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Dreams and Goals

Before delving into the differences between dreams and goals, I need to start with a couple of definitions. What are goals? They are our plans or intentions for the future. They represent what we are trying to achieve and are conscious decisions we make. Our goals can be long or short term, and examples include plans to go to college …

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Moderation in All Things, Including Moderation

The principle of moderation, or avoiding excess of any kind is part of humanity’s heritage. We are fortunate in that we have been left a number of guiding principles to build our lives on. These universal truths are sometimes called perennial wisdom or the wisdom of the ages. Although they all date back to more than 2,000 years ago, they …

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Self-Improvement Tips

We all have a desire for endless improvement. It is part of our nature. But why do we find it so hard to do? For example, I may be overweight, unhappy with my job, and lack confidence. So, why don’t I lose weight, change jobs, and develop my confidence? Well, I act the way I do because of what I …

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How to Set Boundaries and Deal with Intimidation

The doors of my house have locks. I not only have the right to lock my doors, but I have the duty to protect my family from thieves and dangerous people. Yet, even with the doors locked, my home is occasionally invaded by telemarketers who interrupt whatever I’m doing with the hope of making a sale. At other times, an …

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Apology Is the First Step in Correcting a Wrong

No one likes to be caught in a storm. However, it may be worth it if it results in a wondrous rainbow. Life is full of storms and rainbows. Many of the storms are of our own making, and if we look about, we may discover a trail of devastation that we have left behind. Our unwarranted outbursts, cruel criticisms, …

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The Problem of Compulsive Shopping and what to Do about It

About 28 million Americans are addicted to shopping. Like gambling addicts, they experience a “rush” whenever they give in to their passion, but when it comes time to pay the bills, they feel remorseful and depressed. Let’s compare shopaholics with overeaters for a moment. Overeating encompasses a broad range. At one end of the scale we have the morbidly obese, …

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A Guide to Thinking

Part 1: A Beginner’s Guide to Thinking What do you think about thinking? Most of us probably think we do a lot of it, but we don’t. True, for most of us, there is an endless stream of chatter drifting through our consciousness. But self-talk isn’t thinking. It’s just commentary. It’s just an automatic regurgitation of opinions and beliefs. And …

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Nothing Great Was Achieved Without Enthusiasm

The word ‘enthusiasm’ comes from Greek and means God within (entheos). It refers to a divine spark or fire that burns within the breast of those with a passion for a cause, job, or life in general. “Enthusiasm,” according to Henry Ford, “is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, …

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Thoughts and Emotions. Are They Really Different?

A reader asks, “Which comes first, our thoughts or our feelings?” So, let’s consider this question, as well as how an understanding of our thoughts and feelings can help us lead better lives. But before we begin, let me clarify what I mean by “feelings.” The word has two meanings. First, our bodily sensations. Second, it is commonly used to …

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Are You an Optimist or Pessimist?

Optimists and pessimists. We’ve all met both. On awakening, optimists open the window and say with a smile, “Good morning, God!” Pessimists? They rub their eyes; clear their throat; look out the window and say with a frown, “Good god, morning!” Pessimists always see the dark side of clouds. Optimists? They don’t see the clouds at all because they’re walking …