Yeva Shiyanova Strip Dances To ‘Radioactive,’ Is Mother Of (Imagine) Dragons

Yeva Shiyanova Strip Dances To ‘Radioactive,’ Is Mother Of (Imagine) Dragons
Does anything scream post-apocalyptic swag like dusty contortions set to pop music?

In this video, Ukranian dancer Yeva Shiyanova of Dance Studio Focus performs strip-dance choreography (yes, that’s a thing) to the Imagine Dragons song “Radioactive,” which casually mentions end times.

Shiyanova’s hypnotic movements showcase her ability as a dancer and choreographer. Her blonde hair and barely-there outfit remind us of Daenarys from HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Verdict? Watch this and you’ll either be moved to sign up for a dance class, or just watch television instead.

Speaking of television: Dance Studio Focus is looking to host a competitive series called Focus Best Dance Crew, based on the show America’s Best Dance Crew.

Via Dance Studio Focus

Why I Don’t Meditate

Considering how happy, content and grateful I am today, the way I used to greet the morning seems as if it happened in another lifetime. I would wake up and immediately think, “It can’t be morning yet. Not another day like yesterday.” Followed by, “I can’t possibly get everything done today.” Life for me was more of a struggle than a celebration. To make it worse, I had a very close friend who kept reminding me that if only I would meditate, my life would change.

Meditate? Didn’t that mean to be still and close your eyes and clear your mind? Impossible for me. I had too much going on, too much to do and too many thoughts flitting across my “monkey mind.” Meditation seemed like a self-indulgent luxury for someone who had nothing better to do than sit and chant “om.” Besides, I tried to meditate once and it didn’t work. So I resisted, and my life continued on the same path, day after day after frustrating day.

As my health began to suffer, I came to a startling realization. If I didn’t do something positive, things were not going to change. So I decided to give meditation a try. The first day I turned on my CD player (this was the pre iPad days), and listened to a calming voice that said, “Get comfortable and clear your mind.” That’s exactly what I couldn’t do, however, I remained still — for five whole minutes!

I’d like to say that I meditated every day after that. The fact was, I didn’t. I’d try it one day, forget about for the next three days, then go back again. But I have to say, eventually it was something I looked forward to doing. I started meditating a few days in a row, then a week at a time, and soon it became a habit. I could even be still for an entire 15 minutes! Now meditating is as much a part of my daily schedule as brushing my teeth. I wasn’t sure what benefits I was supposed to expect. I’d read the studies from the Mayo Clinic and other experts. I didn’t know if my blood pressure was better or my heart healthier or if my anxiety level hit a new low. What I did know was that my monkey mind seemed quieter as I awoke, that I felt a bit calmer, a bit more optimistic and grateful that I had something to look forward to each day.

We live in such an overstimulating environment today. When we’re not posting on Facebook or Pinterest or checking the Twitter, we’re texting on iPhones, listening to iTunes, or buying something with e-commerce. When I counsel with overworked, anxiety-ridden clients, I always suggest meditation and I’m not surprised I get the same answers I used way back when. “I don’t have time. I can’t quiet my mind. I tried it once and it didn’t work.”

Meditation is not a luxury like a reflexology foot massage. It’s a way to disconnect from everyday stresses, if only for a few minutes a day. You deserve to feel good, to have the energy you want to enjoy life, to be healthy and happy. Start living the life you were meant to live. Learn to meditate.

Even the grand lady of television, Barbara Walters announced on The View, that over the summer she learned to meditate. It’s never, ever too late.

There are adult education classes and meditation centers in every town, if you prefer to be with a group. You can always enroll in a meditation series over the Internet — usually at no charge. I saw one starting soon called “Secrets of Meditation,” through a group called Wild Divine. Choose whichever form of meditation suits you best: silent, musical, guided, visual, walking, etc. You will never regret that wondrous gift you have given yourself.

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For more by Dr. Marcia Hootman, click here.

For more on mindfulness, click here.

7 Colors That Can Change Your Mood And Outlook
The stress and strain of constantly being connected can sometimes take your life — and your well-being — off course. GPS For The Soul can help you find your way back to balance.

GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others’ stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing “secret weapons” that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.

Our world is full of colors that can inspire us everyday. Studies and experts have shown that color can stimulate hormones that affect our moods through the central nervous system, while others look to Chakra explanations of how color affects our spirit. Click through the slideshow below to learn more about how certain colors can transform your day. Do you use colors to keep you calm or brighten your day? Tell us in the comments!

For more GPS Guides, click here.

The Seven Blessings That Come With Aging
Sister Joan Chittister is offering an online course on the blessings behind every aspect of growing older. Learn more about this opportunity here.

The one certain dimension of US demographics these days is that the fastest growing segment of the American population is comprised of people above the age of 65. We, and all our institutions, as a result, are a greying breed. At the same time, we are, in fact, the healthiest, longest lived, most educated, most active body of elders the world has ever known. The only real problem with that is that we are doing it in the face of a youth culture left to drive a capitalist economy that thrives on sales.

So, what we sell is either to youth, about youth, or for the sake of affecting youth. But after all the pictures of 60-looking 80 year olds going by on their bikes fade off the screen, the world is left with, at best, a very partial look at what it means to be an elder.

Especially for those who never did like biking much to begin with.

The truth of the matter is that all of life, at any age, is about ripening. Life is about doing every age well, learning what we are meant to learn from it and giving to it what we are meant to give back to it.

The young give energy and wonder and enthusiasm and heart-breaking effort to becoming an accomplished, respected, recognized adult. And for their efforts they reap achievement and identity and self-determination.

The middle-aged give commitment and leadership, imagination and generativity. They build and rebuild the world from one age to another. And for their efforts they get status, and some kind of power, however slight, and the satisfaction that comes from a sense of accomplishment.

The elderly have different tasks entirely. The elderly come to this stage of life largely finished with a building block mentality. They have built all they want to build. It is their task in life now to evaluate what has become of it, what it did to them, what of good they can leave behind them. They bring to life the wisdom that comes from having failed as often as they succeeded, relinquished as much as they accumulated. And this stage of life comes with its own very clear blessings.

PERSPECTIVE:

Given the luxury of years, the elders in a society bring a perspective on life that is not possible to the young and of even less interest to the middle aged whose life is consumed with concern for security and achievement. Instead the elders look back on the twists and turns of life with a more measured gaze. Some things, they know now, which they thought had great value at one age, they see little value in later. The elders know that what lasts in life, what counts in life, what remains in life after all the work has been completed are the relationships that sustained us, not the trophies we collected on the way.

The Elders are blessed with insight

TIME

For the first time in life, the elderly have time to enjoy the present. The morning air becomes the kind of elixir again that they have not known since childhood. The park has become an observation deck on the world. The library is now the crossroads of the world. The coffee shop becomes the social center of their lives. And small children a new delight and a companion, if not leaders, as they explore their way through life again.

The blessing of this time is appreciation of the moment.

FREEDOM:There is a kind of liberation that comes with being an elder. All the old expectations go to mist. The competition and stress that comes with trying to find a place in today’s highly impersonal economy fade away and I can do what I like, wear what I like, say what I like without bartering my very survival for it. For the first time in years it is possible simply to be a person in search of a life rather than an economic pawn in search of a high-toned livelihood. The need to reek of competence and approval gives way to the need to enjoy life.

The awareness of life as liberating rather than burdensome is the most refreshing blessing a soul can have.

NEWNESS: The truism prevails that it is the young, that part of the social spectrum who stand on the brink of adulthood who have the opportunity to make the great choices of life: where to go, how to live, what to do with our one precious and fragile life. But if truth were told it is really the elderly who have the option to become new again. With the children on t heir own and the house paid for, with our dues paid to the social system and our identities stripped away from what we do to what we are, we have the world at our feet again. We can do all the things we’ve put aside for years: learn to play the guitar, go back to school, volunteer in areas we have always wanted to do more of like become a tour guide or a museum aid, go backpacking or become a children’s reader at the local library. We can now get up every morning to begin life all over again.

The blessing of life now lies in the realization that life is not over but beginning again in a whole new way.

TALE TELLING: The elders in a society are its living history, its balladeers who tell the history of a people and the lessons of growth that come with them. The war veteran can talk now about the hell of war that belies its so-called glory. The mothers know what it means to raise children with less money than the process demands. The old couples know that marriage is a process not an event and that what draws people into marriage will not be what keeps them there. These are the ones who raise for the rest of us the beacons of hope that tell us the truth we need, on our own dark days, to hear: If these others could survive the depression, the losses, the breakups and breakdowns of life, we have living proof now, so can we.

The process of past reflection is one of the major blessings an elder can have because it crystallizes the value of one’s own life and blesses the rest of the world with wisdom at the same time.

RELATIONSHIPS: In the lexicon of elders, all too often and all too late, a new event begins to take front and center where once work and the social whirl had held sway. Elders wake up in the morning aware that the only thing really left in life after all the schedules have disappeared are the people that have been left out of them for far too long: the adult children they haven’t talked to for weeks–no, months–now. They remember the last old friend they met in the market who said “We really have to have coffee together some day” and begin to look around for the phone number. They recall with a pang the grandchildren they promised to take to the zoo and wonder with a pang whether or not the zoo is still open for the season–and whether the children still remember grandpa and the promise. Elders have the luxury of attending to people now rather than to things. And out of that attention comes a new sense of being really important to the world.

One of the great blessings of being elderly is not that it isolates us but that, ironically, it ties us more tightly to the people around us

TRANSCENDENCE: Finally, it is the elders in a society who distill for the rest of it the real meaning of life–and right before our eyes. The quality of their reflections on life are so different than ours, they must certainly be listened to. The serenity of their souls in the face of total change–both physical and social–give promise that behind all the hurly-burly lies a deep pool of peace. The devotion they bring to the transcendentals of life–to solitude, to prayer, to reading, to the arts, to the simple work of gardening, to the great questions of the age, to their continuing commitment to building a city, a country, a world that will be better for us when they move on, may be the greatest spiritual lesson of life a younger generation may ever get as well as the greatest insight they every have.

Indeed, to find ourselves on the edge of elderhood, is to find ourselves in an entirely new and exciting point in life. It is blessing upon blessing and it invites those around them to live more thoughtfully themselves by listening to them carefully now–while we all still have time.

If you are interested in learning how aging is really a great adventure and are looking for an online retreat, this just might be the thing for you.

Based on her book, The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully, Sister Joan will use the themes of the book as launch pads for her reflections and discussion by eCourse

participants. During this month-long program which begins October 7 Sister Joan will focus on the blessings behind every aspect of growing older. It will be an opportunity to discover new perceptions and attitudes about growing older and their meaning for one’s life. Look here for more information and to register.

Love Your Enemies: How To Break The Anger Habit
Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier by Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman gives practical strategies for spiritual transformation. The new book was inspired by HH Dalai Lama and is a result of the workshops that Bob and Sharon have been teaching the past 7 years. It provides information on how both anger and hatred are addictive feelings – that they’re behaviors that are destructive to happiness.

Sharon Salzberg, a teacher of meditation for more than 30 years, co-founded the Insight Meditation Society, the Forest Refuge, and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

Tenzin Robert Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, holding the first endowed chair of Buddhist Studies in the United States. He serves as co-founder and president of Tibet House US, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the endangered culture of Tibet.

Excerpt from Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier by Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman. Copyright © 2013 by Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman. Excerpted by permission of Hay House. All rights reserved. It is published here with the express permission of the publisher. The book is published on October 1, 2013.

Chapter 2

Victory Over The Inner Enemy

There are too many times in life when we just cannot avoid losing our temper. Someone

attacks or provokes us, we feel that excitement is the only way to avoid being crippled by fear in a tough situation, we just can’t stand something that is happening to us or to others and we blow our top. Sometimes our heated action seems to help; we get the immediate result we want. But even then, usually we feel bad afterward, we realize that our over-reaction will cause more problems down the line, we become exhausted, we lose a potential friend, and we have populated our universe with an even more dangerous potential enemy. As we mature, and gain more experience with the negative results and side effects of the anger habit, we shift our priorities, and we resolve to improve our mastery of our emotional reactions. We tire of being whipped about by uncontrollable inner impulses, and we decide we really have to be the master of our forceful energies, and not be mastered by them. We then are ready to face our inner enemies.

There are all too many of them, a host of powerful forces within our minds, obsessive desire, burning anger, haunting jealousy, stressful competitiveness, foolish pride, stubborn delusion and self-righteous conviction. They are addictive energies, in that they take hold of us from within by seeming to enhance our energy and expand our being, only to let us down all too soon and leave us in an even more vulnerable situation. The Buddhist word for them (Sanskrit klesha, Pali, kilesa) comes from the verb root klish-, which means “twist,” “torment.” They harm us without fail, and so definitely qualify as enemies.

Of all of them, anger is the ultimate inner enemy. It is unimaginably destructive. One of my Buddhist teachers, Tara Tulku, used to say that the most important component of a nuclear bomb is anger fueled by hatred. What impels a human being to press the button, turn the key, pull the trigger on unimaginable physical destruction, is the mind of hatred rising into anger. It is important to recognize that in a full evaluation of consequential action, thought is action. It not only motivates physical action, it is physical action, however subtle. It has consequences in the physical world, and it shapes the positive or negative evolutionary changes in the lives of the thinker who acts in the mind. Indeed, based on the insight that thought is the most powerful act of all, spiritual and psychological traditions worldwide rely on mental sciences to decrease the influence of negative thoughts and to shape thoughts in positive ways.

Anger is the wish to obliterate the target. It is the hot flash of destructive momentum that makes people lash out and, in too many cases, recklessly destroy lives, destroy the environment, destroy the very way of life of those perceived to be the enemy. In the Buddhist teachings, it is said that one moment of hatred against an enlightened being produces eons of negative effects, leading the hating person into a season in hell.

Anger is like a powerful addiction. We’re addicted to anger as a state of being and a way of acting in the world. But if we are to have any peace, we must recognize hatred and anger as potentially lethal compulsions that we have to kick. Like any addict, we have to realize the full power of these mental impulses in order to truly resolve to free ourselves from them.

We must not be confused by the thought that sometimes anger has a positive use, such as impelling us to take action against injustice. In fact, critical judgment and ethical commitment is what impels us to act to correct injustice, and if anger goes along with them, it tends to make that action ineffective. But such kinds of rationalization are how addictive substances keep their hold on us. It would be like saying that because heroin is sometimes used for end-of-life palliative care, addiction to heroin is not all that bad. We must decide that anger and hatred serve no useful purpose and that for all intents and purposes they are categorically destructive, even though sometimes their harmful effects do not appear immediately. Even if we do decide that anger is bad for us, like any addiction, to reach the point of resolving definitely to eliminate it, we need to know precisely what we’re dealing with. Anger arises when mounting irritation, annoyance, and frustration burst into an irresistible impulse to respond in a harmful manner to the perceived source of those feelings. In the grip of anger, we are no longer the master of our thoughts, speech, or actions. Once this happens, we are not “expressing our anger,” as is often said to justify a supposedly healthy release; rather, we have become the involuntary instrument of our rage. No longer in control of it, we have become its effect. Who would choose to be angry in that manner if they could stay in control of their feelings and act skillfully even when the target is annoying? Wouldn’t we prefer that our judgment remain clear, while we still maintain free choice in our actions? Our anger or hatred only results in violent outbursts when we’re inflamed with rage and our good sense has gone out the window. This kind of anger, being “mad,” that is, insane in its fury, destroys all in its path, not least our own emotional balance.

If the first step toward release from our addiction to anger is deciding that we must break the cycle, there is nobody better to help us go cold turkey than the great 8th-century Indian sage Shantideva, a Buddhist mind scientist at the renowned Nalanda University. He is best known as the author of the Bodhicharyavatara (Introduction to the Bodhisattva Conduct), a practical text originally written in Sanskrit verse that has become so popular in the West, it has already appeared in several translations into English and other European languages. His teaching of tolerance and compassion is considered to contain the supreme Buddhist methodology of developing love and compassion for all beings.

In the Tibetan tradition, the teaching is thought to have come down through a lineage of living masters that has continued unbroken from the Buddha’s time until today, with Shantideva having been perhaps the most eloquent author in that lineage. The present Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet is generally considered to be the main living holder of that teaching lineage, and anyone who has ever been moved by His Holiness’ discourses on compassion has met that living tradition. Shantideva helps motivate us by convincing us that being angry is like biting the hand that feeds us: for example, he likens the madness of fury to venting our anger on a bodhisattva, a being who has only our best interest at heart. This is patently self-destructive–why would we revile someone who wants only to benefit us? It is like being angry with Jesus or Mary or Moses or Muhammad, or even God–in other words, being angry with a being that one considers to be the source of all goodness.

Anger and hatred connect to what many consider to be the supreme of all evils. In all cultural imaginations, the devil–the very embodiment of evil–thrives on inflicting pain and torture by means of malevolent actions. And since his motivation to harm others consists of the mental impulses of anger and hatred, it is clear that such evil is rooted in anger and hatred; they are the source of all evil acts. In the Buddhist biological theory of karma, addiction to anger and hatred leads eventually to rebirth in one of the thirty-two hells, which are described in the literature in the most terrifyingly lurid detail.

Anger and hatred want their victim to feel pain and suffering, while love and compassion want their beloved to feel joy and happiness. The ultimate opposite of anger is love, the fervent wish for others to be happy. But at the inner-enemy stage, when we’re still learning to manage our addiction to anger, aiming for love pushes us too far. It is unrealistic to expect to immediately switch from anger and hate to compassion and love. Patience is the middle ground, the place of tolerance, forbearance, and in time, forgiveness. We might still be irritated when we are harmed (or think we are harmed), but we will not lose ourselves to anger so long as we can tolerate the irritation, be patient with the harm and the harmer, refrain from reacting vengefully, and maybe even forgive the injury. Patience is the antidote to anger, and love can freely arise on the basis of patience as the ultimate opposite of hate. So, to deal with the inner enemy, our positive resolve is to cultivate patience.

Follow Robert Thurman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BobThurman

Are All the Good Men/Women Really Already Taken?
Do these six things and find out.

Charlie and I have heard vast numbers of people making this claim over the years. My point of view is it only takes one. You may have to kiss a few frogs in the process but that’s a small price to pay for what could be a great outcome. It is true however, finding a qualified partner can be a daunting challenge. I’ll be the first to admit that there are some trials and tribulations to go through in sorting through the possibilities. It’s not a walk in the park to find somebody who will pair up with you, make a contract to support your development, won’t bail when things get hot, who can stand the heat, and work with you to create the partnership of your dreams.

So why bother even going through this demanding process?

Isn’t it easier and less stressful to save yourself the trouble and stay out of the dating game altogether? After all, if you’re convinced that there’s nobody out there who’s available, who’s really worth being in relationship with, then why should you even try? Then again, it is somewhat arrogant to write off half the world’s population.

Many people embrace the idea that “all the good ones are already taken” because it protects them from the possibility of the rejection, disappointment, pain or loss that can accompany the quest for love. Some of those who hold this position have a tendency to collect “evidence,” usually from others who share this belief, that affirms their view. The perspective that the situation is hopeless has the advantage of justifying the avoidance of emotional risks inherent in the initiation of new relationships. Some prefer to find “friends” with whom they can commiserate and find solace and sympathy.

The truth is that there is no shortage of qualified, decent, worthwhile eligible partners out there. They are not, however likely to come knocking on your door without an invitation. And if your standards are such that you require your ideal mate to be perfect, be prepared to be disappointed (unless you’re perfect yourself).

But whether you live in Manhattan or in North Dakota, whether you’re 19 or 90, whether you’re a conservative or a liberal, whether you like country music or classical, there are people with whom it is possible to create true, lasting and loving partnerships. What it takes is:

The willingness to risk involvement and emotional engagement.

The intention to become the partner of your dreams, rather than just trying to find him or her.

The commitment to hang in there without getting discouraged even if you do end up having to kiss a few frogs.

The ability to be selective about who you talk and listen to, and pay less attention to your nay-saying friends.

A commitment to do your own work to become a more loving, authentic, and trustworthy person.

And the patience, trust and faith that make it possible to hang in there and enjoy the ride between now and the time that you get to invalidate this belief!

For more by Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW, click here.

For more on love and relationships, click here.

5 Ways to Increase Your Confidence and Achieve Success
It’s a vicious circle. You lack success in some area, and that affects your self-confidence. Your lowered self-confidence means you are less likely to achieve success, and thus it continues.

This can be especially devastating when you are trying to lose weight. First, being overweight makes you more likely to have confidence issues. And chances are you’ve tried to lose weight before, perhaps dozens of times. Since you’re trying again, you may already feel like a failure.

But failure is just a temporary roadblock on the way to success. Every successful person has encountered failure, and often plenty of failures. World-renowned businessman, philanthropist and impresario Ed “Honest Ed” Mirvish once said he’d probably had more failures than successes; he just didn’t talk about his failures so people didn’t think he’d had any.

You can get past any roadblock on your journey to success, but to do that you will need confidence. When you are sure of yourself and the ultimate outcome, nothing can stop you! But how do you get confidence when you just don’t feel that way?

Here are some surefire ways to increase your confidence until you know for a fact you will succeed — and you will!

1. Look the part.

If you walk around unclean, with unkempt hair and baggy, shapeless clothes, you look like you don’t care about yourself, and you will feel that way too. Don’t wait till you’ve achieved your desired weight to start caring about how you look. Stay clean, get a good haircut and buy a few pieces of clothing that will keep you looking good until you fit a smaller size.

Homework: Pick up a fashion item that makes you feel good — a pair of fashionable shoes, a scarf and some fun jewelry are all good choices.

2. Fake it!

Do you try to hide in the background? Do you walk with your head down, looking at the floor? Do you hunch your shoulders over, hoping no one will notice you? This shows a lack of confidence. When you adopt these postures you are underlining your feelings of inadequacy. You will never start feeling more confident if you carry yourself this way.

Homework: Walk tall, shoulders back, posture erect, head held high. Believe yourself to be a confident person and carry yourself as if you are! This will result in you feeling more confident in reality.

3. Edit your internal dialog.

We all have words running through our brains every day. We are normally not even aware of our internal dialog, but it’s there and it both reflects how we feel about ourselves and dictates how we think about ourselves. Stop allowing yourself to subconsciously undermine your confidence. Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself. When you find yourself saying things like “you’re not going to be able to do that” or “she won’t like me because I’m fat” or any other negative comments, edit them out.

Say positive things to yourself instead. You can even say them out loud. You may feel silly at first, but you’re already saying all sorts of negative things to yourself. Why would saying positive things be any sillier? Repeating positive affirmations will help you believe yourself as a capable person. And you are one!

Homework: Practice saying positive things to yourself, either internally or out loud. Here are some examples: “I can do this.” “If anyone can do this, I can.” “I will succeed.” “I look good.” “I am worthy.” Of course, you can customize these sayings to any specific circumstance. If you’re going to the gym, say: “I belong here,” or “I will complete my workout and feel great!” If you’re walking through a mall, say: “I deserve to be here,” or “I am totally confident.” If you’re going to a restaurant, say: “I will stay on my diet,” “I will resist temptation because I want to succeed.”

4. Set small goals — and achieve them!

Sometimes a big goal can be overwhelming. Believe me, when I needed to lose 160 pounds of fat that could have been way too intimidating for me. Each small goal you achieve brings you closer to your large, exciting goal. But also, for every small goal you achieve, you will become more confident in your ability to achieve greater success.

If your ultimate, exciting goal is to run a marathon and find you can’t run two miles, then you could feel bad about yourself. If instead you set the goal of running two miles, you work to achieve it and feel good about yourself, as you should. Hey, you ran two miles! That’s awesome! Now you can set your goal at running 2.5 miles!

Homework: Set some small goals for yourself. Let’s say your big, exciting goal is to lose 60 pounds. You could set a small goal of losing five pounds. Great. Even better, you can set a goal of sticking to your diet today. Or getting to the gym and completing your workout. You can set a goal of walking for five minutes longer on the treadmill, or at a higher incline. All of these are great goals that will ultimately bring you to your big goal, and I encourage you to do them! But you can also set a goal of keeping a journal, or cooking every meal this week. When you begin to see yourself accomplish your goals — any goal — you will understand and begin to believe that you can do anything. And you CAN!

5. Be happy… and grateful.

You have issues, I have issues, we all have issues. None of us has a perfect life because there is no such thing, and if we did have a perfect life, we’d still find something we wanted to improve upon. That is the way we humans were created, and that’s why we achieve so darned much! If we didn’t have the natural drive to improve things, we’d still be living in caves.

But if you’re reading this, you have plenty to be grateful for. You can read, for one thing. You have access to a computer and the internet, for another. Most of all, you’re alive!

Happiness is only 10 percent our circumstances. It is 90 percent the way we choose to view things. Choose every day to be thankful for everything you have in life — enough food, shelter, family, friends, hydro, a job… whatever you have, be thankful for it because someone out there doesn’t have it. And choose every moment to be happy. This doesn’t mean you have to be content with the way everything is, but there’s no reason to mope around about it. Work toward changing it if possible, and if not, accept it and go on with life.

Homework: Remind yourself every morning when you wake up and every night when you go to bed — and as many times in between as you like — about everything you have to be grateful for. No matter your circumstances, there will be a lot of things on this list.

You don’t have to have already been a confident person to find self-confidence. You are a worthy, deserving person. Believe that! Don’t cause your own lack of success because of negative thoughts about yourself. Being confident does not mean that you are conceited or narcissistic, and in fact being confident can make it that much easier for you to help others as you achieve your own goals. Take the steps here to increase your confidence and get you on your road to success.

For more by Charles D’Angelo, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.

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