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Are you moving or standing still?

Even if you think you’re standing still, you’re not really.

  • The wonderful Planet you are standing on is spinning,
  • The incredible Solar System in which the beautiful Mother Earth resides is rotating,
  • The vast Galaxy in which our Solar System and countless other Solar Systems reside is also rotating,
  • Our magnificent Galaxy, one of many Galaxies, is also in a state of motion.

So as you read this, you’re not actually sitting still in a chair at all. You are hurtling through space! You just appear to be sitting still relative to the things around you, but they are also hurtling through space.

Even if we put the Cosmic aspect aside, you’re still moving. The atomic structure of your body is in a constant state of motion. Nothing about you is still. Every aspect of your physical structure is constantly moving, constantly changing.

We are all vibrating with life!

We are all in the midst of an incredibly exhilarating experience!

If only we would but stop for a moment and realise this.

Oneness

There is only one. Not two. Not more than that. Just one.

You and I are both a part of this great big oneness. We are all small parts of a greater whole.

We are interconnected with each other and with everyone, and everything, else.

If you help another person, then in some small way you will help the greater whole, which you are a part of.

So in helping another, you help yourself.

If you hurt another person, then in some small way you hurt the greater whole, which you are a part of.

So in hurting another, you hurt yourself.

It’s that simple.

Image: LondonBrad

Everyday In Every Way I’m Getting Better And Better

Everyday in every way I'm getting better and better - by Emile Coue
Emile Coue, inventer of the ‘Everyday in every way…’ affirmation

Around a century ago a Frenchman named Emile Coue coined a phrase that could change your life.

It’s an often quoted phrase that you’ve no doubt heard before, and one that initially doesn’t seem terribly remarkable.

Coue was a psychologist and pharmacist who believed that most mental and physical illness was a result of the person’s thinking.

He discovered that he could help the recovery of a patient simply by praising the effectiveness of the medicine to the patient.

We are often our own worst enemy. We think negative thoughts all the time to a certain degree and over time these negative thoughts take their toll. They taint how we see the world. Autosuggestion, or affirmations can counteract this.

Coue experimented with different phrases for different conditions but his most well known affirmation is:

Everyday in every way I’m getting better and better.

The beauty of this phrase is that it implies that:

  • there are improvements taking place in your life right now,
  • that these will continue to take place into the future,
  • and that these improvements will happen in every area of your life.

Now if you mumble this phrase to yourself half-heartedly a few times it’s pretty obvious it will do nothing for you.

But if you concentrate on really meaning it. If you focus completely on the affirmation and say it with real feeling and conviction for 10 minutes then you will start to notice an effect.

In fact the best approach is to do this for 10 minutes every evening before you go to bed. If you do this for two weeks then you’ll be raving about how awesome it is.

I try to be an ‘open-minded skeptic’ when it comes to these things, and rather than take someone else’s word for it I tested this out for myself.

I was stunned at how this effected me when I did it. I was feeling a bit tired and run down physically at the time and, perhaps ignorantly, I thought that if it was going to work then that would be an obvious area where there was room for some improvements.

But what I found was that it effected the way I was thinking. And it did this in a way I could never have anticipated. It is something that has to be experienced to be believed.

My experiences with this have utterly convinced me of the tremendous power of the mind. Sometimes the way we use our minds ends up having a negative impact on how we feel. But this affirmation is a really potent way of using your mind to help yourself in a very positive and uplifting way.

But I will reiterate: it won’t work unless you give it a really good go. You have to really do it as well as you possibly can. You don’t have to shout it out at that top of your voice, but you should say it with conviction and sincerity.

It will probably feel a bit weird at first – but it’s definitely worth it!

Everyday in every way I’m getting better and better.

– Emile Coue

Image: Wikipedia

39 Ways To Uplift Yourself

1. Get out in nature. Just as the people you surround yourself with effect you, so does your physical environment. If you don’t believe me then go for a walk on a beautiful beach on a sunny day and try and feel miserable. You can change the way you feel simply by changing the environment you are in. You don’t have to get fully out in the wilderness, even a walk in a nice city park can really uplift you.

2. Book and plan your next holiday. It doesn’t have to be anywhere exotic or expensive and it doesn’t matter if its not for another 12 months, just start planning it so you have something to look forward to. If you’re stuck for ideas, I recommend Canyoning New Zealand.

3. Meditate – if you don’t know how to then get a book or DVD out of the library and learn. You don’t have to become a monk or convert to any religion to do it. It can be done by absolutely anyone, pretty much anywhere and anytime, and it’s simple to learn.

4. Watch movies that inspire and uplift you like: The Pursuit of Happyness, Dead Poet’s Society, Erin Brokovich, Remember the Titans, Pay it Forward, The World’s Fastest Indian etc.

5. Go out on a special romantic date with your partner. If you haven’t got a partner join an online dating service and find yourself one (don’t be afraid, everyone’s doing it!).

6. Take a close look at the books you read, movies/TV you watch, video games you play, blogs/websites you view etc. Do they leave you feeling uplifted and inspired? Do they give you positive messages about life? If not, find some that do.

7. Exercise! Everyone knows this but it’s the thing we always neglect. Find a sport or physical activity that you enjoy and get active. A healthy physical body really does help to create a healthy mind.

8. Relax. When you relax, do it wholeheartedly and throw yourself into it. Procrastinating in front of the TV isn’t real relaxation. Schedule yourself sometime to properly relax.

9. Spend time with friends and family who make you feel good about yourself.

10. Surround yourself with people who motivate and inspire you. Jim Rohn is quoted as having said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with“. It makes sense that the habits, attitudes and behaviours of the people you spend the most time with can rub off on you, so hang out with good people whom you respect and admire.

11. Remember the birthdays of your friends, family and work colleagues, it’ll improve your relationships with them. With social networking sites it’s getting easier to keep track of these. Depending on how close you are to the friend you could: send them a quick text, email, throw a sheep at them on Facebook, pop around with a gift or organise a party. If you don’t know the actual dates then make it your mission to find them all out and record them. I load them into my mobile with alarms to remind me.

12. Deepen your relationships with your friends and family. This is a pretty broad one I know but have a think about it, you’ll come up with something and it’s worth it.

13. Get a haircut, a new shirt, a new handbag, or something that makes you feel good about yourself. Don’t spend loads of money. Savor the feeling.

14. Do something physical that makes you feel scared or uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to be bungy jumping, it could be jumping off the highest diving board at the pool or learning to ride a bike.

15. Do something socially that makes you feel scared or uncomfortable. Ask someone out on a date, ask for a rise, disagree, apologise, say no to something or someone, do some public speaking.

16. Learn a new skill, properly, not just out of a book. Go to cooking classes, or martial arts, flower arranging, writing, tennis, painting etc.

17. Record your thoughts in a diary or journal over a period of time and see what patterns emerge. Don’t show it to anyone else so that you can be really honest with yourself. You might be surprised what you end up writing (here’s how to write a diary).

18. Create something: plant a vegetable garden, build a bookshelf, knit a scarf, write a poem. Anything to get your creative juices flowing.

19. Get further into your spirituality. If you aren’t naturally a spiritual person then explore the idea. If that sounds too hard then just think about your place in the grand scheme of things – Why are you here? Why is anyone here? Is there a purpose to life? How big is the universe? What happens to people when they pass on?

20. Assess your job. Do you like it? If not, try and find a way to improve it. Be proactive and look for ways to make it more enjoyable. Ask to be involved in new things.

21. If you were going to die tomorrow what would you want to do before then? Write a list of the ten most important things and then start doing them.

22. If you were going to die tomorrow what would you say to your friends and family? Write it down. If it’s positive and constructive then why wait until the day before you die? Say it now!

23. Read about these people who have become successful after failure. Realise that the mistakes and failures you have made in your past do not determine your future. You can be the architect of your future just as the people on that list were. The future is not set in stone, there is always room for you to influence it for the better.

24. Assess your physical health. Are you in good health? Are you fit? Do you eat the right foods? Do you drink too much? Do you exercise? Do you get the right amount of sleep? In the areas where you aren’t performing well think about how you can improve and make the necessary changes.

25. Make an anonymous donation to a charity and don’t tell anyone about it, ever. Make it a regular thing. That way you’re putting good deeds into a spiritual bank account – it’s good for your karma and will pay much better interest than a bank account!

26. Start doing volunteer work on a regular basis. Research has shown that people who do volunteer work actually live longer than those who don’t, so it’s in your interests to do so! You’ll no doubt learn a lot from it and others will benefit from your kindness.

27. Get control of your finances. I recommend reading George Glason’s book ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ for timeless simple financial advice. The best thing I got from it was – put 10% of your income away for your future.

28. Learn to breathe correctly. You may be surprised to know that most people don’t breathe properly and this can really affect your energy levels and the way you feel. Take a yoga class and learn some pranayama, or breathing exercises. Or just stop reading this right now and do some deep breathing for a few minutes – open the window to let some fresh air in, sit with your spine straight and breathly deeply with equal length in and out breaths.

29. Get up an hour earlier and use that time productively – study, exercise, do some chores, go for a walk, whatever you like. This way you have some free time later you can spend with the kids, relax etc.

30. Get out of bed as soon as your alarm goes off instead of hitting snooze. It’ll make you feel like you’ve achieved something and are in control of the day right from the start.

31. Write a list of goals and put dates that you want to have achieved them by. Then list the steps needed to achieve each one and plan when those steps are going to take place.

32. Write a list of 10 important things you’ve been putting off doing for ages. Do or get started on the first two today and plan a time in the next week to do or get started on the others.

33. Get a massage to relax yourself and make you feel good. Get pampered.

34. Pray! Send out spiritual energy to help heal our world – God knows it needs it desperately!

35. Use an aromatherapy burner when you get home from work to help you relax and let go of the stresses of the day. If that sounds more than you can be bothered then just buy a pre-scented candle. Lavender is great for calming the nerves but there are plenty of others too.

36. Read biographies and autobiographies of people who are positive and have overcome things like:

  • “Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela
  • “Losing my virginity” by Richard Branson
  • “The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr” by Martin Luther King Jr. & Clayborne Carson

37. Schedule time to do chores, then make sure you do them at the scheduled times. This frees you up from having things hanging over you.

38. Go for a swim in the sea or a river or a pool. If its freezing cold where you live, go anyway – if you can’t swim, learn!

39. Use affirmations: Say “Day by day in every way I’m getting better and better” with real feeling and belief for 10 minutes every night before you go to bed for two weeks and you’ll really feel the results. You won’t know how well this works until you try it, even Olympic athletes use affirmations these days!

20 Famous Failures

The famous failures below are now well known and their names are synonymous with success, but it wasn’t always this way. At one point the idea of these people reaching the heights they have reached would have seemed absurd – toally impossible – and yet they did it. Many of them didn’t just fail, they failed in spectacular fashion. So don’t give up on your own dreams – you may end up joining this list of famous failures one day!

“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

Our list of famous failures

1. Abraham Lincoln – Former US president Abraham Lincoln first went into politics at the age of 23 when he campaigned for a seat in the Illinois General Assembly and failed. He then opened a general store which failed after only a few months.

2. Robert M Pirsig – His well known book ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ was rejected by 121 publishers. Since finally being published in 1974 it has gone on to sell millions of copies in 27 languages.

Michael Jordan shooting a goal - he is one of our famous failures
Image: Wikipedia

3. Michael Jordan – The most famous name in basketball was actually cut from his high school basketball team.

4. John Wayne – Before his successful acting career he was rejected from the United States Naval Academy.

5. Steven Spielberg – This household name dropped out of high school and applied to attend film school three times but was unsuccessful due to his C grade average.

6. Beethoven – His music teacher once told him that he was a hopeless composer.

7. Harry S. Truman – This former US President was rejected by the US Military & Naval Academies due to his poor eyesight. At one point he was a clerk in a newspaper mailroom, and also an usher in a movie theater.

8. Babe Ruth – Should he be on this list of famous failures? Yes, this baseball legend struck out 1,330 times!

9. Henry Ford – The Ford Motor Co was Henry Ford’s third business, the first two didn’t work out.

10. Winston Churchill – This former British Prime Minister did poorly in school and had a speech impediment in his early years.

11. Marilyn Monroe – Marilyn Monroe spent much of her younger years in foster homes. One of her first jobs, during the second world war, was inspecting parachutes.

12. Walt Disney – He was fired by the editor of a newspaper for lacking in ideas.

13 Soichiro Honda – The founder of Honda was turned down for an engineering job by Toyota after World War Two.

14 & 15. Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita – These two were the founders of Sony, but one of their first products was an electric rice cooker. They only sold 100 or so of these cookers because they tended to burn rice rather than cook it.

16. Charles Darwin – His father told him he would amount to nothing and would be a disgrace to himself and his family.

17. Albert Einstein – He learned to speak at a late age and performed poorly in school.

18. Thomas Edison – As a boy he was told by his teacher that he was too stupid to learn anything.

19. John Grisham – This best selling novelist’s first novel was rejected by sixteen agents and twelve publishing houses.

20. Isaac Newton – He failed at running the family farm and did poorly in school.

There are a few more famous failures in the short video below:


Please share these famous failures with someone who needs reminding that they should never give up!

7 Simple Ways to Improve Relationships with Friends and Family

“The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.” – Abraham Lincoln

Relationships are a massive part of our lives, we can’t live without them. Of course sometimes it is very hard to live with them, but in the long run they are one of the most important things in life, and yet also one of the easiest things to neglect.

Dr George King described friendship as a flower that needs to be watered by two or more people in order to survive. I think this is a brilliant metaphor. Perhaps that flower could live for a little while being watered by only one person but in the long run it will just wither and die. Rather than waiting for the other person to start watering the flower before you do, why not take the initiative and start the watering first. You might just trigger them into watering it as well.

Relationships with friends and family always go through testing times and there will always be ups and downs. Some times they will let you down and sometimes you’ll let them down. But by practicing the points below you can help strengthen those bonds so that the glitches along the way can be smoothed over more quickly.

It might be best not to try to do all of these at once. Perhaps just start by picking one or two ideas and work on them with one person and see what happens.

Keep in touch – Call/txt/email/write/meet more often. These days technology makes it so easy to keep in touch and yet we still find ourselves drifting apart. Technology can help you keep in touch but it can never replace being together in person. When I travelled overseas I emailed home regularly to friends and I was surprised at how well this managed to maintain those friendships, even over an extended period of time. This is important with the people you live with as well. Sometimes you can live in the same house yet not end up spending much time together. But whilst technology helps in many ways it can also hinder. A txt is no substitute for a face to face conversation.

Quality time – If you haven’t had quality time with someone for a while then arrange to do so. There are some friendships where you might only catch up once a month, others a few times a week. Every relationship’s different so figure out who you’re neglecting and decide how you can correct this. It can help to pick a friend and think when the last time you had a decent conversation with them was.

Remember birthdays & other dates – This is important with friends and essential with family. Some people say they aren’t fussed whether about people remembering their birthday but actually everyone appreciates it. How you remember people’s birthdays varies. Depending on how close you are it might just be a text or a phone call, or a present. I’m not too hot at remembering dates so I programme them into my mobile phone. With the really important ones I programme a reminder in a week ahead of the birthday so I’ve got time to organise a gift. These days with Facebook, Bebo etc it’s easier than ever to keep track of birthdays.

Listen more – The absolute number one way to improve a relationship is to listen more. And really listen. If you think people aren’t listening to you then chances are you aren’t listening to them either. Set the wheel in motion and listen to them first. Really try to see things from their perspective. If you want people to listen to you then listen to them first.

Look for ways to help them or make their lives better – Do a chore they normally do, give them a lift somewhere, help them carry something.

Try not to take them for granted – It’s easy to get a bit too comfortable in some relationships. We get caught up in other areas of our life and forget about some friendships then wonder why they aren’t there for us anymore. Friendships need to be maintained or they will fade away.

Open up – Tell them how great they are and how much you love having them as a friend/partner etc. Be specific, tell them what it is that you love about them and why that is such a great thing.

For more ideas check out Leo’s post on Zen Habits called The Six Greatest Gifts You Can Give Your Loved Ones.