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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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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

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How Much Would Massive Success Really Cost?

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In our back yard is a large, gorgeous maple tree. In the summer, it's home to a number of birds.

Last year, at the end of a long branch, which extends to within 7 feet of our upstairs bathroom window, a family of robins built a nest where they lived all summer until the weather got too cold.

Both our cats just lay in the windowsill for hours all summer watching the birds come and go less than 7 feet from their window perch.

Now keep in mind that the winter was absolutely brutal. 14 feet of snow. The wind that blew like no winter that I can ever recall. Never as often and as hard as that year, it seemed. It was just miserable from mid October until April.

Yet this bird's nest, sitting on a long branch wide open to the chilling, hammering winds and cold that snaps electrical wires like tooth picks, stayed right there.

Every day, I'd look out at this nest and there it was, gripping that branch...

And I've got to believe that the robins that built the nest were no smarter or more skilled in nest building than any of the robins in my neighbors' trees.

They simply didn't want their home to fall apart no matter what. So they build it to withstand the worst possible conditions.

No short cuts. No excuses.

Tell me, what if you were to take every little task you do today, and do your absolute best? What if you were to mow the lawn as well as you could today?

What if you gave your all to every customer or prospective customer? How much more effort would it take to be the best husband, wife or significant other than you normally put in?

What would it really take to avoid eating beyond being comfortably full? To finish your homework and then read for another 30 minutes for good measure?

You know, the difference between failure, moderate success, an OK marriage, an undistinguished career and a raging success in any one of those areas is usually miniscule.

It's not that much more effort. Often it's hardly any real work at all.

Every single day I get emails from people who have given up hope of ever being really happy and satisfied in life. "I'm beyond help." "I'm happy that you're doing this work for other people... Too bad it can't help me."

They read the articles. They may even buy our tapes, and either don't listen to them as prescribed, or when changes do begin either with positive progress or with negative tension created by the rapid changes happening, they quit because the change is uncomfortable at first.

"Whoa! That's not me! Who am I kidding? Better slow down."

The bottom line is, change is always wanted on some level but hardly ever completely enjoyable at first.

If there is one thing that you MUST beat into your head every day like a mantra is that success at anything is simple. It's so simple!

It's just a matter of repetition of little thoughts and little actions.

For example, to allow yourself to do shoddy work once and then again is to create momentum. A third time is like an avalanche...

Hard to stop it. The fourth time is virtually guaranteed.

When the brownies or chips and soda make it into the shopping cart every week, that's it. Run past that aisle. Achieve a little success. Get a little momentum going the other way.

When the sitcom wins out consistently over the homework or baseball practice in the back yard, then you are creating a rotten habit, which develops a character. Done long enough, and that becomes who you are...

But thank God that with just a little effort we can change those things by making only slight direction changes.

The nest in my back yard is now housing a new family of robins who didn't have to do a thing. They just moved in. All the work was done already. They just hung a few pictures, threw out a "Welcome" mat and called it home.

And once you change the momentum of any downward slide you may be in, it's deceptively simple to stop the slide, make a few right decisions and your entire destiny can change.

If I was to get in my truck right now and drive due west for just four days, I'd be in North Bend, Oregon. But if I was facing only about 5 degrees to the south, in the same four days I'd end up in Los Angeles, California... about 960 miles away.

Now hold your thumb and fore finger about an eighth of an inch apart. Go ahead. Do it. You see, most of the time the difference between horrible, devastating failure and massive, glorious success is only that far apart.

In the next seven days, will you have chosen to stay on course?

Keep reminding yourself of how important each hour and each decision is. Do that every hour today, and I guarantee that no matter what doesn't go right, you won't be too terribly bothered by it.

And isn't that the direction you wanted to go in today?

[Source: www.thinkrightnow.com, by Mike Brescia]


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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

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Put Some Fire in Your Desire

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One of the keys to success is staying motivated because it is being motivated that keeps us going out the door every day to change the world and reach our destiny! It is our desire for a better life, for change in ourselves and others, and for personal growth and fulfillment that moves our mountains! Desire!

Desire sure is a word with much more richness to it than the word "want" though they are essentially the same. "Want," though, sounds like you could take it or leave it. "Desire" says, "I have to have it!" Desire, is "want" with a fire under it!

Unfortunately, we tend to ebb and flow from want to desire, even with the same goal! One day we may be passionate about building our business or growing our relationships and then, the next day, we find ourselves simply in the "want" camp again.

The key to keeping on is to re-light the fire under want so it roars into a raging fire of desire! Then, and only then, will we see the passion needed to be tenacious pursuers of our dreams! Keeping the fire lit is what will see you through the mountains and valleys of life and the journey you are on to your success!

So what do we do? We light the fire! Here are a few thoughts to help you build the fire of your desire!

The wood:
Keep a clear mental picture of the goal. This is imperative. The picture of the goal is like the wood in a fire. It is the raw material. Know what your goal is and what it looks like.

The fuel:
Keep a list, if simply just a mental one, of all of the benefits of pursuing and reaching your goal. Make them as "sense" oriented as possible. "See" the benefits. "Hear" them. "Touch" them. This is like the fuel that we add to a fire to get it going. Now all we need is a match.

The match:
Keep yourself active! This is the match: Action! Even when you don't feel like it, get yourself to act and soon you will see the fire burning because you have again ignited the dream! The more desire you have the more the fire burns.

Eventually the fire will begin to die out. Here is where you throw the wood on again, pour on some fuel, and if need be, strike another match.

I would encourage you to not let the fire go out though, because it is easier to continually throw wood and fuel on an already burning fire than it is to start one up again!

[Source: www.chriswidener.com, by Chris Widener]



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Thursday, December 4, 2008

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Coping with Losses (Overcoming The Fear of Losing Money)

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In modern society, money seems to be taking on the specter of the major motivating force for human actions.
Without money, a person's quality of life can be stunted and leave a person standing on the outside of society.
Money-and the successful pursuit of it- may be the new religion.

The paradox of being a trader is that you do it to build wealth, but to really enter into the game, you need to already have some wealth.
Not only that, for money to not ruin the chances of making your trading capital grow, you need to not need it......
Say what? Let me explain.

To be able to trade effectively, a trader can't be afraid to lose money. You see, you will have losing trades and you will go through periods when you will see your trading account dwindling. It comes with the territory. Losing is just part of the reality of trading on probability.
Over time, even the best prepared and most favored fall victim to probability. Just as the New England Patriots.
And trading is all about probabilities.

The fundamental concept of trading is that a trader, over time, will have more winning trades than losing trades and that the margins on the winning trades are higher than the margins on losing trades.
Over a set of trades, top traders expect about a 65-75% win to loss ratio. That means that at least 25% of the time, even the best traders have losing trades.
So, the first thing to accept is that there will be losses.

Most people who are aggressive enough to be attracted to trading have been successful in other aspects of their lives. This may often mean that they are used to winning or at least normally not failing.
From our earliest days, we are taught that losing is equivalent to failure. That you have done something wrong. Losing becomes a deeply ingrained negative symbol.
Often times, it is accompanied with some sort of negative consequence and negative emotions amplify the impact of the concept of losing.
Unfortunately, not many people learn to see a losing situation as an opportunity to learn and improve.
But in trading, you not only have the deep seated connotations of losing but also the emotional impact of the tangible loss of something valuable-money.

Because money has such power, traders must apportion an amount to trading that won't make a significant impact on the life style, financial obligations or future plans of the trader.
That is to say, the trading account should be monies that can be lost without adding any stress to the economic situation of the trader.
If the total trading account were lost, it would have little to no impact on the economic well being of the trader. And thus, little emotional impact.

Because trading is a long haul proposition, traders need to be conscious of the fact that capital conservation is part of the strategy of keeping in the game and exposed to the probabilities.
As a result, most traders are very conservative with the money they don't really need. (the trading account).
It's common to hear that most traders have a drawdown limit of 20-30%. This means that if the account balance decreases 20-30%, a trader will stop trading and return to the drawing board.

Normally, the trader will need to tweak the trading system or take a hard look at how the trader is implementing the system.
Not only do traders use drawdown limits on the trading account, but also they have limits on how much money can be traded on any one trade.

For example, most traders won't trade more than 1-5% of the trading account on any one trade. This allows a trader to absorb the inevitable losses and still have resources to continue trading. Remember, trading is about being correct most of the time, not all of the time.
Losses will happen but they are quickly closed out to minimize impact on the cumulative number of trades.
To sum it up, traders need to totally negate as much as possible the emotional impact of losing money. Proper training of the subconscious mind to put losses in the right perspective can be extremely helpful.
In addition, traders need to set up rules and procedures to limit the effects of the inevitable losses and play to stay in the game.
To use the baseball analogy, being a trader is about hitting for average and not about hitting home runs.

[by Norman Hallett, CEO of Subconscious Training Corporation, Makers of TradingMind Software]


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