Archive for Personal development

Fastest Learning Technique : S.A.P.

The ability to grasp lessons quickly is an indispensable skill both in business and life, in general.  With loads of information available on the Internet, the best information products or resources are those that maximize learning in the shortest time.   Here’s what some experts recommend

Fastest way to learn

Memory experts maintain that the fastest way to learn is not by following a step by step guide, but by using the Scan-Absorb-Process (SAP) technique.

Scan

The learning process often starts by scanning a training product or resource, in search of key points that answer your most pressing issues or solve a problem.   When you scan, you go straight to the portion which relates to your needs.

This technique, however, works well only with specific types of content. What you’re looking for are articles or books that use:

  • bulleted or numbered lists
  • subheadings
  • table of contents
  • bold letters, italics and other special font styles
  • structured paragraphs with thesis and concluding sentences

Absorb

Absorbing content must accompany scanning for optimum learning.  You can do this by taking down notes verbatim or by rephrasing lessons and ideas. You can also make an outline or draw a mindmap as you scan to aid absorption. 

Process

A great way to process what you’ve just learned is by trying out the method or technique immediately.  In learning, experience is still the best teacher.  This is why experts encourage students to do practical exercises immediately after scanning a new lesson. This not only drives home the point but helps test the principles taught.  

Kinesthetic movement while learning promotes optimum education. So, read a book while on a stationary bike or  listen to an audio lesson while taking a walk. 

While learning new skills ordinarily takes time, you can reduce the learning curve by applying the Scan-Absorb-Process technique.  Experts maintain that children can also be taught this technique for better performance in school.

Why Most People Fail At Meeting Their Goals

There once was a thirsty crow that came across a pitcher with very little water left in it.   Alas, might as he tried, he could not reach the water at the bottom of the pitcher.  A wonderful idea struck the crow and he set out to drop a small pebble one by one into the pitcher until the water at the bottom rose up to the brim.  By dropping little stones into the pitcher, the thirsty crow got what he wanted and saved his life.

                             Moral of the story  :  Little by little does the trick.

This was one of my favorite stories from Aesop’s Fables.  It may have been written once upon a time but the simple lesson still holds true more than ever today.

Setting a big goal can overwhelm you with the amount of work, time, energy and resources required to achieve it. As time passes, frustration may set in and eventually lead to the abandonment of that goal. 

Set smaller goals first:  Successful people share one thing in common—the superior ability to define their goals and break them up into small bite-sized portions that are easily achieved.  To illustrate, if you need to lose 50 pounds, the kind of exercise you need to do everyday and the amount of food you need to cut down can seem like a tall order.  Easier said than done!

How it works:    The better and realistic approach is to set a short term goal that is achievable, say losing 5 pounds in fourteen days.    Ordinarily, a diet that is 500 calories less than your usual daily intake and at least 20 minutes of cardiovascular activity 3 to 4 times a week will let you drop that kind of weight in 2 weeks. Once you experience the short term results, you are motivated and encouraged to go for the next 5 to 10 pounds in the next week or so until your body starts to lose weight much faster with a consistent workout, improved metabolism and healthier diet. 

Applied to financial problems:     The same holds true for financial goals.  Setting aside small amounts of money every month from your regular paycheck and putting it into an investment fund will one day grow into a comfortable nest egg for your retirement years. 

Example – Get rid of credit card debt:  Getting rid of credit card debt also responds to this approach.  Start with the debt with the highest interest rate, settle it first so that you reduce your interest expenses and have extra cash the next month for paying off another debt with the next higher interest cost. I’ve seen ordinary folks deal with similar problems and who are now credit-free after a few years. 

 It can happen. It only takes discipline, patience and perseverance.  Determine your ultimate goal and break it up into small parts.  Little by little does the trick!

How to Deal with Challenges

Educators teach with chalk and books, life teaches through adversity and challenges.” – Pat Mesiti

Life occasionally throws us curved balls and lemons.  Without inner strength, these moments can be scary and depressing.  Even the most successful people go through severe challenges but the difference lies in how they hurdled these and survived.

Pat Mesiti  was on top of his game when a series of crises rocked his life. In a blink of an eye, he lost everything that he had– marriage and well-paying career. Today, however, Pat Mesiti is back on his feet, better and wiser than before, taking on the path of guiding others who struggle with personal challenges.  

Life lesson No. 1 : Pain brings growth

The pain you experience while at your lowest can be the seed for growth. Just like Pat Mesiti, it was when I was at my lowest that I developed my inner strength.  Problems can bring out the best or worst in people. With the right mindset, it is possible to use this struggle to rise above your challenges and soar even higher than before.

Without life’s challenges, people tend to develop complacency. Painful experience forces them to change. No pain, no progress.  

How to deal with challenges

Attack the problem, not the people.

A serious problem can cause a lot of stress and overwhelm, often leading you to take out your frustrations and disappointment on others. Bear in mind, however, that in times of trouble, your best allies are those who stick around and support you.  Instead, pour your pent up energy on exploring  solutions to your problem.  

Gather all the information you need. 

Every problem has a solution.  And this involves learning all there is to know about a problem.  This applies to many aspects of life. For instance, a doctor will only prescribe the appropriate medication after a thorough patient examination, asking the right questions and analyzing results of physical and laboratory tests.  By going to the heart of the problem, you are able to devise a plan of action.    

List possible options. 

Writing down possible solutions allows you to process each option objectively.  The appropriate solution will soon emerge after weighing the pros and cons of each option.  

Look at the positive aspect of your problem. 

Focusing on the negative aspect of your problem will only increase feelings of helplessness.  On the other hand, looking at the positive side eases the emotional aspect. Learn to look for the brighter side of every problem.    

Challenges add meaning and purpose to life.  They teach you how to appreciate the good things that come and to count your blessings more.  While pain and difficulty may accompany every problem, a positive mindset and fighting spirit will help you get over the hump and emerge much stronger than ever.

Piano Lessons Can Boost A Child’s IQ

I enjoyed playing the piano at an early age but never really liked the long hours of practice and became the nightmare of my piano teachers back then. The monotony of playing the same piece everyday made me impatient as I imagined myself doing a Liberace instead of my lame abridged version of Minuet in G. Had my teachers informed me back then that piano lessons could actually boost a child’s IQ, I would have been less of a headache to them when I was in my pre-teens!

Math skills:  Studies are increasingly linking math skills and piano lessons especially when learned at a young age. Apparently, the entire exercise of memorizing notes and sequences, expressing emotion while playing a piece and studying musical measures and beats, stimulates the same parts of the brain that are responsible for a child’s mathematical skills and spatial intelligence.  Spatial intelligence is the ability to think through 3-dimensional puzzles without actually seeing the actual model.

Communication skills:  Playing a musical instrument, especially the piano, promotes the same brain processes that sharpens a person’s language skills.    In fact, piano training is currently being used by special education programs for autistic children as early as age 3 or 4!   The effects are more pronounced in students who have been training for years. 

In addition to increasing intelligence, piano training is also a great way to improve a child’s self esteem and instill cooperation in the classroom.

Formula for Overcoming Failure

Failure is not final; failure is not fatal.” – Pat Mesiti

 I’ve had the privilege of studying the life lessons taught around the world by Australia’s most popular life coach and mentor Pat Mesiti.  A necessary requirement for my Mesiti project entailed reading most of his bestselling books on self improvement, and it didn’t take long for me to see why he is a sought after speaker.

Looking at Pat Mesiti now, you may think that life was always sweet and easy for him.  He is living the life that most people dream of.   As a motivational speaker, Pat Mesiti does not mind revealing personal details of his life just to illustrate some of the principles he teaches.   In one of his books, he talks candidly about failure.

People generally do not take failure very well.   When things don’t go as planned, their world stops or they simply stop living.   People who lose hope seem to overlook that failure is not a permanent condition.  It comes and goes depending on how you deal with it. 

A few years ago, Pat Mesiti faced a major crisis that cost him his career and marriage. Fast forward to today, Pat Mesiti is back on his feet and is a successful public speaker, author, life coach and mentor. He is living proof that failure is, indeed, never final.  His is not an isolated case.  Most successful businessmen at one time became bankrupt or were deep in debt before they rose to greater heights.  

Use failure as a tool to rebuild.

When dealing with failure, you have two choices: to wallow in self pity and misery or to get up and find ways to rise above your situation.   Pat Mesiti narrates how he picked himself up when he hit rock bottom.  It all started with a realization that failure should not kill dreams or end goals.   Instead, he used his personal crisis as a springboard to bounce back.   For some, the pain of failure is the driving force that pushes them out of a rut.  

Learn from your failures.

There is always a lesson to be learned from a failure. Oftentimes, failure occurs because of something that you keep doing wrongly.  While failure may be a part of life, it is meant to teach you that something does not work. Determine what you did wrong and avoid making the same mistake or risk failure once again.

Take concrete action to correct your mistake.

As the old saying goes, “The man who does not correct a mistake is making a bigger mistake. It is not enough to know where you went wrong and accept failure.  If a mistake can still be rectified, then by all means, do your best to fix it. Your failure may have hurt someone or some people. Saying that you are sorry and making amends can pave the way for moving beyond your failure.

People also tend to isolate themselves when dealing with failure.  While being alone is a way to recoup from a serious mistake or loss, surrounding yourself with supportive family and friends and having an inspiration to succeed will shorten your recovery time.

I feel sad when I hear of people taking their own lives because of overwhelming debt or heartbreak.   In my legal blogs, I occasionally deviate from my usual topics to talk about ending credit card debt or open my Inbox to those who would like to ask for advice on family law (most legal queries carry a personal component that can seem more unbearable than the legal difficulties of their questions).  While I may not be able to fix everyone’s problems, I’d like to reach out and remind them that the world does go round.  Seasons change with the passing of time. The sun will always rise in the morning.   Life has its ups and downs– but it is beautiful that way.

Forgiveness and Moving Forward

Forgiveness is a thing that cleans the deck of our lives.”—Pat Mesiti

Most people find that the gravity of a mistake determines how soon or how long they can forgive.  Oftentimes, a serious wrongdoing will remain not only in your memory, but also in your heart.  But it is precisely this emotional attachment to a mistake that prevents you from moving on to a better life.  

The Monkey Experiment

Bestselling author and life coach Pat Mesiti illustrates this concept of letting go with a story about how some scientists managed to capture a rare species of monkeys. 

The scientists devised a trap using bottles with narrow necks that contained some nuts. As expected, the monkeys reached into the bottles to get the nuts but their clenched fists prevented them from withdrawing their hands, effectively trapping them. The monkeys’ refusal to let go kept them trapped.  Similarly, humans who are unable to forgive refuse to let go of the past, preventing them from moving on to better things. 

Clinging to a past mistake uses up so much of your energy when there is nothing you can do to change what has happened. Successful people also make mistakes but the difference lies in how they focus on the future, not on the past.   Just remember:

You cannot move forward while looking at the rear view mirror.”

 

You may find it hard to forgive because the memory of a past mistake can constantly refresh the pain and negativity that accompanied the wrongdoing or failure. While you may not forget things, it is possible to rise above a mistake or failure by choosing to forgive.  Remembering the past may come from the mind, but forgiving the past must come from the heart. It may take some strength to forgive others, but it can only happen if you exercise that choice.

Forgiveness does not only apply to others who may have wronged you.  If you have been in a rut for quite some time and can’t seem to get out of it, chances are that you are holding on to a personal failure and wallowing in bitterness, regret or self pity.  Having gone through moments of bitterness as well, I assure you that it was in forgiving myself that I was able to truly move on.  While I may not be able to erase my past, I chose to get up again and start a new direction on a clean slate.

What is the attitude of gratitude and how can I use it to gain more

A powerful way of drawing an abundance of good things in your life is to maintain an attitude of gratitude.  Appreciating what you have, be they big or small, is an essential part of receiving new blessings.  It is a positive energy that can set in motion the universe’s law of attraction.  To the unfamiliar, the law of attraction simply is:  “Like attracts like.”  Positive energies attract positive things.  Good thoughts generate good events, so on and so forth.  When you are grateful for what you have, you emit a positive energy that the universe absorbs and sends you back the same things that you are grateful for. 

You can use the attitude of gratitude to gain more of the good things in life.  This powerful attitude starts in your mind and you need to observe it regularly to reap its benefits. Here are some ways to unleash the power of the attitude of gratitude:

Begin your day with thoughts and feelings of gratitude.  As you start each day, say thank you for the positive things that you have received and for the new day that is about to unfold.  Make the attitude of gratitude a daily habit and watch the universe respond by bringing you more good things to appreciate. 

Focus on what you already have.  It does not matter whether the things you are grateful for are extraordinary ones or minor ones.  What is important is that you feel good about those things.  It is possible that you may be feeling overwhelmed right now by feelings of insufficiency.  When you start to notice the things that you do not have, it will help you to make a list of all the things that you are thankful for. Everyone has something to be grateful for.  As you write those things down, you will begin to feel grateful for what you have regardless of what you lack in life.  Feelings of gratitude produce positive brain signals to the universe.  In turn, the universe generates more of the positive things that you want by virtue of the law of attraction.  The law of attraction works by picking up those thoughts and giving you more just like them.

Give thanks as though you have already received what you want.  Feeling as if your wish is happening to you in the present sends a much stronger signal to the universe than simply asking for it.  Being thankful now before you actually receive your wish is a powerful way for creating the feeling of “now-ness” that the law of attraction can mirror back at you.  Say thank you for the money that you receive and feel its presence in your life.  Be grateful for the favorable response of a request that is yet to be acted upon and believe that it has already been granted.  Declare your gratitude with sentences that start with “I am so happy and grateful now that…” and fill in the rest with what you want.  The universe cooperates by giving you exactly what you are thankful for.

Indeed, practice gratitude everyday and all good things will come to you.

Success Using the Millionaire Mindset

We will never change what we consistently tolerate.” –Pat Mesiti

Discontent can be the fuel of success. Oftentimes, what separates those who succeed from those who don’t is discontent.  A mere desire to succeed is not enough.  You must be dissatisfied with where you are and have a clear idea of where you want to be.   

You attract what you tolerate. 

 

Oftentimes, you may accept things as they are rather than what they should be.  Acceptance also brings tolerance.  As you tolerate some things in your life, you may find yourself constantly navigating around those things by making excuses for being the way you are.  

Change can only happen when you refuse to tolerate what you dislike.

When you really dislike something, you should refuse to tolerate it.   Instead of going with the flow, start new habits and behaviors while adopting new ways of thinking. 

Success is not a one-time event.

It should be a continuing goal for you to experience real changes in your life, and eventually, prosperity.  Notice how athletes work hard daily to beat their personal best records.  Their skills are don’t just happen overnight, and they don’t stay champions without daily practice.

Successful businesses as well depend on constant innovations not just to stay ahead of the competition but also to maintain their standing. 

Life should not be any different as it is in constant motion.  To live a good life, you need to work on it, make some changes or improvements– constantly.

Break old habits.

Dissatisfaction over your current situation should motivate you to change.   Being contented can make you complacent.  But if you want real change, you need to open your eyes and acknowledge that some things are not as good as they could or should be. 

Why wait for things to reach a crisis point before deciding to change?  

In his book, How to have a Millionaire Mindset, life coach and mentor Pat Mesiti explains that the millionaire mindset is all about prosperity.   While most life coaches teach prosperity as a goal, Pat adds that it should be much more than that.  If you want to have a millionaire mindset, you need to view prosperity as a journey, not a destination.  Decide that “good enough” is no longer good enough for you.  Pursue the best in every area of your life, not just occasionally, but constantly.

Moving On from a Separation

Don’t ever make the pleasurable people of today pay for the painful people of yesterday.”—Pat Mesiti.

People come in and out of your life at various times and for different reasons.  Business partners may have severed ties with you, close friends may have walked away from you and lovers may have left you.

When someone you care for leaves you, tell yourself to let them go.

In his book, “Soaring Higher,” controversial motivational speaker Pat Mesiti says that to get over the pain of a separation, you need to work on accepting that your destiny is no longer linked to those who walk away from you. 

 

Closed chapters

People who once shared their lives with you may leave for a number of reasons.  Oftentimes, you do your best to keep them from going by talking things out with them. While fighting for a relationship signifies the importance of that person to you, avoid begging the other to stay against his or her will.  

When people no longer belong in your life, nothing can make them stay.  You need not beg them to stay because if they want to be part of your life, they will want to stay voluntarily and not go away. What you once shared may be viewed as closed chapters leading to a new segment or story in your life.

 

How to move on

 

I know how difficult it can be to live again after a relationship ends.  My marriage ended when I was only in my mid-30s and not quite a year after my youngest son was born.  I had to balance so many things at the same time:  raising two young children on my own, working as a lawyer for a wireless broadband company, fighting my annulment and custody case in court, and — healing deep emotional wounds left behind by a painful ending.

It can be especially harder for those who did not want the relationship to end and were the ones  left behind.  

It has been 6 years since my separation.  And today, I am whole again.  And I can tell you how I did it–

 

Accept the parting as part of life

Your life is a story with many chapters. As one chapter ends, another one begins, and your story continues.  Goodbyes often lead to new encounters and for me, painful endings can be viewed as gifts in disguise. 

Treat yourself well.

A parting should not mean the end of the road for you. While grieving over your loss is part of healing, you don’t have to sink in depression forever. Get up, go out and have a great time with good friends.

Live again.

Mistakes are past events.   You can choose to learn from them and emerge a better person as a result of your past.    As you continue living, you will encounter persons with whom you may feel a connection.   

Open your mind to new relationships and avoid using your past hurts as excuses to avoid close relationships

Bear in mind that the ones you will meet have nothing to do with your pain. Don’t take it out on them.

Why I Avoid Negativity at All Costs

Goals are dreams made real. You envision something that is far better than what you have and look for ways to reach it.  Many people struggle to reach their goals for a number of reasons. One of them is negativity.

I grew up around negative people– at home and in school.   I continued to be surrounded by negativity even as a young adult– at work and in my relationships.   I guess it is easier for people to act and think negatively in response to difficult situations, including me.

Like many of us who experience a major crisis before taking a different turn, I decided to shed my negative attitude during the course of my marriage annulment proceedings.   Why?  Simply because I got tired of being angry and feeling hurt.   I woke up one morning and told myself that I was going to take charge of my feelings and wasn’t going to let anyone or anything provoke me. 

Happiness IS a choice.  Besides, there are many other reasons why I avoid negativity—

Negativity cripples growth.

Everyone has goals.  It could be a fitness goal, financial goal, career goal, or any dream in your head.  The thing is, if you think negatively about what you want, chances are that you won’t be able to reach it.   

When you are convinced that there is no way for you to succeed, your mind prevents you from doing what you can and from seeing it through.  Even the tiniest doubt can lead you to abandon your goals when you encounter difficulties along the way. As a result, you may find yourself in the same position after a period of time shall have lapsed, “stinking” like stagnant water.

Negativity makes excuses rather than opportunity.

A negative thinker runs away from an opportunity while a positive thinker seizes it.  A person with a negative mindset feels inadequate and uncomfortable with moving forward while a dreamer is filled with excitement for what is to become of him.  To relieve his anxiety, the negative thinker rationalises with himself never realising that the probabilities of success and failure in every situation are equal. You either succeed or you don’t.

Negativity builds doubt rather than faith.

I admit that there were moments of doubt, particularly when things got tough as a single parent. Life’s just like that.  Today you could be perfect while tomorrow can be the opposite.   But I didn’t let my doubts and fears sink in and turn into negative thoughts.  At times like these, you need to catch yourself as you begin to get that sinking feeling and replace negative thoughts with more positive scenarios. 

Using the analogy of a clock, a favorite motivational speaker once suggested that you wind up your mind daily with good thoughts to keep it running well.  I do just that.  

Avoid negativity!

Negativity can exist in your own mind or it can come from the attitude of people around you.  Ignore criticism but be open to suggestion.  Avoid people who cannot seem to find the good in anything as negativity can be contagious.

As you work your way to a goal, obstacles may arise and can usher in negative thoughts.  To help you get a positive mindset, look at the situation just as you would view a photograph’s negative in reverse.  Highlight the positive aspects, believe that setbacks are temporary and get on with your goal.

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