Sunday, November 27, 2011

How To Be Lucky

I don't know about you, but I do believe in luck. I found this topic to be a bit fascinating because it has been the subject of debate between me and my mentor Ted. Ted, you see, does not believe in luck per se. I thought about writing on the topic when I came across this article by Will Edwards that talks more about it. Note that I'm not writing this to convince anyone to believe in luck or otherwise. You be the judge of it.

Let's take a closer look at what luck is, and then see if we can apply some principles in our own lives to improve the odds in any given situation.

According to Will, luck is the perfect marriage of opportunity with preparation. He goes on to say that Deepak Chopra eloquently stated this principle, and it can also be found in James Allen's classic As a Man Thinketh.

What is being said is that more often people think others are lucky but fail to see the trials, struggles and failures that these same individuals have put in and the sacrifices and efforts they willingly endured to make their vision a reality.

To me, what the statement purports is that you need to work hard and lay the groundwork for whatever you want to achieve. If you were to become successful later on, then it would mean that it took more than just "luck" to make it. So perhaps being in the right place at the right time takes a little more than luck?

Maybe so. One thing I do agree with is that you do need to work at something in order to achieve anything at all. But we cannot know what the future brings. And yes, although it is true that we cannot predict the events of the future, there are times when you can actually influence some of these events, if you know how.

Will gave some examples in his article. One of these is in a TV program called Deal or No Deal. I have watched some of these episodes when the franchise of the program was shown in our local TV. There are indeed some players who turn out to be more successful than others, winning as much as 2 million pesos. Well it would appear that sometimes it takes a little bit of skill and strategy in order to achieve good results.

It sometimes appears that fortune favors the brave, but this is not true according to Will. He states that fortune favors the prepared. You can achieve more out of your life if you are prepared to identify what your target is, determine what needs to be done, and then commit yourself to preparing for the opportunity.

If you want to be luckier in your life, understand the opportunities that come your way, craft a plan to improve your odds of winning, and then follow through and execute your plan. Well, knowing certainly is the first part. The rest then is up to you.

Do you want to be luckier? Then know how you can be lucky. ^_^

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Time to Forgive

I've been meaning to write another post on self improvement, but somehow life has caught up with me. Plus, I felt that I needed a little bit more inspiration before I could do another round of original article.

Then I came upon an idea for a good topic. I was inspired by a newsletter article I read on the topic of forgiveness. One must admit that it is hard to live life without being wronged or having wronged someone else. Forgiveness is the key to living a life of peace and joy.

I would agree that forgiveness is an important part of self development. But what is forgiveness and why is it important? Let's take a closer look.

In Will Edwards's article, he pointed out what forgiveness is and what it isn't. To forgive means to release any feelings of resentment, anger, bitterness or even hatred that you may have about a past event. Forgiving someone does not mean that he or she is absolved or released from the consequences of his or her act, esp. if it's a criminal act. You can be forgiven and still be required to face justice. Of course, the reverse can be true as well.. you can be absolved from your act and still not be forgiven.

I remember my late dad again. He used to say that "forgiveness is not the same as reparation." Forgiving is a way of letting go of negative emotions that you may be harboring towards someone. You are in reality burdening yourself by carrying the load of negative emotions.

Will pointed out that there are three separate acts of forgiveness that we need to perform. They are:

1. Your Parents

If both your parents are still around, consider yourself lucky. Do me a favor and thank them. Give them a hug and tell them you love them. I truly would agree with Will that you need to forgive your parents. Sure they may have made mistakes and a few bad decisions in the past, but that's just a part of being human.

I would say that if there's one thing I regret it's not getting the chance to thank my late dad for all that he was and what he has done for me. I actually didn't realize how much I've learned from him until he was gone. Whatever you mentally hold your parents responsible for, let it go. Forgive them.

2. Yourself

I've done a few mistakes in the past. But if you ask me now whether I want to go back and change them, I probably wouldn't. After all, I wouldn't be the ME of today if I wasn't the ME of yesterday. For a long time in the past, one of my challenges was forgiving myself for my own mistakes. I've moved on ever since and definitely feel much lighter.

Forgive yourself for all the things you know you did wrong, all your failures and mistakes. True, you may continue to make some wrong decisions from time to time. For as long as you know that you're doing your best, accept the consequences and let it all go.

3. Everyone Else

You do need to learn to forgive everyone else. I must admit this isn't easy to do. But you can work on it. Remind your subconscious mind that you forgive that person whenever the thought of a bad incident comes to mind. You will eventually come to accept the forgiveness.

Forgiveness is important as it enables you to let go of any feelings of anger and bitterness. It frees you from the burden of carrying a heavy load so to speak. Negative feelings only harm the person holding them. Sometimes, it takes time to forgive if you've been badly hurt. Give yourself time. But know that you would need to forgive later on in order for you to fully move on in your life.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

How to Stop Worrying

I have taken quite a bit of a break from my regular blogging due to personal reasons. Sometimes life in the real world catches up with you and you feel that you just a need a bit of a break. Other than that, I've been using PLR articles in the past as my inspiration for my posts here. Unfortunately, I find most of them not to my liking. I don't want to sound too judgmental but I feel that I can actually write better original articles. LOL! Of course, it takes a little more of my time and energy, but if I can come up with good inspirational pieces, that would truly make my day! I hope that it makes your day too.

This post is actually inspired by a self-help newsletter that I'm subscribed to at the moment. This particular newsletter is from Will Edwards of White Dove Books UK.

Will talked about his personal development workshops wherein his participants are asked to draw their own personal coat of arms. It's an exercise where you have to think of a symbol to put in and a motto for your life. It's a great way to introduce the concepts of values and principles. We are all as you know shaped by them.

Will points out the difference between personal value and principle. A personal value is something important to the individual, while a principle is like a natural law that always operates to deliver a specific outcome. "Honesty is the best policy." That's a principle. If you adapt it into your own belief system, then it becomes part of your personal value.

In some of the coat of arms exercises, Will found some common themes that occur quite frequently, such as:
  • Treat Others as You Wish to be Treated
  • Don't Worry, Be Happy
  • You Only Live Once
  • Follow Your Heart
  • Believe in Yourself

The first one mentioned is kinda like the Golden Rule. It is in fact a principle that can be found in all the major religions of the world.

Will made special mention of one motto he encountered in one of his workshops : No Problems. The person who wrote it believes that no matter what happens in life, there's always a way to sort it out.

That actually reminds me of a saying my late dad used to say and one which I use quite often as of late.. "That is a problem all right, but that's a problem with a solution." Uttering it somehow makes it easier to accept that there is a problem but it's nothing to worry about as it can be solved.

The truth is the vast majority of the things we tend to worry about never actually come to pass. So it is a fact that most of our worrying is entirely wasted energy.

When faced with tough situations, weigh your options, make decisions, and face the consequences as they arise. That certainly beats worrying too much. This approach may not be for everyone, but it's something I personally use in my daily life too. I find that I now worry less and have more time and energy spent on positive stuff than otherwise.

If you truly want to stop worrying, then why don't you give this a try? Who knows? You may realize that it works for you too! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Dozen Ways to Increase Your Happiness

Being happy isn't as hard as it appears to be at times.  Below we will cover a dozen things that will increase your sense of happiness and make your life more fulfilling.

*Social networks or relationships are essential to happiness. People are different, accept people for who or what they are, keep away from clashes, constant arguments, and let go of all kinds of resentments. If arguments seem inevitable still try and make an effort to understand the situation and you might just get along with well with others.

*Being thankful is a great attitude.  We have so much to be thankful for. Taking time to thank those who provide even the smallest thing will help you realize how abundant your life is. Think of life's little pleasures.

*News is stressful. Get less of it.

*Being part of a spiritual group with its singing, sacraments, chanting, prayers and meditations encourages inner peace.

*Manage your time. Time is invaluable and too important to waste.

*Laugh and laugh vigorously everyday.  Heard a good joke? Tell your friends or family about it. As they also say -'Laughter is the best medicine'.
*Communicate your feelings, affections, friendship and passion to people around you.

* Try not to keep pent up anger or frustrations, this is bad for your health. Instead find ways of expressing them in a way that will not cause more injury or hurt anyone.
*Working hard brings great personal contentment. It gives a sense of being capable in finishing our tasks. Work on things that you feel are valuable of your time.

*Learning is a joyful exercise. Try and learn something new each day.  Learning also makes us increase our horizons.

*Run, jog, walk and do other things that your body was made for. Feel alive.

*Avoid exposure to negative elements like loud noises, toxins and hazardous places.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


So how do you stay calm, composed and maintain self esteem in a tough environment? Here are some tips you may to consider as a starter guide to self improvement.

Imagine yourself as a Dart Board. Everything and everyone else around you may become Dart Pins, at one point or another. These dart pins will destroy your self esteem and pull you down in ways you won’t even remember. Don’t let them destroy you, or get the best of you.  So which dart pins should you avoid?

Dart Pin #1 : Negative Work Environment

Beware of “dog eat dog” theory where everyone else is fighting just to get ahead. This is where non-appreciative people usually thrive. No one will appreciate your contributions even if you miss lunch and dinner, and stay up late. Most of the time you get to work too much without getting help from people concerned.  Stay out of this, it will ruin your self esteem. Competition is at stake anywhere. Be healthy enough to compete, but in a healthy competition that is.

Dart Pin #2: Other People’s Behavior

Bulldozers, brown nosers, gossipmongers, whiners, backstabbers, snipers, people walking wounded, controllers, naggers, complainers, exploders, patronizers, sluffers… all these kinds of people will pose bad vibes for your self esteem, as well as to your self improvement scheme.

Dart Pin #3: Changing Environment

You can’t be a green bug on a brown field. Changes challenge our paradigms. It tests our flexibility, adaptability and alters the way we think. Changes will make life difficult for awhile, it may cause stress but it will help us find ways to improve ourselves. Change will be there forever, we must be susceptible to it.

Dart Pin #4: Past Experience

It’s okay to cry and say “ouch!” when we experience pain. But don’t let pain transform itself into fear. It might grab you by the tail and swing you around. Treat each failure and mistake as a lesson.

Dart Pin #5: Negative World View

Look at what you’re looking at. Don’t wrap yourself up with all the negativities of the world. In building self esteem, we must learn how to make the best out of worst situations.

Dart Pin #6: Determination Theory

You and your behavioral traits are said to be a mixed end product of your inherited traits (genetics), your upbringing (psychic), and your environmental surroundings such as your spouse, the company, the economy or your circle of friends. You have your own identity. If your father is a failure, it doesn’t mean you have to be a failure too. Learn from other people’s experience, so you’ll never have to encounter the same mistakes.

Sometimes, you may want to wonder if some people are born leaders or positive thinkers. NO. Being positive, and staying positive is a choice. Building self esteem and drawing lines for self improvement is a choice, not a rule or a talent. God wouldn’t come down from heaven and tell you – “George, you may now have the permission to build self esteem and improve yourself.”  

In life, its hard to stay tough specially when things and people around you keep pulling you down. When we get to the battle field, we should choose the right luggage to bring and armors to use, and pick those that are bullet proof. Life’s options give us arrays of more options. Along the battle, we will get hit and bruised. And wearing a bullet proof armor ideally means ‘self change’... the kind of change which comes from within. Voluntarily. Armor or Self Change  changes 3 things: our attitude, our behavior and our way of thinking.

Building self esteem will eventually lead to self improvement if we start to become responsible for who we are, what we have and what we do. It's like a flame that should gradually spread like a bush fire from inside and out. When we develop self esteem, we take control of our mission, values and discipline.  Self esteem brings about self improvement, true assessment, and determination. So how do you start putting up the building blocks of self esteem? Be positive. Be contented and happy. Be appreciative. Never miss an opportunity to compliment. A positive way of living will help you build self esteem, your starter guide to self improvement.