MOTIVATION, THE HEART OF SELF IMPROVEMENT

Pain may sometimes be the reason why people change. Getting flunked grades make us realize that we need to study. Debts remind us of our inability to look for a source of income. Being humiliated gives us the ‘push’ to speak up and fight for ourselves to save our face from the next embarrassments. It may be a bitter experience, a friend’s tragic story, a great movie, or an inspiring book that will help us get up and get just the right amount of motivation we need in order to improve ourselves.

With the countless negativities the world brings about, how do we keep motivated? Try on the tips I prepared from A to Z…

A – Achieve your dreams. Avoid negative people, things and places. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

B – Believe in your self, and in what you can do.

C – Consider things on every angle and aspect. Motivation comes from determination. To be able to understand life, you should feel the sun from both sides.

D – Don’t give up and don’t give in. Thomas Edison failed once, twice, more than thrice before he came up with his invention and perfected the incandescent light bulb. Make motivation as your steering wheel.

E – Enjoy. Work as if you don’t need money. Dance as if nobody’s watching. Love as if you never cried. Learn as if you’ll live forever. Motivation takes place when people are happy.

F – Family and Friends – are life’s greatest ‘F’ treasures. Don’t loose sight of them.

G – Give more than what is enough. Where does motivation and self improvement take place at work? At home? At school? When you exert extra effort in doing things.

H – Hang on to your dreams. They may dangle in there for a moment, but these little stars will be your driving force.

I – Ignore those who try to destroy you. Don’t let other people to get the best of you. Stay out of toxic people – the kind of friends who hates to hear about your success.

J – Just be yourself. The key to success is to be yourself. And the key to failure is to try to please everyone.

K – keep trying no matter how hard life may seem. When a person is motivated, eventually he sees a harsh life finally clearing out, paving the way to self improvement.
L – Learn to love your self. Now isn’t that easy?

M – Make things happen. Motivation is when your dreams are put into work clothes.

N – Never lie, cheat or steal. Always play a fair game.

O – Open your eyes. People should learn the horse attitude and horse sense. They see things in 2 ways – how they want things to be, and how they should be.

P – Practice makes perfect. Practice is about motivation. It lets us learn repertoire and ways on how can we recover from our mistakes.

Q – Quitters never win. And winners never quit. So, choose your fate – are you going to be a quitter? Or a winner?

R – Ready yourself. Motivation is also about preparation. We must hear the little voice within us telling us to get started before others will get on their feet and try to push us around. Remember, it wasn’t raining when Noah build the ark.

S – Stop procrastinating.

T – Take control of your life. Discipline or self control jives synonymously with motivation. Both are key factors in self improvement.

U – Understand others. If you know very well how to talk, you should also learn how to listen. Yearn to understand first, and to be understood the second.

V – Visualize it. Motivation without vision is like a boat on a dry land.

W – Want it more than anything. Dreaming means believing. And to believe is something that is rooted out from the roots of motivation and self improvement.

X – X Factor is what will make you different from the others. When you are motivated, you tend to put on “extras” on your life like extra time for family, extra help at work, extra care for friends, and so on.

Y – You are unique. No one in this world looks, acts, or talks like you. Value your life and existence, because you’re just going to spend it once.

Z – Zero in on your dreams and go for it!!!

Do Yoda Proud: Meditation 101

Meditation refers to a state where your body and mind are consciously relaxed and focused. Practitioners of this art report increased awareness, focus, and concentration, as well as a more positive outlook in life.

Meditation is most commonly associated with monks, mystics and other spiritual disciplines. However, you don’t have to be a monk or mystic to enjoy its benefits. And you don’t even have to be in a special place to practice it. You could even try it in your own living room!

Although there are many different approaches to meditation, the fundamental principles remain the same. The most important among these principles is that of removing obstructive, negative, and wandering thoughts and fantasies, and calming the mind with a deep sense of focus. This clears the mind of debris and prepares it for a higher quality of activity.

The negative thoughts you have – those of noisy neighbors, bossy officemates, that parking ticket you got, and unwanted spam– are said to contribute to the ‘polluting’ of the mind, and shutting them out is allows for the ‘cleansing’ of the mind so that it may focus on deeper, more meaningful thoughts.

Some practitioners even shut out all sensory input – no sights, no sounds, and nothing to touch – and try to detach themselves from the commotion around them. You may now focus on a deep, profound thought if this is your goal. It may seem deafening at first, since we are all too accustomed to constantly hearing and seeing things, but as you continue this exercise you will find yourself becoming more aware of everything around you.

If you find the meditating positions you see on television threatening – those with impossibly arched backs, and painful-looking contortions – you need not worry. The principle here is to be in a comfortable position conducive to concentration. This may be while sitting cross-legged, standing, lying down, and even walking.

If the position allows you to relax and focus, then that would be a good starting point. While sitting or standing, the back should be straight, but not tense or tight. In other positions, the only no-no is slouching and falling asleep.

Loose, comfortable clothes help a lot in the process since tight fitting clothes have a tendency to choke you up and make you feel tense.

The place you perform meditation should have a soothing atmosphere. It may be in your living room, or bedroom, or any place that you feel comfortable in. You might want an exercise mat if you plan to take on the more challenging positions (if you feel more focused doing so, and if the contortionist in you is screaming for release). You may want to have the place arranged so that it is soothing to your senses.

Silence helps most people relax and meditate, so you may want a quiet, isolated area far from the ringing of the phone or the humming of the washing machine. Pleasing scents also help in that regard, so stocking up on aromatic candles isn’t such a bad idea either.

The monks you see on television making those monotonous sounds are actually performing their mantra. This, in simple terms, is a short creed, a simple sound which, for these practitioners, holds a mystic value.

You do not need to perform such; however, it would pay to note that focusing on repeated actions such as breathing, and humming help the practitioner enter a higher state of consciousness.

The principle here is focus. You could also try focusing on a certain object or thought, or even, while keeping your eyes open, focus on a single sight.

One sample routine would be to – while in a meditative state – silently name every part of you body and focusing your consciousness on that part. While doing this you should be aware of any tension on any part of your body. Mentally visualize releasing this tension. It works wonders.

In all, meditation is a relatively risk-free practice and its benefits are well worth the effort (or non-effort – remember we’re relaxing).

Studies have shown that meditation does bring about beneficial physiologic effects to the body. And there has been a growing consensus in the medical community to further study the effects of such. So in the near future, who knows, that mystical, esoteric thing we call meditation might become a science itself!

How to Become an Ideal Leader

When you are at work, do you get frustrated because things don’t seem to be happening the way they’re supposed to be? You see people milling around but nothing gets accomplished. And in the daily hustle and bustle, do you feel that your goals remain just that – goals. Then maybe its time for you to stand up and do something about it.

Most people are content just to stand around listening for orders. And it isn’t unusual to adopt a follow-the-leader mentality. But maybe, somewhere inside of you, you feel the desire to make things happen – to be the head, not the tail. Then maybe leadership just suits you fine.

Some people believe that great leaders are made, not born. Yes, it may be true that some people are born with natural talents. However, without practice, without drive, without enthusiasm, and without experience, there can be no true development in leadership.

You must also remember that good leaders are continually working and studying to improve their natural skills. This takes a commitment to constantly improve in whatever endeavor a person chooses.

First of all, let’s define leadership. To be a leader, one must be able to influence others to accomplish a goal, or an objective. He contributes to the organization and cohesion of a group.

Contrary to what most people believe, leadership is not about power. It is not about harassing people or driving them using fear. It is about encouraging others towards the goal of the organization. It is putting everyone on the same page and helping them see the big picture of the organization. You must be a leader not a boss.

First of all, you have to get people to follow you. How is this accomplished?

People follow others when they see a clear sense of purpose. People will only follow you if they see that you know where you are going. Remember that bumper sticker? The one that says, don’t follow me, I’m lost too? The same holds true for leadership. If you yourself do not know where you’re headed to, chances are people will not follow you at all.

You yourself must know the vision of the organization. Having a clear sense of hierarchy, knowing who the bosses are, who to talk to, the organization’s goals and objectives, and how the organization works is the only way to show others you know what you are doing.

Being a leader is not about what you make others do. It’s about who you are, what you know, and what you do. You are a reflection of what you’re subordinates must be.

Studies have shown that one other bases of good leadership is the trust and confidence your subordinates have of you. If they trust you they will go through hell and high water for you and for the organization.

Trust and confidence is built on good relationships, trustworthiness, and high ethics.

The way you deal with your people, and the relationships you build will lay the foundation for the strength of your group. The stronger your relationship, the stronger their trust and confidence is in your capabilities.

Once you have their trust and confidence, you may now proceed to communicate the goals and objectives you are to undertake.

Communication is a very important key to good leadership. Without this you can not be a good leader. The knowledge and technical expertise you have must be clearly imparted to other people.

Also, you can not be a good leader and unless you have good judgment. You must be able to assess situations, weigh the pros and cons of any decision, and actively seek out a solution.

It is this judgment that your subordinates will come to rely upon. Therefore, good decision-making is vital to the success of your organization.

Leaders are not do-it-all heroes. You should not claim to know everything, and you should not rely upon your skills alone.

You should recognize and take advantage of the skills and talents your subordinates have. Only when you come to this realization will you be able to work as one cohesive unit.

Remember being a leader takes a good deal of work and time. It is not learned overnight. Remember, also, that it is not about just you. It is about you and the people around you.

So, do you have the drive and the desire to serve required of leaders? Do you have the desire to work cooperatively with other people? Then start now. Take your stand and be leader today.

A Wealth of Kid Hobby Ideas

Every young person needs a hobby. An interesting kid hobby will help children learn as well as keep them entertained for hours. It might even help them stay away from a bad peer group and stay out of trouble. Some kids might think of video games or TV as an appropriate kid hobby, but most parents would like to see their kids doing something more challenging or educational.

A good kid hobby is playing a musical instrument. The guitar can often be self-taught from a book if a child has the interest, but for piano playing or other instruments, you will probably have to invest in lessons. Practice is, of course, an essential part of mastering any musical instrument.

Another type of kid hobby is pursuing an art or a craft. Kids can learn to draw, paint, or make scrapbook pages. They can learn needle arts, such as embroidery, sewing, knitting or crocheting. Beginning carpentry is a very useful kid hobby that may turn into a career, or at least skills that will be used for a lifetime.
Tinkering around on gas engines or electronics is another kid hobby that can lead to useful skills.

There are all sorts of things that kids might like to collect for a hobby. Some of the more common collections are of stamps, coins, and rocks. Stamps are interesting because they can be from many different countries, becoming a geography lesson. Coins and stamps both are of historical significance, and encourage reading to learn more about different eras in history. Rock collecting as a kid hobby requires looking into science books.

Other collectibles include bean bag toys or figurines of a certain thing, such as owls, frogs, or unicorns. Anything a child has an interest in can be collected. If a kid is interested in dolphins, for instance, she may not only collect dolphin figurines and posters, but also be motivated to read books about dolphins.

Construction sets also make a good pastime for kids. Many people may think of these only as toys, but children who have grown up with these sets and added components to them down through the years can create some pretty impressive models. They are also gaining skills in reasoning and perception as they build.

Making model, such as cars, boats, and airplanes, has always been a popular kid hobby. If your child is interested in making models, be very encouraging in the beginning. Model car kits can be very complicated and require a great deal of precision. If your child’s first few creations leave a little bit to be desired, don’t laugh or scold, or he is likely to never want to try to make anything again! Get the easiest kit he is willing to make and then patiently help him as much as needed.

Many kids enjoy sports, making any athletic activity a great kid hobby. Soccer, basketball, and little league baseball all come to mind, but don’t forget about track and field events. Maybe your child would enjoy distance running or gymnastics. An active kid hobby will help your child stay in shape as well as make an interesting pastime.

Bust Boredom with Kid Crafts

Have you ever heard those familiar words, “I’m bored,” coming from the mouth of your child? If so, then kid crafts are the answer. Provide the kids with craft materials and boredom will be a thing of the past. Read on for ideas about kid crafts.

Kid crafts essential materials include paper, crayons, safe scissors, and glue. Paper for kid crafts can include construction paper, plain typing paper, cardstock of various colors, and many other options. Even junk mail and old magazines can make interesting art projects. Crayons are nice for younger children, but the stores are now filled with other options, such as washable dry-erase markers, watercolor pencils, and gel pens. Kid crafts supplies can run into money, but even on a budget there are many possibilities.

Other materials kids can craft with include recycled junk and found objects. By recycled junk, I’m referring to empty cereal boxes, toothpaste boxes, cardboard from packaging, plastic containers, and even tin cans. If you let kids craft with tin cans, however, you need to make sure the open edge of the can doesn’t have any sharp edges. Simply file these off or squeeze them flat with a pair of pliers.

Found objects include leaves, twigs, rocks, snakeskins, and other natural item a child might find. Perhaps there is a sheep farm nearby. If so, wool scraps can often be found stuck to the barbed wire fences. Any or all of these items can be used in kid crafts.

One of the most fun and popular kid crafts is making a collage. Kids can glue anything down when making a collage. Use heavy paper for the background, and then let the creativity begin! For an extra challenge, a collage can be built around a theme, like food, animals, or babies. Old magazines can be searched for just the right pictures, which can be cut out and glued to the background. The older child might wish to cut out details from magazine pictures and reassemble them in new and interesting ways. They might cut out interesting words and headlines and add them as well.

Younger kid crafts can include collages made of glued down pasta, beans, popsicle sticks, leaves, and many other materials. Don’t forget about glitter, too. If the budget allows only a few kid crafts splurges, remember that kids of all ages, particularly girls, really enjoy crafting artwork that includes glitter. But whether your kids are boys or girls, young or older, suggest some kid crafts the next time your kids are bored!