Wrapping up the month of August, here’s a quick screen shot review of the month’s news. Let me know which ones you like the most. Thanks for your input, -David M Masters
How many times have you found yourself offended by the words and deeds of another person that may have been unwarranted? Even if you knew your feelings were likely unjust, still you found yourself filled with angst and fury and lashed out or made a rash decision based on the emotional whirlpool pulling you down to your lowest desperate state.
So you strike out, do or say something in your defense because in this emotional chaos, you can think of nothing more than self preservation at all costs.
You rationalize your thoughts and actions based on the truth you are able to extract from the all the data that you have access to. Using your perception you convert the results of your research and statistics to come to a cognitive conclusion justifying the torrential chaos you felt in that moment based on your interpretation.
This happens every day, and how can you blame anyone for perceiving everyday occurrences via their individual perception? You can’t. Why? Because we can only determine that is really truth from within. Only we know what is true for us based on our own interpretation of the information available to us at the time.
In example, take a look at Jasmine and Darnell. They are in their early thirties, recently involved in a romantic courtship and things are going so very well. They are professing their love for each other and even talking about spending the rest of their lives together.
On their six month anniversary, Darnell makes reservations for a quaint bistro, picks up a card and a teddy bear with a heart on its tummy and presents them to Jasmine when he comes calling to pick her up for their scheduled date.
Jasmine greets him at the door enthusiastically. Darnell holds out the bear and card to Jasmine, as her countenance immediately shifts to contempt and anger. She throws the bear into the street, rips the card into pieces and throws the pieces at Darnell’s face and kicks him off the porch while shouting disrespectful obscenities and slams the door as Darnell falls to the ground.
After driving away and pulling over to the side of the road, Darnell texts Jasmine, which does not go through, then tries to call to discover his number’s already been blocked.
Looking for emotional support, the couple reaches out to their friends in an effort to cope with the ensuing chaos. Jasmine tells her friends that Darnell is a manipulative predator, nothing short of a rapist, while Darnell spins tales of Jasmine’s severe mental disorders. Friends rally around the couple. Damages follow, some that are irreparable.
Knowing the details of Jasmine’s struggle with her past doesn’t justify her outburst and reaction to the otherwise innocuous display of affection. Issues she’s been battling within since childhood predicted her response with high-precision accuracy. Likewise, Darnell’s accusations of Jasmine’s mental instability were based on triggers from his past.
From their perspective they are both telling stories based on the truth they believe, as real to them as gravity, yet things aren’t always what they seem and neither of them have as much information as I have (purposely filtered) additionally I am certain there is much more information yet to be uncovered.
Jasmine would fare much better in the same circumstance today, because she has worked though many of the unresolved issues of her past and while she still tends to be quite impulsive, is training herself to pause (and count to three to herself) before responding, reacting or pressing “send” when she is feeling overwhelmed. This brief hesitation gives her just enough space to consider possibilities, ramifications and helps her to manage her truth and consequences.
Don’t judge someone based on surface information because you may have no idea what lies beneath the surface. We all have lives consisting of a plethora of past experiences, beliefs and misinterpretations the sum of which has gotten us this far. After all, we’re all doing the best we can with what we have. This is why we are cautioned to never judge a book by its cover.
If we are to have any faith in our ability to successfully share this planet with other inhabitants, we must find ways to stop dividing us one against the other, discover how to get along with each other and accept that we are all parts of the same soup, even though we all are so very different.
No one is blaming you or me for our perception or interpretation, because in heat of the moment it’s all we have to determine what is truth as it influences how i feel about you, how you feel about me and how we feel about ourselves.
In fact in all things perception is reality and subject to change pending accumulation of additional data.
Pausing in an effort to avoid making a rash decision or burning a bridge beyond repair like Jasmine does now, might be sound advice for all of us.
All you can do is to try not to judge or react too promptly, accept others for who they are and where they are at in their life’s journey and discover how to make yourself happy as you live a better life. A little tolerance goes a long way.
For me, I try to imagine what it must be like to the person who is reacting, put myself in their shoes and look for the love. While I haven’t perfected this method because I too, can react in self defense in the heat of the moment… but as immediately as possible look with empathy for love in the wings.
We’re all in process, for if we weren’t, we would not be. Let’s make the best of it.
Self esteem is basically how you feel about yourself as a person. It’s not so much focused on your competence or abilities as your inner dialogue and feeling about yourself, the things you do and how you do them.
Low Self Esteem
It’s not good or bad to have low or high self esteem, it is what it is and we’re all doing the best we can with what we have. Nonetheless, the people I work with find it beneficial to build their self esteem because it seems to be associated with a certain degree of worthiness.
Good things happen to good people and the better you feel about the good things in your life, the more good things will come to you. Call it what you want, wishful thinking, pop science or new age mumbo jumbo, regardless statistics verify this at a high level of accuracy.
An example might be, let’s say you have had the opportunity to apply paint to paper or canvas in such a way as to result in an artistic rendering. You put it up on the wall and say to yourself, “Oh, jeeze, I wish I had better skills then this thing might be worth looking at.”
Before you have a chance to take it down, a friend shows up unexpectedly and notices your painting, “Oh, my,” he/she says, “I didn’t know you painted. That’s really nice, you have real talent.”
You might reply, “Oh, that? That’s nothing. I was just experimenting. Sometimes I wish I could paint, so I dabble, only to discover I can’t.” While you think to yourself, “Ugh, I suck at this. I don’t even know why I did it in the first place.”
Your friend assures you that it looks marvelous and that you may have more talent than you give credit to yourself and departs. You take down the painting and berate yourself, while thinking that your friend was only saying those things in an effort to be nice.
If you have low self esteem you’re likely to be your own worst critic, with a self-loathing voice often disrespecting you, your value and any good you could possibly bring to the world. Even if you’ve accomplished a good thing, there is little sense of accomplishment (as if you’d barely gotten through it at all) and certainly no celebration or sense of pride in a job well done. And if someone attempts to validate your efforts by paying a compliment, you’re likely to discard it.
Somewhere at the root of lack of self esteem, is feeling that you’re not good enough.
Yet, there is an innate part of us that aspires to feel good, so we try to feel the void of not feeling good with other things that will make us feel better or distract us from our own self-deprecation.
People with low self esteem attempt to fill the void with accomplishments, social status, fancy things, degrees, wealth, surrounding one’s self with influential people, thrill-seeking, extra-marital affairs, feeding addictions such as alcohol, drugs and/or food, etc. only to find the underlying feeling of unworthiness remains.
Often how we feel about ourselves is based upon our inner system of weights and balances used when comparing ourselves to other people. When you look at someone else, do you believe that you are as attractive, intelligent, successful, deserving of love and happiness as anyone else?
If your tendency is to feel as though you are less of a person than someone else, then you will be prone to deliberate compromises that are not in your best interests, such as being a people pleaser, submissive, a perfectionist, suffer from mood imbalances, depression, even more unworthiness or a compulsion to prove that we are somehow better than someone else or they are undeserving.
High Self Esteem
If you are blessed to have high self esteem, it was likely the result of your familial or social upbringing that influenced your sense of not only being good enough, but deserving of all the best things this life has to offer. For the most part, this is the story of your life. You are one of the good people that good things keep happening to.
You might have been raised in an environment that supported a high perceived value of self in respect to family, love, religion, friendships, team sports or other relationships. When surrounded by your circle of influence you are ecstatically empowered; this sense of worthiness and power is ingrained enough to carry you through most anything.
Then there are those who have achieved high self esteem based on performance or competency. These are those who invest their efforts to support their family, their professions or the community at large and feel a strong sense of worthiness based on the kind of person they are and the things they do.
The downside to high self esteem, is running the risk of being viewed by others as selfish, conceited, arrogant, or narcissistic; so tempering high self esteem with humility produces a healthier balance overall.
How to Build Self Esteem
The first place to start is to recognize your inner voice eschewing any sense of worthiness you might have. Listen for your self talk and stop it. In the style of the late, Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, “Strike that. Reverse it.” Then repeat to yourself just the opposite.
Think about it this way; I think we all can agree within us resides a small-child version of ourselves. If we could imagine inviting that little person out to stand in front of us and say to that child the negative things we say to ourselves, it would likely drive that little person to tears. We would never say those kinds of things to a child. What would we do instead? We would offer words of encouragement, edifying and uplifting the child for doing the best he/she could and you affirm the results were magnificent based on their level of performance and even alludes to possible greatness. Right?
It doesn’t matter what other people say. What matters is what you say to you. When you feel negative thoughts this is your cue to give yourself some loving support. Stop berating yourself.
The next thing to do is to start acting as if you have high self esteem.
If you have high self esteem:
- You know you are worthy of all the best things this life has to offer
- You take good care of yourself
- You help others, but only after tending to your own needs first
- You take care of your body, eat well, exercise and have good sleep habits
- You manage your time well
- You set boundaries in respect to yourself
- You find excuses to celebrate and have fun
- You are financially responsible. You spend less than you earn, save and invest
- You are confident in your skills and abilities
- If you fall short, you do not beat yourself up over it
- You take personal responsibility for everything in your life
- You are the manager of your emotional state
- You readjust and reaffirm the best things in life the best you can considering the current circumstances (which could be dire)
- You do not allow your appearance, circumstances, status, social interactions, wealth or relationships to dictate your emotional state
- Nor do you rely on addictive behaviors to affect your state of being
These are the goals to set and achieve as you build self esteem, and as you practice these attributes they will become more and more a part of who you are. You will fall in love with the magnificent person you are – and always have been – and enjoy the presence of the person reflected in your mirror.
You are amazing!
There is no doubt that in business, or nearly any area(s) of life, those who wield the best interactive social skills have a huge advantage over those less adept at social interaction.
Some people are born with it; others make the effort to develop these social skills to increase their advantage in the world as we know it. It really all comes down to economy of effort, meaning that the most successful people are able to accomplish so much more in much less time.
- Opportunity Assessment
- Brand Integrity
- Be Persuasive
- Blend In
- Emotional Communication
This ability would be considered self-serving by most of the general populace, but being able to quickly identify people to interact with that can best benefit you is a key skill that should be mastered by the successful businessperson or entrepreneur.
Think of it as having two minutes to make the determination whether the individual will be beneficial to you, your professional concerns, or may have skills that will help you to further your purpose.
You must always be polite, never rude, as you quickly express your purpose and try to learn as much as you can about the other person, limiting yourself to your 30 second elevator speech, then ask questions to determine whether there exists a potential opportunity.
Take care when interacting with others in the boardroom, in public, from the stage, during interview and face-to-face to stay congruent to, promote and protect your brand. Be cautious.
For some people, it is the person that is their brand; their name, their appearance, their convictions and public persona. Whenever possible in all the things you say and do, be consistent to the image that you want to be remembered as.
For others their brand may be a product or service. Do not expose behind-the-scenes information or data that might reflect poorly on your brand. This means that some topics may need to be avoided in order to protect your brand.
One of my mentors insisted that, “salesmanship,” and/or persuasion was the single most important skill to possess if you intend to enjoy any level of intentional success.
Obviously, having the ability to promote and sell your perspective, product or service on-demand can have huge impact on your overall success.
If you’re not born with a persuasive personality, this could be (and often is) the most challenging skill to adequately wield, as it can be the double-edged sword that improperly used could actually backfire and cost you a sale, potential client or cause people to question your motivation. This is a delicate balance that takes both balance and practice. You don’t want someone to remember you as the pushy salesperson or jerk.
Nevertheless, you must be able to encourage others to see from your perspective, whether they are friends, potential fans (who will promote you and/or what you do), customers or clients.
This is the ability to relate to anyone on their terms. That means, regardless of whether you are speaking to a group of people or in a one-on-one conversation, you have the ability to see from their perspective, being thoughtful enough to use a similar style of speech (as long as it does not interfere with your brand).
Not just for those with political aspirations, being able to blend in is skill of adapting to any unique social setting and maximizing one’s exposure without standing out too much and being mindful of brand protection.
Interact with people in such a way that demonstrates that you are compassionate and passionate with a full array of emotions, communicating with feeling. When active in communication use voice inflection that enables your audience to perceive that you are enthusiastic, confident and competent.
People love emotions and they listen for your emotion in your vocal interactions with them. Speak from your heart to theirs, making an intimate connection.
If you feel as though you do not possess this skill, you can practice, practice, practice with a simple audio recorder. Practice reading and talking using a variety of vocal styles. If you have young children, reading children’s books and stories and vocally representing the voice of different characters is perfect practice (plus your kids will never forget your story-telling abilities).
How to Build Your Social Skills for Success
The best way to start building these skills is to start hanging out with other folks who already possess the skills you desire. Keenly observe them and model their behavior. Go to seminars, events and watch videos of live presentations. Study how others perform their social magic, take notes and practice doing what they do.
The better you feel about yourself, the more you will have and be able to give to a troubled world.
How you feel about the person you see when you look in the mirror affects the entire world that surrounds you; your relationships, your career, satisfaction, and overall quality of life.
Here are a dozen questions to ask that can put you on the path of becoming your highest and best enabling you to have more of yourself to share with a world that needs your positive impact.
1. What does my inner voice say about me?
Sometimes our own inner voice is our worst enemy; old recordings that play on in continuous loops touting self-criticism or unworthiness.
You can interrupt the pattern with a strike-that-reverse-it strategy. There are many methods to approach this kind of negative self-talk but I have found that the most immediate and abrupt interruptions and reversal methods work best.
Snap It Out
For instance, wearing a rubber band on your wrist and snapping it immediately when you sense the negative thought. This creates a stopping point.
Next, you want to say (out loud, if you can) the opposite, positive reinforcement or reframe of the negative thought three times (this can be silently to yourself if you’re in a public environment where this might be inappropriate).
You might also consider a simple tapping exercise that I encourage my clients to use that goes like this:
Tap It Out
Let’s say your negative thought was, “I’m stupid.” Immediately cock your middle finger with your thumb and flick your ear (just like you might do to your little brother, or maybe you grandmother did that to you to interrupt your pattern of behavior, while remembering that this is not punishment, only a strong signal to stop the thought in its tracks).
You don’t have to flick your ear but I do suggest that you flick yourself somewhere around the vicinity of your head because this recognizes and identifies the location where the transgression originated. With a little practice you can develop a flicking method that couldn’t even be discerned by the unsuspecting public around you.
Then with the same finger that you flicked yourself with, tap the inside center of the palm of your opposite hand repeatedly. While you tap continuously say the negative thought (out-loud, if you can) three times with as much negative emotion associated with the words that you can muster. While you are doing this, imagine seeing the thought travel from your brain to inside the palm of your hand while you are saying the words. Then close your hand tightly, as if you are gripping the thought so as not to release it.
Next, turn over your clenched fist and tap repeatedly at a rapid pace, just like you did before, only this time repeat the opposite supportive positive phrase (out-loud if you can) that counteracts the negative thought. In this case if might be something, like, “I am getting so much smarter and brilliant every day. I’m a genius!” After the third recitation seal the deal by an affirmative closing statement, like, “I love the new me!”
Then, open your hand and let the negative thought fall down to the ground like a rock. Brush the insides of your hands in a cleansing motion and go on about your day a little better than you were before.
Amazingly, the next time that negative thought interrupts your daily life (if at all), you will find that you have less emotional attachment to it. This is an effective method that breaks the pattern and also removes the psychological pain associated with these negative invasions.
This works for my clients – and it will work for you – if you give it a chance.
Some other questions you might ask could be:
2. How positive is my personal outlook?
We all have heard about how we are supposed to maintain a positive mental attitude ad infinitum. But it can sometimes be a challenge top think positively when you’re not feeling so good about yourself or life in general.
It’s not enough that we are bombarded by life circumstances that may be less than desirable but we are commonly exposed to negative influences that are quite easily monitored and filtered by simply paying attention and taking action to protect your personal space.
Find ways to focus on the positive. Start looking for the silver lining in everything in your life and avoid or eliminate anything that does not resonate with your happiness.
3. Do I open myself to destructive programming?
The phrase Garbage In Garbage Out (GIGO) originally used amongst computer programmers to refer to erroneous programming code or input producing unrecognizable output. We are not that much different; what we allow as input to our central processing unit (CPU) may produce a perception, belief or feeling based on data that may not be in our best interest.
If you want to take control of how you feel about yourself, it is imperative that you take action to control what information your mind has access to and/or how much attention you will give to certain kinds of data.
I routinely get exposed to data that is extremely interesting to my scientific mind. Then I have to ask myself, “Am I willing to dedicate a great deal of my life’s work and energy to this topic?” One must manage the economy of time, effort and concentration. Learn how to say, “No,” to some projects that would be better served by someone else’s expertise. Learning to tune out unnecessary input can help reduce the white noise in your thoughts.
You might consider monitoring, filtering or eliminating other input representing vibrational incongruencies, like media, TV, news, magazines, tabloids, etc… Intentionally seek out more sources of positive input from cognitively selected books, web sites, recordings, videos that are more in line with what you want.
4. What is the quality of my relationships?
You can immediately affect the quality of your self-worth by hanging out with a higher quality of friends and associates. Simply stated, ditch the nay-sayers, nervous perfectionists and compulsive conspiracy theorists and begin to surround yourself with more supportive and positive people.
Some people have a toxic affect on your life. You can tell by the way that you feel after you’ve spent time with them. Ask yourself, “Do I feel better when I’m around them?” Or do they make you feel drained? If they do not make you feel better, then they are not the kind of people that are in your best interest. If they drain you or are toxic, you need to stop spending time with those people.
Start making more time for the people that make you feel better about yourself. This raises the vibration of your personal power bubble.
5. How much gratitude do I exude?
The more thankful that you are for all the things that bring you joy or that you appreciate in your life also raises your self-esteem. To keep from taking things for granted every day, consider taking a daily 2 Minute Gratitude Break.
It’s a good way to take out a couple of minutes to reflect on the day’s events and activities. In a seated upright position with your feet flat on the floor, arms relaxed on your legs with hands palm up, take a deep breath in through your nose and let it out through your mouth, repeat as you relax… Concentrate on three things that you are grateful about yourself today (they don’t have to be big things).
Consider getting a small notebook to record the three things that you are grateful for each day. Review the list by reading it back to yourself out loud and smile. You may be surprised that as you look for the things that you are thankful for, you will find more good things happening in your life as you look for them.
6. At what level do I maintain strength and honor?
When you do the right thing, keep your word and stay true to what you believe in, you bolster your self-esteem. This makes you even stronger as you feel better about yourself and more confident about whom you are as a human being.
Mean what you say, say what you mean, let your word be your bond. Make your handshake and the words you express be integrous and trustworthy.
If you are in a leadership or influential position, don’t tell others what to do (especially if it sounds like judging others or preaching). Instead, lead by example. Let others see your good works and allow them to emulate your performance.
Become predictably dependable, giving others confidence in your ability to do what you say you will do.
7. Am I a perfectionist?
For the perfectionist, you need to lighten up and learn to let go of your rigid perfectionism.
Consider cutting yourself some slack and you’ll be surprised at how much more you accomplish in your life which will also make you feel better and better.
It is better to get a thing done than to do nothing from fear of not being able to complete it perfectly (or procrastination).
Perfectionists have a tendency to lean towards private self-abuse, condemning themselves for falling short (refer back to #1).
Embrace adequacy when doing a project. For instance, if you need to write a report, give yourself a deadline; a date and a time. When the time is up; you’re done. Move one and let it go. You could write and re-write for days… Sure, you could re-edit it at another time, but if you do; create a new deadline and stick to it.
I’m not saying to settle for mediocrity or to compromise your integrity, just to cut yourself some slack… for you. You are amazing and you deserve it. And you might be surprised at how much people appreciate your new level of increased performance.
Perfectionists also tend to expect more from their peers, which tends to be a constant cause of frustration. Learn to be more tolerant and let others do the best they can with the tools that they have (not everyone can be as wonderful as you, and that’s okay). Learn to let others be.
I know, it seems impossible… but it gets easier.
8. What if I Blow it?
You have to stop the self-deprecation. You are no longer allowed to put yourself down for shortcomings.
From now on, you must learn to forgive yourself and learn to let things go (see #1). Some people ride themselves so hard that they get physically sick.
If you blow it, remember that you are a good person and you’re getting better every day.
Then take a look at the facts; what made you do what you did? This is an important step because we all make mistakes, but if we examine the evidence and identify where we broke weak, we are more likely to prevent stumbling again. (At least in this way, because let’s face it, we all misstep sometimes. Nobody’s perfect.)
Congratulate yourself for figuring it out and make yourself a promise to look out more for yourself in the future. You have just completed another course in what not to do next time.
Always look for the silver lining, use positive reinforcement, forgive yourself, give yourself a big hug and tell your inner self, “I love you. You are awesome.” Because you are.
9. How Do I Treat Others?
Helping others makes you feel better about yourself. Be kind and generous. Commit to random acts of kindness. Volunteer your talent or time to an honorable cause. It feels good to help others who are less fortunate than you.
There’s nothing better than The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” (Jesus’ sermon on the mount, Matthew 7:12). No matter what you station in life (even if you feel like you’re at the bottom), there’s always somebody worse off than you.
I know that I help people every day, and some days… when I feel like I have nothing to give (yes, even I have my down days), but when I force myself to go through the motions on the behalf of someone else; it helps me to resonate with my strength and I get re-charged when my life affects someone else’s in a positive manner.
Just a simple compliment can make someone’s day, makes you feel better, and others feel better about you, too.
10. When’s the last time I tried something new?
Doing something you’ve never done before (especially something you may have avoided because the thought of it made you uncomfortable) builds self-esteem.
It can be something that you’ve always wanted to do, or maybe something that may not have even occurred to you.
As you look for opportunities to experience something new, they will appear before you… and engaging in these activities – even it if turns out that you don’t like them – gives you self-confidence and assurance in yourself.
It is better to say, “No thanks. I tried it and didn’t like it,” than to shy away, just because you’ve never done it before. (Note: this does not apply to illegal activities, which would be contrary to your strength and honor. See #6.)
11. Do I Compare Myself to Others?
Most of the clients I attract are upwardly mobile, focused and committed to high levels of personal excellence and they do tend to struggle with comparing themselves to others. Simply stated, comparing yourself to others drains your personal power.
So what, if someone’s better at something than you are? Guess what? You’re better at something than someone else. Instead of trying to beat out that person’s performance in that area, congratulate them on their strength in that area and move on.
Appreciate others for their unique abilities and you embrace your uniqueness.
Use healthy modeling. When you see in someone else an attribute that you would like to adopt as your own – go ahead – set a goal to attain it for yourself. Try it on; if it doesn’t feel comfortable, no problem. You can still have access to that attribute in your life by outsourcing it.
Make a friend or hire a professional that has that attribute as their innate skill.
If you compare yourself to anyone, compare who you are today to whom you were yesterday and continue to grow, measure your growth regularly and applaud your progress.
12. Who could I be?
Whoever you want to be: Be that!
Your path of personal growth is constant and never ending. You are continually growing, changing, reinventing, recreating and expanding into the new, improved you.
As an author, I am discouraged sometimes about the trail of documentation that I leave behind me that is a constant reminder of who I was yesterday. Does that slow me down? No way; onward and upward I go!
Don’t get stuck in the past and resist letting it drag you back from whence you came.
Model your mentors and heroes, act as if. I hear you saying, “You mean to fake it?” Yes, fake it ‘til you make it. It’s what everyone learns to do; royalty learns to act like royalty by “acting the part,” just like an actor plays a part. As his or her highness is adequately groomed and coached, they appear to be the person they are supposed to be.
When they feel that sense of 100% congruency with whom they are supposed to be; who knows? (Truth be known, they may never feel worthy of the role that they play.)
Dress nicer, groom yourself better and smile. Celebrate the you who is everything that you could be and remember that no matter how far you’ve come it can be even better.
Invite a glowing self-image by pretending that you have the highest self-esteem ever, and this feeling will find a home to live within you.
There is no higher calling than to accept the call to be your highest and best. I applaud you for the new you that you are becoming.
You are the lighthouse shining light beaming out of the darkness to help show others the way. You might be experiencing a metamorphosis, becoming a mentor to help others lost in the darkest night.
Let it be.
See also: How to Build Self-Esteem
When someone has let their finances get out of control and is trying to get a handle on their cash flow one of the first concerns is reductions in quality of life. The novice budgeter is likely to assume that maintaining a strict budget will mean having no fun.
While your new budget may only have a minimal amount set aside for entertainment, it only means that your former more expensive entertainment will be curtailed. You can have so much fun without having to spend too much, and you might be surprised to discover hours of enjoyment from activities that are even free.
While this list is far from complete, it is only offered as an idea springboard to get you thinking about entertainment in different ways, realizing that just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. As a matter of fact, it is important to have as much cheap or free fun as possible while you’re reeling-in your expenditures.
Free things to do
Free Community Events
Check the local newspaper or online magazine for free events happening in your local area. Local organizations often sponsor free activities for residents. Find out what’s happening near you.
Visit the Library
Remember libraries? Though they are fading away, they are still around. You can easily spend hours perusing the treasures at your local library. Plus, this is an excellent free location to meet others at as an alternative to a restaurant and they may have a separate meeting area for you to use… for free.
Explore Your Local Outback
Find natural areas to explore not far from where you live. Take a hike, go geocaching, walk around the lake, frolic at the park, feed the birds, party at the beach or have a picnic.
Party at Home
You can start your own at-home event, invite friends and host a murder mystery game, karaoke night, poker night, open mic night (sing, play an instrument, read poetry, standup comedy, etc.). Make it a potluck and an evening of it.
Create a Book with Friends
Join with friends to create a recipe book, or collection of stories, Chicken Soup for the Soul-style, or otherwise. Publish it in Amazon’s Kindle format and donate the proceeds to a good cause.
Get a group of folks together who agree to read a particular book in tandem, one chapter per week. Meet somewhere in person, virtually, online or via a free conference call to discuss insights from the chapter.
Host a book exchange, where you and avid book readers each bring a box of books and an hors d’oeuvre appetizer to exchange with other readers. Exchange meeting could be held at home or an off-site location.
Host a White Elephant Exchange
Everyone gift wraps and brings an unwanted gift they have received from someone else (within a specified price-range) at some point in time and exchange them (in a variety of ways). It’s fun and everyone leaves with something.
If you have access to some dirt at home or nearby, cultivate a garden or weed community landscapes. Many people enjoy the feel of the earth in their hands while nurturing the planet.
Go Dumpster Diving
If you’re like me, this will probably never be on your radar, but I have come across so many people who absolutely love dumpster diving (don’t worry, I won’t mention your names) and you’d be surprised to hear some of the treasures they’ve uncovered doing so.
Start a Collection
Start a collection of something without cost, like drink coasters, rocks, shells, glass, feathers, bugs, themed photo collections, etc…
Barter for Entertainment
If you have a particular skill set (which we all do) you may offer to trade your services with any purveyor of recreational activity you like, in exchange for partaking in their offering. Good for anything from fancy restaurants and concert tickets to high end lodging and cruises.
Walk the Dog
Obvious for someone who has a dog, but if you don’t have a dog, you could sign up via the SPCA to walk someone else’s dog.
Start a Blog
Have a passion or opinion that you would like to share with the community at large. Start a blog. It’s free. You can post as often as you like and get the word out about what’s important to you.
Learn Something New
You can teach yourself just about anything these days, just by pouring over data from Google searches or viewing hours upon hours of free how-to videos on YouTube.
Give some of your time or talent to bless others via your local community organizations, or offer to mow the lawn for a neighborhood widow, you get out, plus you’re helping to make the world a better place.
Make a list of all the people who have been a blessing to you at some point in their life, and send them a note, email, private message thanking them for inspiring you. Include anyone from grade school teachers and friends to celebrities and family members. (Maybe write a memoir delineating their positive influence.)
Do you have any ideas to share regarding free things to do?
Money is one of those hot topics that make many people feel uncomfortable about discussing it. Money breaks up relationships between people more than just about anything else. If you can get a handle on your relationship with money, your other relationships are less likely to be impacted negatively by your financial affairs.
Do you see money as an obstacle or a tool?
If you see money as what stands between you and what you need or desire, you will rarely, if ever, feel as though you have enough to feel adequately safe and secure.
Seeing money as a tool to get the things you need or want, is a healthier perspective as it doesn’t take much more than adopting a more positive attitude about money to begin using it more effectively.
What type of money person are you?
You gotta love the money spenders, especially if you’re in a retail business. They love to have things, lots of things, nice, new shiny things. They use money as a therapeutic instrument, if they’re feeling a bit out of sorts, buying something new will make them feel better.
The downside is they are less likely to pay attention to their finances, over-finance, have excessive debt and file periodic bankruptcies. They’re more likely to overspend and buy things they do not need or will not use. They have the spending part down, not so much the responsibility piece.
There is no other more frugal person than the money miser, who counts every penny, tucks away money in savings and retirement, is likely rarely buy, but when they do, they’ve clipped coupons in advance or only buy items on sale, seconds or at thrift shops.
The downside is their relationship with money is based on fear and lack. Afraid that at any moment the sky will fall, and they would be devastated. They will often have barely enough to get by, and satisfy their need to hide some money in savings and investments in the hopes that one day, they can retire.
The money slacker avoids anything that has to do with money at any cost. Doesn’t mind spending it, but rarely knows if they can afford whatever it is they’re spending it on. They avoid balancing their checkbook, opening or paying bills, saving or investing money is not on their radar and retirement is, “whatever.”
The downside of money slackers is that it’s hard to even have a conversation about money with them, and dealing with money issues is so far removed from them, that they’d rather do just about anything to avoid opening an envelope to expose a depressing bill. To the money slacker, discussing a budget is considered a brutal attack.
Money haters think there is something inherently evil about money. Those who have it are money-grubbing mongrels, punishing, stealing and living off the blood of the less fortunate and poor. They are not likely to spend money on nice things and see nice things as trappings of the greedy and oppressive wealthy, or the wannabe. They’re more likely to give their money away to good causes or to someone more deserving than themselves.
The downside for the money haters, is that there is nothing for them to fall back on and they’re likely to self-perpetuate their poverty, which to them, is likened to a badge of honor indicating selflessness and martyrdom.
People find they are commonly a combination of two or more money personalities but normally will have one dominant money person type.
Coming Up: What Can I Do About It?
What type of money person are you?
What you think, say and believe about yourself defines who you are. Thoughts and words are so very powerful, that if you could truly grasp the power they wield, you would not use them so haphazardly. Certainly they can be powerful weapons when discharged against others, more powerful than a loaded gun, but what about when you turn those loaded weapons and aim them at yourself?
Think about these powerful weapons rolling around in your head; what do you allow to occupy this sacred space. There is no more private or intimate space besides your mind – which, by the way, is hardwired to your heart – where your deepest thoughts, dreams, desires, fears and joy resides. You, yes you, have control over what proliferates the confines of your mind and heart. You.
You cannot blame life, life circumstance, any belief system, person, place, parent or thing for what thoughts you allow to persist in your thoughts.
Why must you take control of your thoughts? Because they are so powerful, they manifest in you and attract more of what you think about, causing a great tidal wave of whatever it is you’re thinking about to head your way.
What you’re thinking about yourself is who you become
If you have self image thoughts or self-talk that may not be in your best interest, such as being disappointed in yourself in some way, then you are certainly destined to become the very thoughts that haunt you. Alternatively, the more positive thoughts you engage in about yourself, the more positive the person you are. It’s really that simple.
If you think, “I’m not good enough,” then you are not (or you might be good enough at first blush, but if you continue to entertain the thought that you are not good enough, then it will not be long before you are unworthy of much at all).
Your other negative thoughts about yourself follow suit:
I can’t do it
I have the worst luck
I’m such a loser
I’m not worthy
No one loves me, or alternatively, nobody cares
I hate “my” (or “it, when I”) _______ (fill in the blank)
It is in your best interest to me mindful of how and what you think about because those negative thoughts will steal any hope of having good thoughts, especially about yourself.
If a negative thought is a weapon that steals, then a positive thought is the cure that heals.
Trade Negative for Positive
If you’re having negative thoughts about yourself, all you have to do is to catch yourself thinking the thought – stop – and rephrase the thought as positive self-talk in its opposite. So, I can’t do it becomes, I can do it. I have the worst luck becomes, I have the best luck, etc…
Want to supercharge your transformation, just ramp it up with an immensely positive reframe, like, “I can do it amazingly, better than most people!” Or, “I have the most amazing luck, I always win!”
Why? Because what you think comes to pass. Use these powerful tools not to tear yourself down but to build yourself up, because you are so amazing!
What you’re thinking about everything else grows and becomes more powerful
Here are those powerful thoughts at work again, this time affecting the world around you. If you’re thinking about tortured souls, people, animals you not only attract more of these things to your awareness, but your thoughts create more of it in the world.
Yes, by focusing on the injustices, crimes, disasters and lack (of anything) you actually help to create more of it.
Please, try to stop thinking about bad things, because it only creates more bad things.
What can you do?
Think about the opposite good things, the solutions… and if you’re as amazing as I think you are, start not only thinking but talking to others about the amazing answers that are unfolding, maybe take action. Write a letter to the editor, make a blog post, support or start a movement for good.
By taking a positive approach – and focusing on positive solutions – you become a powerful healing force, creating and making the world a better place.
Think and be what you want to see
And it is so
Enjoy feeling good about living a better life by being one of the good people
Five easy steps leading to you’re enjoying the best this life has to offer, sharing your goodness with others as we all do a little something-something to make the world a better place.
Smile. Treat others with kindness, respect and tolerance. A little tolerance goes a long way. Do not judge other people, their actions. If you feel the inclination to look down at someone, make fun of them or feel anger or resentment welling up inside you, try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and imagine what it must be like to be living their life. Realize that they, just like you, are doing the best they can with what they have. Empathize and send them love instead.
Focus on Good Things
Look for and see the good in all things. Even in the worst of times, be looking for the beauty, the love, the positivity that abounds in all situations, even when it’s difficult to imagine anything good at the time. Do not research, look at, read, listen to or engage in conversation about injustice, tragedy, natural disaster or any other opportunities to be caught up in a whirlpool of negativity. Listen to music that makes you happy (not sad songs), read Chicken Soup for the (fill in the blank) Soul books or any other book that is implicitly positive. Look at images that fill your heart with joy, post them around your house, on Facebook (don’t share anything negative) and at work.
Be Around Good People
The people you surround yourself with carry and maintain a particular vibration. If they have a negative vibration, it is difficult – if not impossible – for them to see the good in any situation. This negative vibration permeates the space around these individuals and is infectious to others. Being around people who talk about or focus on negativity or things that are wrong or bad in the world, lower your vibration. Enough exposure will drag your vibration down to match theirs.
Likewise, spending more time around more positive people who maintain higher, more optimistic vibrations will elevate your vibration to match theirs, as you are in their presence more often. Find new friends who have higher vibrations. Being around good people, who are optimistic, use good words and do good things makes positivity easier.
Do Good Things
Start finding ways to do things that are good. Unsolicited acts of kindness, even if very small, help to make the world a better place. Be polite and courteous. Smile and compliment the cashier, let someone who looks like they’re in a hurry merge in traffic, let someone go before you in the checkout line, tip the waitress, hold the door for someone with their hands full. Look for opportunities to assist others who might need a helping hand, or just a word of encouragement. Make a donation to a worthy cause, help promote a worthy cause or start a worthy cause of your own (only make sure that it, like you, focuses on something good, not bad).
Feel Good Activities
The more you engage in activities that make you feel good, the better you feel. The better you feel, the easier it is to pass your goodness to others. Doing things that make you feel good raises you vibration and affects the vibration(s) of those around you.
As you feel increasingly better because you’re being in the places and participating more in activities that make you feel good, this “good feeling” attracts more good opportunities and circumstances in your life.
21 Day Good Life Challenge
Don’t believe me? I dare you to take the 21 Day Good Life Challenge. Take a 21-day negativity hiatus. Determine to be good for three weeks, starting today. Start each day by looking in the mirror and saying, “I love my life!”* Cut out images that make you feel good and stick them around on your mirror. Tolerate more, focus on good things, spend more time around good people, find opportunities to do good things, and make more time to do the things that bring you joy.
Three weeks of living the good life will raise your vibration enough, you will never want to sink back to where you were before as you being to live a better life the life you always wanted to live and enjoy it more fully every day.
See also: How to be Happy
* Thanks, Adam.
In life, personal and professional, business and in investments, being afraid to take risk will more often than not hinder your rate of return.
I’ve participated in businesses partnerships and organizations that adhered to specific cues, circumstances and cues in their investments so as to reduce the risk of potential loss. This I refer to as the
IF, THEN, ELSE subroutine
It goes something, like this:
We agree to participate in this particular venture with minimal investment and effort. IF there are particular signs that a reasonable profit may be earned, THEN we will have a meeting to see if the signs warrant a further investment of attention and/or cash. ELSE we cut continue to monitor looking for other clues.
There can be many checks and balances running in separate IF, THEN, ELSE subroutines, endlessly cascading to prevent potential loss.
Under these conditions acceptable gains may be realized and losses can be minimized. The people who participate in arrangements, like this, are quite satisfied with mediocre returns on their investments and may be comfort to falling back on settling for a few points of return in a bank savings account, while they wait for their next safe investment opportunity.
While I have joined others in IF, THEN, ELSE agreements, “safe investing” is not my preference (off camera, I might refer to this as, “chicken shit investing”).
In my endeavors, I prefer an ALL IN approach, where I love the project with all my heart, am passionate, proactive, have a high degree of responsibility of success or failure and go full-steam ahead to create an excellent result. This is why entrepreneurship suites me well.
This requires a high degree of self-confidence and does not appeal much to the safe investor. The idea of risking everything for a potential unknown outcome is fraught with fear of danger.
Of course, courageous investing without proper due diligence is folly. That is why I prefer a more conscious approach before going ALL IN on any potential project. For instance, I must love the endeavor, be passionate about it and the project at hand must be in-line with the theme of my life’s journey. So these are some of the questions I might ask before going ALL IN:
Is there an opportunity to achieve long-term success?
Are there associated activities that will bring me a sense of fulfillment and joy?
Can I perform necessary tasks while maintaining a vibratory state of love?
While engaged, can I help others achieve their highest and best?
Can this project help to make the world a better place?
Of course everyone would have their own independent set of questions to review prior to engaging in a potential project, so yours would more adequately represent your specific life-theme and/or goals.
CONSCIOUS INVESTING takes a great many things into account before making the leap but does take self-confidence and the ability to overcome fear.
The powers managing the United States and our world promote a state of fear because fearful people are easy to manage (“protect”).
Unlike, Jesus, I’m not saying conscious investing is better than safe investing. In His parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) the investors who returned with a 100% rate of return were rewarded, while the safe investor was punished. I’m saying, “It is what it is,” and, “everyone’s doing the best they can with what they have,” without any judgment.
There’s no right way or wrong way, just different strokes for different folks.
Q: Can a safe investor become a conscious investor?
A: Yes, but the work starts within, like all meaningful work. Start with the heart, build self-confidence and overcome fear, while learning, remaining mindful and moving steadily toward your goal.
Q: Is it necessary to become a conscious investor, if I’m not?
A: No. You are not broken. Nothing is wrong with you. You are perfect just the way you are, and you are loved.