Inspirational poem – My Journey to Recovery

April 10, 2008

In the beginning, I wondered if I would ever make it through.
There were periods of anger, sadness, pain, and grief; times when I wondered,
“Why me?”

But one day, there was a glimpse of light, and then another.
The clouds began to break apart, and I started to see beyond them.
The times when I felt happy and safe began to outnumber the times when I felt sad and frightened.
New friendships were formed; feelings of trust and resolution began to replace past feelings of hopelessness and self-doubt.
I seemed to emerge from the darkness into the light with a sense of empowerment.

I now realize that there are things about my past that I cannot change, but I can stop them from controlling my life and my happiness.
I know that this part of my life will never go away entirely, but it has begun to take a less prominent place in my existence.
I have begun to allow other thoughts to enter my mind, and I have a better understanding of myself – my strengths and weaknesses.
I’m not afraid to set limits.
I’ve begun to enjoy life again and to think about the future.
I can now look back on this time for what it was – a period of growth, self-discovery and healing.

-Anna Marie Edwards


No começo
eu duvidava que fosse possível
resistir até ao fim.
Houve tempos de ira,
dor, tristeza e sofrimento;
tempos em que eu me perguntei:
Porquê eu?

Mas um dia
houve um clarão de luz
e em seguida outro.
As nuvens começaram a abrir-se
e pude ver além delas.

Os momentos de alegria,
de me sentir segura,
foram-se somando mais
que os de melancolia.
Foram tecidas novas amizades;
a desolação, a falta de confiança no meu valor,
foram-se convertendo
em firmeza, em resolução.
Era como passar das trevas
para a luz, com uma nova sensação
de poder.

Agora compreendo que no meu passado há coisas
que não posso alterar;
o que posso é impedir que mandem
na minha vida e na minha felicidade.
Sei que esta parte da minha vida
jamais acabará totalmente,mas o lugar que ocupa na minha existência
é menos proeminente.
Comecei a permitir que outras ideias
povoem a minha mente.
Tenho um melhor conhecimento de mim mesma,
das minhas fragilidades e dos meus pontos fortes.
Já não temo impor limites.
Começo a desfrutar outra vez da vida
e a pensar no futuro.
Agora posso ver esse tempo todo
como ele foi:
um tempo de crescimento,
de descoberta de mim mesma,
de cura.


Life’s most vexing questions answered

April 8, 2008

“When I want to do something (that I’ve never done/or that I’m just not good at)…
… why do I get nervous when I want to feel confident?
… why can’t I make a decision?
… why do I seem to freeze at crunch time?
… why are I afraid of people and situations?
… why do I quit almost before I begin?
… why do I procrastinate doing the things that would bring me the most benefit?
… why can’t I get myself to do the things that are best for me?


It doesn’t matter how supposedly successful people are in one or more areas of life… still their most common questions are often exactly the same or pretty darn close to the same ones as the people for whom nothing seems to work.

The things that bug people the most about themselves and their lives is that even when their emotional and physical pain are excruciating, they STILL CAN’T DO WHAT THEY KNOW THEY SHOULD DO TO GET RID OF IT.
There isn’t a person living or dead who can’t identify with that at some point in their lives.
But it’s only the strongest of mind who can overcome this most basic of human weaknesses.
Because habitual ways of thinking and acting rule us and every part of our lives.
For the first 25 years of my life, I was nothing BUT weak. Oh, sure, I had my reasons and excuses, and some of them were legitimate.  Some were bull.  But the bottom line was, my belief and thought patterns were of a weak person.  Very little I did worked.  Very rarely did I achieve anything worthwhile.  Nowhere did I feel confident or excel.  I had the self-image of a failure.
I can blame a lot of things, but none of it mattered.

Because each day is a new day and the Universe doesn’t care about what happens to you, and who did what to you.
It doesn’t matter that you don’t have this or that background or that you don’t look just right or feel just right.
This reminds me of a story about how on one particular game day, Michael Jordan had the flu and his temperature
was like 103 degrees, and he was puking his guts out, yet he played that day and scored over 30 points.  He was so
exhausted that whenever he was on the bench, he held his head in his hands under a cold towel.  He said he felt like he was on the verge of death.  Yet his play was instrumental in winning that game.
He was asked later how he got himself to perform at such a high level even though he probably should have been in the hospital, and he said that all around the court that night, there were probably hundreds of kids whose parents brought them to see Michael Jordan play, and that it might be the only time they would ever get that chance again in their entire lives.  And he wanted to give them a positive experience they could hang on to forever.  He didn’t want to disappoint them.
His self image was that of someone who could and would do what it took to get the job done no matter what.
When your mental pictures are of you freezing, of shaking like a leaf, of failing, of making the wrong decisions, of
being weak of heart and mind… then that is what you will be.
On the other hand, no matter what the area of life and no matter what the discipline, when you can change your
habitual, automatic mental images to be ones of things working out as you want them to, they will.
When you can stop the negative, failure oriented inner voice to be that of success even in areas where you
“should” fail, you won’t fail, you will succeed.  And often you will do it without effort or strain.
Because your inner self-talk and your mental pictures are the track you run on.
They are your daily road map.
Just like a train must stay on the tracks, your mental pictures, your inner self-communication is what guides every emotion you feel at every moment and they guide every action you take.
This one is especially tough to grasp for people who are very successful in one part of life but horrible failures in another part.  To them it makes zero sense, this mental picture stuff.  Because they feel supremely confident at one thing already, so they think they should be able to do anything well.  And when they can’t, they blame everyone and everything else.  It couldn’t possibly be their fault.
But over the long-term, it is.  Maybe not over days or weeks, but when failure in a certain area of life lasts many months and years, you gotta blame yourself.
It’s the only way you can ever change and improve.
So if you want to be as successful in more than one area of life, you need to learn the mental pictures and inner communication of those that are already good at it.
For example, if you are an absolute in-vest-ment wizard and can turn a turd into gold, but you are terrible at
managing huge projects and horrible at relationships, then all you need to do is learn how to get a similar kind of success oriented mental pictures and learn the same kind of success oriented inner dialog as you have in finances and apply them to those other areas.
This is simply a principle of life.  It always works every time because it is how our minds work.
When you accept this truth and decide to go about changing your mental pictures and your inner communication, like lightning, you can make such radical changes in your emotions and your decisions and actions, you won’t believe it.

Relax and Recharge Completely

February 24, 2008

By: Brian Tracy

Regular relaxation is essential for a long life and personal effectiveness. Here are some techniques for relaxing physically that are used by the most successful and highest paid people in America.

Take Time Off Every Week
First of all, work only five or six days per week, and rest completely on the seventh day. Every single study in this area shows that you will be far more productive in the five or six days that you work if you take one or two days off completely than you ever would be if you worked straight through for seven days.

Get Your Mind Busy Elsewhere
During this time off, do not catch up on reports, organize your desk, prepare proposals, or do anything else that requires mental effort. Simply let your mind relax completely, and get busy doing things with your family and friends. Maybe work around the house, go for a walk, engage in physical exercise, watch television, go to a movie, or play with your children. Whatever you do, discipline yourself to shut your mental gears off completely for at least one 24-hour period every seven days.

Get Away on Mini-Vacations
Second, take one three-day vacation every three months, and during that time, refrain from doing any work. Do not attempt to catch up on even a few small things. If you do, you keep your mental gears in motion, and you end up neither resting nor properly doing work of any quality.

Take Big Chunks of Down Time
Third, take at least two full weeks off each year during which you do nothing that is work-related. You can either work or relax; you cannot do both. If you attempt to do a little work while you are on vacation, you never give your mental and emotional batteries a chance to recharge. You’ll come back from your vacation just as tired as you were when you left.

Give Yourself a Break Today
If you are involved in a difficult relationship, or situation at work that is emotionally draining, discipline yourself to take a complete break from it at least one day per week. Put the concern out of your mind. Refuse to think about it. Don’t continually discuss it, make telephone calls about it or mull it over in your mind. You cannot perform at your best mentally if you are emotionally preoccupied with a person or situation. You have to give yourself a break.

Go For a Walk in Nature
Since a change is as good as a rest, going for a nice long walk is a wonderful way to relax emotionally and mentally. As you put your physical body into motion, your thoughts and feelings seem to relax all by themselves.

Eat Lighter Foods
Also, remember that the process of digestion consumes an enormous amount of physical energy. Therefore, if you eat lighter foods, you will feel better and more refreshed afterward. If you eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products, your digestive system will require far less energy to process them.

Be Good to Yourself
Since your diet has such an impact on your level of physical energy, and through it your levels of mental and emotional energy, the more fastidious you are about what you put into your mouth, the better you will feel and the more productive you will be. We know now that foods high in fat, sugar, or salt are not good for your body. The lighter the foods you eat, the more energy you have.

Action Exercises
Here are three things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:

First, plan your weeks in advance and build in at least one day when you will relax from work completely. Discipline yourself to keep this date.

Second, reserve, book and pay for your three day vacations several months in advance. Once you’ve paid the money, you are much more likely to go rather than put it off.

Third, decide that you will not work at all during your vacations. When you work, work. And when you rest, rest 100% of the time. This is very important.

Four Steps to a Super Attitude

February 13, 2008

By: Brian Tracy

Decide How to React
It is not what happens to you that counts. It is how you react to what happens to you, especially when you have unexpected problems of any kind.

In this newsletter, you learn powerful strategies you can use to keep yourself thinking and acting positively and creatively.

Here are four things you can do to assure that your attitude is the very best it can be, under all circumstances.

Focus On the Future
First, whatever challenges you face, focus on the future rather than on the past. Instead of worrying about who did what and who is to blame, focus on where you want to be and what you want to do. Get a clear mental image of your ideal successful future, and then take whatever action you can to begin moving in that direction. Get your mind, your thoughts, and your mental images on the future.

Think About the Solution
Second, whenever you’re faced with a difficulty, focus on the solution rather than on the problem. Think and talk about the ideal solution to the obstacle or setback, rather than wasting time rehashing and reflecting on the problem. Solutions are inherently positive, whereas problems are inherently negative. The instant that you begin thinking in terms of solutions, you become a positive and constructive human being.

Look For the Good
Third, assume that something good is hidden within each difficulty or challenge. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a major proponent of positive thinking, once said, “Whenever God wants to give us a gift, he wraps it up in a problem.” The bigger the gift you have coming, the bigger the problem you will receive. But the wonderful thing is that if you look for the gift, you will always find it.

Seek the Valuable Lesson
Fourth, assume that whatever situation you are facing at the moment is exactly the right situation you need to ultimately be successful. This situation has been sent to you to help you learn something, to help you become better, to help you expand and grow.

Decide to Be Positive
A Positive Mental Attitude is indispensable to your success. You can be as positive as you want to be if you will simply think about the future, focus on the solution and look for the good. If you do what other successful people do, if you use your mind to exert mental control over the situation, you will be positive and cheerful most of the time. And you will reap the benefits enjoyed by all successful people.

Action Exercises
Here are three steps you can take immediately to put these ideas into action:

First, become solution-oriented with every difficulty you face. Make a habit of looking for the answers to your questions, the solutions to your problems.

Second, seek for the valuable lesson in every adversity. Make a list of every idea or insight you can gain from every setback or difficulty.

Third, think on paper. Take some time to write out every detail of the problem, and then take the most logical next step to solve it.

You Deserve to Be Happy

February 13, 2008

By: Brian Tracy

Achieving your own happiness is the best measure of how well you are living your life and enjoying your relationships. You can learn how to be happier and more fulfilled in everything you do.

Everyone is Different
Happiness in life is like a smorgasbord. If 100 people went to a smorgasbord and each put food on their plate in the quantity and mix that each felt would be most pleasing to him, every plate would be different. Even a husband and wife would go up to the smorgasbord and come back with plates that looked completely different. Happiness is the same way. Each person requires a particular combination of those ingredients to feel the very best about himself or herself.

Listen to Your Heart
And your mix is changing continually. If you went to the same smorgasbord every day for a year, you probably would come back with a different plateful of food each time. Each day-sometimes each hour-only you can tell what it takes to make you happy. Therefore, the only way to judge whether a job, a relationship, an investment, or any decision, is right for you is to get in touch with your feelings and listen to your heart.

Be True to Yourself
You’re true to yourself only when you follow your inner light, when you listen to what Ralph Waldo Emerson called the “still, small voice within.” You’re being the very best person you can be only when you have the courage and the fortitude to allow your definition of happiness, whatever it may be, to be the guiding light of every part of your life.

There Are No Limits
A very important point on the subject of happiness is whether or not you feel that you “deserve” to be happy.

Accept the notion that you deserve all the happiness you can honestly attain through the application of your talents and abilities. The more you like and respect yourself, the more deserving you will feel of the good things in life. And the more deserving you feel, the more likely you will attain and hold on to the happiness you are working toward.

Make Happiness Your Key Measure
You should make happiness the organizing principle of your life. Compare every possible action and decision you make against your standard of happiness to see whether that action would make you happier or unhappier. Soon, you will discover that almost all of the problems in your life come from choices that you have made – or are currently making – that do not contribute to your happiness.

Pay the Price
Of course, there are countless times when you will have to do little things that don’t make you happy along the way toward those larger things that make you very happy indeed. We call this paying the price of success in advance. You must pay your dues. Sometimes these interim steps don’t make you happy directly, but the happiness you achieve from attaining your goal will be so great that it totally overwhelms the temporary inconveniences and dissatisfactions you have to endure in order to get there.

Action Exercises
Here are three steps you can take immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, accept that you deserve all the joy and happiness you can possibly achieve through your own efforts.

Second, make your own happiness the chief organizing principle of your life and judge everything against that standard.

Third, be willing to work hard and pay the price for the satisfaction and rewards you desire. Always go the extra mile and your success will be assured.

Slice and Dice the Task

February 13, 2008

By: Brian Tracy

Why You Procrastinate
A major reason for procrastinating on big, important tasks is that they appear so large and formidable when you first approach them. One technique that you can use to cut a big task down to size is the “Salami slice” method of getting work done. With this method, you lay out the task in detail and then resolve to do just one slice of the job for the time being, like eating a roll of salami, one slice at a time. Or like eating one piece of a frog at a time.

Do One Small Part to Start
Psychologically, you will find it easier to do a single, small piece of a large project than to start on the whole job. Often, once you have started and completed a single part of the job, you will feel like doing just one more “slice.” Soon, you will find yourself working through the job one part at a time, and before you know it, the job will be completed.

Just Get Started
Once you start working, you develop a sense of forward momentum and a feeling of accomplishment. You become energized and excited. You feel yourself internally motivated and propelled to keep going until the task is complete.

Action Exercises
Now, here are two actions you can take immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, select one big important task and lay it out in front of you.

Second, select one part of the task and do it immediately.

Your Ideal Self and Life

February 13, 2008

By: Brian Tracy

Your self-concept is made up of three parts, each of which affects each of the others. Understanding these three parts enables you to put your hands on the keyboard of your own mental computer. When you learn to take charge of the development of a new and positive self-concept of selling, you can then control your sales destiny for the rest of your career.

Determine Your Direction
The first part of the self-concept is the “self-ideal.” Your self-ideal largely determines the direction in which you are going with your life. It guides the growth and evolution of your character and personality. Your self-ideal is a combination of all of the qualities and attributes of other people that you most admire. Your self-ideal is a description of the person you would very much like to be if you could embody the qualities that you most aspire to.

Strive Toward Excellence
Throughout your life, you have seen and read about the qualities of courage, confidence, compassion, love, fortitude, perseverance, patience, forgiveness and integrity. Over time, these qualities have instilled in you an ideal to which you aspire. You might not always live up to the very best that you know, but you are constantly striving to be a better person in light of those qualities that you value so highly. In fact, everything that you do on a day-to-day basis is affected by your comparing your activities with these ideal qualities and your striving to behave consistently with them.

Clarity is Essential
Successful salespeople have very clear ideals for themselves and their careers. Unsuccessful salespeople have fuzzy ideals. Successful salespeople are very clear about being excellent in every part of their work and their personal lives. Unsuccessful salespeople don’t give the subject very much thought. One of the primary characteristics of successful men and women in every walk of life is that they have very clearly defined ideals and they are very aware of whether or not their current behaviors are consistent with their idealized behaviors.

Set Challenging Goals
Part of your ideals are your goals. As you set higher and more challenging goals, your self-ideal improves and crystallizes. When you set goals for the kind of person you want to be and the kind of life you want to live, your self-ideal rises and becomes a greater guiding and motivating force in your life.

Your Future is Unlimited
Perhaps the most important thing for you to realize is that whatever anyone else has done or become, you can do or become as well. Improvements in your self-ideal begin in your imagination, and in your imagination, there are no limits except the ones that you accept.

What is your ideal vision of the very best person you could possibly become? How would you behave each day if you were already that person? Asking yourself these questions and then living your life consistent with the answers is the first step to creating yourself in your ideal image.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, dream big dreams. Set big, exciting, challenging goals and ideals for yourself in every part of your life. Allow yourself to imagine a wonderful life ahead.

Second, think about how you would act if you were an outstanding person in every way. Then, practice being this person, as though you were acting a role in a play. You’ll immediately notice a difference in your behavior.