UNLOCK YOUR SELF IMPROVEMENT POWER

When we look at a certain object, a painting for example – we won’t be able to appreciate what’s in it, what is painted and what else goes with it if the painting is just an inch away from our face. But if we try to take it a little further, we’ll have a clearer vision of the whole art work.

We reach a point in our life when we are ready for change and a whole bunch of information that will help us unlock our self improvement power. Until then, something can be staring us right under our nose but we don’t see it. The only time we think of unlocking our self improvement power is when everything got worst. Take the frog principle for example –

Try placing Frog A in a pot of boiling water. What happens? He twerps! He jumps off! Why? Because he is not able to tolerate sudden change in his environment – the water’s temperature. Then try Frog B: place him in a luke warm water, then turn the gas stove on. Wait til the water reaches a certain boiling point. Frog B then thinks “Ooh… it’s a bit warm in here”.

People are like Frog B in general. Today, Anna thinks Carl hates her. Tomorrow, Patrick walks up to her and told her he hates her. Anna stays the same and doesn’t mind her what her friends says. The next day, she learned that Kim and John also abhors her. Anna doesn’t realize at once the importance and the need for self improvement until the entire community hates her.

We learn our lessons when we experience pain. We finally see the warning signs and signals when things get rough and tough. When do we realize that we need to change diets? When none of our jeans and shirts would fit us. When do we stop eating candies and chocolates? When all of our teeth has fallen off. When do we realize that we need to stop smoking? When our lungs have gone bad. When do we pray and ask for help? When we realize that we’re gonna die tomorrow.

The only time most of us ever learn about unlocking our self improvement power is when the whole world is crashing and falling apart. We think and feel this way because it is not easy to change. But change becomes more painful when we ignore it.

Change will happen, like it or hate it. At one point or another, we are all going to experience different turning points in our life – and we are all going to eventually unlock our self improvement power not because the world says so, not because our friends are nagging us, but because we realized its for our own good.

Happy people don’t just accept change, they embrace it. Now, you don’t have to feel a tremendous heat before realizing the need for self improvement. Unlocking your self improvement power means unlocking yourself up in the cage of thought that “its just the way I am”. It is such a poor excuse for people who fear and resist change. Most of us program our minds like computers.

Jen repeatedly tells everyone that she doesn’t have the guts to be around groups of people. She heard her mom, her dad, her sister, her teacher tell the same things about her to other people. Over the years, that is what Jen believes. She believes its her story. And what happens? Every time a great crowd would troop over their house, in school, and in the community – she tends to step back, shy away and lock herself up in a room. Jen didn’t only believed in her story, she lived it.

Jen has to realize that she is not what she is in her story. Instead of having her story post around her face for everyone to remember, she has to have the spirit and show people “I am an important person and I should be treated accordingly!”

Self improvement may not be everybody’s favorite word, but if we look at things in a different point of view, we might have greater chances of enjoying the whole process instead of counting the days until we are fully improved. Three sessions in a week at the gym would result to a healthier life, reading books instead of looking at porns will shape up a more profound knowledge, going out with friends and peers will help you take a step back from work and unwind. And just when you are enjoying the whole process of unlocking your self improvement power, you’ll realize that you’re beginning to take things light and become happy.

Creative Notions

People seem to have the misconception that only a select few are able to unleash a steady flow of creative genius. That is not true at all. The fact is, creativity is very much like a muscle that needs to be exercised in order to consistently give out great results. If you don’t practice harnessing creative thinking, this skill will very much atrophy into inexistence. But keep working and this skill will soon come to you in a snap.

So how do you unleash your creative thinking? Well, the first thing is to become a human leech. No, we’re not talking about just sucking the blood out of every living being available, we’re saying that you should take in as much knowledge and learning you can find. Read everything available — good and bad, and keep your mind open to the infinite possibilities of the universe. The more you know, the more you’ll want to know, and the more your faculty of wonder will be exercised. Prepare to be amazed at little facts that add a bit of color into your life.

Focus on a creative activity everyday. Yes, it’s an effort. Even doodling is a creative activity. Don’t let anything hinder you. Mindlessness may be a creative activity, but for people who are just starting out to unleash a little bit of creative thinking in their lives, it is helpful and encouraging to have concrete evidence, that, “hey, what I’m doing is getting somewhere.” So why don’t you try it. Practice drawing for a couple of minutes each day. Bring out your old camera and start snapping photos like crazy. Keep a journal and make a point to write in it religiously. Another cool idea is to write by describing something with your five senses. Try to avoid vague adjectives like “marvelous,” “amazing,” and “delicious.” Before you know it, you’ll have built yourself a tiny portfolio, and you’ll be amazed at the growth you’ve undertaken after amassing all those works of art. Who knows, you might actually take to liking those things you do everyday. Pretty soon those things will become a part of you and you’ll be addicted to these creative exercises.

Think out of the box — or don’t. Sometimes, constraints are actually a good thing. Limitations discipline you to work within your means. It enables you to be more resourceful. Creative freedom is great, but limitations enforce discipline.

Try something new everyday and let your experiences broaden your perspective. Explore a new district in your neighborhood. Spend an afternoon in a museum to which you’ve never been before. Chat up someone on the bus. Open up to the people around you. As you thrust yourself out of your comfort zone more and more each day, your sense of adventure grows and so does your zest for life. Think about it. When was the last time you did something for the first time? If it’s been a while, I tell you, you’ve been missing out on a whole lot of experiences that could’ve added to your growth, emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually. Why don’t you try bungee jumping today? Not only will you learn, but you will also have plenty of stories to share, enabling you to practice your storytelling skills and making you the life of the party.

Embrace insanity. No, not to the point of practically admitting yourself into the mental ward. As John Russell once said, “Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting.” Exactly! Every creative thought was once deemed insanity by other “normal” people at one time or another. Luckily, that didn’t stop the creative geniuses from standing by them. The thing is, sanity or being normal confines people to think… well, normally. Withink limits. Creativity is essentially breaking through barriers. Yes, this includes the bizzarre and the downright strange. I’m not saying that you yourself should develop a creative personality. That might go haywire. An example of a creative personality would be George Washington, who often rode into battle naked, or James Joyce, who wrote “Dubliners” with beetle juice for an intense fear of ink, or Albert Einstein, who thought his cat was a spy sent by his rival (or in thinking creatively in this case, the term could probably be “archnemesis.”) It’s important that your creativity doesn’t get you detached from the real world completely.

I hope this article has inspired you to start thinking beyond your “limits.” If you follow these steps pretty soon you’ll be living a life full of interesting adventures. Unleashing your creative thinking will bring about a new zest for living life.

Collect and Play: Have Fun With a Toy Hobby

Some adults never seem to grow up. They seem to retain their childlike wonder at the world around them. These are the adults who have started a toy hobby. Kids like to hang around with these adults because they seem more like kids. Sometimes having a child or a grandchild can spark an interest in toys. Be that as it may, a toy hobby will keep a person young at heart.

Many women love dolls and never outgrow them. Some prefer baby dolls, some fashion dolls, and still others go for antique or decorative dolls. Often an interest in dolls will spill over into a craft interest, as the doll lover begins to craft clothing and accessories for favorite dolls. Sometimes the hobbyist becomes skilled at crafting the dolls themselves. Some types of dolls that are often hand-crafted are rag dolls and cloth bodied dolls with ceramic heads. It is not uncommon to find older women who have an entire room of their homes filled with special dolls on display.

Older men, on the other hand, (and sometimes women, too) often like cars and trucks. Antique metal cars are hot collectibles, with some older ones being quite valuable. Matchbox cars have always been loved, but so have the large Tonka dumptruck, road grader, and bulldozer. You can bet the grandkids will want to play with your trucks and cars.

A toy hobby that is extremely popular is collecting Beanie Babies. These small velour animals, made by the Ty company, each have a personality all its own. You can find Beanie Babies in every type of animal you can think of. A similar hobby is collecting teddy bears. There are many Beanie Baby teddy bears, but a teddy bear collector will probably want to branch out to collect other types of bears. In fact, many bear collectors have figurines and other items collected in addition to their teddy bears.

Wooden toys are popular among adults, both to craft and to collect. There is something quaint and pleasant about a child playing with a handcrafted wooden toy. Wooden toys make attractive home accents wherever they get dropped, which is not something you can say about the latest plastic gizmo. People who like country decorating often prefer wooden toys for their kids.

You don’t have to outgrow toys! A toy hobby will keep you young at heart and make you a favorite among the kids in your neighborhood. Whether you collect toys or craft them, a toy hobby is something you can play around with!

Have a Toy Game Hobby Night at Your House!

Build family communication and togetherness by having a weekly toy game hobby night. It is so easy these days to let work, school, and the business of life rule the day, that we can easily lose touch with each other. If we get together one night each week for a toy game hobby night, we can rekindle those family ties.

Those families with small children will probably focus more on the toy aspect of the toy game hobby night. Take the time to get down on the floor and play with those youngsters. Cuddle those dollies and call yourself “grandma” or “grandpa.” Push those trucks around and pretend right along with the kids. If your back can take it, let them take turns riding you like a horse while you crawl around and neigh. Every kid loves that!

On summer evenings, try toy game hobby night in the sand box at the park. Using an old mesh produce bag, collect a variety of suitable sand toys to take along. These toys include various containers, a few wheeled vehicles, toy garden tools, and cast-off kitchen utensils. In the sandbox with your kids, you can create towns with roads, castles, or just about anything.

Modeling dough is also a great activity for toy game hobby night. Collect some small cookie cutters and old jar lids (for pans) and create fancy cookies and desserts – inedible and calorie-free, of course! The kids can turn a large box on it’s side for a counter and place the goodies on display to sell. Of course, you’ll pretend to buy, eat, and enjoy!

Some fun games for family night include card games like Uno, board games like Candy Land or Life, and dominoes. When choosing games to play there are several things to consider. Is Scrabble, for instance, fun for everyone, or does all the spelling and thinking feel like work to some of the players? Does the game take forever to play, so that some players’ attention spans play out? Does the game encourage merciless competition, like Monopoly, leaving losers feeling left out? It’s important for kids to learn how to lose and still have fun. Don’t “throw” the game, intentionally letting them win all the time, but don’t mercilessly beat them every time either. Make it fun. If losing is a problem for some of the kids, check out some of the new cooperative games where everyone is on the same team.

Hobbies are also great to share as a family. Maybe your family would be interested in pursuing musical skills together. Families make great singing groups because their voices match well. If that’s not for you, maybe you’d all enjoy fishing. Square dancing is fun for some families, while others enjoy playing badminton or other active games and sports. The important thing is to have fun together.

Having a toy game hobby night every week will help you stay close to your kids as they grow up. It will keep the bond of love fresh and the lines of communication open. Plan a toy game hobby night this week!