The Two Saplings – A Story About How to Maximise Personal Growth

Even the tallest mountain is conquered one step at a time

An eight-year-old boy went to his grandfather and proudly announced, “I am going to be very successful when I grow up.  Can you give me any tips on how to get there?”

The grandfather nodded, and without saying a word, took the boy by the hand and walked him to a nearby plant nursery.

There, the two of them chose and purchased two small saplings.

They returned home and planted one of them in the back yard.

The other sapling was placed in a pot and kept indoors.

“Which one do you think will be the most successful in the future?” asked the grandfather.

The boy thought for a moment and said, “The indoor tree.  It’s protected and safe while the outdoor one has to cope with the elements.”

The grandfather shrugged his shoulders and said, “We’ll see.”

The grandfather carefully tended to both plants and in a few years, the boy, now a teenager came to visit again.

“You never really answered my question from when I was a young boy.  How can I become successful when I grow up?”  he asked.

The old man showed the teenager the indoor tree and then took him outside to have a look at the towering tree outside.

“Which one is greater?” the grandfather asked.

“The outside one.  But that doesn’t make sense, it has to cope with many more challenges than the inside one.”

The grandfather smiled, “Yes, but the risk of dealing with challenges is worth it as it has the freedom to spread its roots wider and its leaves towards the heavens.  Boy, remember this and you be successful in whatever you do; If you choose the safe option all of your life you will never grow and be all that you can be, but if you are willing to face the world head-on with all of its dangers and challenges, the sky’s the limit.”

The young man looked up at the tall tree, took a deep breath and nodded his head, knowing that his wise grandfather was right.

The same is true for all of us.

If you choose the safe, well-worn path, then a life of mediocrity awaits.

But if you have the courage and capacity to live in the elements, you give yourself a great chance of reaching your full potential and being successful in your chosen field of endeavour.

God created trees to grow outside.

He created people to live lives of significance.

So let me ask you, are you an indoor tree or an outdoor one?

Today’s story was shared by Darren Poke and is shared from the following website: https://betterlifecoachingblog.com/2013/03/08/the-two-saplings-a-story-about-how-to-maximise-personal-growth/

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What Are The Steps Of Positive Thinking?

We Become What We Think About Earl Nightingale

The most potent form of energy is thought because thought-waves are cosmic (energy) waves penetrating all time and space.

  • Watch your thoughts, they become words.
  • Watch your words, they become actions.
  • Watch your actions, they become habits.
  • Watch your habits, they become your character.
  • Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

A man is but the product of his thoughts – what he thinks, he becomes. – Mahatma Gandhi

What Are The Steps Of Positive Thinking?

Becoming a positive thinker is easy when you know the steps of positive thinking…

…and of course, you also apply them! (By the way, do you wonder if you need to study positive thinking?)

All you need to benefit from positive thinking is to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones – this is, to change your focus of attention from something that makes you feel bad to something that makes you feel good.

It *is* that simple!

How do you do that?

Follow these easy steps of positive thinking:

  1. Become aware of your thoughts. You can do this on the spot, throughout the day.If you’ve never paid attention to your thoughts, then you can train yourself to do that by choosing a quiet spot and sitting in silence for a while, just noticing what comes up in your mind. I found it best to do this in the afternoons, after work is done and before taking care of things like making dinner.Most of us are over-identified with our own thoughts, and believe that just because *we* have a certain thought, it means something. But thoughts are just thoughts – they are not yours or mine, and they only have as much weigh as you want to give them.
  2. Notice the thoughts that make you feel bad. This is easy to do: your emotions (fear, jealousy, worry, anger…) will tell you that you are on a ‘negative’ train of thought.For instance, think about the subject of money. How do you feel? Anxious, nervous, scared? What thoughts come to mind? ‘Money is hard to make’, ‘I never have enough money’ are perhaps some of those thoughts.Taking this step can also help you to uncover the root of your beliefs (most of them would have been acquired during your childhood) and set yourself free to choose new beliefs.
  3. Change your negative thoughts for positive ones. This is easy: choose thoughts that make you feel good when you think them.You can only think of one thing at a time; if you think about something that makes you feel good then there is no room for feeling bad.For example, if you find yourself worrying about money and bills to pay, you could instead choose to focus on all the abundance that you do have, or you could list situations where money came to you unexpectedly.If you find yourself unable to think about a certain subject in a way that makes you feel good, then choose to think about something else that does make you feel good. The point is to change your train of thought and thus your emotions.

Why can I not change my thoughts?

Sometimes, you might notice, it is not so easy to change your thoughts about a certain subject. You may try to think about it in a way that makes you feel good, yet you find that there is no way you can feel good about it.

The thing is, when you have thought about a subject in a certain way for a long time, you have ‘walked’ that path of thought so often that it seems the only path available.

Some of the big subjects where we may find difficulty changing our thoughts are money, relationships, and health.

In these cases, it is best to first practice changing your thoughts about something small.

For example, do you get upset when you have to queue for a while? Next time, change the direction of your thoughts by focusing on whatever benefits you can find to queuing – “This chair is actually quite comfortable”, “I now have time to just relax”, “I can now read a few more pages of this book”.

As you practice following the steps of positive thinking about small things, you get the hang of it and it becomes easier to change your thoughts on larger subjects.

You can also use your thoughts to ‘program’ yourself a good day: get up to positive thinking; or you can use positive thinking to change your thoughts about your own life.

Summing up the steps of positive thinking:

  1. Become aware of your thoughts
  2. Use your emotions as a way to discover your negative thoughts
  3. Put your attention on thoughts that make you feel good

The trick, as you would have probably imagined, is to repeat these steps often, with many different subjects, and to start small in the subjects where you find it difficult.

As you do that consistently, you start changing your overall perception of life, and life starts changing for you.

Use the following resources to help yourself when following the steps of positive thinking:

  • Positive thinking activities
  • Positive self statements
  • Positive thinking tips
  • Positive thinking programs

You can then expand on these steps of positive thinking with the Law of Attraction, which shows you how you can intentionally use your thoughts to achieve or obtain what you want. Discover how the Law of Attraction, positive thinking and quantum physics relate.

In the words of Henri Matisse…

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”

Today’s article was written by Cristina Diaz and is shared from the following website: http://www.the-benefits-of-positive-thinking.com/steps-of-positive-thinking.html

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God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

Their primary source of income is from agriculture.  Yet it is a difficult proposition as due to perennial shortage of water, they can grow mainly a single kharif crop like paddy or some arahar dal or ragi.  Therefore part of their livelihood is also met by wages doing daily labour.

Water, which we in the towns and cities use indiscriminately, is a major source of worry.  They are dependant on a small river nearby for their daily consumption and household needs.  Unfortunately this source dries up in summer and can be of help only for a few months in a year. Who is affected the most by this fact?  The villagers go through severe health problems which affect not only their livelihood but also the quality of their lives.  In such a scenario, the women bear the brunt of the suffering.  Fetching water becomes an important task for which they often have to get up at 4 am. After a full day’s work in the fields, they again have to trudge to the river to bring water.

In such a bleak scenario, enteredthe Harsha Trust, a not-for-profit organization that works with the tribal and the poor in remote locations of Orissa, aiming to bring in human development in challenging conditions. Professionals from Harsha Trust visited the village in October 2014 and at once identified this problem and met frequently with the community to deliberate on the possible solutions.  Now this was not the first time a meeting such as this was being held in the village.  Similar meetings had been conducted earlier by various government departments: they came, they spoke, they promised…nothing concrete happened.  The hopes of the villagers were crushed. Therefore you can well imagine the reception the Harsha Trust got!

Luckily, one of the village elders, Mr Srima Praska, showed interest and managed to persuade his fellow villagers to give them a chance. So Harsha Trust arranged for a field trip to Kumbharapada village in May 2015.  This village had installed a drinking water model with facilities for  irrigation with the help of a solar pump from a deep borewell.  Impressed by what they saw, the village Self Help Group (SHG) members held a meeting to dwell on the details and to see if this could be replicated in their own village.

After a few rounds of discussions, the community was motivated and then started the finetuning of the project.  A corpus fund of Rs 1000/- was collected from each household. This total of 29,000/- was earmarked for the work which began in June 2015.  A borewell was dug.  Just by digging 245 feet, about 2 inch of water got discharged.  Happy at this outcome, the villagers decided to construct an overhead drinking water tank in the plot of Mr Ghasiram Praska.

Another interesting feature of this bottom-up experiment was the actual construction.  Members from each household contributed by working for the construction of the overhead tank and piping layout. Thus each family contributed 15 man days and also helped in the 14 trips (tractor load) needed to get the boulders to make the overhead tank.  They developed a mechanism by which daily 10-12 people worked on a rotational basis.  In case a family could not participate in the work due to some reason, that family was required to pay for the substitute worker hired for the work.

The tank was constructed with a capacity of around 10,000 litres of water. Around 2550 feet were dug to accommodate the delivery pipes.  The entire work was completed in January 2016.  A 2-HP solar pump lifts around 70 thousand litres of water per day.  Around 12,000 litres of water are required for the household consumption.  Miraculously, what was backbreaking work for the women is now done in just one and half hours. The excess water is used by 12 households to cultivate tomatoes, chillies and sunflower in 1.5 acres of land.

Fittingly enough, to ensure the sustainability of this project so dear to them, the women have formed a committee named “Maa Phulamati Solar Jala Sechana Prakalpa”.  The main aim of this group is to take responsibility for the performance and future maintenance of the solar water supply system.

The committee is running well since 5th November 2015.  Each household deposits  Rs 30/- per month for drinking water (Re 1/- per day). To avail water for irrigation, a farmer has to contribute an amount of Rs 20 to receive a coupon that allows him to use the pumped water in the field for an hour.

We find today, a village which had health issues, a village where its women spent a large part of their day ferrying water, a village which could not live only with its income from agriculture, now reaps multiple benefits from a simple yet much-needed device as a solar pump.  Water is readily available for the women.  As the surplus water is used for irrigation, agriculture flourishes.  Some households have also started kitchen gardens with their waste water.  Villagers are making a conscious effort for cleanliness and hygiene.

A sea change has come over the village so much so that before giving their daughters  in marriage, parents are enquiring about similar facilities in the grooms’ villages.

Today’s article was written by Sabyasachi Kar and is shared from the following website:https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/god-helps-those-who-help-themselves-story-villagers-empowered-kar

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How to Brighten Your Morning (and Whole Day): 7 Powerful Habits

Let nothing trouble you let nothing worry you everything passes away expect God God alone is sufficient Norman Vincent Peale

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Marcus Aurelius

The alarm bell goes off. You slowly open your eyes. A new day lies before you.

A day of unexplored potential and opportunities. How can you make it more likely to become a positive and good day?

Today I’d like to simply share 7 habits that I have used to make my mornings and whole days better.

1. Have a reminder on your bedside table.

How will you start your very first moments and minutes of the day?

One good way to get off to a good start is to have a note, a reminder on your bedside table that will be one of the first things you see after you have woken up.

A couple of suggestions for what to write down on your note:

  • A low bar for happiness. Write down: “Today I will set a low bar for happiness”. Read it and try to keep it in mind during the day. This one helps me to appreciate things more. The food, my work, the weather, the people and the small events of the day becomes not everyday stuff but something I feel happy to have. The small things or what may be something one takes for granted becomes something I now often pause for a moment or two to take in and appreciate.
  • Your top 3 priorities in life right now. To keep your attention in the right place it is essential to remind yourself every day of what is truly most important. So what is most important for you this year? A project at work? Your family? Improving your social life? Your blog, photography, soccer or debt? Think about it and reduce what is important in your life to the top 3 most important priorities.

2. Give one genuine compliment.

Giving one genuine compliment to your partner, a family member, friend or co-worker during your morning can not only lift his or her day but also make yours a little brighter and happier.

So tap into what you can appreciate about a person in your life. Then tell him or her that.

If you can, make it something that may be a bit unexpected and something that person hasn’t heard a hundred times before. For example, a compliment about her great taste in music or his wonderful way with animals may be more appreciated and powerful than a compliment about looks and other more superficial stuff.

3. Positive information intake over breakfast.

Instead of watching the news or reading the papers and getting a negative and perhaps depressing start to your day do something that will inspire you.

  • Read one or a couple of new posts from positive, funny and uplifting blogs or websites.
  • Read a chapter from a book that inspires you.
  • Or simply have a fun and warm conversation with the people around your kitchen table.

4. Start your workday with your most important task of the day.

If you do then the rest of the day will feel lighter and easier. You will feel better about yourself and more confident as you move on to other tasks.

If you have trouble getting started with the most important task then just make a deal with yourself to work on it for 3 minutes. Then you can stop if you like. But you may not want to once you have gotten started. That seems to be the case for me most of the time.

Getting started is most often the hardest part. So make that part easier for yourself.

5. Go slow.

When I go a bit slower it becomes easier to fully focus, to keep the stress down and I most often do a better job with something the first time around.

I work with more clarity and I do not get stuck in doing busy work very often.

It may feel like I’m not getting enough done but at the end of the day I usually get more quality work done than if I tried to maintain a high speed throughout the day. Partly because the lower stress levels keeps my mind fresh and energy up even through the last few afternoon hours of the workday.

Try going a bit slower. See how it works for you.

6. Work out.

Often mentioned and for a good reason. It has many positive benefits.

I workout several times a week and by doing so I boost my energy, inner doubts and tensions lessen, I feel more decisive and my mind becomes more optimistic. And all of that makes the rest of the day lighter.

I highly recommend doing some kind of exercise in the morning. If you can’t go to a gym or work out from home early in the day then maybe you can walk or bicycle to work or school.

7. Do the right thing in some small or big way.

This one boosts your self-esteem. It puts a spring in your step and it at least makes me feel happier.

So do what you deep down think is the right thing.

A few examples that may resonate with you:

  • Perform a random act of kindness. Hold up the door or point out the way for someone who seems lost.
  • Help someone out practically or just by listening.
  • Get started with putting a dent in the most important challenge in your life.

Build upon just a small step, a small thing if you like. Start building an upward spiral of positivity and good feelings within. And then take further steps upward.

Towards what you know you really want and you know are the right things for you in your life.

Today’s article was written by Henrik Edberg and is shared from the following website: https://www.positivityblog.com/brighten-your-morning/#more-8400

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Closest Thing to a Wonder Drug? Try Exercise

I consider my refusal to go to the gym today as resistance training Unknown

After I wrote last year that diet, not exercise, was the key to weight loss, I was troubled by how some readers took this to mean that exercise therefore had no value.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Of all the things we as physicians can recommend for health, few provide as much benefit as physical activity.

In 2015, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges put out a report calling exercise a “miracle cure.” This isn’t a conclusion based simply on some cohort or case-control studies. There are many, many randomized controlled trials. A huge meta-analysis examined the effect of exercise therapy on outcomes in people with chronic diseases.

Let’s start with musculoskeletal diseases. Researchers found 32 trials looking specifically at the effect of exercise on pain and function of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee alone. That’s incredibly specific, and it’s impressive that so much research has focused on one topic.

Exercise improved those outcomes. Ten more studies showed, over all, that exercise therapy increases aerobic capacity and muscle strength in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Other studies proved its benefits in other musculoskeletal conditions, like ankylosing spondylitis, and even some types of back pain.

For people (mostly middle-aged men) who had had a heart attack, exercise therapy reduced all causes of mortality by 27 percent and cardiac mortality by 31 percent. Fourteen additional controlled trials showed physiological benefits in those with heart failure. Exercise has also been shown to lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension, and improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

People with diabetes who exercise have lower HbA1c values, which is the marker of blood sugar control, low enough to probably reduce the risk of complications from the disease. Twenty randomized controlled trials have showed that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can walk farther and function better if they exercise.

Multiple studies have found that exercise improves physical function and health-related quality of life in people who have Parkinson’s disease. Six more studies showed that exercise improves muscle power and mobility-related activities in people with multiple sclerosis. It also appeared to improve those patients’ moods.

The overall results of 23 randomized controlled trials showed that exercise most likely improves the symptoms of depression. Five others appear to show that it improves symptoms in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. In trials, exercise even lessened fatigue in patients who were having therapy for cancer.

What other intervention can claim results like these?

Even studies of older, hospitalized patients show a beneficial effect from multidisciplinary interventions that include exercise. Those randomized to such interventions in the hospital were more likely to be discharged to go home, and to spend less time in the hospital over all — and at a lower cost.

Although we don’t think of it this way, you can make a pretty good argument that exercise is as good as drugs for many conditions. A 2013 meta-analysis of meta-analyses (that’s how much data we have) combined and analyzed the results from 16 reviews of randomized controlled trials of drug and exercise interventions in reducing mortality. Collectively, these included 305 trials with almost 340,000 participants.

Diuretic drugs (but not all drugs) were shown to be superior to exercise in preventing death from heart failure. But exercise was found to be equally good as drugs in preventing mortality from coronary heart disease. Exercise was better than drugs in preventing death among patients from strokes.

Many people will be surprised at how little you need to do to achieve these results. Years ago, in an effort to get in shape, I tried the P90X routine. It proved too hard for me. Later, when I tried the Insanity workout, it beat me so badly that people at work kept asking me if I was ill. Two years ago, I tried P90X3. It was a bit more manageable, but I still couldn’t keep it up.

I have not been alone in thinking that physical activity to improve health should be hard. When I hear friends talk about exercising, they discuss running marathons, participating in CrossFit classes or sacrificing themselves on the altar of SoulCycle. That misses the point, unfortunately. All of these are much more than you need to do to get the benefits I’ve described.

The recommendations for exercise are 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity for adults, or about 30 minutes each weekday.

Moderate intensity is probably much less than you think. Walking briskly, at 3 to 4 miles per hour or so, qualifies. So does bicycling slower than 10 miles an hour. Anything that gets your heart rate somewhere between 110 and 140 beats per minute is enough. Even vacuuming, mowing the lawn or walking your dog might qualify.

Today, my goals are much more modest. Trekking from my office to the clinic and back again gives me 30 minutes of exercise. Or, I walk to the supermarket from my office to grab lunch, at a mile each way. In colder weather, I spend half an hour on the elliptical machine. Doing this five days a week gets me the activity I need.

Although it feels as if there’s nothing we can do to change people’s behavior, there is evidence to the contrary. A systematic review and meta-analysis of advice and counseling by health professionals found that promotion of physical activity works.

Doctors and clinics that made efforts to promote exercise to patients needed to engage 12 adults on the subject to get one additional adult to meet recommended levels of activity one year later. That might not sound impressive, but it’s one of the better such results.

After the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges wrote its report, an editorial in the BMJ, a prominent medical journal, countered that exercise wasn’t a “miracle cure.” Instead, the authors argued it was “the best buy for public health.”

If that’s the best “counterpoint,” then physical activity seems like a no-brainer.

Today’s article was written by Aaron E. Carroll and is shared from the following website: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/21/upshot/why-you-should-exercise-no-not-to-lose-weight.html

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