Archives for March 2011

You Suck

…the air out of a room when you make it all about you.

…the life out of everyone around you when you make it all about you.

…the joy out of every endeavor when you make it all about you.

…the lightness out of every quest when you make it all about you.

…the potential out of every business when you make it all about you.

You fill.

…every room,

…every person,

…every endeavor,

…every quest,

…every business with life, with energy, with potential,

When you make it all about them.


The challenge is to serve, solve and delight from a place of genuine personal interest without relying on the experience to complete you.  Be who you are, but can you be a filler rather than a sucker.  That didn’t come out totally the way it was meant, but either way…who would want to be a sucker?

Agree, disagree…need more latte?

Reprinted with permission from personal development and marketing

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Working Your Self-protrait

“Every man’s work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.”

Samuel Butler one-ups the you-are-what-you-eat crowd, with his you-are-what-you-do idea.  Or at least, our portraits are what we do. But are these our most accurate portraits? Or are there other things, besides work, that better define us? That draw sharper lines? That paint clearer colors?

Abraham Harold Maslow came up with the term “self-actualization”.  He said, essentially that a painter has to paint.  That a cook has to cook.  That a pilot has to fly.  That we are what we do, that we are driven to do what we do.  But is “what we do” our careers?  Or is what we do the rest of the stuff?

I am a hiker, I must hike.  Well, I wish I could hike a lot more than I do, but I think that description defines me better than what I do for a living.  Is Samuel Butler’s “every man’s work” necessarily what he does for a living?  Maybe in a majority of cases it is.  Which is a sad statement.  Or maybe it is a happy statement, if it means people are doing what they really love.

What do you think?

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Your Mind Is What You Eat

“Women who mostly ate junk and processed foods were more likely to have depression and exhibit increased psychological symptoms.”

So says  Dr Felice Jacka of Deakin University.  She  ran a research the study that tested more than 1000 women from a cross-section of Australian society, finding that those women who followed the national dietary guidelines were less likely to suffer from depression or anxiety.  No surprise – if you don’t get the basic nutrients you need to keep your body functioning properly, how can you expect your brain or your emotions to stay in balance.

The relationship between diet and mental health was strong, even stronger than the relationship between diet and

  • socio-economic status
  • obesity
  • illness
  • education
  • whether they smoked or not

The World Health Organization has identified 2020 as the year when depression is likely to become the second biggest cause of disability – after cardio-vascular disease.  In addition to all the other benefits of good nutrition, preventing an increase in depression has just been added to the list.  Why not take a few moments today at lest to review the basic health guidelines offered up by the government.  They are not very detailed, but following them is way, way better than not following them.

More from Deakin University

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The Pharmacist is Clowning Around

I would like to introduce you to Fang Li Yun, a 52-year-old Malaysian pharmacist of 24 years.  She is part of what they call the “Funny Action” project, which helps people learn to laugh and to smile even when there is no good news to smile about.

Like so many other people, Fang Li Yun thought happiness would follow her income, and as a pharmacist she was making good money.

But in 2006 she discovered clowning and discovered there was more happiness to be achieved.  This lead to a mission or pilgrimage of sorts with Hunter Doherty “Patch Adams” and a group of thirty other people from various countries to Mexico last year.  Together they visited patients, the homeless, the elderly, shut-ins and  HIV-infected people while dressed in their best clown attire

What made the biggest difference? In 2008, a friend of hers who was president of a breast cancer  support group, asked her this question: “The happiness a clown brings to people is only momentary. How are you going to make the happiness last?”

Now she teaches people how to laugh: “Everyone is born with the ability to laugh. Laughter is the best medicine and an effective way of fighting illnesses. Based on statistics, babies can laugh up to 400-500 times a day, while adults laugh an average of only 14 to 15 times a day.”

Fringe benefits of clowning around include increased self-confidence and reduced stress. Fang Li Yun discovered that whenever she focuses on making other people happy, she also experiences a surge of joy and forgets all her worries and cares.

And she is still a pharmacist.

This post was included in the That Girl Is Funny Blog Carnival.

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The Value of Value

I’ll spare you the long-winded intro today.  This is a short message by the former CEO of Coca Cola, very inspirational, that a friend shared with me a while back.  Take a moment to reflect on it, and hopefully your day will be a little more valuable afterward.

This post was featured in the Carnival of Wealth #31, in the Totally Money Carnival #12 and in Cajun Finances Random Thoughts Carnival.

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Give Hugs and Get Healthier

When you’re feeling gloomy and someone comes up to you to give you a hug, it could really lift your spirit. But did you know that there are also health benefits to hugging? Studies have shown that it causes the release of a hormone called oxytocin. That hormone has been proven to help lower levels of stress and anxiety, reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system, increase tolerance to pain and perhaps even speed up the healing of wounds.

Hugging also just feels good and helps boost your mood. When you really need it, it could help alleviate feelings of loneliness. That is exactly what happened in 2004, to an Australian man only known by the pseudonym of “Juan Mann”. For a few months, Juan Mann was feeling lonely and depressed, suffering a great amount of personal problems. One day, he went to a party and someone randomly gave him a hug. That hug made him feel so much better that he began thinking that there might be other people, like him, in desperate need of human contact.

He came up with the idea of going in public places to give free hugs. He prepared a sign and headed to his neighborhood mall. The first time he did it, he waited fifteen minutes before an older lady finally came up to him and hugged him. From that moment on, a worldwide campaign was launched. Now, all over the world, people stand in public places and give free hugs. What a wonderful initiative.

Hugging and touching is accessible to all. It serves as a powerful way to express our appreciation and our love to the people around us. So, why not do it more often? If we do so, not only will we be improving the quality of our health, but also our happiness, the happiness of those around us, and our overall feeling of wellbeing!

Here is a video of free hugs given in Italy:


This is a guest post by Alina Boutros who writes 500 Days to Happiness

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The 3 “C’s” of Leading with Confidence

It is the rare human being who can maintain confidence 100% of the time. Even the best of leaders experience dips in confidence from time to time, from context to context and from situation to situation.


The key is building your ‘confidence’ muscles.

I believe confidence can be cross-contextual. By that I mean having success in one area of life can be used as a reference point from which we can borrow confidence while we build it in that new area of our personal or professional life.

To raise the bar on your confidence as a leader, I’d like you to offer you 3 concepts to focus that can provide a roadmap for creating higher levels of confidence in whatever endeavor you are embarking on, and especially in your role as a leader:

Certainty – Certainty is defined as the state of being free from doubt or reservation, destined, sure to happen, inevitable, bound to come. Certainty is how confidence is projected by leaders and it’s a skill that also has to be developed along with confidence. Certainty comes from experience and through developing your beliefs and values about yourself, your role as a leader, the world, your organization, the marketplace, etc. One of the key skills to nurture to develop your level of certainty is perspicacity or a keenness of mental perception and discernment, which helps in decision-making and problem solving.

Clarity – Many years ago I attended a workshop by Anthony Robbins and one of the most powerful things he said that day I’ll never forget. His message was “clarity is power.” I’ve learned over the years that is a very true statement. Without clarity its tough to see where you are going and a leader without clarity is not much of a leader.

There are many contexts a in which leader needs clarity, which can be overwhelming.  This is why I want to start at home by having you focus on key areas first to build your confidence and certainty as a leader:

• Your Leadership “Identity”
• Your Strengths
• Your Areas for Growth and Development
• Your Team Strengths and Talents

Capability – This is defined as having power and ability, being efficient and competent. And, there are six fundamental areas leaders need to not just be capable but must master:

• Influencing communication skills
• Visionary thinking
• Decision-making
• Problem-solving
• Delegation
• Emotional Mastery

This is a guest post by Skip Weisman, The Leadership & Workplace Communication Expert. He helps organizational leaders create high performing, positive work environments with teams of employees who communicate effectively, work successfully together in teams, and who love what they do as they contribute to their organization’s overall purpose. His company, Weisman Success Resources, Inc. is based in Poughkeepsie, NY. You may contact him directly with any questions, or for a complimentary Strategy Session at 845-463-3838 or e-mail to

This post was featured in the That Girl Is Funny.

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