Create a Vision Board or How I Attracted an iPhone

I finally finished my vision board a couple of weeks ago with some pushing from my mastermind group.

For the uninitiated, a vision board is a poster with images of what you want to have, do and be in your life. The idea behind this is the same as putting your goals, tasks and intentions in a place where you see them everyday; you make it easier to attract these things into your life.

It was easier and more fun than I thought. I bought a cheap board from Ikea, a few magazines, printed some inspiring photos, got it done and now it’s hanging in front of my desk.

(more…)

Read More

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.

(more…)

Read More

Change Your Beliefs About Money or Stay Broke

I was reading Marc Allen’s The Millionaire Course and wondering why I’ve always seemed to have problems with money. Growing up, my family turned from being well-off to struggling and it seemed like I got stuck with this ‘poverty consciousness’ along the way.

Then I got to wondering about difficulties at work. Why was it that something I could have finished in much less time took much longer for me to complete – and why was it such a struggle to get it done?

(more…)

Read More

The Only Real Use for Your Critical Voice

Self-awareness is often the first step towards growth. But is there any drawback to being a person who’s keenly aware of his environment, his actions and the people around him?

You betcha.

It’s a tendency to kick himself in the ass for all the mistakes he’s seen himself make throughout the day.

You see, the more aware a person is, the more he’s able to notice when he flubs up.

That’s when his critical voice kicks in; ‘how could you have done that, I can’t believe you said that, you should have known better, yadda yadda yadda now no-one will ever love you and everyone in the universe will know you’re such a total loser!’

(more…)

Read More

I Was Stressed Every Time I Sat In Front of My Computer Until…

I was stressed. Somehow I kept feeling like there was something bugging me…what? Then it hit me – and I had been staring at it all day long for weeks. It was my desktop clutter.

This is a screenshot of my desktop at work. I thought it’d be a great idea to have my task list displayed (via Samurize, method here), together with my calendar appointments and the local weather via widgets (my office has no windows). And a kick-ass wallpaper.

(more…)

Read More

Who Owns You?

Who owns you really?

Is it email? TV? Fame? Money? Is it what you drive? What you have or don’t have? That new toy you just can’t live without? Is it your past? Someone you haven’t seen in years? Is it what people say you are? Is it what others think of you? Is it what you believe? Is it your own voice or the voices of others?

Who owns you? You or somebody else?

Read More

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.

(more…)

Read More

Why Stop Bitching When it is Therapeutic?

I was facilitating a team-building session when an interestingly hostile participant threw this spanner:

“My leader is obliged to hear me bitch about things at work! It is therapeutic and allows me to work better!”

Being the hard-headed fool that I am, I nodded my head in acknowledgement of her comment. Effectively attracting the spanner to fly my way. She pointed to me and declared with aplomb:

“See, even the coach here agrees with me!”

(more…)

Read More

Who Leads Your Reality?

What’s the difference between someone who’s led around by the nose and someone who does the leading?

In Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), we learn about the Law of Prerequisite Variety: the element in any system that has the most flexibility will end up leading the system.

Think of little children, they have incredible flexibility. To get you to do something, they’ll tease, cajole, beg, lie, cry, laugh, use logic, use emotion, jump up and down, be adorable, be funny, and they’ll keep doing it until they get what they want.

Adults seem to have 2 or 3 patterns they keep coming back to 😛

(more…)

Read More

Getting Your Life On Track Part 4

In Getting Your Life On Track Part 1, we discovered a way to find out if the things we spend our time on are really that urgent and important.

In Getting Your Life On Track Part 2 we revealed how you could use that understanding to develop clear and important goals for yourself, so you’d always know you’re doing what you could best be doing.

In Getting Your Life On Track Part 3 we learned how dumping it, stuffing it and dealing it could help you unload your overload and reduce the anxiety you feel in your life.

(more…)

Read More

Getting Your Life On Track Part 3

In Getting Your Life On Track Part 1, we discovered a way to find out if the things we spend our time on are really that urgent and important.

In Getting Your Life On Track Part 2 we revealed how you could use that understanding to develop clear and important goals for yourself, so you’d always know you’re doing what you could best be doing. (more…)

Read More

Getting Your Life On Track Part 2

Ever feel like you’re caught up in doing, but not sure if you’re doing what you should be doing? It’s scary to think we could be throwing all our time and energy into climbing a ladder, only to find at the top it’s been leaning on the wrong wall.

In Getting Your Life On Track Part 1, we discovered a powerful way to find out if the things we spend our time on are really that urgent and important. (more…)

Read More

Getting Your Life On Track Part 1

What Do You Want To Be True?

I had a blinding flash of the obvious the other day: I realized why I’d been falling behind on my commitments and feeling more stressed out the last few weeks.

I’d fallen for the lure of the urgent important and been chasing shiny trinkets of faux productivity. And it wasn’t because I didn’t have enough time, although that would have been a convenient – and irresponsible – excuse. It was because instead of leading my schedule, I’d let myself by led by it. (more…)

Read More

What Have You Done?

Remember those goals you set out at the beginning of the year? So this is March, and what have you done?

Yup, welcome to the reality gut-check post – not for the faint-hearted.

After years of setting goals; achieving some and not others, I realized the difference that makes the difference is you must have a way to measure your progress.

We’re coming to the end of March soon, so this is the quarter-year check. If you haven’t already taken some steps towards achieving your goals, here’s the gut-check: it ain’t gonna happen until you start…now.

(more…)

Read More

How To Be Charismatic: Bruce Lee

Charisma. You know it when you see it, but what is charisma and how can you become more charismatic?

In the How To Be Charismatic series, I explore different people and facets of charisma as I attempt to answer the question: just what is it that makes charismatic people charismatic?

How To Be Charismatic: Bruce Lee

Many of us would agree that Bruce Lee was one of the most intense and charismatic figures in the history of cinema. But just how was he charismatic and what can we learn from him to be more charismatic ourselves?

The following video is a 25 minute interview with the Little Dragon. It was thought lost for a couple of decades until found miraculously preserved in the 1990s. Done in December 1971, when Bruce was riding on the success of his first film, we get a rare glimpse into what it must have been like to talk with the legend face-to-face.

You can find clues to Bruce’s inner and outer game of charisma by watching the video.

Bruce Lee’s Outer Game

1) Mid-tempo speed of speaking.

A frequent characteristic of charisma that I keep reading about is a measured pace of speaking – speak too fast (a problem I have) and you appear insecure. Speak too slowly and you bore people.

2) A wide range of gestures that punctuate his speech.

Something you’d expect from a great martial artist; he’s comfortable with his hands and he uses them to emphasize what he says.

3) Use of pauses in his speech.

Bruce likes to use well-timed pauses in his speech to…add emphasis and…build anticipation. Great technique.

4) A variety of changing facial expressions.

I was once taught that charisma comes out of variety; a variety of gestures, body postures, voice tonality, tempo and facial expressions. It’s obvious that Lee has a wide variety of facial expressions; note how he changes from smiling to serious, joking to intense in a heartbeat.

5) A variety of vocal tonality.

Listen to how he slows down, and punctuates certain words in-between or just explode into a new sentence – done together with his gestures.

Bruce Lee’s Inner Game

1) Passionate

He loves the martial arts so much it comes through in everything he says.

2) Knowledgeable

Bruce gives the interviewer Pierre Burton a rich glimpse into the world of martial arts, even giving a little demo of Tai Chi Chuan when Pierre asks about it. He remembers his line from the TV show Longstreet and gives Pierre a short but intense performance.

3) Open

Bruce doesn’t pull any punches (hee hee) and gives Pierre his open and direct opinions; even on why he felt The Warrior wouldn’t be made because of racism (it was eventually made as Kung Fu, starring a Caucasian David Carradine).

Bruce Lee on Charisma
What did Bruce Lee himself have to say about being charismatic?

When I did The Green Hornet television series back in 1965, I looked around and I saw a lot of human beings. And as I looked at myself, I was the only robot there. I was not being myself. I was trying to accumulate external security, external technique – the way to move my arm and soon on – but I was never asking: ‘What would Bruce Lee have done if’ – the word if – ‘such a thing had happened to me?’ When I look around, I always learn something, and that is, to always be yourself and to express yourself. To have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate him. That seems to me to be the prevalent thing happening here in Hong Kong. They always copy a person’s mannerisms, but they never see beyond that. They never start at the very source, the very root of their own being, and ask the question: ‘How can I be me?’

Just what is an actor? Is he not the sum total of all that he is – his level of understanding, his capability to captivate the audience because he is real in the expression of his personal feelings toward what was required in the scene? You can spot such artists from ordinary ones like that. The Americans have a word for it, it’s called charisma. What you see on the screen is the sum total of his level of understanding, his taste, his educational background, his intensity, etc.

Most people only live for their image. That is why where some have a self, a starting point, most people have a void. Because they are so busy projecting themselves as ‘this’ or ‘that,’ they end up wasting and dissipating all their energy in projection and conjuring up of facade, rather than centering their energy on expanding and broadening their potential or expressing and relaying this unified energy for efficient communication. When another human being sees a self-actualizing person walk past, he cannot help but say: ‘Hey now, there is someone real!’

Bruce asserts that the secret to charisma isn’t in copying other people, but in honestly expressing oneself to one’s highest potential. He believes that a solid inner game will provide a solid outer game. This call to be authentic also echoes British Professor Richard Wiseman’s attribute of charismatic people; that they are impervious to the influences of other charismatic people.

I’d make a guess that if Bruce was asked about how to be more charismatic; he’d tell us to be ourselves as best as we can, develop our fullest potentials and express ourselves honestly.

What Did You Learn About Charisma From Bruce Lee?

See anything I missed out? And who else do you think is charismatic that we should take a good look at?

Read More

How To Be Charismatic: Introduction

Charisma. You know it when you see it, but what is charisma and how can you become more charismatic?

The word ‘charisma’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘gift’, or ‘divine favor’. It’s that undefinable quality of being an attraction magnet; you just want to look at, listen and feel (ahem) people who are charismatic.

I’ve always been fascinated by just what makes people charismatic and how to become more charismatic myself.

Keys to Charisma

It seems that there are two keys you need to master to become even more charismatic: you must have solid inner game; where you know what you’re about and you’re strong inside (points 1 and 3). You must have solid outer game; where you know how to direct your language, tonality and body language (remembering that words are only 7% of your communication) to influence others (point 2).

In this series, I’m going to explore different people and different facets of charisma as I attempt to answer the question: just what is it that makes charismatic people charismatic?

Read More

Lessons Learned From 30 Days of the Lucid Dreaming Trial

February 8th marked the end of my 30 day lucid dreaming trial. I recorded 14 out of 30 days’ of my dreams in my dream journal, slightly less than half. Most of the times I either forget my dreams upon awakening or was lazy.

So what addition lessons have I learned since the 15 day mark?

1) Keep your pen in your journal on a blank page. Makes it much, much easier to just flip open your journal and write first thing in the morning. You won’t believe how much momentum you lose just in those few moments of looking for a blank page, and sometimes you’ll even write in the dark which makes fumbling impossible.

(more…)

Read More

Lessons Learned From 15 Days of the Lucid Dreaming trial

So what’s happened half-way through my 30 days lucid dreaming trial?

Have I managed to lucid dream? Not yet, but I very nearly managed to twice. The first time I was dreaming, then consciously remembered I needed to wake up for work and then woke up.

The second time I dreamed someone was holding a baby crocodile close to my friend’s face (I know, it doesn’t make sense but hey, that’s dreaming for you), I was so agitated I started willing myself to push his hand away. I could feel the will and emotion to move welling up stronger and stronger – which caused me to wake up.

(more…)

Read More

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.

(more…)

Read More

How To Make All Your Dreams Real

Yes it’s true. I know how to make all your dreams real…but there’s a catch 😉

Back in November I shared the 9 Rules To Get Out Of Plateaus in which I realized why I was stuck in one and how to get out of it.

One of the 9 rules was to constantly improve, and I had to ask myself: in what do I want to improve myself and how?

(more…)

Read More

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.

(more…)

Read More

The Monk Talks: How Understanding Death Teaches Us To Care

(Alvin’s Note: Our dear fellow Life Coach, and passionate personal development extraordinaire, Paiboon Busayarak, has embarked on a 3 month initiation into Buddhist monkhood in his native Thailand. He just sent me this post via email sharing the conversations he’s had with his teacher. The words are his, the grammar tweaking is mine 😉 Enjoy!)

The death of a friend or of a loved one changes our life forever. Even the deaths of those we don’t know, such as the thousands who died in the Tsunami at the end of last year, alters the way we think. Death is a fact of life and, when understood, teaches us how to care.

(more…)

Read More

What Would A Modern-Day Magician Say About God?

As a student of the esoteric science, specifically the western mysteries, I come across interesting questions from close friends regarding what I do and what I believe in.

One of the most recent questions posed to me was an age-old popular one: do I believe in God and is there a ˜divine plan™? It™s a loaded question that requires some clarification instead of a œyes or œno answer. (more…)

Read More

Why Go On When Life Is Meaningless?

I was re-watching The Matrix Revolutions the other day during a nice little party with my friends.

We were just finishing the chicken wings when we got to this scene near the end of the movie (spoiler alert if you haven’t already seen it!). I loved it because it highlights the key to the question; why go on if you feel life is meaningless?

Agent Smith: Why, Mr. Anderson, why? Why, why do you do it? Why, why get up? Why keep fighting?

(more…)

Read More

The Monk Talks: How To Have A Harmonious Marriage

(Alvin’s Note: Our dear fellow Life Coach, and passionate personal development extraordinaire, Paiboon Busayarak, has embarked on a 3 month initiation into Buddhist monkhood in his native Thailand. He just sent me this post via email sharing the conversations he’s had with his teacher. The words are his, the grammar tweaking is mine 😉 Enjoy!)

It is said that there are three rings to a marriage: the engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffer-ring!

(more…)

Read More

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…)

Read More

The Monk Talks: What Would Buddha Do When Bored?

(Alvin’s Note: Our dear fellow Life Coach, and passionate personal development extraodinaire, Paiboon Busayarak, has embarked on a 3 month initiation into Buddhist monkhood in his native Thailand. He just sent me this post via email sharing the conversations he’s had with his teacher. The words are his, the grammer tweaking is mine 😉 Enjoy!)

If you find one thing boring,

You’ll find everything boring.

Dogen, ‘Guidelines for Studying the Way’

Boredom lies in our character, not in the world. “If you’re bored,” I’ve heard it said “you’re boring”. Think about this. (more…)

Read More

The Monk Talks: What Would Buddha Do When A Loved One Dies?

(Alvin’s Note: Our dear fellow Life Coach, and passionate personal development extraordinaire, Paiboon Busayarak, has embarked on a 3 month initiation into Buddhist monkhood in his native Thailand. He just sent me this post via email sharing the conversations he’s had with his teacher. The words are his, the grammar tweaking is mine 😉 Enjoy!)

What Would Buddha Do When A Loved One Dies?

Not through weeping and grief do we obtain peace of mind. We increase misery; we increase misery; we harm our bodies. We become thin and pale, destroying ourselves by our own power:

Sutta Nipata 584

(more…)

Read More

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also

This is weird. I went to a friend’s beautiful wedding last Saturday, and first heard the proverb “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Mathew 6:21)

On Friday night, I saw it in big bold letters on the building across from the seat I’d randomly managed to secure in the food-court, plastered in shining letters as part of Christmas decorations (CK Tangs, for those of you in Singapore. You can’t miss it on the front of the building).

Now, just reading through my RSS feed, I saw it mentioned in the comments of The Happiness Project’s post on a major epiphany about the nature of happiness.

Maybe there’s a message in all of this.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.“

Read More

The Monk Talks: What Would Buddha Do If Someone Hated Him?

Alvin’s Note: Our dear fellow Life Coach, and passionate personal development extraordinaire, Paiboon Busayarak, has embarked on a 3-month initiation into Buddhist monkhood in his native Thailand. He just sent me this post via email sharing the conversations he’s had with his teacher. The words are his, the grammar tweaking is mine 😉 Enjoy!)

What would Buddha do if someone hated him?

Not by hate is hate defeated;
Hate is quenched by love.
This is the eternal law.

Dhammapada 5

(more…)

Read More

Pay Yourself First

If you won a million dollars today, would you spend it all immediately buying loads of stuff so that by this time tomorrow, it’d be all gone?

I’d bet you wouldn’t, but that’s what a lot of people are doing; not with the money they win, but the money they make. (more…)

Read More

How To Deal With Someone’s Anger

(Alvin’s Note: Our dear fellow Life Coach, and passionate personal development extraordinaire, Paiboon Busayarak, has embarked on a 3 month initiation into Buddhist monkhood in his native Thailand. He just sent me this post via email to share the insights he’s gleaming from this unique experience. The words are his, the grammar tweaking is mine 😉 Enjoy!)

Other people will sometimes get angry with you, even your loved ones. It happens to all of us. Some people even got angry with the Buddha!

So what can you do when you are on the receiving end of someone else’s anger? The answer can be found in the following story: (more…)

Read More

What Are You Grateful For Today?

After watching The Pianist, the true story of how Vladislav Spelman survived the Holocaust as a Jew living in occupied Poland, I wasn’t only struck by the horrors he endured, but also by how privileged I was living my own life.

One of the most effective ways to stop worrying and boost your personal power is to simply focus on what you can, right now, with what you have.

Another way is to acknowledge what you already have in your life right now that you’re grateful for. The little things that you take for granted in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, that already make your life sparkle if you’d only see them with renewed eyes.

(more…)

Read More

What To Do When You Make Mistakes

Taking a leaf from Senia’s wonderful quotes posts, and because I seem to have made a few this past week (ouch!), here’s what greatness has had to say about what to do when you make mistakes.

Cicero:

We must not say every mistake is a foolish one.

George Bernard Shaw:

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

(more…)

Read More

Who Binds You?

This Zen parable is for someone for whom I’ve been talking for a while.

A man once went to a Zen master and asked; ‘Master, I must seek liberation.’

The teacher asked, ‘Who binds you?’

The student answered; ‘I do not know. Perhaps I bind myself.’

(more…)

Read More

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?

(more…)

Read More

NLP 101: 10 Plus 3 Beliefs That Create Wild Success

What is the Structure of Magic?

In the 1970s, Richard Bandler and John Grinder set out to answer the questions: ‘how do wildly successful people create their success?’ and ‘can these methods of success be replicated?’.‘can these methods of success be replicated?’.
They studied the best therapists of their time, and through observation, testing and trail and error, codified what they found into sets of prinicples and techniques. When they taught and used these strategies and found that they could reproduce the success these therapists had, they knew they were on to something.

(more…)

Read More

NLP 101: So Dark The Con Of NLP

Throughout history, NLPers have been hunted down by the Evil League of Anti-NLPers, who have waved the Torches of deBunk (+2 agility) at us and angrily shouted big, big words like ‘pesudo-science’, ‘quackery’ and ‘you’re too hot for NLP’ (I get this one all the time).

For every claim for NLP, you can find one against. What’s going on?

(more…)

Read More

NLP 101: Life Is A Series of Systems

It was confusing; here was this bright, strong young woman who clearly had goals she passionately wanted, but somehow something held her back from going after them.

As I worked with her through the roots of her beliefs, I thought we were almost on the way to breaking her limiting patterns and on to action, when her face fell and she said she couldn’t continue.

(more…)

Read More