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: