Mark Twain

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

- Mark Twain

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Great Achievement by Napoleon Hill


Friday, January 15, 2016

The Science and Practise of Happiness

Uploaded on Jul 1, 2011

Is happiness a skill? Modern neuroscientific research and the wisdom of ancient contemplative traditions converge in suggesting that happiness is the product of skills that can be enhanced through training and such training exemplifies how transforming the mind can change the brain. 

Kent Berridge, Richie Davidson, and Daniel Gilbert speak at the Aspen Ideas Festival

Living with a sense of purpose in life


A sense of purpose in life also gives you this considerable advantage:
"People with a sense of purpose in life have a lower risk of death and cardiovascular disease."

The conclusions come from over 136,000 people who took part in 10 different studies.

Participants in the studies were mostly from the US and Japan.

The US studies asked people:
  • how useful they felt to others,
  • about their sense of purpose, and
  • the meaning they got out of life.

The Japanese studies asked people about ‘ikigai’ or whether their life was worth living.

The participants, whose average age was 67, were tracked for around 7 years.

During that time almost 20,000 died.
But, amongst those with a strong sense of purpose or high ‘ikigai’, the risk of death was one-fifth lower.

Despite the link between sense of purpose and health being so intuitive, scientists are not sure of the mechanism.

Sense of purpose is likely to improve health by strengthening the body against stress.

It is also likely to be linked to healthier behaviours.

Dr. Alan Rozanski, one of the study’s authors, said:
“Of note, having a strong sense of life purpose has long been postulated to be an important dimension of life, providing people with a sense of vitality motivation and resilience.
Nevertheless, the medical implications of living with a high or low sense of life purpose have only recently caught the attention of investigators.
The current findings are important because they may open up new potential interventions for helping people to promote their health and sense of well-being.”

This research on links between sense of purpose in life and longevity is getting stronger all the time:
  • “A 2009 study of 1,238 elderly people found that those with a sense of purpose lived longer.
  • A 2010 study of 900 older adults found that those with a greater sense of purpose were much less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Survey data often links a sense of purpose in life with increased happiness.
No matter what your age, then, it’s worth thinking about what gives your life meaning.”

Read More:

Find out what kinds of things people say give their lives meaning.
Here’s an exercise for increasing meaningfulness
And a study finding that feeling you belong increases the sense of meaning.

The study was published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine (Cohen et al., 2015).

A sense of purpose in life

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Change Your Life.

 Things You Can Do To Change Your Life

    You are constantly changing, but it’s hard to notice.

    It’s not even a question of if you’re changing. It’s a question of in which direction are you changing.

    Below are things you can do to change your life:

    Take small steps. Enjoy the process. Have fun.

    Know your Current Situation and where you want to go from there.  
    It helps to break big goals down into manageable steps.

    Be Patient 

    Be determined to succeed.

    Face Your Fears

    No Excuses

    Take Responsibility

    Narrow Focus


    Change is inevitable. It’s all about in what direction you’re changing.

    Risk Failure.  You will make mistakes.

    And you won’t even know if they are mistakes when you make them, because mistakes and failures are skipping stones to success.


How to quit your life (and reboot): Priya Parker at TEDxUHasselt

Published on Dec 29, 2012
people are doing jobs in fear; fear that they might not make the best
out of their lives. Priya Parker provides seven techniques to help you
quit your life and reboot.
She invites you to use these techniques to
explore the biggest needs in the world that you might have the passion
and the capacity to address.

Priya is an advisor to leaders and
organizations on strategy, vision and purpose. Her company, Thrive Labs,
works with individuals and teams to help them identify what they care
about most and align it with market realities. Her research includes
identifying what are the driving factors that lead people to thriving
and what blocks them from it. She helps organizations keep and grow
their culture and values as they scale. Drawing on 10 years of conflict
resolution facilitation in the United States, India and the Middle East,
Priya designs visioning and innovation labs that help organizations
grow from the root.

She has run her signature Labs for leading
global firms as well as startups from a variety of disciplines. Her
clients include disruptors from the fields of fashion, technology,
design, development, film, comedy and government. Priya is an expert in
innovative facilitation and process design and incorporates creative
visioning and movement techniques into her work. Her goal is to help
people spend more of their time building things that make them and
others come alive.

Priya received her B.A. in Political and
Social Thought at the University of Virginia, Phi Beta Kappa, and an
M.B.A. from MIT Sloan and an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School,
where she received the Public Service Fellowship.

Tips to Stay Smart, Sharp, and Focused

woman in playing violin

Tips to Stay Smart, Sharp, and Focused

Your daily habits can have a big impact on your memory, focus, and mood. Here's what to do to help keep your mind sharp.


Mix Things Up

Remember trying to talk backwards as a child? Researchers at Duke University created exercises they call "neurobics," which challenge your brain to think in new ways. Since your five senses are key to learning, use them to exercise your mind. If you're right-handed, try using your left hand. Drive to work by another route. Close your eyes and see if you can recognize food by taste.

Work Out to Stay Sharp

Exercise, especially the kind that gets your heart rate up like walking or swimming, has mental pluses, too. Although experts aren't sure why, physical activity might increase the blood supply to the brain and improve links between brain cells. Staying active can help memory, imagination, and even your ability to plan tasks.

A Healthy Diet Builds Brainpower

Do your brain a favor and choose foods that are good for your heart and waistline. Being obese in middle age makes you twice as likely to have dementia later on. High cholesterol and high blood pressure raise your chances, too. Try these easy tips:
  • Bake or grill foods instead of frying.
  • Cook with "good" fats like oils from nuts, seeds, and olives instead of cream, butter, and fats from meat.
  • Eat colorful fruits and veggies.

Watch What You Drink

You know that too many drinks can affect your judgment, speech, movement, and memory. But did you know alcohol can have long-term effects? Too much drinking over a long period of time can shrink the frontal lobes of your brain. And that damage can last forever, even if you quit drinking. A healthy amount is considered one drink a day for women and two for men.


Music Helps Your Brain

Thank your mom for making you practice the piano. Playing an instrument early in life pays off in clearer thinking when you're older. Musical experience boosts mental functions that have nothing to do with music, such as memory and ability to plan. It also helps with greater hand coordination. Plus, it's fun -- and it's never too late to start.

Make Friends for Your Mind

Be a people person! Talking with others actually sharpens your brain, whether at work, at home, or out in your community. Studies show social activities improve your mind. So volunteer, sign up for a class, or call a friend.

Stay Calm

Too much stress can hurt your gray matter, which contains cells that store and process information. Here are some ways to chill:
  • Take deep breaths.
  • Find something that makes you laugh.
  • Listen to music.
  • Try yoga or meditation.
  • Find someone to talk to.

Sleep and the Brain

Get enough sleep before and after you learn something new. You need sleep on both ends. When you start out tired, it's hard to focus on things. And when you sleep afterward, your brain files away the new info so you can recall it later. A long night's rest is best for memory and your mood. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Memory Helpers

Everybody spaces out now and then. As you get older, you may not remember things as easily as you used to. That's a normal part of aging. Some helpful hints:
  • Write things down.
  • Use the calendar and reminder functions in your phone, even for simple things (Call Dad!).
  • Focus on one task at a time.
  • Learn new things one step at a time.

The Name Game

Have trouble recalling names? Always repeat a person's name while you're talking to them -- at least in your head, if not out loud. Or invent a funny image or rhyme that you link with their name. For example, think of Bob bobbing out in the ocean.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Achieving Manageable, Meaningful Change

Intentional Change Theory

Achieving Manageable, Meaningful Change

Intentional Change Theory gives you the tools you need to transform yourself.

How many times have you tried to change something about yourself, only to find yourself slipping back into old habits?

Change is never easy, whether you're trying to change a behavior, an attitude, or your current circumstances.

The process is likely to be more "stop, start, stop, start" than the smooth transition you'd like it to be, as willpower flags and as other priorities vie for your attention.

Change is especially tough if you haven't wholly bought into it – for example, if you're trying to make a change that, deep down, you don't want to make, or if you're making a change that was designed for someone else and that doesn't fully align with your aspirations.

This is why it's helpful to create a personalized change plan. In this article, we'll look at Intentional Change Theory, a framework that you can use to create a change plan that is tailored to you – with your own unique strengths, weaknesses, learning styles, dreams, and support networks.


This article focuses on career-related change. However, you can apply Intentional Change Theory to personal goals, too: for example, you can use it for a diet or fitness plan, for home interests or study, or for changing a habit or belief that's holding you back.

About the Tool

Richard Boyatzis, a professor at Case Western Reserve University, developed Intentional Change Theory (ICT) as part of his work on individual and organizational change.

He published it in 2006 in the Journal of Management Development.

The theory outlines five common-sense steps that you need to follow if you want to make a lasting change within yourself. These five steps are:

Discover your ideal self.

Discover your real self.

Create your learning agenda.

Experiment with and practice new habits.

Get support.

From Boyatzis, R.E. (2006) 'An Overview of Intentional Change From a Complexity Perspective,' Journal of Management Development, Vol. 25, No. 7. Reproduced with permission of Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

These steps guide you through the process of mapping out your plans, putting them into practice, and making them part of your life.

Applying Intentional Change Theory

Let's look at each step in detail, and explore how to follow each one through.

1. Discover Your Ideal Self

There is often a gap between who we are and who we ultimately want to be. So, the first step in making an intentional change is to define your ideal self.

Start by forming a clear sense of what you'd like to achieve. Think about your hopes and aspirations, and clarify them into short- and long-term goals .

Pay attention to what excites you during this process. Discard goals that you don't feel enthusiastic about, and keep exploring until you find ones that you'd truly like to achieve. Remember that they might be drastically different from what you're doing now.

Write down all of your dreams, however far-fetched they seem. At this stage of the process, it's helpful to see all of your hopes and aspirations, even if you later decide that some of them are not immediately achievable.

Next, think about what kind of person you'd like to be. Be specific: would you like to have more empathy? Arrive at work with more energy? Have more patience? Visualize the person that you'd like to become in detail, and write this down.

Tip 1:

One way to motivate yourself during your period of change is to create a Treasure Map of your goals. Alternatively, you may find that a personal mission and vision statement inspires you.

Tip 2:

Our Life Plan Workbook ($) gives you a comprehensive framework for exploring and clarifying your life goals.

2. Discover Your Real Self

Your next step is to define your real self – the person you are right now. This can be a challenging step, because many of us have trouble seeing our strengths and weaknesses clearly. However, it's essential to uncover both the good and the bad: you'll struggle to reach your goal if you are not clear about your starting point.

Start by defining your own strengths and weaknesses. Use tools such as the StrengthsFinder , Personal SWOT Analysis , and Myers-Briggs to uncover more about your real self.

Alternatively, start with a simple list. What do you like most about yourself? What needs to change? Explore your current attitudes, assumptions, behaviors, and habits.

Also, ask for feedback from family, friends, colleagues, and your boss, explaining that you'd like their opinion on your strengths and weaknesses, so that you can work on these. Then use the Feedback Matrix to explore this feedback in more detail.
3. Create Your Learning Agenda

Now that you've defined who you are and who you'd like to be, you can create a "learning agenda" to align reality with the vision. Your learning agenda (also known as a personal development plan ) will also help you stay on track.

First, define what you need to do to move from your current self to your ideal self. Who can help you along this path? What resources do you need? Brainstorm the ways that you can access the information or training you need.

Then, identify your learning style . When you know this, you can learn more effectively – both on your own and in a group. For example, if you know that you prefer to learn by reflecting on information, schedule time to do this after a class or at the end of a study session.

Find a mentor or coach who can help you become your ideal self. This person might be a work colleague, friend, business associate, or professional coach.

Tip 1:

It's essential to do a reality check at this stage. There may be some changes that just aren't possible right now. Note these down on a "bigger picture" list of plans. You can work on these when your circumstances or resources change.

Tip 2:

You may be held back by a lack of time, or by conflicting demands. You can deal with this by focusing on a few changes at a time. Also, and where appropriate, embed your learning in your working life to help avoid frustration: our article on finding time for professional development outlines ways that you can fit learning into your schedule.

4. Experiment and Practice New Habits

Once you're heading in the right direction, it's time to practice. This will help you turn the changes you've made into new habits. Whether you're adopting a new skill, starting a micro-business, or changing an attitude or belief, do something – however small – every day that reinforces the changes you've made.

This step is also about experimenting – that is, finding stimulating ways to learn – and then testing your new knowledge, skills, or attitudes.


Quick wins are an important source of motivation and self-confidence. For example, imagine that you're trying to be more patient with others. Find a small way to build your patience with your team every day.

5. Get Support

None of us gets far alone. Friends, family, colleagues, and our community can encourage us and give support that propels us through challenging times.

As you're going through the intentional change process, draw on the support of the people around you. Tell people you trust about what you want to do, and why you want to do it. Share your learning agenda, and ask for their support as you move forward.


Remember, you're not the only person who's trying to change him- or herself positively. Build good work relationships by helping your colleagues with their own development: this way, you can give one-another support.

Key Points

Richard Boyatzis, a professor at Case Western Reserve University, created the Intentional Change Theory (ICT) and published it in the Journal of Management Development in 2006.

The model recommends that you use the following five steps to make a lasting change:

Discover your ideal self.
Discover your real self.
Create your learning agenda.
Experiment with and practice new habits.
Get support.

You can use the framework to customize your change process to suit your own life, learning style, and environment. However, change will only happen if you build small changes into your life, practice them to build new habits, and ask for support when you need it.

This site teaches you the skills you need for a happy and successful career; and this is just one of many tools and resources that you'll find here at Mind Tools.

 Subscribe to our free newsletter, or join the Mind Tools Club and really supercharge your career!

By Caroline Smith and the Mind Tools Team


Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone:

12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone: 
Choosing Emotional Sobriety through Self-Awareness and 
Right Action

Whether it's called 'dry drunk' or 'white knuckle sobriety,' it's that stage in recovery when we realize that 'putting the plug in the jug' isn't enough. 

The next step is taking responsibility for the emotional immaturity that fuels our addictive personality and has a tremendous impact on ourselves and others.

In 12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone, Allen Berger, Ph.D., draws on the teachings of Bill W. and psychotherapy pioneers to offer twelve hallmarks of emotional sobriety that, when practiced, give people the confidence to be accountable for their behavior, ask for what they want and need, and grow and develop a deeper trust in the process of life. 

These 'smart things' include:

- Understanding who you are and what's important to you
- Learning not to take others' reactions personally
- Trusting your own inner compass
- Taking responsibility for your reactions to problematic situations

It is in these practices that we find release from what Bill W. described as an 'absolute dependency' on people or circumstances, and develop the tools to find prestige, security, and belonging within.

12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone: Choosing Emotional Sobriety through Self-Awareness and Right Action PDF Details:
Amazon Sales Rank: #18092 in Books
Published on: 2010-07-08
Released on: 2010-07-12
Original language: English
192 pages

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Customer Review:

Most helpful customer reviewsAn Engaging Self-help book packed with
useful wisdom

By Judith S. Mishkin

This self-help book was engaging and packed with very useful wisdom for the audience for which it is intended. My copy is heavily highlighted and my little sticky notes makes the pages look like a fringed carpet. Dr. Berger uses his AA background and the 12 steps to help the reader learn about emotional sobriety.

His first chapter, Smart Thing 1: Know yourself--and How to Stay Centered sets the stage for a person's personal growth. He "help(s) us build up the courage and motivation to change the things we can. "

In the book, Dr. Berger uses quotations and ideas from the great pioneers of family therapy, such as Victor Frankl and Abraham Maslow.

Here are some examples and how Dr. Berger uses the material. From the ideas of Augustus Napier, PhD. and Carl Whitaker MD (page 139), Dr. Berger says "This means we choose a take the next step in our personal development."

He quotes Virginia Satir (page 156), "The problem is not the problem. The problem is coping (1972).

From Dr. Nathaniel Branden's sign "No one is coming", Dr. Berger says, and I paraphrase: "No one is coming to rescue (us) from their fate. It is up to (us)."

From a personal communication with Dr. Kempler, he quotes on page 52, "In order to get more personal, you have to stop taking the other person's behavior personally." (1982)

From "A psychological technique called neurolinguistic programming," (page 116), Dr. Berger talks about

1. Change our focus,

2. Change our language (What we say to ourselves) and

3. Change our physiology (Try smiling)."

Dr. Berger has only one exercise, "The Emotional Sobriety Inventory Form," which he asks the reader to fill out near the beginning of the book and again at the end. It is the only exercise I have ever done since I left school! The book is definitely worth reading.

Judith Mishkin, Marriage and Family Counselor, retired.

I am not one to write reviews, but I felt compelled to do so here. Dr. Berger has hit the nail right on the head with this book!!! I have just celebrated 1 year of sobriety, and have begun incorporating numerous aspects of his book into my life--understanding who I am and what is important to me. I have given this book as a gift to a countless number of friends and family both in 12 step recovery and not. In my opinion, 12 Smart Things holds gifts that can benefit ANYONE'S emotional sobriety.

By D. Cella

Clear, concise, simple guidelines that are easy to remember and incorporate into everyday routines. This is Berger's second book and I love this book as much as the first one. He breaks down how to achieve emotional sobriety into short and easy points to use everyday.

read books online pdf


Fools Repeat their Folly

There is no further education to be gained by a second kick of a mule.  

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

We can learn to have priorities and goals to grow from our current situation to the life we want.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Daniel Dennett on Tools To Transform Our Thinking

Published on May 29, 2013

Filmed at the Royal Geographical Society on 22nd May 2013.

Daniel Dennett is one of the world's most original and provocative thinkers. A philosopher and cognitive scientist, he is known as one of the 'Four Horseman of New Atheism' along with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens.

On May 22nd he came to Intelligence Squared to share the insights he has acquired over his 40-year career into the nature of how we think, decide and act. Dennett revealed his favourite thinking tools, or 'intuition pumps', that he and others have developed for addressing life's most fundamental questions. As well as taking a fresh look at familiar moves -- Occam's Razor, reductio ad absurdum -- he discussed new cognitive solutions designed for the most treacherous subject matter: evolution, meaning, consciousness and free will.

By acquiring these tools and learning to use them wisely, we can all aspire to better understand the world around us and our place in it.

Three Myths of Behavior Change - What You Think You Know That You Don't:...

Published on Mar 20, 2013
Jeni Cross is a sociology professor at Colorado State University. She has spoken about community development and sustainability to audiences across the country, from business leaders and government officials to community activists. As a professor and consultant she has helped dozens of schools and government agencies implement and evaluate successful programs to improve community well-being. In this talk, she discusses her work around changing behaviors.