Ramping up Your Marriage in the New Year

Here is an opportunity to ramp up your marital relationship in 2009-- this is the acclaimed Alpha series by Nicky & Sila Lee that you may have taken part in or heard of... for your own viewing pleasure-- or maybe you will want to make it a weekly study with other couples-- or you might want to purchase it for your Church or School library.

Amazon says: The Marriage Course is very practical, giving married couples the tools to build a strong and healthy marriage that lasts a lifetime. The eight week course is suitable for any married couple, whether or not they are churchgoers, and is based on The Marriage Book by Nicky and Sila Lee.

It includes the 4-set (8-hour) VHS Marriage Course program and both the organizational booklet and the full-length Marriage Course book-- mint condition. Go here to read more about The Marriage Course: http://themarriagecourse.org/marriage /welcome/

The cost of the VHS-set and books is $25 CAD and I will determine your postal shipping costs at the time you indicate you are interested. Leave a message under "Comments" or close the gaps in the following address and email me there: cynthia @ positivelyvibrant.com

Happy New Year!

"In addition to reading ten pages a day of a motivational or inspirational book...listen to a self-improvement CD for at least 15 minutes every day... If you spend that time listening to educational and self-improvement material, you'll have the equivalent of a Ph.D. on any subject you choose in just a few years. That's the Slight Edge." ~Jeff Olson, author of "The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life"

Goal-Setting for the New Year

So, here I am, armed with sage Zig Ziglar's Success for Dummies, reading my ten pages a day (please see the quote at the bottom of this page for context)and thoroughly enjoying it, and then struck by how very "old school" this book's approach probably seems to many blog readers... especially readers under a certain age.

Zig Ziglar was a phenomenally popular motivational speaker who at one time had sold over a million copies of his book "See You At the Top". His famous I CAN course was taught in more than 3,000 schools and businesses. But that was all before the discovery of "The Secret" or "The Law of Attraction"... OR WAS IT?

Here are some quotes from ZZ that put him firmly in a positively vibrant contemporary camp:

  • "If you want to reach a goal, you must "see the reaching" in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal."
  • "You have to ''be'' before you can ''do,'' and "do" before you can "have."
  • "Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes."
  • "You are the only person on earth who can use your ability."
  • "When you put faith, hope and love together, you can raise positive kids in a negative world."

    Hmmm. As I said, I am very engrossed in what he has to say-- maybe you would benefit from some of his teachings as well. He has written quite a few words on the subject of "Goals" for example-- what most of us used to call "New Year's Resolutions" when we sat down and listed what different things we would strive for over the next year. If you are interested in a way of approaching your Goal-setting that draws upon the inspirational wisdom of Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other 'motivators', go ahead and sign up for the Positively Vibrant Tips ezine below. (It doesn't have to be the beginning of the New Year to set goals, either, by the way!)

    "In addition to reading ten pages a day of a motivational or inspirational book...listen to a self-improvement CD for at least 15 minutes every day... If you spend that time listening to educational and self-improvement material, you'll have the equivalent of a Ph.D. on any subject you choose in just a few years. That's the Slight Edge." ~Jeff Olson, author of "The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life"
  • Positively Pessimistic?

    I know that I have harped incessantly on Jeff Olson's challenge in The Slight Edge--i.e., Read 10 pages of a classic, inspiring, self-development book each day and in a year you will have read, absorbed and acted upon the wisdom of ten to twelve books written by successful individuals-- but it makes so much sense to me!

    Now, if you want to start the New Year with a couple of really inspiring books, how about books about climbing mountains? Good metaphor, that. But what about books by the only blind person to have climbed the "Seven Summits", the highest peaks on each continent? That would be Erik Weihenmayer, author of The Adversity Advantage and Touch the Top of the World. You can read excerpts and get these books at Erik's Touch the Top.com website.

    One of the excerpts on the site tells of how a climbing partner deals with some of the frustrations of these grueling climbs. He uses something he has dubbed "positive pessimism". It operates, as far as I can tell, along the same line as the old "two negatives make a positive" theory ("She don't gots no dogs" is grammatically translated as "She gots dogs".)

    Positive pessimism requires a pretty advanced sense of the absurd. Confine your practice of it (as with all negatives) to times of dark adversity, and with a companion who can link into the pathos with the same sense of humour as you. Here are some examples of Positive Pessimism from Erik's second book, The Adversity Advantage:

    On Aconcagua, I had just struggled to the 22,841-foot summit. I was barely hanging in there. Chris gave me a big hug and croaked, "Big E, you may be blind . . . but at least you're slow!" As hammered as I was, I laughed and shot back with, "Chris, you're not the nicest guy in the world . . . but at least you're stupid."

    I have seen people use positive pessimism in all aspects of life. Once a guy was hiking with me in Colorado and was struggling to keep the pace. From behind me I heard him say, "I may be fat . . . but at least I'm old."

    How about a well placed positive pessimism in the office? "I'm going into a three hour meeting . . . but at least I didn't have time to eat lunch." Or: "We didn't get that big account . . . but at least our stock price went down." At home, try this one: "Honey we're on a real tight budget . . . but at least our heating bill doubled." Or: "We may be moving into a smaller house . . . but at least your mother is coming to live with us."

    I love these examples of scathing wit, a private joke between two intimate friends. I will, however, be cautious not to use 'positive pessimism' myself, since my neuro-pathways are still somewhat rutted by a cynical humor that hurt me and others more than it inspired or uplifted. Just as I occasionally get a kick out of watching drunks portrayed in movies (Dudley Moore in "Arthur" being my favorite), I have no desire to go down that road again myself, although I did have some uproariously funny experiences.

    I am going to get hold of Erik Weihenmayer's books-- I think they would also make excellent Christmas gifts to be savoured into the New Year, that time of universal 'good intention' and positivity.

    Will Your Ship Come In This Year?

    The idea picture of "my ship coming in" seems most apt for me. I live on an island and in the winter I can look through the gaps in the leafless trees and see the Comox Harbor just a walk down the hill.

    In his book The 45-Second Presentation That Will Change Your Life, Don Failla dedicates a chapter to this metaphor of "Ships At Sea" as it pertains to network marketing. He states that "you really CAN have your ship come in" if you read and apply his teachings, a synthesis of hundreds of other successful network marketers' teachings.

    Who is Dying to Leave You a Fortune?

    Most of us don't have much of a chance of being left a major inheritance by some long-lost relative. But the exciting thing is that as a network marketer you can offer HOPE to people that isn't reliant on daydreams about winning a lottery-- hope that they don't have to spend the next 30 or 40 years working for 'The Man' so they can draw a pension and retire.

    Imagine having the opportunity to see your 'retirement' dreams come true without having to wait 30 years for that to happen? And, what if you are truly loyal to your current job/boss-- how about the option of working part-time 5-10 hours a week from your home to realize much much more than the half an income that your pension might turn out to be?

    This is a pretty good illustration of "your ship coming in".

    Failla extends this analogy of ships to include the kind of people you want to work with in your ideal business. He sketches 3 ships at sea and labels them as "GOLD", "SILVER" and "M.T" (Empty). (You can draw a shore-line where you wait, like Bobby Darren's lover, for your ship to come in).

    Naturally, you don't want your ship to be empty when it comes in.... you want a gold-stocked cargo. Failla points out that it is very interesting that like the squeaky wheel, it is generally the 'MT SHIP' that gets attention during the business-building process. They are the worriers, the skeptics, the whiners who need to be convinced at every turn in the road that it IS possible to succeed in the business. They can be enormously costly to maintain, these MT Ships. Their negativity can bring you down, their constant need for encouragement can take you away from the other fleet, especially the Silver and Gold Ships.

    As a business leader looking for success, you want to make the absolute best use of your time and energies.

    You are looking for a GOLD SHIP to work with-- a SERIOUS person intent on succeeding. Failla describes these GOLD SHIPS as having the following qualities:
  • Eagerness to learn-- they call you with questions they want answers to.
  • They ask for help and want to extend your mentoring to a friend or candidate they desire will come into business with them.
  • Excitement-- their excitement feeds yours-- the result is creative synergy!
  • They COMMIT to the 'system' that is in place to ensure success: they field test the products that they will be telling others about, they commit to using the products that work for them on a regular basis and let go of all the 'cheap' stuff that doesn't have the backing of the kind of research and development that is possible with network marketing suppliers
  • They are GOAL-driven. They know what they want and they are willing to do anything proven and ethical to achieve their goals.
  • They are fun to be with-- and they are contagiously POSITIVELY VIBRANT.

    These are the folks I want to have on my team-- what about you?

    **Thanks to Karen Lindstrom at StockXpert for the great photo of the sailing ship.
  • Business Success Coming Right Up

    Here is some interesting information from Northwood University's introduction to their dual-major Entrepreneurial/Management degree program:
  • More than 90 percent of all business enterprises in the United States are family-owned, and 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies are family firms.
  • The greatest part of America's wealth lies with family-owned businesses.
  • The leadership of 43 percent of family businesses will change by 2010. One quarter of all family firms expect their next CEO to be a woman. The average life span of a family owned business is just 24 years.
  • Family businesses account for 78 percent of all new jobs, 60 percent of the national employment, 50 percent of the gross domestic product, and 65 percent of all wages paid.

  • My question to you: Do you want to have your own business, an enterprise that you can shape to suit your needs and to have operate around your life, instead of having to accommodate it?

    If you are a woman you will be pleased to know that you actually have the ability to "lead out" as an entrepreneur that still isn't equally available to women in the traditional job market... on-line stats show that although women make up to 55% of the university-educated job market, they are still much more likely to be working at lower-paid jobs and still less likely to be promoted to higher-ranked executive positions.

    Here are some quotes from some of the world's successful women entrepreneurs:

    Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.
    ~Mary Kay Ash American entrepreneur

    I made a conscious decision to earn enough to be able to choose my husband rather than not have a career and marry someone who would have to earn enough for us both to live on.
    ~Sarah Beeny,British real estate developer

    When you have a pile of bills that you have no idea how you are going to pay, you cannot focus on the bills, because you will continue to attract more bills. You have to find a way that works for you to focus on prosperity, despite the bills around you.
    ~Rhonda Byrne, Australian author of "The Secret"

    A successful life is one that is lived through understanding and pursuing one's own path, not chasing after the dreams of others.
    ~Chin-Ning Chu, Chinese-born author, consultant, lecturer

    What great changes have not been ambitious?
    ~Melinda Gates, American philanthropist leader in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    Is 2009 your year to step out boldly and start a business-- to pursue your dreams for success-- to lead your family to the prosperity that assures abundance for generations to come? I invite you to take a deep breath, watch the video at my business site, and submit the form so that I can show you some possibilities that match your dreams. http://positivelyvibrant.me/special.htm
    Come follow me and I'll follow you!

    The Cozy Home Office: Let It Snow

    Tonight I'm all hyped up-- it's cold and icy outside, but in my heart it's summertime! I just took one of my team through a simulated 'initial contact' with her training buddy. Shannon (not her real name)is in her early 20s. She is newly married and decided to take some time out from the pretty bleak job market to think about a business instead.

    Her young husband came home with a newspaper from the nearby larger center. He had found an ad that he thought she would be interested in checking out. She was.

    She went in to my website at Positively Vibrant.me and watched the video there (you can too-- click here). She watched it a couple of times, because, frankly, it just seemed too good to be true... work at home, choose when you work, where you work, and who you work with; choose how much you work and have an excellent escalating income within the year-- Shannon figured there was probably a hitch of some sort.

    She had answered a few such type ads on the Internet and they had either not gotten back to her or had phoned incessantly with high-pressure tactics meant to extract large sums from the young couple in exchange for outrageous instant fortunes. Shannon and her husband both came from rural, hard-working stock... they could spot shysters from a country mile away.

    So, with some skepticism, she read over the testimonials on the site, and toured a cyber classroom where the evaluations of the program would take place. Shannon is a bit of a computer geek. The interactive classroom was really intriguing to her.

    And so she took the next step and filled in the submission form.

    I received it the same day, called her, and made the 'initial contact' call that just a few weeks later-- after having completed the evaluation in the three computerized classrooms-- Shannon made in her very own business.

    I'm excited that in these turbulent times there are amazing business possibilities for all kinds of people who have only dreamed of being entrepreneurs-- early retirees (like myself) and young women like Shannon and everybody in between! Maybe you are looking for an ethical (green) business with an established (52+ years) and highly-esteemed supplier (#1 in the industry). Perhaps you would like to 'evaluate' this business yourself? Just go to the PositivelyVibrant.me website and watch the video and fill out the form there. The three-classroom evaluation is free. 2009 is going to be a fine year to start and build a profitable business.
    Come follow me and I'll follow you!

    Getting Off The Plastic Pills

    Those who follow this blog will know that I am a big promoter of reading 10 pages of a motivational/ inspirational book each day. If I read just 10 pages of one of the classics in the field (say, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill), absorb much of what I read and put even one learning into action, by the end of a year I will have read, absorbed, and acted upon sage advice from 10-12 successful authors. **This information was absorbed and acted upon by reading Jeff Olsen's The Slight Edge.  I have also read more recently that if one reads (and applies what one reads) for an hour a day in an area of great interest or passion, at the end of seven years you will be a recognized expert in your field of interest.

    This morning I finished reading The Automatic Millionaire (Canadian Version) by David Bach. Bach developed a theory called "The Latté Factor"-- the idea is that each of us spends money everyday on something that we could live without, money that can go to work for us if we invest it instead. He also covers a number of other helpful points for building wealth.

    I particularly resonated to his advice around paying down credit card debt.

    In my (former) business I had the opportunity to speak to a number of people-- young and old-- who were often desperately looking for a way to make extra money to pay off their credit card debt. Here are some of the tips that Bach gives:

    (1)Continue to pay yourself first- Every paycheque have an agreed upon percentage of your banked money automatically redirected to a high interest savings fund, RRSP, etc. When you are straddled by credit card debt, Bach suggests that you use 50% of your self-pay to pay down your debt, and invest the other 50%. Once you have paid down your credit cards, you can invest the full 100% percentage.

    (2)Negotiate with the issuing agency/bank to pay lower interest on your credit card principle I didn't know that you could actually do this. Do your homework and find out what the average credit card interest rates are in your country. You can find a chart here that shows you the average Canadian rates, ranging from 10.9% to 18.59% According to Bach, you can ask your bank (and he suggests to speak directly to a 'supervisor' who can actually effect the change) if you can pay half of the average percentage. If they drag their feet, you can state that you will be obtaining another credit card with a better rate. Then do that, but make sure beforehand that the rate is not going to go from bliss over the initial six months to 20% interest in the seventh month.  If you have successfully done this, could you comment below? Thanks!

    (3)Get off the Plastic Pills Bach suggests that if you have escalating credit card debt, that to walk around with that credit card in your wallet is akin to an alcoholic walking around with a bottle of vodka in his briefcase. Cut up the card and look for more appropriate ways to pay for your purchases.

    (4)Have a systematic way of paying off debt on multiple credit cards Bach suggests that you list all of your credit cards and the amount owing and their minimum payment requirements. Then rank them according to the least amount owing to the most owing. Now pay down the cards with the lesser amounts (in order)as quickly as you can (divide how much you owe into expedient sums, such as $4XX/month divided by $8XX owing on my Bay card means that I can pay off my Bay card in two months.) For your other cards, with higher balances, pay them using the minimum monthly payment. When you have paid off each subsequent card (and cut it up?), pay down the next card with a 'smallest balance' as you did the first. In this way, of course, you will soon not have several interest-generating debts, but only one. You will have a real sense of accomplishment. Paying off these suckers is liberating in more ways than one.

    I won't give away all David Bach's great suggestions. You can see where activating even one tip can make a huge difference in the lives of those of us with credit card debt.

    **Thank you to Santa Claus at Flick'r.com for the use of the lovely photo called "Between the Shadows".

    Christmas Letters and Mental Posture...

    Do you get Christmas letters? If you are a recipient of these epistles, you will know that some of the letters are sweet and to the point-- they tell you a little about what the writers have done or gone through over the course of the year. They are written in the writer's own hand and are solicitous of you-- they are old-fashioned letter format-- easy on the "I's". Some are verbose and full of bragging. How you receive either letter will depend largely on
    your 'mental posture'.

    If you are a single (unattached, separated/divorced, widowed) individual, a letter from a married 'friend' or acquaintance that goes on and on about the accomplished children in the family, the cute grandkids, the talented and attentive spouse, and the writer's own satisfying and fulfilling life, might be galling-- unless, of course, you have that great "mental posture".

    If you are a married person whose partner was just laid off and whose kids are going through the throes of adolescent angst and experimentation, you might also need that particular "mental posture" to get you beyond paragraph two.

    The "mental posture" I keep alluding to is nothing more than a combination of kindly detachment, self-confidence, gratitude, and a sense of humour.
    The more you are aware of your thoughts-feelings the more you are detached, and the less you identify, the greater the self-knowledge; and it is this self-knowledge that dissolves ignorance and sorrow. In understanding the self, right thinking comes into being. ~J. Krishnamurthi

    If you are "triggered" by the odd Christmas letter (and who hasn't been?) you will likely be flooded by feelings like jealousy, injustice, anger, and if you are a discerning soul, fear. Indeed, fear is frequently the base/basic feeling that prevents most of us from moving from disturbance to peaceful detachment and acceptance.

    If you feel jealousy, you will need to acquire more love and acceptance in your life. Find a quiet place and think about all of the people you love. Think of all of the people you know love you. Broaden your circle of people you love and wish well to include the letter-writer. Rejoice in their joy. If you are not able to celebrate their good fortune, then work on truly letting go of your bitterness-- you know, let go and let God. This is a good 'quicklist' for anyone who is feeling blinded by jealousy and temporarily unable to feel the goodwill that is their natural 'default':

  • Prayer works. You don't have to look far to find people who can give you testimony of the way prayer has affected their lives... perhaps it is the unrelenting prayer of a believer on their behalf or the intercessory prayer for someone they care about. If you recognize how deleterious this jealousy is in your life and are a praying person, go for it! Ask and you shall receive!
  • Energy Psychology can help. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) developed by Stanford engineer Gary Craig operates on the belief that "blocks to our energy system" (an inability to move forward) can be traced to unresolved emotional issues. You can learn the EFT process through well-made, inexpensive DVDs and pass the same DVDs on to up to 100 others to copy.
  • Continue with your Self-Discovery Work. Keep on with the work you are doing-- attending recovery support groups, practicing your particular discipline, talking to those who assist you on your journey. Do an inventory of the jealousy that is getting in the way of feeling pleasure for and love towards others who are experiencing a happy, positive season in their lives.

  • There are, of course, many other ways to temporarily 'feel better' about the bragging missives. You could get together with your other relatives and do a sharp, brittle, witty take off of the Christmas letter... but when the snide laughter has vaporized, you won't feel particularly positive. You won't have improved your mental posture by deriding someone else.

    Check back in with "kindly detachment". Just what does it mean for you?

    I feel so very blessed to belong to a team in my business who practices "kindly detachment" in our work. As we learn to understand and accept ourselves, we are better able to understand and accept others. This acceptance is what allows me to throw back my shoulders in the sort self-confident gesture that keeps the blessings pouring in. If you want that kind of experience in your business life, take a look at this video and see if this is maybe where you want to put your energies.

    Hanging In There

    When I was a child my parents harped on "anything-worth-doing-is-worth-doing-well" which often resulted in, I'm ashamed to say, not even trying some things, like sports that I wasn't particularly good at or interested in, or Math, which I usually did a full-blown fade on. The idea was to encourage excellence. And that may well have worked for kids who had some understanding of the "process" or who had a natural love of whatever it was, or who had no shame-based fear. But for us little jelly-bellies, it often worked in reverse. We dropped out.

    I love Brian Tracy's take on this old saw: "Anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly at first. Everything is hard before it is easy. A primary reason that people do not realize their full potential is that they try something new, and when it doesn't work perfectly the first time, they quit and go back to their old, lower level of performance. Anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly at first, and is often worth doing poorly several times until you master it." (Focal Point)

    Most of us have heard about the skinny little German who developed himself into a magnificent specimen of musculature (Arnold Schwartzenegger), a movie star, husband to a wife from one of the American aristrocratic families, and now Governor of California. We have also heard the story of Edison and his thousand plus attempts to invent the incandescent light. I am quite sure that you have examples from your family or your community of individuals who have kept on keeping on with a project way past the point where others would have given up, and who have 'proven the point' that anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly until you master it.
    My business is an example of the fruits of perseverence and dream... for those who understand that building a business is not an overnight feat and might take a few years of steadfast focus, planning, and work there are vast rewards that you simply will not find in most traditional business models. There is much to be achieved just through simply 'keeping on keeping on'. And fortunately, the people in the process are largely self-selected so you will have fun on the journey. If you are interested in learning more and joining my team in your own home business, watch the video here and then submit the form for more information. The thorough evaluation is FREE. You will not be bothered by pushy salespeople or asked for upfront fees.

    Sharpen Up Your Focus

    Having trouble really defining what your true goals are? Here are 7 questions that will help you...

  • If you could wave a magic wand and have whatever you wished for in any part of your life, what would it be?
  • If you could design your perfect lifestyle, day in and day out, what would it look like?
  • If you could create your perfect calendar, how would you spend each day, each week, each month, and each year?
  • How would you change your life if you received $1 million cash, tax free, today? What is the first thing you would do?
  • What parts of your work do you enjoy the most and do the best? Where do you excel? What sorts of activities make you the happiest?
  • What would you do, how would you spend your time, if you learned today that you only had six months to live?
  • What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail? If you were absolutely guaranteed success in any one goal, large or small, short term or long term, what would it be?

  • Ask these questions when you need some way to sharpen your focus. They are from Brian Tracy's book, Focal Point:A Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity and Achieve All Your Goals. (p. 96)
    Learn to operate a mini-office outlet from home. Free on-line training, flexible hours, great income. www.positivelyvibrant.me

    Mo Simple

    In his book, Focal Point, Brian Tracy talks about the big picture in simplifying your life (the Seven Rs, two of which are dealt with in previous blogs as Re-engineering and Re-inventing) and about the everyday process of simplification.

    Here are some excellent tips for simplifying your daily life:

    1- Clean up the clutter on your desk-- use "project boxes" or the like to catch the papers and books as you no longer focus on them. I favour the stationary boxes with lids that you can pick up at Staples, etc.-- If you want to keep your project, just put the lid on and store it, labeled. Whenever possible, don't keep reams of printed materials (recycle what you do have). Keep only one task at a time on the desk in front of you.

    2- Go through your stacks of reading material and recycle (he says 'toss out' but I'm against that). Tracy points out that most materials put aside for filing or storage (see above) are never looked at again by human eyes. Sell what books you can and check out your local Freecycle.com to see if anyone wants what doesn't sell, or donate it to the Salvation Army, hospital book sales, etc.

    3- Try leaving things off and increase breathing space in your life-- don't turn on the TV for a day, take a break from your PC or laptop, turn your phone off. Create periods of silence. You will be amazed at the improvements in your face-to-face relationships when you 'fast' a little from all the external bombardments.

    4- Go through your closets, car, and garage and purge yourself of everything that is out-of-fashion, out-of-date, unnecessary, or irreparable. Tracy suggests that we "break ourselves of the 'pack rat' mentality" of our parents and grandparents.

    5- Practice some form of solitude everyday.

    Want more simplicity in your life? How about a business that can be done almost exclusively with a phone and a computer in your home office? Ditch the lengthy commute and the rigid 9 to 5 workday and create a business AROUND your life, instead of the other way around. Is it possible? HIGHLY! Check it out here.

    Reinventing Me-- Another Step in Simplifying My Life & Business

    Re-invention is not a new concept by any means. I remember reading a while back about Madonna who was described as "re-inventing herself...again." A google scan shows that indeed this has been a headline for Madonna repeatedly.

    Now, what her motives are for re-invention, I am not exactly clear. But if you decide that you want to experience "more" of whatever you truly enjoy (profit? creative energy? time with those you love?) and "less" of what gets in the way of joy (that living-paycheck-to-paycheck cycle? long, tedious trips between your home and your j-o-b?)you will likely want to do a M.E.(mental, emotional)-makeover.

    A M.E.-makeover doesn't have to be complicated, although whatever steps you take to become more optimistic, future-focused, and self-aware will exert a profound effect upon your life.

  • Practice what Brian Tracy calls "zero-based thinking"-- keep your self-talk fresh and youthful-- imagine yourself in a place where you are not shocked by a question like, "If I were to do this over again, knowing what I now know, what would I do differently?"
  • "What would I start doing, and what would I stop doing?"
  • "What will my next really fascinating project be?"
  • "Five years from now, when I look back to this place as a "turning point", what am I turning from and turning into?"

  • Ask yourself these "hard questions" and answer them. If you don't, in Focal Point Brian Tracy warns that someone else may come along and answer them for you.
    I had a long career in private business and as a professional working for
    a provincial government department. If I had had the tiniest encouragement to start a home business I would quite certainly have experienced more of the benefits that I am experiencing now. The blessing is that I don't have to limit myself in this delightful re-creation to the next two years or until I turn X years, or whatever-- this is MY business! You too can have a similar fresh new experience as an entrepreneur and dream-weaver... take a look at the video here and if it seems like something you would like to explore further, don't hesitate to submit the request for a FREE evaluation.

    KISS Tip: Re-engineering Your Biz

    KISS=Keep It Structurally Simple

    Our lives are pretty cumbersome things in 2008. If you are like I am, sitting down at the computer in the morning doesn't mean that you will accomplish more than half of your day's to-do list by nightfall.

    In his book Focal Point, Brian Tracy, billed as "one of the world's most successful... consultants on...professional development," covers what he calls "The Seven Rs of Simplification." In the days to come I will look at each of the steps he talks about, in terms of your business. Today I wish to address what Tracy calls Re-engineering. It is his fifth R but he identifies it as "one of the most powerful practices" for producing "newer, better faster, cheaper, and easier ways" to accomplish tasks and achieve goals.

  • Begin by making a list of all the steps in a particular work or business practice, from the beginning to the end of the process.
  • Set a goal to reduce the number of steps on the list by 30% the first time you use the process after the re-engineering. That means if you begin with 30 steps, then you should be able to shave off 10 steps during the planning process. If you have 10 steps in your process, you should be able to eliminate at least 3 of those steps.
  • Look for ways to bring many tasks together into one task.
  • Instead of assigning several tasks out among several people, use "Job Compression By Responsibility Expansion"-- assign several tasks to just one person to do.
  • Outsource tasks that someone else is 'specializing' in
  • Delegate jobs to free yourself up to do what you want to do, are more effective in doing, and/or just plain enjoy more
  • Eliminate some tasks that just are not necessary or essential to the finished product or service
  • Switch the order you do tasks in to avoid time-wasting bottlenecks
  • Periodically review the whole re-engineered process to look for ways to simplify it further.

  • For some of us, the foregoing will sound awfully arduous, but the fact is that if you take the time to closely examine your process (maybe an extra 10 minutes to an hour in a day), you will find ways to reduce hundreds of hours and dollars from your expenses, while adding exponentially to your bottom line.

    And, of course, you'll have freed up more time for other things you want to do in your life...

    My business is a lovely piece of re-engineering. A very successful family of entrepreneurs took a look at their traditionally-implemented network marketing business and did a thorough honing up of the processes so that instead
    of having to run about the country in a gas-guzzling car, meeting (or not meeting with) prospective clients in their homes or hotel room presentations, the whole business-- from initial contact to training to support to candidate evaluation
    could be carried out with high speed internet connection and a phone. If you are interested in finding out more about this kind of business yourself-- where you DO NOT SPECIALIZE in direct selling-- just go here to watch the video that will give you an excellent overview. If you want to know more after that, simply fill in the form that follows the video, and I will get back to you! Life can be so simple!

    Build Your Own Profit-Producing Website-- YES YOU CAN

    Create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!
    Make your own banner at MyBannerMaker.com!

    I belong to a long line of women of a certain age/lifestage who has built herself a profit-generating website.

    Yes, there are certainly quite a vast number of web site design packages out there-- everything from "build yourself a site for $3/month" to sites that cost $1000s of upfront dollars in the designing and building (by someone else, usually an "expert").
    In general the freebie, cheapcheap sites will either be dropped along the wayside because they just don't provide the instruction required, OR they will cost several hundreds or thousands of dollars to complete because of all the technical "add-ons" required (and then most people in my circle will just hand the whole complex project over to someone "who knows what they're doing-- a nerd.")

    If you want to build a site that shows you how to use keywords and build revenue from Step #1 all the way through to completion, you would be well-advised to go with the most popular site on the internet-- SitebuildIt.

    Now SitebuildIt offers a powerful self-study COURSE in e-business success! And you, SBI's partner-in-sales, has a unique opportunity to present SBI! to your visitors with this in mind.

    And in these tough times, this is a way to build your own money-producing website while offering someone else the opportunity to do the same-- and everything you have to deal with is inclusive, including web hosting, design assistance, piles of training and support and other features you will want to read about in detail!

    Encyclopedia of Self-Help

    A while ago I talked about Jeff Olson's book "The Slight Edge" and how he suggested in there that one way to improve your success quotient was to read 10 - 12 pages of a motivational classic each day, so that in a year you will likely have read, absorbed and acted upon the "success maps" in ten to twelve books by prominent writers in the field.

    David Riklan and his team of researchers at selfhelp.com spent several thousand hours compiling succinct and valuable information about the top-rated self-improvement writers of all time. Do you want to focus on reading the very best of the best self-improvement gurus in 2009? What better place to start?

    With over 400 pages of content, Riklan's Self Improvement: The Top 101 Experts That Help Us Improve Our Lives will be a superb guide in reading your way to success over the coming year-- and years! Click here to read more.

    Are you looking for a home-based business that will actually nurture you
    on your quest for continued self-improvement and not short-cut your journey with deceptive promises
    and false hopes? Click here and watch the video about the business that
    I am charting my dreams by.

    Pressing the Flesh during the Holiday Season...

    eeew. Somehow the idea of 'pressing the flesh' conjures up images of plump, oily men with thin, hairy wrists and fat Mounts of Venus... I actually meant for it to be more of a metaphor for in-person warmth and networking off line.

    This is the sort of networking that is often overlooked by people who vigorously PREFER internet businesses... who do not wish, at any cost, to be percieved as being involved in sales.

    The fact is that there are fortunes to be made through old-fashioned schmooze and cocktail party circuit that happens most often in this particular season. And, actually, if you have forgotten, there is fun to be had at these social events.

    Here are some tips for enjoying the soiree while making a positive impact on your business plan...

    Go through all your biz cards and address lists and send everyone a greeting card with a few personal words in your own hand-writing. This is a BIG job (so start now) but the pay-offs are amazing, both personally and for your business. Enclose your business card. Don't have one? Order cheap and fast from CafePress.

    Do the Circuit...
    Go to the "events" that you are invited to, the formal "networking" events and the informal get-togethers with friends, workmates and lesser-known acquaintances. Eat before you go, take it easy on the drinks-- have two hands free, much easier to circulate and 'press the flesh.' Remember the cards!

    Do Lunch...
    Those people you've promised for yanks to meet? Do it. Pick at least one or two and have tea or dinner together. Leave your card with the tip.

    Be Gracious...
    Truly practice listening more than seeking to be listened to. Seek opportunities to be helpful to others. Enjoy being a friendly, caring, lovely addition to anyone's guest list.

    If you are looking for a business that has a higher-than-average fun and
    sociability quotient built in, take a look at this website.

    Thanks to Elvis Santana who displays his photos of his fabulous, fun disco balls
    at StockXpert at http://sxc.hu See more of his work here.

    Play Success at Work

    “Play is the exultation of the possible.” ~Martin Buber, German-Jewish biblical Translator, Philosopher and Interpreter. 1878-1965

    Thanks to Tim Gulik (whose photo I used in yesterday's blog) for sending over this fascinating video by designer Tim Brown on Creativity and Play. I suggest you take a 1/2 hour break from whatever is consuming you and watch... I can guarantee you will be more open to the joy and abundance that is possibly evading you.

    I really appreciate Brown's synthesis that points out that both play and creativity require trust. Loretta Laroche, the hilarious, self-acclaimed "siren of stress", states in one of her videos (sorry, can't recall which one) that children release tension through laughter up to 400 times a day while on average adults laugh only 15 times a day. I'm thinking that 15 is a pretty high estimate from the adults I know. Whatever the actual numbers, it would seem that adults are much much less trusting than children-- and subsequently less open to the creative forces that are key to ... hmmm.... basic satisfaction in our personal and work lives.

    One of Brown's suggestions for re-instating play into the workplace is to engage in "role play". Having people imagine how an experience will play out, and then acting out the "worst case scenarios" in the safety of a training session, will allow for the relaxation response that humor affords, and the subsequent kick-in of the sort of creativity that displaces fear (of rejection, etc.) and other energy-sucking responses.

    Even though I have the luxury of working from my home I also have the great pleasure of working with a team of ace supporters. We do our role playing during our team calls, and since the majority of our business takes place over the phone, this is a very effective way of simulating our actual initial contacts with clients. From the role plays come understandings of how to "create services and experiences that are seamless and authentic"-- definitely the win-win we are looking for!

    If you think you would like to work with just such a jolly bunch of interactive learners, each in business for ourselves, go to www.positivelyvibrant.me and check out the possibilities.

    **Grateful thanks to kirstentree for the photo labeled "Laughing" stored at Photobucket.com

    Laugh Therapy for the Business Brain

    When you are starting out in a business-- or maybe you've hit a plateau in an other-wise pleasurable journey-- there is a tendancy to take yourself very seriously. For those of us, especially, who are over-responsible by nature (excusing ourselves to the chair if we happen to stub our toe)we are apt to agonize and strategy-ze and anally-retain so that the energy that we really need to devote to driving the biz is dissipated all over the place.

    Times of the greatest creativity for me involve abundant exchanges of encouragement and quite often, frankly, sheer goofy giddiness.

    Remember, you get what you focus on. If you are always honing in on "issues" or "problems", then be prepared for new hatchings of the same. If, however, you have a merry, positive outlook, your mind will be in 'creative mode'-- searching for opportunities to pull in more of that pleasurable sensation that comes with success dreams.

    Richard Carlson writes in Don't Sweat the Small Stuff About Money
    that "...it is far more powerful to be in favor of something positive than to be against something negative-- for peace instead of against violence, for excellence instead of against mediocrity."

    I agree that there is great value in maintaining a sense of humor in the grizzly face of adversity. I am profoundly inspired by Norman Cousins who sustained a quality life through the creative faculties that a positive attitude and a sense of humor provided. Little goof-ups are not worth sabotaging my present equanimity nor my future security over. A good chuckle with a friend-- or even by myself-- is extremely restorative. Have you tried that?

    If you have screwed up lately and are finding it hard to let go of the beating
    you think you deserve, may I refer you to some of the following that might
    kick-start your own very useful (but hopefully temporary) self-deprecating humor--
    the kind that you appreciate for what it is-- a darn good stress-release valve:

    Funny older movies:
    What About Bob?
    Anything with Peter Sellers in it
    Muriel's Wedding
    The "Fletch" movies with Chevy Chase
    "Fawlty Towers" with John Cleese

    Funny Books:

    Books by Erma Bombeck (read a chapter on the bus)
    The The Year of Living Biblically
    by A. J. Jacobs

    Funny, clever blogs:
    Go here to get a long list of possible ROTFL blogs

    The idea is to read and watch just enough of someone else's humor to feel that it is a good idea to generate your own... to laugh at your mistakes and to get on with your business!

    I am thrilled to work with an upbeat group of supporters who regularly dissolve into
    heart-warming, good-natured belly-laughs during our weekly team calls. If this appeals to you, check out my business site at http://positivelyvibrant.me and submit the form so that you can do a free evaluation using our on-line classrooms. For as Henry Ward Beecher stated: "Mirth is God's medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it."

    **Excellent photo of adults laughing courtesy of Tim & Annette who post their work at StockXpert http://sxc.hu

    Best Contact Management Software


    For almost a year now I have been using Oprius web-based contact services to manage my business contacts and tasks. The woman in the youtube review, above, goes a great job of highlighting the advantages of Oprius. I googled and did a quick scan of other like services available and was shocked to see the costs-- usually over $50/month. The cool thing about Oprius is that for the multiple services you receive, you ALSO have the option of offsetting the costs with their affiliate program. You can check out both the Oprius system AND sign up for the affiliate program-- just click here.

    My business works beautifully with the Oprius contact management system. I love the built-in auto-responders and the task reminders and dynamic calendar. I'm also happy with the pop email accounts-- with Oprius I get to use my business email -- customized to match my business site domain-- at no additional cost.

    Develop Wealth Consciousness

    Develop wealth consciousness? That sounds sort of woo-woo, doesn't it?

    The fact is that most of what we read about getting ahead starts by explaining how to learn to let go and let the abundance flow in unimpeded by worries, fretting, massive strategyzing, and the rest.

    It's often referred to as "getting out of your own way".

    As soon as we let go of the worries, we will actually create ways to keep the money flowing in... we will be on the look-out for exciting new opportunities. Our minds will be open to embracing them!

    Trust in God. The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it. Proverbs 10:22

    I love the business I have-- it's really just a front for massive self-improvement and a much more joyful life. If you are looking for a business that provides an increasing wealth and health base and decreasing needless worry, why not check out my business here?

    *thank you to Tomasz Opiela for the lavish photo of the red mountain flowers in Slovakia. Tomasz displays this photo and others at http://www.sxc.hu/profile/topiela

    Gratitude: Expressing and Receiving

    Close your eyes and think back to the last time someone thanked you-- with genuine feeling-- for something that you did for them. It's frequently true that we would have done or said the thing 'gratis' (with grace and no expectation of any gratitude), but please make note of the way you feel when you are thanked. I'm willing to bet that you are more willing to go to bat for someone who expressed their gratitude... more willing to help them the next time the need arises.

    And, if you want to have an abundant and successful life, full of what you desire more of, you will achieve just that by making thanksgiving a habit in your own life. Not just a yearly occurrence (i.e., Canadians in October, Americans in November).

    The people we make our thankful gestures to-- a note, a phone call-- are more likely to respond repeatedly with assistance and good will.

    It's just natural that people love to be acknowledged, admired and thanked. Want to defuse an escalated situation with your teen or your toddler? Look for an opportunity to "catch them being good"-- a chance to express your appreciation, or to provide an observation of what is truly splendid about them.

    The acknowledgement is a reinforcement of the good feeling that comes from doing the 'right thing'.

    I have certainly had people step forward and provide warmth and kindness to me throughout my (increasingly) long life. I try to remember to express my appreciation pretty close on the heels of the kindness-- it makes it less likely that I will forget and miss a sterling opportunity to be part of that wonderful fellowship.

    I am so grateful to be in a business that encourages each of us to enjoy people, to build the positive energy of gratitude into our everyday lives, and to duplicate the joyful qualities of our business leaders. You too might be looking for just such an element in a home business. Go here and watch the movie and submit the form at the site for more information (free). I thank you!

    **Thank you to Sanja Gjenero for the delightful Helping Hands image found stored at www.sxc.hu

    Unconscious Beneficence....

    the following is a Facebook note graciously permitted here by its author, Skip Kanester, who blogs at http://kanester.com

    One morning not too long ago my daughter and I decided to go out to breakfast together. Nothing fancy, two breakfast sandwiches, a coffee and an orange juice.
    Grand total: $55.72
    You would think for that amount of money we went to a pretty snazzy place wouldn’t you?

    Not really. We just went to a local Einstein Brothers bagel shop. But believe me, I enjoyed every bite of my Southwestern Turkey Sausage Panini and every sip of steaming French Roast just as if we were dining on a sun-drenched beach at a 5 star resort on Tahiti.

    Here’s what happened: We left the house and on the way to breakfast I stopped by the bank to get some cash from the ATM. Now do you see where this is going? Uh huh, when I got to Einstein Brothers and started to pay for breakfast I still had no cash. I had driven away from the bank, leaving my $40 in the ATM machine.

    I immediately started some self-talk that went something like, “Oh no! You’re a dork! You just threw $40 away! I can’t believe you just drove off and left your money there!” But as soon as I started that, I changed it (and I was pretty proud of myself I don’t mind telling you). I actually smiled and thought, “Well, hopefully the person who drove up behind me at the ATM machine has a completely different day because of this so we’re going to chalk it up as an unconscious good deed”.

    I don’t put a lot of stock in accidents and mistakes. I believe we attract the things that happen to us and so, I don’t believe it was 'bad luck' that I left that money there.

    * Maybe the person behind me was really broke and that money bought some groceries.

    * Maybe the person behind me didn’t need the money and decided to take their good fortune and pay it forward to someone who did need it.

    * Maybe it was to teach me to really enjoy a meal and some precious time with someone that I love dearly.

    To tell you the truth, I don’t really care. I know it did reinforce that lesson to cherish those small moments with those I love, even if it’s just over a breakfast sandwich. I hope that some other good came from it as well, but if not, it was only $40 and that can be replaced without a lot of effort.

    Bottom line:

    o Money left in ATM: $40

    o Cost of breakfast: $15.72

    o Lessons learned and the feeling from doing an unconscious good deed: Priceless

    Honouring the Refugee Spirit

    For those who know me only as a faceless blogger, I want to state that I spent a good part of my life as a social worker, and all of my life as a member of Canadian society. I have good friends-- "sisters and brothers", surrogate "grandkids"-- who were refugees to our country. I have had the great pleasure to work with the Open Door Society and the (former) Family Support Center in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, assisting in the information and adjustment processes that happen when you are new to a country, and for whatever reason, the country where you were born can't-- or won't-- take you back.

    Because this blog foremost attempts to give testimony to the limitless possibilities that exist when a human being envisions and focuses on their desires and dreams, I am going to glance over a number of 'thumbnails' of the refugee folks I've been inspired by, and enriched to know:

  • In the mid-nineties my friend T-T arrived in the Saskatoon airport in the dead of winter. She was a UN refugee, a member of the Karen language group in Myanmar (Burma) who had fled through the jungles to Thailand, where life was always just barely possible. She spoke only a few words of English, but immediately began attending the local Seventh-day Adventist Church where I was a member. She had many amazing trials in a marriage to a hardened young Burmese (who had insinuated himself into her life on the plane over). She gave birth to three beautiful children. Today she is a single mother and works a couple of jobs so that her kids can have opportunities she didn't have: piano and violin lessons, for example... but most precious of all-- so that her kids are able to attend school beyond the third grade that was her own school career.

  • In the late 90s I knew some lovely Sudanese folks-- through work and church-- and we formed a sort of ad hoc African choir. They were ever so gracious in letting this old woman with no real musical talent sing along with them. One of the families that just delighted me had six tall children-- too many for us to take all of them to the choir practice in my old beater at one time. I was so thrilled to be with the three older kids at a Canada Day park celebration and watch them experience fireworks for the first time. Now one of the boys from that family is finishing up his medical studies, and another of the boys is completing an Engineering degree. They had nothing but the clothes on their backs when they arrived here.

  • I also had the interesting task of working with people from Kosovo in a 'parenting' program, and later as a counselor to a couple of the women who were attempting to make a new life for themselves outside violent relationships.

    I can think of a lot of other refugee peoples as well-- people from the Middle East, war-torn Eritrea, Somalia, and Central America.

    From all of these people I learned lessons: about the importance of hospitality even when you don't have anything but tea in your cupboard; about faith and forebearance; about rising above poverty and grief to provide a place for your children to study so that they can be on the honours list at school. About humility and service: taking janitor and other laboring jobs when in your country of origin you had been a doctor or pastor or University professor.

    And I would like to honour all of the refugees who have established ethical, successful home businesses using their dynamicism, determination, and relationship skills to build wealth for their families. The Freedom Project is one example of a home business opportunity that has been embraced by many enterprising newcomers to our country, immigrants AND refugees. I am proud of be part of this union.
  • The Emotional Advantage in Business

    When I was growing up there was a supposition that to get ahead one had to be intellectually bright and hard-working with a good education and a "good upbringing".

    Studies over the past couple of decades have shown that persons who score high on IQ tests are frequently NOT the most successful in either business or their personal lives.

    And, thus, it will come as no surprise that those who are most successful in the network marketing arena most often have what is described as "high EQ" (emotional intelligence).

    A very simple definition of emotion is simply "movement to core feelings."

    Feelings are the most potent source of human energy, drive, and authenticity.

    Energy, drive, and authenticity are what distinquishes Joe Schmoe from Joan Super.

    Furthermore, it is EQ that really motivates us to find our unique purpose on this planet. That which we passionately set our hearts upon is, ultimately, what we live!

    What we truly DESIRE is what we become. Desire is not a thinking word, but a deep feeling word.

    When we acknowledge and value feelings-- our own and others'-- we become responsive to these same feelings, and apply the energy of these feelings to our work.

    Absolutely everything important that happens to us is charged with feeling!

    So, come to your 'head work' (analysis, strategy, etc.) with your intuition and heart, as well as your head. When you engage your heart first, and then your thoughts, you will zoom through thousands of choices/scenarios to arrive at the best solution in seconds and not hours.

    Network Marketing IS Relationship Marketing. Empathy, intuitiveness, shared passions, recognition, appreciation-- these are all "heart" jobs. These same feelings that were once put down as "soppy", "soft-headed", "girl-y" are now perceived for what they are: the superior gifts.

    Here are some of many books that you might want to take a look at that address Emotional Intelligence and the 'new' brain science that accompanies this area of knowledge:

    A Biblical Perspective of "The Law of Attraction" Part 2

    Here is the next segment of Rich Cavaness's video presentation on the Law of Attraction from a Christian perspective.

    A Biblical Perspective of "The Law of Attraction"

    If you are a Christian, you might be confused by some of the concepts in "The Secret"-- where does God fit in? Rich Cavaness presents here what he sees as the Creator's perspective of 'the Law of Attraction'... what you focus on becomes a reality to you... "By beholding, I am changed".  The Law of Attraction is like any other natural law... it exists whether you believe in it or not.  And God wants you to live a life as the purpose-filled person you were meant to be, so it makes sense that you will want to learn how you can be blessed-- and how you can bless others-- by using the Law of Attraction.

    Some people have been told that "the Law of Attraction" is a "tool of the Devil".  Granted, there is much that is not Godly about the greed and what sounds like 'self-worship' in many of the presentations of the Law of Attraction.  However, God wants to see you thrive, and to know your purpose for being here so that you can fulfill it-- far from being a "tool of the Devil", the Law of Attraction, properly understood and studied for its Biblical principles, will serve you well.  Rich Cavaness helps you to find the Bible principles in these videos.

    As an auditory learner, I feel more able to concentrate on the important information in these "How to Use the Law of Attraction" videos if I just LISTEN to them and not try to integrate the information by watching and listening... you might find the same.  If you hear them a few times, I'm quite sure you will start to see a difference in your ability to 'manifest' positive change

    These videos now appear to be all over the internet, so I have provided direct links as follows:

    How to use the Law of Attraction Part 1 http://goo.gl/jDF1p
    How to use the Law of Attraction Part 2 http://goo.gl/UMgzY
    How to use the Law of Attraction Part 3 http://goo.gl/QWMX1
    How to Use the Law of Attraction Part 4 http://goo.gl/4UWAA
    How to Use the Law of Attraction Part 5 http://goo.gl/lXFD3
    How to Use the Law of Attraction Part 6 http://goo.gl/VAHyL

    Asking the BIG QUESTIONS

    Take a leaf from the life book of a child-- they are asking questions constantly, and as a result, they grow rapidly.

    What happens to us adults? Well, possibly we begin to think we have all the answers. There is great comfort in thinking that. Security. But, as we talked about before, comfort and security are also great stoppers to personal and business growth.

    All growth happens in grappling with the unknown, the mysterious, the untried, the strange...

    And if you ask BIG questions (not just questions like "Why ever did you do that?" or "Just who do you think you are?" and "Has anyone seen where I left my glasses?") you will be drawn into greater and fresher possibilities for your life and future.

    Questions are POWERFUL-- did you know that your mind can not ignore a question?

    Whether you choose to answer the question or not, it will remain there-- provoking new thoughts.

    Answers shut down the dialogue. They stop the need for any further thought.

    Questions open the door to inquiry, which leads to discovery, which leads to new growth.

    A Great Question is:
  • open-ended-- no easy answer-- a really great question keeps you asking it for a lifetime.
  • connective-- it brings you into communication with the world-- any question asked with the genuine spirit of inquiry, or curiosity, will draw in others who have grappled, or are grappling, with similar quests
  • asked in the genuine spirit of inquiry, a question will lead to new knowledge, other questions, new ways of acting, new perspectives, and new confidence.

    For several years I worked with women making transitions from violence to self-determining lives. I recall one woman, who, as she progressed in her journey, became more and more joyfully creative, always bringing to our groups stories of a new art project or something that she had invented to create something else. One day she came in with a huge crochet hook she had fashioned from an old chair leg so that she could do a speedy project with thick wool in an afternoon. We were all in awe. She shared that the question that drove her into all of her life and art experiences was, "How hard can it be?"

    What BIG questions are you asking yourself?

    Big Questions bring more juice and fun into our lives-- we recognize that, "yeah, the old dog can learn new tricks". Big Questions form the basis of all co-operative efforts, and show the way to better performance.

    Most exciting to me is the idea that asking yourself the hard, Big Questions can lead to helping us define our life purpose and give direction to our lives.

    Here are a few suggestions for you to engage your curiosity:
    **Focus on what you DON'T KNOW
    **Find something that takes you into an area you know absolutely nothing about (for me, that would include a lot of technical areas, such as how the combustion engine works)
    **Read, watch documentaries about the 'unknown subject'
    **Go somewhere you've never visited
    **DRIVE somewhere you have never driven
    **Start a conversation with someone you would not ordinarily speak with
    **Start a discussion group about something you know little or nothing about
    **Approach all new subjects with a spirit of genuine inquiry (vs. looking for opportunities to ask questions that you "know the answer to" so that you can convince others of your point of view)
    **Challenge yourself to keep the dialogue going

    Would you ever consider working in a field that you have heard a lot of distain for and discrimination about, but about which you really have little knowledge? Have you ever considered doing a thorough evaluation of a business opportunity-- giving yourself all the time you need to think the offer through before feeling compelled to sign on? When was the last time you seriously, independently, made a decision for yourself? I challenge you to take a look (with a "genuine spirit of inquiry") at the business opportunity I offer at www.positivelyvibrant.me Why not?
    **You want to read a sage little book that expands on the idea of growth using Big Questions? Dan Sullivan has coached the likes of Jack Canfield (the successful "Chicken Soup" entrepreneur-author) and has a succinct brilliance that will give you an entirely new perspective on personal and business growth:
  • Money Can't Buy--

    Money Can't Buy... it's raining and I'm feeling a little cynical... here are some funny quotes that should spark me up...

    Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. ~Christopher Marlowe

    Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable. ~Clare Boothe Luce

    Microsoft should know Money can’t buy love, but raise the anti and friends will jump on board.~Saul Hansell

    Money can't buy love, but it definitely can buy plastic surgery ~anonymous on web forum

    Money can't buy you love, but that's OK, because money's better anyway ~Nadine Coyle

    Money can't buy happiness, but it can rent it for a long, long time. ~Garfield, the Cat

    Money can't buy friends, but you can get a better class of enemy ~Spike Milligan

    Money will buy a pretty good dog, but not the wag of his tail. ~Josh Billings

    There are many things that money can't buy, but it's very funny -
    Have you ever tried to buy them without money? ~Ogden Nash

    I was not a classic mother. But my kids were never palmed off to boarding school. So, I didn't bake cookies. You can buy cookies, but you can't buy love. ~Raquel Welch

    It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy. ~George Horace Lorimer

    There's only two things that money can't buy, and that's true love and homegrown tomatoes. ~Guy Clark

    "My Lady"...had yet to learn that money cannot buy refinement of nature, that rank does not always confer nobility, and that true breeding makes itself felt in spite of drawbacks. ~Louisa May Alcott

    Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself a slave to it.~Benjamin Franklin

    You aren't wealthy until you have something money can't buy. ~Garth Brooks

    Healing Music Comfort Break to Offset Fear

    As mentioned in the blog on building confidence, fear often impels great growth if it is harnessed... I am speaking of fears like the fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of what others might think of you, etc.

    To Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway (r)
    will likely require some 'comfort breaks' as Dan Sullivan calls the necessary rest stops to offset the stress of the fear that you are using to grow.

    Remember, the comfort breaks are just brief interludes and not meant to break the wonderful momentum you are establishing as you grow beyond your fears and bugaboos.

    Here is a lovely exercise that you might want to use to take a little interior holiday from stress... from The Mozart Effect: Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind, and Unlock the Creative Spirit by Don Campbell. Read the following first and then do the exercise.

    1. Give yourself a relaxed afternoon or evening to explore some music. A suggestion from online is this youtube selection of Faure's Pavane or any preferred classical string pieces (online or off) of about 6 to 10 minutes in length. (For the first exercise, swivel around facing away from the video portion of the Pavane, not to be tempted to have it translate the music for you).

    2. Dim the lights. Have a notepad and pen close at hand. Stretch out comfortably on a couch or just close your eyes and slouch back comfy in your computer chair (if that's possible).

    3. Close your eyes. Don't give your mind any directions-- just listen to the music.

    4. After the piece is complete, take your notepad up and record how you felt when the piece began (no right or wrong answers here, by the way). How did your body feel as the music progressed? Did any images enter your mind? Did you feel any emotions? Did particular events in your life flash into your head? Did you 'space out'?

    5. Now, turn the lights back up, sit more upright in a comfortable chair, and gaze at a spot on the wall in front of you while you play the piece again. Keep your eyes glued to the spot on the wall throughout.

    6. When the music ends, write down your experiences this time. How was it different from the first go-round? What was most interesting for you in sitting with your eyes wide open? What feelings can you identify?

    7. Now play the music for a third time. If you chose an orchestral piece (such as the Pavane), stand. If you chose a piano piece, sit on the edge of a straight chair. As the music begins, see yourself as either the soloist or the conductor of the piece. Conduct (orchestral, standing) or play (piano, solo, sitting) with feeling, skill, and whatever interpretation you want to bring to it (but don't ham it up). You may close your eyes or keep them open. Move your body and arms intuitively.

    8. Write down your impressions when the music ends. Did you learn anything new about the music this time? Did you learn anything you didn't know about the instrument you were "playing"?

    9. Close your eyes and become aware of your body for a few minutes. Are there differences from now and from when you started the exercise? Any changes in breathing, heartbeat, temperature? How about your mood? Brighter? Sadder? Are you more relaxed?

    Notice how light, posture and other variables subtly affect your listening as well.

    Now that you have had your Comfort Break, take another small action to step outside of your comfort zone!

    Have you watched the movie that goes along with my great 'green' business? Go here to do that now!

    Growth=Purpose vs Money

    The thing is-- the bottom line here-- money is not an acceptable goal.


    Money can be useful (very) as a resource to realize greater possibilities but money without purpose is like a frog without a tux-- absolutely without meaning.

    In fact, money can be a real growth-stopper (see all the preceding blogs about how stoppers get in the way of your goals).

    Having purpose (read: meaning, passion, direction) in your life will give you a constant impetus to strive, and the process of striving, of course, leads to all its own little rewarding byproducts of the original goal.

    When you have purpose in your life you will attract the talents and energies of others whose purposes align with yours.

    There are many, many resources and rewards that make up a rich life (not just money).

    Set yourself some "primary directives"-- not exactly a mission statement, but some values that you definitely want in your purpose-driven life. Post those value statements. Live by them. Some examples might be:

    A couple who works together with aligned purposes: "Everything we do has to support our increasing teamwork and intimacy."

    When you choose money over purpose as a goal, you will end up in a situation where you might have money (temporarily) but no purpose. The money will be meaningless. Ask any of the rich and famous about how much happiness their money brings them-- really.

    The same goes for all of the ponzi schemes out there (on the internet too) that offer you the moon, and tomorrow. Think carefully about what your purpose is... it might be something no more complex than "offering a friendly, kind, encouraging and safe presence to children I come across in my life." Some of your values are embedded in your purpose statement. Live this. Look for ways to live it BIG.

    I have a business that offers great opportunities to explore and enhance your own values and purpose while working with an ethical (and fun-loving) community and a 'green' supplier. During the course of building a good-life-sustaining business the possibilities for finding and expanding your life purpose are unlimited! Interested? Go to www.positivelyvibrant.me and watch the flash movie and send in the submission form so I can connect with you for the free, no stress evaluation.

    **You want to read a sage little book that expands on the idea of growth with Purpose? Dan Sullivan has coached the likes of Jack Canfield (the successful "Chicken Soup" entrepreneur-author) and has a succinct brilliance that will give you an entirely new perspective on personal and business growth: