Lessons for Personal Development Bloggers

Earlier this year I had an idea: why not ask personal development bloggers for advice on personal development blogging, compile them into an ebook and give it out for free?

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a swell idea to me 🙂

Unfortunately, that idea never materialized as I became caught up in life and work.

A few of the personal development bloggers I’d started to email had already replied me though, and I’d always felt sorry to have their work languish in my email.

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Keeping the Faith in the Most Difficult Times

There lives an angel and her name is Miguelina. She is one of the most inspirational people I know.

Her life is dedicated to serving others through education. She believes that the path out of poverty (including her own); an existence of few choices and few resources, is paved through learning.

I would like to share with you the story about Miguelina because it can inspire us to do more with what we have and teach us that keeping the faith works!

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Karen Parsons I am Founder and President of Successful Solutions Life Coaching.

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Stress Relief Tips to Help You Get to the Root of Your Stress

The following stress relief tips are simple and practical. They will swiftly ease your stress!

Step 1. Become Aware

In a relaxed position, with your eyes closed, picture yourself being stressed. In your mind’s eye, go through every stress symptom that you have.
Feel yourself being stressed. It is imperative that the visualization is very real with powerful emotions attached to it.

Now picture yourself becoming aware that you are stressed. You are now the Observer of your behavior. You see your symptoms but your perception of them is of something separate from you.

It is like a miniature awakening!

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Fast and Effective Ways for Coping with Stress

Stress is a part of most people’s lives. It is a reality that we all live with. This is why we need to have different mechanisms in place for coping with stress. According to Brilliance Removalists Perth whether we are business executives or working in a hard physical job like home furniture removals, the challenge for most of us is actually being cognizant of when we are stressed. It is such an habitual state for us to be in, that most of the time we don’t even know when we are in it!

We all have distinctive and personal indicators that we manifest when we are feeling stressed. What are yours?

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About Eating & Habits

Steve Pavlina wrote this after having nothing but juice for the last ten days:

With each passing day, I can see more clearly how cooked food is used as a drug to create a certain kind of feeling in our bodies. We keep eating it because we’re addicted to it, not because it’s healthy for us. We confuse those addictive cravings for the experience of genuine hunger. Instead of making conscious food choices, we let our addictions dictate what we eat, how much, and how often.

I experienced a glimpse of this during day two of my own short live foods fast:

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Maintenance: Fearlessly Living Your Dream in Real Life

You’ve met your goal – congratulations!

To get to this place, you had to make many changes. Some were small, some were large, some were trivial and some were absolutely life altering.

Now comes the job of maintaining those changes and keeping that goal alive in your life. You’re riding high right now, but what will happen when real life creeps back in (bad habits included)? What will you do when day-to-day pressures or complacency threaten your new found habits and lifestyle? You can plan ahead and come up with a maintenance strategy that will meet those challenges head on.

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Get Real: In Pursuit of Your Fearless Life

How are you standing in the way of your dreams and goals?

It’s time to stop telling yourself lies, stop making excuses and (gulp) take a long hard look at what role you are playing in your current situation.

If you’re willing to ask yourself the hard questions now, you can save yourself from facing them as even bigger roadblocks in the future. But if you skip this step, you’ll keep coming up against these same issues over and over again, no matter how hard you work.

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Don’t Look Back in Anger

Some of us have been angry for so long that we’ve forgotten what it’s like not to be angry anymore.

We’ve become so attached to our anger that we think it’s who we are. But it’s really no more a part of you than an old wound is, when it’s time to finish healing you just have to let the scabs fall. It might leave a scar, but even that fades with time.

You might have to change so much that you’ll have to become a different person. And that can be scary. The unknown usually is. But what is it that you’re so afraid of losing by hanging on to your rage? What will you lose if you let it consume you? And what will you gain when you finally move on?

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Finding Gratitude: Gaining a Fearless Shift in Perspective

Finding gratitude is a fundamental step in the self-improvement process. You can’t expect anything new to come into your life without first having a genuine sense of appreciation for what you have now.

Gratitude invites a sense of humility and a focus on what truly matters – which can be especially challenging in our materialistic society. It helps you to see that while you may not have everything you want, you do have more than everything you need. Gratitude brings everything into balance and gives you a proper perspective.

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Your Own Vision: A Guiding Light on the Fearless Journey of Self-Discovery

Ready or not, get set to jump in!

Because once you’ve clarified your vision of what you want to achieve, you will be full steam ahead on your journey towards achieving it.

A vision becomes a “guiding light” for your process of self-improvement, both a beacon of inspiration and an anchor that keeps you focused and grounded.

And when you face the inevitable obstacles and challenges along the way, having a strong sense of what you’re working towards will motivate you to carry on.

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Monotone – Recasting Vision for Your Life

Who do you think of when you picture someone talking in monotone? I personally think of Ben Stein who did the Clear Eyes commercials a few years back. His voice remained at the same tone throughout the commercial. He did not show any excitement whatsoever in the product he was selling. He was just straightforward, to the point, and the commercial was over. Many people would probably describe him as boring.

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Thai Sojourn: Vipassana Part 3

So what did I get from 10 days of keeping absolutely quiet, without any books, TV, internet connection and writing materials, sitting in meditation from morning till night?

Without any external inputs and any way to output my thoughts, I was forced to observe. Forced to observe me, my own thoughts and feelings.

I saw the inordinate amount of rubbish that went through my mind every day, and I found a way to be aware of it and be pulled along unawares. I saw old mental patterns emerge and new perspectives on old misgivings. (more…)

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Thai Sojourn: Vipassana Part 2

My Mind Fights Back

While the days inside the Vipassana center blurred into each other, I remember that day 3, 5 and 7 were especially difficult for me.

While there were days of deep concentration and peacefulness, these were days when my mind’s old habits fought back to re-assert themselves. Doubts, agitation, aggression, my mind threw everything at me to rebel against this insistence on quietude and focus. (more…)

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Thai Sojourn: Vipassana Part 1

The next stage of my journey saw me heading to the Vipassana center in Prachinburi. After reaching Bangkok from Udon Thani, Paiboon and I parted ways as he was going to another Vipassana center.

While waiting for the bus, I wasn’t quite so sure what to expect. 10 straight days of meditation, starting at 4:30AM in the morning, without any books, music players, TVs or writing materials allowed – not to mention no talking at all?

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3 Simple Ways to Get the Right Things Done in 2008

1. Choose One Word for 2008.

Christine Kane has a better way for you to start your year: choose a word.

Just one word.

That’s it.

And this word will be your guiding focus for the next 12 months.

Last year, I chose the word courage. Looking back, I think I’ve done pretty well. I faced my fear of talking to strangers over and over and even made friends with a few. I also kept stretching the boundaries of my comfort zone by doing new things like getting my driving license, and facing my fear of heights by jumping off trees.

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What is a Decluttered Schedule?

I’ve been wondering lately about what decluttering really means. One of my favorite designers John Maeda, author of The Laws of Simplicity, says in his (ironically rambling) TED talk that the simplest definition of simplicity is that ‘simplicity is about living life with more enjoyment and less pain’.

That rings very true. So how do we get more enjoyment and less pain in our lives? The art of decluttering is obviously about removing all the unnecessary bits of our lives that cause us more pain than we need; the undone task lingering in the back of our minds for two weeks, the stiff doorknob we keep putting off oiling, the pile of old clothes we refuse to throw out.

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Spiderman 3 & The Hero’s Journey

Watching Spiderman 3 reveals a part of the Hero’s Journey that is not often seen; the hero’s downfall.

If you’re not familiar with the previous steps of the hero’s journey, download my free Hero’s Journey ebook. If you’re familiar with the 10 steps, you’ll know the Spiderman movies are wonderful metaphors for the hero’s journey (although the Lord of the Rings trilogy kicks so much more ass!).

The hero’s downfall can happen anytime after the Supreme Ordeal. After the hero’s faced down his biggest enemies, and possibly Claimed His Treasure, his ego gets inflated. Having had a taste of his own power, he mistakenly begins to think he’s the greatest thing to come along since sliced bread. He becomes an arrogant pain in the ass.

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What Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, Said On Courage & Death

In 2004, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer, was diagnosed with pancreas cancer. The doctor told him it was almost certainly incurable and told him he no more than 3 to 6 months to live.

What would you do if you were told today you had less than 3 to 6 months to live?

The reality of death, limited time and chances is a very real one we have to face every single day. We tend to forget, and bask in the glow of our comfort zones, letting each day go by and conveniently forget that one day, this too shall pass.

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Start Your New Year In The Best Direction

I know, I’m 7 days late. Remember that rough patch I was telling you about? I’m still roughing it out, but I’m feeling better and better as time goes by. Some of you already know – I broke up with my girlfriend. Maybe one day I’ll share the lessons I learnt from that, but not yet.

Today, we kick-start your new year in the best direction forward – because it’s never too late to start a new year 😀 And I won’t be doing it alone, I’m bringing along luminaries like Steve Pavlina, Christine Kane, Senia and Tony Robbins to help you along.

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Igniting The Fire Within

How do you lead a life of fulfillment instead of disappointment?

By focusing on your human needs. Not human wants, like a brand new iPod, but human needs, and here is a method that helps you live a life of fulfillment and ignite the fire within.

Here Is A Powerful Method To Direct The Time Of Your Life

A time-tested way to manage the time of our lives is to compartmentalize the different areas of our lives into easy-to-manage, bite-sized pieces. You can think about these areas like career, family, health, finance, studies, relationships, the list is endless. (more…)

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9 Steps to Transform Stress into Strength

If you’ve noticed I didn’t write much the previous week, it’s because work has been crazy and I’ve been under a lot of stress.

I’m sure you’ve been there too, haven’t you?

So how do we thrive in the midst of stress? How do we transform stress into strength so that when the going gets tough, the tough get going?

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When Heroes Get Stuck: Workshop Junkies

When I was coaching motivational workshops, I saw a lot of people who were ‘workshop junkies’; they’d be landing from workshop to workshop, seemingly learning loads, but never really producing fantastic results in their own lives.

While my fellow coaches and I discussed many reasons as to why, lately I realized another elegant way it could be explained using the metaphor of The Hero’s Journey.

In The Hero’s Journey, you travel through 2 worlds: The Ordinary World, and The Extraordinary World.

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The 20% That Makes You 80% Happy

What’s The Next Best Thing To Do?

I’ve been living on a more micro than macro level the last couple of months, ever since being inspired by Adrian Savage’s The Simplest Path to Success post. Instead of asking myself, ‘what would go on my 10-year plan?’, I’m just asking ‘what’s the next best thing to do?‘ instead. I figure if I take the next best actions, the next best future would settle itself.

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How To Suck and Still Be On Top

Ahem, disregarding the highly suggestive title of this post…

I’m going to tell you how to suck and still be on top…in a personal development sort of way. Only.

😉

I got this idea from reading Death by risk-aversion on the always good Creating Passionate Users. While Kathy talks about risk aversion in the state of companies, you can also read it through as it applies to you, personally.
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7 Days of Gratitude: Day 7

Today I met up with an old schoolmate of mine, we’ve known each other for nearly 9 years now and he’s one of the best friends I have.

We went to the Esplanade roof-top, a cultural building just besides the river. And as we both laid there on the wooden floor, just lazing and gazing up at the sky, he said; ‘how often do you get to just lie here on a monday afternoon on the roof of the Esplanade, watching the sky and looking at planes flying overhead leaving little cloud trails in their wake?’
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7 Days of Gratitude: Day 6

Oops…apologies again for being late! Been out late again 😉

Yesterday was an interesting day. I got to make a new friend recently and last night we went out for the first time. It was a new opportunity to make a friend and I’m really grateful for that, especially since one of my goals this year is to widen my social circle.

Yay, goal accomplishing! 🙂

What about you? What’s one goal or direction in your life that you’re grateful to have accomplished?

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7 Days of Gratitude: Day 5

I apologize for being 2 hours, 40 minutes behind on the 5th day of gratitude…I’ve been out til late 😉

It was my friend Gabriel’s birthday earlier this week, and I met him today for some coffee and to pass him his birthday gift (one of my favorite books; Veronika Decides to Die). We had a nice chat, had dinner with his girlfriend and friends, and decided to go play LAN games afterwards (DOTA Allstars on Frozen Throne, one of my all-time favorites!).
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7 Days of Gratitude: Day 4

Today is my brother’s birthday, and since I was staying at home, I got to watch my home lovingly prepare a wonderful dinner and cake for him.

I really love my mom.

She works so hard to take care of everything in the house so that the rest of us can do what we do. I don’t care what anyone else says, being a homemaker is as tough a job, and as important a job as they come, and it deserves the ultimate respect.

I’m very grateful to have such a loving person in my life. Today I’m grateful for my mom.

So today’s coach’s challenge to you is this, who is one person that you’re absolutely grateful to have in your life?

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Get Comfortable Outside Your Comfort Zone

This may a little bit deviate from Alvin’s theme on Gratitude. At the same time, from another angle it’s really related because you should be gratified of all the challenges that are coming into your life.

And that’s reason why you should be comfortable coming out of your comfort zone.

If you remember the earlier post by Alvin on stretching, yes, stretching will get your comfort zone bigger and you should be comfortable with getting the stretch.
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7 Days of Gratitude: Day 3

This 7 Days of Gratitude is going places I never imagined.

I’m typing this as it just happened, a few minutes ago. I was on my way home from the neighbourhood gym when I saw a downed motorcycle at the traffic light. I saw a few people rush over to help and so did I, and when I helped lift the motorcycle up I saw her: a little girl of 8 had been hit and was lying crying on the ground.

The men helped carry her over to the side of the road while I called for an ambulance. I noticed, however, that her mom wasn’t showing the usual high levels of distress or anxiety I’d expect…nevertheless, I made the call, and told her about it.

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7 Days of Gratitude: Day 2

Today has been amazing.

As I was having lunch I bumped into a good friend of mine who happened to be in the area, totally unexpected and out of the blue! It was a good chance meeting, and we had lunch together with his colleague, and afterwards they taught me how to buy the lottery, which I was intending to do but had no idea how (I normally don’t, but it’s a $10 million special draw for the Lunar New Year so I thought why not, keep my fingers crossed!).

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7 Days of Gratitude: Day 1

On the 7 Days of Gratitude Challenge, I wonder if I could cheat a little and start yesterday, because I had such a wonderful day.

My friends and I were meeting at the beach for a nice group dinner, but a couple decided to meet earlier for a seaside jog. I’m not that keen into running, but I love cycling, and volunteered to carry their bags on my bike.

The weather was beautiful. All perfect for an afternoon jog. As the sun went down, I cycled onto a pier and watched the sea, and felt the cool breeze against my skin. I breathed in deep, and felt good to be alive.

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7 days of Gratitude: Intro

Everyone will agree that a positive attitude is one that is essential for peak performance living. One of the key parts to a positive attitude that I outlined in 9 Keys to Overcoming Difficult Times is an attitude that allows us to acknowledge what is already going well in our lives and appreciate them for their value. I’m talking of course, about the attitude of gratitude.

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9 Keys to Overcoming Difficult Times

Lately, I’ve had to deal with a lot of changes happening in my personal life. At first, describing them to my friends, I kept calling them endings, but afterward I began to feel as if it was a process of renewal. There is a Chinese saying that goes ‘if the old doesn’t go, the new cannot come’. Keeping that in mind, I’ve begun to view these difficult events as a shedding of things for me to grow forward, and so I’ve come to call them ‘changes’ instead of ‘endings’.

Difficult as it may, I know a friend who is also going through some tough changes of his own. This post is really for him because I want to share with him some tools I’ve found to be useful for me in managing my emotional state to navigate through the difficult times. I’m prone to worry and depression myself so I’ve had to learn how to pull myself through, and the beliefs and techniques from NLP and Solutions Focused Brief Therapy have helped tremendously.

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The Most Important Thing to Do: Stretch

The single most important principle I’ve learnt that has changed my life more than anything else is the principle of stretching:

Stretching is the act of doing something that you know is good for you and/or good for others and it scares you.

Imagine yourself at the centre of a circle. The edge of the circle is the edge of your comfort zone. It is everything that you know and are comfortable dealing with. Once in a while you might encounter an anomaly that hits the edge of your comfort zone, if it’s a little thing you expand to include it. (more…)

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Directions vs Goals

Since we’re nearing the new year I’m sure many of us will be taking this chance to reflect on the year past and renew on the year ahead. I thought this would be a nice time to make a distinction between setting goals, and setting directions.

What is a goal? Simply put, a goal is a target you set that is:

Specific

Measurable

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How has it been a great year?

After reading on somebody’s blog that she had a great year, I started thinking to myself, ‘Did I have a great year?’

Being a somewhat critical person, I realized this was the wrong question to ask because it could only have a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, and my critical voice said ‘no’.

Ok. Restart.

I knew if I wanted a more quality answer I needed to ask a better quality question.

So I applied the ‘What if’ frame and asked myself, ‘What if this has been a great year? What would have made it great?’ Following Paiboon’s post, I came up with 3 highlights for myself: (more…)

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How has it been a great year?

After reading on somebody’s blog that she had a great year, I started thinking to myself, ‘Did I have a great year?’

Being a somewhat critical person, I realized this was the wrong question to ask because it could only have a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, and my critical voice said ‘no’.

Ok. Restart.

I knew if I wanted a more quality answer I needed to ask a better quality question.

So I applied the ‘What if’ frame and asked myself, ‘What if this has been a great year (more…)

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The Hand Pump Story

I visit China regularly, and my recent trip teach me something that I would like to share with you, it’s a “Hand Pump”

Hand Pump

Have you use such the pump before? “I have never seen one in Singapore”. You might say. Yes, because this type of pump is only constructed in the location where drought is common. And Singapore is not known for drought area, anyway there is pipe water in Singapore. …

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3 Things To Do Before End of 2005

Before you start wearing your holiday hat, there are few things you could do before X’Mas eve.

Pull out your journal right now and complete these 3 activities within next 10 mins.

1) List down your 3 highlights of 2005.

Something that worth remembering, something that makes yourself proud, something that happens because you’ve put that effort in, something that makes you smile.

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Prognosticating Procrastination

I wanted to write about Procrastination. You know, the big P word that people have blamed for everything and anything. So many people have written about it…the personal effectiveness people, the Getting-Things-Done camp, the procrastination busters and it makes me wonder if I can offer anything different. So I joined the union.

The Procrastinator United couldn’t take off as a collective force coz I saw the sign when I arrive:

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Attitude Adjustments 1.1.1: The Apparent Reason for No Good Reason

Now that you’ve discovered how you can be empowered as easily as you can find yourself speaking the mantras that you choose. I wonder if you have installed some powerful stuff for yourself?

Some of you may ask whether this a form of self-deceit? Let’s be honest here, when was the last time a belief, an attitude that you hold or a faith that you keep limit you from feeling or doing good? Are those absolute truths like the sun will rise from the east and set the west? Uh huh…I didn’t think so too. (more…)

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Attitude Adjustments 1.1: Feeling Good… for No Good Reason

OK people, besides this being a catchy headline, it’s a way of life…living it anyway. I’ve no idea who to credit for purporting this concept in the very first place and the collective consciousness is kind and will reward such genius!!

Consider how much negativity is out there. Have you considered the pervasiveness of Murphy’s Law in our day-to-day dealings with the world in general? Does it make sense that everything that can go wrong, will? I enjoy lots of Murphy’s Laws and the tongue-in-cheek nature of them all. However, most they are just too fatalistic to my liking.

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