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Archive | September, 2007

How to Cure Your Road Rage

Do You Suffer From Road Rage?

I have a guest post at DumbLittleMan.com today.

I think the title says it all. If you’d like some tips on how to keep your cool when driving, please head on over to this article.

DumbLittleMan: How to Cure Your Road Rage

road rage

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Do you suffer from road rage? What are your thoughts? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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12

Life Is Good


Life Is Good

If You Only Look for It

Who in this world is without complaints? Not many. It is human nature to complain. Why? I don’t know. But what I do know is that many of us have far more things to be grateful for than we have to complain about. The key is that we need to raise our awareness in order to realize our many gifts. How do we do this?

I suggest a day of active gratitude. What will you get from this exercise? Oh, just a little thing called happiness.

Day of Active Gratitude

Starting today, right now, begin to notice, moment to moment, each element in your life that brings goodness to your world. Even things that sometimes drive you crazy like bosses, jobs, spouses, VCR’s that don’t work, even these things, bring goodness into your life. Ask the right questions and you’ll get the right answers.

Everything and everyone you encounter today ask yourself:

  • What is the goodness that comes from this thing or this person?
  • How would my life be more difficult without this thing or person?
  • Now feel the gratitude.

Some Examples of Things to Be Grateful For

your bed

bed
your pillow

Cozy and sleeps!
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ollie Crafoord
sheets

dream
Creative Commons License photo credit: wolleydog
towels

towels
toilet – imagine life without this

toilet
toilet paper

toilet paper
soap

soap
clean running water

running water
ovens & stoves -conventional, microwave. instant and exact temperature. no soot, no waiting. how lucky to have this!

oven stove

grocery store – just imagine how amazing the concept is, that you can go one place to get so many kinds of things!

grocery store
your car

car
public transportation

bus
clean air – we need to keep it this way!

sky
your boss

boss
your friends

friends
your family

family

laughter

laughter

clothes – in the old days and still in much of the world people own just one or two outfits

clothes
free time -not everyone in the world has this. do you appreciate yours?

free time
plates & silverware

plate
tables & chairs

table chairs
ubundant paper to write and draw on

notebook
radio

radio
mp3 players

mp3
deck of cards – forget video games. how many games can you play with cards?

Red Cards
Creative Commons License photo credit: K0GMB
ballpoint pen

ballpoint pen
free public libraries

library books
nature – trees, flowers, mountains, the ocean

mountain flowers

art

art
your job

office
opportunity – where there’s a will there’s a way.

smiley money
your computer

computer
cell phones – many poo poo these, but come on, don’t they make life so convenient?

cell phone
telephones – try explaining to a child that there weren’t always phones. Imagine what that was like.

telephone
love – who do you love? who loves you? open your eyes to see it and appreciate it.

love
food – when was the last time you thought about what it would be like to live on bread, rice, and only the occasional egg or piece of meat?

food

Now what was it you were feeling bad about this morning? What is it that you need that you don’t already have? As my grandmother in Ireland used to say kindly to her 9 children when they complained (and they were poor), “Aren’t ye alright?” In other words, “Come on now. Don’t you have everything you need?” Don’t you?

Please Share!

What would you like to add to the list? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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11

8 Rituals to Crank Up Your Productivity and Happiness

Productivity and rituals

Using Rituals to Crank Up Your Productivity and Happiness

There are some people who are amazingly organized. They calmly complete their daily tasks in order, and at the end of the day they feel a sense of accomplishment and contentment. They relax in the evening with family, friends, and their hobbies and they turn in for a good night’s sleep right on time.

These are people who have rituals.

Whether they are conscious of them or not, that’s what is going on. Rituals don’t mean you live your life like a robot. Rituals mean structure and structure means productivity and peace of mind.

Establishing rituals is fun. My strong suggestion is that you write these out in a spread sheet, on paper, or on a whiteboard to help keep you on track. I do this and it is very helpful. I don’t even look at it all that often anymore, but just having it hanging in my kitchen is enough to keep me on track. Download the Free Excel template: “Weekly Routines & Rituals.”

Here are 8 rituals and routines that you could add to your life with examples to help get your imagination sparked and motivated. You don’t have to use all of these. Some can be combined or maybe you only need to “program” certain parts of your day or week. For any of these rituals feel free to use this free Weekly Routines spread sheet I developed for creating rituals. It has a blank Weekly Routines template sheet and example sheets.

Rituals

1. Morning Ritual

List out what you want your morning to be like and assign realistic time frames. By having your morning organized into a predictable routine, you’ll be able to make mornings more streamlined, less stressful, and even enjoyable. It might look something like this:

Morning Ritual
By having this written down you’ll be more likely to keep on schedule.

2. Daily Planning Ritual

Choose a time to do this every day. I either do this first thing upon waking when my mind is free of static or when starting my work day. I usually have a better result the earlier I do the planning. Others like to plan their day the night before, either before leaving work or before bed. I do part of my daily planning at bed time with my son. We plan how we’ll spend our time together the next day. The main things to keep in mind when planning your day are:

  • Plan the “big stuff” to be done first.
  • Plan only what you’ll be able to accomplish in one day by using realistic time frames for each task.
  • Build in transition time between activities.
  • Build in times for taking breaks.

3. Weekly Planning Ritual

I do this on Sunday evenings, but you can also do this on Monday mornings. If you choose that route, I suggest going into work 30 minutes early so you can do this with no interruptions. Here is a basic checklist for Weekly Planning.

  • Brainstorm what you want/need to work on this week.
  • Review upcoming appointments
  • Review Lists: project lists, “waiting for” list, “someday” list.
  • Review your Capture notes from the previous week. (These are the things that you’ve written down during the week in your capture notebook to remember to do, research, file, delegate, etc) Assign them to the right “place” such as a project list or your next action list (your immediate to-do list) or to a reference file. See Getting Things Done cheat sheet.

4. Daily Review Ritual

Schedule a time for this at the end of your day, either at the end of work, after dinner, or at bed time. This can easily be combined with your Daily Planning Ritual. Here is a checklist for Daily Review:

  • Review your capture notes from the day and assign to appropriate list.
  • Review what you accomplished today and be glad and grateful.
  • Review and reassign unfinished tasks from today’s daily plan.
  • Check to see if anything left over from today can be delegated or deleted from your unfinished task list.

Routines

1. Weekly Routine

This is much like the Morning Ritual. It is a template of things that get done on certain days every week. I use an excel spreadsheet for this and use colors as a way to label categories of activities. For example, my Mon, Wed, Fri days have one routine and T Th days have a different routine. If your days are all the same, then you’d just have your “daily routine.” A great thing to do is to link your weekly activities to your most important current goals. Update this quarterly or as needed. Here is an example:

Weekly Routine
Click here to download this template for free.

2. Work Routine

This is actually one piece of your Weekly Routine, but you may want schedule this out in a little more detail just to be posted by your desk at work. You may not need to have that much work detail on your Weekly Routine sheet. If it is helpful do it, if not, you can skip this one. Here’s what you do: Segment your day into compartments and assign different types of tasks. You might vary this by day or have every day be the same. Here is an example:

Work Routine
Click here to download the free template.

3. Evening Routine

Again this is another sub-segment of the Weekly Routine that you may want to break out into more detail or you may want to keep it as part of the overall Weekly Routine. Here’s what it might look like:

Night Routine
Download this example and the free template.

4. Weekend Routine

I saved the best for last. Having a weekend routine will help you to make the most of your weekend. You might want to put “weekend planning” into your weekly routine on say Tues to plan out what you’ll be doing for the weekend. Your Weekend Routine might look something like this:

Weekend Routine

Download the Weekly Routines and Rituals excel template here for free.

Other Resources

Please Share!

What are your favorite rituals? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

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photo by: smkybear
21

How to Transition from Work to Play

How to Transition from Work to Play

Do you ever have trouble taking your mind off work when you are supposed to be relaxing or spending quality time with friends or family? I know I do!

Check out my guest post over at Dumb Little Man for some great tips to help overcome this problem. They really do work!

DumbLittleMan.com: How to Transition from Work to Play

Daddy Come Play with Me! Stop Working!

Please Share!

How do you transition from work to leisure time? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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5

What If….

What If…

…You had all the money you wanted?Happy

  • How would your life be different?
  • Where would you live?
  • What would you do?
  • What would be the same?

…You already have all the money you need?

  • How can you live the life you want with what you have right now?
  • What is inside of you that is keeping you from being happy right now? How can you release that?

…You had all the love that you wanted?

  • How would you feel?
  • What would be different in your life?

…You already have all the love you need?

  • Who already loves you?
  • Who loves you that you take for granted?
  • Who do you love?
  • How can you relish the love that is already in your life more?

…You had meaning in your life?

  • What would that look like?
  • How would you be living your life?
  • How would that feel?

…You already have meaning in your life?

  • What is meaningful in your life right now?
  • How do you make a difference to others in your life today?
  • How could you make your life more meaningful today?
  • How would that feel?

Please Share!

Care to share any of your answers? We’d love to learn what you discovered! All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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9

Solutions for 10 More Annoying Modern Day Problems


Got pesky annoying problems? I’ve done the research for you.

Now all you have to do is visit my guest article at Lifehack.org to find solutions to these problems and more:

  • Need a Contractor that You Can Trust?
  • Keep Forgetting All Those Great Ideas You Think of While Driving?
  • Need to Backup Your Computer but You Don’t Know Where to Start?

Lifehack.org: Solutions for 10 More Annoying Modern Day Problems

Got Solutions?

Please Share!

Got any solutions to problems we all face? Please share your tips!!! All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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9

Using Routines to Install a New Habit


Got a goal that’s been swimming in your head forever? Want to finally make it happen?

Read my guest article over at Dumb Little Man today. I think you’ll find what you need to accomplish your goal or new habit.

DumbLittleMan.com: Using Routines to Install a New Habit

 something-new2.jpg

Please Share!

Please share your current goal you will tackle either here or over at DLM. All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Digg, Stumble or Delicious bookmark over at DLM. Votes are always appreciated!

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3

Learn from Fear and You Will Transform Your Life

overcoming fear

Facing Fear

I had a very interesting experience a couple weeks ago where I came face to face with strong fear. I learned a lot from the experience and I came away a stronger person. The lessons I learned are powerful. I share them with you here in the hope that you find value in them.

My Recent Encounter with Fear

I learned how to windsurf at the end of the summer while my brother was visiting. He bought some used equipment and he, my sister, and I all sort of taught ourselves how to do it. It was a bumpy learning experience for us, but we got the hang of it and my brother became quite proficient rather quickly.

On this day, I decided to go windsurfing with my brother because it was he last day before he was leaving, even though I wasn’t completely keen on it. It was cold and very windy, windier than I’d been in before on the windsurfer.

I got on the board and set a small goal of sailing across the river to the other shore and then returning to where I started. I quickly got to the channel as the wind was so strong but it was hard holding onto the sail. When I got to the middle of the river, I suddenly became very frightened. It was dark from the clouds, cold, and the wind was howling. There was no one else around and I had lost sight of my brother. He was back on the shore, soon to be following in a kayak, but since I couldn’t see him yet, I felt a panic. I decided to turn around and sail back.

Now because the wind was so strong, I couldn’t turn to come about and sail back in the opposite direction. This was also due to my fear and resulting lack of confidence in the moment. So I gave in to fear and gave up. I laid down on the board and tried to paddle back. This was a ridiculous strategy given the strength of the wind and the current in the middle of the river. So then I started calling out my brother name. I wasn’t completely panicked, but my confidence was shot.

My brother came paddling up in the kayak and talked to me supportively, being very positive and calm. I told him that as silly as it may sound, I just became overcome with fear and I gave in to it. He said, “Don’t worry. It’s windy today, but you can do it.” That gave me the confidence boost I needed. At that point I started to listen to reason which told me there was nothing to really worry about.

I stood up on the board and summoned up the strength I needed which which I could now access since my confidence was back. I managed to get the sail onto the side I needed. This was more from mental strength than the physical strength required. And then I sailed back into the home-base shore.

It is completely amazing how much your success at windsurfing is affected by your confidence level. If you don’t trust yourself, believe in yourself, and mentally commit 100% to succeeding, then no matter your strength level, you will fail. It is a magnificent teacher for learning to summon and cultivate your confidence.

And in this short experience I learned just how quickly one can forfeit their confidence to fear. If you want to learn how to build confidence, I highly recommend trying windsurfing. It’s just you and the wind. You either believe in yourself and succeed, or you allow fear to dunk you over and over again.

So the ending to this story is that I made it back without a scratch, but truly as a changed person. This story may seem incredibly overwrought. The incident was not long and drawn out, I was never in any real danger, but the key point is that my fear was as big as if I was hanging from a cliff. I feel quite ridiculous recounting the story, but the lessons are so valuable I wanted to share them with you.

The Lessons That Fear Taught Me

1. Committment. When you endeavor to do something that is difficult and will challenge you, Be Fully Committed or don’t do it at all. When confronted with fear inducing elements, if your commitment is halfhearted, then your resolve will instantly melt and you will fail. Get your game face on and charge ahead!

2. Believe in Yourself. Summon up your confidence. Fake it until it is real if you have to. Keep talking yourself through your challenge and fear won’t be able to sink its teeth into you. Tell yourself you can do it and that you’ll get there! Think Braveheart!” (Watch this movie for a lesson in bravery and courage.) Think “The Little Engine Who Could.” (Remember this book? Little by little you too can get up an over that mountain!)

3. Analyze. Think out what your worst case scenario is. Often we are afraid of something that is not likely or that is vague. In my case I was afraid of…what?…I’m not sure…dying? If I thought it through at the time, my most likely worst case scenario was that I would float unharmed down the river probably landing on a beach eventually. But it was not even remotely likely that I would perish! Force your analytical mind to dominate over your irrational fearful mind. This will allow you to get back in the game and move forward.

4. Take Action. Stop worrying and take some action to help your situation. Don’t give up. Giving up ensures failure. Effort will get you there eventually. Do what you can to control your outcome, and don’t worry about things over which you have no control.

5. Be Prepared. Know yourself and how you react to things. Prepare for potential fear ahead of time so that fear will not be able to grab a hold of you. Sometimes fear can have such power over us because of the element of surprise. Because you’re not expecting fear to show up, it takes you prisoner in a sneak attack.

This happened to me when I gave birth. I wasn’t one bit afraid during my whole pregnancy. I thought I could handle it. I never considered the possibility of fear. I only imagined pain. Well when the first mammoth contraction hit, my knees actually gave out and I lost my lunch a few moments later. Bam! Fear completely enveloped me for the rest of my labor. That anxiety made my labor more difficult. Had I envisioned a plan for handling fear I might have fared better. I eventually made it through with the massive support of family, nurses, and my outstanding midwife, all of whom were with me in the delivery room. This brings me to my next lesson.

6. Lean on Others! If you can get help ahead of time, do so! If not, ask as soon as you find yourself sinking into fear. Ask supportive people to help you. You know who those supportive people are. Ask them, even if you are not very close. People love to be needed and to help. You have nothing to lose. And tell people exactly what your fears are. Your supporters will then be able to help you come up with solutions. And by stating your fear out loud, you will deflate it’s power.

7. Put Worry on Hold. If fear manifests in the form of chronic worry, take these actions: Write it down. This will stop it from playing over and over again in your mind. Write out your worst case scenarios. Next write out solutions or things you can do. And then get busy working on the things you can control. Postpone the worry indefinitely. Let it go. Turn it over to God, the Universe, or simply to fate. Say a quiet prayer, wish, or intention and then get busy living life.

8. Compassion. Have compassion for yourself. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. Learn from your fear. Grow stronger for having lived through it. Fear is natural and we all have the resources inside of us to work through it. So be kind to yourself.

With others, also be completely compassionate, especially with children or the elderly, but really with anyone who is in fear. Just because you can’t understand or remember what that was like, know that their fear is real. By being compassionate and unconditionally supportive, that caring will transform into a power that helps them navigate the dark tunnels of fear and brings them finally out into the light again. Even if you can’t immediately see evidence of this, know that it is working. Smile. Be unendingly positive and strong. Your support has power beyond your wildest dreams. In my case the support I received during labor is what enabled me to deliver my baby. Without that support, I surely would have failed.

9. Time. Give yourself and others time to work through fear. It doesn’t always happen in an instant. Sometimes it takes some internal processing. Sometimes if danger is involved, there is no time to spare. In those cases you must will yourself to make it through. Afterwards you’ll need some time to process it all. Tell your story and take ownership of your strength in doing so.

10. Keep Your Cool. No matter what the circumstance, but most especially if there is danger, remain calm. It could save your life. Seriously. If danger is involved, there is no room for panic. Be tough on yourself and reign in your emotions. You can break down later after you’ve survived. For now, remember the story of Apollo 13. This is one of the most amazing stories. Watch the movie for a lesson in remaining calm during a crisis. It is the true story of 3 astronauts whose spaceship became partially disabled, and through calm constant work including mathematical calculations, were able to jimmy-rigg a solution that miraculously got them back to earth.

Please Share!

What things are you afraid of that hold you back? How could you face it and overcome it? Do you have a story to tell? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

 

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photo by: Infomastern
23

35 Spectacular and Practical Time Saving Tips

Do you struggle with trying to find time to do everything? Between work, home, family, social, recreation, school, and more our time tanks are usually running on empty.

My guest post over at Dumb Little Man today presents some very practical tips and tricks for streamlining life and saving time. If you like the article and would like to show support with a Digg or Stumble, I thank you!

Dumb Little Man.com: 35 Spectacular and Practical Time Saving Tips

Spinning

photo by nlnnet

Please Share!

What is your favorite time saving tips? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

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4

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3: Best Digital Point & Shoot Camera with Super Zoom

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3: Best Digital Point & Shoot Camera with Super Zoom

I am writing a review of this camera, which I bought this summer, because it is a truly amazing small high powered digital camera. How will this improve you life? If you’re in the market for a new camera, it will save you on research time so please read on. If you’re not looking for a camera at this time, bookmark this for when you are because you’ll want to read this when you are searching for a great new camera. I wish I had read a review like this at when I started my search!


Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3S (The S is for Silver)

Is This The Right Camera for You?

If you are looking for a small super zoom camera with 10x optical zoom, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 is in a class by itself. Not only is it the smallest in the 10X Optical class of digital cameras, but it has the added bonus of having a wide angle lens (28mm – 112mm Leica-branded lens with image stabilization). For those of you who are like I was, the 28mm lens is better than a 35mm lens which is more narrow. The wide angle lens is a pretty awesome feature. You’ll be able to get much more into your pictures creating both spectacular panoramas and exquisite close up portrait shots.

Any of the other 10X optical zoom cameras will be big and bulky and they don’t feature the wide angle lens that the Lumix DMC-TZ3 has. This camera features 7.2 megapixels and if you purchase through Amazon, it is priced at around $300 with free Super Saver Shipping. (Anywhere else you’ll pay about $350)


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3K (The K is for BlacK)

Other Things I Love

  • Fits in pocket or small purse easily.
  • 3.0″ View Screen.
  • Turn Dial for choosing between settings.
  • Quick shots, extremely low lag time between shots.
  • Video: can shoot in 16:9 widescreen format or normal.
  • Battery: Long lasting rechargeable.
  • On/Off button is an easy switch.

The Only Downsides

  • No zoom during video although you can zoom in before starting to shoot the video.
  • No viewfinder, but this is a small camera so you make up for this in small size.

Some More Specs

 

  • W 4.1″ X D 1.5″ X H 2.3″
  • ISO: 100,200,400,800,1250,3200, Auto
  • Digital Zoom: 4X (so a total of up to 40X with the Optical factored in)
  • Optical Zoom 10X (12X at 5MP, 15X at 3MP)
  • Special Effects: Cool, Warm, Sepia, Vivid, Neutral, Black & White
  • Colors: Silver, Black, Navy Blue
  • Digital Video: Quick Time: 640×480, 320×240, 848×480

Where to Buy

I researched this fully and the lowest price is with Amazon. I bought it through them for $306 with free shipping. That’s a savings of $46 over the average retail price anywhere else. It has a 4.5 star (out of 5 stars) rating on Amazon with 136 reviews.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3S 7.2MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Silver)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3K 7.2MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3A 7.2MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Blue)


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3A (The A is for NAVY BLUE)

 

Please Share!

What is your favorite digital camera and why? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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10

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