Saturday, May 13, 2006

Say Yes to You – By Julie Fuimano

Have you ever had anyone speak to you in a tone that made you feel
uncomfortable? And yet, you said nothing. Have you ever done something for
someone or with someone that you really didn't want to do? And yet, you
did it anyway, only to become resentful later.

Every time you say nothing, every time you let it slide, every time you do
something for someone else that you don't want to do, you tell yourself
that the other person means more than you. In essence, you give yourself
(and others) the message that you don't matter.

How it begins
One of the first words we learn to say as infants is "no." We learn this
word partly because we hear it so frequently and it's an easy word to
pronounce. It becomes a popular word as we move into the toddler years.
Then we learn that it's not nice to say "no," that we need to do as we are
told. As children, this is how we learn right from wrong; it's how we
learn acceptable behavior.

As we grow, we allow people to convince us to do things that are not
congruent with the way we want to be. Somewhere along the way to
adulthood, our ability to say "no" gets lost. It becomes easier to tell
ourselves "no" than to say "no" to others, so we ignore our own feelings
and go with the flow. What matters is that we please others. So we take on
projects and additional responsibilities that we'd rather not do, and
after awhile we become proudly known for 'getting it done.' Over time, we
become resentful and unhappy. We continue to repeat the same messages we
were taught as children and nevër question whether they serve us as

Paying the price
Saying "yes" when you'd rather not means you're really saying "no" to
yourself. This undermines your self-esteem. You unwittingly tell yourself
that the other person's needs come before your own and you devalue
yourself. And, until you are ready to take responsibility for yourself, it
will continue.

You may be accustomed to placing the needs of others before yourself. And
yet, can't you be just as caring when you care for yourself first?

When I met Susan, it was just before Christmas. She told me that 45 people
were coming over for Christmas dinner. She was excited to say that her
mother was coming, but her demeanor changed when she said her siblings
were coming with their spouses, children and grandchildren. She was
clearly not looking forward to this dinner; it was a lot of work and she
was expected to cook every year -- family members did not take turns,
although some of her sisters brought food. I asked her to tell me what the
perfect Christmas dinner would be like. She said it would just be the
seven of them -- her husband, her children, and her mother. So I asked her
what would happen if she told everyone that she was no longer going to
have Christmas dinner for everyone. Interestingly, she had not considered
it as a possibility. She just figured she'd be stuck having this dinner
every year, ad infinitum. She didn't realize that she could choose to do
something different; she just needed to give herself permission.

Just as she believes that it is her duty to have this dinner, it is
possible that her relatives attend out of a sense of duty. She might find
that once her true feelings are exposed that others share the same
feelings of obligatïon. Either way, she is entitled to spend Christmas
dinner in a way that brings her the most joy. Until she is honest with
herself and others, she will continue to suffer needlessly.

What things in your life do you continue to do over and over because
that's how it's always been? Not only is it all right, it is imperative
that you question the things you do and consciously choose how to spend
your time and energy. It's your life. You can live by design or by
default. Either way, you only live once.

Learn to follow your heart
How do you learn to say "no"? By practicing. Learn to pause before you
answer any request made of you, whether it's for your time, energy or
monëy, etc. Then search your heart for what you really want. How do you
feel to say "yes" to this request? How do you feel to say "no"? Which
feels better? Even if you're not sure why, go with your gut. Learning to
listen to your inner self is critical. Every time you say "no," you say
"yes" to you. This builds self-esteem, and as you honor yourself, you
reclaim your personal power.

Learning to say "no" to things you don't want means you're able to say
"yes" to things you do want. Eliminating things that you don't want in
your life, things that don't make you feel good, gives you the time,
energy and space to add things that you do enjoy. When you say "yes" to
meeting your own needs and wants, you validate yourself; this builds
confidence and inner strength. When you feel good, you're happier, more
productive and you have more fun!

You can say "no" with grace and love. As you say "no" to others, don't
make them wrong; simply state your Truth. And don't apologize! (You're
doing nothing wrong!) Simply state that you are unable to take on any more
projects and that you have stopped doing things that are not your
responsibility or not in your best interest. If you can, refer them to
someone who can help them or show them how to do it for themselves.

Do unto yourself as you would do unto others.
The highest level of respect you can give is the respect you show
yourself. People often say that you must give respect in order to get it;
in order to get it, you must give it to yourself. As you treat yourself
with compassion and love, you teach others how you expect to be treated,
and by raising your standards, you permit others to do the same.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Are Your Goals Exciting? – By Jim Donovan

This may sound like a strange question, but are you really excited about
your goals? Of course, I'm making the assumption that you have already
invested the time to think about what you want your life to be like and
identified some of your goals in several areas. If not, please do this
immediately. If you don't know where you're going, how will you know when
you get there?

Having written goals will change your life; I guarantee it! Spend some
time thinking about what you'd like your life to be like. For the sake of
this exercise, let's set goals you'd like to have accomplished one year
from now. Of course, you can set shorter and longer term goals as well.

What would you like for your relationships? How about your health, career
and finances? How about your mind and emotions? What would you like to
experience? What would you like to do, be or have? Invest some time now to
identify these things and write them down. This will greatly increase the
likelihood of your accomplishing them. If you want to know more about
this, there are lots of books, including mine, to help you. That's not
really the topic of this story, however. I'm asking you now to revisit
your goals, particularly your short-term, six-month to one-year ones.

Do they make you want to jump out of bed each day eager to get going?
Recently, I was feeling "less than great." I was even bordering on
becoming depressed, something I rarely experience. I felt unmotivated, and
wound up being pretty sick for a week. Upon closer examination, and
because I agree with Plato that an unexamined life is not worth living, I
realized one of the things that I had done was to reset some of my
short-term goals to be "more realistic."

I think I believed what I was hearing about the current economic
situation. Of course, some of what "they" are saying is true. Some people
are experiencing an economic downturn. Interestingly enough, the Horchow
Catalog, a collection of some of the highest priced, one-of-a-kind items
you can find, is expecting another year of double-digit growth. This is as
compared to a 1 or 2% for the rest of the catalog industry. They were
quoted as saying that "there are always well-healed people willing to pay
for fine things." Obviously, not everyone believes in the economic

What I had noticed about myself was that in the interest of being
realistic, I had lowered my expectations. While this may seem like a
reasonable thing to do, in reality, it left me totally uninspired and
feeling pretty unmotivated about my goals. For example, if you have a goal
of making enough money to "pay the bills," how exciting is that? Is that
going to make you jump out of bed in the morning saying, "Oh wow, I can't
wait to get going, so I can make money and pay the bills!" I doubt it.

Year after year, the average salesperson will set a goal of earning the
same as the previous year plus 5% for inflation. I sense these are the
people Henry David Throeau was speaking about when he said, "The mass of
men lead lives of quiet desperation."

Interestingly enough, the top salespeople in any industry will set
outrageous goals like, "Doubling my income" and then go out and do it. I
believe a big part of their success is the excitement they've created in
themselves by setting the huge goal.

When I understood what I was doing, I immediately set new goals. I set
goals that were way beyond my reach. Goals that were huge enough to really
get my juices going. Now, when I think about my new, bigger goals, I get
excited just imaging what it would feel like reaching them and what my
life would be like having accomplished them. I get jazzed just thinking
about my new income goals, for example.

I get excited just thinking about how I will use this new level of income.
I spend time getting into the feeling of having this level of income. I
ask questions like, "Where will I go on vacation? What will I buy my wife?
Which charities will we contribute to?" and so on. I really step into the
new income level and see myself enjoying the fruits of my labor. I have
been using these techniques for many years and have experienced enormous
change in my life. And even if I don't reach the exact amount, I know I
will go way beyond what I might have accomplished and will feel better
along the way. After all, isn't feeling good what it's all about?

Now, go get your journal, and let's start setting some new goals for the
coming year. Following is a simple exercise to help you become clear about
your goals and begin creating the life you've always wanted.

1. Write what you don't want. Often, it's easier to become clear about
what you don't want. For example, "I don't want all these bills; I don't
want to work in a dead end job," etc. What you do want is generally the
opposite of this. "I want an abundance of income. I want my own successful
business," and so on. Afterwards, you may want to throw this list away.

2. Write what you do want. List everything you want to do, be and have for
the upcoming year and beyond. Really let your imagination run wild. Never
mind how you will do it. That will come later. For now, just write what
you want without editing.

3. Pick two or three goals from your list and write them in the form of an
affirmation. For example, "I am enjoying our fantastic summer house by the
ocean." "I am so happy growing my own business. This makes me feel in
control of my future." Do this for all the major areas of your life --
spirituality, health, relationships, social, business, things and money.

4. Next to each one, write why you want this and how you will feel when
you have accomplished it. "I want this business to have more free time
with my family and be in charge of my destiny. I feel powerful and

5. Write at least one action you can take right now to move toward your
goal. What simple step can you take immediately (today)? Maybe an
immediate action would be to investigate a new opportunity you learned
about in this newsletter.

Each day, devote some time to reading your list of goals, concentrating on
the feelings associated with having them. Feelings like free, valued,
loved, secure, safe, prosperous, etc. The more you can feel the feelings
your goal will produce, the faster you can draw it to you. After you
reread your goals and are feeling the good feelings associated with having
them, ask yourself, "What is the next action I can take to move toward
this?" Do this daily and watch your life change.

Play To Win – By Jon Gordon ***

There was a time in most of our lives when we had no fear--that feeling
when we jumped from the jungle gym and slammed our little bodies to the
ground. Perhaps it was when we went on our first roller coaster, or when
we were in high school or college and felt that there was nothing we
couldn't do. No goal was unattainable. We were an unstoppable wave of
energy that would think of something and then make it happen

Then, as time goes by, the world tells us more frequently that we can't do
anything we want. In fact, the world gets more specific and says you can't
do this and you can't do that. The doubters laugh at our goals and try to
persuade us from going after our dreams. They say, "You're crazy. It's too
hard. It's too much of a long shot. Why don't you do this instead? You
should play it safe." They act as if dreams were meant for others but not
people like us. They surround us with negative energy and try to instill
their own fears and insecurities in us. We not only begin to know the word
"fear," we start to understand what it's like to be fearful. With so many
people telling us we can't do something and so few telling us we can, it's
hard not to let fear into our lives.

Unfortunately this is how many of us go through life. The fear starts as a
thought and the thought then becomes an emotion that affects our body and
entire state of being. We have mortgages, rent, responsibilities, car
payments, college payments, medical bills, and jobs. Many of us have even
more responsibilities with families and children to support. The doubters
point all of this out and inject their doubt and negativity in us. "You
can't start your own business. What if it fails? How are you going to feed
your children? You can't start a new career. You know how hard it is to
make money acting. Why would you want to do that? You shouldn't go after a
promotion. They'll never give it to you. You're too old to change careers
and learn computers. Why would you want to do a silly thing like that?"

Whether you are 20 or 50, many of us become so scared of losing what we
have that we don't go after what we truly want. We allow the negative
energy of fear into our lives which cuts off the flow of positive energy
and paralyzes our desires. We play it safe and hold on so tight to the
status quo that we never experience what could be. We believe the doubters
and don't take chances that will move us one step towards our dreams. I
call this "playing to lose." We see this in sports all the time when a
team has the lead. They start to think about how not to lose instead of
how to win. They hold on so tight to their lead that they start playing
safe and scared. You can see it in their energy and body language. As a
result the other team takes chances, plays with no fear and eventually
gains the momentum and wins.

To live a life filled with positive energy we must learn to repel the
negative energy of fear. Whether it comes from within or from another
person we must eliminate fear from our life and replace it with a "play to
win" mindset. While fear serves no purpose in your life, a play to win
attitude will allow you to create anything you want. Playing to win
requires a commitment to yourself that even if you fail, you will never
give up and never let your goals and dreams die. Those who play to win
know that success is not given to us. It is pursued with all the energy
and sweat we can muster. Obstacles and struggles are part of life and only
serve to make us appreciate our success. If everything came easy we
wouldn't know what it felt like to truly succeed. Obstacles are meant to
be overcome. Fear is meant to be conquered. Success is meant to be
achieved. They are all part of the game of life, and the people who
succeed play to win and never give up until the game is over.

I have seen this power first hand. Two years ago, I was working for a
technology company, fearful of losing my job and going bankrupt. We had
just moved, the company I worked for was in financial trouble and I had an
expensive mortgage, two kids and no job prospects. One day I told my wife,
"I'm not going to live like this. No fear anymore. I'm going to do what I
was born to do." My plan was to open a restaurant that would provide us
with the funds to pay our bills. Once it was successful I would have the
foundation to begin my life's work of writing and speaking. Of course part
of me was scared, but I knew I didn't have a choice. For me living in fear
was like dying. Thankfully, two years later, I have two successful
restaurants and I am doing what I love--making a difference in other
people's lives by sharing energy.

I stopped the fear from flowing through my life and I replaced it with an
attitude that "I was going to make my dreams come true. Whatever it took,
I would make it happen." Once I changed my attitude, positive energy
started flowing into and out of my life and everything began falling in
place. I thank God for all of the blessings I have received, but I also
know that it started with me deciding to play to win. If I can do it so
can you.

** Action Steps **

- Identify the fear in your life. What makes you fearful?
- Remind yourself that this fear serves no purpose. It only weakens you.
- Say to yourself "I have no fear."
- Remember that it is OK to be scared at times, so long as this feeling
doesn't control you. You feel it and then you replace being scared with
thoughts of positive results.
- Decide to play to win. It's as easy as turning on a light switch.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sphere (Blog Searches)


Soda and Michael Jackson

Today there was an agreement between the school districts and the major pop drinks stating that beginning in 2009, there will be no soda sold in public schools.  This is due to the fact that the excess of sugar consumption in young people is creating a slew of obese and diabetic children.  I remember when Michael Jackson and Madonna endorsed Coke and in so doing encouraged many young people to drink soda.  I don't see them apologizing or taking responsibility for their contribution in the onset of obese children today.  They ought to give back the money they were paid to help these children and try to undo the damage they contributed to by endorsing products that are actual poison to the human body.

The Death Sentence & the Moussaoui Case

It is fitting that Mr. Moussaoui has been sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in the 9/11 attacks.  There is no worst punishment than to have to live the rest of your natural life in solitary confinement without ever having human contact.  There are many people who don't agree and choose to favor the death penalty.  I must say that everyone who does might as well be a murderer.  This is because killing is morally wrong, regardless of who does it: another person or the state.  Murder is not mitigated when the circumstances show the victim is guilty or deserving of death.  It is still murder.  The only case where one can be exempt of being a murderer is when one kills in self defense.  Any other situation makes the killer a murderer.  And supporting the death penalty also deems one a murderer because doing so means one has already committed murder in one's heart and that is akin to having pulled the trigger oneself.  This argument could even be extented to include WAR, but I don't intend to write at lengh about that now.  I completely believe this to be correct and wish anyone who does not to challenge my thinking with a solid logical reason explaining why they disagree.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Day Without Immigrants

I'm a Citizen, but I fully support immigrants because immigration laws are UNFAIR.  These people just want to work and are NOT ILLEGAL, but undocumented people.  They are abused, underpaid and exploited for the mere fact that they do not posses the documents required to work in the U.S.  More power to them!  May they succeed!