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Monday, May 18, 2015

Finding The Solutions By Asking The Right Questions


We need to ask the right questions to get the right answers.
If you think you have the problem figured out and are convinced that you do, think again. Whether it's a technical, relationship, or philosophical problem, asking better questions is a key to successful problem solving and to winning any battle.
Actress and political activist Vanessa Redgrave was quoted saying, "Ask the right questions if you're going to find the right answers."
Now, how does one learn to ask better questions?

Do Not Limit.
We so often say to ourselves things like:
Why can't I afford it?
Why can't I ever lose weight?
Why can I never get it right?
Why am I never lucky?

These questions and statements we ask are extremely limiting. That is, when you ask a question to yourself, your mind will come up with an answer and possibly many answers, but are these the answers that you need?

It is so important that we learn to ask ourselves better questions.
For example instead of, "Why can't I afford it?" we can ask, "How can I afford it?"
Instead of asking, "Why can't I ever lose weight?" ask, "What do I need to be doing differently to begin losing weight?" or, "What one thing can I do today to improve my health?"
You see, if you ask, "Why can't I afford it?" you will probably add more negative thoughts to your already discouraged attitude: "Because my salary is too low and because I have too much financial obligations." But if you ask, "How can I afford it?" your mind will start to think of creative ways for you to be able to "afford" that investment or vacation. Never begin with a limiting question. Always believe that there is a creative way out of your problem.

Be Humble and Objective.
Do Not Judge or Assume.

The same principle is true when dealing with people. We often approach employees, colleagues, or even friends whom we have some kind of problem with, with personal assumptions about them. We judge them to be lazy, narrow minded, or selfish, and when the need to settle an issue comes, we ask the most judgmental questions that do not lead to creative solutions. For example:

Why can't you submit on time?
Why can't you be more creative?
Why do you always make things difficult for me?

Whatever situation we are in, we should never assume that we know everything or assume that we are perfect and correct. Be extremely careful to not assume that someone has bad intentions, or that someone cannot have something positive to offer. Instead, we should keep our minds open and try our best to be very objective. Learn to be humble. Ask and be willing to listen (or be the one to improve):
Why is your work late again? (And be sincere in wanting to know why.) What can we do to avoid late submissions?
How can we boost creativity in our workplace?
How can we improve our communication?

Wrong assumptions or unfair assumptions whether regarding ourselves or other people lead to a dead end where no problem can be solved. This is "possibility" thinking which gets us asking our minds to find a solution to a problem, instead of focus on limitations.

Shift to Positive Gear.
Yes, we are not in the practice of asking quality questions and have been strongly conditioned to negative thoughts and limitation thinking. So, before we begin asking questions we need to put ourselves in a positive frame of mind by again asking questions about our own lives:
What am I happy about in my life right now?
What could I be grateful for in my life?
What are some things, which I have achieved in my life previously, which prove that if I put my mind to something and take action, I know I can get it done?
Questions like these immediately shift your mind to gratitude, and in this frame of mind, possibilities open up.

Question Like Socrates.
Don't be afraid to ask questions that lead to more questions. Such is the cradle of ingenious ideas and discoveries. In education, there is a questioning style derived from the great philosopher Socrates: Socratic questions. These help us explore a matter deeper and wider by questioning our assumptions or by proving them.

Socratic questioning technique usually asks to:
Clarify - 'Could you explain further?'
Challenge or prove - Why do you think this is so? Where did you base that conclusion?
Consider other possibilities or alternatives - Is there another way to look at this?
Consider consequences - How will this affect our company culture?
Question questions - Why was that question important?

By now you should have noticed that the main key to asking better questions rests in an open mind and humble heart, a person that is willing to admit that he or she does not have everything figured out. Better questions begin with a willingness to consider alternate routes that one has not been considered before, or one has believed yet to be possible. Also, sometimes the solution is right in front of our eyes, but we just are not ready to believe that it is possible. One question we can ask ourselves in the midst of doubt is, "What have I got to lose if I give up my cowardice and timidity?" And the answer is, nothing really, but you have everything to gain.

Never Give Up.
Last but not least, do not quit asking questions until you find yourself with a clearer mind and a better grasp of your situation. If Albert Einstein admitted that, "If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions," it's okay for the rest of us to do the same. It is a humbling process. Persevere and soon you'll see a ray of light. Just remember to never impose limitations on yourself, to always question your assumptions, and to be willing to look at things from a different perspective. And always, always ask yourself the question, "Am I asking the right questions?"

Todd provides coaching, practical workshops, and keynote talks to help professionals of all ages achieve their own versions of a wealthy lifestyle. By drawing on his vault of knowledge in business, personal growth, wealth psychology and investment strategy, Todd is helping people just like you; generate more wealth to support your highest values in life.
Connect with me on Facebook and receive strategies to take your life to the next level.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Are You a Conscious Entrepreneur?

First of all, let me clarify. You don't need to run a business to be an entrepreneur. We are all engaged in the most complex and challenging of all enterprises: our life. Since the way you do anything is the way you tend to do everything, in my experience the same rules that apply to business (especially a service oriented business) apply to life as well. Or the other way around.
The patterns in your personal relationships will be reflected in how you relate to your business, creative endeavors, or personal projects. How you value and position yourself determines how much you invest in accomplishing what you set your mind to. In other words, how independent, conscious, and focused you are translates into how you manage your time and energy for the fulfillment of your dreams and aspirations or the success of your business.
Ask yourself: are you honoring and expressing your true voice or are you self-effacing to place others above you and maintain a self-image created by the ego-mind? Yep, I'm talking about that self-image that believes you have to be "good" and "small" and "nice" and "useful" while your inner self is yearning to hatch, thrive, and do what only YOU can accomplish, in your unique yet powerful way.
No matter how safe it has felt in the past, and maybe it still feels safe now, that self-image dis-empowers you by giving the control of your life (or business) to your sense of otherness, the inner bully that wants to keep you stuck where you are. Either in life or business, growing requires stretching beyond your comfort zone, shedding old inherited beliefs, being open to learning new things, and clarifying who you are and what you want-without apologies. Thatclarity becomes your inner compass.
What Is Your Life or Business Really About?
In business you can measure what's going on by looking at the money, sales, clients, and so on, while in life you can pretend that things are OK when they're not. That is, of course, until you're so unfulfilled that you can no longer deny that your "emotional bank account" has been drained. On the other hand, just like you can hide behind your relationships or unconsciously created obstacles to avoid taking full responsibility for what you want, you can also hide behind your credentials and the training you've received to avoid expressing your true voice and value-your soul signature.
This cosmic play, however, is about discovering your uniqueness, your personal perspective on things-your individual slice of Infinite Consciousness-by owning your experiences and pursuing and fulfilling your true desires. I say true desires because I'm not talking about chasing desires willy-nilly, but about connecting to those that resonate with you at a soul level-those that place you on the right track of the life path you've chosen.
Paradoxically, that's how you'll eventually transcend the ego-mind to realize that you are a spark of Infinite Consciousness, connected to everything and everyone in Oneness. But that's still a long ways ahead... The path in front of you right now requires conscious, passionate action while you hold on to the vision of what you came here to do-for both personal and spiritual growth as well as your contribution to the planet.
Isn't it time to begin gathering your gifts and talents to step up to the challenge of creating the life or business YOU truly want? Then contact me now to discover your emotional compass and individual road map, and become a truly conscious entrepreneur in life and/or business.
© 2014. All rights reserved.

What Are The Main Causes Of Stress And Anxiety?

A lot of people suffer from stress and anxiety today. One of the paramount reasons for having stress and high anxiety level is due to the inability of the people to match the fast speed of the world. It is quite normal to take tension of something, but it is important to make sure that you are putting an ample amount of effort to get rid of that tension. People who fail to do that are the ones who fell into the trap of stress and anxiety. In a number of cases, job and work related problems have caused stress and anxiety in the people. But, there could be several other reasons for feeling stressful and overanxious.
Stress is a condition in which the body sends a warning signal to the brain that something's not right and it has to be corrected. There is no medicine that can completely remove the stress levels, so it is up to an individual that how he/she deals with it. If you think that stress is not harmful for the body, then you are completely wrong because doctors have found that people having high stress levels often suffer from some physical abnormalities as well. There is no clear indication as to which part does the stress effect the most.
It becomes very important to deal properly with high stress and anxiety levels and manage it in an effective way. Following are the stress management techniques that you can apply to deal with stress:
1. Finding the root cause of stress: Stress is a condition, which is triggered due to some bad incidents. So, if you find yourself in a stressful position, then find the reason that led to the stress.
2. Be calm and don't take any tension: As I mentioned earlier that one of the main reasons for having stress is worrying about something. You have to realize that worrying about something is not going to change anything, except your health. Taking the excess amount of stress will not solve the problem, instead it will create a couple more inside your body.
One of the best ways to reduce the high stress and anxiety levels is meditation. It is a completely natural technique and has no side-effects whatsoever. Yoga is another method that will help you stay calm and focused. Many people have taken the benefits of these two amazing methods and now, they are living a happy life.
If you want to control your stress and anxiety, then come to as she has the knowledge of curing people who suffer from stress and anxiety.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Are You Playing Offense Or Defense?


You don't have to be an athlete to know the difference between offense and defense. But let me define them in terms of this article.

Offense - To attempt to gain more. To reach out. To experiment with new approaches or ideas. To take initiatives to extend your success.

Defense - to protect or guard. To hold on to what you have. To observe, detect or watch. Playing it safe and cautious.

You may take issue with some of my above definition points, but read on and you will know why I chose these words. What do these two life approaches have to do with success?
There are two ways to live life - to grow, extend, learn, experiment, try, create and move or wait, hang on, protect, hope and cling to what is comfortable and known.

Which do you think;

Adds a sense of adventure to life?
Helps you achieve more?
Is more fun and yes risky?
Prevents boredom, malaise and apathy?
Triggers new answers, solutions and tactics?

If you are not sure, of the answers to these questions I have to wonder if you are locked in a cave somewhere peering out now and then to see if it's safe to come out in the open.
Creativity is built into each of us, but the demonstration and use of it is often curtailed due to any number of fears, memories or concern for the uncertainties of life.

Victim's mindsets tend to keep them stuck in a victim mentality and they seldom try anything new assuming it will just bring more of the same - disappointment, failure, frustration, anxiety and stress - so why bother - just stay the same, doing the same things in the same way.

Offense is reaching out and trying knowing that not everything may work out in the end, but it is better than remaining stuck. Defense is safe, but it prevents growth, new learning and ultimate happiness, inner peace and success.
Show me any athletic team that consistently wins by only playing a great defense. Yes, going on offense can increase failure, problems and adversity, but consider the opposite - you can't win if you don't score and to score you have to go on offense.

No one likes failure, but it is necessary to succeed. No one likes problems but they can help us grow if we will use them as learning tools. No one likes adversity, but it is just one of life's circumstances no matter whether you are on defense or offense.

What's your life strategy? Playing offense or defense or playing them both when appropriate?
Yes, there are times when we need to be on defense, but to remain stuck in a defense mindset due to fear will never advance our objectives, goals or agendas - sooner or later you have to play offense to improve outcomes.

Why do some people spend most of their life on defense?
There are far too many reasons, but let me discuss the three most common ones.

Fear -
The number one reason people fail to go on offense is they are unsure whether they can handle what their actions will bring into their life. They feel safe on defense. They feel in control, but this control is an illusion as God doesn't want us to stay on defense - He wants us to make a difference in the world with the talents, skills and opportunities He places on our path. When we live a life on defense we fail to achieve our potential and live a joyful and productive experience. Yes, the ability to play defense is vital, but to stay stuck in this mindset is counterproductive.

Uncertainty - Nothing in life is certain nor will it ever be. To always expect your plans, goals, needs and desires to be accomplished as you have established or determined is to live in denial and emotional immaturity. The only thing we can do in life is live and then handle what comes our way using our wisdom, experience and lessons to address these issues with confidence and faith.

Low self-esteem - We all know what self-esteem is - it's simply how you define yourself - your ability, your talent, your experience, your life outlook and your self-worth. A person playing defense tends to have low self-esteem - they don't believe they are capable of dealing with life's issues in a positive or productive way.
They believe that the best approach in life is to hope, wait and then react. Yes, life demands this of us frequently, but in the end - always being on defense prevents the expression of free will, trust and self-belief.
In the end life is just that - life. It comes at us relentlessly each moment of each day. We can take a protective stance and just deal with stuff as it shows up or we can take initiative and keep moving forward. It's a simple choice - but not an easy task.
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Monday, February 17, 2014

How One Man's Strength May Be Another's Weakness?



One of the greatest challenges faced by those who focus on optimizing and enhancing personal development is that it is often challenging, difficult or even counter - productive for us to generalize what might be the best course of action for others to pursue. Just like the adage that one's man's ceiling is another man's floor. it is also true that there are times that not only might someone's strength not be another's, but in fact if certain people attempt to proceed like someone else, it may create far less than effective and meaningful results.

1. When we consider what most people might refer to as strengths, we generally think about persistence, perseverance, drive, positive attitude, etc. When these traits and actions drive someone forward to do more, better and more effectively, they are reliable strengths. For example, if a well - prepared person is persistent, he will continue to strive to achieve, and refuse to quit prematurely. However, there may also be times when this is similar to a condition known as throwing good money after bad, when one becomes stubborn and refuses to adapt, evolve or improve upon the way he conducts himself. There is often a fine line between being persistent and stubborn, and that differentiation is based sometimes on subtle rather than pronounced differences. These include motivations, goals, attitudes, and whether we are willing to adapt and evolve. Even the most essential vision and driving dreams should only dictate the goals we set, but not limit our alternatives and plans. It is essential to be willing to adapt one's plan or approach, while focusing one what one wants to achieve.

2. Many consider things to be weaknesses, which while they might often be, are not universally so. For example, while having the drive to speak up for oneself is generally considered an important strength, when this is done in an adversarial or nasty manner, it is anything but a personal strength. When what should make us better has a demotivating or upsetting impact on others, then it transforms into a weakness. It is important for each of us to not only identify our personal strengths and weaknesses, but to also clearly understand why we consider them to be so, and how we will best utilize our strengths in an impactful, focused manner, while simultaneously addressing our weaknesses to either improve upon ourselves in those areas, or develop an inner circle of resources that will compensate for those weaknesses or inabilities.

The first and primary thing is for each of us to know ourselves well enough to enhance our abilities and potentials. Never try to be an second rate imitation of someone else, but strive to be the best you can be!
Richard has owned businesses, been a COO, CEO, and Director of Development, as well as a consultant. He has professionally run events, consulted to over a thousand leaders, and conducted personal development seminars, for over 30 years. Rich has written three books and well over a thousand articles. His company, PLAN2LEAD, LLC has an informative website: and LIKE the Plan2lead Facebook page
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Sunday, February 16, 2014

How to Deal With Stress by Changing How You Feel About It



We all know stress can hurt us. But I recently learned we might be much better at dealing with stress if we change our attitudes about what stress means. In fact the harm stress does to our health may be caused more by our being stressed about stress, than the original stress itself.

Sound like I'm talking in circles? Well, I just listened to a TED Talk by Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal, entitled "How to Make Stress Your Friend." McGonigal confessed that after years of counseling about stress, she may have been wrong. Stress may not be the villain we think it is.
If this sounds startling, McGonigal says she was "freaked out" herself by the idea that stress could be a good thing. But her change of heart came as a result of an eight year study on 300,000 people in the U.S, all with different levels of stress.

The researchers asked the participants how stressed they considered themselves to be, and also whether or not they viewed stress as harmful to their health. Then over the course of the eight years, they tracked which participants died, and compared the death rates against the answers to their questions.
Sure enough, the people who were under a lot of stress, and also felt stress was harmful were significantly more apt to die prematurely. But surprisingly, the people who had a lot or stress, but didn't think of it as harmful, had lower death rates than the people with very little stress at all.

The Heart and Stress
We've probably all experienced our heart racing and pounding when we feel overly stressed. Over time this is what contributes to much stress related heart disease, and stroke.

The cardio-vascular effects of stress on the bodies of study participants, however, were markedly different depending on their attitudes about their stress. The blood vessels of those who believed themselves to be harmed by stress became contracted, severely limiting blood flow to their brains. But the arteries of the people who did not believe stress was harmful remained relaxed when they were under stress. Their hearts did still race, but each beat carried the blood and oxygen they needed to meet whatever challenge they were facing.

According to McGonigal, this ability to let stress pump more blood without constricting the blood vessels is the same reaction the body experiences when we feel joy, or courage. It is also what happens when we do aerobic exercise. We have to get our heart rate up to make it stronger, and a stronger heart means better health.

We experience physical stress when we lift weights, run alongside our kids as they learn to ride a bike, or carry in a load of groceries. And the more we do those things, the more we can continue to do. We don't think about those kinds of stress as harmful. We may not think of them as stressful at all.

Could changing your attitude lessen the harm of your stress?
For one thing, worrying about the stress you already have just dumps more unnecessary stress on top of whatever else you are dealing with. So dropping the worry alone is a positive move. Understanding that your heart is pounding to help you might give you more courage, knowing you will be strong enough to face stress as it comes.

We could acknowledge our stress as a signal to take action. You could sit and fret about your problems, or use the stress signal to get up and try to fix them. We almost always feel better as we move to get things done.

We could use our stress signals to remind us to breathe deep or meditate more. We could use it fuel us into a brisk walk, to get our blood pumping for all the right reasons. Whatever methods we use to deal with our stress now, the idea that stress could be our friend is certainly worth considering.
In my next article, I will review the second part of McGonigal's TED Talk, where she explains how a particular stress hormone actually keeps us connected with each other.
You can watch the entire uplifting talk at:
If you found this article helpful, please leave us a comment. We appreciate hearing from you. And don't forget to share us with your social media friends.

For more tips and great information on how to deal with stress, check out You'll also find many guided exercises and meditation methods to relieve stress, connect with your inner wisdom, and enjoy a balanced lifestyle. Visit now to get started.
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Life Is Too Short to Stay Angry



Life is so precious and so short. Then why do we waste so much time acting in ways that are harmful to us? Most people I meet say they want is to be happy and to live a peaceful life. However, we all know how difficult that can be. After all, things happen that annoy, frustrate and hurt us. We have the right to get angry. But if you're the type who gets angry at all sorts of things, you may want to look into how you are creating your own misery. In fact, anger can do terrible things to your mind and body and can even shorten your life.
By holding on to your anger, you are not allowing yourself to be forgiving. This makes you skeptical of others and fearful about getting hurt again. The problem with this attitude is that you become bitter and over time your optimism and trust diminishes; you become less tolerant of others and perhaps a little too rude and sarcastic. Plus, your body remains tense, nervous and agitated and it gets harder to shake those feelings of hostility and displeasure.

Therefore, to ruminate, rehash and mope about things that already happened, just doesn't work well on your emotional well-being So, if your goal in the latter part of your life is to have more close relationships, many friends, cordial colleagues, and an active social life, then recognize how your thoughts are self-defeating and sabotaging your good intentions.

You can ask yourself the following questions to get an honest reality check on your thinking:
1. Does being angry relax you or incite you?
2. Does blaming others make you feel loving or disconnected?
3. Does shouting really help you communicate better or does it alienate you?
4. Does worrying make you feel good or create more tension?

It seems obvious that harboring a lot of anger may actually be harmful. Understand that if you can't change your situation, you need to find another way to respond or let it go. Become aware of your reaction to things, and you'll find you have a tendency to make things worse than they actually are. Don't be like the woman who hadn't spoken to her father for three weeks and when she finally decided to make amends, he died suddenly.

Life is too short to stay angry, since there's barely enough time to do the happy, fun things. Don't waste those precious moments being angry when the time can be better spent pursuing your dreams and fulfilling your bliss. Anger has its place and time. Just don't let anger get so out of hand that it determines your daily mind-set. Your happiness depends not on your set of circumstances, but rather on how you act on it.
Amy Sherman, MA, is a therapist and Relationship/Dating Coach. She is the author of "Distress-Free Aging: A Boomer's Guide to Creating a Fulfilled and Purposeful Life" and co-author of "99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 and Yes, 60!" Visit and receive a Special Report on Overcoming Adversity when you sign up for the free eNewsletter. Amy can be reached at 561-281-2975.

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