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Rekindle Your Romance

I don’t usually write articles on sparking romance; health tips are kind of my thing.  But it’s February, which means Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.  So to get you ready for February 14th (Yes, it’s that soon, guys.  Trust me, I just googled it.) here are some health tips that will lead a healthier, more fulfilling life, with the bonus of getting your libido back to where you want it.  You won’t find classic quick tips here, like “Plan a date night!”  Just like a relationship, these tips take some time and effort.

What health article would be complete without a reminder that you probably don’t maintain the healthiest habits?  While there’s no judgment here, you’re probably judging yourself a bit too much.  Poor self-image can be the death knell for your sex life, whereas getting in shape can be just the spark to ignite it.  It can also be an excellent way to deepen your bonds with your partner.  Jogging together (or biking, or swimming, or strolling through the park) can strengthen your emotional connection while also giving each of you a support system to keep you going.  A goal is far easier to accomplish when you have somebody helping you along the way.  Even more so when you feel as though you’re needed to help achieve your partner’s goals.  So instead of exercise becoming the chore that you dread facing, remember that you don’t have to face it alone.  Getting in shape together means sharing time, forming memories that will strengthen your bond, improving your blood flow, heart function and hormone balance, sparking a positive feedback loop in your brain through endorphins that will associate both exercise and your partner with positive feeling, and most of all it will help you feel more positive about your own self-image.  If you were counting, that was seven libido enhancing benefits, all from just exercising together. 

How you spend your time will either strengthen or diminish your relationship.  Whenever you’re doing something that feels boring, bland, tedious or ordinary in the presence of someone else, our minds naturally begin to associate that person with those feelings.  While you may think you’re just relaxing after a rough week, you and your partner are both building feedback loops that will lead you to believe the other is boring, bland, tedious and ordinary.  Breaking out of this cycle requires action.  Exercising with your partner is a great start, but to really spark that romantic flame, you need to manage the time you spend with each other.   Research shows that couples who engage in activities together increase their satisfaction with their relationships.  Maybe it’s time to finally take that Latin Dance?  But just as important as the time you spend together is the time that you don’t.  When your partner enjoys activities that you do not, it’s not helping your relationship to force yourself to join them, or to force them to join you.  Making an effort to appreciate what your loved one enjoys is crucial, but it’s perfectly fine to have your own friends, activities and adventures apart from them.  Remember, it’s not the quantity of time you spend together, but the quality.  Doing things you don’t enjoy for the sake of your loved one will negatively affect how you feel about them, whether you realize it or not.

Just as your time spent with a person determines how you feel about them, your time spent in a location- a bedroom, for example- does the same.  If your bedroom is where you watch TV before sleeping, comfort your children after they’ve had a bad dream or curl up under the covers after a rough day, then you’re using it wrong.  Your bedroom should be an island in your home, for you and your partner only.  Lock the children and pets out, move that television to another room and reclaim the space in the name of your relationship.  How you feel about the room is probably already etched into your mind, so take a look around and ask yourself if there’s a way you could spice it up a bit.  A coat of paint and a new bedspread may be just enough to give the room a different feel.  Your bedroom should be a place that puts you at ease, and the décor should be selected with that in mind.  Once you have established that there are only two things that happen in that room, you’ll find that both of them come more easily and naturally.

Exhaustion can take a terrible toll on your sex life, and while rearranging some furniture should help you sleep better, it won’t always do the job on its own.  Taking naps and eating a high protein/low carb diet can aid in boosting your energy supplies.  If you don’t feel like you have the time for napping, remember that you’re not in this alone.  It takes two to form a couple, and working together as a team is twice as efficient as going it alone.  Schedule your time to include shifts, where one person can manage the children and urgent errands while the other unwinds.  Keep the naps short, though, as oversleeping can make you lethargic, and cause feelings of resentment in your overworked partner.  Make sure that the choirs are divided evenly, and tackle larger tasks together.  The more you think of yourselves as a team, the closer you will grow.

Never go to bed angry.  That’s a phrase that you’ve probably heard at least a hundred times before.  Unresolved arguments do not make for a better sex life.  Furthermore, bringing those negative emotions into your bedroom is undoing all of the hard work you did in reclaiming that space.  When conflicts arise, they should be hashed out before the end of the day.  Letting them sit and fester overnight, or worse, for several days is poisoning the well of intimacy that you’re trying to build upon.  Address the issues you have with your partner before they’ve had time to take root in your heart.  If talking about your issues only raises an argument, then both people should take a time out.  Go for a walk (don’t drive angry!) or split off into separate rooms, but only after agreeing to readdress the issue that evening, after a predetermined amount of time has passed.  Not every issue can be resolved before bed that same night, but even just understanding that your partner is willing to hear you out and work with you is enough to keep those negative feelings out of your bedroom.  Communication is essential to building trust, and trust is essential to a healthy romance.

Stress can be a relationship killer. Stress causes your body to produce cortisol, which is great in small doses, but in excess, it suppresses your libido.  Going to bed stressed is just as bad for your relationship as going to bed angry is.  There are many ways to cope with stress, from physical activities like yoga, exercise and screaming into a canyon, to meditation, therapy or relaxation techniques.  The right way to D-Stress (see what I did there?) is the one that works for you.  Men are more prone to use sex as a means of relieving stress, whereas women often have difficulty getting in the mood when they are under stress.  These differences in the genders are not always the case, so learning how your partner copes with stress can eliminate one potential stressor from your life. 

It’s no secret that what you put in your body affects your mood.  Your sex drive is no exception.  There is little evidence that supports the effectiveness of “aphrodisiacs”, but there’s no harm in trying.  For real aphrodisiacs, however, your focus should be on nutrient rich foods.  Foods that provide a wealth of vitamins and minerals can potentially increase blood flow, provide energy and promote a healthy sex life.  A heart-healthy diet can also increase your libido.  Studies have found a link between high cholesterol and women who have difficulty with arousal. Cholesterol in the arteries decreases blood flow, leading to less sensation, reduces energy, sluggish brain function and difficulties in achieving and maintaining arousal in both genders.  Increasing the fruits and veggies in your diet and reducing animal fats and whole-milk products will help keep that cholesterol in check.  If you’re looking for sense enhancing foods, basil and garlic make great additions to a romantic meal. They stimulate your senses, and garlic contains allicin to help increase blood flow. For dessert,  try consuming dark chocolate.  It has been linked with improved sexual pleasure, which is just icing on the decadent chocolate cake.  An article in the South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition claims that chocolate releases phenylethylamine and serotonin- producing some aphrodisiac effects. Though other studies report that the aphrodisiac rumors about chocolate are more psychological than biological.  To up the romance to another level, strawberries contain a wealth of vitamins.  Dipping them in that dark chocolate as you feed them to each other has been a staple of a romantic evening for a long time, and for good reason.

Be careful when it comes to supplementation that advertises drastic improvements to your love life.  As recently as last month, dozens of supplement companies have been cited for spiking their horny goat weed, bee byproducts and other botanicals with Viagra and/or Cialis to give their “supplements” the effects that they claim.  Taking spiked supplements can be deadly, so those of us in the supplement industry have a moral responsibility to only deliver what we advertise.  Sadly, many companies do not take this responsibility seriously, or they are ignorant of the harm that their contaminated products are causing.  To reduce your risk of taking pharmaceuticals without your knowledge, avoid any supplement that makes claims about erectile disfunction.  To date, no botanical or nutrient has been shown to have the same effects as prescription medications.  Stick to safer supplements, such as Ginkgo biloba, a herb believed to aid in combatting sexual dysfunction, particularly in individuals who take anti-depressants.  And ensuring that you’re receiving the proper essential nutrients, particularly B vitamins, is far more effective than the herbal libido enhancers on the market.

As I mentioned, these tips take some time and effort, but what relationship worth maintaining doesn’t?

How to Build Emotional Intelligence

Every year after it gets cold, but before the first snow, preschool teacher Sabrina North asks parents to send in children’s snow clothes. For the next few weeks, she helps 3-year-olds learn how to put on snowsuits, mittens, boots, and hats.

Again and again and again, she cheerfully deflects the whining and frustration until all the children can do it themselves.

The practicing pays off once the snow comes, but for North, this isn’t just about teaching independence. She’s teaching emotional intelligence or EQ.

Huh?

EQ refers to social and emotional skills, to a person’s capacity for relationships and sensitivity to oneself and others. It’s a bit of a buzzword these days, but the concept of emotional intelligence has been around for decades; anyone who has been in therapy undoubtedly has been exposed to it, and many of us as parents promote it intuitively.

That may not be enough, however. In our increasingly diverse, adversarial, and violent world, researchers, educators, and psychologists say emotional intelligence is a survival skill, not something that can be left to chance.

Indeed, they argue that EQ is more important than IQ, in the fact that EQ promotes IQ, and that in the next millennium, people who are low on it will be miserable.

So North starts with 3-year-olds just as they are beginning to see themselves as part of a larger community.

“I help them make the connection that persistence leads to competence,” she says. “I tell them, `See what practice did! You can do things for yourself!

Doesn’t that make you feel good?“

Therein lies the rub.

“Feeling good about yourself is the basis for EQ,” says North. “It makes you feel empowered, and the surer you are of yourself, the more you are capable of learning and of giving of yourself.” North is head teacher at the University of Michigan Children’s Center.

Unlike IQ, there is no way to measure EQ except anecdotally. North, for instance, might tell parents, “Joey is having a hard time playing in a cooperative way,” and offer ways for them to promote cooperation, perhaps by doing a chore together and commenting, “This job was so much more fun doing it together!”

EQ is often confused with temperament, but temperament is the style of behavior we are born with while EQ is a learned response. Early childhood education consultant Diane Warner of Hartford explains the difference:

“Temperamental characteristics give you a picture of how a child approaches things slow to warm up or social, intense or laid back but EQ helps you work with those traits so you can better cope with yourself and with the world.”

For instance, an impulsive child with high EQ is better able to restrain himself than that same child with low EQ; a shy child with high EQ learns to initiate small social forays.

Laying the Foundation

The foundation for EQ starts at birth, says child psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan, professor at George Washington University Medical School:

  • ­Newborns. “When his eyes track you, you know he’s engaged,” says Greenspan. That you tune into him and he tunes into you gives him a secure base to build on.
  • Two to 6 months. Tickles, grins, and other pleasurable interactions woo a baby into feeling trust and intimacy.
  • Four to 10 months. Two-way communication through simple following games (you wave, she waves, you wave back) are how they learn emotional signaling: “I can make Daddy wave!” This is the basis for intellectual skills such as cause and effect and for beginning to read people’s social signals, Greenspan says. His newest book is “Building Healthy Minds” (Perseus).
  • Ten to 18 months. As interactions get purposeful, he takes your hand to walk you to the refrigerator to show he wants juice a sense of self-begins to emerge. The more we point it out, the better: “You wanted juice and you figured out how to tell me! You’re a person who knows how to get what you need.”
  • Eighteen to 30 months. Toddlers act out emotions in play. When you label feelings for her, she can connect them to her own behavior: “That doll is so happy you’re hugging her!”
  • Three years plus. Children are better able to make the link between feelings and ideas when concepts are embedded in an emotional context, says Greenspan.

Instead of, “Show me the red car,” try, “Which color car do you like better, red or blue? I like red; it’s the color of my favorite dress.”

 The point of all this is for a child’s sense of who she is to include emotional awareness alongside her growing sense of physical and intellectual competence. “It’s far more important than we realize,” he says.

That’s because emotions can help the learning process or get in its way, says Warner, who presented a seminar on EQ recently at the annual convention of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Consider the child who is bullied at recess. “Once back in class, he may be too angry or upset to focus. He withdraws or acts out, but either way, the afternoon lesson is lost on him,” she says. If somehow his feelings are acknowledged, however, he’s more likely to re-engage.

Of all the skills necessary for EQ, the ability to delay gratification may be most significant, according to Warner. She cites the Marshmallow Study, in which an examiner puts two marshmallows on a table and tells a 4-year-old she has a choice: She can eat one now or eat both in a few minutes after the tester returns from a quick errand. Then the child is left alone. A third of the children grabbed the marshmallow and ate it. The rest used all kinds of distractions to resist temptation, from covering their eyes to singing.

 In follow-up studies with the same children through high school, there was a distinct difference between them. The marshmallow grabbers had developed into teens who were indecisive, often frustrated, and lacked resilience. The children who had been able to delay gratification coped well with frustration and were self-reliant and resilient. Even more striking were SAT scores: The grabbers’ average scores were 100 points lower on verbal and math.

“Are there implications for learning?” asks Warner. “You bet. Because EQ skills are not innate. They can be taught.”

Fostering EQ Skills

Educational psychologist Anabel Jensen, an associate professor at the College of Notre Dame and president of 6Seconds, a nonprofit that promotes emotional intelligence, singles out three other EQ skills of prime importance:

  • Impulse control. “Tell even a baby that her needs will be met, but not necessarily instantly: `I’m getting you juice, but first I have to go to the bathroom.’ “ With school-age children, purposefully practice delaying gratification: “Have you noticed how impulsive we all are? Let’s see if we can learn something about ourselves: Our family rule is that we can only have soda on Friday. I’m putting soda in the fridge on Monday. Let’s see if we can resist temptation.”
  • Jensen tells children that a pessimist sees a failure as permanent and pervasive and sees himself as powerless; an optimist sees it as temporary and isolated and asks herself, “What can I do about this?” When her 16-year-old niece failed a Spanish test and concluded, with typical teenage hyperbole, that she was a failure in life, Jensen asked her, “Have you had other bad grades in Spanish? No? Then it’s temporary. Are you failing anything else? No? Then it’s isolated. How much did you study? Ten minutes?
    Then you’re not powerless!”
  • Even though children under 7 typically can’t take another person’s perspective, Jensen suggests talking as if they can. Eventually, the messages will get through: “How would you feel if you were playing with a toy and someone grabbed it?”

By kindergarten, Jensen says you can have conversations with a child to make her emotionally self-aware; for instance, “What do you notice about yourself in a group? Are you someone who jumps right in or likes to watch for a while?” Then help her use that understanding to make conscious decisions about how to behave: “Wouldn’t it be an interesting experiment to go to this birthday party and try acting in a different way, just to see what it would be like?”

She says people who are coached on emotional awareness in childhood grow up more aware of their strengths and weaknesses and make choices that are responsible and accountable.

“All in all, it doesn’t just make for better people,” she says. “It makes for a better world.”

How Parents Can Help

  • Avoid saying such things as “That doesn’t really hurt,” or, “You have no right to be angry!” A child is entitled to any emotion; what she isn’t entitled to is behaving in a way that endangers herself or someone else.
  • Talking about our own feelings is a powerful role model. Use “I” statements when you can: “I feel bad when you speak in a rude tone of voice.”
  • Make expressing feelings easy and fun: Paste emotive faces from a magazine or draw simple ones on a cardboard circle happy, sad, angry, tearful. Attach them to individual popsicle sticks and encourage your children to use them.
  • Validate feelings whenever possible. Not only does that give a child words, but it also helps him feel less alone.
  • Don’t wait for a traumatic event to talk about feelings.

Original Article

 “It’s Never Too Early To Start Building A Person’s Eq” www.chicagotribune.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2016 < http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1999-12-26/features/9912260017_1_emotional-intelligence-first-snow-educators >.

Don’t Look Worried, Be Happy!

Have you ever watched a television program and wondered how the actors can portray different characters with such believability that we are convinced they are the person they are depicting?  For example, when a male actor and female actor are in an emotional scene where the man breaks the lady’s heart.  Tears of sadness streams from her eyes as their faces contorted with hurt and anguish.  The action is so ‘real’ that you almost start crying yourself.  Or, we witness a happy ending, and we laugh with happiness or cry from joy along with the actors.

 Are the actors really feeling the emotions attached to these powerful portrayals?  One might believe that an experienced actor can give the appearance of experiencing emotions without actually feeling them.  There is no doubt that some actors are so well trained that they convey what would appear to be the true meaning and emotion of the scene.  On the other hand, there are also those actors that do not have the ability to relay those deeply intense feelings, so they appear somewhat shallow and insincere.

What does this all have to do with you and your VitaMist business?  Truth be told, we are all actors on the ‘Stage of Life’. Many of the same principles that are used theatre and film are used in life itself.  Case in point, we all know from our past talks that we can choose how we feel from day to day, and from minute to minute.  “If it is to be, it is up to me.”  For example, you wake up in the morning, and you say to yourself, “Today is going to be a great day!”  Then, with your mind programmed you allow yourself to feel the way you are supposed to, you end up having an exciting and wonderful day. Recently I noticed a sign in someone’s office that stated, “You do not sing because you are happy, we are happy because we sing.”  But you might be saying to yourself, “I never feel happy, yet I have good feelings”. Well, if you are waiting for the feeling to come to you automatically, then you will be in the queue for a long time, and are likely be disappointed.  Only you can control your attitude and how your day will go, so take action today!

It takes practice to feel good, both about yourself and about life.  Before the real thing comes, you must first learn how to act the way you want to feel.  Positive actions will create positive feelings.  Actions are the words you speak; your body movements; your eye contact; your breath, and even your posture. In summary, the inspiration for a happy feeling is doing things that bring about a happy response.

Recently I was at a large dinner party, so large that there were about 40 different tables to seat the entire group.  Each table of guests was deep into their conversations when suddenly one of the groups exploded with laughter.  At first, the sudden burst of noise was distracting to the entire room, but soon everyone calmed down.  Seconds later, the same group of guest exploded again with laughter and the giggles continued… so that the table of guest next to the joy makers began laughing too.  Then another table, and another and soon the guest at my table were laughing out loud, so loud that I began laughing.  “What were we laughing about?” you may ask.  To this day, I could not tell you.  The fact is, we were laughing because others were laughing.  You have all had experiences like this – whether is has been carried away with laughter, or shedding a few tears.  Try it yourself; act happy and watch the doors of joy open before you.  Don’t wait for others in life to make you happy.  You are in control of your giggle-box, so die laughing today.

Connecting With People

Referral Marketing is all about leadership and connecting, and we could all use some pointers and reminders.  One of my friends Michael Bennett sent in the following article that he found, and we wanted to share it with everyone.

Connecting

As a train’s source of energy and direction, the locomotive plays a vital role. However, unless a locomotive connects to other cars on the track, it is relatively useless. A train’s value comes from its ability to transport massive amounts of cargo, and doing so requires the locomotive to link up with dozens of freight cars. Traveling by itself, a locomotive would arrive at its destination empty-handed. In that case, its journey would be nothing more than a waste of fuel.

Leaders are like locomotives in that they’re blessed with drive, energy, and vision. However, until leaders learn the art of connection, their influence remains minimal. In isolation, their talents accomplish little, and their efforts are squandered.

Let’s look at practical ways whereby leaders can make meaningful connections with others.

8 Steps for Connecting with People

#1 Don’t Take People for Granted

Results happen through relationships. Weak leaders get so caught up in the vision of where they’re going that they forget whom they’re trying to lead. Instead, leaders would be wise to realize that connecting to people and developing them are the surest ways to gain influence.

#2 Possess the Mindset of a Difference-Maker

A hesitant and indecisive leader doesn’t enliven the hearts or imaginations of people. In contrast, leaders who influence and inspire have a difference-maker mindset. They connect with others by passing along an infectious confidence in their ability to succeed.

#3 Initiate Movement Toward People

Freight cars sitting on the railroad tracks won’t go anywhere by themselves. They will rust and collect dust unless a locomotive makes contact and connects to them. Similarly, most people stay parked due to self-doubt, fear, or absence of vision. It takes the connection of a leader to tap into their potential and spur them to action.

#4 Search for Common Ground

Anytime you want to connect with a person, the starting point should be shared interests. If you’re attentive to the hobbies, histories, and habits of those you lead, then you will find ample areas of common ground. Launch out from these areas of agreement to build rapport.

#5 Recognize and Respect Differences

We are capable of finding common ground with others, but at the same time we need to acknowledge that we’re all different. The greatest influencers realize that differences ought to complement rather than clash. When you demonstrate regard for diverse personalities and meet people on their terms, they will appreciate your sensitivity and connect with the understanding you’ve shown.

#6 Learn the Key to Others’ Lives

People have core motivations that vary drastically, and a leader has to discern them to forge a connection with others. Generally, the key can be unearthed by examining what a person has already done in life and by discovering what he or she aspires to do in the future. Once you’ve found the key, do not exploit it. Turn the key only when you have the person’s permission, and always use it for his or her benefit – not your own.

#7 Communicate from the Heart

Nothing repels people like a phony leader. Be authentic when you speak, and align your actions and words. People respond to passion, and they will latch onto a vision when it’s communicated from the heart.

#8 Share Common Experiences

Shared experiences cement a relationship. For this reason, it’s wise to be intentional about eating out with teammates, inviting them to join you on an errand, or taking in a play or ballgame together. The more time you invest in those you lead, the greater the connection you will forge with them.

Summary

One is too small of a number to achieve greatness. No one ever accomplishes alone what can be done in partnership with others. If you’re looking to grow your leadership qualities, start by strengthening your connections with the people around you.

Original Article

Influence: Connecting with People – John C. Maxwell,

http://www.johnmaxwell.com/cms/images/uploads/ads/Influence_-_Connecting_With_People.pdf

(accessed June 12, 2015).

The Four Emotions that Lead to Change

Emotions are the most powerful forces inside us. Under the power of emotions, human beings can perform the most heroic, as well as barbaric acts. To a great degree, civilization itself can be defined as the intelligent channeling of human emotion. Emotions are fuel and the mind is the pilot, which together propel the ship of civilized progress.

Which emotions cause people to act? There are four basic ones. Each can trigger the most incredible activity individually, or a combination of several . The day that you allow these emotions to fuel your desire is the day that you’ll turn your life around.

1.  DISGUST

One does not usually equate the word “disgust” with positive action. Yet, when properly channeled, disgust can change a person’s life. The person who feels disgusted has reached a point of no return. He or she is ready to throw down the gauntlet at life and say, “I’ve had it!” That’s what I said after many humiliating experiences at age 25. I said, “I don’t want to live like this anymore. I’ve had it with being broke. I’ve had it with being embarrassed, and I’ve had it with lying.”
Yes, productive feelings of disgust come when a person says, “Enough is enough.”
The “guy” has finally had it with mediocrity. He’s had it with those awful, sick feelings of fear, pain and humiliation. He then decides he is not going to live like this anymore. Look out! This could be the day that turns a life around. Call it what you will:
Whatever you call it, it’s powerful! There is nothing so life-changing as gut-wrenching disgust!

2.  DECISION

Most of us need to be pushed to the wall to make decisions.
And once we reach this point, we have to deal with the conflicting emotions that come with making them. We have reached a fork in the road. Now this fork can be a two- prong, three-prong, or even a four-prong fork. No wonder that decision making can create knots in stomachs, keep us awake in the middle of the night, and make us break out in a cold sweat.
Making life-changing decisions can be likened to an internal civil war. Conflicting armies of emotions, each with its own arsenal of reasons, battle each other for control of our minds. Our resulting decisions- whether bold or timid, well thought out or impulsive- can either set the course of action, or blind it. I don’t have much advice to give you about decision-making except this:
Whatever you do, don’t camp at the fork in the road.
Decide. It’s far better to make a wrong decision, than to not make one at all. Each of us must confront our emotional turmoil and sort out our feelings.

3.  DESIRE

How does one gain desire? I don’t think I can answer this directly because there are many ways. But I do know two things about desire:
It comes from the inside not the outside.
It can be triggered by outside forces.
Almost anything can trigger desire. It’s a matter of timing as much as preparation. It might be a song that tugs at the heart. It might be a memorable sermon. It might be a movie, a conversation with a friend, a confrontation with the enemy or a bitter experience. Even a book or an article such as this one can trigger the inner mechanism that will make some people say, “I want it now!”
Therefore, while searching for your “hot button” of pure, raw desire, welcome into your life each positive experience. Don’t erect a wall to protect you from experiencing life. The same wall that keeps out your disappointment also keeps out the sunlight of enriching experiences. So let life touch you. The next touch could be the one that turns your life around.

4.  RESOLVE

Resolve says, “I will.” These two words are among the most potent in the English language. I WILL. Benjamin Disraeli, the great British statesman, once said, “Nothing can resist a human will that will stake even its existence on the extent of its purpose.” In other words, when someone resolves to “do or die,” nothing can stop him.
The mountain climber says, “I WILL climb the mountain.”
They’ve told me it’s too high, it’s too far, it’s too steep, it’s too rocky, it’s too difficult. But it’s my mountain. I WILL climb it. You’ll soon see me waving from the top or you’ll never see me again, because unless I reach the peak, I’m not coming back.” Who can argue with such resolve?
When confronted with such iron will determination, I can see Time, Fate and Circumstance calling a hasty conference and deciding, “We might as well let him have his dream.
He’s said he’s going to get there or die trying.”
The best definition for “resolve” I’ve ever heard came from a schoolgirl in Foster City, California. I was lecturing about success to a group of bright kids at a junior high school. I asked, “Who can tell me what ‘resolve’ means?” Several hands went up, and I did get some pretty good definitions. However, the last was the best.
A shy girl from the back of the room got up and said with quiet intensity, “I think resolve means promising yourself you will never give up.” That’s it! That’s the best definition I’ve ever heard.

PROMISE YOURSELF YOU’LL NEVER GIVE UP.

Think about it! How long should a baby try to learn how to walk? How long would you give the average baby before you say, “That’s it, you’ve had your chance”? You say that’s crazy? Of course it is. Any mother would say, “My baby is going to keep trying until he learns how to walk!” No wonder everyone walks.

There is a vital lesson in this. Ask yourself, “How long am I going to work to make my dreams come true?” I suggest you answer, “As long as it takes.” That’s what these four emotions are all about.

Business and Life

Business can be hard, so can life, whether you have the winter blues, you’re suffering from a disappointment, or you’re just feeling a little down, we all have times when we could use a little lift. Here are some ideas to get you back on the upswing. So you can do your best for your family and your business.

  1. Plan Some Fun. Get out your calendar. Next do a search for things to do in your area. Local newspapers usually have a “What’s Going On” section. Pick out your favorite 5 or 10 things. And remember the things you choose don’t have to be big events. It can be as simple as taking a long drive in the country or going for a walk on the beach. Write them into your calendar. Invite someone to join you on some. For others go and meet some new people.
  2. Express Your Creativity. Do some painting. Decorate your house with flowers. Do a paper mache project. Pick up that guitar, practice and write a song. Practice juggling. Make a funny photo album with all those old photos you’ve got in boxes by adding quirky captions above each picture. Learn how to play the harmonica. Write and illustrate a mini book or comic book. Maybe pick your favorite movie get a friend to act out one of the scenes with you while you videotape it. It doesn’t have to be good. Just doing these things will make you feel good. And if you keep doing them you’ll naturally get better.
  3. Get Outside. Fresh air does wonders for your body and spirit, if you can go to a park or a place in nature that is even better. Here are some things you could do: go for a walk, fly a kite, plant some vegetables or flowers, roller skate, ride a bike, or go on a “treasure hunt” to find things for an art project.
  4. Let Music Take You Higher. Turn on your favorite music and sing! Pull down the shades and dance. Rent a video on belly dancing. If you’re in your car, you can still move a little to the music. Go for it! What do you care what other people think? Have fun with it! Sing, dance, play an instrument. Practice your favorite song and then go to karaoke and let the world hear your talent!
  5. Walk a Dog. If you don’t have your own dog, offer to walk a neighbor’s dog. Or even better yet, sign up at the local MSPCA to walk the pooches that have no one to love him or her. What a nice way to make a difference!
  6. Volunteer. There are so many ways to help others. Here are a few ideas:

    • Feed people. Volunteer at a food kitchen or make your own homemade batch of food and share it with people who could use it: shut-ins, elderly, new mothers, someone who is works too much, etc.
    • Help People. Volunteer with the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, or Meals on Wheels.
    • Mentor. Check out Big Brother/Big Sister, Mentoring.org, or SCORE.
  7. A Change Will Do You Good. Get some order in your house. Change your furniture around. Change your decorations, or maybe go minimalist for a change. Clear out the clutter. It doesn’t matter where you start. Just pick a place in your home that’s been bugging you and attack it! Then sell, throw, or give away stuff you don’t need. You’ll feel great afterward and you’ll have made a dent in making your living space more peaceful. And maybe it will give you inspiration to tackle another area tomorrow.
  8. Plan a Party. There doesn’t need to be a good reason other than its time for some fun. Start with a small idea and build around it. Maybe you can get inspired by a theme, certain foods, or your favorite music to get the ball rolling. Then think about whom you would like to invite. When and where will you have it? Will you cook, hire caterers, or make it pot luck? A meal or finger foods? Will there be dancing, contests, games, or other fun stuff like costumes? Maybe it will be low key with some jazz music, wine and cheese. Or maybe it will be a Hawaiian luau. Or maybe if you have a lot of single friends you can have a white elephant party. Call a friend for help with the logistics.
  9. Personal Spa and Relaxation Day. Include as many of these ideas as you like or have time for. Get a massage, pedicure, and haircut. Take a bubble bath with candles, music and champagne. Give yourself an egg-white or mud mask facial, line up 2-3 movies to watch in bed while eating your favorite delights: ice cream, chocolate, whip cream, Jell-O, popcorn, finger food, hors d’oeuvre, and more. What else would you include to pamper yourself?
  10. Reach Out. Connect with friends and family. When was the last time you wrote and mailed an actual letter? Why not do it today? Or how about making some homemade post cards with materials you have lying around the house? Cut out some pictures from magazines or from your photo collection and make a mini collage. Maybe just call one old friend from college or high school that you haven’t talked to in forever. Or maybe you could visit a neighbor who might need some cheering up too! Bring some cookies!

Don’t Look Worried, Be Happy!

Have you ever watched a television program and wonder how the actors are able to portray different characters with such believability that we are convinced they really are the person they are portraying?  Surely you have noticed the reality of the actors, for example when an actor and actress are in a sad scene where the man hurts the lady’s heart.  Tears of sadness streams from the ladies eyes, their faces contorted with hurt and anguish.  The action is so ‘real’, that you almost start crying yourself.  Or, we experience a happy ending where they are thrilled with the results and we laugh with happiness or cry from joy.

 Are the actors and actresses really feeling the emotions attached to these powerful portrayals?  One might be lead to believe that an experienced actor can show a physically outside appearance of inner emotions without really feeling them.  No doubt that some actors are so well trained that they demonstrate what would appear to be the true meaning and emotion.  On the other hand, there are also those actors that do not have the ability to relay that true emotionally feeling, and such appearances somewhat seem shallow and insincere.

 What does this all have to do with you and your VitaMist business?  True be known, we are all actors and actresses on the ‘Stage of Life’. Many of the same principles that are used on the acting stage are used in life itself.  Case in point, we all know from our past talks that we can choose how we feel from day to day, and from minute to minute.  “If it is to be, it is up to me.”  For example, you wake up in the morning and you say to yourself, “Today is going to be a great day!”  Then, with your mind programmed you allow yourself to feel the way you are supposed to, you end up having an exciting and wonderful day. Recently I noticed a sign in someone’s office that stated, “You do not sing because you are happy, we are happy because we sing.”  But you might be saying to yourself, “I never feel happy and I have good feelings”. Well, if you are waiting for the feeling to come to you automatically, then you will be in queue for a long time and will likely become disappointed.  Only you can control your attitude and how your day will go, so take action today! 

It takes practice to feel good, about you and about life.  Before the real thing comes, you must first learn how to act like you want to feel.  Positive actions will create positive feelings.  Actions are the words you speak; your body movements; your eye contact; your breath, and even your posture. In summary, the inspiration for a happy feeling is doing things that bring out a happy response.

 Recently I was at a large dinner party, so large that there were about 40 different tables to seat the entire group.  Each table of guest was deep into their own conversations, when suddenly one of the groups exploded with laughter.  At first, the sudden burst of noise was distracting to the entire room, but soon everyone calmed down.  Seconds later, the same group of guests exploded again with laughter and the giggles continued … continued so that the table of guests next to the joy makers began laughing too.  Then another table, and another and soon the guests at my table were laughing out loud, so loud that I began laughing.  At what were we laughing about you may ask?  Till this day, I could not tell you what we were laughing about.  Fact is, we were laughing because others were laughing.  You have all had experiences like this – whether is has been carried away with laughter, or shedding a few tears.  Try it yourself, act happy and watch the doors of joy open before you.  Don’t wait for others in life to make you happy; you are in control of your giggle-box, so die laughing today.

10 Ways to Instantly Build Self Confidence

Self-confidence is the difference between feeling unstoppable and feeling scared out of your wits. Your perception of yourself has an enormous impact on how others perceive you. Perception is reality — the more self-confidence you have, the more likely it is you’ll succeed.

Although many of the factors affecting self-confidence are beyond your control, there are a number of things you can consciously do to build self-confidence. By using these 10 strategies you can get the mental edge you need to reach your potential.

Dress Sharp

Although clothes don’t make the man, they certainly affect the way he feels about himself. No one is more conscious of your physical appearance than you are. When you don’t look good, it changes the way you carry yourself and interact with other people. Use this to your advantage by taking care of your personal appearance. In most cases, bathing and shaving frequently, wearing clean clothes, and being cognizant of the latest styles can make significant improvements.

This doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot on clothes. One great rule to follow is “spend twice as much, buy half as much”. Rather than buying a bunch of cheap clothes, buy half as many select, high quality items. In long run this decreases spending because expensive clothes wear out less easily and stay in style longer than cheap clothes. Buying less also helps reduce the clutter in your closet.

Walk Faster

One of the easiest ways to tell how a person feels about herself is to examine her walk. Is it slow? Tired? Painful? Or is it energetic and purposeful? People with confidence walk quickly. They have places to go, people to see, and important work to do. Even if you aren’t in a hurry, you can increase your self-confidence by putting some pep in your step. Walking 25% faster will make to you look and feel more important.

Good Posture

Similarly, the way a person carries his or herself tells a story. People with slumped shoulders and lethargic movements display a lack of self-confidence. They aren’t enthusiastic about what they’re doing and they don’t consider themselves important. By practicing good posture, you’ll automatically feel more confident. Stand up straight, keep your head up, and make eye contact. You’ll make a positive impression on others and instantly feel more alert and empowered.

Personal Commercial

One of the best ways to build confidence is listening to a motivational speech. Unfortunately, opportunities to listen to a great speaker are few and far between. You can fill this need by creating a personal commercial. Write a 30-60 second speech that highlights your strengths and goals. Then recite it in front of the mirror aloud (or inside your head if you prefer) whenever you need a confidence boost.

Gratitude

When you focus too much on what you want, the mind creates reasons why you can’t have it. This leads you to dwell on your weaknesses. The best way to avoid this is consciously focusing on gratitude. Set aside time each day to mentally list everything you have to be grateful for. Recall your past successes, unique skills, loving relationships, and positive momentum. You’ll be amazed how much you have going for you and motivated to take that next step towards success.

Compliment Others

When we think negatively about ourselves, we often project that feeling on to others in the form of insults and gossip. To break this cycle of negativity, get in the habit of praising other people. Refuse to engage in backstabbing gossip and make an effort to compliment those around you. In the process, you’ll become well liked and build self-confidence. By looking for the best in others, you indirectly bring out the best in yourself.

Sit In the Front Row

In schools, offices, and public assemblies around the world; people constantly strive to sit at the back of the room. Most people prefer the back because they’re afraid of being noticed. This reflects a lack of self-confidence. By deciding to sit in the front row, you can get over this irrational fear and build your self-confidence. You’ll also be more visible to the important people talking from the front of the room.

Speak Up

During group discussions many people never speak up because they’re afraid that people will judge them for saying something stupid. This fear isn’t really justified. Generally, people are much more accepting than we imagine. In fact most people are dealing with the exact same fears. By making an effort to speak up at least once in every group discussion, you’ll become a better public speaker, more confident in your own thoughts, and recognized as a leader by your peers.

Work Out

Along the same lines as personal appearance, physical fitness has a huge effect on self-confidence. If you’re out of shape, you’ll feel insecure, unattractive, and less energetic. By working out, you improve your physical appearance, energize yourself, and accomplish something positive. Having the discipline to work out not only makes you feel better; it creates positive momentum that you can build on the rest of the day.

Focus On Contribution

Too often we get caught up in our own desires. We focus too much on ourselves and not enough on the needs of other people. If you stop thinking about yourself and concentrate on the contribution you’re making to the rest of the world, you won’t worry, as much about you own flaws. This will increase self-confidence and allow you to contribute with maximum efficiency. The more you contribute to the world the more you’ll be rewarded with personal success and recognition.

10 ways to keep your New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of the year again!  Yes, it’s the New Year, and so the idea of making a resolution or two has probably crossed your mind.  In 1 minute, I describe some of the research that I have found into how best to keep your resolution

Here are my top 10 tips:

  1. Make only one resolution, your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behavior.
  2. Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution and instead take some time out a few days before and reflect upon what you really want to achieve.
  3. Avoid previous resolutions; deciding to re-visit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment.
  4. Don’t run with the crowd and go with the usual resolutions.  Instead think about what you really want out of life.
  5. Break your goal into a series of steps, focusing on creating sub-goals that are concrete, measurable, and time-based.
  6. Tell your friends and family about your goals, thus increasing the fear of failure and eliciting support.
  7. Regularly remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goals by creating a checklist of how life would be better once you obtain your aim.
  8. Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a sub-goal, thus maintaining motivation and a sense of progress.
  9. Make your plans and progress concrete by keeping a handwritten journal, completing a computer spreadsheet or covering a notice board with graphs or pictures.
  10. Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time. Treat any failure as a temporary setback rather than a reason to give up altogether.