Choices We Make Impact Our Lives. Go to www.tinyurl. com/7na68k8 and get 3 FREE gifts including a special report on 10 Power Tips for Getting Focused, Organized, and Achieving Your Goals Now. Join the FREE Silver Inner Circle Membership today and receive 10% off on all products and services, in addition to having access to assessments and resources to help you achieve your goals so you can experience a more balanced and successful life (www.accountabilitycoach.com/coaching-store/inner-circle-store/).

66 І February–March 2013


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RECHARGE! Personal Power Mar'2013  

RECHARGE! Magazine is a monthly digital publication dedicated to informing, guiding and inspiring professionals to move forward DAILY.

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RECHARGE! Magazine is a monthly digital publication dedicated to informing, guiding and inspiring professionals to move forward DAILY.