Category Archives: self-development

Learning 695

Truly  enlightened  people,  those  who experience  deep happiness  daily,  are  prepared to  put  off  short-term  pleasure  for the  sake  of long-term  fulfillment. 

So  they  tackle  their  weaknesses and  fears head  on,  even  if  dipping  into  the  zone  of  the unknown brings  with  it  a  measure  of discomfort.  They  resolve  to  live  by  the wisdom  of  kaizen,  improving  every  aspect  of themselves ceaselessly  and  continuously.  With time,  things  that  were  once difficult  become easy.  Fears  that  once  prevented  them  from all the happiness,  health  and  prosperity  they deserved  fall  to  the  wayside like  stickmen toppled  by  a  hurricane.

Happiness  comes  through  the progressive realization  of  a  worthy  objective.  When  you are  doing what you  truly  love  to  do  you  are bound  to  find  deep  contentment.

Doing  what  you  love,  whether  this  means giving  up  the  work  you  are  presently  doing to  become  an  actor  or spending  less  time  on those  things  that  are  less  important  to  make time  for  those  things  that  are  more meaningful,  requires  a  great deal  of  courage.

It  requires  you  to  step  out  of  your  comfort zone. And change  is  always  a  little uncomfortable  at  first.  It  is  also  more than  a little  risky.  Having  said  this,  this  is  the  surest way  to  design a  more  joyful  life.

Once  you  get  yourself  together, your  world will  be  okay.  Once  you  master  your  mind, body  and character,  happiness  and  abundance will  flow  into  your  life  almost magically.  But you  must  spend  some  time  daily  working  on yourself,  even  if  for  only  ten  or  fifteen minutes.

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Learning 673

Carrot, or stick? You’ve probably heard these two words used to describe incentives for people to do things they may not want to do. 

A carrot is a reward, and a stick is a punishment. A carrot-and-stick approach is not only effective in changing behavior but also best-suited to encourage people to put long-term goals before short-term satisfaction.

Tiny sticks aren’t a deterrent. A big stick, however, makes a potential lawbreaker think twice.

So reprimanding bad behavior is the best way to ensure commitment to long-term goals. Yet for a cash fine to act as an actual deterrent, it is essential that the amount be substantial.

The higher the fine, in fact, the more effective the punishment! Modest fines only put a price tag on bad behavior. Instead of taking the behavior off the table entirely, a small fine makes bad behavior something that’s okay, if you don’t mind shelling out a few bucks.

In sum, fines that could help lawbreakers feel less bad about breaking rules aren’t exactly good fines. Yet if a fine was to go toward something that society generally disapproved of, a potential lawbreaker might make more of an effort to avoid fines by breaking fewer rules.

Lots of little sticks might feel like a tickle. Hit with a big stick, and you can’t help but capitulate.

For instance, cigarette taxes have little effect on the number of smokers because the added cost for each pack is too insignificant to represent an effective punishment for smoking. In other words, the temptation to smoke still outweighs the punishment.

A better option would be to enact instead one large punishment. One big stick gives a person pause, and is much more likely to deter a smoker in a moment of temptation.

Several researchers have suggested replacing the few dollars of tax levied on each pack of cigarettes sold with a smoking permit which, for $5,000, would allow the permit bearer to buy 2,500 cigarettes.

While a smoker might be able to stomach a few bucks with each pack, the enormous cost of a permit could quickly curb behavior at a stroke. And in the end, this big stick would prevent a crippling addiction from causing long-term damage.

It’s true that often, the only way to really change human behavior is through severe punishment!

You also need to set yourself up with a commitment contract. A referee will help keep you in line to meet your goals.

Sticks and carrots offer effective incentives for curbing bad behavior. Yet we also need effective tools to overcome our addiction to now. One way to do this is to make an agreement with yourself, called a commitment contract.

Commitment contracts offer a formal way of taking undesirable behavior off the table. In effect, they’re a way of tying your hands to prevent you from doing bad things in the future.

But how can you effectively establish a commitment contract? For a contract to really make an impact, the punishment for not following through has to be as serious as the bad behavior the contract addresses. Thus severe punishment and public exposure is what will keep you in line.  

For instance, the drug Antabuse helps people avoid drinking alcohol by giving them an immediate hangover as soon as they have a drink.

Commitment contracts should also incorporate a degree of public exposure. What our friends and colleagues think of us often drives our behavior. We react to social pressures by behaving in ways to protect ourselves from ridicule.

For example, a professor committed himself to losing weight by saying he would teach class wearing a swimsuit if he failed to meet his goal. While his idea was extreme, it was effective!

Finding an impartial referee is another element in establishing an effective commitment contract. The success of every contract relies on a reliable authority who can ensure the application of agreed-upon punishments for bad behavior. Without a referee, punishment can easily be avoided.

Don’t just choose a friend to be your referee, as he might go easy on you and let your bad behavior slide. But don’t hire an enemy for the job, either. It’s essential to trust that your referee will be fair and help you achieve your goals!

Long-term changes require realistic goals and long-term commitment contracts. To achieve permanent change, you need to set realistic goals.

For instance, most obese people who decide to lose weight aim to do so by working toward significantly shedding more than 10 percent of their current weight. But reducing your weight by some 10 percent is a serious task! Most dieters often lose a lot of weight quickly, only for their success to be short-lived.

But having realistic goals isn’t enough. You also need a long-term commitment contract to suit them. For instance, a commitment contract for a dietary goal is usually based on the one-time loss of a certain amount of weight. Therefore, an additional commitment contract is necessary to ensure that a dieter then keeps the weight off.
Such a contract should address things like a daily commitment to weight control, a punishment for exceeding a certain weight and a weight range in which the dieter is expected to naturally fluctuate. Only by making long-term commitment contracts like that can you reach your goals and stick with them!

We are slaves to now and often forgo long-term benefits to indulge in immediate rewards. Lucky for us, there’s a way to overcome this bad habit and it starts with carrots and sticks, or rewards and repercussions.

Make your long-term goals a reality with commitment contracts. The next time you decide to make a major life change like quitting smoking, losing weight or saving money, make sure you follow through by drafting a commitment contract. It’s easy to build an effective contract for yourself as long as you set realistic goals and severe punishments for failing to meet them.

Learning 673

Carrot, or stick? You’ve probably heard these two words used to describe incentives for people to do things they may not want to do. 

A carrot is a reward, and a stick is a punishment. A carrot-and-stick approach is not only effective in changing behavior but also best-suited to encourage people to put long-term goals before short-term satisfaction.

Tiny sticks aren’t a deterrent. A big stick, however, makes a potential lawbreaker think twice.

So reprimanding bad behavior is the best way to ensure commitment to long-term goals. Yet for a cash fine to act as an actual deterrent, it is essential that the amount be substantial.

The higher the fine, in fact, the more effective the punishment! Modest fines only put a price tag on bad behavior. Instead of taking the behavior off the table entirely, a small fine makes bad behavior something that’s okay, if you don’t mind shelling out a few bucks.

In sum, fines that could help lawbreakers feel less bad about breaking rules aren’t exactly good fines. Yet if a fine was to go toward something that society generally disapproved of, a potential lawbreaker might make more of an effort to avoid fines by breaking fewer rules.

Lots of little sticks might feel like a tickle. Hit with a big stick, and you can’t help but capitulate.

For instance, cigarette taxes have little effect on the number of smokers because the added cost for each pack is too insignificant to represent an effective punishment for smoking. In other words, the temptation to smoke still outweighs the punishment.

A better option would be to enact instead one large punishment. One big stick gives a person pause, and is much more likely to deter a smoker in a moment of temptation.

Several researchers have suggested replacing the few dollars of tax levied on each pack of cigarettes sold with a smoking permit which, for $5,000, would allow the permit bearer to buy 2,500 cigarettes.

While a smoker might be able to stomach a few bucks with each pack, the enormous cost of a permit could quickly curb behavior at a stroke. And in the end, this big stick would prevent a crippling addiction from causing long-term damage.

It’s true that often, the only way to really change human behavior is through severe punishment!

You also need to set yourself up with a commitment contract. A referee will help keep you in line to meet your goals.

Sticks and carrots offer effective incentives for curbing bad behavior. Yet we also need effective tools to overcome our addiction to now. One way to do this is to make an agreement with yourself, called a commitment contract.

Commitment contracts offer a formal way of taking undesirable behavior off the table. In effect, they’re a way of tying your hands to prevent you from doing bad things in the future.

But how can you effectively establish a commitment contract? For a contract to really make an impact, the punishment for not following through has to be as serious as the bad behavior the contract addresses. Thus severe punishment and public exposure is what will keep you in line.  

For instance, the drug Antabuse helps people avoid drinking alcohol by giving them an immediate hangover as soon as they have a drink.

Commitment contracts should also incorporate a degree of public exposure. What our friends and colleagues think of us often drives our behavior. We react to social pressures by behaving in ways to protect ourselves from ridicule.

For example, a professor committed himself to losing weight by saying he would teach class wearing a swimsuit if he failed to meet his goal. While his idea was extreme, it was effective!

Finding an impartial referee is another element in establishing an effective commitment contract. The success of every contract relies on a reliable authority who can ensure the application of agreed-upon punishments for bad behavior. Without a referee, punishment can easily be avoided.

Don’t just choose a friend to be your referee, as he might go easy on you and let your bad behavior slide. But don’t hire an enemy for the job, either. It’s essential to trust that your referee will be fair and help you achieve your goals!

Long-term changes require realistic goals and long-term commitment contracts. To achieve permanent change, you need to set realistic goals.

For instance, most obese people who decide to lose weight aim to do so by working toward significantly shedding more than 10 percent of their current weight. But reducing your weight by some 10 percent is a serious task! Most dieters often lose a lot of weight quickly, only for their success to be short-lived.

But having realistic goals isn’t enough. You also need a long-term commitment contract to suit them. For instance, a commitment contract for a dietary goal is usually based on the one-time loss of a certain amount of weight. Therefore, an additional commitment contract is necessary to ensure that a dieter then keeps the weight off.
Such a contract should address things like a daily commitment to weight control, a punishment for exceeding a certain weight and a weight range in which the dieter is expected to naturally fluctuate. Only by making long-term commitment contracts like that can you reach your goals and stick with them!

We are slaves to now and often forgo long-term benefits to indulge in immediate rewards. Lucky for us, there’s a way to overcome this bad habit and it starts with carrots and sticks, or rewards and repercussions.

Make your long-term goals a reality with commitment contracts. The next time you decide to make a major life change like quitting smoking, losing weight or saving money, make sure you follow through by drafting a commitment contract. It’s easy to build an effective contract for yourself as long as you set realistic goals and severe punishments for failing to meet them.

Learning 663

Having a better life starts with practicing self-discipline and developing the habit of delayed gratification.

Delayed gratification is the process of scheduling the pain and pleasure of life.

Let’s say you struggle with procrastination. Who among us hasn’t tackled the easy work first and then spent the rest of the day struggling with the boring and difficult stuff?

The author had a patient with this exact problem, and he advised her to start practicing delayed gratification by reversing her work habits.

This meant bearing down and dealing with the difficult stuff first. So instead of facing one easy hour followed by six miserable hours of dragging her feet, she could have one miserable hour followed by the reward of six enjoyable hours.

Discipline also means accepting responsibility, being truthful and striking a healthy balance in life.

Delayed gratification is just one of the tools that will help you bring discipline to your life.

Real self-discipline also requires that you accept responsibility for your own life.

Another tool that can improve your self-discipline is a dedication to truth, meaning that you honestly and openly face the reality of your life.

Now, this can be a tough one since it requires that you have a strong sense of self-reflection and be willing to constantly update your worldview.

Being open to self-analysis, and reflecting honestly on life, are part and parcel of personal growth.

The final tool for better discipline is balancing.
It means letting go and giving up the unhealthy habits and extreme behaviors that are throwing your life out of balance. These are things you may do because they add a thrill to your life, but which, in the end, tend not to turn out well.

Love is closely linked to our spiritual growth and self-discipline. Much has been written and said about the nature of love, but put simply, love is having the will to nurture your own spiritual growth, as well as that of someone else.

In this way, you can look at love as an important part of your evolution, since spiritual growth is about reaching a larger state of being.

It’s also important to understand that before you can love someone else, you first need to love yourself. It’s similar to a parent teaching a child how to behave in a disciplined manner. For this to happen, the parent must practice this discipline themselves.

To love someone means making an effort. It requires more than a mere desire to love. Most people desire, or want, to love, but few are in fact loving. Those with the will to grow spiritually have chosen to love and therefore they act lovingly.

Love is not a feeling but an action that requires attention and comes with risks. The feeling of love is related to cathecting, which means investing emotional energy in something or someone.

Love can even exist without that feeling we always associate with it, since true love is bigger than cathecting. In a well-functioning marriage, disagreements can happen, and tempers can flare, but the partners continue to work in tandem toward their goals. These are two people who made a commitment through their own volition, and that’s more important than any fleeting emotions.

However, for love to flourish it needs more than a commitment – it requires attention and the understanding that it can be lost.

Loving someone means giving them attention and supporting their growth. And this requires putting aside everything else to truly listen and concentrate on what your loved one is saying and experiencing. When you do this, you extend yourself and gain new knowledge about the person you love. But remember, you can’t love someone without the risk of losing them.

Learning 660

When you have  cultivated  a  deep  sense  of  faith  in  your  abilities  and an  indomitable  spirit,  nothing  can  stop  you  from  succeeding  in  all your  pursuits  and  living  with  great  rewards.  

Taking  the  time  to master  your  mind,  to  care  for  the  body  and  to  nourish  your  soul will  put  you  in  a  position  to  develop  more  richness  and  vitality  in your  life.  It  is  as  Epictetus  said  so  many  years  ago:  ‘No  man  is  free who  is  not  a  master  of  himself.’

“Kaizen”  is  actually  a  very  practical  concept. Very.  Think  about  it.  How  could  a  person  possibly  lead a  corporation  if  he  cannot  even  lead  himself?  How  could  you nurture  a  family  if  you  haven’t  learned  to  nurture  and  care  for yourself?  How  could  you  possibly  do  good  if  you  don’t  even  feel good?  Do  you get  the point?” 

We need to think far  more  than  the importance  of  daily  exercise, a  healthful  diet  and  a  balanced lifestyle. Its the  importance  of  building strength  of  character,  developing  mental  toughness  and  living with courage. These  three  attributes  would  lead one  not  only  to  a  virtuous  life  but  to  a  life  filled  with  achievement, satisfaction  and  inner  peace.  Courage  was  a  quality  everyone could  cultivate  and  one  that  would  pay  huge  dividends  over  the long  run. 

What  does  courage  have  to  do  with  self-leadership  and personal  development?”  One can wonder. 

“Courage allows you to  run  your  own  race.  Courage  allows  you to  do  whatever  you  want  to  do  because  you  know  that  it  is  right. Courage  gives  you  the  self-control  to  persist  where  others  have failed.”

Ultimately,  the  degree  of  courage  you  live  with  determines the  amount  of  fulfillment  you  receive.  It  allows  you  to  truly  realize all  the  exquisite  wonders  of  the  epic  that  is  your  life.  And  those who  master  themselves  have  an  abundance  of  courage.

Learning 629

Surprisingly, stress doesn’t necessarily make us likely to indulge in bad habits; when we’re anxious or tired, we fall back on our habits, whether bad or good. 

For this reason, it’s all the more important to try to shape habits mindfully, so that when we fall back on them at times of stress, we’re following activities that make our situation better, not worse.

Perfection may be an impossible goal, but habits help us to do better. 

Bhagwad Gita in one sentence per chapter

Chapter 1
Wrong thinking is the only problem in life.

Chapter 2

Right knowledge is the ultimate solution to all our problems.

Chapter 3

Selflessness is the only way to progress & prosperity.


Chapter 4

Every act can be an act of prayer.

Chapter 5

Renounce the ego of individuality & rejoice in the bliss of infinity.

Chapter 6

Connect to the Higher consciousness daily.

Chapter 7

Live what you learn.

Chapter 8

Never give up on yourself.

Chapter 9

Value your blessings.

Chapter 10

See divinity all around.

Chapter 11

Have enough surrender to see the Truth as it is.

Chapter 12

Absorb your mind in the Higher.

Chapter 13

Detach from Maya & attach to Divine.

Chapter 14

Live a lifestyle that matches your vision.

Chapter 15

Give priority to Divinity.

Chapter 16

Being good is a reward in itself.

Chapter 17

Choosing the right over the pleasant is a sign of power.

Chapter 18

Let Go, Lets move to union with Divine.