Monday, October 7, 2013

The Road to Intuition

The Road to Intuition


Have you had that experience when all of a sudden you just had this huge hunch that something is about to happen, and to your surprise, that intuition was eventually translated to reality?

When you feel strongly about something without logical basis to it, that's called intuition. It comes in three impressions: clairvoyance or "the third eye", sensing clearly and feeling through listening.

Clairvoyance is when your eye goes beyond what it can see. This is when you know what is happening somewhere.

Sensing clearly is basically what we refer to as "hunch" or "gut feel." This is the time when you are overwhelmed with a feeling and you can't explain it and all you can say is "I just know."

On the other hand, feeling through listening or clairaudience is being able to "listen" between the lines. Intuition also happens at times when a certain sound, whatever it is - be it a car's honk or a bird's twitting - ushers in an intense feeling.

They say only a number of people are gifted with intuition. Astrologers even insist that people born under the Scorpio or Pisces signs are naturally intuitive it almost borders on E.S.P. But studies have been sprouting left and right that proclaim that anyone can develop intuition.

Why the need to develop intuition, you ask? Why not let your emotional and psychological state as it is? First and foremost, intuition promotes good communication. It makes you more sensitive to the people around you; it often keeps you from hurting those you love because you are intuitive enough to understand them. Intuition also makes you far more creative than ever. Intuition means releasing more creative juices for any means of expression. Lastly, intuition has a healing power. This healing power is not in the physical sense, but in delving deep into your soul to eradicate some negative energy buried in it.

With that being said, are you ready to develop your intuition? Here are some ways to unlock this gift:

1. Hypnosis

Oh yes, get yourself hypnotized. Hypnosis is not limited to watching a pendulum move back and forth. Perform self-hypnosis or you can avail of hypnotic programs that can strengthen your intuition.

2. Meditation

Meditating means finding peace in yourself. If your mind and heart are cluttered with too many baggage and hurt,  you wouldn't be able to quiet down that part of you that could eventually initiate intuition. There are so many ways to meditate: take a yoga class, or just simply practice some breathing that could bring you straight to Zen.

3. Think positive!

A worry-free, fear-free state could do so much to improve your intuitive ability. By staying positive, you attract good energy that would be able to easily recognize imminent feelings and events.

4.  Just let go.

What does this mean? If you are on the brink of making a huge decision, let go of all the inhibitions and head to a quiet place where you could find out where the letting go has brought you. Sometimes you just have to listen to the voice within you, and that voice wouldn't come out unless you let go.

5. Never expect.

After letting go of the inhibitions and all those things that stop you from thinking and feeling clearly, never expect for an answer right away. Never expect that the "hunch" would fall on your lap immediately. Give it a little time then you'd just get surprised that -- wham! -- now you have your answer.

6. Believe in your first impressions.

When you see someone for the first time and think that he is a bit too arrogant for your taste, chances are that impression actually holds true. Most of the time, first impressions are brought by intuition.

7. Stay happy!

See? All you need to be intuitive is to stay happy! Happiness attracts immense power and such power includes intuition. In tapping your intuition, your motivation must be happiness and contentment. Given that premise, intuition will fall to you easily.

Intuition is helpful, because sometimes it leads you to something that cannot be achieved otherwise. A lot of lives have been saved by intuition alone. Decisions are easier done if armed by this gift. Develop intuition now and reap benefits you have never imagined.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

"Who's the Boss?" 10 ways to start taking control

At first glance, it would seem that positive thinking and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) have nothing to do with one another. But many of us with ADD develop negative thinking patterns because we become frustrated by our challenges and frequent feelings of being overwhelmed. This negative outlook then makes it even harder for us to manage those challenges and move forward.

Practicing positive thinking allows people with ADD to focus on our strengths and accomplishments, which increases happiness and motivation. This, in turn, allows us to spend more time making progress, and less time feeling down and stuck. The following tips provide practical suggestions that you can use to help you shift into more positive thinking patterns:

1. Take Good Care of Yourself
It's much easier to be positive when you are eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest.

2. Remind Yourself of the Things You Are Grateful For
Stresses and challenges don't seem quite as bad when you are constantly reminding yourself of the things that are right in life. Taking just 60 seconds a day to stop and appreciate the good things will make a huge difference.

3. Look for the Proof Instead of Making Assumptions
A fear of not being liked or accepted sometimes leads us to assume that we know what others are thinking, but our fears are usually not reality. If you have a fear that a friend or family member's bad mood is due to something you did, or that your co-workers are secretly gossiping about you when you turn your back, speak up and ask them. Don't waste time worrying that you did something wrong unless you have proof that there is something to worry about.

4. Refrain from Using Absolutes
Have you ever told a partner "You're ALWAYS late!" or complained to a friend "You NEVER call me!"? Thinking and speaking in absolutes like 'always' and 'never' makes the situation seem worse than it is, and programs your brain into believing that certain people are incapable of delivering.

5. Detach From Negative Thoughts
Your thoughts can't hold any power over you if you don't judge them. If you notice yourself having a negative thought, detach from it, witness it, and don't follow it.

6. Squash the "ANTs"
In his book "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life," Dr. Daniel Amen talks about "ANTs" - Automatic Negative Thoughts. These are the bad thoughts that are usually reactionary, like "Those people are laughing, they must be talking about me," or "The boss wants to see me? It must be bad!" When you notice these thoughts, realize that they are nothing more than ANTs and squash them!

7. Practice Lovin', Touchin' & Squeezin' (Your Friends and Family)
You don't have to be an expert to know the benefits of a good hug. Positive physical contact with friends, loved ones, and even pets, is an instant pick-me-up. One research study on this subject had a waitress touch some of her customers on the arm as she handed them their checks. She received higher tips from these customers than from the ones she didn't touch!

8. Increase Your Social Activity
By increasing social activity, you decrease loneliness. Surround yourself with healthy, happy people, and their positive energy will affect you in a positive way!

9. Volunteer for an Organization, or Help another Person
Everyone feels good after helping. You can volunteer your time, your money, or your resources. The more positive energy you put out into the world, the more you will receive in return.

10. Use Pattern Interrupts to Combat Rumination
If you find yourself ruminating, a great way to stop it is to interrupt the pattern and force yourself to do something completely different. Rumination is like hyper-focus on something negative. It's never productive, because it's not rational or solution-oriented, it's just excessive worry. Try changing your physical environment - go for a walk or sit outside. You could also call a friend, pick up a book, or turn on some music.

When it comes to the corporate world, protocol is pretty much the religion. To know the things needed to do are the basics of productivity, but interaction and having a steady mind makes up the entire thing to true productivity. There are those who seem to work well even under pressure, but they're uncommon ones and we are human and imperfect. To get these little things like stress under our skins won't solve our problems. Sometimes it takes a bit of courage to admit that we're turning to be workaholics than tell ourselves that we're not doing our best.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stress Management

We all have this favorite expression when it comes to being stressed out, and I wouldn't bother naming all of them since it may also vary in different languages. But when it comes down to it, I think that it is how we work or even relax, for that matter that triggers stress. Ever been stressed even when you're well relaxed and bored? I know I have.

Since stress is unavoidable in life, it is important to find ways to decrease and prevent stressful incidents and decrease negative reactions to stress. Here are some of the things that can be done by just remembering it, since life is basically a routine to follow like brushing your teeth or eating breakfast. You can do a few of them in a longer span of time, but as they say-- every minute counts.

Managing time

Time management skills can allow you more time with your family and friends and possibly increase your performance and productivity. This will help reduce your stress.

To improve your time management:

· Save time by focusing and concentrating, delegating, and scheduling time for yourself.
· Keep a record of how you spend your time, including work, family, and leisure time.
· Prioritize your time by rating tasks by importance and urgency. Redirect your time to those activities that are important and meaningful to you.
· Manage your commitments by not over- or undercommitting. Don't commit to what is not important to you.
· Deal with procrastination by using a day planner, breaking large projects into smaller ones, and setting short-term deadlines.
· Examine your beliefs to reduce conflict between what you believe and what your life is like.
Build healthy coping strategies

It is important that you identify your coping strategies. One way to do this is by recording the stressful event, your reaction, and how you cope in a stress journal. With this information, you can work to change unhealthy coping strategies into healthy ones-those that help you focus on the positive and what you can change or control in your life.

Lifestyle

Some behaviors and lifestyle choices affect your stress level. They may not cause stress directly, but they can interfere with the ways your body seeks relief from stress. Try to:

· Balance personal, work, and family needs and obligations.
· Have a sense of purpose in life.
· Get enough sleep, since your body recovers from the stresses of the day while you are sleeping.
· Eat a balanced diet for a nutritional defense against stress.
· Get moderate exercise throughout the week.
· Limit your consumption of alcohol.
· Don't smoke.

Social support

Social support is a major factor in how we experience stress. Social support is the positive support you receive from family, friends, and the community. It is the knowledge that you are cared for, loved, esteemed, and valued. More and more research indicates a strong relationship between social support and better mental and physical health.

Changing thinking


When an event triggers negative thoughts, you may experience fear, insecurity, anxiety, depression, rage, guilt, and a sense of worthlessness or powerlessness. These emotions trigger the body's stress, just as an actual threat does. Dealing with your negative thoughts and how you see things can help reduce stress.

· Thought-stopping helps you stop a negative thought to help eliminate stress.
· Disproving irrational thoughts helps you to avoid exaggerating the negative thought, anticipating the worst, and interpreting an event incorrectly.
· Problem solving helps you identify all aspects of a stressful event and find ways to deal with it.
· Changing your communication style helps you communicate in a way that makes your views known without making others feel put down, hostile, or intimidated. This reduces the stress that comes from poor communication. Use the assertiveness ladder to improve your communication style.

Even writers can get stressed even though we're just using our hands to do the talking, but having to sit for 7 or 8 hours is already stressful enough and have our own way to relieve stress. Whether you're the mail guy, the CEO, or probably the average working parent, stress is one unwanted visitor you would love to boot out of your homes, especially your life.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Does a Law on Human Attraction Exist?

“Opposites attract” is a law of attraction, at least where electromagnetism is concerned. But are there laws about attraction between two people? “In a world that is full of strangers” as a line in a famous song of the 1980’s goes, is there a clear set of rules that allows two people to fall for each other?

Is attraction a matter of chemistry?

Maybe. According to scientists, the attraction between animals of the opposite sex is all about chemicals called pheromones. The effect of pheromones in behavior of insects is the most studied to date. It has been observed, at least in some experiments, that pheromones are responsible for communication among same species and colony of ants. The horrible odor released by skunks to ward off enemies is said to be a kind of pheromone. Some species of apes rub pheromone-containing urine on the feet of potential mates to attract them. Some scientists believe that animals (usually the females) such as insects and mammals send out these chemical signals to tell the male of their species that their genes are different from theirs. This gene diversity is important in producing offspring with better chances of survival. The perfume industry has capitalized on pheromones as a means to increase one’s sexual attractiveness to the opposite sex. Animals such as the whale and the musk deer were hunted down for these chemicals.

Lately, scientists are looking into the existence of human pheromones and its role in mate selection. There are many conflicting views in the realm of biology, chemistry, genetics, and psychology. Most scientists would assert that these do not exist, or if they do, do not play a role in sexual attraction between a man and a woman. But new researches such as that conducted by Swiss researchers from the University of Bern led by Klaus Wedekind are slowly making these scientists rethink their stand. Their experiment involved women sniffing the cotton shirts of different men during their ovulation period. It was found out that women prefer the smell of men’s shirts that were genetically different, but also shared similarities with the women’s genes. This, like in the case of insects and other mammals, was to ensure better and healthier characteristics for their future children. But researchers also cautioned that preference for a male odor is affected by the women’s ovulation period, the food that men eat, perfumes and other scented body products, and the use of contraceptive pills.

Does personality figure in sexual attraction?

Yes, but so does your perception of a potential mate’s personality. According to a research conducted by Klohnen, E.C., & S. Luo in 2003 on interpersonal attraction and personality, a person’s sense of self-security and at least the person’s perception of his/her partner were found to be strong determinants of attraction in hypothetical situations. What does this tell us? We prefer a certain personality type, which attracts you to a person. But aside from the actual personality of the person, which can only be verified through close interaction through time, it is your perception of your potential partner that attracts you to him/her, whether the person of your affection truly has that kind of personality or not. This could probably account for a statement commonly heard from men and women on their failed relationships: “I thought he/she was this kind of person.”

So how does attraction figure in relationships?

You have probably heard that attraction is a prelude, or a factor towards a relationship. Most probably, at least in the beginning; but attraction alone cannot make a relationship work. It is that attraction that makes you notice a person from the opposite sex, but once you get to know the person more, attraction is just one consideration. Shared values, dreams, and passions become more significant in long-term relationships.

So should I stop trying to become attractive?

More than trying to become physically attractive, work on all aspects of your health: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Physical attraction is still a precursor. Remember, biology predisposes us to choose the partner with the healthiest genes. Where your emotions are concerned, just ask this to yourself: would you want to spend time with a person who feels insecure about him/herself? Probably not! There is wisdom in knowing yourself: who you are, your beliefs, values, and dreams. And do not pretend to be someone you are not. Fooling another person by making him/her think that you share the same values and beliefs is only going to cause you both disappointments. When you are healthy in all aspects, attractiveness becomes a consequence and not an end. As mentioned in the Klohnen and Luo’s research, a person’s sense of self-security matters, perhaps even beyond attraction. But remember: do these things for yourself and not for other people. Only then can you truly harness your attractiveness as a person.



Saturday, April 20, 2013

What Innovation Can Do to Your Life

It's a talent that everyone has, yet they think they don't. The power of innovation. If you've ever marvelled at somebody's creative prowess, guess what, you can create and innovate too. It just takes time. Everyone is born creative. The box of crayons in kindergarten were not limited to those who possessed potential; because the truth is, everybody has potential.

You know how long it took to learn to ride a bike or drive or to never commit the same mistake again? It's the same with innovation. It takes a  bit of practice and a lot of time before this mind function comes easily  when called. This article will teach you a few tips on how to bring innovation into your life.

Don't listen to what other people say. Follow the beat of your own drum. Allowing for the input of other people will only bring cacophony to the music you are trying to make. If you have an original idea, don't waste your time and effort trying to make people understand. They won't. And the help you will probably get comes in the form of negative feedback. If all those geniuses listened to their peers, we would probably still be living in the middle ages.

Spend time on it. I cannot stress that enough, although, please do not mistake this tip to tell you to quit your day job entirely. Do not. This involves some tricky time management but with a little discipline you'll be able to squeeze both in.

Exercise. Take a walk. Run a mile or two. Send all those endorphins coursing through your veins. Exercising certainly clears and relaxes your mind and allows for anything to pop up.

Record your dreams. Aren't some of them just the craziest things that your conscious mind would never have thought of? If you've had these dreams before, and I'm sure have, this only shows you the untapped innovative power you have lying within. So jot down those notes. Those dreams may just create an innovative spark in you.

Find your own style. You can always tell a Van Gogh from a Matisse. You'll know Hemingway wrote something by the choice of words on the paper. So it is the same with you. People will appreciate your innovation more because it is uniquely yours and that no one else would have thought of what you were thinking. That will let people see how valuable an asset you are.

Don't hide behind nifty gadgets or tools. You don't need the most expensive set of paints to produce a masterpiece. The same way with writing. You don't need some expensive fountain pen and really smooth paper for a bestseller. In fact, J.K. Rowling wrote the first book of the Harry Potter Series on bits of tissue. So what if you've got an expensive SLR camera if you're a crappy photographer? Who cares if you've got a blinging laptop if you can't write at all? The artist actually reduces the number of tools he has as he gets better at his craft: he knows what works and what doesn't.

Nothing will work without passion. What wakes you up in the mornings? What keeps the flame burning? What is the one thing that you'll die if you don't do? Sometimes people with talent are overtaken by the people who want it more. Think the hare and the tortoise. Ellen Degeneres once said that if you're not doing something that you want to do, then you don't really want to do it. And that's true. Sometimes you just want something so bad you become a virtual unstoppable. And that is passion. Passion will keep you going.

Don't worry about inspiration. You can't force it; inspiration hits when you least expect it to, for those unpredictable yet inevitable moments you should prepare. An idea could strike you on the subway, yet alas, you poor unfortunate soul; you have no sheet of paper to scribble down a thought that could change the world. Avoid these disasters. Have a pen and paper within your arm's reach at all times.

I hope this article has helped you bring more innovation into your life. Keep in mind that you're doing these things for your own satisfaction and not anybody else's. But soon enough they will notice, and everything should snowball from there.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Aikido in Everyday Life


The modern martial art from Japan called Aikido is often referred to as the "art of peace" because it espouses a quick peaceful end to any form of aggression. In the practice place of Aikido, usually called dojo, students will be able to learn about flexibility and adaptation. Both of these are results of a relaxed manner that Aikido students strive to embody.

The reason why being relaxed and calm is taught in Aikido practice is because at the heart of its principles of spirituality and philosophy, Aikido masters and instructors believe that the ki or ch'i or energy can only truly flow in its complete potential energy when one is relaxed. It is in this relaxed state that ki flows freely and smoothly. This philosophy that ki is a force that is very strong and fundamental.

It is believed to be superior to muscle and physical strength, which sometimes hinders the ki. In fact, in Aikido, instead of muscle and strength building, flexibility and endurance is part of the Aikido martial art training. Now, it said that to be able to truly harness the power of the ki, it must be allowed to flow. It can only flow properly within us when we are in a relaxed state. The relaxed state cannot be built like muscles through exercise. A spiritual journey must be taken upon by an Aikido student to be able to achieve the state of calm and peace that is vital in combat.

In constant defense and fear, we tend to be too busy to concentrate and are easily distracted. Aikido stresses this fact and so it teaches its students to remain calm in the face of an assault. Remaining calm puts an advantage over the assailant because you will not be caught of guard and unaware and therefore will not be toppled over or thrown. More advanced techniques teach students not only to fall properly, but also to be able to rebound and plant a counter attack as one rises from a fall.

Beyond combat and the dojo however, Aikido masters and instructors cultivate the development of spirituality and character within Aikido students so that they can apply Aikido principles everyday in life. True understanding of Aikido simultaneously promotes better performance in practice combats as well as in performance in everyday life.

Aikido everyday in life is akin to having an unshakable peace and calm that enables you to have the strength needed to withstand even the toughest of life's challenges. Remember that Aikido teaches students about flexibility, adaptability, calm and clarity. All these are useful tools in dealing with life, so say Aikido practitioners.

Some Aikido martial artists tend to relate Aikido combat principles to everyday life like work, play and personal relationships. This results in a true oneness in the practice of Aikido everyday in life. In Aikido training, there is such a thing as uke and nage. One cannot exist without the other. Uke makes an assault on nage and consequently is the receiver of the Aikido technique which nage uses to neutralize uke's attack energy with. In training using uke and nage, one will be able to get better in Aikido techniques by learning from each other and gaining each others strengths and battling each others weaknesses together.

If this is something that you want to cultivate in your life then Aikido everyday in life is something that you might want to take up and learn.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Self-improvement and Success


Everything that happens to us happens in purpose. And sometimes, one thing leads to another. Instead of locking yourself up in your cage of fears and crying over past heartaches, embarrassment and failures, treat them as your teachers and they will become your tools in both self improvement and success.

I remember watching Patch Adams – it is my favorite movie, actually. It is one great film that will help you improve yourself. Hunter “patch” Adams is a medical student who failed to make it through the board exams. After months of suffering in melancholy, depression and suicidal attempts – he decided to seek for medical attention and voluntarily admitted himself in a psychiatric ward.  His months of stay in the hospital led him to meeting different kinds of people. Sick people in that matter. He met a catatonic, a mentally retarded, a schizophrenic and so on. Patch found ways of treating his own ailment and finally realized he has to get back on track. He woke up one morning realizing that after all the failure and pains he has gone through, he still want to become the a doctor. He carries with himself a positive attitude that brought him self improvement and success. He didn’t only improved himself, but also the life of the people around him and the quality of life. Did he succeed? Needless to say, he became the best damn doctor his country has ever known.

So, when does self improvement become synonymous with success? Where do we start? Take these tips, friends…
*Stop thinking and feeling as if you’re a failure, because you’re not. How can others accept you if YOU can’t accept YOU?

*When you see hunks and models on TV, think more on self improvement, not self pitying. Self acceptance is not just about having nice slender legs, or great abs. Concentrate on inner beauty.

*When people feel so down and low about themselves, help them move up. Don’t go down with them. They’ll pull you down further and both of you will end up feeling inferior.

*The world is a large room for lessons, not mistakes. Don’t feel stupid and doomed forever just because you failed on a science quiz. There’s always a next time. Make rooms for self improvement.

*Take things one at a time. You don’t  expect black sheep’s to be goody-two-shoes in just a snap of a finger. Self improvement is a one day at a time process.

*Self improvement results to inner stability, personality development and dig this …. SUCCESS. It comes from self confidence, self appreciation and self esteem.

* Set meaningful and achievable goals. Self improvement doesn’t turn you to be the exact replica of Cameron Diaz or Ralph Fiennes. It hopes and aims to result to an improved and better YOU.

*Little things mean BIG to other people. Sometimes, we don’t realize that the little things that we do like a pat on the back, saying “hi” or “hello”, greeting someone “good day” or telling Mr. Smith something like “hey, I love your tie!” are simple things that mean so much to other people. When we’re being appreciative about beautiful things around us and other people, we also become beautiful to them.

*When you’re willing to accept change and go through the process of self improvement, it doesn’t mean that everyone else is. The world is a place where people of different values and attitude hang out. Sometimes, even if you think you and your best friend always like to do the same thing together at the same time, she would most likely decline an invitation for self improvement.

We should always remember that there’s no such thing as ‘over night success’. Its always a wonderful feeling to hold on to the things that you already have now, realizing that those are just one of the things you once wished for. A very nice quote says that “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”  We are all here to learn our lessons. Our parents, school teachers, friends, colleagues, officemates, neighbors… they are our teachers. When we open our doors for self improvement, we increase our chances to head to the road of success.




Saturday, March 9, 2013

Enjoy Your Life: Change Your Point of View


"Two men look out through the same bars: One sees the mud, and one sees the stars."- Frederick Langbridge, A Cluster of Quiet Thoughts

If you’ve placed second in a writing contest, will you jump for joy and push for better results the next time or will you be discouraged and find an excuse not to join again?

In life, you are always filled with choices. You may opt to have a pessimist’s view and live a self-defeated life or you may decide to take the optimist’s route and take a challenging and fulfilling life.

So why nurture an optimist’s point of view? And why now?

Well, optimism has been linked to positive mood and good morale; to academic, athletic, military, occupational and political success; to popularity; to good health and even to long life and freedom from trauma.

On the other hand, the rates of depression and pessimism have never been higher. It affects middle-aged adults the same way it hits younger people. The mean age of onset has gone from 30 to 15. It is no longer a middle-aged housewife’s disorder but also a teen-ager’s disorder’ as well.

Here’s how optimists are in action and researches that back up why it really pays to be an optimist:

Optimists expect the best

The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe bad events, which will last a long time and undermine everything they do, are their own fault.

The truth is optimists are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world. What differs is the way they explain their misfortune---it’s the opposite way. They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback, that its causes are confined to this one case.

Optimists tend to focus on and plan for the 'problem' at hand. They use 'positive reinterpretation.' In other words, they most likely reinterpret a negative experience in a way that helps them learn and grow. Such people are unfazed by bad situation, they perceive it is a challenge and try harder.

They won’t say “things will never get better,” “If I failed once, it will happen again” and “If I experience misfortune in one part of my life, then it will happen in my whole life.”

Positive expectancies of optimists also predict better reactions during transitions to new environments, sudden tragedies and unlikely turn of events. If they fall, they will stand up. They see opportunities instead of obstacles.

People respond positively to optimists

Optimists are proactive and less dependent on others for their happiness. They find no need to control or manipulate people. They usually draw people towards them. Their optimistic view of the world can be contagious and influence those they are with.

Optimism seems a socially desirable trait in all communities. Those who share optimism are generally accepted while those who spread gloom, panic and hysteria are treated unfavorably.

In life, these people often win elections; get voted most congenial and sought for advice.

When the going gets tough, optimists get tougher

Optimists typically maintain higher levels of subjective well-being during times of stress than do people who are less optimistic. In contrast, pessimists are likely to react to stressful events by denying that they exist or by avoiding dealing with problems. Pessimists are more likely to quit trying when difficulties arise.

They persevere. They just don’t give up easily, they are also known for their patience. Inching their way a step closer to that goal or elusive dream.

Optimists are healthier and live longer

Medical research has justified that simple pleasures and a positive outlook can cause a measurable increase in the body's ability to fight disease.

Optimists’ health is unusually good. They age well, much freer than most people from the usual physical ills of middle age. And they get to outlive those prone to negative thoughts.

So why not be an optimist today? And think positively towards a more fulfilled life.

Why not look forward to success in all your endeavors? Why not be resilient? Like everybody else you are bound to hit lows sometimes but don’t just stay there. Carry yourself out of the mud and improve your chances of getting back on the right track. And why not inspire others to remove their dark-colored glasses and see life in the bright side?



Thursday, March 7, 2013

Harnessing your Attraction Power

Does a Law on Human Attraction Exist?


“Opposites attract” is a law of attraction, at least where electromagnetism is concerned. But are there laws about attraction between two people? “In a world that is full of strangers” as a line in a famous song of the 1980’s goes, is there a clear set of rules that allows two people to fall for each other?

Is attraction a matter of chemistry?

Maybe. According to scientists, the attraction between animals of the opposite sex is all about chemicals called pheromones. The effect of pheromones in behavior of insects is the most studied to date. It has been observed, at least in some experiments, that pheromones are responsible for communication among same species and colony of ants. The horrible odor released by skunks to ward off enemies is said to be a kind of pheromone. Some species of apes rub pheromone-containing urine on the feet of potential mates to attract them. Some scientists believe that animals (usually the females) such as insects and mammals send out these chemical signals to tell the male of their species that their genes are different from theirs. This gene diversity is important in producing offspring with better chances of survival. The perfume industry has capitalized on pheromones as a means to increase one’s sexual attractiveness to the opposite sex. Animals such as the whale and the musk deer were hunted down for these chemicals.

Lately, scientists are looking into the existence of human pheromones and its role in mate selection. There are many conflicting views in the realm of biology, chemistry, genetics, and psychology. Most scientists would assert that these do not exist, or if they do, do not play a role in sexual attraction between a man and a woman. But new researches such as that conducted by Swiss researchers from the University of Bern led by Klaus Wedekind are slowly making these scientists rethink their stand. Their experiment involved women sniffing the cotton shirts of different men during their ovulation period. It was found out that women prefer the smell of men’s shirts that were genetically different, but also shared similarities with the women’s genes. This, like in the case of insects and other mammals, was to ensure better and healthier characteristics for their future children. But researchers also cautioned that preference for a male odor is affected by the women’s ovulation period, the food that men eat, perfumes and other scented body products, and the use of contraceptive pills.

Does personality figure in sexual attraction?

Yes, but so does your perception of a potential mate’s personality. According to a research conducted by Klohnen, E.C., & S. Luo in 2003 on interpersonal attraction and personality, a person’s sense of self-security and at least the person’s perception of his/her partner were found to be strong determinants of attraction in hypothetical situations. What does this tell us? We prefer a certain personality type, which attracts you to a person. But aside from the actual personality of the person, which can only be verified through close interaction through time, it is your perception of your potential partner that attracts you to him/her, whether the person of your affection truly has that kind of personality or not. This could probably account for a statement commonly heard from men and women on their failed relationships: “I thought he/she was this kind of person.”

So how does attraction figure in relationships?

You have probably heard that attraction is a prelude, or a factor towards a relationship. Most probably, at least in the beginning; but attraction alone cannot make a relationship work. It is that attraction that makes you notice a person from the opposite sex, but once you get to know the person more, attraction is just one consideration. Shared values, dreams, and passions become more significant in long-term relationships.

So should I stop trying to become attractive?

More than trying to become physically attractive, work on all aspects of your health: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Physical attraction is still a precursor. Remember, biology predisposes us to choose the partner with the healthiest genes. Where your emotions are concerned, just ask this to yourself: would you want to spend time with a person who feels insecure about him/herself? Probably not! There is wisdom in knowing yourself: who you are, your beliefs, values, and dreams. And do not pretend to be someone you are not. Fooling another person by making him/her think that you share the same values and beliefs is only going to cause you both disappointments. When you are healthy in all aspects, attractiveness becomes a consequence and not an end. As mentioned in the Klohnen and Luo’s research, a person’s sense of self-security matters, perhaps even beyond attraction. But remember: do these things for yourself and not for other people. Only then can you truly harness your attractiveness as a person.



Monday, March 4, 2013

Take decision, live your own life

Life is About Choices and the Decisions We Make.
Life is like a road. There are long and short roads; smooth and rocky roads; crooked and straight paths. In our life many roads would come our way as we journey through life. There are roads that lead to a life of single blessedness, marriage, and religious vocation. There are also roads that lead to fame and fortune on one hand, or isolation and poverty on the other. There are roads to happiness as there are roads to sadness, roads towards victory and jubilation, and roads leading to defeat and disappointment.

Just like any road, there are corners, detours, and crossroads in life. Perhaps the most perplexing road that you would encounter is a crossroad. With four roads to choose from and with limited knowledge on where they would go, which road will you take? What is the guarantee that we would choose the right one along the way? Would you take any road, or just stay where you are: in front of a crossroad?


There are no guarantees.

You do not really know where a road will lead you until you take it. There are no guarantees. This is one of the most important things you need to realize about life. Nobody said that choosing to do the right thing all the time would always lead you to happiness. Loving someone with all your heart does not guarantee that it would be returned. Gaining fame and fortune does not guarantee happiness. Accepting a good word from an influential superior to cut your trip short up the career ladder is not always bad, especially if you are highly qualified and competent.  There are too many possible outcomes, which your really cannot control. The only thing you have power over is the decisions that you will make, and how you would act and react to different situations.


Wrong decisions are always at hindsight.

Had you known that you were making a wrong decision, would you have gone along with it? Perhaps not, why would you choose a certain path when you know it would get you lost? Why make a certain decision if you knew from the very beginning that it is not the right one. It is only after you have made a decision and reflected on it that you realize its soundness. If the consequences or outcomes are good for you, then you have decided correctly. Otherwise, your decision was wrong.


Take the risk: decide.

Since life offers no guarantee and you would never know that your decision would be wrong until you have made it, then you might as well take the risk and decide. It is definitely better than keeping yourself in limbo. Although it is true that one wrong turn could get you lost, it could also be that such a turn could be an opportunity for an adventure, moreover open more roads. It is all a matter of perspective. You have the choice between being a lost traveller or an accidental tourist of life.  But take caution that you do not make decisions haphazardly. Taking risks is not about being careless and stupid. Here are some pointers that could help you choose the best option in the face of life’s crossroads:

·    Get as many information as you can about your situation.

You cannot find the confidence to decide when you know so little about what you are faced with. Just like any news reporter, ask the 5 W’s: what, who, when, where, and why. What is the situation? Who are the people involved? When did this happen? Where is this leading? Why are you in this situation? These are just some of the possible questions to ask to know more about your situation. This is important. Oftentimes, the reason for indecision is the lack of information about a situation.

·    Identify and create options.

What options do the situation give you? Sometimes the options are few, but sometimes they are numerous. But what do you do when you think that the situation offers no options? This is the time that you create your own. Make your creative mind work. From the most simplistic to the most complicated, entertain all ideas. Do not shoot anything down when an idea comes to your head. Sometimes the most outrageous idea could prove to be the right one in the end. You can ask a friend to help you identify options and even make more options if you encounter some difficulty, but make sure that you make the decision yourself in the end.

·    Weigh the pros and cons of every option.

Assess each option by looking at the advantages and disadvantages it offers you. In this way, you get more insights about the consequences of such an option.

·    Trust yourself and make that decision.

Now that you have assessed your options, it is now time to trust yourself. Remember that there are no guarantees and wrong decisions are always at hindsight.  So choose… decide… believe that you are choosing the best option at this point in time.


Now that you have made a decision, be ready to face its consequences: good and bad. It may take you to a place of promise or to a land of problems. But the important thing is that you have chosen to live your life instead of remaining a bystander or a passive audience to your own life. Whether it is the right decision or not, only time can tell. But do not regret it whatever the outcome. Instead, learn from it and remember that you always have the chance to make better decisions in the future.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Founding Principles of Aikido

Aikido means "The Way of Harmony with the Spirit" and is considered a non-violent form of martial art. However, don't be fooled. Aikido when used correctly is very powerful often are able to block and neutralize strong attacks and counter them with an equal force.

Morihei Ueshiba, now known as O-sensei to the world of Aikido, founded the martial art. O-sensei is a master of Jujitsu or unarmed combat, Kinjitsu or sword combat, and sojitsu or spear combat and studied philosophical and religious teachings. 

Because of the religious and philosophical foundations of Aikido, principles of the martial art include ways to harmonize with the ki or spirit within oneself and the bigger spirit of nature. Among the principles of Aikido include oneness, circular motion and ki.

Among the philosophical teachings of Aikido, one of the more basics and more important is learning to control oneself. Maintaining an inner balance is necessary to harmonize with others enabling to control an opponent's attack or applying an effective technique. Self-control is the key to achieve and maintain harmony.

The Principle of Oneness is another basic principle in Aikido. An aikidoka must learn to become one with any situation. Becoming one means having an attitude of respect for all things and situations, friend or foe. By training to become one with every situation, harmonization will follow and it will become possible to execute Aikido techniques, movements and forms accurately and efficiently.

Harmony also means synthesis. And the spiritual circle which is a foundation of all Aikido techniques synthesizes everything. Aikido is a combination of circular movements. Its techniques and movements revolve around the concept of circular motions. When an opponent attacks, the aikidoka uses a circular motion of the lower abdomen to control the attack and execute Aikido techniques to counterattack.

It is said that defense is the greatest offense. In Aikido to defend properly an attack, one must learn to move away from the range of effectiveness of the opponent's attack. However, as you try to defend by getting out of the opponent's effective range, you must also try to maintain your own range of effectiveness in order to counterattack efficiently.

You won't be able to give an effective counterattack if you stepped too far away from your opponent. Similarly, being too close would definitely lessen the effectiveness of your techniques. Everything will depend on the situation. As an Aikido practitioner, you must learn to determine how to avoid your opponent's range while controlling your own in various situations.

Finally, the Principle of Ki involves believing that every thing in the universe is governed by a force or spirit. Ki is also the energy and our life force. Ki is the force that binds the mind and the body. It is the energy that harmonizes us to our surroundings. By learning to control our Ki, we will be able to unify our mind and our body maximizing efficient movements and execution of Aikido techniques.

Aikido focuses on the distance, motion, speed, and projection of an attacker. By using blending, spiraling, and extension techniques, the attack will be neutralized and by using one's centeredness and hips, the same amount of force can be applied to the attacker.  In Aikido, the spiraling and circular movements reflect what the martial art is: a fluid and flowing movement of spirit and energy.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Powers of a Positive Attitude

I am going to ask you to something very weird right now. First of all, I want you to listen to your thoughts. Now tell me, what thoughts fill your head? Would you label them as positive, or negative?

Now let's say you are walking down the street with these thoughts. Do you think anyone who would meet you would be able to tell you what’s on your mind?

The answer to number one is up to you. But, the answer number two can be pretty generic. Although people will not be able to tell you exactly what you think, they will more or less have an idea of how you are feeling.

Here's another question. When you enter a party filled with friends, do they all fall silent as if something terrible had happened? Or does everybody there perk up as if waiting for something exciting to happen?

You know what? The answer to all these depends on your frame of mind.

Thoughts are very powerful. They affect your general attitude. The attitude you carry reflects on your appearance, too – unless, of course, you are a great actor.

And it doesn't end there. Your attitude can also affect people around you.

The type of attitude you carry depends on you. It can be either positive or negative.

Positive thoughts have a filling effect. They are admittedly invigorating. Plus, the people around the person carrying positive thoughts are usually energized by this type of attitude.

Negative thoughts on the other hand have a sapping effect on other people. Aside from making you look gloomy and sad, negative thoughts can turn a festive gathering into a funeral wake.

A positive attitude attracts people, while a negative attitude repels them. People tend to shy away from those who carry a negative attitude.

We can also define attitude as the way of looking at the world. If you choose to focus on the negative things in the world, more or less you have a negative attitude brewing up. However, if you choose to focus on the positive things, you are more likely carry a positive attitude.

You have much to gain from a very positive attitude. For one, studies have shown that a positive attitude promotes better health. Those with this kind of attitude also have more friends. projecting a positive attitude also helps one to handle stress and problems better than those who have a negative attitude.

A positive attitude begins with a healthy self-image. If you will love the way you are and are satisfied, confident, and self-assured, you also make others are around feel the same way.

A negative attitude, on the other hand, has, of course, an opposite effect. So, carrying a negative attitude has a twofold drawback. You feel bad about yourself, and you make others feel the same way.

If you want to have a positive attitude, you have to feature healthy thoughts. This is probably very hard to do nowadays since, all around us, the media feeds us nothing but negative thoughts. A study shows that for every 14 things a parent says to his or her child, only one is positive. This is truly a saddening thought.

If you want a healthier outlook in life, you need to think happy thoughts, and you have to hear positive things as well. So, what can you do? Well, for starters, you could see a funny movie, you could play with children, spend some time telling jokes with friends. All these activities fill you with positive stimuli, which in turn promotes positive attitude.

Although it is impossible to keep ourselves from the negative things around us, you can still carry a positive attitude by focusing on the good things, the positive things in life.

And this positive attitude you now carry can be of benefit to other people. Sometimes when other people feel down, the thing people mostly do is try to give them advice. But sometimes, all they need is somebody to sit by them, and listen to them. If you have a positive attitude you may be able to cheer them up without even having to say anything.

If positive attitude is really great, why do people choose to adopt a negative attitude instead? One who carries a negative attitude may be actually sending a signal for attention. Before you get me wrong, feeling sad, angry, or gloomy is not wrong itself. But dwelling on these thoughts for far too long is not healthy either. There is a time to mourn.

As always, if you are beset by troubles, even in your darkest hour, focus on the good things in life, you will always have hope. Problems become something you can overcome.

You do not have much to lose by adopting a healthy, positive attitude. Studies show that such an attitude actually retards aging, makes you healthier, helps you develop a better stress coping mechanism, and has a very positive effect on all the people you meet every day. So, what's not to like about a positive attitude? Adopt one today.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Basics of Goal Setting

Setting Your Goals - Easier Said, Easily Done

The basics of setting a goal is an open secret known by top-caliber athletes, successful businessmen and businesswomen and all types of achievers in all the different fields. The basics of setting goals give you short-term and long-term motivation and focus. They help you set focus on the acquisition of required knowledge and help you to plan and organize your resources and your time so that you can get the best out of your life.

Setting clearly defined short term and long term goals will enable you to measure your progress and achieve personal satisfaction once you have successfully met your goals. Charting your progress will also enable you to actually see the stages of completion leading to the actual realization of your goals. This eliminates the feeling of a long and pointless grind towards achieving your goal. Your self-confidence and level of competence will also improve as you will be more aware of your capabilities as you complete or achieve your goals.

The basics of goal settings will involve deciding what you really want to do with your personal life and what short term and long term goals you need to achieve it. Then you have to break down goals into the smaller and manageable targets that you must complete in your way to achieving your lifetime targets. Once you have your list waste no time in tackling your goals.

A good way to have a manageable list is to have a daily and weekly set of goals. By doing this you will be always in the position of going towards you life plan goals. Everyday will give you the opportunity to fulfill a certain goal giving you the feeling of accomplishment.

Here are some pointers that should be taken into consideration in setting goals and achieving them.

Attitude plays a very big role in setting and achieving your goals. You must ask yourself  if any part of you or your mind holding you back towards completing your simplest goals? If there are any part of your behavior that is being a hindrance or puts your plans into disarray? If you do have problems in these areas then the immediate thing to do is to address this problem. Solutions may include a visit to a doctor or psychiatrist to control your emotions.

Careers are made by good time management practice. Failing in a career is often attributed to bad time management. Careers require a lot from an individual which often makes the career the life of the individual. Plan how far do you want to go into your career.

Education is key in achieving your goals. If your goals require you to have a certain kind of degree or require a certain specialization or demand a certain skill to be developed, make plans in getting the appropriate education.

Your family should never be left out of your plans. If you are just starting out then you have to decide if you want to be a parent or when you want to be a parent. You also have to know if you really would be a good parent and how well would you relate to extended family members

Personal financial situations also play a major role in achieving your goals. Have a realistic goal on how much you really want to earn. You also must be able to create plans or stages by which you will be able to reach your earning potential.

Physically gifted individuals may be able to achieve sports related goals like being in the National Basketball association or National Football League. Determining your physical capabilities should be one of your priorities. Physical limitations could however be conquered with proper planning.

As the saying goes -'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy', or something to that effect, is by all means true down to the last the letter. Giving yourself a little pleasure: should be included into your plans.

To start achieving your lifetime goals, set a quarter of a century plan, then break it down to 5 year plans then break it down again to 1 year plans, then 6 month plans then monthly plans, then weekly, then daily.

Then create a things-to-do list for the day.

Always review your plans and prepare for contingencies.

The basics of goal settings should not be so difficult once you get to be familiar with them.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Your Guide To Creative Problem

More than One Way to Skin a Cat: Adventures in Creative Thinking

How many times have you caught yourself saying that there could be no other solution to a problem – and that that problem leads to a dead end? How many times have you felt stumped knowing that the problem laying before you is one you cannot solve. No leads.  No options.  No solutions. 

Did it feel like you had exhausted all possible options and yet are still before the mountain – large, unconquerable, and impregnable? When encountering such enormous problems, you may feel like you're hammering against a steel mountain. The pressure of having to solve such a problem may be overwhelming.

But rejoice! There might be some hope yet!

With some creative problem-solving techniques you may be able to look at your problem in a different light. And that light might just be the end of the tunnel that leads to possible solutions.

First of all, in the light of creative problem-solving, you must be open-minded to the fact that there may be more than just one solution to the problem. And, you must be open to the fact that there may be solutions to problems you thought were unsolvable.

Now, with this optimistic mindset, we can try to be a little bit more creative in solving our problems.

Number one; maybe the reason we cannot solve our problems is that we have not really taken a hard look at what the problem is. Here, trying to understanding the problem and having a concrete understanding of its workings is integral solving the problem. If you know how it works, what the problem is, then you have a better foundation towards solving the problem.

Not trying to make the simple statement of what problem is. Try to identify the participating entities and what their relationships with one another are. Take note of the things you stand to gain any stand to lose from the current problem. Now you have a simple statement of what the problem is.

Number two; try to take note of all of the constraints and assumptions you have the words of problem. Sometimes it is these assumptions that obstruct our view of possible solutions. You have to identify which assumptions are valid, in which assumptions need to be addressed.

Number three; try to solve the problem by parts. Solve it going from general view towards the more detailed parts of the problem. This is called the top-down approach. Write down the question, and then come up with a one-sentence solution to that from them. The solution should be a general statement of what will solve the problem. From here you can develop the solution further, and increase its complexity little by little.

Number four; although it helps to have critical thinking aboard as you solve a problem, you must also keep a creative, analytical voice at the back of your head. When someone comes up with a prospective solution, tried to think how you could make that solution work. Try to be creative. At the same time, look for chinks in the armor of that solution.

Number five; it pays to remember that there may be more than just one solution being developed at one time. Try to keep track of all the solutions and their developments. Remember, there may be more than just one solution to the problem.

Number six; remember that old adage," two heads are better than one." That one is truer than it sounds. Always be open to new ideas. You can only benefit from listening to all the ideas each person has. This is especially true when the person you're talking to has had experience solving problems similar to yours.

You don't have to be a gung-ho, solo hero to solve the problem. If you can organize collective thought on the subject, it would be much better.

Number seven; be patient. As long as you persevere, there is always a chance that a solution will present itself. Remember that no one was able to create an invention the first time around.

Creative thinking exercises can also help you in your quest be a more creative problems solver.

Here is one example.

Take a piece of paper and write any word that comes to mind at the center. Now look at that word then write the first two words that come to your mind. This can go on until you can build a tree of related words. This helps you build analogical skills, and fortify your creative processes.

So, next time you see a problem you think you can not solve, think again. The solution might just be staring you right in the face. All it takes is just a little creative thinking, some planning, and a whole lot of work.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Of The Good Use Of Relaxation

Your Recommended Daily Allowance for Relaxation

Stress is the curse of living in modern times. Everyone suffers from stress. And the stress we suffer takes a heavy toll on our bodies, emotions and minds.

Feeling stressed out, worn out by fatigue or just simply having a miserable day, the best thing to do is relax.

Watching television may be a form of relaxation for some, but is not a recommended method by experts. When we watch TV we are bombarded with commercials, ads, sounds and images. So how do we achieve relaxation? If there are thousands of ways we can get stressed, one of them is not meeting deadlines, there are also many ways we can relax.

In recent studies, experts have determined that heart disease is linked to anger and irritability is linked to mental stress. Too much stress brings about ischemia that can lead to or cause a heart attack. Relaxation takes on added importance in light of this matter. Managing your anger and attitude is significant to heart health, and relaxation can help you manage stress.

One way of relaxation is transcendental meditation. Recent studies have also shown that this method might reduce artery blockage, which is a major cause for heart attack and stroke. People practice transcendental meditation by repeating uttering soothing sounds while meditating, this is to achieve total relaxation. The researchers found that practitioners of transcendental meditation significantly reduced the thickness of their arterial wall compared with those who didn't practice transcendental meditation.

Another study on another method of relaxation, acupuncture, seems to reduce high blood pressure by initiating several body functions for the brain to release chemical compounds known as endorphins. Endorphin helps to relax muscles, ease panic, decrease pain, and reduce anxiety.

Yoga is also another method for relaxation and may also have similar effects like acupuncture. In another study, participants were subjected to several minutes of mental stress. Then they were subjected to various relaxation techniques, such as listening to nature sounds or classical music. Only those who did Yoga significantly reduced the time it took for their blood pressures to go back to normal. Yoga is a form of progressive relaxation.

Breathing is one of the easiest methods to relax. Breathing influences almost all aspects of us, it affects our mind, our moods and our body. Simply focus on your breathing, after some time you can feel its effects right away.

There are several breathing techniques that can help you reduce stress.

Another easy way to achieve relaxation is exercise. If you feel irritated a simple half-hour of exercise will often settle things down. Although exercise is a great way to lose weight, it does not show you how to manage stress appropriately. Exercise should also be used in conjunction with other exercise method.

One great way of relaxation is getting a massage. To gain full relaxation, you need to totally surrender to the handling and touch of a professional therapist.

There are several types of massages that also give different levels of relaxation.

Another method of relaxation is Biofeedback. The usual biofeedback-training program includes a 10-hour sessions that is often spaced one week apart.

Hypnosis is one controversial relaxation technique. It is a good alternative for people who think that they have no idea what it feels like to be relaxed. It is also a good alternative for people with stress related health problems.

Drugs are extreme alternatives to relaxation. They are sometimes not safe and are not effective like the other relaxation methods. This method is only used by trained medical professionals on their patients.

These relaxation techniques are just some of the ways you can achieve relaxation.  Another reason why we need to relax, aside from lowering blood pressure in people and decreasing the chances of a stroke or a heart attack, is because stress produces hormones that suppress the immune system, relaxation gives the immune system time to recover and in doing so function more efficiently.

Relaxation lowers the activities within the brains' limbic system; this is the emotional center of our brain.

Furthermore, the brain has a periodic need for a more pronounced activity on the right-hemisphere. Relaxation is one way of achieving this.

Relaxation can really be of good use once a relaxation technique is regularly built into your lifestyle. Choose a technique that you believe you can do regularly.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Power Through The People

Have you come across a person who is so naturally friendly that when you put him inside a room of strangers, he'll be friends with almost everyone in no time? We call such a people-person, someone unbelievably nice and charismatic that he can charm anyone into doing anything.

A socially-empowered person achieves so much greatness, basically because of the people that catapult him to success. He earns the trust and all-out support of the people, whom he had helped before. He never runs out of help. He can do anything with the plethora of people behind him. All because he knows he maximizes his social potential!

See, if you know your social skills and you make use of them, you will reach self-empowerment. Self-empowerment is making a general overhaul in your life and turning yourself into a happier and more successful person.If you can be one of those people-persons, then I can't see any reason why you will not succeed. You just have to know how to start.

1. Be genuine.

Hypocrisy will just bring you all the way down. Be genuinely nice and interested to people. Once they perceive that you are Mr. Hypocrite with selfish intentions, you might as well say goodbye to self-empowerment.

2. Be the greatest listener that you can be.

To earn the love and trust of the people, listen to their problems and sympathize with them. Do not just hear them out, listen to them with your heart. Make eye contact when the person talks to you. Listen as if every word matters, and it does. Brownie points when they find out that there is a confidante in you.

3. Laugh out loud.

I do not mean that you force yourself to laugh for every joke cracked by someone, albeit you do not find it funny at all.This means finding humor in things and not being too darn serious. A person oozing with an awesome sense of humor attracts crowds and eventually, attracts success.

4. Don't forget yourself.

In the process of fluttering around like a social butterfly, you might forget yourself, allowing everyone to push you over. Remember, love and value yourself before anyone else. If you deem yourself respectable and worthy of affection, people will flock to you and not trample on you.

5. Do random acts of kindness.

You don't have to do a John Rockefeller and blow your savings to charity. Little acts of kindness matters the most, and this can be as simple as giving someone a surprise you-take-care card or helping an elderly cross the street. When we were kindergarten students, kindness was taught to us and greatly practiced. Now is the time to revive the good deeds and this time, let them stay for good.

6. Contact your old friends.

Sad how some friendships are destined to goodbye, but thanks to technology, you can do something about it. Relive the good old days by flipping your yearbook and look for the great people whom you want to communicate with again. Adding these old friends to your roster of support peers will surely make you feel good all over.

7. Develop your personality
.

Are you grouchy, grumpy and generally morose? Whoa, you can't go through life with those. Get rid of the bad traits and habits that perpetually hamper your growth. And really, who wants a grouchy friend anyway?

8. Be confident.

Be able to stride to the other corner of the room and introduce yourself to people with that winning smile of yours. Just remember: be confident, not arrogant.

9. Practice control.

When angry, don't snap at anyone. Never throw a tantrum. Stay calm and collected. Be adult enough to take control of situation and transform your anger into something more productive and passive. As soon as people think your anger goes to volcanic proportions easily, they will find it hard to come to you.

10. Keep nurturing your relationships.

Your relationship with your family, friends and significant others is too precious that you must not neglect it whatever happens. Go out and have fun with them. Do things together. Happiness will never fly from your side as long as the people who matter the most are close to you.

In the end, using people for self-empowerment means becoming a better and more lovable person. It's a win-win situation: the people know they can turn to you anytime and vice versa.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Beginnings of Aikido

The name aikido is formed by the combination of three characters in the Japanese language. Ai, which means joining; ki, which means spirit and do, which means way. These three words actually summarize the essence of aikido as a form of martial art— the joining of the spirit to find the way. It was only in the period from 1930s to the 40s that the name aikido was officially accepted as the name of the martial arts form.

Aikido uses techniques that do not damage or kill unlike other forms of martial arts. The movements and skills being taught are just meant to divert attention or immobilize people. This is perhaps the reason why most people prefer aikido, because of it’s focus on peace and harmony as opposed to aggression and conflict. In fact, aikido developer Morihei Ueshiba believes that to control aggression without causing any injury is the art of peace.

Ueshiba, who is also called Osensei, which means Great Teacher, created aikido from the principles of Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu. He incorporated the techniques of the yari, the spear; the juken, which is a bayonet; and the jo, which is a short quarterstaff). But what ultimately separates aikido from other forms of martial arts is the fact that its practitioners can attack while empty-handed. Practitioners need no weapons for protection.

As a young child, he was much into physical fitness and conditioning. This is because of his vow to avenge his father’s death. Eventually, his studies and activities brought him to the discipline of the different martial arts. He studied all. He even has certificates, fencing, fighting with spears, etc. He has learned it all. This is perhaps the reason why aikido is such a diverse and multi-disciplinary form of martial arts.

Yet despite his know how, he remains dissatisfied. He felt that there is still something missing. It was then that he turned to the religions. He studied under a spiritual leader, Onisaburo Deguchiof the sect Omoto-kyo in Ayabe. Deguchiof taught him to take care of his spiritual growth. He then combined his spiritual beliefs and his mastery of the different martial arts. Aikido was born. 

His association with this charismatic spiritual leader Deguchiof also paved the way for his introduction to the elite political and military people as a martial artist. Because of this connection, he was able to establish aikido and even transferred the teachings to students, who have in turn developed their own styles of movement in aikido.      

Aikido is a combination of the different styles of jujitsu as well as some of the techniques of sword and spear fighting, of which Ueshiba is an expert. To get an overall picture, aikido combines the joint locks and throws techniques of jujitsu and the movements of the body when fighting with sword and spears.  

Oriental in origin, it was brought to the west by Minoru Mochizuki when he visited France in 1951. He introduced the aikido techniques to students who are learning judo. In 1952, Tadashi Abe came to France as the official Aikikai Honbu representative. Then in 1953, Kenji Tomiki toured through the United States while Koichi Tohei stayed in Hawaii for a full year where he set up a dojo. Aikido then spread its influence in United Kingdom two years after and in 1965, it reached Germany and Australia. At present, aikido has centers all over the world.



Thursday, February 7, 2013

Spiritual Growth: the Spiritual Challenge of Modern Times


To grow spiritually in a world defined by power, money, and influence is a Herculean task. Modern conveniences such as electronic equipments, gadgets, and tools as well as entertainment through television, magazines, and the web have predisposed us to confine our attention mostly to physical needs and wants. As a result, our concepts of self-worth and self-meaning are muddled. How can we strike a balance between the material and spiritual aspects of our lives?

To grow spiritually is to look inward.

Introspection goes beyond recalling the things that happened in a day, week, or month. You need to look closely and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and motivations. Periodically examining your experiences, the decisions you make, the relationships you have, and the things you engage in provide useful insights on your life goals, on the good traits you must sustain and the bad traits you have to discard. Moreover, it gives you clues on how to act, react, and conduct yourself in the midst of any situation. Like any skill, introspection can be learned; all it takes is the courage and willingness to seek the truths that lie within you. Here are some pointers when you introspect: be objective, be forgiving of yourself, and focus on your areas for improvement.

To grow spiritually is to develop your potentials.

Religion and science have differing views on matters of the human spirit. Religion views people as spiritual beings temporarily living on Earth, while science views the spirit as just one dimension of an individual. Mastery of the self is a recurring theme in both Christian (Western) and Islamic (Eastern) teachings. The needs of the body are recognized but placed under the needs of the spirit. Beliefs, values, morality, rules, experiences, and good works provide the blueprint to ensure the growth of the spiritual being. In Psychology, realizing one’s full potential is to self-actualize. Maslow identified several human needs: physiological, security, belongingness, esteem, cognitive, aesthetic, self-actualization, and self-transcendence. James earlier categorized these needs into three: material, emotional, and spiritual. When you have satisfied the basic physiological and emotional needs, spiritual or existential needs come next. Achieving each need leads to the total development of the individual. Perhaps the difference between these two religions and psychology is the end of self-development: Christianity and Islam see that self-development is a means toward serving God, while psychology view that self-development is an end by itself.

To grow spiritually is to search for meaning.

Religions that believe in the existence of God such as Christianism, Judaism, and Islam suppose that the purpose of the human life is to serve the Creator of all things. Several theories in psychology propose that we ultimately give meaning to our lives. Whether we believe that life’s meaning is pre-determined or self-directed, to grow in spirit is to realize that we do not merely exist. We do not know the meaning of our lives at birth; but we gain knowledge and wisdom from our interactions with people and from our actions and reactions to the situations we are in. As we discover this meaning, there are certain beliefs and values that we reject and affirm.  Our lives have purpose. This purpose puts all our physical, emotional, and intellectual potentials into use; sustains us during trying times; and gives us something to look forward to---a goal to achieve, a destination to reach. A person without purpose or meaning is like a drifting ship at sea.

To grow spiritually is to recognize interconnections.

Religions stress the concept of our relatedness to all creation, live and inanimate. Thus we call other people “brothers and sisters” even if there are no direct blood relations. Moreover, deity-centered religions such as Christianity and Islam speak of the relationship between humans and a higher being. On the other hand, science expounds on our link to other living things through the evolution theory. This relatedness is clearly seen in the concept of ecology, the interaction between living and non-living things. In psychology, connectedness is a characteristic of self-transcendence, the highest human need according to Maslow. Recognizing your connection to all things makes you more humble and respectful of people, animals, plants, and things in nature. It makes you appreciate everything around you. It moves you to go beyond your comfort zone and reach out to other people, and become stewards of all other things around you.

Growth is a process thus to grow in spirit is a day-to-day encounter. We win some, we lose some, but the important thing is that we learn, and from this knowledge, further spiritual growth is made possible.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Way To Wellness



It's time to start a Healthy life: your 7 days program

How many times have you gone to sleep at night, swearing you'll go to the gym in the morning, and then changing your mind just eight hours later because when you get up, you don't feel like exercising?

While this can happen to the best of us, it doesn't mean you should drop the ball altogether when it comes to staying fit. What people need to realize is that staying active and eating right are critical for long-term health and wellness -- and that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The more you know about how your body responds to your lifestyle choices, the better you can customize a nutrition and exercise plan that is right for you. When you eat well, increase your level of physical activity, and exercise at the proper intensity, you are informing your body that you want to burn a substantial amount of fuel. This translates to burning fat more efficiently for energy.
In other words, proper eating habits plus exercise equals fast metabolism, which, in turn gives you more energy throughout the day and allows you to do more physical work with less effort.

The true purpose of exercise is to send a repetitive message to the body asking for improvement in metabolism, strength, aerobic capacity and overall fitness and health. Each time you exercise, your body responds by upgrading its capabilities to burn fat throughout the day and night, Exercise doesn't have to be intense to work for you, but it does need to be consistent.

I recommend engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise four times per week for 20 to 30 minutes per session, and resistance training four times per week for 20 to 25 minutes per session. This balanced approach provides a one-two punch, incorporating aerobic exercise to burn fat and deliver more oxygen, and resistance training to increase lean body mass and burn more calories around the block.

Here's a sample exercise program that may work for you:

* Warm Up -- seven to eight minutes of light aerobic activity intended to increase blood flow and lubricate and warm-up your tendons and joints.

* Resistance Training -- Train all major muscle groups. One to two sets of each exercise. Rest 45 seconds between sets.

* Aerobic Exercise -- Pick two favorite activities, they could be jogging, rowing, biking or cross-country skiing, whatever fits your lifestyle. Perform 12 to 15 minutes of the first activity and continue with 10 minutes of the second activity. Cool down during the last five minutes.

* Stretching -- Wrap up your exercise session by stretching, breathing deeply, relaxing and meditating.

When starting an exercise program, it is important to have realistic expectations. Depending on your initial fitness level, you should expect the following changes early on.

* From one to eight weeks -- Feel better and have more energy.

* From two to six months -- Lose size and inches while becoming leaner. Clothes begin to fit more loosely. You are gaining muscle and losing fat.

* After six months -- Start losing weight quite rapidly.

Once you make the commitment to exercise several times a week, don't stop there. You should also change your diet and/or eating habits,' says Zwiefel. Counting calories or calculating grams and percentages for certain nutrients is impractical. Instead, I suggest these easy-to-follow guidelines:

* Eat several small meals (optimally four) and a couple of small snacks throughout the day
* Make sure every meal is balanced -- incorporate palm-sized proteins like lean meats, fish, egg whites and dairy products, fist-sized portions of complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat bread and pasta, wild rice, multigrain cereal and potatoes, and fist-sized portions of vegetable and fruits
* Limit your fat intake to only what's necessary for adequate flavor
* Drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water throughout the day
* I also recommend that you take a multi-vitamin each day to ensure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

I suppose that's all I can think of for now. I should extend my thanks to a doctor friend of mine. Without him, I wouldn't be able to write this article, or keep my sanity.

Enjoy life, we all deserve it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

How To Decide for Taking Herbal Supplements


 
Many people nowadays are turning to “organics” and “naturals” otherwise known as herbals. The rising popularity of herbal supplements has created a new fad if not a new health lifestyle. But before you join the bandwagon, here are some things you need to know about this mean, “green” dietary supplementing machine.

What is the difference between a drug and a dietary supplement?

According to the definition set by food and drug administrations in different countries, drugs are chemicals that can prevent, prolong the life, treat other effects of a health condition, improve the quality of life, and/or cure ailments and diseases, or alter the function of any part or chemicals inside the body. These drugs have approved therapeutic claims. For example, paracetamol is a drug given to bring down the body temperature in fever. Ascorbic acid is indicated for the treatment of scurvy. Iron supplements are given to treat mild cases of anemia.

Herbal supplements are not classified as drugs but as dietary supplements. The main difference is that they do not have approved therapeutic claims unlike in the case of drugs. Moreover, dietary supplements could either contain vitamins, minerals, herbals, or amino acids, all aimed to add to or supplement the diet of an individual. They are not intended to be taken alone as a substitute to any food or medicine.

Most of the manufactured medicines we now have once came from animals and plants. Through the years, chemists isolated the life-saving or life-curing components and separated them from the harmful ones. This lead to the further drug research and drug development that lead to the production of a different variety of drugs for many ailments and conditions from synthetic sources. But still we have semi-synthetic drugs, as well as drug that more or less approximate more natural composition. Since herbal supplements are made from a mixture of crude herbs reduced into powder or gel form, and later on packaged as tablets and capsules, there is a possibility that life-threatening or at least body chemistry-altering components are still present, thus the expression of concern from the medical community.

Is there a growing concern with the use of herbal supplements?

Yes. With the rising popularity of using and consuming anything herbal or organic is the proliferation of fake herbal supplements that threaten to endanger lives. If that’s the case, then why are herbal supplements given drug administration approvals? One way of ensuring the safety of the people is to have all candidate drugs, food, drinks, and dietary supplements registered with the proper authority. Otherwise, they would pose more risk with these things being sold in the black market for a hefty sum. We could ensure the quality and safety of herbal supplements if they get proper classification with the food and drug administration. Moreover, people may be able to file the proper complaints in the event a worsening of health condition is proven to be linked to the use of a particular herbal supplement.

Is using herbal supplements worth the risk?

Yes. It cannot be discounted that many who have tried herbal supplements experienced an improvement in their health—whether this is due to the herbals themselves or due to a placebo effect, as long as they do not worsen the condition of an individual, then using them is worth the risk. But of course, certain things must be considered before taking those herbal supplements:

Your doctor knows best.

First of all, clear your condition with your doctor. Ask him/her if taking a particular herbal supplement is safe given your health condition. People with heart, liver, or kidney trouble or malfunction, are usually not advised to take these, or at the minimum is to take these herbals in minimum amounts. All substances pass through the liver and kidney to be processed and filtered respectively. Kava, which is used to relieve people from stress, has been pulled out from the Canadian, Singaporean, and German markets because it contains substances that cause liver damage. Certain herbals such as Ephedra used for losing weight, contains chemicals with heart-inducing effects that can increase heart rate, which in turn can exhaust the heart and cause heart attacks in several documented cases by the American Medical Association.

Follow the directions for use.

Never take more herbal supplements than what is directed by the doctor or as instructed on the bottle. Each individual reacts differently to the components of herbal supplements. While it is perfectly safe for one individual to take in a supplement of primrose oil capsules, another person may be allergic to it. So, do not even think about downing one bottle of

It has no approved curative effect.

No matter how the product pamphlet or the label of the bottle sounds about how it has been found to be helpful in certain health conditions, these herbal supplements are not therapeutic. So do not substitute these for the medications prescribed by your doctor for the treatment of certain diseases, or for the maintenance of blood pressure, lowering of blood sugar and cholesterol, and fight off infections.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Psychology of Physical Fitness

Physical fitness is one of the great essentials of match play. Keenness can only be acquired if the physical, mental, and nervous systems are in tune. Consistent and systematic training is essential to a tournament player.

Regular hours of sleep, and regular, hearty food at regular hours are necessary to keep the body at its highest efficiency. Food is particularly important. Eat well, but do not over-eat, particularly immediately before playing. I believe in a large hearty breakfast on the day of a big match. This should be taken by nine-thirty. A moderate lunch at about one o'clock if playing at three. Do not eat very rich food at luncheon as it tends to slow you up on the court. Do not run the risk of indigestion, which is the worst enemy to dear eyesight. Rich, heavy food immediately before retiring is bad, as it is apt to make you "loggy" on the court the next day.

It is certain injury to touch alcoholic drink in any form during tournament play. Alcohol is a poison that affects the eye, the mind, and the wind three essentials in tennis. Tobacco in moderation does little harm, although it, too, hits eye and wind. A man who is facing a long season of tournament play should refrain from either alcohol or tobacco in any form. Excesses of any kind are bad for physical condition, and should not be chanced.

"Staleness" is the great enemy of players who play long seasons. It is a case of too much tennis. Staleness is seldom physical weariness. A player can always recover his strength by rest. Staleness is a mental fatigue due often to worry or too close attention to tennis, and not enough variety of thought. Its symptoms are a dislike for the tennis game and its surroundings, and a lack of interest in the match when you are on the court. I advocate a break in training at such a time. Go to the theatre or a concert, and get your mind completely off tennis. Do your worrying about tennis while you are playing it, and forget the unpleasantness of bad play once you are off the court. Always have some outside interest you can turn to for relaxation during a tournament; but never allow it to interfere with your tennis when you should be intent on your game. A nice balance is hard to achieve, but, once attained is a great aid to a tournament player. 

The laws of training should be closely followed before and after a match. Do not get chilled before a match, as it makes you stiff and slow. Above all else do not stand around without a wrap after a match when you are hot or you will catch cold.

Many a player has acquired a touch of rheumatism from wasting time at the close of his match instead of getting his shower while still warm. That slight stiffness the next day may mean defeat. A serious chill may mean severe illness. Do not take chances.

Change your wet clothes to dry ones between matches if you are to play twice in a day. It will make you feel better, and also avoid the risk of cold.

Tournament players must sacrifice some pleasures for the sake of success. Training will win many a match for a man if he sticks to it. Spasmodic training is useless, and should never be attempted.

The condition a player is, in is apt to decide his mental viewpoint, and aid him in accustoming himself to the external conditions of play.

All match players should know a little about the phenomenon of crowd-psychology since, as in the case of the Church-Murray match I related some time back, the crowd may play an important part in the result.

It seldom pays to get a crowd down on you. It always pays to win its sympathy. I do not mean play to the gallery, for that will have the opposite effect than the one desired.

The gallery is always for the weaker player. It is a case of helping the "under-dog." If you are a consistent winner you must accustom yourself to having the gallery show partiality for your opponent. It is no personal dislike of you. It is merely a natural reaction in favour of the loser. Sometimes a bad decision to one play will win the crowd's sympathy for him. Galleries are eminently just in their desires, even though at times their emotions run away with them.

Quite aside from the effect on the gallery, I wish to state here that when you are the favoured one in a decision that you know is wrong, strive to equalize it if possible by unostentatiously losing the next point. Do not hit the ball over the back stop or into the bottom of the net with a jaunty air of "Here you are." Just hit it slightly out or in the net, and go on about your business in the regular way. Your opponent always knows when you extend him this justice, and he appreciates it, even though he does not expect it. Never do it for effect. It is extremely bad taste. Only do it when your sense of justice tells you you should.

The crowd objects, and justly so, to a display of real temper on the court. A player who loses his head must expect a poor reception from the gallery. Questioned decisions by a player only put him in a bad light with the crowd and cannot alter the point. You may know the call was wrong, but grin at it, and the crowd will join you. These things are the essence of good sportsmanship, and good sportsmanship will win any gallery. The most unattractive player in the world will win the respect and admiration of a crowd by a display of real sportsmanship at the time of test.

Any player who really enjoys a match for the game's sake will always be a fine sportsman, for there is no amusement to a match that does not give your opponent his every right. A player who plays for the joy of the game wins the crowd the first time he steps on the court. All the world loves an optimist.