Thursday, June 16, 2011

9 Ultimate Self Improvement Lessons Anyone Can Learn from the Bible

By Anastasiya Goers
christian growthHere is a question for you. What does Christianity have to do with the popular and constantly growing industry of Self Improvement? Don’t be afraid, it’s not some religious fanatic post that is supposed to make you repent your sins and go into exile. We are all intelligent and smart people who are looking for ways to grow in life, to develop in a balanced and harmonious way.
So what does the Bible have to do with self improvement (and balance for that matter)? The Bible really is the ultimate guide towards personal growth. I confess, I am very partial towards this topic because I am a Christian (even though I haven’t always been one.) But even if you do not share my beliefs open up your brilliant mind to the new concepts that I am about to reveal here. If you love life balance articles and tips that I give on this blog please stick around to see what is really inside my mind and soul. Because faith is really the base of life balance in my life.
Personal development field and the Christian religion seem to be living in two completely different worlds. But in reality they have much more in common than any of us could ever imagine. Here is the ultimate 9-step self improvement guide that will help you achieve the peace, balance and happiness that you are looking for.

1. Find your mentors

You need to have good teachers to grow in life. Learning from these teachers expands your knowledge, opens up your mind to new possibilities and lets you avoid painful mistakes (at least some of them.)
I will instruct you and in teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel and watch over you.
Ps. 32:8
The Holy Bible is the ultimate guidebook for self improvement, sometimes we just need to put a little more effort into understanding the lessons written in it.

2. Develop positive thinking

I often hear about people saying that they are afraid that bad things will happen to them. They think that they do not deserve good life. They are always expecting a problem jumping at them from right around the corner.
The thing about this people is that most frequently bad things do happen to them. Various problems do arise in front of them. And their life turns into a negative snowball.
Negative attitude never does anything good for you. If it’s difficult for you to believe that you do deserve only great things in life then you should listen to this:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future.”
Jer 29:11
I have no reason for negative thinking in my life, do you?

3. Harness the power of affirmations

If you are at all interested in self improvement then you probably heard at least 10 times about affirmations. Some people swear by them and put a lot of effort into creating their personal affirmations (mantras) that they use for different situations in their lives. They work, what else can I say?
However, instead of creating some random phrase you can memorize Bible verses and use them as your personal affirmations. You will train your brain, find your emotional balance and grow spiritually at the same time.
To get you started download this desktop wallpaper that will help you learn 9 Bible verses that I love the most.
1280×800 I 1024×768 I 1680×1050

4. Take care of your body

Self improvement tends to relate more towards mental and emotional development. But how can we say that we are “self improving” if we continue living with bad habits, neglect our bodies and destroy our health day after day?
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
1 Cor. 6:19-20

5. Journal for your mental and emotional health

Journaling is a powerful way to combat stress in life, get through tough periods and clear your mind in general. Sometimes it is difficult to start this exercise because you might not know what to write about.
You can start journaling down your prayers. Why not? A prayer is your dialogue with God, it is the ultimate expression of your feelings, emotions and troubles. Write it down, be grateful for what you have, ask for support and help in your troubles, open your heart no matter how big or small your request might be.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Phil 4:6

6. Simplify your life

The life of material riches and possessions is empty. The joy that we get from new purchases doesn’t last but a few minutes (okay, maybe a few days at the most.) Things that clutter our houses create the same clutter in our mind. They leave no space for spirituality, for genuine emotions and priceless memories. Simplifying is the only way to true life balance: financially, emotionally, and physically.
Whoever loves money never has money enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.
Ecc 5:10
Do you have any doubts about that?

7. Live your life with passion

Isn’t it the new American dream to make money with your passion? There is a guide, book or course on every corner that promises to turn your passion into a fountain of wealth. I believe that a lot of people unrightfully cash in on the passion thing and very few actually give any worthwhile advice (one exception is Discover Your Passion Guide by Barrie Davenport). But that’s a topic for a totally different post.
It is a real gift in life if you can enjoy your occupation, if you can put all your passion into your work. And it is possible. With faith and a lot of work of course :-)
It is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun [...] Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work – this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.
Ecc 5:18-19

8. Persevere and work towards your goals

How easy is it to give up in life? Very easy. However, you cannot grow if you do not persevere or if you do not work towards your goals.
Sometimes it’s very difficult to continue: some obstacles may get in our way, our motivation dwindles and projects look enormous and overwhelming. Of course you can give up and choose a different path, you can lose sight of your dreams, you can settle for something ordinary and safe. This is not life though; it is running away from life.
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Phil 3:14

9. Develop your spirituality

Each one of us can have their own definition of spirituality. While spirituality is a key element of any religion it is still possible to develop it apart from religious beliefs (it’s not my way, but it is still a way.) Spirituality and strong beliefs give you a sense of purpose in this world; they help you fight your fears and work in line with your passion; they help you discover who you are and grow towards who you want to be. Spirituality gives you the core belief that you can always go back to and find your strength in it.
But seek first his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matt 6:33
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Phil 4:13
If you are interested in growing as a person, improving your life and achieving your life balance then you need to pick your self improvement path. The steps that you have just read are universal but only you can decide what will be the purpose of your life … what will be the deep core belief that will be pushing you forward no matter how good or how bad you are feeling.
My life has become everything I always wanted (and much-much more) after I turned my life to God. It was a simple step that changed everything forever. Each of the steps that I described above helped me grow, overcome difficulties and find strength when I needed it. Even inspiration for this post was an answer to my prayer.
But this is just my life; you have to make your decisions and choose your path.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The No.1 And Only Way To Express Yourself

Written by John 

Some people are alive.
They bristle energy and enthusiasm and glow vitality and self-confidence.
Their personality is bright and spirited and you can almost feel the sheer happiness flowing through their veins and pumping out all over the place.
How do they do it?
How are they able to project such a positive persona?
How come they can express themselves so naturally and effortlessly?
One secret and one secret only!

They live from the heart.

They put their heart 100% fully into all they do from work to relationships, their community to all their interactions with others. They don’t hold back, they open up, never withholding their warm caring feelings and pure love of life and people.
They don’t want, they give.
In return they attract good will and affection in bucket loads which further feeds their appreciation of all that’s special about being alive.
It’s the way to go and to be.
I bet you know someone like that. A cheery popular relaxed soul.
Join them and come alive.
Express yourself from the heart.

Tips for Teaching Mindfulness to Kids

By Megan Cowa

How can we build the quality of mindfulness in our children, our classrooms, and our schools?
The Oakland-based Mindful Schools program, of which I am a co-founder and co-director, teaches children in public and private elementary, middle, and high schools how to be more mindful of their thoughts and actions. As of the fall of 2009, Mindful Schools had brought our five-week in-class mindfulness training to over 7,000 children in 26 schools, 22 of which serve low-income children. The program is secular, extremely cost-effective, and uses short, interactive exercises that are tailored for children. Both quantitative and qualitative responses from teachers, principals, and students have indicated that our program greatly improves the classroom and the overall school environment.
Here are some guidelines that Mindful Schools has created for educators who want to incorporate mindfulness into the school day, or for anyone who wants to teach mindfulness to children, based on our experiences with Mindful Schools.
Children participating in the Mindful Schools program.Children participating in the Mindful Schools program.Mindful Schools
Purpose. Because this is a tool that students can utilize throughout their life, it is important that the connotation of “mindfulness” remains accurate. Mindfulness, when applied appropriately, includes the qualities of awareness (paying attention to one’s experience through the senses and the mind); of non-judgment (not labeling things “good” or “bad” but rather observing with a neutral attitude); and of stillness in heart and mind (though the body may be moving). Although it may be tempting to use mindfulness as a disciplinary tool, mindfulness should not be used to demand a certain behavior. It inherently includes the quality of acceptance.
Have your own mindfulness practice. This will make you more effective at teaching mindfulness. We can only offer what we have developed ourselves.
Choose a time for mindfulness. We are creatures of habit! Try to always practice mindfulness at the same time. Many teachers find mindfulness helps their class settle down after recess or after lunch. Of course, you may do it more than once a day.
Create the environment. Make it clear that mindfulness is a special time: clear off desks, perhaps move to the carpet, or have all chairs face the front of the room. Ask students not to take bathroom breaks and refrain from talking and moving for a little while.
Get the students involved. The best way to make sure you remember to do mindfulness is to enlist the help of your students. Create a rotation schedule for “who gets to ring the mindfulness bell.” If you practice mindfulness at the same time every day, pretty soon you won’t have to remember—whoever’s turn it is will remind you!
You share. Because children respond well when we relay our own experiences, you can share with the students if, how, and when you are using mindfulness in your life. If you share a recent story of when you were overcome with emotion or used mindfulness to help you deal with an emotion, they can hear how it is applied.
They share. Many young students like to share what they’ve noticed or experienced during mindfulness, or maybe something that was challenging or distracting. Sharing also allows others to be aware of things to notice while practicing mindfulness that they may not have heard otherwise.
Practice every day! The sooner you begin integrating mindfulness exercises into your daily classroom routine, even for just a minute at a time, the quicker it will become a part of the classroom culture. 
Use the instructions and script below for a daily mindfulness lesson; it can be done in just one or two minutes. If you like, you can get more creative and add more in-depth lessons, or practice for longer periods. You can do the same thing every day. A simple lesson to repeat daily is one minute of mindful listening and one minute of mindful breathing.
1. “Please get into your ‘mindful bodies’—still and quiet, sitting upright, eyes closed.”
2. “Now place all your attention on the sound you are about to hear. Listen until the sound is completely gone.”
3. Ring a “mindfulness bell,” or have a student ring the bell. Use a bell with a sustained sound or a rainstick to encourage mindful listening.
4. “Please raise your hand when you can no longer hear the sound.”
5. When most or all have raised their hands, you can say, “Now slowly, mindfully, move your hand to your stomach or chest, and just feel your breathing.”
6. You can help students stay focused during the breathing with reminders like, “Just breathing in … just breathing out …”
7. Ring the bell to end.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Personal Tales - Writing Your Story

We all have a story to tell whether we publish it or keep it for just ourselves or family; allow yourself to be heard.

Everyone, at one time or another, has wanted to express his or her story. Writing a memoir to read privately, share with family or friends, or publish is an emotionally satisfying way to gain perspective on your experiences while sharing your unique voice. We’ve all experienced feelings and events in our lives that we are longing to write down. Giving in to that urge can give you an outlet for purging any frustration, anxiety, or long-dormant feelings. No one else has to read it. You may even want to write your story without reading it right away. Satisfying the need to tell your story is not predicated upon your writing ability. It does, however take effort to write down the truth in detail. Your memories, captured on paper as descriptive scenes, sights, sounds, and scents, may at first seem disconnected or incomplete. But rest assured that you possess the ability to shape your recollections into stories.

Everyone wants to be heard. Reading your story to others can meet that need. Writing your story can also help you understand your life experiences. And when you finish writing, you may be surprised at what you have accomplished. Your story can encompass as much or as little of your life as you prefer. You may surprise yourself with new insights, or you may find yourself exploring your roots, your identity, and your future through your words. Allow your writing to guide you and write as truthfully as possible. Don’t worry about what others will think of your personal journey, your style of writing, or your words.

Research has shown that writing a personal narrative filled with feelings and perceptions can create long-term health benefits. As you write, remember to have compassion for yourself, particularly when writing about traumatic events. If you are a young person, you can add to your life story as you grow older. Your writing may help family members know you better, or they may understand themselves more through reading about your experiences. More importantly, you are expressing yourself in a permanent way, giving a gift to yourself, and letting your voice be heard.

From Daily OM

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Making Your Vision A Reality

by Bahram R. Shahmardaan, PhD

To succeed in any endeavor, we all need to practice the following three Principles. We need to develop:
· Humility to Receive.
· Discipline to achieve and
· Commitment to fulfill.

So that you may be able receive what we are sharing, you need to listen with an open mind.

The first thing we would like to share is the importance of control. In any dynamic situation you can either have control over the events and direct them or have no control and end up being frustrated and face disaster.

A simple example will illustrate the point. A parked car is not dynamic. It is static. In a static situation nothing changes. The moment that car begins to move, it becomes dynamic and there is constant change. So let us say that the car is going at 25 miles an hour and the brakes fail AND THE STEERING WHEEL GETS LOCKED. You would not feel safe in that car because it is a dynamic situation out of control. It is chaotic. However, if that car were in good condition, you would not mind being in that car even if it were speeding at 60 miles an hour because it is a dynamic situation you can control.

So in any dynamic situation, there are only two possibilities. Either you can control it and therefore direct it and make it grow or you have no control over it and you experience chaos and disaster. There is no third possibility.

I submit to you that Life and Business are dynamic. There are only two possibilities. Either you can control it and make it work for you and succeed or you will have no control and experience frustration and failure. There is no third possibility.

Now all of us want to succeed.

To have control over your business and succeed, the very first thing that you need to do is to equip yourself for success. There is an old saying, "You cannot do business from an empty wagon". You cannot succeed if you do not have the appropriate sales tools and the products. You should dress for success.

The next thing you need to do is to develop your own vision and a work ethic that will help you to develop the results you seek. To do so, you must learn to implement the seven essentials of a Vision. Wishful thinking or day dreaming does not constitute a Vision. You must write down your vision and a Plan of Action that will enable you to make your Vision a Reality.

A vision starts with Imagination. Imagine yourself to be the person you want to become. If you cannot imagine yourself as being what you wish to be, then you will never be able to become what you desire for yourself. So imagine that you can be what you want to achieve and have faith that you can make your dreams come true.

Awareness. Identify your shortcomings and embark on a program to develop yourself. If you need help with this contact the person who sponsored you or someone in your upline.

Responsibility: Take control of your life and help yourself grow.

Objective. Have a definite goal you wish to reach as part of your vision i.e. the number of people you want to sponsor within the first month of becoming a Network Marketer and each month thereafter. Have a monthly goal and then a goal for six months and then one year.
You should also review and if necessary revise your objectives every six months with the help of your sponsor.

Plan of Action: The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. But you will not reach your destination if you miss any of the steps along the way. If you do, you may have to retrace your steps. So identify what you must do each day to reach the goals each week. If you do these daily activities, this will help you to reach your weekly targets. If you reach your weekly targets you will certainly reach your monthly goals. Your daily/weekly activity should include self-help programs such as listening to motivational tapes and other self-improvement tapes. You should also have alternative plans and be prepared to make changes as needed.

Sustained effort: Do not become discouraged. Expect obstacles and disappointments. Continue to work with enthusiasm every day to execute the plan you have set in motion. Your enthusiasm will motivate others and help fulfill your Vision and theirs.

Commitment: Resolve to continue to work effectively and diligently till you reach your goal. You do not fail till you quit. And you cannot succeed without commitment.

Wow doesn't that look complicated. I can tell you that it isn't. Each of us is living our vision every day. You are what you are today because of the particular vision you have for yourself and you are fulfilling your vision every day. If the vision you have for yourself is to get up in the morning and get ready for work, then that is exactly what you will experience. You cannot do anything without a Vision.

Most of us are not even conscious that we are fulfilling our Vision for ourselves each and every day. For instance, even in the simple daily tasks that you perform you are unconsciously fulfilling your vision. Our purpose is to help you recognize that you are living your vision and that vision is real. Once seen, this vision gains greater clarity and develops a life of it's own unless you change it. To change your vision, you must understand the Seven Principles that make up a Vision and how to apply them. For example you know that for the past few years, many teams of balloonists have been trying to go non-stop around the world in a balloon. All the teams of balloonists have tried and failed. During the week of Christmas this year, one team almost made it. However, almost does not count. So the teams that have failed have not given up. What is it that makes them keep going in spite of the expensive and life threatening adventure? Is it the million-dollar prize that has been offered to the successful team? Hardly. It is costing most of them much more than million dollars to make the trip. What keeps them going is their Vision. They have not lost sight of their goal. The goal is to circle our world, non-stop in a balloon. To reach their goal, they are implementing all the Seven Principles of a Successful Vision that we discussed earlier namely:

Imagination: The balloonists imagine that they will be able to circle the globe non-stop even though it has never been done before. They would not even begin if they imagined that they could not succeed.

Awareness: They are aware that it is a very daunting and dangerous task.

Responsibility: They are willing to take charge of the task at hand and do not blame anyone for the risk they are taking and the costs involved.

Objective: They have a clearly defined objective i.e. to circle the globe nonstop in a balloon.

Plan of Action: They have a definite Plan of Action.

Sustained effort: They continue to strive inspite of repeated failures.

Commitment: To succeed they know that they have to continue to strive till they accomplish their goal.

NASA to put man on the moon and return him safely to earth also used these Seven Principles of Success. Once you understand how the Seven Principles of Vision operate, you will soon realize that you are in fact implementing these Seven Principles of Vision even when you do the simplest tasks of daily living such as making a cup of coffee or going to the grocery store. For instance, if you imagined and were convinced that your coffee maker was broken, would you even begin to use it to make a pot of coffee. Of course not. Likewise if you imagined that the grocery store was closed, would you even attempt to go there? Of course not. because these are routine activities you do not think of them as being part of your Vision.


If you miss any of the Seven Steps that we have shared, you will not be able to fulfill your vision.

· Vision without Action is merely a dream
· Action without Vision fails due to lack of direction
· Vision with Action can change the world.

To succeed in your business, you need to develop your own Vision.
So before you do anything, the first thing that you need to do is to develop a Vision for your Business and put it in writing. Write it down. It may seem silly but it isn't. Writing down your Vision, forces you to crystallize it. After you have committed your Vision in writing, which includes your daily activity, weekly goals etc. store it in a safe place and refer to it from time to time. You are now ready to take the ACTION necessary to build your Network Marketing business.

I wonder how many of you know who invented the game of Chess. Legend has it that the game of Chess was invented in India by a Hindu Priest. A Hindu Priest is called a Brahmin and like most priests all over the world, he was quite poor. The Brahmin decided to show the game of Chess to his King. The King was very pleased with the game and asked the Brahmin to name his price. The shrewd Brahmin replied, "Your highness, your pleasure is my reward." This pleased the King even more and the King now insisted that the Brahmin must name his price. So the Brahmin told the King, "Since you insist my Lord, all I want is some rice to feed my family." The King asked, "How much rice do you want". The Brahmin pointed to the Board of Chess. On a Chess Board, there are sixty-four squares. So the Brahmin told the King, "All I want you to do Sir is place one grain of rice in the first square, then double it and place two in the second square and then four in the third square and then 8 grains in the fourth square and then go on doubling the grains of rice till you reach the last square. Then if you will give me all the grains of rice that add up in this manner, I will be most grateful".

Without thinking, the King asked, "Is that all"? The Brahmin smiled and replied. That is all my Lord. Done said the King. The King did not realize what he had committed to. If you will take the time to calculate the amount of rice that adds up, you will find out that all the World does not produce that much grain in one year.

This story illustrates a very important point. In Network Marketing your growth is multiplied as you sponsor people who in turn sponsor others. The process may seem slow at first. At the beginning, it may look too slow to make it worthwhile. However, if you stick with it, the growth will be explosive.

You may be surprised to learn that if you double a penny every day for 30 days, you will have a total of more than 10 million dollars. Multiply one penny by 2. Then 2 pennies by 2. Then four pennies by 2 and so on for thirty days and you will be surprised at the explosive growth this process allows.

The one thing that you need to guard against is lack of activity. You must be out there talking to people and do not get discouraged. There will be a lot of people who will discourage you. Do not let them. There are hundreds of reasons why NASA couldn't have successfully reached the moon. NASA succeeded because they didn't pay attention to the hundreds of reasons why they could have failed. They were doing something no one had done before. You are doing something hundreds of people are doing successfully.

Should you need help developing your own Vision, call the person who sponsored you. They will help you get started. Remember; in Network Marketing you are not alone. We are ready and willing to support you. But in order to succeed you must be willing to receive. Remember you need to practice the three Principles vital for success: You need to practice

· Humility to Receive
· Discipline to Achieve and
· Commitment to fulfill.

Now that we have shared with you what you need to do to get started, I would like to share with you the 10 most important two letter words in English,


Remember NO ONE can make YOUR VISION come true. Only YOU CAN. So follow the Seven Steps that will make your Vision a reality. Get started now.

Bahram R. Shahmardaan, PhD
Author: The Journey of Life Eternal
Love and Hate: Manifesting Love and Transforming Hate.