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We share tips and ideas to make the everyday person keep sane and more productive in achieving his/her dream life.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

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The Dangers of Being Off Balance

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It's easy to get out of balance during particularly hectic times such as the current holidays. Being off balance can be exhilarating if it's just for a few moments such as when you're falling in love, receiving an honor or recognition or simply enjoying a real roller coaster or carnival ride.

Being off balance longer than that, however, can be dangerous to our relationships, our physical beings or our careers. The best way to gain and retain a sense of balance is by setting goals and sticking to your plan.

Having a set of goals to refer to regularly will help keep your feet planted on the ground and give your mind a focal point to bring you back to earth when something sidetracks you (either something good or something bad).

A well-lived life is a balancing act. If you're out of balance, it will show in your demeanor. You won't handle personal or business situations as best you can and that will eventually have a negative affect on your bottom line and the level of enjoyment you have in your everyday life.

Don't risk the detriment of being out of balance long term. Take a few moments each day to consider what might be pulling you off the course you've set for yourself. Then, schedule (and take) the actions necessary to even things out.

[Source: tomhopkins.com, Tom Hopkins International]


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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

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Dream Insights

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A dream is simply something that you want. And where do dreams come from? You make them up. Some are based on needs such as putting healthy food on the table or sending your kids to a good school.

Some of them are based on desires such as writing a book, buying a home, or traveling to an exotic location. But by far, the most profound dreams are those that are the expression of your life's purpose.

* You have to have a dream to have a dream come true.
* Trust your intuition and follow your heart.
* Every resource you need is available to you.
* Believing in your dream is an essential component.
* There are signs showing you which way to go. Learn to read and act on them.
* There is often lag time between imagining your dream and making it happen.
* You have the ability to make your dreams happen but it will require your willingness to do whatever it takes.
* On the other side of fear are great lessons. Stay more committed to your dream than to your doubt.
* As you complete one dream, it's time for another. Don't ever be afraid to cross the finish line. There are always more dreams available.

A Visualization Exercise: The Sliding Glass Door

Imagine that you're standing with your nose pressed against a glass door, so close to it that your breath is steaming up the glass. As you wipe away the steam, you see an ideal place on the other side of the glass. You see your dream. Feel your feet standing on the floor on your side of the glass door, the other side of your dream.

You're standing in the "Where I Am Now," where you live with everything that's happening in your life, including your attitudes and beliefs. Looking through the glass door, you see the beauty on the other side. Is this where you want to be?

Grasp the handle and slide the door open. A gentle, warm breeze comes wafting in, and there's a delicious smell in the air. As you gaze around, you see every­thing on the other side that you want, everything that's in your dream, and everything you're committed to having.

Your family is there, too, your friends, your dream home, your dream life. All the elements of your dream are there, right on the other side of the threshold.

Notice where you are versus where you want to be. All you need to do to get to the other side is make the commitment and step across. Ask yourself, "Is this what I want? Will I commit to this?" If the answer is "Yes," lift your foot and step through.

[Source: www.marciaw.com, by Marcia Wieder]


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Monday, November 17, 2008

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Risk Management

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The answer to the question, "Is Managing Risk Optional?", given by most people and certainly most traders and investors is "Absolutely not! Of course you must manage risk in order to potentially be successful," they say. And they are absolutely right! Why then do few traders and investors do a good job of managing risk?

Managing risk is an easy concept to embrace intellectually, but not emotionally. We all tend to want to risk too much on any given trade, or worse yet, we'll tend to have that "home run" mentality, always looking for that one great stock that will make us wealthy. We end up committing too much capital per trade which sets us up for a string of losers that could do serious damage to our account. We do this because we fail to comprehend that any system or method of trading will suffer losses from time to time, no matter how good the system or method - alas, the "Holy Grail of Trading" does not exist.

Another tendency that most of us have is to want to trade on a regular basis every day, and every week depending on our time horizon, without any regard to whether or not there are any good trade set-ups offered by the market. One of the most effective forms of risk management is to avoid trading when there are no potentially high probability set-ups available.

Is managing risk optional? No. For stock traders, following these two simple rules could potentially mean the difference between outstanding returns and unnecessary losses*:

Rule#1: Risk no more than 2% of your account on any one trade.
Rule#2: Be patient, be selective and wait for the good trades.

[Source: Risk Management in Trading, by Bill Poulos]


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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

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Why We Avoid Resistance

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Princeton University's WordNet 2.1 defines resistance as the action of opposing something that you disapprove or disagree with. If you make a short list of things you like, relish or love, I doubt the word resistance will show up on your list.

Resistance isn't something that most of us cherish or are drawn to - at least personally. True, some may enjoy observing resistance as a third party to it - which could be one explanation for boxing, professional wrestling and the success of the Jerry Springer Show - but few of us look for or enjoy resistance.
Which is why we so often choose to avoid it.

Here are seven major reasons why people tend to avoid resistance.

We are taught to avoid it. As kids, we are taught to agree - or at least get along - with our teachers, our parents, other authority figures and other kids (or at least not make our disagreement or disapproval public), and while the purposes for these behaviors might not be completely about resistance (they may also be about respect among other things), most people seem to connect the lesson to avoiding resistance.

In fact, there is a common phrase that reinforces this teaching - "taking the path of least resistance."

We don't want to be called names. Extensions of the "that's what I was taught" reasoning are the thoughts that "I don't want to rock the boat, or cause a scene." If you avoid resistance the boat may stay stable, but if you do confront issues, propose potential changes or just not agree with someone you might be called names - like "rebel" or "troublemaker."

We think resistance is a bad thing. If you think all mushrooms you see in the woods are poisonous, you'll avoid them. If you think all Clint Eastwood movies are Westerns and you don't like Westerns, you'll avoid anything starring Clint. Likewise, if your belief is that resistance is inherently negative, you'll tend to avoid it.

We take it personally. If someone resists your idea, you might take that resistance as a personal attack. Have you ever been told your idea was stupid or that your approach wouldn't work? Even if the comment wasn't a personal attack, it often leaves us feeling that way. Since most people don't like to be attacked (even verbally), logically, you can avoid that feeling by avoiding the resistance.

We don't know how to deal with it. If you have long avoided resistance, you might not know how to deal with it in a positive and constructive way. Resistance is like many other things, if you don't have knowledge and the proper tools, you might shy away from it.

We think it will lead to conflict. For many people resistance and conflict are synonymous. And if you don't like conflict and see it as the necessary outcome of voicing your resistance; you'll likely avoid the resistance in the first place.

We think avoiding it is the easiest approach. Humans are basically lazy. Since most people consider "the path of least resistance" to be the equivalent of the "easiest path", that is often the one selected. It only makes sense, after all, to avoid something we think is bad and that would be difficult to do something about anyway, right?

So is all of this avoiding such a bad thing?
Generally, to be blunt, yes.
Why?

Resistance promotes growth. In the physical world without an opposing force (resistance) we couldn't strengthen our muscles.
In the interpersonal world, resistance is a sign of energy; energy that can be used in positive ways, but only if it is explored.
If no one disagrees with a new idea (offers some resistance) will a better idea be found?
Without opposition (or resistance) how many new products would be created?
Without some admission of problems (a sign of resistance) will teams or relationships ever be revitalized?
Ask yourself which of the excuses outlined above have you used in the past, and how would you benefit from overcoming your urge to avoid some resistance today.

[Source: kevineikenberry.com, by Kevin Eikenberry]


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