Archive for April 2015

Photo of the Week: In Times of Crisis


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10 Ways To Bring More Balance To Your Life

by: Michelle L. Casto

The World Health Organization has called stress a modern day epidemic affecting every person of every culture, educational status, and financial level across the world. Too much stress is the reason we end up sick and burned out. We know there must be something more than the hustle and bustle of modern-day life and yet forget to take the time to find our unique sense of balance.

Gandhi once said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” This is even more true in the modern world. It is essential then that you discover what will bring you a harmonious and balanced lifestyle. There are many ways to bring more balance to your life. Here are 10 ways I have found that work, which should get you thinking of even more uniquely suited to you.

1. Have Faith in a Higher Power

Voltaire once said, “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” Having faith in a higher power helps you face even the darkest hours. Faith gives you peace of mind and an open heart. It lights the dark tunnel and allows you to walk forward courageously.

Action Step: Choose a favorite inspirational quote about faith and put it in your wallet.

2. Assess Your Life

Human beings are similar to a computer: we both operate on programming. What we put in, we get back. And if we put in or take on too much, we get overloaded, and then burn out. Assessing where you are now will help you to know what to do, where to go, and what to leave behind.

Action Step: List all the stressful events that have happened to you in the last year.

3. Live By Your Values

Choose to make life choices that stem from your core values—those things that feed your soul. Values are intrinsic beliefs and feelings that develop from our experiences, backgrounds, and culture. You will be pleasantly surprised to find that when your orient your life around your values that life is much more to your liking.

Action Step: Identify and define your top 5 values.

4. Develop Boundaries

Boundaries are physical, emotional, and spiritual barriers that keep us safe, protected and nurtured. Having healthy boundaries empowers us to say no when appropriate and attract what we want into our life and keep out “garbage.” Boundaries show others that you love, care, and value yourself.

Action Step: Set a clear boundary with someone close to you this week.

5. Change Your Self-Talk

Balanced living requires balanced thinking. When negative thoughts come up, shut them out and focus on the positive. Your personal operating software is often running off of outdated and old tapes. Consciously create a new tape and upload it to your brain!

Action Step: Choose an affirmation that you love and say it out loud ten times every day.

6. Take Control

You are in control of your own life. Nobody makes you stay in bad situations. If you are in a job you despise, an unhealthy relationship, do not wait until you get fired or dumped. Choose to change. Recognize the cause of your discontent and take action.

Action Step: Make a change for the better starting now.

7. Clean up and Clear Out

Your physical surroundings have a major impact on your sense of balance. So if you live and work in chaos and clutter, you will feel off center. Cleaning up and clearing out your personal (mind-set and relationships) and environmental (home, office, car) spaces brings instant rejuvenation.

Action Step: Tackle a drawer, closet, or garage by the end of the week.

8. Eliminate Tolerations

If you are like most, you are tolerating way too much. A toleration is anything that is stressing you, for example: things that are undone, incomplete projects, and toxic people, places, or situations. Eliminating tolerations is a great way to unleash stored energy and power.

Action Step: Eliminate 3 tolerations from your life today.

9. Practice Wellness

Wellness means having a holistic program (mind, body, and spirit). Take care of your body by eating healthy, getting regular exercise and enjoying rest. Nurture your heart and mind with good friends, fun adventures, and learning new things. Refresh your spirit by reading inspirational books, attending church, spending time in nature, etc.

Action Step: Do 3 extra things to take care of yourself this week.

10. Simplify Your Life

The key to live more simply is to downsize and release unnecessary things from your life. Simple living is about living deliberately. You choose your existence rather than sailing through life. It is about finding your unique balance. Simplicity asks: Is it right for me? How do I want to live my life?

Action Step: Write your philosophy of an ideal life, incorporating elements you most cherish.

There are many ways to bring balance to your life. It starts with making smart decisions and becoming more aware of what makes you happy. Stress is not going away anytime soon, so you may as well start today by creating a program to manage it. Discover what works best for you and commit to doing it on a daily basis. You will quickly learn that balance is not just a nice idea, but an actual reality!

About The Author

Michelle L. Casto, M.Ed., is a Whole Life Coach, Speaker, and Author of the Get Smart! LearningBook Series, which includes books and workbooks on romantic relationships, career development, life purpose/life strategy, and stress management. Her coaching practice is Brightlight Coaching. She empowers people to live with passion, purpose, & possibility and inspires people to freely shine their brightlight to the world. To learn more or to subscribe to the Get Smart! Live Smart newsletter, Visit virtually: or

Photo of the Week: Earth Day


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Video of the Week: Money Smart Week

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Video of the Week: It’s Not Over!

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Achieve Your Goals By Expecting Miracles Instead Of Debacles

by: John Watson

How many times have you had a bad day when everything seemed to go wrong at the worst possible moment? You failed to achieve most of your goals and felt that the universe was against you.

Perhaps, the universe was to blame or perhaps you were to blame because you expected things to go wrong. We might be able to avoid such debacles by expecting miracles instead. In case anyone is wondering, one dictionary defines a ‘debacle’ as a ‘total and often ludicrous failure.’ ‘Miracle’ in this article simply means ‘something wonderful’.

On Wednesday 23rd January 2008, my first goal of the day was to change the fluorescent tube light which is high on the ceiling over my desk. I expected the following might go wrong:

The small step ladder might break under my weight as I used it to climb on to my desk just as the attic ladder had collapsed under me a few months ago. I might even get my foot trapped within the ladder like a neighbour whose foot was nearly amputated by her own metal ladder. She retained her foot by holding it in place until help arrived but has had endless problems and pain for years as a result of this one unfortunate accident.

If the ladder did not collapse, I thought the desk might collapse if I had to put all my weight on it. My computer would then hit the floor with major damage and so would my monitor not to mention the phone and everything else on my desk. I would also hurtle to the floor breaking several bones and ending up in agony and even a state of paralysis for life!

Even if the desk did not collapse, I might not be able to fit the light tube into the holes at each end of the light fitting and, even if I did, the light might not work and/or the electric fitting might catch fire! The fitting had seemed to glow red as the previous light tube expired!

I am exaggerating but only a little and I would not have tried to change the light tube if I had really believed that everything would go wrong. However, I still believed a watered down version of Murphy’s law that some things that could go wrong might go wrong at the worst possible moment and I nearly gave up on my goal before I even started. I could have used a lamp instead of changing the fluorescent light. In the event, everything went right although at times I struggled. The ladder and the desk held up under my full weight – over twenty stone – and the fluorescent light is now shining brightly above me. Goal achieved.

When I moved on to open my emails, in triumphant mood, I came across one from Christopher Westra which had a new law inside which I much prefer to Murphy’s: “Everything that CAN go right WILL go right. Expect Miracles!”

He called it Bijan’s law after it’s author and added the following comment: “I came across this today and really liked it. I hope you liked it too. It’s my philosophy, but I like the way Bijan phrases it.”

I, also, prefer Bijan’s law to Murphy’s law. It can motivate you to get a move on with your goals. However, Murphy’s law can still be a useful law in achieving your goals. It repays closer study

Murphy’s law is a well known saying that broadly states that things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance. The law, thus, gives us fair warning not to leave things to chance. Instead we should prepare well and practice whatever we are planning to do especially if we are performing in public. We should avoid both hurry and worry.

The British stage magician Nevil Maskelyne discovered this for himself. He wrote in 1908: “It is an experience common to all men to find that, on any special occasion, such as the production of a magical effect for the first time in public, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Whether we must attribute this to the malignity of matter or to the total depravity of inanimate things, whether the exciting cause is hurry, worry, or what not, the fact remains.”

The law that produces this kind of experience has been around for a long time but after 1952, the name ‘Murphy’ was attached to it possibly when some measuring devices invented by Edward Murphy went wrong.

The perversity, or apparently deliberate tendency to mess things up, of the universe has long been commented on, and forerunners to the modern version of Murphy’s law are not hard to find. For example, an Ohio newspaper printed this poem in 1841: “I never had a slice of bread, Particularly large and wide, That did not fall upon the floor, And always on the buttered side.”

Designers of all kinds of products have long recognized the tendency of people as well as the universe to mess things up. Murphy’s law has encouraged them to use defensive design i.e. to make things so simple and easy to use that even the greatest idiot can use them successfully.

For example, the 3.5-inch floppy disk once used in many computers will not easily fit into the drive unless it is put in the right way up. In contrast, the older 5.25-inch floppy disk could be inserted in a variety of ways that might damage the disk or drive.

The newer CD-ROM and DVD formats permit one incorrect orientation – the disc may be inserted upside-down, which is harmless to the disc. A defensive designer knows that if it is possible for the disc to be inserted the wrong way, someone will eventually try it.

An awareness of Murphy’s law can then help all human beings especially the stupid ones to achieve their goals! I have, since my teenage years, classed myself amongst the technically stupid ones. I now realize that no one should think of themselves as stupid in connection with any skill or area of knowledge because if you consistently think of yourself as stupid you tend to become so and make only half-hearted efforts to improve.

Another example of defensive design can be seen in car design. Car designers have allowed for the tendency of some drivers to drive badly. They have created safety features like seat belts which will limit the damage caused by accidents.

So then, let’s expect miracles by visualising the wonderful things that could happen rather than worrying about possible disasters that might well not happen. But let’s also be aware of the problems that might bite us, if we do not take all necessary precautions.

Make sure that there are no shark fins around if you go for a swim in the sea and don’t forget to check that the swimming pool is full of water before you dive into it. I have heard about at least one person who dived into an empty pool without checking simply because it had been full of water the day before! I am not sure if that story is true or not but would not be surprised if it was.

If you are doing business with somebody, make sure they are not a ‘shark’ who will just take your money. On the other hand, you need to trust and expect the best from some people or it will take a long time to achieve anything. If you love alcohol, avoid too much to drink or the world will literally become your playground as you fall and slip all over the place like a confused child. If you are a workaholic, get some rest or the same thing will happen!

Hopefully, your life will be full of goal achievement and miracles rather than debacles. Think daily of Bijan’s law but, occasionally, remember Murphy’s law and take steps to keep any debacles to a minimum.

Expect things to go right as you strive to achieve your goals and you are far more likely to achieve them. It is also worth remembering this great quote: “Life is not numbered by the amount of breaths we take but by the moments which take our breath away.” Such moments constitute the miracles – the wonderful things, events, experiences and people – we should be expecting and appreciating every day of our lives.

About The Author

John Watson is a 5th dan martial art school owner. Check out his 16 ebook toolkit on how you can achieve financial success at

Photo of the Week: Tax Refund Spending


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Video of the Week: Wayne Dyer

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Photo of the Week: Autism


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