Grief Support Seminar at Council on Aging

Grief Support Seminar at Council on AgingFernandina Beach, FL – Is there an area of your life where you are not feeling fulfilled? Are you struggling with overwhelmingly sad feelings that come with suffering a loss in your life? Are you ready and willing to take action and yet are not sure how?

Come to Nassau County Council on Aging for a free personal development seminar where you can learn ways to create feelings of fulfillment and abundance with tips and strategies overcome those unpleasant emotions. This event will be held at the NCCOA Senior Center located at 1367 S. 18th St. in Fernandina Beach, FL on Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at 2 p.m.

According to Janice Ancrum, NCCOA’s Executive Director, seminars on various topics of importance have a lot of value to the community, “We think a grief seminar is a great idea,” she said.

If you would like to attend, please call 815-748-4676 or email to register for this free event.

Barbara Ellison is a certified personal development trainer, She is certified by Peak Potentials Training, one of the fastest growing business and personal success training companies in North America. Part off their mission is to educate and inspire people to live a life of courage, purpose and joy. Barbara totally shares this mission believing that gender, age, ethnic background should not hinder anyone from living up to their own personal potential. She has studied extensively and has dedicated her life to bringing personal growth and fulfillment to men and women who have suffered loss through death, divorce, career,

In its 41st year of service to senior citizens, Nassau County Council on Aging’s mission is to improve the lives of older adults with a special focus on those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged. We accomplish this through our Senior Life Centers, providing vital programs, services and compassionate care designed to improve the health, independence and economic security of Nassau County seniors and their families. We are partially funded by government grants, foundation funding and donations from private individuals.

Pictured: Certified personal development trainer, Barbara Ellison gives her 98 year-old father Malcolm Lunan a hug. She will be teaching a free seminar on overcoming negative feelings on February 23rd at 2 pm at NCCOA’s Senior Center.

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Isn’t It Time to Make Your Life Work to Your Advantage?

Decide Who You Are and What You Want!

Decide Who You Are and What You Want!

The greatest enemy to living in the moment and making things work for you is the perception of the past and the future, combined with assumptions that form in our mind as factual reality, but never actually occur.
So many of us are bogged down by the bad things that have happened to us, and our mind set is that we remain a victim to those things that happened. You are only a victim as long as you allow yourself to be, or even worse, as long as you make yourself one. There are people who revel in being a victim, because that’s all they’ve ever known, they are comfortable in their habits, and they have committed their lives to staying there as long as they live.
Don’t be one of those people. Don’t be stuck milling over a painful world that you went through, and therefore have no future.

And the other great enemy of your happiness is what can happen in the future but never does. Some people live their lives dreaming of what might be, that never comes. There are people who are living for the day they win that lottery, and every night they sit in front of the TV with great anticipation hoping that their numbers will come in, while their bills continue to stack up. There is nothing wrong with playing the lottery, but meanwhile, getting a job that will pay your bills is far more pragmatic.

Living must be an active process, and if you don’t keep up with it, it will take you over. Living is growing, changing, circulating your vitals and finding new worlds while you change the old ones. Living is actively getting off your butt and into the mess, learning, moving, becoming a force in yourself instead of being taken over by it.  Sit in that miserable job for years and accept that comfortable paycheck and one day you realize that life has passed you by. Stay in that miserable marriage without doing something about it and one day you realize that life is passing you by. Time waits for no man, and as time goes by, you suddenly see that you have wasted what could have been active choices and abundant living. You are only given your life once, and that’s why today is called “the present.” Take your present, unwrap it, and enjoy it.

There is only one way to overcome the inheritance of a bad past or the hopeless end of a future that never comes, and that is to live in the “Now”, to enjoy the present in all its glory. In fact, it is only by living in the present that you have any power to make your life and the lives of those around you better. If you live in the past, you live in a world that no longer exists, except that you are giving the past power that it never had over you to suddenly be alive again by reliving it, making you and everyone around you miserable again with whatever it was that happened that makes you so unhappy.

And if you live in the future, you definitely live in a world that doesn’t exist, and who knows what is going to happen then, although you can be pretty certain that it will not be what you think.
Living in the present gives you power to do something about your life and the lives of others around you. You can activate choice, and you can do it immediately. You can chose to motivate yourself, to move out into that cruel world and make it better. If you need to get a better job, now is the time. If you need to love your kids, now is the time. If you need to get a better understanding of God, now is the time. If you need to make amends with some of your friends, now is the time. If you need to enjoy their company, now is the time. If that car needs fixing, now is the time. If you need a better place to live, now is the time. If you need to get out of that unhappy relationship, now is the time. You are not going to live forever. In fact, the only thing you know for sure is that you are living right now. So start living!

What are you waiting for? To win the lottery? Are you waiting for your children to grow up and get out of the house? Are you waiting for more money to fall from the sky, or for the moment when you will finally leave some poor memories behind, or for Prince Charming to come along on his horse and scoop you up and take you to his castle? Well, it’s not going to happen until you make it happen.
So make it happen!

Stop whatever it is you’re doing for a moment and listen to the wind against the trees. See how they sway, how they enjoy the breeze, how they take in every moment without worry and enjoy their existence. Look at the clouds and see their glory: They revel in their existence. Listen to the people around you that are within earshot: Those are the people you need to interact with right now, those are the people who may need your help or vice versa! Help them. Stop thinking about how you were such a victim in the past. Get into the present and grab your time. Don’t worry about what problems you might face in the future. Instead, take the Power of Now and influence that future to be in your favor by the choices you make today, right now.

The greatest power of the present is its ability to influence the future by the choices you make today. Like Nike’s famous slogan Just Do It! Decide what you want to do, what you need to do, and do it, NOW!

Paul Leonard to Give Motivational Talk

Paul Leonard to Give Motivational TalkOn October 26, from 4:00-6:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Fernandina Beach, Paul will give a motivational talk with readings from his new book, When the Spirit Moves, followed by Q&A and light refreshments. The event is also a fund raising effort in which Paul will be donating a portion of the proceeds from each book sold to benefit “The Hope House”, a project of The Salvation Army. The event is free and open to the public.

Also, Paul will have a talk and book signing at The Book Loft from 1:00-4:00 pm on October 25, 2014.

In When the Spirit Moves, a book of poems, essays and vignettes about the yearnings, appreciation, and frustrations ever present in human existence, the author invites readers to move forward into meaningful life by embracing their spiritual gifts. In many of the pieces, When the Spirit Moves is a fresh approach to psalms and parables from the New Testament.

Paul’s book invites us to explore the gamut of human experience, but ends with the comfort of constancy. Tom Ross, President of the University of North Carolina, says of When the Spirit Moves, “Paul Leonard, through his stories and poetry, helps all of us understand ourselves… our doubts, disappointments, joy, perspectives, relationships and values, and shows us how faith, trust, love and commitment can lead us to lead more meaningful lives.”

With an undergraduate degree from Davidson College, a Bachelor of Divinity from University of Chicago, and Masters in Business from Emory University, Paul has held a number of positions throughout his career to foster improvements in housing for those in need. He was elected to the Board of Habitat for Humanity International in October 1995 and served as Chairman of the Board from December, 2001 to December, 2003. Paul also became the Interim CEO of Habitat for Humanity from June, 2004 through October, 2005. Today, he is a member of the US Council for Habitat for Humanity International and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Crosland Interests, LLC, a real estate development company in Charlotte and as a director for Crowder Construction, a civil, environmental and industrial construction company in Charlotte, NC.

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Healthy Mind and Body with Dawn Grant at Fifi’s Girls Night Out

Healthy Mind and Body with Dawn Grant at Fifi's Girls Night OutAmelia Island, FL – Ladies are invited to join Dawn Grant, Mental Trainer & Hypnotherapist on Thursday, July 11 at 6:00 pm at Fifi’s (1853 S. 8th Street) to experience how the power of the mind affects the body. Treats will be served. Please bring your own beach chair. The event is free, but an RSVP is requested no later than Tuesday, July 9, 2013 by calling (904) 277-4430.

As a Mental Trainer and Hypnotherapist, Dawn Grant has found great avenues to reach out and assist others in experiencing greater health and wellness, peak performance, inner peace, tremendous joy & ultimately unlimited love… to live and perform in the zone.

Since 1994, Grant has been professionally helping people to overcome life’s challenges, enabling them to achieve their goals, obtain personal fulfillment, and live life in joy. Grant absolutely loves the work she does and is passionate about helping others achieve healthier, happier, more productive lives.

Grant has been privileged to work with clients globally, including mainstream and elite athletes. Many are World Champions, Hall of Famers, Team USA and Olympians in Golf, Clay Shooting, Surfing & Endurance Sports; including over 25 PGA TOUR Professional Golfers (averaging 219% increase in earnings after work together), and over 100 Competing Clay Shooters.

In 2008, Grant had the opportunity to work with PGA TOUR Pro, Vijay Singh, on his positive mental attitude and putting. This transformation contributed to his two FedEx Cup Playoff wins and his earning of the 2008 FedEx Cup Championship.

Also in 1994, with several good-hearted citizens, Grant co-founded Joy To the Children, Inc. Joy is a non-profit organization with the primary purpose of hosting a celebration on Christmas Day for children of economically disadvantaged families in Nassau County, Florida. Over the years Grant has held several executive positions, and has been an active volunteer and board member. In 2013, Grant was once again elected into the position of President. Find more info at or (904) 753-0640.

Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel is a nationally recognized resale store that offers quality merchandise at great prices with exceptional service. At Fifi’s, you can buy, sell, and trade. Fifi’s will pay you cash on the spot, offer store credit for trade, or consign your items for you. For information about resale shopping or guidelines on consignment, please contact Jessica Miller, Owner, at (904) 277-4430 or at

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Perseverance is one of the Roots for Success

Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.

In the world of arts and entertainment the phrase: He or she is an overnight success, is often heard, whether or not inspired and promoted by the media. On closer inspection of that statement it most often turns out however that even those born with a natural talent in their field, have an extreme need for perseverance, often spanning years of practice and fine-tuning of their talents and skills. To have success in almost anything it takes perseverence, coupled with clarity, balance and energy. first, before they seek to achieve peak performance.  That applies to sports, arts, entertainment and most notably life in general.  In this article, I’d like to go a step further and describe the role of perseverance in achieving greater success.  Perseverance greatly helps your ability to achieve peak performances in life, and whatever aspect of life you choose to put your attention to.

To help illustrate the value of perseverance in achieving greater success, I chose the following quote from Jacob Riis. It states, “When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split exactly where it was intended to split, and I know it was not that blow that did it-but all that had gone before.”

I chose this quote because so many times we focus so hard on our outcomes… looking at the end goal or destination, that we overlook all of the successes we have along the way. We can become so goal oriented and focused on what the goal is, what life will look like when we get there, how we can visualize our life, revving ourselves up mentally and emotionally in order to get to that point where we are ready… to feel like we are focused, we know what we want and we are going to stop at nothing until we get it!

The problem with that is, since we are so focused on achieving our long-range goals, sometimes we end up missing out on opportunities right in front of us. We end up not seeing the smaller successes and their opportunities, because our vision is so set on where we want to end up, that we do not see what is right here in front of us. We then tend to get frustrated or not see progress, as it usually takes time to achieve success. Or, we only look for progress that looks the way we want it to; meaning, we define sub-goals in order to reach the larger ones and if they don’t look the way we want, we don’t see our progress.

This quote really addresses perseverance as a way to achieve peak performance. Being steady or persistent; having a course of action or a purpose and in spite of all kinds of obstacles, challenges, discouragements or difficulties, you stay steady on pace… committed to the journey you are on. In theology, I like how they bring in grace as a part of this. The ability to be in a state of grace from beginning to end; being able to put your mind to something and have goals, desires and wonderful ideas for your life, but to come back and take action and commit yourself to the process with a state of grace… not with frustration, discouragement or set definitions of exactly how success should look. It is when your egos get involved that you say, “This is exactly when this should happen and if it doesn’t happen like this, at this time, or look like this, then I am going to get frustrated and discouraged and think that things are not going the way they should.” If you do that, you might feel like you are not making any progress and you may want to give up on your goals altogether. Instead, with grace, you are capable of realizing that you are making progress, and progress is success.

Of course, you will see a lot less progress if you sit in your recliner watching TV all day. You can have all the goals you want, visualize things and have all these ideas of how you would like outcomes to be; but if you just sit like that all day with very little action on your part to participate in the creation of what you want, then you won’t see progress to keep you energized in pursuing your goals.

Putting that aside, let’s say you are taking action, making phone calls and stepping out, filling out applications and going on interviews, having regular get-togethers or events that are part of your business plan. Then it is just like that stone cutter hammering away at his rock. It may be the 101st blow when you finally see all of your hard work coming together… all of what you have been focused and working on, resulting in some great achievement. The point is that success does not come by thinking about achieving it alone. You must take consistent action if you are going to succeed.

So as you work towards your goal, keep in mind that you cannot chisel out a beautiful sculpture with just one whack of your hammer. You also cannot chisel it out by hacking away at it and being crazy with your hammer. You have to do a little at a time; have a vision, have a goal and come back to take the steps and see the progress of each success along the way. So in that, you will be able to slowly, gradually, with perseverance, diligence, and focus, make the kind of progress to have a really beautiful outcome – achieve peak performance.

Now think about being that stone cutter, and maybe how you just want to get the job done… you really want the outcome and are focused solely on that as a measure of your success. You want it to come out and you get frustrated as you chip it wrong, or something doesn’t work out the way you want, or it is taking too long. Obviously, stone cutters know better than that. But here you are in life, doing that with your own dreams, goals and desires. People do that every single day. Every day, they get frustrated when things don’t go the way they hoped or it looks like their hard work is not paying off. When outcomes are not exactly as people want them to be, they do not see success in what they have accomplished. They fail to realize that peak life performance does not just come from reaching a goal… it is the journey and all the work they put into reaching that goal that creates success.

Rather than being gentle on ourselves or realizing success comes with one hit of that hammer at a time; and sometimes one hit could change the whole plan because what we thought was going to be the shoulder, might have to be something else if we whacked a little too hard and a bigger chunk came off then we wanted. So now we have to recreate our plans and vision, but that’s okay. It doesn’t mean we have to destroy the whole piece. It means recreating our vision. We don’t have to get upset about that.

There are always obstacles along the way to achieving greater success. You will face challenges, but it does not have to mean the end of your goal or dream, or that everything is over. It could mean that you will evolve, accept and mold yourself with life and circumstances and still have your goals, dreams and desires, but be in reality at the same time. You could redefine success as you hit each obstacle and figure out how to persevere in spite of it. Perseverance is so important to achieving peak performance.

Success is a matter of not giving up. That is persevering; of knowing that each little step along the way is building to the end result, and it’s with each success that your goal is achieved.  Then when you reach one goal, you can decide what else you want to pursue after that – you never really reach ‘the end’.  You want to pat yourself on the back, give yourself credit for what you have done, and see the progress you have made already. Know that success does not have to look exactly how you think it should look, and that’s okay as long as you are taking action.

How do you really achieve peak performance? As long as you have really good clarity, put energy forth into your goals and desires (that you are clear on), and take action to move forward in spite of obstacles that arise along the way, you will achieve successes that propel you toward your best possible performance. You will start to see the evolution of the beautiful desires you are creating, the beautiful sculpture of your dreams, if you keep taking one step, one hit of that hammer, without giving up as challenges present themselves. Your successes come as you work around those challenges.

But have that clarity and vision 1st, like that sculpture for the stone cutter; and find the right level of emotional balance, so you avoid an emotion roller coaster if things don’t happen like you thought they should, or in the time you envisioned them to happen. Have balance and take breaks from your work to rejuvenate your batteries and have energy. Take care of yourself and other areas of your life so you don’t feel guilty, like you might be neglecting yourself or others. You want to have really good energy when it is time to focus on achieving greater success with your goals, and you need to maintain balance in order to do that.

Dawn Grant – Mental Trainer and Hypnotherpist

Deb Cottle Shares Transition Tips at Fifi’s

Deb Cottle Shares Transition Tips at Fifi'sAmelia Island, FL – Ladies are invited to join Deb Cottle, motivational speaker, transition coach, and author, on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm at Fifi’s (1853 S. 8th Street) to learn how to move through transitions more easily and effortlessly.

Treats will be served, and please bring your own beach chair. The event is free, but an RSVP is requested no later than Tuesday, June 4, 2013 by calling (904) 277-4430.

Deb’s interactive and inspiring workshops help women worldwide obtain more confidence in moving their businesses forward. After twenty five years in the advertising & television production industry in Chicago, Deb and her husband moved to Amelia Island to raise their son, Connor.

Deb Cottle is the co-author of both Success Simplified with Dr. Stephen Covey, and Roadmap to Success with Dr. Deepak Chopra. Deb also produced the inspirational audio series titled Music & Motivation CD (Volume One).

Also, in production is the WOMEN WITH GUTS! DVD documentary series, featuring Denise Brown, domestic violence prevention expert, and sister of Nicole Brown Simpson. Deb’s interactive and inspiring workshops help women worldwide obtain more confidence in moving their businesses forward.

Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel is a nationally recognized resale store that offers quality merchandise at great prices with exceptional service. Buy, sell, and trade now available at Fifi’s.

For information about resale shopping or guidelines on consignment, please contact Jessica Miller, Owner, at (904) 277-4430 or

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Deb Cottle on D-Talks Radio

Deb Cottle on D-Talks RadioLocal Author and Speaker Deb Cottle will be talking on D-Talks Radio with Denise Brown and Danielle Pierre Thursday, November 1st at 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PT.

Learn How to Stay Motivated for More Than a Day! Using the 4STEP GUTS FORMULA which teaches us how to incorporate easy techniques to enhance business and personal relationships, overcome negativity, and create a more fulfilling and balanced lifestyle.

Deb is focused on enhancing people’s lives through inspirational seminars, workshops, coaching, products, and professional speaking. With her proven 4STEP GUTS FORMULA, Deb has successfully motivated individuals and groups in major corporations, associations, and non-profit organizations to exceed personal and professional expections.

Do you have the GUTS to move forward? We all have the opportunity to create our environment and experiences and to be able to change what we can change, in order to make our lives work better! Some experiences can’t be changed, but most can be adjusted, or enhanced with either the power of the mind, and how we look at our situation. We also can ask more questions that would provide answers to lead to solutions!

The first step in the GUTS formula is GAIN KNOWLEDGE – representing the “G” in her proven 4Step GUTS FORMULA.

Each of us can take responsibility for deepening our knowledge in our jobs, hobbies, or personal life in order to learn and grow. In our chosen field of work it’s extremely important that we find ways to become an expert in our field, or at least become more knowledgeable.

This is good for two reasons: First, it boosts our own confidence level when we know more about a particular subject or profession. Second, it gives us a competitive edge. When prospects are making a choice among various vendors and salespeople, they typically choose to do business with those who are leaders in their field. Anyone can become a leader by earning additional credentials and/or designations and taking more classes or seminars in his or her industry.

Make a plan in 2013 to GAIN KNOWLEDGE and you will realize positive results and a huge boost in your confidence level!

Learn more about the GUTS FORMULA techniques that will help you move forward from Deb Cottle at

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Deb Cottle to Speak in Jacksonville

Deb Cottle to Speak in JacksonvilleAmelia Island Author and Speaker Deb Cottle will be speaking in Jacksonville, Florida on March 22, 2012, from 10:30 AM until noon at the Southeast Branch Public Library.

Sponsored by Professional WORKSource Network, they offer transition assistance to professional job seekers through networking, workships and business partnerships. Meetings are held monthly at the Southease Branch Public Library. Members are professionals with 4-year degrees and/or management level experience seeking full time employment.

Cottle will present “How to Stay Motivated for More Than a Day.”

It can be difficult to stay motivated while looking for work. Deb will help us focus on ways to stay postitive during the job search process.

You will learn techniques to:

    -Enhance your business and personal relationships.
    -Reprogram your thoughts to overcome negativity and unlock blocks.
    -Build confidence by gaining more knowledge and becoming an expert in your field or hobby.
    -Learn to set fulfilling goals and expectations.
    -Create more value in your life by giving to others and supporting causes you believe in.

Deb Cottle is a professional speaker and author. She established herself as one of the highest ranking former executives in teh Chicago television and advertising industry. She lives on Amelia Island with her husband and son and is the Founder and President of World on a String, Inc.

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Conquering Fear and Dread

Conquering fear is the beginning of wisdom - Bertrand Russell

Most of us have felt it at one time or another. That sense of being overwhelmed or feeling of dread as we face a task, situation or problem.  Then, due to feeling this way we procrastinate facing or doing the things that we perceive as creating that sense of dread. It becomes a vicious cycle since procrastination only makes the “pile” of overwhelming tasks or situations grow larger.

So what’s an overwhelmed person to do?

I used to experience these feelings of overwhelm and dread but not any longer.
Let me share with you how I managed to conquer such negative emotions.

My sense of dread seemed to be especially associated with the position I held with the company I worked for at that time. I nearly always felt inadequate to the tasks before me and therefore hesitated to perform many of them or procrastinated. I realize now that I was experiencing the kind of fear that leads to paralysis.

Then one day I heard a discourse on overcoming fear. I will never forget the statement that turned everything around for me: The feeling of dread or being overwhelmed usually stems from the belief that we are not competent or capable of successfully meeting the challenge at hand. This belief leads to a sense of powerlessness, fear and eventually paralysis”.

Hearing this statement was a true “ah-ha” moment for me. I realized almost instantly that I had permitted the opinions of others, people who were not my friends and who were more than likely speaking and acting out of jealousy over my position and the things I had accomplished, to influence or mold how I perceived myself. Conjoined to this realization was another incredible awareness. I realized that what others think or say about me was not accurate, and more importantly, not relevant.

When I realized the profound truth of the words that I just heard I could see at that very moment that I was a very capable person and adequately qualified to deal with the situation and tasks that only a few moments before gave me that overwhelming sense of dread.

When feeling that sense of dread and fear it is so important to see the situation as it truly is and not through the eyes of self-imposed inadequacy. Permitting the negativity of others to dominate your spirit thus not permitting the sense of competence and capability you would otherwise possess is self-destructive and can lead to paralysis.

Discarding the false belief that you are not capable of successfully dealing with the situation frees you from feelings fear and dread. You move from feeling trapped by such feelings to transcendence. Once this occurs, you are able to see more easily the strategies, ideas and actions you can implement to successfully address those things that were within your capabilities all along.

Go ahead! Try it! Transform your dread into success. You are capable. Don’t let negative personalities lead you to believe you’re not. When you find that sense of relief that transcending these brings, you will wonder why you ever permitted yourself to feel that way in the first place.

Jeannie Higginbotham, RN, BSN

July is the Month to Renew Resolutions

July is the Month to Renew Resolutions

July is the Month to Renew Resolutions

You have entered the second half of 2010. Are you where you planned to be? New Year’s resolutions are made to be kept for the entire year and July is the month to review and renew your personal goals for the year.

I am a big fan of dividing tasks into smaller, manageable chunks, but I am also driven by deadlines and we are half way to our goals for the year, so it may be time to add some extra motivation.

Here are some silly motivators that work, because, well they are silly!

Put a chart on the wall to measure your progress. Use a picture of a thermometer like you have seen used in fundraisers, or give yourself a gold star to re-enforce your own positive behavior.

Make several copies of a motivating passage, picture, scripture or image. Anything that readily reminds you of your goals will do the trick. Next, tape them everywhere, especially where they will do the best job. If you are wanting to lose weight tape them to your mirror, the fridge, the pantry and your cupboards. If you are completing a home improvement project then tape them to your tool box, your garage door and yes, also on your mirror. If you want to save money, tape your reminders to your checkbook, your office door, wherever you store your car keys and of course, tape it to your mirror, too!

Plan to spend time with your project. Call it an appointment, call it a punishment or call it a date, but set aside time to spend accomplishing your goal. Put the time and date in writing and tape it on your calendar, the dashboard of your car, next to your home telephone (if you still have one) and of course your mirror.

“Why the mirror?” You ask. Because the mirror is one of the first things you look at each morning when you brush your teeth.

Envision the state of your uncompleted task as horrible as you can. Get angry at it! Picture every pound you want to lose as a glob of yellow butter… how many sticks are in one pound of butter? Oh yeah, you get the idea, picture that butter on your thighs, your hips and your gut.

Make that garage door that sticks the enemy and get the broken one out of your house!

Trying to save money? Make every trip to the store a mission for you to stay on track and not be persuaded by advertisements and impulse items – these are the enemy and their goal is to separate you from your money. “Don’t let them do it, Man!”

Buy it! This is not the Dr. Phil’s “own it” philosophy, I literally mean “buy it.” If you can hire someone to replace the back porch, though you had intended to do it yourself, do so. Your resolution was to replace the back porch, right? Trying to lose weight and not so successful on your own? Join a gym or try the Zone Diet, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers or any other reputible programs that will help you achieve your goals.

Whatever motivates you to succeed is acceptable!

You still have time, so do not give up. There are six more months left in 2010 for you to make your New Year resolutions a success!

For more traditional ideas to stay on track visit Defining New and Healthier Habits.

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Achieve Your Goals with Determination

Achieve Your Goals with Determination

Achieve Your Goals with Determination

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”

I was talking with a friend recently and he was having trouble staying motivated. We soon realized that he simply did not have the determination to achieve his goal. Determination is defined as a firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end.

My friend wants to quit smoking, but after a short conversation, he admitted that his goal was not that important. Of course, there are no good reasons to validate his continual smoking, but until he is ready, and determined to quit, he won’t.

All goals set in life are achieved with determination. You need to focus on the goal, not the journey. For my friend, he knows for a fact that quitting sucks! He was facing the symptoms of withdrawals, the changing of habits, smelling and seeing other family members continuing to smoke while he was trying to kick the habit. He was letting the negatives of his “path less traveled” get in the way of his destination.

Looking at what he was giving up such as the social interaction, the excuse to take a much needed break and the sheer enjoyment received from his habit, continued to add more negatives that he was associating with quitting, (more symptoms of the journey).

Losing weight, reading more, getting organized and any other goal will give you similar obstacles, blocking your path to success. Sit down and make an honest list of the postive and the negative consequenses of trying on a new behavior to help you find a renewed determination to achieve your personal goals.

When my friend is ready to quit, he will find the determination to look at the goal instead, and so will you. His health will improve, he will save money, he will smell more attractive to his wife, customers, friends and clients. He will learn a new way to relax, find new social behaviors and notice how his teeth have gradually whitened; but most of all, he will be proud of achieving his goal… once he becomes determined to set one.

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World on a String Slideshow

World on a String's Deb Cottle

World on a String's Deb Cottle

World on a String, Inc. presented an Inspirational Evening Event at the Hampton Inn and Suites Harbor Front in historic Fernandina Beach, Florida, on November 17, 2009. The evening embraced you with motivational speeches, inspirational wisdom and enchanting music.

This customized event was designed by founder, Deb Cottle, to help you get inspired so you can make a difference in your life and in others! Here is the slideshow from that motivational and inspirational evening – you will see lots of folks that you know!

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Defining New and Healthier Habits

Defining New and Healthier Habits

Defining New and Healthier Habits

So you are now two weeks into your New Year’s Resolution, how are you doing? The first couple of weeks of defining new and healthier habits can be tough. You are forming new habits and replacing the old ones. In the first two weeks you are motivated to make changes and excited to start unveiling the new you.

After two weeks, this modified behavior begins to wear on your nerves. So here are some ideas to keep you focused on your goals. Think of it as a SearchAmelia pep talk!

Break down Your Goals: If you find your initial goal was too large, it is perfectly okay to break it down into manageable sizes. I have mentioned this before. Losing ten pounds by Valentines Day is easier than losing 50 pounds by next Christmas. Lose the ten pounds, pat yourself on the back, buy a new pair of shoes and tackle the next ten pounds by setting another realistic goal.

Stay Away from Sabotage: So you have lost four pounds in the first two weeks of 2010 and you excitedly tell your sister. Then your sister invites to over for lasagna and tiramisu. This is sabotage. Trying to quit smoking? Don’t get into the car with a smoker just yet. Did you make a commitment to yourself to drink less alcohol?  Then avoid poker night with the “gang”. Stepping away from the familiar surroundings that you associate with an undesired behavior is the best way to ease the cravings. Most resolutions made at the turn of a new year involve behavior modification. Because you are only two weeks into this new and chosen lifestyle, you are not ready to be confronted with an attack on your senses.

Find Encouragement: Find encouragement anywhere you can get it. Go to a support group meeting in your hometown or look up a support group online. Find someone you know who is sharing the same goal and work together. Misery loves company. Find someone and struggle together. Keep each other accountable for your individual progress. If you are cutting back on your spending, don’t plan lunch out with a friend who loves to go shopping; plan a picnic lunch at a public park instead.

Track Your Progress: Write in a journal or keep a diary of your progress. Tracking the emotional connection to behaviors you want to change will give you the ammunition needed to win your battle. For example: If you crave a cigarette right after your meal, then you will know to carry gum or go brush your teeth after eating to help lessen the cravings. Another example would be if you sit in front of the television every night after dinner and you want to lose weight. Plan for a walk after dinner, or play an interactive video game such as Wii Fit or Dance Dance Revolution. You could fold clothes or mop the floor. Just about any activity is more activity than sitting in front of the television or computer. I have tried for years to get my husband to replace our sofa with the exercise bike or a treadmill, “Then Honey, I can watch all of the television I want.”

Reward Your Accomplishments: If you have reached your minor goals reward yourself. You will never stick to any plan, no matter how well intended, if you never reap the benefits. Remember not to sabotage yourself. If you have lost ten pounds, don’t reward yourself with food. If you have not smoked for a week, don’t reward yourself with a cigarette. If you have lowered your consumption of alcohol, don’t have a drink to celebrate. Your vice should NEVER be the reward. If you have lost weight buy yourself new under garments that make you feel sexier. If you have quit smoking, get your teeth whitened. If you have cut back on your drinking reward yourself with a small gift to yourself.

Don’t Quit Because of a Set Back: It is easy to fall off of the wagon, simply get back on. Sure your ego may feel beaten and bruised, but as they say, “Brush yourself off and start all over again.”

Stay focused on your goals and you can stay on track with these and other motivational tools. Good luck and keep up the good work!

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Help for Procrastinators

Help for Procrastinators

Help for Procrastinators

We all know the procrastinator. He does his holiday shopping on Christmas Eve, never pays the bills before their due date and likely does not do maintenance on the car until it is need of repairs. On my mother’s refrigerator she has a handwritten note that says, “If it is to be, then it is up to me.” I like that saying. Procrastinators never utilize this theory. Procrastinators are often overwhelmed with their to-do list, so they opt for doing less important tasks or nothing at all.

We all have chores and commitments that we would rather not do and by putting off the work, it often becomes more difficult to accomplish.

So, why do people procrastinate?

Self discipline – Procrastinators do not have a lot of self discipline. They often drink too much, spend too much and eat too much. Their self control is lacking as they like to live in the moment. They will tell lies to themselves to justify dealing with issues at a later time. “I’m too tired”. “I will have more time to do this on Wednesday.” In reality, a ten minute task could be completed timely, but by putting it off more damage may be done and procrastination can indeed create mountains out of molehills.

Fear of facing problems – if you put off calling the doctor how can he tell you what might be wrong? The automobile oil needs changing, but you are not sure you know how to change it. Your tire is leaking air, but the can of Stop Leak you bought for just a few dollars seemed to do the trick. The procrastinator is thinking, “Why should I go spend money on a new tire? If I go buy a tire, that really means two tires and then I’ll need the other two tires rotated”.

Distractions – Finding distractions to keep from doing certain tasks has been exacted by the procrastinator. Checking e-mail, reading the snail mail and making phone calls are quick and easy distractions to help defer the pressing chores until a “more convenient” time. The problem with this mindset, however, is that there never is a convenient time.

Boredom – The thrill seeking procrastinator finds menial tasks boring. Running errands is more fun than fixing a squeaking ceiling fan. If the trip to the post office, the bank and the grocery store takes up enough time, the ceiling fan will have to wait until another day because now it is time to cook dinner, which is still more fun than fixing a ceiling fan.

Multi-Tasking – Procrastinators do not always realize that much can be accomplished by combining projects. You can wash the coffee pot while the big game is on television. You can write out the monthly bills while watching the Super Bowl pre-game show. You can spray WD-40 on the door hinges while talking on the cell phone.

What is in it for me? – Many procrastinators have a selfish streak. While fixing the ceiling fan may help reduce your power bill, unless that fan is located in the bedroom of the procrastinator, where he or she is directly irritated by its sound, it is not a “me” project. If “their” ceiling fan is squeaking, watch how fast it gets fixed. The ceiling fan suddenly becomes a priority.

Getting Back on Track

Some projects can be put off until eventually they just go away. Others, like filing a tax return or paying the electric bill must be dealt with or there will be consequences such as the lights being turned off. With a bit of planning, the procrastinator can begin to control some of these habits and here are some ideas to help get you back on track; but you must start today!

Break Large Tasks into Smaller Ones – By creating manageable tasks from one seemingly impossible large one, tasks get handled one piece at a time. Think of it as a boulder in the road. One person could not possibly remove the boulder without the help of heavy machinery. However, if you chip away at the rock each and everyday eventually the pieces will be small enough to carry off alone.

Self-evaluation – Take an honest look at the tasks you seem to put off. Are there specific reasons why you are avoiding them? If you are avoiding repairing the fence around your back yard, is it because you think it is too much to handle or are you afraid it may require more skills than you have? By identifying the reason for the procrastination you are much better equipped to conquer your quest. Ask someone to give you a hand, or hire a professional.

Time Management – Set aside a block of time each and every day to handle the items you keep stalling over – and work on them. Accomplish several or chip away at one larger one, but stay focused on your project(s) and do not allow any distractions to interfere. Turn off the phone, don’t answer the door and ignore your emails.

The next time you find yourself putting off a task ask yourself one question, ‚ÄúWhy am I not willing to do this right now?‚Äù After you realize the excuses you give to yourself are fairly lame, be proud of yourself for accomplishing today’s objectives.

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How to Avoid the Tiger Woods Syndrome

How to Avoid the Tiger Woods Syndrome

How to Avoid the Tiger Woods Syndrome

It’s nothing new. Humble beginnings….The rise to stardom…Basking in the limelight….. The revealing light…. The crash and burn.

Elvis Presley. President Nixon. Hugh Grant. President Clinton. And now Tiger Woods.

Although we saw these people’s rise and fall because they were in the spotlight, the same dynamic happens in all of our lives, most of the time without us being aware of it. It’s an age old psychological principle that has been known about for probably 40 years. It is called ‘the shadow’ or suppression/repression. I like to call it the ‘crash-and-burn’ syndrome.

In this article you’ll learn about the mechanics of the ’shadow’ or ‘crash-and-burn” in your life and we’ll look at practical ways for you to handle it so you don’t get blindsided.

First of all, if you haven’t read the article “Avoiding the Dangers of Self-Improvement, Motivation and Empowerment” please do so now since it covers the basic theory you need to understand the ‘crash-and-burn’ syndrome.

To summarize that article very briefly, there are only certain things you are conscious or aware of. What you are not aware or conscious of is termed the ‘unconscious’ (duh! What a clever name…) Among other things, your unconscious is filled with things you don’t want to know.

The ‘crash-and-burn’ problem occurs when something from your unconscious is tired of being ignored and smacks you in the face to get your attention. This usually happens when you are expand in some way – more money, more status, more power, more consciousness. Common causes of this expansion are events such as a promotion in your job, winning a prize or excelling in some endeavor, getting married, getting divorced, achieving an important goal, attending a motivational seminar.

When you expand outwards, psychologically speaking (see the article referenced above for more details), you come in contact with your denied, repressed or ignored drives, emotions and desires. These are collectively called the ‘Shadow’. The Shadow lurks in the…um… shadow of your everyday consciousness. Think of it as similar to clearing undeveloped land – you come across all sorts of decaying, rotting things lying in the bushes that you didn’t see before.

What is the ‘Shadow’?
Your ‘Shadow’ is all the aspects of yourself you couldn’t deal with last time you came across them. For that reason they get dissociated from your regular, day-to-day consciousness and hang out in the dark periphery of your unconscious waiting to be rediscovered.

Usually the Shadow is the parts of yourself that didn’t develop healthily while you were growing up. For whatever reason you couldn’t deal with the forces and situations you found yourself in and chose to distance yourself from them by pretending they didn’t exist or by adopting some sort of survival technique such as avoidance, substitution or denial.

A common example of the shadow is visible in many relationships. Let’s say a young girl’s father only shows her approval when she looks or acts a certain way. The father figure is an important aspect of a child’s life and early psychological development – the father symbolizes authority, will and agency. In healthy psychological development, the child sees this archetype externally in her father and recognizes and integrates it into her complete ‘Self’ as she develops into a healthy, balanced adult.

However, what often happens is that the child doesn’t have the awareness or knowledge to understand what is happening. Not having the approval of the father is an impossible problem for her to solve psychologically and it so painful that she adopts a survival mechanism to get rid of the pain. Instead of handling the problem at it’s root cause she gets the approval of the father by becoming what he wants. She dresses and behaves the way he wants, even though it may conflict with aspects of her self-image and her authentic self-expression.

Unfortunately this survival technique might include what society would consider inappropriate or deviant behavior. However, since the father figure is such a powerful role in any young psyche, she continues with this adopted behavior even if it is self-destructive and socially damaging.

I’m only guessing here, since I don’t know a whole lot about Tiger Woods, but here is what I think happened to him. From what I read about him as a young player at college, he was something of a social outcast. He was all work and no play. He was an extremist. I believe he had some racial sensitivity about being a black man in the white man’s world of golf.

From looking at the pictures of Tiger Wood’s alleged mistresses, I note that most of them are blonde, and all of them are white (Caucasian). Does this suggest anything to you? To me it screams Shadow. If you can’t get the approval of some particular group while growing up, you develop coping strategies. Becoming the best of the best in a white man’s world could be an attempt to gain approval from that group. Being intimate with good looking blonde bombshells (the pinnacle of the white man’s sex world) might be another shot at approval or status in that group (the powerful white man).

Like I said, I’m only guessing here, but my experience with clients has taught me we are often not very creative when it comes to satisfying our deepest needs. Cliché’s are common. That’s why they’re clichés.

So let’s look at how this possibly played out for Tiger. For some reason while he was growing up, he got stuck on trying to attain a feeling of approval from an external source – the white man’s world of golf. As an adolescent he didn’t know that a healthy sense of approval is fostered inside yourself when you do the right thing according to your own set of healthy ethics rules.

Not having approval was painful for Tiger and since he couldn’t get it from himself, he sought to get it from others. Before he had this approval from the golf world, he didn’t believe he had the means (psychologically and socially) to engage in liaisons with desirable females, so he didn’t pursue them. However, once he had the status to reach this goal, he did so – he had affairs with white, attractive woman who no doubt gave him approval. Having sex voluntarily with someone is a strong signal of approval.

Of course, this could all be wrong and we’ll find out he had a few black alleged mistresses. But the mechanics of the process are real. What we can’t get from ourselves, we seek to get from others. If this behavior and drive is learned at a young age and becomes dissociated from our everyday consciousness and relegated to the shadows, it will come back and bite us in the you-know-what when we expand.

How to deal with the Shadow
“What you are not aware of controls you” – unknown author

The corollary of the above quote is “What you are aware of you can control”. So awareness of the shadow and how it works is the first step to not falling for the old ‘crash-and-burn’ trick.

In your everyday life this means you must not deny or pretend you’re not feeling what you are feeling. If Tiger had perhaps noticed he was wanting to have an affair or was attracted to a specific type of woman, he could have squared up to it and followed the thread backwards to see where it came from in his history. He could then re-integrate that drive in a healthy way.

By not separating himself from the drive and becoming aware of it as an object in his psyche, he was doomed to do it’s bidding. A classic example of “What you are not aware of controls you”. He did what it told him to because he believed it was who he was. In reality it was the Shadow – a disowned part of himself.

In an ideal world he would have found he was seeking approval in the wrong places and come to find that approval from himself. This is a primary goal of many schools of psychotherapy – integration of the lost parts of ourselves to make a more whole, stable and self-sufficient ‘Self’. When this happens we are more able to act on our higher impulses to improve our lives and the lives of those around us. We are no longer driven by self-destructive feelings of dis-ease and a constant feeling of emptiness or lack.

Hopefully Tiger will recognize the root of his problem and fix it, with the help of a professional if needed.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments, if I haven’t made anything clear, please comment on the article and I’ll have a look.

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