Saturday, February 23, 2013

Enhance your Self Image and Self Esteem!

How do you perceive yourself?


It's a simple question, and I would bet  the trigger response elicited from many of you may be a quick, positive affirmation.


However,  sometimes the answer is not so simple....many of us are hyper-conscious of our outward appearance both physically and mentally, and to others we may appear friendly, outgoing, successful, helpful, confident and happy with ourselves and our life.  We tend to promote and accentuate our positive attributes when we are around others, especially in a social or business setting. 


What I am delving into here is the way we perceive our self......our true perception as to who, who really is that person that stands before us when we look deep into our eyes, our hearts and our souls in a mirror when no one is around.

What do you see?    Do  you see good and positive  things in yourself.....things like confidence, optimism, a positive outlook towards life,  a person that respects others and their beliefs,  a person that is well-rounded, friendly, happy with themselves and their place in life and a person that's is forgiving and appreciative of others and of the things around them?


Or do you see someone who may not fully believe in them self or their capabilities?  Are there bad and negative things in the reflection-- regret, disappointment, anger, jealously, vindictiveness, addiction, resistance, ineffectiveness, sadness or low esteem?

There may be things about you - your physical appearance, your habits, your job performance, your wealth, your relationships, your attitudes, your fears or your emotions that you want to improve upon.  I certainly know with myself there always is!  


Inwardly, are you too hard on yourself for not being the person you want to be and know you can be? Are you resistance to the changes that must happen within you to allow yourself to be that person?

There are steps we can all take to improve our self-image and self-esteem. These things can, in turn, improve other aspects of our lives like success in our career, relationships, and our health.


Here are a few examples of things you can do to stay positive and enhance your self image:


  1. Focus on the good in yourself and others.

  2. Spend time on improving yourself - create a well developed personal plan and goals for personal growth.

  3. Avoid being too critical of yourself and others.

  4. Reward your good deeds and actions.


  6. Help someone that needs you - there is no bigger boost to self image than knowing you unselfishly helped someone.

  7. Look on the bright side; be an optimist. There are enough pessimists out there! 

  8. Realize you are human and mistakes will be made.  When they happen, avoid negative "self talk" and being too hard on yourself and instead learn from them.

Regardless of whether you already like yourself and are looking for ways to further improve yourself , or need a bit more work than that, applying sensible and achievable methods to enhance the way you perceive yourself is indeed a worthy and rewarding undertaking. 





Not only will you be happier with yourself, others will be happier with you as well.....simply stated, enhancing your self image will improve your life and make you happier!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Balance your life through Feng Shui

How many of you have heard of Feng Shui? If so, have you ever read about or applied the methods of this ancient philosophy practice in your own life? People that practice this philosophy swear by today's world many interior design experts and Realtors apply it.... on a personal note,  my wife practices it in our home. 


Feng Shui means "Wind and Water" and has its roots in China over 3,000 years ago.  It is a philosophy that millions of people around the world apply to their daily lives.


Many people believe in the power of good energy flow, and how it travels through structures, is retained and affects the occupants living or working there. This is the basis for Feng Shui.....many well known celebrities practice Feng Shui, including Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Johnny Depp, Richard Branson, Madonna and Steven Spielberg to name a few.


There are so many parts and nuances to this philosophy that it would take a large book or two to describe it all.....for the purposes of keeping this blog length reasonable, I'll give you the basics - simply put, a home that has been Feng Shui'ed, has the following:


Good Aesthetics - A home that applies Feng Shui is uncluttered, clean, flows well and feels good.

Balanced elements - There are 5 elements (Wood, Metal, Fire, Water and Earth) that are recognized in the Feng Shui philosophy and their placement is very important in applying Feng Shui -.  Depending on the room type and the location of the room, these elements are applied to the home using a Bagua Chart.

Outer matches your Inner - The living or working environment outwardly reflects what  it is one feels inside.

Qui/Chi - This is good versus bad energy flowing throughout a house  that can affect activity occurring within a home.  There are methods in Feng Shui that slow down fast moving or piercing energy to make the home more relaxing, pleasing to the eye and enjoyable.  The key to Feng Shui is increasing Chi or good energy.

Bagua Chart- This chart divides up our homes into sectors.  Each sector has an affect on different areas of our lives.  Career, Spiritual, Knowledge, Children, Good Fortune, Health, Marriage, Reputation and Wealth.




Correctly applied, it is believed by those practicing Feng Shui that their lives are enriched in the following ways:


  • Increased wealth

  • Better Marriages and Relationships

  • Better Health

  • Better Reputation

  • Increased Knowledge

  • Increased Happiness



Other popular elements of Feng Shui include Foo Dogs (placed at entry to protect the home), introduction of plants to divert or slow down the flow of  energy, a number of ceremonial figures and symbols that are placed in key sectors throughout the home, Yin/Yang and "Space Clearing", which eliminates existing/lingering negative energy in the home from prior occupants or prior negative energy from an argument or harmful incident.  Feng Shui can also be applied to other areas where you live your life..... garden/yard  areas, patios and offices.


For more information on this very interesting topic:

Web Sites

Lilian Too - considered the top Feng Shui Master  in the world.

Katie Weber - US Based(Texas)  - writes the Red Lotus Letter



The Feng Shui Bible (Simon Brown)

Feng Shui your Life (Jayme Barrett)

Feng Shui for Dummies

Friday, February 15, 2013

Control your Destiny


"What you are is what you have been. What you'll be is what you do now"



The decisions and actions that we made in our past define who, what and where we are today.

Reflect for just a moment...what did you do... say... think.... and act upon (or didn't act upon)  in the past that in aggregate defines you and your life today? 

Defines your current job or career?

Defines your current status and net worth?

Defines your current relationships?

Defines your current health?

We all share something in common in life...wherever we are and whoever we are, regardless of our age, our career, our status, our wealth, guess what? 


We all have the same amount of time in our day! 

And we all have some "should of,  could of , would of" moments in our life.....I believe it is important that we embrace those moments to reflect and learn from those past decisions, good or bad,  and use them as tools to apply to our present and future decisions.


Today, I simply suggest you to take a moment to use what you have absolute control over - your mind - to focus on the consequences of your  decisions,  planning, and actions today...and how those 3 things will  affect your life tomorrow.


It's never to late to alter areas in our life need improving in order  to make where we are tomorrow better than today.  We all have dreams and aspirations aligned with what we deem important in life, and time keeps on ticking..... so I encourage you to create or update your personal plan and take action today toward those aspirations and goals that you have set for yourself. 


No one else can do it for you.    It's all you.



Buddha was right...the "Current You" today is made up of your cumulative "yesterdays".

 Consistently applied, the "Future You" will be defined by the planning,  decisions and commitments you make today..... and every day hereafter.

Remember this... nobody can change the past chapters of their life, but starting right now we each have a unique and fantastic opportunity to change the rest of our personal and professional story! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fortune Cookies and the wisdom they contain

Today I decided I would blog about something fun....

Whenever I eat Chinese Food, I get a fortune cookie....I have been saving the fortunes I like for about 20 years, and once in a while I pull them out of my wallet and read them.


Thought I would share with you the history of the fortune cookie, and my favorite fortune's that I have accumulated over the years.


Fact No. 1:          


The fortune cookie did not originate in China - it was created here in the  good  'ol  USA!  There are several theories about exactly who created the cookie, but the common thread is all of the tales originate in San Francisco and occur in the period between the late 1800's and early 1900's.  The stories range from inserting thank you notes inside hard biscuits, to a hard flat cookie containing biblical references.


Ultimately, the cookie design, a flat piece of dough folded to secure the message prevailed and contained strips of paper inscribed with Chinese wisdom.


Fact No. 2:


The fortune cookie idea probably came from Chinese origin.  In China during the 13th and 14th centuries,China was occupied by the Mongols.   The Chinese people, desirous of a revolution to free themselves, hid messages inside moon cakes of the coming revolution date and handed these cakes out to revolutionaries in occupied cities.  These cakes were made out of Lotus nut paste, which the Mongols did not like.  The subsequent successful revolution formed the basis for the Ming Dynasty.   and the Chinese to this day celebrate the Moon Festival.  This celebration is associated with the largest full moon of the year and the fall harvest (much like Thanksgiving in America);  this moon cake tale adds an additional dimension and special meaning to this Chinese holiday for those who celebrate it.


Fact No. 3


Fortune cookies became standard fare in Chinese Restaurants in the 1940's.

 Enough trivia--  here are my absolute favorite fortunes that I have received over the years:

  • "Admire those that succeed, and learn from their success"

  • "Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation"

  • "People may doubt what you say but they will believe what you do"

  • "You will continue to take chances and be glad you did"

  • "A partnership shall prove successful for you"

  • "You are extremely generous and are always thinking of others"

  • "You will do better in Real Estate than in stocks"

  • "Today is a lucky day for those who remain cheerful and optimistic"

  • "Opportunity knocks on your door every day.  Answer it."

  • "Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed"

  • "You will make a change for the better"

  • "If a true sense of value is to be yours, it must come through service"

  • "Let your reach exceed your grasp"

  • "You will make a fortune with your friend"


By the way, I rarely eat the cookie.  I like the prize much better!


Have a great week!


Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Eliminate Worry to Increase Happiness in your Life!

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Worry is thinking about future things that could go wrong in our lives.

I am guilty---I catch myself all the time worrying about things I have no control over, and more importantly, things that probably will never happen.

Why is this?  What is it in our psyche that causes us to needlessly worry about family, work, friends, finances, health, events or other circumstances in our lives?

As best as I can ascertain, people that worry do so  because they have a mindset that on occasion focuses on the negative...they focus on the things they don't want to happen versus focusing on the things they do want to happen.

By extension -- do those negative thoughts encourage those very things we worry about to actually manifest and happen in our lives?


Worry versus Concern


I want to make one quick what you are thinking about a worry or a concern?  They are two very different things...concern is the more logical of the is first and foremost a thought not an emotion, and requires real  knowledge of a situation, an understanding there may be a problem, and a analytical process to back it up.  Concern is followed by action or a thought-out solution to the issue.....worrying on the other hand is an emotion and has none of those elements.

Concerns are a natural part of our lives, and are valid and beneficial ...Worry is abstract and baseless and is invalid and harmful to us and those around us.

See the difference?  read on.....

 “Whatever is going to happen will happen, whether we worry or not.”
Ana Monnar

Effects of Over-Worrying

Much like other emotions like fear, over-worrying can damage us both mentally and physically and is a big culprit in reducing our quality of life, optimism and happiness.


According to WebMD, worry affects sleep habits, can cause eating disorders, contributes to anxiety, stress and panic attacks and contributes to bad health habits such as overeating, smoking and the use of drugs and alcohol as external solutions to try to deal with the emotion. 


Worrying can also have a huge effect on relationships, self confidence and job performance.

How to change your mindset to eliminate worry

  1. Live in the present and if you are thinking beyond today, apply logic to your thought process, set goals and have a well-designed plan for your future.

  2. Deal with issues or problems as they surface, with action or effort, not worry or inaction.

  3. If you catch yourself worrying mindlessly about future events, stop yourself by thinking or doing something in the present.

  4. Ignore or discount the trivial things that do not matter to you or your life.

  5. Write down those things that worry you, and objectively think them through, one by one.  By doing so, you disable the control those things have over you.


How would your life be different if…You stopped worrying about things you can’t control and started focusing on the things you can? Let today be the day…You free yourself from fruitless worry, seize the day and take effective action on things you can change.”

Steve Maraboli


Friday, February 1, 2013

Overcoming Fear

Do not let your fears choose your destiny. ~ Unknown

Fear is a fact of life for most of us...whether we fear things like snakes, spiders, sharks, heights, airplanes, clowns....... or things more abstract like failure, change, social environments,  public speaking or certain situations,  fear can be overcome to enhance our lives and make us more successful at work, at home and at play.

This article focuses on the fear that causes inaction, sets up failure and limits our belief in our self and what we believe we can accomplish in life.

What is fear, and what causes it?

Fear is defined as "a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc..whether the threat is real or imagined." Synonyms include apprehension, dismay, dread, terror, fright and panic. (source  Basically, fear is a phobia.

Read the definition again...the part that sticks out to me is "real or imagined"  especially "imagined"....why is that?  Because many of our fears are just that...imagined! 

That being said, the reality is that the fear emotion (regardless if the cause is real or imagined) in our day to day lives is very real to those experiencing it, and as a result, our bodies react to it ...fear can trigger panic, anxiety, a desire to run away from it to avoid it.  Physically, fear can trigger a higher heart rate, sweating, and high adrenaline levels (Source:

So how does one determine whether the fear they are experiencing is real or imagined? How does one's reaction to the impending threat affect their decision making abilities and more importantly, how does someone turn this extremely strong emotion into an asset versus a liability?

To use fear as the friend it is, we must retrain and reprogram ourselves. We must persistently and convincingly tell ourselves that the fear is here–with its gift of energy and heightened awareness –so we can do our best and learn the most in the new situation.

Peter Williams

Fear limits our possibilities and opportunities in life because we want to stay in a "safe place"-- stay within our known surroundings where we are most comfortable and where no harm can come to us.

As a result, we may not take the risks associated with improving our lives, whether the fear relates to our recreation,our relationships or our careers.  Commiting to taking risks to do things that we are not comfortable doing shows courage,builds confidence,  makes us more productive, and expands our abilities and horizons in life.

"If you never ask, the answer is always "No"

Tackling fear and venturing into the unknown puts us in a heightened state of awareness and creates excitement.   When we do something that we initially had feared, there is substantial satisfaction because although initially we feared it, we decided the fear was not going to limit us, and we did whatever it was we were afraid of.......and survived it!   Not to say mistakes weren't made along the way, but the mistakes we make along the way teach us --they are definitely worth the experience!

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~Dale Carnegie

In order to grow we have to try new things--doing what we fear is exhilarating, builds courage, heightens our awareness and exposes us to new people, situations and experiences that otherwise we would never experience.

Don't limit what your can be by bowing to your fears.  Conquering our fears in life allows us to grow beyond what we ever imagined! 


The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. ~ E Hubbard