Aug 31, 2007

Team of Rivals

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Abraham Lincoln made his enemies part of his cabinet.

Title: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Author: Doris Kearns Goodwin

Key passages:
“He has called around him in counsel,” the [Charleston, South Carolina] Mercury marveled, “the ablest and most earnest men of his country. Where he has lacked individual ability, experience or statesmanship, he has sought it, and found it.… Force, energy, brains, earnestness, he has collected around him in every department.”

Lincoln’s “first decision was one of great courage and self-reliance.” Each of his rivals was “sure to feel that the wrong man had been nominated.” A less confident man might have surrounded himself with personal supporters who would never question his authority.

“His crowning gift of political diagnosis was due to his sympathy … which gave him the power to forecast with uncanny accuracy what his opponents were likely to do.”

In Team of Rivals, Goodwin tells the story of Abraham Lincoln and the three rivals he beat out for the Republican presidential nomination in 1860: William Seward, Salmon Chase, and Edward Bates. Each rival was shocked when Lincoln, a little-known former one-term congressman from Illinois, won as a compromise candidate. Lincoln appointed all three men to his cabinet, soothed their outsize egos, drew upon their substantial talents, and used their political skills and experience to further his own agenda. Broadening the cast of characters and weaving the narratives of multiple figures into Lincoln’s story, Goodwin taps a rich record of personal correspondence and memories to illustrate Lincoln’s leadership style.

Team of Rivals recounts how Lincoln, a great motivator, got the best out of the three titans, as well as the others who served him. The narrative is epic in scope, spanning decades, touching on the events that led up to the Civil War, outlining the war’s big battles, and ending with the assassination of Lincoln in Ford’s Theatre. All four main characters played pivotal roles in epochal events at different times, and Goodwin uses their stories to personalize history. After introducing readers to their respective backgrounds, she traces their political ascent, in alternating narratives, as they rise from young attorneys to prominent politicians. Bates was a respected elder statesman from Missouri, and he first entered politics in 1820 during the debate over Missouri’s statehood, which was complicated by the issue of slavery. Seward served as a senator and the governor of New York. Chase, also a senator, was governor of Ohio. Seward and Chase both played prominent roles in the national debate over slavery in the days leading up to the Civil War, and through them, Goodwin revisits some of the great battles that took place in the Senate in the 1850s. By the Republican convention of 1860, the three contenders had reason to hope for the nomination, and Goodwin follows each one as he catches presidential fever, grapples with the devastating loss to Lincoln, then weighs the offer for a cabinet position. Throughout, she weaves in Lincoln’s narrative as he deals with personal setbacks, rises from obscurity, and eventually unites his cabinet and a deeply divided nation to defeat the Confederacy and save the union.

Through it all, a strong sense of Lincoln’s leadership emerges. Readers see his superhuman empathy, superlative sense of political timing, and patience. But what really set him apart was his ability to strike compromise and control his own emotions—whether he was under attack by subordinates or besieged by public opinion after Union troops sustained enormous casualties. He waited for a Union victory to unveil the Emancipation Proclamation, even though it meant enduring months of scathing attacks by abolitionists. And he overlooked slights that would have enraged a lesser man. For example, as treasury secretary, Salmon Chase repeatedly attempted to stir up the radical wing of the Republican Party in order to further his own presidential aspirations in the 1864 elections. But Lincoln hid his irritation, appealed to Chase’s concerns, and never said a harsh word. Lincoln did finally accept Chase’s resignation in 1864—then Lincoln appointed him chief justice of the United States, a decision Lincoln later said was “right for the country,” but that he “would rather have swallowed his buckhorn chair than to have nominated Chase.” Lincoln’s unwillingness to retaliate for slights, indulge in malice, or show the world his wounded pride won him universal respect as a leader and praise even from his enemies.-(portfolio)

Aug 22, 2007

How To Exit A Conversation

There are 3 reasons you might stay in a conversation that you want to leave:

You’re too polite - Many of us feel like it’s rude to leave someone alone after talking to them for a few minutes. It isn’t. People have things to do, and talking is just talking. As long as you excuse yourself politely, your exit will be comfortable.

You’re afraid or lazy - Being in a conversation can be comforting and you might stick it out just because it’s easier than heading out on your own into the ‘unknown’. This isn’t true and you might be selling your time short if you settle.

You don’t know what else to do - Similar to the previous, this is counting on your lack of imagination. There is always something else to do and someone else to talk to. Grab a drink or hit the toilet and then find a friend or another contact.

There are plenty of situations that call for different kinds of exits. The only real rule I can think of is to stay polite. No matter where you are or who you’re talking to, maintaining a civil attitude goes a long way - even when you’re talking with a complete bastard.

At times it can be somewhat enjoyable giving someone the short end and letting them know how little you think of them. However, this is never productive or beneficial. You might just cause more trouble than it’s worth.

These first few examples can be used for brief encounters; those light conversations when you’ve made a drinking pal or just exchanged contacts for a possible project.

Excuse yourself - A simple “Excuse me” will suffice. There is usually no need for explanation. Don’t feel compelled to justify your exit, it’s no big deal. “I have to talk to so-and-so”.

Leave an impression - Particularly in business related encounters, it helps to leave the conversation with something promising. Exchanging details and leaving by saying something like, “I’ll get in contact with you tomorrow about this and that”. Don’t just say, “We’ll talk” or “Let’s work on something”. Make a commitment to get something together. Shake hands and be on your way.

But, you don’t want to see them again - The above example is counting on you actually wanting to talk with this person again. If that isn’t the case, you still may not want to be vague about getting in contact. Don’t say you want to work on something if it isn’t true. Give them some details on how to find your work, a website for example, and tell them they can see what you’re working on there. This way they can gauge their own worth to your work and get in contact with you with some ideas.

Introduce a colleague - “I have to introduce you to so and so”, works well. Introduce a third party and make sure to include a piece of information about either person. This should get another conversation going where you can slide off and make your exit.

It ain’t all business!

I want to get right to the point with this one. Here’s the situation: you’ve got yourself in a conversation with someone who isn’t giving you much value. They’re going on some rant about something you have very little interest in and isn’t trying to engage in a real conversation. What do you do?

Being polite and excusing yourself is still an option. But there are situation when this isn’t enough. You’re sitting at a party, shindig or what have you and you’re essentially watching someone talk while you would rather just get up and do something, anything else.

Toilet and drink break - The easiest and most understandable. Skull the rest of your drink and get up. If you smoke, start rolling. If you’re smart, you’ll pick the option that can’t possibly include this other person - for instance they’re not a smoker.

Again, an introduction - As stated before, bringing a third party into the equation can work. Make mental notes of people who have similar interests with the person you’re talking to and grab them when they are near. “Hey Mike, Jodie here just came from the snow. Didn’t you have a board you want to sell?” Step away….

My friend’s in trouble - Take a quick glance towards someone you know and tell your conversationalist you have to help them. “I’m sorry, Mike’s had too much; I must go” or “Excuse me, but do you know when someone is in a bad conversation and they give a signal? Yeah, Mike just gave me the signal; I’ve got to help him”.

Speaking of signals

You can usually tell if a friend is in a bad conversation, but it’s handy to do the signal thing. Before you head into a party or gathering, think up something you’ll each do if you want to get out of a conversation. A hand signal or a series or coughs etc.

This is very useful for people who have trouble getting out of bad conversations and will need someone’s help. If you’re the person to help them out, come in and just excuse them. Grab them by the arm and pull them away. The other person will assume it’s important and not question it.

Alternatively, you can come in with ‘big news’ or something you just have to tell your friend. It will no doubt supersede the existing conversation and possibly leave the other person no choice but to leave themselves. It’s a little anti-social, but works.

The fun way

Just because you’re in a bad conversation doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it. There are a bunch of games you can play to entertain yourself. I’ll mention two that have different goals.

The first is to try and confuse the person into wanting to exit the conversation. You can achieve this by bringing the topic of conversation to something off topic, only constantly. Interrupt with strange anecdotes and respond incorrectly and indirectly to questions. Have your own conversation without considering what the other person is saying. Start your own rant.

The proper way

If you’re in a bad conversation, the actual proper and social thing to do is take charge. The funny thing is this is I see this done rarely. What you want to do is not succumb to someone’s poor choice of conversation or lack there of, and rather gain control over the topic and how things run.

For instance, someone is ranting on about BMXs and it’s the only thing they seem to be able to talk about. The tournaments they’ve been in, how good they are and the latest gear they’ve bought. NO-ONE in the room wants to talk about bikes.

Your job should be to join his conversation and drive it to something people actually want to talk about. There are two basic ways to do this.

Interrupt - Begin talking, either to them or the other person [possibly your friend] about something completely different. Be confident and, most of all, direct. Ask a question that will change the topic instantly and will get someone else talking.

Transition - Respond to something that this person has said and then direct the conversation elsewhere. “Is BMXing expensive?” “Oh really? I’ve been trying to save up for a holiday to Uruguay…” Yay! Holiday stories!


Generally, bad conversations result from someone not participating. There’s one passive listener who is allowing someone else to go on and on. If you ask questions and engage in conversation, all should work out.

You can do what you like in conversation. Not many people are that fragile that you wanting to leave is going to break them. If you want to talk about something else, do so. If you just want to talk to someone else, go do it.

But, be nice.-(Life H)

Aug 21, 2007

The Ten Commandments Of Leadership

There are many behaviors and approaches that enhance your ability to work successfully with people, especially if you are in management or supervision. As you know, they also work well within families, with your friends, and as you participate in your community.

You know to avoid dealing with people in win/lose terms, to accept shared responsibility for assuring others get their interests met, and to remember and own what you have said, agreed to, and what you have done.

You also know to try to decrease your use of power and control as you increase your influence, to make the difficult or unpopular decisions and accept responsibility for them when you believe it is necessary, and to be prepared to handle people’s being upset or unhappy with you at times.

You understand that there are usually several ways to get the job done and not a best way; and you avoid over-managing or over-controlling activities or people. You even know that you do not pass on your responsibility when you delegate tasks and activities, know not to delegate duties that require your direct involvement, know not to delegate a task and then try to manage it, and know to always delegate both required activities and as much scope of authority as necessary to get the job done.

You are up-to-speed with the latest and greatest strategies and techniques; your people skills are top notch. What you may not know are the ten commandments of leadership, so here they are.

1. You shall have a clear mission, shall vigorously champion that mission, and shall pursue no other mission before it.

2. You shall clearly define and communicate your goals and motivations and shall enable others to understand how their responsibilities fit in with your mission-related goals.

3. You shall anticipate opportunities and problems associated with your mission, shall understand the what and why of those opportunities and problems, shall seek to understand those opportunities and problems from the points of view of other people, and shall evaluate the cost and benefit of any potential initiatives or solutions before pursuing them.

4. You shall accurately understand your skills and limitations, shall be familiar with and know how to use resources currently available to compensate for your limitations, and shall know how to develop new resources to complement your skills and limitations.

5. You shall give people reasons and explanations for your behavior and actions and shall not hold yourself out as the standard for how others should think, feel, and behave.

6. You shall be responsive to the needs and interests of those associated with your mission, shall assume that they believe what they say and do not intentionally misrepresent anything, shall remember that people seldom complain when there is not a real problem, and shall trust them to act in ways compatible with your mission.

7. You shall value the varying styles and personalities of people, shall be sensitive to their motivations and interests, and shall be open to their feelings and opinions.

8. You shall be clear about what you expect from others and shall assure that they understand why things need done, why they are important.

9. You shall assume that people are trying to do well, are trying to succeed; and if they are not succeeding, you shall assume that they do not know how, do not think it matters, or are being prevented from succeeding.

10. You shall ask people to help solve your problems instead of simply trying to get them to accept your solutions, shall hold them responsible only for what they can do and can control, and shall make sure they knew what behavior was expected, knew how to do what was expected, could have done what was expected, and actually did not behave reasonably and responsibly under the circumstances, before you consider criticizing anyone.

Aug 20, 2007

Time Mastery: know and avoid biggest time wasters

Reducing time wasters is a three-step process:

1. Discover the time waster.
2. Identify alternatives to address it.
3. Implement your solutions.

Discover the time waster.
.. the unscheduled product supports and business attendences would throw your schedule for a loop.

Identify alternatives to address it.
.. make better use of your administrative support staff that runs in the retro.

Implement solutions.
.. Identifying time wasters and brainstorming solutions is the easier side of the equation. Creating the muscle to make it happen is the tougher side. Go out on a limb and schedule an appointment with your manager to discuss findings and brainstorm possible solutions. You don't know what kind of support  you'll get until you ask. If you have a good manager, he or she is extremely interested in any solution that will yield greater employee productivity.-(BDChief)

Time Management Assessment

Part One: How Well Do I Save Time?

Give yourself 2 points for each of the following habits you have.

1. I take advantage of my learning style. I know the strategies that help me to learn best and I use them

2. I have a monthly calendar to help me keep track of my activities and obligations.

3. I have a weekly calendar to help me keep track of my activities and obligations.

4. Every morning I write down a list of the things I have to do.

5. Any time I feel that there are too many things I have to do, I take a few minutes to sit down and organize myself.

6. When I first get to work, I take a few minutes to figure out the things I have to do throughout the day.

7. I have all of my phone numbers in one place.

8. I have stacks of papers which represent things I have to do.

9. I use self-stick note papers to remind me of the things I have to do.

10. I carry a calculator, so I can do math faster.

11. I am not afraid to ask people for information that I need.

12. I choose to do my work at times when I'm most alert.

13. I schedule the tasks I don't like to do between the tasks that I like, so that I work faster on the things I don't like to do in order to get to the tasks I enjoy doing.

14. I do two tasks at the same time when one of them requires waiting.

15. I make a budget to manage my money. I know how much money to put in the bank and what bills to pay off right when I get paid.

16. I know my environmental preferences and make sure I work under those conditions whenever possible.

17. I get enough sleep, exercise and eat good food. I am in good health.

18. I often review my future goals and obligations.


Part Two: Do I Throw Time Away?

Give yourself 2 points for each of the following habits you have.

1. I am often sleepy at work. I'm more of a night owl than a morning person.

2. I get to work and get busy. I don't have time to think of my daily obligations or to plan ahead.

3. I like to do just one thing at a time. When the laundry is going, I take a rest.

4. I watch TV at least 3 hours a day.

5. When I have a personal or professional problem, it occupies my mind. I can spend hours worrying about something.

6. I'm not the most organized person in the world. My drawers are a disaster area and it seems that I spend a lot of time hunting around for things.

7. I don't use a calendar to schedule my time.

8. (If you smoke or drink coffee) I usually spend a good five minutes relaxing with my cigarette or cup of coffee every time I get a chance.

9. I often take personal calls at work.

10. When someone wants to meet with me, I often agree, only to find out later that I am busy at that time. Then I have to call up and reschedule. I just can't keep it all in my head.



Part One Points: _____

Part Two Points: _____

(Subtract Part Two from Part One)

Total: _____

What your final score means:

If you score between 30 and 36 you are excellent at managing your time. Feel free to offer suggestions to others!

If you score between 22 and 28 you are like most people. Look at the suggestions in part one to improve your time management skills.

If you score below 20 you really need to concentrate on improving your time management skills. You seem to waste a lot of time. Chances are that you are not as organized as you could be. Being disorganized can really work against you on a job and in many other situations.

Aug 13, 2007

The One Key to Success and High Self Esteem

I have always listened to personal development motivational CDs these years when I am driving to invest into myself because like what Brian Tracy says, I am the most important person in the world.

What about you? What do you do when you drive?

Are you listening to personal development CDs to motivate yourself into achieving your dreams eventually? Or are you listening to the news that is constantly pumping you with negative news and in turn make you a negative person? Since you will be listening to something anyway while you drive, why don’t you listen to something that could make you rich instead of making someone else rich?

The question was actually asked how do you develop self esteem and self confidence one of the answer Brian Tracy gave was this:

“Jim, Denis and I are always asked: What is the one key factor to success? And I am always very annoyed by this question because if there was truly one key to success, we will all be out of business. However, when I thought about it after some time, there is truly a one key to success and that is:

Do What You Resolve To Do!

If you do what you resolve to do, you will in turn increase your level of self esteem that makes you feel great that you get things done and eventually will increase your self confidence and you will get more things done!”

What about you? What is it that you wanted to do but have not got started? What were the New Year resolutions that you made every year and has not resolved doing it? With the key factor to success and in turn elevating your self esteem and self development, I am sure you too will be the next successful individual.

I Believe In You! I Know You Can Do It Too!-(E.Goh)

Aug 12, 2007

Change Your Way of Thinking - It Will Change Your Life!

Do you allow your internal negativity to inhibit your dreams?

Your internal negativity is in control, causing you to believe that you cannot succeed. It is ruining your confidence in yourself, your ability to have a successful business, and as a result, you don’t make much money. You are making yourself believe that you cannot be successful.
If you let your negativity take control, others on your team, your sponsor, your downline, can all sense this. You cannot come across as a leader and a success if you don’t let go of your negative attitude. If you don’t take control of it, it will destroy your dreams and visions of being a successful work at home entrepreneur!
You must have faith and confidence in yourself to be successful at anything in life, whether it is parenting, your job, your talents, etc. If you let your negative inner instincts take over, you will be a failure in whatever you attempt to accomplish.
Try to think about your negative thoughts and actions, and overcome them. Don’t let those negative thoughts take over! Be aware of what is going on, and change your way of thinking to “I CAN do this!”. You won’t believe the difference in all areas of your life, including your success in a work at home business, if you change your way of thinking into positive actions. Believe in yourself, think positive thoughts and others will see it too. This will have a great impact on the success in your life!
Put positive thoughts and energy into your work and your life. You will reap many rewards!

Move Ahead in Life!

One of the reasons why some people are not moving ahead in life is that they have not made firm decisions to take charge and leave their old lives behind. Fear of the unknown is the main reason. Not wanting to go through the discomfort of unfamiliarity or starting something new is another obstacle.

So though they are unhappy with their present lifestyles, they stick around with their daily routines. As long as they perceive more pain in trying, they are not motivated to change and take action.

If you happen to be in this situation, the way out of it is to seriously want to change and become totally determined to move ahead in life. You can’t just wish and hope. You must have very clear defined goal because if you don’t, you’ll easily forget what it is that you want and lose focus the minute something gets in the way.
Being able to see the end result in advance is one way of staying focused on your goals. When you repeatedly create vivid images of success and allow yourself to feel the sensation of accomplishments in your mind, you are adding fuel to your desire.

If you are only beginning to start anew, you will face doubts. It happens because you've been so used to the old mental programming and self-limitations. Your self-talks will keep reminding you of your failed attempts and mistakes. It tries to protect you from getting hurt and disappointed.

This is when you must take control of your thoughts and start giving new instructions. You must know when to tell those voices to shut-up and give it new instructions to follow. The memories that don’t serve you need to go too and you should replace them with new mental pictures, which are within your power to create.
In order to take control and stay optimistic, you need to feed your mind. Two simple actions that you can take are reading and listening to stimulating materials. No matter how busy you are, you must put aside a little bit of your time each day to do either one of these or both.

When you develop the discipline to read each day, you will begin to see possibilities, obtain great ideas, acquire other disciplines and amend your attitude.
With definite goals and the discipline to visualize your end result, taking control of your thoughts, and feeding your mind with positive inputs, you will get inspired to take actions. These are just the few things that you need to start with if you want to move ahead in your life.-(F.Musa)

In fact being positive is the key to clarity and success. But simply preaching for clarity is not enough as one needs to understand what are the interventions of every day's life blocking our view and our decision; It is called EB (Emotional Blockade) One is blurred with illusions of corrective behavior; You'll think that you are the Right, Correct, Strong, Knowledgeable, and others are stupid, and morons! Up until someone comes and proves you wrong!

By the time, price paid would be costly and unaffordable.

Eventually we become slaves of our EB... it's a slow burnout procedure... it all ends in defeat of oneself, and loss of sense and objective... what's worse is that it consequently leads to success of the competitor! Competitor? Yes, in fact everyone of us has a competitor in life... be it your neighbour, your brother, sister, teacher, friend, collegue...... leader be you, then your competitor is yourself!

Can you beat that? Don't be so pretentious, you can never beat that with a weak soul driven by cheap EB and fake self-esteem.

Control your powers again, clear up the vision, clean up the act, and move ahead!-(BigDoggChief)

Aug 11, 2007

Cardamom Benefits

Most people are familiar with cardamom from fragrant Indian dishes, but this flavorful spice does more than lend flavor to curries and chai: It also has numerous health benefits, such as improving digestion and stimulating the metabolism. Readily available in markets, the precious pods are relatively pricey, as each one must be hand picked.

Health Benefits:
- Detoxifies the body of caffeine
- Cleanses kidneys and bladder
- Stimulates digestive system and reduces gas
- Expectorant action
- Improves circulation to the lungs and thus considered good for asthma and bronchitis
- Antispasmodic
- Can counteract excess acidity in the stomach
- Stimulates appetite
- Remedy for tendency to infection
- Cures halitosis

Scientific studies
To date there are very few scientific studies on cardamom seeds that provide scientific evidence for its traditional uses. Researchers have shown that extracts of cardamom have anti-inflammatory activity but the compounds in the extracts were not identified.

The oil from cardamom is usually rich in fatty acids such as palmitic, oleic and linoleic and in 1,8 cineole and alpha terpinyl acetate.

In traditional medicine
In South Asia, green cardamom called "Elaichi", in Hindi and Urdu, is broadly used to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of eyelids and also digestive disorders. It is also reportedly used as an antidote for both snake and scorpion venom.

Species in the genus Amomum are also used in traditional Indian medicine. Among other species, varieties and cultivars, Amomum villosum is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat stomach-aches, constipation, dysentery, and other digestion problems. "Tsaoko" cardamom is cultivated in Yunnan, China, both for medicinal purposes and as a spice.

Aug 5, 2007

Anger’s Like A Kitchen Appliance

Anger is a funny thing. Controlling it is not… We tend to want to cover it up, the way we cover up certain body parts.

“Don’t let your anger show.”

Many people are afraid of anger - theirs and others. Some people use their anger as a weapon; or at least a tool of negotiation. A lot of people harbor their anger - hiding it, keeping it ’safe’. Keeping it hidden. Only bringing it out as ‘necessary’.

Many use it as motivation. Or as a substitute for inspiration.

One thing’s for sure. We all seem to possess an excess of it. Even those who claim to have no anger whatsoever are usually sitting on a MOUNTAIN of repressed anger.

No matter which category you find yourself in, the question remains:
“How am I gonna control this anger’!”

You might want to step back just a little and ask:
“Is it even POSSIBLE to control my anger’”

Yes. And no.

Keeping anger inside is like putting a pressure cooker on the stove and turning on the heat. For a while you can keep all the beans inside. For a while. But sooner or later, something’s gotta give. Something MUST happen to that pressure.

One thing that often happens is we keep finding ourselves in situations where other people appear to be making us angry. We truly, honestly believe outside influences have the ability to create anger, or any other emotion, inside of us.

We could even pass a lie detector test by saying:
“They’re making me angry!”

Because we’ve long since forgotten the original circumstances that turned on the stove. And we don’t realize we’ve had that pressure cooker going since we were children.
All we know is someone is doing something - and we’re left feeling angry. It’s easy to conclude the particular situation we’re looking at today is the source of the anger we feel inside. Because we’re angry RIGHT NOW!

You know that little regulator that sits on top of the lid of a pressure cooker? The scientific name for it is the ‘jiggler’. You touch it and it releases a little pressure. It hisses and snarls at you.
We hear that little noise, and we conclude the person who touched the jiggler is responsible for the release of pressure inside of us. And they would be, if it was their jiggler sitting atop their pressure cooker on their stove in their kitchen.

But it’s not.

Undoubtedly, they have their own pressure cooker going on inside of them. No matter how sweet and innocent they appear to be on the outside. That’s not your problem, though.
Cause you’ve got your own pressure to deal with. One way is to blame the never-ending parade of people and circumstances that keep ‘making? you angry.
“Hey! I’m trying to control my anger here!! Why are you making me mad’!”

But you should be thanking them instead of blaming them. They’re helping you release the pressure you’ve got inside.

That’s one way to ‘control? your anger. Let others brush up against your jiggler. Of course, it will never resolve the problem. And you WILL have that parade to deal with. A parade which never ends.

Whew! That’s gonna get old! Maybe it already has.

Maybe you’d like to try a new approach.

Why not recognize you have a pressure cooker of anger inside yourself? Just like practically every single human on this planet. Let it be real. Let it be okay. You’re not bad and wrong because you’re a human.

Next, accept that it’s YOURS. It’s YOUR jiggler sitting atop YOUR pressure cooker on YOUR stove in YOUR kitchen. Don’t pretend it belongs to anyone else. If you do, you’re giving away your power, along with your ability to DO anything about it.

In other words, if you won’t take responsibility for your anger, you can expect things to continue as they are. Or, more likely, things will get worse. Blame has a way of doing that.

If you accept your pressure cooker, then you can get about the business of doing something about it. Like relieving the pressure, for starters.

Here’s one way:
Get out pen and paper and start writing ‘anger letters’. Write down all the things that make you angry. To all the people who make you angry. Not as a way for them to ‘get it’. (It’s YOUR anger, remember’)

But as a way to relieve your own pressure. So YOU can feel better. Calmer. More able to deal with those people and circumstances.

These aren’t letters you’ll send or show to anyone. They’re strictly for your own private benefit. As a way to bleed off the anger that’s slowly building inside of you right now. It’s a way to safely process your anger so it doesn’t hurt you or anyone else.

Have you ever seen what happens to a pressure cooker when the jiggler gets knocked off? It’s not a pretty sight.

There’s nothing funny about beans splattered all over your kitchen.-(MIM)

Where is your Turning Point?

If we are to understand enough about our selves to become the person we want to be, then we must discover within our self a leverage factor, a turn point that allows us to be our own master.
There is no doubt that we are complex beings. Each characteristic, be it rational, emotional, physical and chemical or spiritual, has its own complexities and barriers to understanding.
So much of our understanding is limited by our language, by the words we use to tell ourselves and others what we are thinking and what our thoughts really mean. Our entire being of the moment, what we are experiencing right now is surrounded by our past experiences and the meaning and attention that we give to those past experiences.

You would think that a baby would be an exact copy of its parents. But, the fact is that the baby’s DNA, which determines everything about it, is different. So each of us is think, feel, and behave differently than our parents.

This means that you are unique.

The moment that you realize this, you must also realize the power you have over your own mind. Only you know what the key is to your mind. Only you can be responsible for the choices you make within your own head.

We, each of us, assign meaning to our experiences based on our learning and experiences. Your experience is different from anyone else’s not because you have had different experiences, which you may have, but because your give it different meaning than I do, or anyone else for that matter.

No one else knows what is happening on in your mind. Even if you give me a description of what is happening, I can not experience exactly what you are experiencing. In our minds, we each have a unique model of ourselves and of the world around us.

The language and images, what hear and see and touch, is interpreted in our minds. As the signal from the retina of our eye passes through the optic nerve to our brain other signals from our emotional and rational centers mix with it to form our unique understanding of the world.
These are complex electrical, chemical and physical interactions that result in a memory and an interpretation. These become a set of instructions, as words and images and sounds, that are meaningful to you as a unique individual.

These instructions are your experiences, the memories you have absorbed since your birth from every day living.

It is through this jelly of experience, this mass of past interpretation, that you must drag your day to day experiences.

If you are consciously curious and aware, if you live in the moment, then you will realize that what you are experiencing now is a totally new experience. If you are not consciously curious and aware, you will not realize that your life is an exciting journey of discovery.
And that is the real secret to overcoming any emotional problem rooted in your past. Our emotional well being depends on where we spend our time in our heads.

If you are focusing on your past, you are allowing the weight of your past experiences to overpower the importance of any new experience. If you focus your mind on what happened to you in the past, your past experience will crush the significance of your living moment now.
We are all traveling on a time line between birth and death. Where we are on that time line is our present moment, here and now, the only place that we have any power to choose what we do.
We can gain control of our lives,now, by living in the moment with an almost child-like curiosity and wonder.

If you are focused on the trauma and abuse of the past, you are allowing that memory and the horror of those events, to crush your wonder and curiosity of living in this moment. You are giving up living now to live in the past where you are powerless to change anything.

The further along the line we are, the greater the weight and significance of our past experiences. If we have not made choices that have given us control over our lives it will become more difficult to get control.

Only in the present do you have the power to choose what to think and do, and to plan what you want for yourself tomorrow.-(Gilles H.)
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