Category Archives: Self Improvement

Obligation vs. Responsibility, How do You look at Opportunities in Li

Have you noticed that “obligation” is a term that a lot of people use as an adjective to describe as “something that they HAVE TO DO” but when using the term “responsibility” That they feel that they have some level of control over their actions, and are completely at choice in all that they do in life.

Two simple words, yet such a big difference in perceived meaning!

Well, During the course of World War II it was considered the patriotic responsibility of every able bodied young American man to step forward and serve in the armed forces, all in the name of God and the American Dream.

This internal sense of personal duty and responsibility was often embraced during that time as a profound honor and a privilege, however frightening the prospect of going to war may have been.

In sharp contrast to many of those who served in World War II, look at many of those who were called upon to serve in the Vietnam War. Many of those soldiers often felt that the war was unjust and that their legal obligation to serve was immoral, and they felt perfectly justified in using any means at their disposal to avoid serving in Vietnam as a warrior.

Do you notice the difference in the two situations?

These two examples and mere generalizations and are not meant as an indictment against any of these people who have served in these conflicts or their circumstances, but are instead used to illustrate the sharp differences of how all of us can view a certain situation with many of the same aspects, but can either feel compelled to feel obligated or to simply step up and DO.

By drawing distinctions between the differences of Responsibility and Obligation, we personally empower ourselves to remain clearly at choice in all situations. . . . when we choose to look at life’s lessons as Responsibilities.

By choosing to ACKNOWLEDGE these clear distinctions between being OBLIGATED to do something simply because we have to, as compared to being Responsible, which is doing something because we choose to do it, we are internally achieving a level of greatness that would not be possible otherwise.

Simple concept eh? Let’s go deeper!

The opportunity to choose between being Responsible in life or being Obligated is available to each and every one of us. By choosing easy and living under the light of Responsibility, we are putting ourselves at ease and confirming that we have choice in all that we do. However, should we look at all of the HAVE TO’s in life as obligations, we are simply giving up our internal power that we each possess as human beings.

Have you noticed that “obligation” is a term that a lot of people use as an adjective to describe as “something that they HAVE TO DO” but when using the term “responsibility” That they feel that they have some level of control over their actions, and are completely at choice in all that they do in life.

Two simple words, yet such a big difference in perceived meaning!

Well, During the course of World War II it was considered the patriotic responsibility of every able bodied young American man to step forward and serve in the armed forces, all in the name of God and the American Dream.

This internal sense of personal duty and responsibility was often embraced during that time as a profound honor and a privilege, however frightening the prospect of going to war may have been.

In sharp contrast to many of those who served in World War II, look at many of those who were called upon to serve in the Vietnam War. Many of those soldiers often felt that the war was unjust and that their legal obligation to serve was immoral, and they felt perfectly justified in using any means at their disposal to avoid serving in Vietnam as a warrior.

Do you notice the difference in the two situations?

These two examples and mere generalizations and are not meant as an indictment against any of these people who have served in these conflicts or their circumstances, but are instead used to illustrate the sharp differences of how all of us can view a certain situation with many of the same aspects, but can either feel compelled to feel obligated or to simply step up and DO.

By drawing distinctions between the differences of Responsibility and Obligation, we personally empower ourselves to remain clearly at choice in all situations. . . . when we choose to look at life’s lessons as Responsibilities.

By choosing to ACKNOWLEDGE these clear distinctions between being OBLIGATED to do something simply because we have to, as compared to being Responsible, which is doing something because we choose to do it, we are internally achieving a level of greatness that would not be possible otherwise.

Simple concept eh? Let’s go deeper!

The opportunity to choose between being Responsible in life and being Obligated is available to each and every one of us. By choosing easy and living under the light of Responsibility, we are putting ourselves at ease and confirming that we have choice in all that we do. However, should we look at all of the HAVE TO’s in life as obligations, we are simply giving up our internal power that we each possess as human beings.

The big question in this is, Are you going to be Responsible for yourself and for your actions, or are you going to take the victim stance of OBLIGATION and blame others because you feel that you HAVE to do it!

By choosing to become Responsible for what you do in own life, you give yourself the ability to move foreword in consistently creating your own personal vision and achieving your goals, commitments and desires.

So, how will you move forward? Will you choose to look at life as an OBLIGATION or a RESPONSIBILITY? It truly is your choice!

Robert Paisola robert@trumpworldwide.com

Robert Paisola is an International Author, Trainer and Motivational Speaker and is an expert in the field of Personal Real Estate Investor Training. He is a professional speaker who has been featured on CNN, CNNFN, and the Wall Street Journal. He can answer your questions on the “Basics of the Real Estate Investing Business” to detailed issues regarding your specific transactions. Life Experience Robert Paisola is a Professional International Seminar Speaker in the Areas of Real Estate Investing, Tax Lien Investing, Rental Property Management, Real Estate Coach and Mentor Training and Business Management. He has served companies throughout the world. If you are interested in learning the business from someone like Rob email his office at robert@trumpworldwide.com or visit http://www.allexperts.com/displayExpert.asp?Expert=38419

or contact the Success Training Network at 1-877-517-9555

The 17 Success Principles: Going the Extra Mile

Dr. Napoleon Hill rates the principle of going the extra mile very high among his 17 Success Principles. Dr. Hill opines that this principle is not the creation of man but rather, it is the handiwork of nature. One great advantage associated with going the extra mile is that it yield the benefit of increasing returns; i. e earning a proportionately higher return than you input.

The principle of going the extra mile comes after the principle of definiteness of purpose in the 17 Success Principles. These two are highly related and when backed up with a positive mental attitude they can take you miles and miles ahead in your journey of success. Talking of the magic effect of these two success principles, the author of the Law of success says “definiteness of purpose and the habit of going the extra mile constitute a force which staggers the imagination of even the most imaginative of people, although these are but two of the seventeen principles of individual achievement”.

But what is meant by the habit of going the extra mile? Napoleon Hill defines the habit of going the extra mile as the rendering of more or better service than that for which one is paid and giving it in a positive mental attitude. A clear example of this universal principle is demonstrated by the farmer. He clears his field sows his sees, tends the crops and WAITS. He does not immediately reap the harvest but after some time, nature rewards him a hundred fold.

So whatever your calling, make it a habit to go the extra mile. Do not worry about being rewarded, just do your best; so generous are the forces of compensation in this magnificent universe. Even if you work for another person who is not paying you adequately for the service you render, just keep on giving more and better service all the time for God is watching. Ralph Waldo Emerson says The longer the payment is witholden, the better for you; for compound interest on compound interest is the rate and usage of this exchequer. (i. e. God).

Realistic Lateral Thinking Problems

Lateral thinking problems are often just simple puzzles that lead you to make certain assumptions. To solve them, then, you have to look at the assumptions you’re making and try to get beyond them. Let’s look at an example.

A librarian used a book he had never read to destroy thousands of other books. How was this possible? This simple riddle or lateral thinking puzzle relies on the idea of a “librarian” and “never read” to encourage you assume that it is all about the kinds of books you read. Get away from that assumption and you might stumble upon the solution – that he used a book of matches to burn all the others.

Such puzzles are good mental exercise, and fun as well, but not all lateral thinking problems are word play or simple puzzles. Many are designed to require or encourage creative thinking about more realistic scenarios. They often have many possible solutions.

You may not like the inconclusive nature of this kind of puzzle or problem – at least at first. It is common to want one definitive solution, so you know you’re “right” once you have come to a conclusion. But the more open-ended lateral thinking problems are just as good for exercising your creativity, and the thinking skills developed from working on them may be more applicable to real life situations, where there is rarely one definitive solution.

Situational Lateral Thinking Problems

In these problems, there is usually a scenario or situation which is explained, and a goal to accomplish. For example, suppose you need to get a basketball out of a 12-foot deep pit that has smooth cement for the floor and walls. It is square, about four feet per side. You are alone, and have only what you are wearing, plus what is in your pockets. Using nothing else, how can you get the basketball out?

This is a lateral thinking problem because it requires you to think “laterally. ” This means coming at problems from other angles, as opposed to the more traditional linear or logical approaches. In this case, it means using what you have in ways that these things are not normally used.

For example, you might make a “basket” of your t-shirt, tying shoelaces to the four corners. Then you could unravel the threads from your socks to make a string that would lower the shirt. The idea would be to move the basketball onto it and then pull it up. Moving the ball might be accomplished with a shoe hung on the end of a string made of strips of clothing, which you use to “kick” the ball into the right place.

Another solution: A piece of paper from your pocket might be chewed and dropped onto the ball using shoe laces and clothing for a string. When it dries it would perhaps “glue” the line to the ball, so it could be pulled up. A tall person might “chimney” his body up and down the pit to get the ball, as climbers do with rock walls that are a few feet apart. There are undoubtedly other possibilities here.

Life itself presents us with many lateral thinking problems, at least if we look at situations the right way. For example, a judge in a Michigan child custody case went beyond the traditional thinking about how much time the children would spend at each parent’s house. Instead, he decided that the children would stay right where they were in the home they knew, and the parents would move in with them on alternating weeks. That’s a good example of applying lateral thinking to real life problems.

Copyright Steve Gillman. For more on Lateral Thinking
, and to get the Brain Power Newsletter and other free gifts, visit: http://www.IncreaseBrainPower.com

New Self Help Technique For Quitting Anything – Mindset Reversion

One reason it is hard to quit anything, is because the person is focused on just that – Quitting Something. I’ll tell you how to change your mind by focusing in a different direction. This technique I’ve trademarked is called “Mindset Reversion” and it has a base in the Law of Attraction.

There are two important parts of “Mindset Reversion”. One part is similar to a sports training technique called Feelization. Originally, Dr. John Elliot, a psychologist described feelization as visualizing winning from the first-person point of view, rather than third-person. A person attempts to feel the desired experience to attain rather than seeing the outcome they hope to achieve.

This multi-sensory forward thinking is very useful for athletes. However, I proposed in “Mindset Reversion” that the person go beyond feeling the outcome they desire. Instead, revert back to a previously held mindset that included a positive time period in how you thought about the subject.

Mindset defined is “a mental attitude or inclination, a fixed state of mind” and reversion means “a return to a former condition. ” Hence, Mindset Reversion is reverting to a previously held state of mind or mindset. Naturally, reverting back to a mindset that was healthier.

The other important part of “Mindset Reversion” is that it utilizes the Law of Attraction. In the Law of Attraction, somewhat based on Quantum Physics, it is believed that to succeed at something you must focus on receiving it, and allow yourself to receive it. This is exactly the opposite of the mindset of “quitting something”. For example, if you’re skiing and there is only one tree in the middle of the run, focusing on avoiding it tends to cause you to near it and maybe hit the tree. A better solution is to focus on getting down the mountain clearly and easily, along with enjoying it. Don’t think about not hitting the tree as being your goal. Going down the run and having fun are the goals. Think and feel what it is like to gracefully glide down the mountain side in the crisp white snow with the breeze flowing by you as you ski your way to the bottom.

To enable yourself to quit drinking alcohol, for example, if you are an alcoholic, there are two mind changing events. One is to think back to a time when you didn’t drink. Start by thinking of recent years, a time when you only drank on the weekends for example. Then go back further, to a time when it was just an occasional drink, like at holiday parties.

Then, take yourself back in time and really feel a time and a mindset when there was no drinking, in fact there was no such thing as alcohol in your life. You can really take on that mindset again by focusing on how good it felt to not know alcohol, and to not know hangovers, and to not know what a “buzz” felt like. Over time you can retain that mindset and reach what I call the full mindset reversion, which is feeling and knowing that there IS no alcohol in your life. Just like it was in the beginning of your life.

Coupled together this is a powerful combination of resetting your mind, and doing it in a positive way. Don’t focus on what you’re not getting (alcohol), focus on what you are getting, beautiful days, good health not hangovers, and peace.

Karen Price’s book out now is called “Simply Quit Drinking: An Inspirational Journey From Near Death”. She is also counseling others on weight loss and addiction recovery. http://www.simplyquitdrinking.com

Karen Gregg Price, http://www.SimplyQuitDrinking.com Reaching Peak, karen@reachingpeak.com

Anger Management Communication Skills by Expressing Yourself Without

Anger Management Meltdown:

I could feel my face turning red, a churning in my stomach, my breathing rapid almost out of control as she walks through the door, 30 minutes late for our meeting. This is the 3rd time in 3 weeks she’s late for our weekly meetings. I think that I’m going to explode, emotions on high alert, yet I say nothing. I’m afraid of what she might say or do. I have to be nice. We go on with the meeting yet I can’t focus because my anger is building, building, building. All of a sudden from nowhere I slam my fist on the metal desk and yell out in desperation, “Do not ever come to this meeting late again!”

Her face turns crimson, eyes are glaring silver daggers, I’m starting to shake, and she screams back. . . Well, I’m sure you probably could guess what she said. I used to be the person above, afraid to express myself, building to a high crescendo of anger and other negative emotions, not saying what I wanted to say out of fear of what the response might be. That has all changed. Today, I’m enjoying the freedom of speaking my truth, yet in an honest, open and compassionate way. I’m also much calmer putting my concerns out on the table. Guessing that the courage came to me because I was exhausted and tired of saying to myself, I should’ve spoken up after it was too late to do so.

Not Expressing ourselves damages our body and mind:

Expressing ourselves honestly is one of the most challenging communication skills in business or our personal lives. Yet not expressing ourselves can cause damage to us physically and emotionally by causing depression, anger, and stress. On the other hand expressing ourselves when we are not calm or are unclear of our intention may damage our relationships. Instead of getting what we want, we receive anger or alienation back, as in the example above.

Expressing yourself without blame, shame, guilt or fear:

I’d like to share the expressing process that I use to bring about a more peaceful shift in my life. Hear are some simple steps to express yourself clearly and honestly and enjoy getting what you want. I use the example from above to model this technique.

Calm Yourself? The easy method: Emtional First Aid

Yes, calm yourself before expressing. I usually jump into the frigid Pacific Ocean to calm myself. An alternative to getting wet is a powerful technique by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg author of “Nonviolent communication, a language of life”:

Take several deep breaths1: Identify your emotions in the moment. Ask yourself: right now am I _ (upset, frustrated, nervous, or aggravated, etc. )?

Identify what values are not being met?Ask yourself slowly; Do I want _ ( consideration, respect, love, space, rest, calm, trust or dependability, etc. ?) Dwell on these values. Imagine what it might look like if they were being met. Try this “first aid” technique during the day. You will be amazed how calming it can be. In fact, try it right now. It only takes a few seconds. I have a word taped to my computer reminding me to do this calming technique hourly.

Now we can proceed to expressing ourselves.

1: :Identify what you are referring to with a clear observation (O), something that is stated as a quote, seen, heard that both people might agree to. Usually it is something you heard or could see. A quote is an easy observation that will keep a judgment from being stated or a fact that both of you could agree on.

An example of an observation (O):

(O )When you arrive 30 minutes after the meeting was scheduled, 3 weeks in a row

(O) When you stated you would be here at 9:00PM

2: Identify and state which of your values or needs (N) are not being met. (consideration, respect, dependability, love, space, rest, calm or trust, etc. ? There is a list of needs and values at the link below to help you identify needs. . You would add, I value _

Example: (O) When you arrived 20 minutes after the meeting started, (N) I value consideration for my time

3: The Request is a way to meet our needs. I need to have a clear and doable request for the other to meet my needs? If you miss the request to meet your needs, the above will sound like a demand. Always express a request and need. Many times we request without the need and it also sounds like a demand. So to be safe, always express with a need and request. In the example, notice how the request might meet the need for the need of consideration. Asking for a request may look like: Would you _? Make it as specific as possible. Always add a time specific if possible.

Example: (O) When I see you arrive 20 minutes after the meeting started, (N) I’m wanting consideration for my time, (R) would you call me the next time you will be over 20 minutes late?

There is a catch, This is important:

After you express yourself there usually will be the reply from the other person, usually an apology or anger. Step1 will support you through this experience to staying calm. In addition, ask yourself, am I really ready to listen to the other for understanding? You don’t have to agree with them, just try to understand their needs. Again ask yourself, are they wanting consideration, respect, dependability, love, space, rest, calm or trust, to be heard, etc. ?

If your intention is to manipulate or only get you’re needs met, go back to step 1 and continue to calm yourself. If your intention is to really connect with the other, to understand their needs and also value yours, then you are ready to communicate. Listen to understand their side without getting defensive or angry. I know, easier said than done, yet after they have been heard completely, they will be more willing to listen to you. Again go back to step one to calm yourself if you need to.

Don’t be nice, just honest! No more using guilt and shame in your conversations:

Expressing yourself honestly and openly is a gift to yourself and the other. It does take courage and does not mean that you have to be “nice”, just honest. “Nice” is not always honest. Using the process above will help bring a lasting calm to yourself and the relationship. Most Important, it isn’t really the words that make this process work. It is the intention to want to communicate honestly with the other person and then listen to them. After the other person has been heard, they are much more willing to hear you and come to a consensus and agreement.

So, express yourself honestly and bring more peace, trust, and calm to your world and others. The old slogan is true, “Peace begins with you. ” Use this model with your friends, children, family, customers and even your boss. Deep down, don’t humans want to trust and hear honesty from each other? By the way, after I expressed myself as in the model above, the other person apologized and has been on time for our meetings since. From practicing this skill, I have a renewed sense of freedom. A sort of space in my emotions which helps to free up my compassion of others. .

Expert Listening Skills you can have now:

Listening skills is the other part of communication. Try to really stay open and understand their needs. After both of you have been heard, then the strategies to mend the situation will come easy. If you try to arrive at strategies before both of you have been heard, this process may become difficult. Wait for a sigh or notice a release of yourself or the other person before going to strategy. Try to be patient because the longer that both of you can stay in peaceful dialog, the more lasting and comfortable the results will be. This is anger management that works and will keep your emotions and conflicts at an all time low. One last tip: If the conversation starts getting intense, take a time out and go to the restroom to offer yourself emotional first aid using the easy method above. .

May all your needs me met easily.

Personal and business communication skills is never an easy subject, yet Rick Goodfriend wants communication with others to be easier, more satisfying. Rick Goodfriend is founder of Worl
d Empathy Day where you can find many more tips on relationship communications and how to solve difficult challenges. A CD written by Rick Goodfriend on creating instant calm is at http://walkyourtalk.org/indexCD1.htm Additional Business and personal communication Skills are at http://walkyourtalk.org/ Successful communication with anybody is possible with the proactive skills taught. Rick Goodfriend is also a co-creator and host of a television show on proactive communication and resides in Santa Barbara, California continuing to surf, hike and practice personal communication skills. May all your needs be met easier and faster.

Hidden Gems in a Quote: From Henry David Thoreau I have learned

“I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours”

The great American poet, author, and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau was the writer of the passage above. It’s a passage that has been quoted many times by different authors in the personal development field. The message contained in this quote is concentrated and if applied can take us to the highest heights of success and achievement. The words did not come out of a whim, they were carefully chosen. We’ll look at this quote and examine the gems contained within which we would otherwise miss in reading it quickly.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams…. ”

In this passage we can see some important words that we should pay attention to. The first one is “advances”. We have to constantly move forward and not stay still. This is speaking against procrastination. Thoreau did not say, “We should constantly think about our dreams. ” To be successful one has to do more today than they are doing yesterday. A step forward should always be taken. We should not take a break while performing the activity that will bring us success. But how should we advance? He says to advance confidently. You have to be confident that you can reach that goal. Sometimes the only thing that you have to hold on to is your belief that you can reach that goal. There are times when others will not support you and will put you down. This is the way of the world. We are well aware of this, but we should not let it affect us. We have to be strong and confident that we will reach the goal if we persevere.

“. . and endeavors to live the life he has imagined…”

Here we have another gem for success. He says that the person who “endeavors to life the life”. To endeavor means to make an effort to do something. In other words, you have to act upon the life that you imagine yourself to have. You have to take action upon your dreams. That is the only way that you will be able to achieve it. Taking action is the most critical step that a lot of people fail to take. I have fallen into this trap so many times. We want to wait until everything is perfect and we use that as an excuse to not take action. We say that we want to plan it out. The word plan should be followed by action. A plan without an action is what we should call a wish. So it’s not enough to just imagine it, you have to endeavor to live the life, which means you have to take action upon your dreams.

“. . will meet with success unexpected in common hours. . ”

As the person “advances” with “confidence” and “endeavors” to live the life of his/her dreams, they are constantly changing internally. They have changed themselves from the inside and naturally once the internal condition of the person changes it is only a matter of time until this change shows itself in the external. This external change is what people call success and it will show up unexpectedly.

It is amazing how short powerful sentences contain so much in them. Let us spend time with powerful quotes. They have the power to change your life. All of the ingredients for creating success in your life are already inside you. All the tools that you need to chisel yourself to bring out the success ingredients are already available. Continue to advance confidently in the direction of your dreams through taking action and you can’t help but attract success to you because you have become the source of success!

Sukhbir Singh is the Founder of LifeApps! Personal Development International. When asked about his main goal he always states: “I want to spend the maximum amount of time to help the maximum amount of people achieve the maximum amount of success in this world!”

For more information on LifeApps! please go to http://www.lifeapps.com or send an email to info@lifeapps.com

Self Reflection – What You Say About Others Says Everything About You

For the past ten years, I have been teaching a principle of self-reflection that unlocks unconscious and limiting belief systems. This principle essentially states that the world you perceive is a reflection of who you are. In other words, if you are having problems in the world, or with the people in it, you are seeing a reflection of a corresponding problem inside yourself. Moreover, if you keep trying to improve your life on the outside without bothering to expand your limitations on the inside, you will keep encountering the same problems-problems that will not go away until you adjust and correct the corresponding problems from within.

In order to put this principle into action, you need to start paying attention to language. I usually ask my students to listen to what others say before I ask them to listen to what they themselves say. I have found that people need to understand and believe in this principle by seeing how well it helps them to understand others before they can trust it enough to use it on themselves.

I often ask them to listen in on a conversation at Starbucks, or watch their favorite reality television show, and keep a list of what people say that strikes them as particularly closed minded. Later in class, we discuss how what they’ve heard might reflect the speaker’s belief system, and how that belief system might be influencing the speaker’s behavior, and how that behavior might be influencing the speaker’s reality. Let me give you a few examples of how reflection works, so you can go out and discover the power of this principle for yourself.

Example one: One of my students overheard another of his teachers complaining about a student, calling the student “a troublemaker. ” The class reflected and concluded that the teacher had trouble dealing with the student. The problem was not the student, but the teacher who had run out of techniques for empowering and focusing the student.

Example two: One of my students overheard a co-worker complaining about being given a warning by his boss. This co-worked had said, “I’m already doing the best I can. ” The class reflected and came to realize that the co-worker had run out of ideas for improvement; he felt stuck and hopeless. What he had been doing had not been working, but he did not think he had it in him to find another way of doing things. He did not even realize that there might be another way.

Example three: One of my students realized that she had been saying, “I’ve tried everything, ” for years. Upon reflection, she realized that because she believed that she had already tried everything, she’d also stopped looking for new things to try. And so, in her reality, she really had tried everything. It was after that realization that she began to ask the class for new alternatives, processes, and possibilities.

The true power of reflection begins when we use its principle on our own limited perspectives and language. When you learn to use the power of reflection, you will begin to realize that what people say about you is never about you. What people say about you is always about them and how they perceive their world. More importantly, what you say about others is never about them. What you say about others is always about you and how you perceive your world. Once you begin to understand and incorporate this principle into your relationships and reactions, many of your “problems” will redefine themselves and eventually disappear.

I like to tell my students that the power of reflection can help them to spot their leaks. . .

Copyright Lynn Marie Sager 2008

You can find much more about this topic on Navigating Life’s website. Simply go to http://www.navigatinglife.org/ and click through to Rule Three: The Power of Reflection for more examples, tables, and insights

Lynn Marie Sager has toured over two-dozen countries and worked on three continents. Author of A River Worth Riding: Fourteen Rules for Navigating Life, Lynn currently lives in California; where she fills her time with private coaching, public speaking, and teaching for the LACCD and Pierce College. She runs the Navigating Life website, where she offers free assistance to readers who wish to incorporate the rules of worthwhile living into their lives. To read more about how you can use these rules to improve your life, visit Lynn’s website at http://www.navigatinglife.org

Condolence Letters – Sending Words of Encouragement to a Loved One

Condolence letters are considered some of the most difficult letters to write and send because of their very sensitive nature. Even so, when someone close to you is dealing with the loss of a loved one, the grief and bereavement, writing and sending a condolence letter is probably one of the most considerate, kind, and thoughtful things you can do.

A condolence letter, if written properly, can show that you care about your friend and what they’re going through and that you are sympathetic to their loss. Although there are many different ways to remember a loved one, such as a funeral, memorial service, online memorials, and online obituaries, writing and sending condolence letters can also be your way of not only expressing sympathy but also in remembering a loved one and sharing those memories with your grieving friend or relative.

The problem is that many people have a hard time finding the right words to express themselves in writing during such a sensitive time. Before you put pen to paper or start thinking of what on you are possibly going to write, keep in mind that your letter, in addition to being carefully and well-written, should aim to achieve three main purposes. The first is to express sympathy and comfort to your friend or relative experiencing the loss of a loved one. The second is to honor and pay tribute to the deceased and the third is to let the bereaved person know that you are available should they need help. If you are able to keep these three things in mind, and put them on paper, your condolence letter will in fact be honest and heartfelt.

Try to be personal and heartfelt in your condolence letter, without being too sentimental and gushing. You can start by acknowledging what happened—the person’s death, how you found out about it, how it made you feel, etc. Do not go into detail about how or why the person died—this is completely unnecessary and unhelpful. Move on to express sympathy and comfort to your friend or relative in bereavement. If you don’t know the name of person who died (for example, it could be your best friend’s grandmother), find out. This will make your condolence letter more personal and meaningful. If you’re uncomfortable asking, find out at the funeral or memorial service, or search online – their obituary may be online or an online memorial may have been set up.

Next, include positive statements about the relationship between the deceased and your friend or loved one, if appropriate, as well as positive statements about your relationship with the deceased. Don’t forget to include something positive about them in general—his or her good qualities, characteristics, personality, hobbies, interests, good memories, etc.

In writing your condolence letter, avoid cliches like “I know how you feel” or “This is for the best” or “This is God’s will”—these statements are generally not sincere or heartfelt and don’t really serve a purpose.

Also, avoid writing general statements about your willingness to help if needed (this is unfortunately very common in condolence letters). While you likely have a desire to do something for your friend or relative who is grieving for the loss of a loved one, think of something practical that you can specifically do, and then offer your services—but only if you can follow through.

How do you send a condolence letter? First of all, it’s usually not appropriate to type and then print one out using your computer. Secondly, avoid e-mailing a condolence letter, save for special or extreme circumstances. The best way to write and send your letter is to handwrite it using stationery. Remembering a loved one and offering support through a condolence letter requires a personal touch.

When mailing your letter, make sure it’s mailed within two weeks or so of the person’s death in order to properly pay your respects in a timely manner.

Writing a condolence letter is not an easy task. It is a difficult but necessary thing we may all have to do in our life to help aid a loved one in a time of need. Take this as a simple guide to get you on your way as you have to take on the task.

~Ben Anton, 2007

Encouraging Condolence Letters to a loved one – Get more guidance on dealing with grief and loss on the Valley of Life website. The website also provides a safe online memorial service where you can celebrate your loved one’s life.

Conviction – What Do You Stand For? How Strong Is Your Conviction?

“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. ” – Mohandas Gandhi, Indian leader

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen. ” – Muhammad Ali, American athlete

I embrace Gandhi’s quotation. But, it isn’t always easy to stand for what we believe. So often the areas where we have our deepest convictions are politics and religion – the two topics we are warned to avoid in conversation.

I submit to you, however, that we all have deep convictions in other areas that we also avoid discussing. For example, I feel strongly that we should love and be passionate about the careers we choose to pursue. Because I stand for having more than one career at a time (my “Portfolio Career”), I get a great deal of flack for not focusing on one.

I also have a strong conviction for being disciplined about fitness and health. It is not always easy to maintain a healthy diet combined with regular exercise. And yet, when we believe deeply with conviction, we can do it.

So, what do you stand for? Even if you are not one to share this with others, I do urge you to make a list of the deep convictions you hold and how you feel about them. These will solidify your values and lay the foundation for your vision and mission statement.

Let’s turn to the experts:

  • “Words should be employed as the means, not the end; language is the instrument, conviction is the work. ” – Joshua Reynolds, English artist
  • “The trite saying that honesty is the best policy has met with the just criticism that honesty is not policy. The real honest man is honest from conviction of what is right, not from policy. ” – Robert E. Lee, American soldier
  • “A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done. ” – Ralph Nader, American lawyer
  • “It has always been my private conviction that any man who puts his intelligence up against a fish and loses had it coming. ” – John Steinbeck, American author
  • “We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon. ” – Franklin D. Roosevelt, American President
  • “Conviction without experience makes for harshness. ” – Flannery O’Connor, American author
  • “You must stick to your conviction, but be ready to abandon your assumptions. ” – Denis Waitley, American writer

Here are two more that speak to me and that you can turn to during the upcoming week:

“What convinces is conviction. Believe in the argument you’re advancing. If you don’t you’re as good as dead. The other person will sense that something isn’t there, and no chain of reasoning, no matter how logical or elegant or brilliant, will win your case for you. ” – Lyndon B. Johnson, American President

“I have brought myself, by long meditation, to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and that nothing can resist a will which will stake even existence upon its fulfillment. ” – Benjamin Disraeli, British statesman

I ask you again, what do you stand for? What strong convictions are you keeping from yourself and others?

Chris King is a free agent, professional speaker, storyteller, writer, website creator / designer, and fitness instructor. Chris has what she calls a “Portfolio Career” – many different careers at the same time. If you wonder if you could handle and love having a “Portfolio Career” you will find a free assessment to take at http://www.creativekeys.net/portfoliocareertest.htm – Sign up for her eclectic E-newsletter, Portfolio Potpourri, at http://www.freelanceliving.com – You will find her information-packed E-book How to Leave Your Audiences Begging for MORE! at http://www.OutrageouslyPowerfulPresenter.com

Thought of Forgiveness

To forgive means relief and a thought of letting it go. Thus, forgiveness is a decision to let go of our regrets and our own view of justice. This situation can be proved divine condition. Forgiveness is called the command of god.

Everyone can be wrong or sinned once or more times in his/her life. Forgiving others may seem to be a choice but God has been very clear about forgiveness. He has given us specific direction in numerous Scriptures, all of which can be summed up in just one word – forgive! Many holy books and religious people suggest us the way of forgiving.

Forgiveness not only provides you mental relief it also have some health effects. Some of the important health benefits associated with forgiveness are mentioned below.

Remove stress of heart – Some researchers found that if you indulge in any stress and quarrel it may result to stress of heart and if you mentally nurse a grudge it will put your body to the same strains and these strains can be result to muscle tension, increased heart rate, sweating and high blood pressure.

Controlled heart rate – A study concludes that if you built a habit of forgiving others, you may have improvement in blood pressure and also heart rate. No betrayal for others can also decrease the workload of heart.

Make you stronger – If you forgive others, you will be proved a better and stronger person. A myth concludes that weaker person who is unable to face the situations take the advantage of forgives for saving them from difficult situation but the truth is totally different from this because a strong can only forgive. Forgiveness requires courage of facing hard situations like emotional pain and injuries.

Best punishment – If you want to take revenge from the person the best thing you can do is forgive the person. Sometimes you have been hurt by your near ones such a your spouse, partner or a close friend, the best punishment you can provide to defaulter is to forgive the doings of him/her as it will create a feeling of guilt in the person and also you will be save from doing anything wrong.

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