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As today is Thanksgiving it is a good time to reflect on that powerful human trait called "Gratitude." Gratitude is the recognition that the good that comes to you comes from outside you--whether from God, family, friends, or even a stranger (someone helps you when your car is broken down on the side of the road).

Psychologists have documented the power of gratitude. Individuals who keep a "Gratitude Journal"--where they write down daily all the things are grateful for--have lower incidences of depression, higher levels of optimism, and report better mental and physical health.

Why does gratitude have so much power to help your feel better and happier in life? It is because we tend to take our good fortune in life for granted. We are alive, we have our body intact, we have friends and family, perhaps an occupation that stimulates and enriches us. We feel the sun, hear the birds, listen to the waves--we love, laugh, and learn. All of these things that are positive in our lives are often forgotten in the hustle and bustle of daily living. Gratitude is the ultimate reminder of who we really are and what we really have.

Expressing gratitude--whether verbally, mentally, or in written form--is what slows down our lives so we can enjoy them. It allows us to pause and recognize what a miracle life is. Do you realize that you are alive at this very moment; breathing, thinking, feeling? It is a special gift to be alive, and to be able to experience the joys, and even the pains of life--it is through the pains that we grow and appreciate the joys.

In fact, we can even be grateful for our mistakes and our problems and our setbacks because each negative element in our life can provide the seeds for growth and renewal.

Start today by making a list of all the things you are grateful for in your Gratitude Journal. Every day, write down three things you are grateful for--do this for one week. Are you grateful for your life; your health; your financial status; your loved ones; your friends; your job; your hobbies; your talents; your experiences; your memories; your future hopes and plans; for God's grace and mercy? There are many, many things you can write down, even when you are feeling down and depressed. In fact, it is when you are feeling sad or miserable that being grateful (and writing down grateful things) has the most power.

You are a psychological genius when you can be grateful amidst turmoil, pain, and defeat. When you do that, you loosen the chains of past regrets and future worries, and you begin to live in a state of constant gratefulness, awe, and wonder.

The more grateful you are, the more positive things you attract in your life. Rejoice today, enjoy your Thanksgiving, and remember that giving thanks is the same as receiving all of the blessings you can possibly imagine. Enjoy and rejoice.

Are your living your dreams, or merely dreaming away your life? To live successfully and happily--fulfilling your deepest desires--you need to expand your inner mind power. The way to do this is to Think Big and Live Large: Change your perspective from the small viewpoint of problems to the higher state of Solution. Here are a few tips to help you along this path to inner and outer success:

BE BOLD: Have you ever admired (or even been a little secretly envious) of those people who have the courage and guts to go for amazing things? Although they may fail more than the average person, these intrepid individuals often accomplish great and marvelous goals. When you take bold steps toward your deepest desires, the universe opens doors that you did not know existed. It has been said that "Humans are God Afraid." Men are women were created in the image of God, but they dilute their power and greatness by allowing fear and doubt to creep into their minds. If you eliminate unreasonable fear from your thoughts, and take steps toward your ultimate dream in life, you will succeed more than you ever imagined possible.

LIVE WITH PANORAMA: A Panorama is an unbroken view of the whole region surrounding an observer. It is the big picture. Many times we get bogged down in small worries, petty circumstances, and nagging problems. Can I pay that bill? Should I have said that? Will I get there on time? To live happily, it's important that you see life from a broader perspective. Imagine that you are flying high above the sky in an airplane, and you look down and see houses and buildings--see how small they look from far above. Those impressive structures look like miniature toys when viewed from above. In the same way, see your problems and difficulties as "little toys" that can be easily handled and put away when you're done with them. At the same time, change your viewpoint from "small me," to "big we"-- into a broader perspective where you are more interested in the welfare of others--in developing empathy and compassion for their needs; desiring to serve and help others. It is a well-known psychological truth that the greatest cure for your sadness is to help others lift their sadness; the greatest remedy for feeling unloved is to help others feel loved for who they are.

ADJUST YOURSELF TO THE PACE OF NATURE: Have you ever felt stressed out, nervous, or tense, as if the whole world was on your shoulders? If so, that means that you are out of sync with the pace of nature. While modern life is often frantic, rushing, and overstimulating, the rhythm of nature is more flowing and adaptable--sometimes fast; sometimes slow; sometimes energetic, sometimes relaxed. To have more energy, you need to synchronize your personality with the harmonious energy of the natural world. When you do this, you will be living at an emotional level that allows you to replenish your energies at a steady rate to handle the demands of daily living.

An overstressed female executive was close to having a heart attack when she discovered the secret of "Pace Living"--living according to the rhythms of the natural world. On a seaside vacation, for several days, she would lie on the beach, with her head on the sand, listening carefully to the rhythm of the ocean. As she did this, a sense of calm overcame her--she realized that she needed to slow down and take life more patiently---allowing the waves of life to take her where she needed to go. When she returned from her vacation, she cut down on her work commitments, spent more time with her family, and cultivated a spiritual practice. Before long, she was more energetic, optimistic, and effective than ever before. You, too, can live at nature's patient pace. Try this: When you are at a store, intentionally choose to wait in the longer line, so you can diminish your rush thinking, and build your ability to rest your mind in the moment. If you are in a traffic jam, say to yourself that you will enjoy this extra time, thinking and meditating on a future grand objective or plan. Developing patience, and a more relaxed state of being, will give you the extra energy and vitality you need to prosper in your daily challenges.

If you follow these 3 steps on a daily basis, you will begin to Think Big and Live Large: You will move your mind from the rigidness and tightness of worry and fear into the beautiful territory of peace, power, and harmony. You will get more done with less effort, and you will have a smile when you get up, and a smile when you go to bed.

There once was an unhappy man named Walter who lived in Crazy Town. Crazy Town was a place full of bitter, complaining, envious, fearful, and angry people. Born into Crazy town by crazy parents, the unhappy boy, Walter, grew up to become the unhappy man, Walter, His life was full of pain, regret, and despair. No matter how much he accomplished in the material world, he still felt like a failure.

One day there was a visitor from Happy Meadow--a beautiful place where the people were content, loving, and peaceful. Hearing strange and wondrous stories of this place where everyone got along, and men and women lived in harmony, Walter had a strong desire to visit and learn more. He packed several suitcases, and began the journey to Happy Meadow.

When he arrived, he was hospitably greeted and take to the leader of Happy Meadow, a petite middle-aged woman dressed in simple clothes. With a beaming smile on her face, she told her story.

"Once, a long time ago, I, too, lived in Crazy Town. My life was about competition, anger, and fear. I wanted more of everything I could obtain, and I didn't care who got in my way. Then, I met a wise teacher, and began to study the secrets of happiness that led me to Happy Meadow.

I learned the simple secrets that unlocked the doors of my joy and success:

I FOUND HAPPINESS BY HELPING OTHERS FIND IT. I realized that my selfishness was a crutch that I relied on to build my false esteem. At the same time, the crutch kept me weak and powerless because I was so busy worrying about myself that I had little energy to accomplish the true desires of my heart. Finally, when I threw away the crutch of my selfishness, and started smiling at people, helping the needy, and contributing to my community, I suddenly felt free; I saw my potential and power grow. The more I helped others, the happier I felt. Every time I gave my time, energy, and resources to help someone who truly needed it, I felt my own resources grow. I was no longer envious, worried, or regretful. I saw others as being like me, and I like them. There was no need to rush, fight, or worry over things--there was more than enough for everyone. The Creator had given us all an abundance, and all we had to do was help each other find it.

MY WORK IS MY LOVE, THROUGH WHICH I PLAY AND GIVE; THE MORE WORK I DO, THE MORE ENERGY I HAVE. In my previous position, I made a lot of money, but I was empty inside. Work was drudgery; the hours seemed to drip slowly like molasses on a hot day. I hated my work. But, when I found work I loved, suddenly my whole world opened up. I could earn a living while playing and enjoying. Because I had fun in my work, I had an enormous capacity for work, and I became the best at what I did--offering unparalleled service to my customers, who gave me loving energy back in many forms--in marvelous financial, emotional, and spiritual rewards.

GRATITUDE BECAME MY DAILY BREAD: Instead of asking for more, I gave thanks for the riches I already possessed. I gave thanks for my life, for my happy experiences, for my loved ones, for my Don (God-given talent), for my ability to share my blessings with all who desired them. I no longer prayed for material things or wealth, and as a result, I now have more material wealth than I could ever need. My great riches come from those people I have helped to live truly and grow wondrously. Gratitude became my daily bread--each day, I ate of the wondrous feelings of gratefulness to my higher source. Each day, I realized that my life was complete; there was no lack, failure, or frustration. There was only abundance, success, and love."

As the founder of Happy Meadow finished her talk, she welcomed Walter to live permanently in their simple little paradise. With a warm embrace and a kind voice, she explained further: "By the way, we don't pay taxes here. This place we live is not a physical land or defined territory. Happy Meadow exists in our minds--it cannot be stolen or lost; it cannot be broken or taken--it is always here, inside us, forever, in our minds and hearts."

Now it's your turn: Are you ready to make your permanent dwelling in Happy Meadow by following the 3 secrets to your inner well-being? All you have to do is give your two weeks' notice to Crazy Town, and pack your bags. You new life of happiness is about to begin.

There once was a traveler who was looking for a hotel to stay in the city; he happened to be traveling with his Pomeranian dog, Misty. He emailed several hotels to see if they would accept his dog, but they all said, "No." Finally, one hotel owner responded as follows:

You ask if I accept dogs in my hotel. Yes, I do: I find them to be the most gracious guests. I have never yet had a dog guest light a cigarette in the room, and set one of our beds on fire. I have never had a dog guest get drunk and throw up all over the room, after breaking everything inside. I have never had a dog guest get into such a contentious fight with his love partner that the police had to be called. Yes, I will say that your dog is a most welcome guest in our hotel. I would love to have him.

PS: You can come too, if your dog says you're OK.

Why are dogs so loved by many people? Because they offer unconditional love; always wagging their tails and jumping when they see their human friend; always happy to see you, no matter what. We can learn valuable lessons on how to be loved by studying the natural charisma of a dog. Here are some personality characteristics of the dog we can apply in our own lives.

1. Project Interest Outside Yourself: Dogs are always interested in us, following us from room to room, constantly keeping their eye on what we're doing. As humans, we often tend to be self-centered, always thinking about our own needs, how we are coming across. To be loved, we need to do a reversal: extend our loving energy outward. Become genuinely interested in other people; ask them questions about their lives, what their passions are, how you can be of service to them. When you do this, you will expand your focus from your small "me world" into a larger perspective of connection, compassion, and empathy. You will find that people will be more attracted to you, and interested in you, because you have entered their world with a desire to know more about them, and connect with them.

2. Live Daily with Enthusiasm: Dogs often have unrelenting enthusiasm; they want to play, they want to go outside with you; they want to jump, wag their tail, and bark. In our daily, stressful, and busy lives we often forget to play, to have fun--to laugh, to be spontaneous. Dogs are a good reminder that we need to get in touch with our playful, fun-loving sides. Tickle a friend, tell a joke on yourself, play a fun prank; go to a comedy show; play a childhood group game (remember "Simon says") with your adult (or child) friends. When you do this, your face will become animated; you will smile more; you will look more attractive, regardless of your facial and body features. People will want to spend time with you because you are fun, interesting, and charming.

3. Do Something Nice For Others: Dogs have been known to bring slippers and newspapers for their human friends, lick them on the face when their human friend is sad, and cuddle up to them when they are lonely. In the same way, you can decide to do nice things for others--help a homeless person, listen to a hurting acquaintance, smile and pay compliments to others. The key is to be nice, without expecting anything in return--you don't need them to like you or give you an equal benefit. What you will find is that the nicer you are to others, the nicer others will be to you. It may not be the person you are nice to who is nice back, but it could be someone else, whom you didn't expect.

Now you have learned the 3 charisma characteristics of that marvelous species known as the dog. If you adopt these the personality traits as your own, you will learn the dog's truth:

Be interested in others, and they will be interested in you.
Be playful, and attract fun and charm into your life.
Love others, and you will be loved.

Once, there was a wealthy businessman who had too many problems and stress in life. He went to a wise woman and asked her: "I have too many problems; everyone wants something from me--time, energy, money. I can't take it anymore. If you show me how to get rid of my problems, I will give your $1 million."

The wise woman looked at the harried businessman kindly and replied: "That is easy. I have a solution for you. I know a community with over 100,000 people who have no problems, whatsoever. Would you like to join them?"

Upon hearing this, the wealthy businessman's eyes lit up, and he said, "Yes. Perfect, show me where it is. I want to go there."

The wise woman pointed toward the West. "It's over there; it's called the cemetery. Those who are there have no problems, whatsoever. They are dead. Only the living have problems. The more problems you have--rightfully handled--the more alive you are. Thank God for your problems; they can make you stronger and more alive."

Have you ever wanted to get rid of your problems? Too much stress, too many bills; too many relationship conflicts; too little time. Now, there is a new paradoxical way to think about your problems: See them as vehicles for growth, improvement, even transformation.

This doesn't mean that you go looking for problems, or that you intentionally make mistakes so you get into trouble. On the contrary; you will go about your way doing the right thing--living a life of discipline, love, and contribution, but at the same time, you will not fear problems, or obstacles, when they do arise.

The key is to view each problem, challenge, or obstacle as an opportunity--saying to yourself: "What can I learn from this situation? How can I become wiser, stronger, or more loving by overcoming this problem? When you think like this, you open up a storehouse of inner ability, wisdom, and power--reserves that you never even knew you had.

Another important point is to change your thinking from "If only (regrets)," to "Next time (optimistic change)." Sometimes, you will make mistakes or errors in life. You said the wrong thing to a loved one. You stayed too long in a job or relationship that wasn't fulfilling. Or, you didn't stay in a job or relationship that was actually good for you.

When you make a mistake in life, you are likely to experience regret thinking ("If only.... I had done/not done that). What you need to do is focus your mind on transformative thinking ("Next time I will do something differently; I will learn from my mistake).

When you engage in transformative thinking, you are able to take the lesson from your error and apply it to your future success. Perhaps, you will be more patient next time; or you will leave a bad situation. Or, you will trust your gut instinct more when it comes to making a decision. Instead of beating yourself up with regret, you will forgive yourself, and liberate your inner resources to act rightly the next time. The more good decisions you make, the less regret you will have.

Living successfully and joyfully is not that difficult. If you realize that each problem or difficulty you encounter has the seed of a greater benefit, and if you change your mindset from "If only" to "Next time," you will begin to create miracles in your life. Now, problems become opportunities, and regrets are transformed into hopefulness and positive change. Begin today to turn your problems into prizes, and you will live more joyfully, powerfully, and confidently than ever before.

In the martial arts, the Hara is a point two inches below the navel that is a center of power and balance. When martial artists perform great feats of strength such as breaking boards or bricks, they focus their power from the Hara. In the same way, you can generate great power and accomplish your heart's desires by developing a one-point focus--by creating a Hara (PURPOSE) Statement that summarizes what you want out of life.

Here are some of the Hara Statements of great achievers from history:


When you have a hara statement--a life-driving mission or purpose--you liberate your energies and increase your motivation to reach your dream. You plan better, work harder, and recover more quickly from setbacks. You learn that each setback or "failure" you experience on the way to your goal has the seed of an equivalent benefit--a lesson learned, a strength developed, that will bring you closer to your goal.

Once, there was a timid salesman who took a self-development course, and decided he would apply the lessons learned. He went to his boss and asked for 10 of the most difficult sales accounts--the 10 businesses that no salesman had ever sold to. The salesman then created his Hara statement: "By the end of this month, all of you (the difficult 10) will buy from me, and I will provide you will unsurpassed service. I will not stop until my goal is reached." Within one week, he had sold to 3 out of the 10 "impossible" accounts. He then continued visualizing his One Point Focus until he had sold 9 of the accounts.

But, there was one stubborn business owner who would not buy from the salesman, no matter how much the salesman tried. Every day for one month, the salesman would visit the business owner, and every day the business owner would say "No, I'm not buying." Finally, the business owner said, "You have wasted an entire month trying to sell me. Why have you wasted your time?"

The Salesman replied: "I have not wasted my time. I have been going to school, and you have been my teacher. Now, I know all of the arguments for not buying. I have also been practicing self-confidence in the face of rejection."

Finally, the business owner sighed and said: "I, too have been going to school. You have taught me the value of unrelenting persistence and unyielding focus, which is worth significant money to me. I will pay my tuition fee by giving you an order."

As a result of his unwavering focus, the young salesman earned the best account in the city, and went on to become the top producer in the nation who provided impeccable service to his clients. In the end, he became a very wealthy and happy man because he applied the One Point Focus--thereby becoming an irresistible force for the activation of his dreams.

Now, it's your turn. Take a piece of paper, or write on your tablet or computer, one sentence that summarizes your great mission or Hara Purpose in life. Memorize that statement, post it on your walls, and bring it up in daily conversation. The more you rehearse and practice your Hara Statement, the closer it will come to becoming reality. You will be unstoppable. You will help others. You will change your world.

With July 4th approaching, it's time that we celebrate a different kind of independence--freedom from unfulfilling, incompatible, and emotionally unhealthy relationships. You may be caught in an unhealthy or unproductive relationship--but you don't know how to get out. For a while, your mind keeps you in the relationship by focusing on the pleasurable parts of being with that person (although there may be few bright spots), but then the negative and painful parts of the relationship hit you on the brain, and you want to get out. How can you free yourself a bad relationship? Here are 3 tips for Love Independence.

1. DON'T MISTAKE ADDICTION FOR LOVE: Psychologists have researched the brain chemistry of sex and love, and have found that certain brain chemicals are released when you first fall in love--these chemicals give you a "high" (euphoric) feeling like being on cocaine. But, the chemicals wear off over time--then you are back to square one. Like any drug, you build up tolerance, and then have withdrawal symptoms (you feel bad when you're not around your drug, "that person"). For some people, the constant breakup and makeup phases in a relationship are ways to get their "fix" of that love brain chemical. But, that is not true love. Love is not just excitement, thrills, and pleasure. Healthy love includes the qualities of trust, respect, and commitment. These elements provides far more pleasure to you in the long run of a relationship than the physical chemistry or attraction that wears off after a relationship has progressed.

2. MEDITATE ON YOUR LOVE FUTURE: Here is a simple exercise to help you look into the future of your relationship. Sit in a comfortable place, close your eyes, and take a deep breath--in and out. Now, visualize your Love Future: See what it will be like to be with your partner, 5 years from today--see what you will look like, what you will be doing, who is around you, and what you are feeling. Then, do the same mental projection into the future for 10, 20, and 30 years. Pay particular attention to your feelings during each time period--are you happy, sad, joyful, contented, frustrated, resentful, relaxed, or loving? Then, write down what you saw and felt in a journal. You may discover some interesting insights. Perhaps, you see that you worked out your differences with your love partner in the future, and you enjoyed a happy long-term relationship. Or, you may see that you have a dead-end with the person--the relationship will go nowhere--and you will be living a life of inauthenticity, sadness, and pain. If the latter is the case, then you know your answer--you need to leave the relationship, and save yourself years of heartache and trouble. See your future, and act on it now.

3. PRACTICE SELF-COMPASSION: When you are torn between leaving or staying in a relationship, your friends and family members will often give you well-intentioned advice. Some will support you unconditionally ("Whatever you decide is best"), while others will chastise you for staying ("Don't be a fool; leave"). Now is the time to take a momentary break from the advice of others, and practice self-compassion--love and embrace yourself, no matter what--regardless of your weaknesses and soft spot for a particular individual whom you know, deep down, is no good for you. Realize that you are still a good person, even though you are staying (for now) with a person who is not emotionally healthy for you. You may be staying because you are still attracted to them--there is still something about that incompatible partner that you crave, even though you know that they are all wrong for you. If that is the case, be compassionate to yourself. Recognize that your "weakness" for that person is perfectly natural; as a human being, you may have a strong irrational desire for a particular person. At the same time, decide that you will embrace and love yourself no matter what decision you make in the relationship--to stay or go. You will be guided by your inner sense of rightness, and not by the opinions of others. You will love yourself, no matter what you decide to do.

Follow the 3 tips of Love Independence today, and break the chains of an unhealthy and incompatible relationship. If you decide that you need to move on, now is the right time for you to do it. Declare your emotional freedom today.

Would you like to think like a champion--someone who wins in life? Would like you like to consistently achieve the best results in your relationships, finances, health, and mental well-being? Now, you can by following 3 simple tips derived from positive psychology and the laws of habit formation.

1. AVOID THE LITTLE BADS: We may not realize it, but we often say negative phrases to ourselves--"little bads"--that become a part of our psychological makeup: "I don't have enough time." "I don't have enough money." "Life is difficult." These small, pocket-sized samples of negativity become ingrained in our minds, and before we know it, we start to feel bad, negative, and drained of energy. The key to defeat the "little bads" is to transform them into "little goods"--simple words of encouragement and positivity that we repeat to ourselves, in our daily thoughts. Now, you say to yourself, "I have all the time I need," "There is an abundance of money," and "Life, with positive belief, is easy." As you begin to speak differently to yourself, your attitude will brighten, and you will have far more energy, motivation, and desire to accomplish your goals.

2. START WITH THE EASY: Many times we want to do something in life--start a new career, relationship, or lifestyle--but we think doing so is too hard; it requires too much effort. The solution is to begin with an easy step, something you can complete in a short period of time, without much effort. If, for example, you want to start a new career, go online and read a couple of articles about people who have been successful in that field. If you want to write a book, start with the first sentence, with the first idea--just write down the first few phrases that come to you. If you want to get in shape, decide that you're going to go to the gym for only 20 minutes the first time. As you take these small steps--in psychology, they are called successive approximations to the goal--you begin to build momentum to take bigger steps, and accomplish bigger goals. You build on the earlier successes for future successes. Now, the online search leads you to a mentor you want to learn from. The early sentences lead to more writing and longer paragraphs. The 20 minutes at the gym become 30, then 45, then 1 hour, and you start to see the results in your physique and physical health--which motivate you to work out even more. The first early easy steps toward your goal have now led you to a higher level of accomplishment that further propels you forward.

3. JOIN A MASTERMIND GROUP: It is said that where 2 or more are gathered, great things can be accomplished. A Mastermind Group is a union of like-minded people who meet regularly (weekly or monthly) to exchange ideas, support each other, and help solve mutual problems. If, for example, you want to start a business, find 3 or 4 of the best business-minded people you know, and get together regularly for coffee or lunch. Bring your notepad or tablet, and let the ideas flow. In the first stage of idea gathering, the rule is that no one in the group critiques the ideas that are presented. The first phase of the group process is to simply generate ideas--as many as possible. Later, in the group meeting, is the cooling stage, where you help each other edit and critique the ideas, and come up with the best ones. This Mastermind process can work for any topic you are interested in--from raising children, to being a good cook, to inventing something to make a difference in the world. The important ingredient of the Mastermind Group is that you regularly meet with like-minded people who share your values and vision, and who sincerely want to help you reach your greatest goals (as you feel the same way toward them).

To summarize, here are the steps to think like a champion: 1. Avoid the Little Bads: Build up a reservoir of positivity, and strong, success-producing thoughts, in place of the defeating, nagging little negative thoughts. 2. Start with the Easy: Begin with what you can do with little effort: Generate momentum--a flow of energy and power--that leads you directly to your ultimate goals. 3. Join a Mastermind Group: Unite yourself with like-minded people in a weekly or monthly group in which you come up with ideas, and help each other reach your goals. With these three steps as your guide, you are now ready for Success Living--the life of a mental champion who achieves and contributes to society at the highest level.

Imagine that you walk into a room full of attractive singles who are wearing masks at a masquerade ball. As you dance with your chosen partner, he or she seems wonderful, and just your type. But, then, when the night is over, and the mask comes off, you realize that this "wonderful" person wasn't nearly as compatible with you as you thought. You are disappointed and wonder how this could happen. That is the real life "Dating Masquerade"--where singles meet people who appear one way, and then turn out to be something entirely different (incompatible).

The good news is that there is now a scientific way to identify a compatible partner based on Jungian/Myers-Briggs personality types. I call this approach, LoveTypes, because you identify the romantic style of the person most likely to be compatible with you in a long-term relationship.

The 4 Magic Questions that you can ask potential dating partners are:


THEY ARE EXTRAVERT (E) IF: THEY like to spend a lot of time socializing with friends or doing things with people in the outside world.

THEY ARE INTROVERT (I) IF: THEY enjoy spending more time alone or with a few close friends--reading, writing, thinking, meditating, and listening to music



THEY ARE SENSORY (S)/PRACTICAL IF:THEY would use the money to buy a house, invest, travel, and enjoy the sensory pleasures of life (fine wine, dining, etc.). They are realistic, concrete, down-to earth, and sensual.

THEY ARE INTUITIVE (N)/IMAGINATIVE IF: THEY would use the money to invest in a grand venture, plan, invention, or scheme to change the world or make a difference. They live by your intuition and imagination.








THEY'RE STRUCTURED/JUDGERS (J) IF YOU SAY: "No," or "I have to plan it out."


To have a happy relationship, you are better off finding someone who is similar to you on the key dimensions (especially Intuition/Practical). If you are different, the key is to learn how to respect your partner's style.

If you are in in the Los Angeles area tommorow, Saturday, 4/11/15 at 5:00PM, you are invited to come to a real-life social mixer called "The Dating Masquerade" at St. Felix in Hollywood (on Cahuenga). It is a Free event where you will wear a mask and have an opportunity to meet a compatible partner based on your personality type.

It's a lot of fun. Hope to see you there. You can register online at

It's your turn now: Ask the 4 Magic Questions and Get Ready for The Dating Masquerade!

Dr. Avila

When we were little kids, we were told to try hard. Our parents told us, the harder we try, the better our results: in grades, sports or activities, and eventually, in grown-up jobs. Although they meant well, our parents were only half right. Psychology tells us that trying too hard can actually defeat our purpose: If we do more of the wrong things, we get more of the same (bad) results.

There is a better way to achieve your goals and dreams. It is called "Trying Right": Putting forth the right effort in the right way for the right goals. Let's take a look at 3 examples of Trying Wrong, and three effective ways for "Trying Right."

TRYING WRONG EXAMPLE #1: NOT TRYING AT ALL: Many times we give up when we don't achieve our goals. We try for that ideal career, relationship, or mental attitude, but we keep failing. Eventually, we give up; we stop trying. In psychology, it is known as learned helplessness: In rat experiments, rats go through a maze looking for food. When they receive an electric shock just before they get the food, they may give up looking for food--they avoid traveling through the maze--even though there were no more shocks for them. They have learned to be helpless. It applies to humans, too. At some point after having a few failures in trying to achieve our goals, we believe we can't succeed. We stop trying to avoid the pain of failing. We have "learned" to be helpless.

THE TRYING RIGHT SOLUTION: REFLECT ON PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALREADY SUCCEEDED. If you want a great relationship, study people who have them. If you want to make more money, find a financial mentor who can teach you the ropes of finances. If you want spiritual peace, learn from someone who truly has it. Absorb the knowledge and wisdom of those who have already succeeded in the areas you are interested in. When you do this, you have a road map to avoid the electric shocks (pain) of the world; you can go through the maze of life accomplishing your goals with minimum pain and maximum satisfaction.

TRYING WRONG EXAMPLE #2: TRYING TOO HARD: Another problem we have is trying too hard. Have you ever noticed the man or woman who tries too hard to impress a potential romantic partner (while secretly believing that he or she is socially inadequate), and then ends up pushing him or her away? Or, in the classic case of stutterers, they worry so much about stuttering (and try so hard not to), that they end up stuttering even more. They suffer from what is called "anticipatory anxiety"; they are anxious about being anxious, which makes them even more anxious (and they stutter even more).

THE TRYING RIGHT SOLUTION: REVERSE YOUR TRYING AND MAKE IT FUNNY: The solution to trying too hard is to reverse your effort, and intentionally try to be the opposite of what you have been trying to be. If you have been trying "not to stutter," as an exercise, do the opposite: Tell yourself that "I am the greatest stutterer in the world." Exaggerate your stuttering with a few friends; even make a joke out of it: "I, I, I, am, am, am, the biggggest stutter in the world. Looook aatt me." When you intentionally stutter in this humorous experimental way, you take away your anxiety about stuttering, and you become more relaxed. Paradoxically, the more you intentionally try to stutter (as a humorous experiment), the less likely you are to do so (you actually speak more fluently and confidently). Trying less hard gets you into what Eastern philosophers call the flow of "effortless effort." By trying less (in the right way), you actually accomplish more.

TRYING WRONG EXAMPLE #3: TRYING FOR THE WRONG THINGS: Now we get to one of the biggest problems in our society: trying for goals that do not fulfill us. An artist strives to make more money, even though that is not her primary passion in life. A businessman is told by friends to relax more and lie on the beach, even though finances are his greatest talent, and he hates wasting time. There is nothing wrong with either money or relaxation. What matters is whether a goal matches who you really are inside. By having mismatched goals (from our true nature), we suffer because we extend too much energy chasing the wrong things--objectives that can never truly satisfy us. We lose our power--giving power to the objective which we think will make us happy (but it won't).

THE TRYING RIGHT SOLUTION: TRY FOR YOUR GOD-GIVEN TALENT (DON): All of us have a God-given talent, also known as "Don," a secret wellspring of ability, power, and skill that is unique to our psychological DNA. Known by many names, such as "multiple intelligences," "strengths," or "talents," this reservoir of inner power and ability is our birthright. For some of us, it is emotional, or spiritual, or financial, or athletic, or scientific, or artistic, or word-related. Regardless of what our "Don" is, our mission is to actualize that ability for the greater good of others--which naturally is reflected back to us in our own inner growth and happiness. While it's perfectly fine for the businessman to dabble in leisure, or the artist to learn about finances, the ultimate key to your happiness and success is to discover and nurture and focus on that true power or ability your have inside--the wonderful talent called "DON." Now, when you put all of your effort into your Don, you will only see positive results in many areas of your life. You world will change miraculously.


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