A Sweep of Vanity: How To Burst Your Own Bubble

“Hoy-day! What a sweep of vanity comes this way!” –William Shakespeare, “The Life of Timon of Athens” If there’s one characteristic we hope we don’t have, it’s vanity. We’d rather be considered aggressive, driven, petty, even mean than have others feel that we think too much of ourselves. Isn’t that hilarious? We’re all vain. The world appears to revolve around us because we literally can’t see it any other way. Our reality is constructed entirely of our perceptions of how everyone and everything responds to us. It’s impossible to remove ourselves from the center of our own universe. That’s our starting point, anyway. We want to veer toward selflessness, but no matter how hard we try, we remain rooted to …

A New Years Resolution To Stop Smoking – How To Keep To It Beyond Jan 2nd?

So, here you are again. Seeing out the old year, along with its broken promises and failed, good intentions. You arrive, fresh with newly found conviction, after the excesses of the Christmas period, at the New Year’s resolution, an annual triumph of hope over reality! Hope, that this time you will have the single mindedness to succeed, where last time you failed. I’m not suggesting for a moment that you do not want to succeed, I’m sure that your desire to stop smoking is genuine, but here’s the reality, it’s a hope, a dream and what’s the point in having dreams if you’re not going to make them happen? You may dream of winning the lottery and yes, you could …

A Global Empathy Deficit- 2 Lessons

“…We’ve got a budget deficit that’s important, we’ve got a trade deficit that’s critical, but what I worry most is our empathy deficit.” – Interview in O Magazine with Barack Obama. Perhaps this is not only a US national concern but a global crisis: people are dividing into camps and fighting one another with no mention of sitting down to dialogue. We, as global human beings living on a shrinking planet, have to stop the insanity, start talking, and stop the fighting. The fighting is not only among warring nations. It goes on in corporations, small businesses, between entrepreneurs, in schools, in neighborhoods, and in families. There is a lack of talking, listening, and empathizing between people. This is especially …

A Bad Hairdresser Day

“Hey everybody!” Hairdresser Lady called out. “It’s The Happy Guy.” “Don’t try buttering me up, Hairdresser Lady,” I warned. “It’s not going to work.” “What’s not going to work?” she demanded. “You can’t cover up your gross incompetence with a ‘Hey everybody’ cheer.” “Gross incompetence?” “That’s right. Just look at my head. Go ahead, take a real close look.” “Why, it’s a family of sparrows. What a lovely nest,” she grinned. “No, over here.” “My, my. If it isn’t a bald spot,” she giggled. “Should I give it a shine?” “That’s just what I mean, Hairdresser Lady. Ever since I’ve been coming to you this past couple years, I’ve been losing hair. What have you been doing to it?” “Er, …

How Breaking Routine and Unexpected Acts of Kindness Can Energize Your Day

Sometimes life becomes so routine, we don’t have to think about a thing we’re doing throughout the day. We’re programmed to run on automatic. It’s important to shake things up every once in a while to get the creative juices flowing, give us an added boost of energy or give us something to concentrate on for a change. When routine sets in, particularly in relationships, we can’t always see the impact it has until we throw a new ingredient into the mix. This week, I ventured outside of my regular routine, and performed a very unexpected act of kindness. The results were terrific! Picture it, Cicely, 1945 … oops, wait, wrong story … Picture it, Northern Ontario, Winter 2004. It’s …

How A Phony Persona Always Hurts You

‘Be yourself’, isn’t that what you’ve always heard? It certainly isn’t ill advice considering what you are losing in the long run when you adopt one of these fraudulent lives. You may ask, what’s adding a little sizzle hurt any? It’s not the extra energy that you bring to the table as long as it’s your true personality. It is the egregious transformation from you knowing who you are, to a personality that you may or may not realize is fraudulent. Whether you call it fake, phony, fraudulent, multiple personalities or whatever, it pretty much adds up to the same thing. It is not who you are. I know, I, not unlike millions of others, had taken on the ‘Mr. …

7 Things Happy People Know How To Do

Ever notice how some people just seem to be able to be content and bounce back no matter what the circumstances? Research shows that this isn’t a gift or a talent – it’s a skill that they have developed. Surprised? Well, the real surprise is that you too can put to work their techniques and make your life happier too. 1. Happy people cooperate with life. Each person has a destiny to fulfill. You can fight it or cooperate with it. Does that mean you just lay back and let life happen? No. But you can adopt the attitude that you will play the cards you are dealt the very best you can. When you begin to cooperate with life, …

7 Solutions for Practical Stress Management

Stress is amazingly persistent, even seductive. We get used to feeling tight and tense. Though positive thinking has its place, unless it is backed up by practical wisdom it tends to get overwhelmed and fade away. Here are seven proven ways you can get a new handle on stress. 1. Control your REACTION with these 7 simple words. The first step is to remain alert when people try to weigh you down with their nervous comments and attitudes. The next step is to reply to the attempted attack: “I have nothing to say to that.” This cuts off the contagious effect of the stressful assault. It blocks the tendency to accept and imitate depressing words from others. Your nature does …

9 Strategies For Regaining Your Work Life Balance

I like working with independent professionals and artists because of the way the work life balance shows itself in our lives – for us, life, work, and business exist in a nexus from which we cannot easily extract our ways of loving, relating, and making meaning. The challenges we face in business inform our personal lives and personal challenges affect our businesses. Rich as it is, the relationship between personal and professional life can be rocky and maintaining the work life balance is often a tricky issue. I experienced this recently when, within a few weeks of declaring some audacious goals for my business, a routine mammogram turned up some abnormalities. In the following weeks I had additional mammography, a …

8 Ways to Get Off The Success-Go-Round and Have a Consistent Flow of Success

Are you consistently chasing success? Once you achieve it, do you desperately try to continue the pattern of making it happen again? Isn’t it time you got off the success-go-round? Here are 8 tips to help you make the transition from inconsistency to steady flow of success. 1. Know Your Core Values. What do your truly value in your life? If you’re struggling to come up with an answer, then maybe it’s time you reevaluated your values. You might know what values your parents instilled in you, but you need to be clear on what you stand for and what is important in your life. Do you value honesty, integrity or trust? By knowing your core values you will seek …

7 Key Steps to Unshakable Confidence

Do you remember that day? Perhaps it was your first job interview. Perhaps you were speaking to a group for the first time. Maybe you were starting a challenging new career or meeting a special person for the first time. Your throat became dry and your knees wanted to shake. You were about to leave a place of mental and emotional safety. You were putting your skills on the line and taking a risk. If you were successful, there could be great reward. However, self-doubt was trying to discourage you. Confidence is essential in our lives; without it, we will not make the first attempt to do what we really want. Confidence allows us to move forward despite temporary discouragement. …

7 Goals Worth Pursuing

Before a commercial airplane takes off, the pilot has a very clear destination in mind, and a flight plan to get there. The plane leaves at a specific time, and takes off toward a specific destination. The plane is off track, though, at least 90% of the time. Weather conditions, turbulence and other factors cause this. However, feedback is given to the pilot constantly. The inertial guidance system of the aircraft continually helps the pilot evaluate and revise the plane’s position to reach the expected destination on time. The plane takes off on time, arrives on time, and yet is off course 90% of the time. Now imagine you are the plane. What is your destination? And do you have …

7 Fun and Feisty Resolutions You’re Guaranteed To Achieve In The New Year!

January 1st rolls around and there are resolutions up the wazoo – which no one seems to keep. Society instantly asks to you recognize some glaring personality flaw – on the spot. Without any planning, preparation or foresight you go for it! You pick something monumental to fix. You never start small or say, “I promise to water and care for the house plants!” Instead you pick something that’s been plaguing you for months or even years. The infamous, “I promise to quit smoking” or “…lose twenty-five pounds.” Failing miserably, you’ve fallen off the wagon by January 21st. Statistically speaking, less than 10% of women who commit to lose weight, stop smoking, stick to a budget, get a new job, …

How Meditation Can Change Your Life

Current research estimates that the average person has over 60,000 thoughts per day, 90 percent of which are replications of our thoughts from yesterday. Moreover, people spend almost half their time worrying, and 90 percent of those worries never come true. On the other hand, most of us can remember those glorious moments when we experienced unbound love, sparks of wisdom and understanding; the moments when we felt total harmony with the world around us and harmony within ourselves. If we could only manage our restless mind and apply it with greater efficiency in the present moment! Learning and practicing meditation can set us free from unnecessary worries and enrich our perception and senses. Although various meditation traditions and techniques …

How I Conquered Fear And You Can Too!

We’ve all heard it, felt it, sensed it, experienced it and dealt with it in some way or another, it’s FEAR! You know … False Evidence Appearing Real!! The question is, how are you going to handle it now and forever? Getting out of your comfort zone for most is challenging, to say the least. It’s been my experience that the missing element is psychological. Too many times I’ve said to myself, “I don’t know HOW to do this” and self sabotaged my brain into believing I could not do it. What I’ve come to know is this; it’s not the “how” that is so important but rather the “why” behind it! Get a big enough WHY and the HOW …

How Stress Effects Your Body And Brain And What To Do About It.

Which of these is stress? • You receive a promotion at work. • Your car has a flat tire. • You go to a fun party that lasts till 6:00 a.m. • Your dog gets sick. • Your new bedroom set is being delivered. • Your best friend and his wife come to stay at your house for a week. • You get a bad case of hay fever. • All of the above. ALL OF THESE ARE STRESS. If you are used to thinking that stress is something that makes you worry, you have the wrong idea of stress. Stress is many different kinds of things: happy things, sad things, allergic things, and physical things. Many people carry enormous …