Thoughts To Live By…

Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

by SavvySugar, on Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:54am PDT

millionaire

Acquiring wealth isn’t a priority for everyone, but it’s safe to say that most of us want to live comfortably. Whether you’re striving to gain a financial peace of mind or shooting to be a cash money queen, these six basic habits of millionaires will help you land on your feet.

  • Learn From Your Mistakes – Don’t dwell on the mistake, focus on the lesson. Many of the wealthiest Americans on this year’s Forbes 400 list endured some tough obstacles in their careers, but they learned from those experiences to keep them on the right track later on.
  • Look For Value – People who have money to spend don’t skip the process of comparing prices and seeking out deals just because they can technically afford to pay for the most expensive item. They look for value.
  • Find Your Niche – Think you’ll hit the jackpot by doing something everyone else can do? Not likely. Most people who earn big bucks have found a niche that increases their demand and therefore, their paychecks. Not sure what your niche is just yet? That’s OK, for now, work on becoming indispensable at your job.
  • Be in Control of Your Money – If you’re not paying attention to where your money is going, then you’re not in total control of your money. People who accomplish their goals get there by understanding how their spending habits, debt, and assets play into the big financial picture. Educate yourself on money matters and be accountable for your personal finances.
  • Avoid Frivolous Fees – People don’t build their nest eggs by letting pointless fees slide. Familiarize yourself with the policies of anyone with the ability to charge extra — banks, credit card companies, your cell phone provider, you name it. Those fees add up to money in your pocket.
  • Believe in Yourself – Of the wealthiest Americans on this year’s Forbes 400 list, 274 of them are self-made. Luck may have played a small role here and there, but in most cases it was about taking calculated risks and standing behind ideas, even when others are critical.

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/life/6-must-have-millionaire-habits-525826/

By RealAge

Did you know that most of the free-radical fighters in green tea never make it to your bloodstream? But there’s a solution.

To get a better grasp on the healthy catechins in your green tea, flavor your cup with a squeeze of citrus juice.

Green Tea Booster
Catechins — the antioxidants in green tea famous for lowering your risk of chronic disease — quickly lose their power in your intestine. In fact, as much as 80% of the catechins in green tea are never absorbed. The solution to boosting absorption, researchers recently found, is as simple as flavoring your tea with freshly squeezed and strained lemon, orange, lime, or grapefruit juice.

Taking Tea with C
The vitamin C in citrus may help with absorption by increasing the acidity in your small intestine. Other unidentified substances in the juice probably lend a hand, too. Researchers found a 50-50 mix had the greatest catechin-preserving effect, and lemon did it best, closely followed by orange, lime, and, in last place, grapefruit.

It’s Not All Bad News
If you do take steps to boost the power of your green tea, you may even get a few added benefits.

  • It may help you lose weight. At least one study shows green tea can stimulate moderate weight loss.
  • It may help keep your knees young and strong — catechins fight inflammation and arthritis.
  • It can help your skin look great if used in conjunction with an antioxidant cream. Dab it on.
  • It can help you stay sharp — try 2 cups a day to see benefits.

RealAge Benefit: Getting the right amount of antioxidants through diet or supplements can make your RealAge 6 years younger.

http://health.yahoo.com/featured/27/the-trouble-with-green-tea/

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

by Brett Blumenthal

A couple of years ago, the Boston Marathon promoted its event with a series of inspiring billboards.  All of them were black and white images of a runner, with a quote that expressed their reason for running.  Some billboards were of fully mobile individuals and others were of those who were disabled but were determined to cross the finish line, either through a family member’s or friend’s assistance, or through the use of a prosthetic device.  Each had different quotes, but one in particular really stood out: the runner’s response was simple…“Because I can.”

As kids, the “Little Engine who could” told us a valuable tale of an extraordinary spirit…of perseverance…of determination…of believing in ourselves. As adults, we don’t always have tales to teach us these valuable lessons. And, as a result we start making excuses. We stop learning. We stop trying.

‘Because I can’ eliminates these excuses. It pushes us past the status quo and our comfort zones. It gives us a reason to do the things that we think we can’t. And, it enables us to believe in ourselves.

Practicing ‘Can’ thinking is important to keeping us young, to having a positive outlook, to staying motivated and to reaching our goals. Further, it can help us lead richer and fuller lives that are more rewarding. The fact that you have the ability to do something empowers you to do it, whatever the task might be.

How can you use the power of ‘Because I can’? Here are a few ways to incorporate this positive thinking into various aspects of your own life:

  1. Be More Active: Whether it is to get to the store or work, or if it is climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, embracing a ‘Because I can’ attitude is an easy way to incorporate more activity into your life. Break the ‘I’m tired’ or ‘It is too hard’ or ‘It is too far’ cycle. Increasing your activity level will provide enormous benefits, both physically and mentally.
  2. Try Something New: It is easy for us to make excuses for why we shouldn’t try new things. Maybe you think it is out of your comfort zone. Maybe it seems too difficult. Or maybe, it is just inconvenient. Reminding yourself that ‘You Can’ try something new will help you to move past these roadblocks and discover new things about yourself and possible new interests.
  3. Reach for the Stars: No matter how old you are, setting new goals and continually dreaming makes life more interesting and rewarding. Whether it is professionally or personally, find new ways to stretch yourself, to learn and to grow. Pushing yourself to be the best you can be will give you a sense of accomplishment. Further, you’ll never feel bored.
  4. Speak Up: Often, we can become complacent in our lives, going through a routine and not addressing things that bother us or make us unhappy. You have a voice. Use that voice ‘because you can’. Communicating to loved ones, co-workers and even your boss as to how you feel, what your needs and expectations are and what you are thinking can help you develop deeper, more meaningful and rewarding relationships. Further, you will be truer to yourself, inevitably making you a happier individual.
  5. Go the Extra Mile: No, you don’t have to be a marathon runner to incorporate this slogan into your exercise routine. But, when you are at the end of your thirty minute aerobic workout, try going an extra ten minutes ‘Because you can.’ You’ll empower yourself to push beyond the ‘status quo.’ Additionally, you will strengthen your heart and burn off the cheesecake from the night before.
  6. Increase Your Willpower: Saying ‘No’ to our favorite indulgences can be challenging. However, developing a strong willpower, whether it is in response to our favorite chocolate cake or to over-shopping and spending past our means is something that we can all benefit from. Next time you are tempted to do something you think you might regret, try reminding yourself that you ‘can’ say no. YOU have the power.

The human spirit can be very fragile, but incorporating positive thinking, such as ‘Because I can,’  while, eliminating ‘because I can’t’ from your thought processes, can be very powerful.

Do you have any techniques that motivate you to step out of your comfort zone and move beyond the status quo? What inspires you?

http://www.sheerbalance.com/brettsblog/2009/01/15/do-you-push-yourself/

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Throughout life, there are times when we may come across an individual or a situation where a person is very dominant, controlling and possibly even manipulative. Sometimes it is a boss who doesn’t allow us to voice our opinions. Sometimes it is a family member who is very demanding and finds ways to get us to manipulate us into doing what they want. And sometimes, it may be a friend who is very pushy and demands that others do things their way, on their time schedule, forgetting that those around them are affected in the process.

This can frustrate us, making us feel stifled, and worst of all, powerless. And although it may come to a head only once in awhile, if we are in a relationship or friendship where this happens on a frequent basis, it can take a toll, and we can lose our sense of worth and even worse, sense of self. It can be debilitating. The only way we can avoid these feelings is to take the power back, and empower ourselves.

Let’s take an illustrative example of a friend who is perpetually late. You find it irritating and inconsiderate. Moreover, you resent the fact that her perpetual lateness causes you to be late as well. With this example in mind, here are six steps to empower yourself out of her control:

  1. Take Charge of Your Life: The only person who can really control your life is you. Start acknowledging how you feel about these situations. Start making decisions for yourself and prioritizing what is important to you. Example: Admit that your friend’s lateness bothers you. Think about the ideal situation and how you would like it to play out. Picture it in your mind.
  2. Set Goals: Setting goals allows us to stay true to what is important to us. Goals can be big or small. Whatever the case, create goals that are important to you and don’t let anyone else hurt your chances of reaching them. Example: If there is an event or function that you want to be on time for, set a goal that you will be on time no matter what.
  3. State Your Opinion/Thought/Preference: Once you have a goal in mind, state it out loud. State it to yourself and to the other person so they know where you stand. Be clear in voicing your expectation, and don’t leave anything up to the imagination by assuming the person understands what you want. Example: State to the individual who is always late that it is very important to you that you are on time for the event. Let them know you are willing to go without them if they aren’t ready in time.
  4. Stand Your Ground: Wishywashiness isn’t going to help you in these situations. Don’t back down from what you believe, feel or want. Stand your ground and follow through with your plan to ensure your goal is met. Example: If the other person is late, leave without them. If you don’t, they will continue to assume that it is okay to push their schedule on you.
  5. Stop Relying on Others for Approval: Part of what allows us to be ruled by others is that we want their approval. The reality is, if you respect yourself and stand up for what you want, then others will start respecting you more for it.  Example: If after you leave and the other person gets upset. Make it clear that you informed them you would leave without them. Don’t apologize. You did what was important to you and you stayed true to yourself.
  6. Let go: There will be times when these steps aren’t always possible. You might just find that a relationship is repetitively one-sided in consideration. Instead of getting upset, let go. Realize that the person isn’t going to change and that you have the power to not let it bother you. Find ways to ensure that you take care of yourself. Example: If the person continues to be late for everything, stay true to your priority and start going alone and stop caring. Let go of the feelings and just accept them for who they are and start empowering yourself to be the on-time person you want to be.

Empowering yourself is important. Waiting for others to empower you gets you nowhere. Have you had a relationship where you felt you had no power? What did you do to address the situation?

http://www.sheerbalance.com/brettsblog/2009/03/08/6-steps-to-stop-being-manipulated/

by Brett Blumenthal – Sheer Balance, on Mon May 18, 2009 7:35am PDT

  1. Believe in Yourself. If you believe in yourself, others will believe in you as well.  Believe in all that you are, all that you can be and all that you stand for.
  2. Never Stop Dreaming. Dreamers have the ability to change the world.  They envision the impossible and make it happen.  Follow your dreams and you will achieve the unachievable.
  3. Do What you Love. Life is too short to not enjoy what you do.  Don’t do what you think you should do, or what everyone else wants you to do, or for that matter, what you think everyone wants you to do.  Find your own passion, and do what you love.
  4. Stay True to Who You Are. Don’t forget where you came from or what you believe in.  Remembering this will help you to make the best decisions in life and will help you to live a life without regret.
  5. Don’t Settle for Mediocrity. In Jim Collin’s first sentence of his book “Good to Great”, he states,  “Good is the enemy of great.”  Good is often sufficient.  Greatness, however, never settles.  Greatness expects more…always.  Expect the best from yourself and from others, and always look for the opportunities to make things better.  Don’t accept things as they are, for positive change comes from improving what is.
  6. Don’t Burn Bridges. There will be times in your life when you may not care what other people think, but you never know when those people may pop up in your life again.  Always do the right thing and maintain your relationships, for they may prove to be invaluable when you least expect it.
  7. Live Honestly and with Integrity. At the end of the day, you only have to answer to yourself.  Keep your word when you make a promise; and live in a way that makes you proud and in a way that enables you to look in the mirror every morning and like what you see.
  8. Live with Humility. We all are imperfect and it is important to acknowledge our flaws just as much as our positive traits.  Be thankful for your talents, for your successes and for the good fortune that comes your way.  Don’t ever expect things just because you think you deserve them.   You have to earn them.
  9. Love, Respect and Forgive Yourself. Self-love is most important when it comes to finding and experiencing love with others.  Always treat yourself with kindness and forgive yourself for the times that you make mistakes.
  10. Love Others Openly. When you love, love openly and unconditionally.  This will allow you to experience a deeper love that can celebrate the best of times, as well as get you through the worst of times.

Some of these may seem cheesy to some, but I believe that all of these are important to living a full, meaningful life on which you can look back and smile.

If you were to impart your own knowledge and wisdom to new graduates, what would you tell them?  What lessons would you want them to learn?

Although we like to think that the people in our lives are well-adjusted, happy, healthy minded individuals, we sometimes realize that it just isn’t so.  Personally, I’ve had moments where I’ll be skipping through my day, happy as can be, thinking life is grand and BAM, I’ll be blindsided by someone who manages to knock the happy wind out of my sails.  Sometimes it is easy to write it off and other times, not so much.

Maybe you are a positive person, but when you are around a certain individual, you feel negative.  Or, maybe you have an idealistic view of the world and when you are with certain people, you are made to feel silly, unrealistic or delusional.  Or, maybe you pride yourself in being completely independent and in control of your life, but when you are around a certain family member, you regress into a state of childhood.

Some of these situations, and yes, these people, can have a tremendously negative impact on our lives.  And, although we are all human and have our ‘issues,’ some ‘issues’ are quite frankly, toxic.  They are toxic to our happiness.  They are toxic to our mental outlook.  They are toxic to our self-esteem.  And they are toxic to our lives.  They can suck the life out of us and even shorten our lifespan.

Here are the worst of the toxic personalities out there and how to spot them:

1. Manipulative Mary: These individuals are experts at manipulation tactics.  Is a matter of fact, you may not even realize you have been manipulated until it is too late.  These individuals figure out what your ‘buttons’ are, and push them to get what they want.

  • Why they are toxic: These people have a way of eating away at your belief system and self-esteem.  They find ways to make you do things that you don’t necessarily want to do and before you know it, you lose your sense of identity, your personal priorities and your ability to see the reality of the situation.  The world all of a sudden becomes centered around their needs and their priorities.

2. Narcissistic Nancy: These people have an extreme sense of self-importance and believe that the world revolves around them.  They are often not as sly as the Manipulative Marys of the world, but instead, tend to be a bit overt about getting their needs met.  You often want to say to them “It isn’t always about you.”

  • Why they are toxic: They are solely focused on their needs, leaving your needs in the dust.  You are left disappointed and unfulfilled.  Further, they zap your energy by getting you to focus so much on them, that you have nothing left for yourself.

3. Debbie Downers: These people can’t appreciate the positive in life.  If you tell them that it is a beautiful day, they will tell you about the impending dreary forecast.  If you tell them you aced a mid-term, they’ll tell you about how difficult the final is going to be.

  • Why they are toxic: They take the joy out of everything.  Your rosy outlook on life continues to get squashed with negativity.  Before you know it, their negativity consumes you and you start looking at things with gray colored glasses yourself.

4. Judgmental Jims: When you see things as cute and quirky, they see things as strange and unattractive.  If you find people’s unique perspectives refreshing, they find them ‘wrong’.  If you like someone’s eclectic taste, they find it ‘disturbing’ or ‘bad’.

  • Why they are toxic: Judgmental people are much like Debbie Downers.  In a world where freedom rings, judgment is sooo over.  If the world was a homogeneous place, life would be pretty boring.  Spending a lot of time with these types can inadvertently convert you into a judgmental person as well.

5. Dream Killing Keiths: Every time you have an idea, these people tell you why you can’t do it.  As you achieve, they try to pull you down.  As you dream, they are the first to tell you it is impossible.

  • Why they are toxic: These people are stuck in what is instead of what could be.  Further, these individuals eat away at your self-esteem and your belief in yourself.  Progress and change can only occur from doing new things and innovating, dreaming the impossible and reaching for the stars.

6. Insincere Illissas: You never quite feel that these people are being sincere.  You tell a funny story, they give you a polite laugh.  You feel depressed and sad and they give you a ‘there, there’ type response.  You tell them you are excited about something and you get a very ho-hum response.

  • Why they are toxic: People who aren’t sincere or genuine build relationships on superficial criteria.  This breeds shallow, meaningless relationships.  When you are really in need of a friend, they won’t be there.  When you really need constructive criticism, they would rather tell you that you are great the way you are.  When you need support, they would rather see you fail or make a fool of yourself.

7. Disrespectful Dannys: These people will say or do things at the most inappropriate times and in the most inappropriate ways.  In essence, they are more subtle, grown up bullies.  Maybe this person is a friend who you confided in and uses your secret against you.  Maybe it is a family member who puts their busy-body nose into your affairs when it is none of their business.  Or maybe, it is a colleague who says demeaning things to you.

  • Why they are toxic: These people have no sense of boundaries and don’t respect your feelings or, for that matter, your privacy.  These people will cause you to feel frustrated and disrespected.

8. Never Enough Nellies: You can never give enough to these people to make them happy.  They take you for granted and have unrealistic expectations of you.  They find ways to continually fault you and never take responsibility for anything themselves.

  • Why they are toxic: You will spend so much time trying to please them, that you will end up losing yourself in the process.  They will require all of your time and energy, leaving you worn out and your own needs sacrificed.

All of these personalities have several things in common.  1) the more these people get away with their behavior, the more they will continue.  2) Unfortunately, most of these people don’t see that what they do is wrong and as a result, talking to them about it will fall on deaf ears, leaving you wondering if you are the crazy one.  3) Most of these people get worse with age, making their impact on you stronger with time.

Frankly, life is too short to spend your time dealing with toxicity.  If you can, avoid spending mucho time with people who are indicative of these behaviors and you’ll feel a lot happier. Have you encountered these personalities?  What have you done?  Any personalities you would add?

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/life/8-toxic-personalities-to-avoid-461078/

Noticing something out of place about another person–food on the face, an undone fly, bad manners-can make you feel uncomfortable because you may not know what to do or not do about it. You feel responsible for saving them for future embarrassment, but you don’t want to be involved if they get embarrassed with you. So, how should you deal? Unfortunately, there’s no one right answer across the board, so here’s our guide for when to say something and when to keep your thoughts to yourself.

How to deal if you detect that someone…

  • …might be pregnant? You run into a friend and notice that her belly is a bit bigger than it was the last time you saw her. Your first thought — maybe she’s got a bun in the oven! No matter how difficult it may be to restrain your curiosity, don’t ask if she’s pregnant. If she is, she’ll let you know when she’s good and ready. If she’s not, you’ve just shoved a great big foot in your mouth by insulting her in several different ways.
  • …has food on the face? Whether it’s the tiniest flake of pepper or a massive chunk of spinach, let people know if they are parading around with something funky on their cheek or in their teeth. It’s such a common one that it’s not all that embarrassing to talk about. A comfortable “oh, you’ve got something there” will make them able to take care of it comfortably.
  • …is making offensive comments? This one is compelling because it can elicit anger, resentment, and distrust. When someone makes an inappropriate remark or tells an offensive joke — whether it’s racist, sexist, or demeaning in any way — you should absolutely say something.  But keep it on the short and sweet side, particularly if it’s an intimate setting (like a dinner party). Don’t push the issue; a simple “That topic isn’t humorous” should suffice.
  • …has bad breath? If it’s a good friend, significant other, or family member, by all means say something —  just find a nice way to do it. Offer up breath mints with a gentle, humorous reminder. If you’ve just indulged in a spicy meal, you can joke that everyone needs a really good brushing. If you don’t really know the person, we’d probably let it go.
  • …has B.O.? This one’s a little more personal than bad breath, which is why there’s no way to tell someone they reek without offending him or her. But a pungent dose of B.O. is impossible to ignore. If it’s someone you know, it’s worth it for both of you to tell them. You could try something light-hearted, “Whoa there, did you just get back from the gym?” If you’re lucky enough for the person to ask about how they’re doing in that department, feel free to offer an honest opinion. But if you don’t know the person very well, again, we say let it go.
  • …is wearing a see-through garment? Most women understand the importance of a good bra. But every once in a while, you may run into someone who doesn’t realize her shirt and everything else is seriously see-through or that her flimsy camisole doesn’t provide sufficient coverage. This one is tricky because only another woman can deliver the message, otherwise it’s just too mortifying and creepy. (If you’re a good guy enlist another woman to help.) Take the lady aside to say something like, “I just noticed that your shirt is more see-through than you probably thought. I know I’d want to know if it was me, so I wanted to tell you.”
  • …has another clothing malfunction? If you had an unfortunate button undone or unzipped fly, you’d want someone to point it out, right? So, take one for the team and let the person know! In general, it’s best in these situations for men to tell men and for women to tell women; this helps eliminate the possibility of the person misreading the observation.
  • …has something in their nose? Because this one looks grosser than the others, it can be the hardest of all to approach and the hardest to ignore. If someone has a little somethin’ somethin’ hanging from their schnoz, hand the person a tissue and quietly, politely, motion that he or she needs a little wipe. It’s so much better to be tipped off than to find out when you’re alone in the bathroom left to wonder how many people caught your new look.

http://food.yahoo.com/blog/foxyfestivities/20362/when-to-speak-up-or-shut-up/


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