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In order to re-invent ourselves in the next grandest version of the greatest vision we have ever had about Who We Are, we have to collectively produce circumstances allowing (or requiring) us to do so. 

-Neale Donald Walsch

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Thursday
Feb152007

Why do you talk to yourself?

People may look at you funny if you talk to yourself aloud, but many people do it anyway.  Children have been known to speak aloud to their invisible friends.  Homeless people or others among us talk when we feel lonely or to build confidence as we prepare for a presentation.  Still other people talk to themselves as a way to deal with matters that are hard to face in reality.

It's possible to come up with examples of people who have come to their senses as the result of talking to themselves so others could hear them.  Inventors like Thomas Edison and Leonardo DaVinci are known to have talked out their ideas as they went along.  Chefs like Jamie Oliver and Julia Childs initially spoke aloud to feel more organized in the kitchen before their t.v. shows and cookbooks came into being. What kinds of reasons do you have for voiceing your thoughts when you don't think anyone is listening?

Some people start their days by listing things for which they're grateful.  They reinforce the positive and downplay things that bother them. Spiritual types will openly pray aloud throughout the day wherever they happen to be.  These sorts of voiced views and self-talk are most often directed to God or some Higher Forces. 

If you walk through a shady area or dark alley, you may whistle a happy tune or talk in ways that reassure you about your safety.  When you contemplate taking risks or making big life changes, thinking aloud is a way to work though the pros and cons in a way that your mind really hears.  It may be less effective to write down the points of interest in columns on paper. You may prefer to talk to trees and nature or communicate in ways that enable you to think and learn differently.

And what is it about working through problems that causes people to talk aloud? You may criticize yourself if you take a wrong turn or make an impulsive decision that gets you into trouble.  Some people think they hear better or internalize lessons if they reprimand themselves aloud. Perhaps you know someone who uses harsh comments because s/he thrives on embarrassing themselves.

An example of how thinking aloud can facilitate learning is where a preschooler learns to tie his/her shoe. As the child says out loud each step used in accomplishing the task, it becomes easier to remember.  Some people may assume talking aloud helps us learn faster. We may become more aware of how we think and continue to do this if we talk aloud as adults.

Consult the following link and reflect on the usefulness of talking and thinking aloud:

http://www.studygs.net/thinkingaloud.htm

Wednesday
Feb142007

Why do anything?

Why is it that we may feel as if something about us needs to change? Did someone tell you that you weren't perfect? You're not disappointing me.  Perhaps this doesn't matter to you.  You may not have a vision where you wish to be more like others.  That doesn't have to be a problem, unless you make it one.  That begins and ends with your attitude.

I empathize with you. You don't have to make certain choices just to make me or someone else happy.  I will be as real with you as possible.  No facades.  No little white lies.  Just honest me.  I would like you to realize many good experience exist in life.  What is that? You do not know what I mean?

It's not my place to remove your pain or erase your past.  I'm not here to push away the barricades.  These are your responsibilities.  I'm not afraid of you though.  You have no reason to fear me either.  Take the time and space you desire to work things out for yourself.  I encourage you to let go of any pain that holds you back.  I can help you get through this.  I will lend you my ear.  All you need to do is realize you're in charge of figuring out what health and well-being are in your own life now and compare that to what you would like them to be. You can get there! 

Wednesday
Feb142007

Contribute to new kinds of success

What is it about success that really gets you to feel motivated? How do you see it? What do you think about? We each have different ideas or plans that get us fired up.  It's vital to listen to what these examples of success are telling us about ourselves, our state of mind and feelings.   Then, you realize you have power to contribute to new kinds of success inside yourself and outside.

We see media images of community projects in the developing world, and this redefines a sense of success for people.  Organisations such as UNICEF, Foster Parent's Plan and others invite Westerners to sponsor children and families to help them obtain basic human needs such as clean water, constructive work and access to education. Foreign travel packages exist that enable Westerners to participate in projects such as building schools, shelters and assisting to implement infrastructure so communities can have access to conveniences we often take for granted.

As it happens, my community had schools so I didn't know what it was like to be brought up without one.  My neighbourhood has been on a local water system and so there's no need to locate underground water tanks and put those in. The area where I live has indoor plumbing so I don't focus on the need to put in a sewage system.  If we don't have something, we may not desire it if we don't know about it. Yet, if we know that some aspects of our modern lifestyle could assist others, it makes sense to let them know about it so they can decide if they want it.  

Wednesday
Feb142007

So you tell me I can't?

If you asked any of my teachers back in school how they thought my life would evolve, they may not have been able to give you a decisive answer.  Yet, they would have described traits and qualities they saw in me that showed I was very determined to accomplish what I set out to do.  Over the years, I've been privileged to meet people who have inspired me with their reactions to people who told them they didn't have the abilities to do certain things.  Consider the results.

One girlfriend I've known since 1986 transformed her life in highschool.  She went to visit a guidance counsellor to express an interest in applying to university.  Friends tried to discourage her.  Her family also had qualms. Nobody in her family had ever attended university. At the time, this friend of mine had a "C" average and a few grades higher and lower.  The guidance counsellor glanced at her grades and told her she wasn't smart enough to attend university .  She was advised to lower her goals so she wouldn't be disappointed.  My friend went home, initially discouraged.  Yet, a voice inside told her she was capable of attending university.  She chose to listen to that voice, raise her standards and graduate with a B average that enabled her to win a university scholarship.

During my travels, I met a Scottish man who emigrated with his family to Australia.  He was an auto mechanic for over ten years and then decided he's had enough of that.  People around him questioned what else he could do.  After all, whay would he give up the security of a permanent job? He felt he had the ability to achieve other levels of success.  He decided that he desired true life change.  He didn't assume change would be easy, or that it could happen overnight.  In fact, he sensed that he would have issues to address and work through.  The important thing was he decided he would become his own boss.  He then launched his own business which brought him face-to-face with many obstacles.  All-the-while, this Scotsman didn't dwell on the negative, but went about his tasks with faith and hope.  Before long, he attracted opportunities and people into his life and he was able to better himself.  He invited positive events and they unfolded before his eyes.

Success comes in different packages.  In each of these stories mentioned above, if the individuals hadn't decided to chage their attitude and goals, then nothing about their circumstances would've changed.  If you have a dream, take advice from Sir Winston Churchill who said, "Never Give Up!"  If you don't currently have a dream or project that motivates you, what are you waiting for?  It's never too late to change your life for th better.  All of that begins inside yourself. 

Wednesday
Feb142007

Valentine

When was the last time you told someone how much they meant to you? In the Western World, Valentine's day has become somewhat commercialized, yet the occasion still encourages people to express how they feel. You may know people who feel as though it's risky to express their true feelings because they fear rejection.  At the same time, if you do not take the chance to tell someone how you feel, they may never know and you could lose out on the opportunity for a very fulfilling relationship.

Back in high school, I recall how friends would encourage friends to share love notes because they were too afraid to deliver them in person. Remind yourself that it doesn't have to be Valentine's Day to compel you to do something impulsive or special for someone you love. Consider sharing some of your own romantic efforts and whether they worked as you'd hoped.  What inspired you to do what you did? How did the other person respond?