Secrets of The World’s Greatest Authors

Twelve of the world’s greatest living authors reveal their tips for writing a book that sells over a million copies in Celebrity Authors’ Secrets.

Contributors include: Jeffrey Archer, Anne Rice, Eric Carle, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Terry Pratchett, John Gray, Alexander McCall Smith, James Redfield, Joanne Harris, Bernard Cornwell, Sharon Lechter and Brian Tracy.

Anyone setting out to write a book should thank their lucky stars for Stephanie’s outstanding inspirational guide. – Sue Price, Arts, Culture and Books Editor, SAGA Magazine

Insights include:

  • How to make the switch from ‘unknown’ to celebrity
  • How to attract millions of readers online
  • How to promote your book on Facebook, Twitter and blogs
  • And many more publishing and book marketing tips!

Discover how to write a book that sells over a million copies from the world’s greatest living authors …


A must-have guide – filled with publishing and book marketing information – for aspiring writers, authors, literary agents, publishers, editors, writing coaches, creative writing tutors and anyone who loves books!

Stephanie Hale is founder of The Oxford Literary Consultancy and The Millionaire Bootcamp for Authors.

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Posted in Personal Development

Kindle Alchemy

It’s not at all hard to see why writing for the Kindle platform has become the absolute best choice for any writer wanting to sell books on the internet.

But before we begin to get into the subject of how to you start your own publishing business from the comfort of your own home, using your own laptop to gradually build your income to whatever level you desire  – and I do not say that lightly – let’s first take a look at why this model is so perfect for genuine writers. I say ‘genuine writers’ because I want you to understand, right up front, that this truly amazing opportunity is definitely not for those who want to get rich quickly and somehow think that Kindle is the way to do it. If that’s you, let me save you a whole lot of time by telling you that making significant amounts of money using the methods we are about to discuss requires both time and effort. So it is definitely not quick but, because your results will be in direct proportion to your own efforts, the method can produce really excellent results.

If you are a determined writer who wants to find the best route to market for your own original writing, you have definitely found the right method for translating your words (pencil lead) into income (gold) and that’s why I like to call this method Kindle Alchemy. Read more …

Kindle Alchemy

Kindle Alchemy
by Will Edwards

FREE DOWNLOAD           READ ONLINE

If you enjoy this book, please give us a like, a tweet or a social mention. It’s a win-win idea (a bit like tell a friend). You get great free content and we get some exposure. This idea is helping us to expand the site and make even more content available for free!

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Spring: The Ultimate Season of Renewal

With April here, it’s official: spring has sprung! As we leave the winter months behind us, we head into a season defined by rebirth, renewal and growth. Research shows that spring is a great time for improving mental and physical health. It is also an invigorating season full of new life that can inspire us to make positive changes in our own lives. If you suffer from depression or anxiety or if you are just stuck in a rut, here a some of the ways that throwing open the curtains and embracing spring may promote positive changes and personal growth within you.

Longer, lighter days

It is estimated that 21% of people within the UK suffer from some degree of Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) during the winter months. A further 8% suffer so severely that their lives may be disrupted by it without suitable treatment. This depressive condition is associated with reduced hours of daylight which may deplete levels of feel-good brain chemicals and disrupt your natural body clock. However when the clocks go forward this marks the beginning of longer, lighter days and many suffers of SAD will notice their symptoms alleviate. Not only this but the longer days give your more time to work, rest and socialise which may also relieve the stress of the rush of the daily grind.

Nature

Spring time is the birth of a new season and watching the new life blossom around us can be a positive and uplifting experience. Embracing the beauty of nature as it unfolds can be another way of boosting our own mental, physical and spiritual well being. Spring is a bountiful season and the perfect opportunity to enjoy local, seasonal produce while it’s at its most fresh. Strawberries, asparagus, beans and other greens all come into season at this time of the year so grab the chance to soak up those vital vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in order to replenish your body’s natural stores. It is also a good time to get outdoors and really be at one with nature. Studies indicate that being close to the natural world can have serious health benefits from reducing stress to improving heart health. In fact, just having direct contact with the earth can instantly help us feel calmer and happier as we absorb the natural electrons in the soil – a practice known as grounding.

New routines

When it is cold and dark, humans are programmed to rest. The winter months often mean cosy nights at home in front of the fire but now that spring is here it could be the perfect time to shake up those fusty routines and re-energize your life. A healthy lifestyle change could be something as simple as walking to work instead of taking the car or trying to factor a meditative workout into your day. Maybe you could use your extra time to start a new hobby or project. Spring lends itself to trying new things and research shows that having a productive pastime is a great way to improve our skill set as well as developing personal confidence and self esteem.

Sunshine

Nothing beats waking up on a spring morning to find the sun’s rays pouring in through your bedroom window. We’ve already touched upon the ways in which sunshine can alleviate the symptoms of SAD and it’s very presence means that you’re more likely to spend time outdoors which also has health benefits in itself. The sunlight also restores our levels of Vitamin D which can become depleted during the dark, cold months. This important vitamin can help boost immune system health, fight depression and even strengthen our bones.

Re-organizing

As the winter melts away, many of us feel inclined to throw open the windows, dust away the cobwebs and do a little spring cleaning. Studies show that allowing fresh air into your home makes you feel calmer, happier and healthier and clearing away your old clutter is a great first step in reclaiming your space – after all a cluttered home can mean a cluttered mind. Cleaning your home is one thing but many experts say that spring cleaning your mind is a good metaphor for regaining control over your life. See spring as a season to take stock and remove the things that no longer serve you from your life too, whether that be resentment, toxic relationships, bad habits or even harmful addictions. Spring is a season of renewal so renew your life in order to live more healthily and happily going forward.

Article by Anne Green

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Posted in Personal Development

Five Habits for a Happier Life

Do you brush your teeth twice a day? If you’re like the majority of Americans, you do.

As much as we would like to pick up our toothbrushes just once a week and have perfect, sparkling white teeth, we know that’s not how it works. In order to maintain great oral hygiene, persistence is involved. The same is the case with excelling in almost any aspect of life: fitness, health, public speaking, wealth, academics, etc.

Success in any area of life doesn’t just happen overnight. It is the result of a lifestyle; a lifestyle that involves performing a simple set of daily tasks (like brushing and flossing teeth) which, compounded over time, will lead to one’s ultimate success.

One area that is often overlooked, however, is happiness.

If success in almost every aspect of life is a result of simple actions repeated daily, shouldn’t happiness be too? And if so, what are the actions that will lead to happiness? Why don’t we work on improving our happiness levels like we work on maintaining our teeth?

Shawn Achor, the author of The Happiness Advantage and world-renowned positive psychologist, has been studying these specific questions for over a decade. And luckily, he has answers for us.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could form simple habits that focused on giving us a healthier and happier mind? In just two minutes (the time it takes to brush our teeth) we can perform one of five tasks that have been scientifically proven to improve mental health and happiness over time.

Gratitude

This one is as simple as brushing your teeth; sit down with yourself and write or say out loud three new and specific things that you are thankful for in the last day. Practicing gratitude has been proven in countless studies to improve mental, physical, and psychological health almost immediately.

An incredible tool that I use to help me with my gratitude routine is the five-minute journal. This little book has changed my life. I notice a significant uptick in how I feel and even in how lucky I seem to get throughout the day when I write in my journal.

The goal in practicing gratitude is to get the mind to focus on more of the positive aspects in life, instead of on the negatives, even when times get tough. Focusing on the positives has tremendous benefits and can even make you luckier in life because your brain will be wired to look for and take advantage of opportunities it would normally miss.

Gratitude is the perfect way to re-frame your mind and start directing your attention to the positive experiences and opportunities in life.

The Doubler

The doubler is another little trick you can play on your mind to immediately get you into a better mood. Here’s how it works:

Once per day, especially when feeling down, focus on one extremely positive experience from your past and write down as many details as you can remember from it. The details should range from the environment of the experience, to emotions you felt during it, to the clothes you were wearing at the time.

The brain has trouble distinguishing between the things it imagines and the things it actually experiences. If we simply bring ourselves back to a positive experience in our imagination, our brains will react in almost the same way as if we were actually there, bringing a sense of joy and happiness throughout our body and mind.

Fifteen Minutes of Cardio

Practicing fifteen minutes of cardio per day has been scientifically proven to be as effective as taking a daily anti-depressant. This one is well-known and I won’t linger on it for too long because you are probably already aware of the endless benefits of daily exercise. It puts you in a better mindset, releases endorphins, and promotes clearer thinking.

Although exercise is often used as a method of improving our physique, it is also one of the most effective ways we can improve our mental health. The cardio can come in many forms but I suggest doing something outdoors where you can reap all of the additional benefits from simply being in nature.

“You are training the body to build physical endurance in order to flow through the form without stopping. But more important, you are training the mind through continuous practice to stay focused for the duration and not break concentration.” – Beryl Bender Birch

Meditation

A few minutes of daily mindfulness meditation is the second most effective way of increasing baselines happiness levels. It teaches you to slow down in life and act more intentionally. How much of our life passes us by completely unnoticed?

“Mind is the king of the sense. One who has conquered his mind, senses, passions, thought and reason is a king among men.” – Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar

Meditation has given me a new life. It has taught me to focus on one task at a time and to be more conscious of every action I take.

Like all of the above action steps, meditation is only effective if practiced every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s only for two minutes; the key is to be consistent.

There is a plethora of research out there on the benefits of meditation, which I’ll let you explore on your own. We’ve even written a few posts on the topic which you can find on http://thescientistandthehustler.com/.

I promise that if you practice for just a few minutes every day, it will become easier for you to notice the pleasure you can gain from partaking in even the most basic daily activities.

“Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could ever see before.” – Steve Jobs on Meditation

Send a Positive Email, Text, or Letter

According to Shawn Achor, the number one most effective way to increase your baseline happiness level is to send a positive message to somebody once per day. If you only want to choose one of these five actions to practice, do this one!

Before doing anything else in the morning, send one positive email, text or letter to anybody who has had an impact in your life. It could be a thank you note to a middle school teacher, coach, psychologist, professor, co-worker, or even the friend you randomly made at a music festival. Do this for twenty-one straight days.

The messages do not have to be super fluffy and personal. They can be as simple as: “Thank you for your endless patience with me yesterday during the math lecture.”

Even better than sending an electronic ‘thank you’ is sending a hand-written letter or a torn out article from a magazine. Anything that lets the recipient know that you were thinking of them will do. Not only will sending this positive message make you feel better about yourself, it will open the doors to opportunities you would never have dreamed of. When was the last time you got a note in the mail from an old passer-by in your life? Something as simple as a two sentence note can change the trajectory of your life.

There You Have It

If you want to start living a happier and healthier life, try doing just one of the five things listed above every day. If you can, turn all five into daily habits; it may be easier than you think. If you brush your teeth for two minutes a day in order to have a healthier mouth, why not focus on keeping the most important part of your body healthy…? Your mind.

About the Author:

Alex is a personal development blogger and adventure buff who constantly experiments with his life to optimize for health, productivity, and most importantly, happiness. His goal is to help others ditch the traditional 9-5 to start living a life more in tune with their values. After quitting his corporate job, Alex booked a flight to Colombia where he now blogs, practices yoga, and inspires others to live a life on their own terms. Read more on his blog: http://thescientistandthehustler.com/

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Getting Motivated when You’re Depressed

Depression is a complex mental condition that is much deeper than short-term grief. The term is commonly misused to describe a current bad mood. We often hear people say they got ‘depressed’ after watching a sad movie. No, you’re not depressed when you’re bored or exhausted. The real state of depression is characterized with prolonged feelings of emptiness, profound sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, lethargy, isolation, loss of interests, lethargy, lack of focus, shifts in weight, and other serious symptoms that distort the quality of one’s life. This is a condition that cannot be cured with a pack of ice cream and an encouraging pat on the back.

This state may result with consequences much more fatal than the plain feeling of loneliness. It can affect the self-esteem, health, work, social activities, and every other aspect of one’s life. The main thing that depressed individuals lack is motivation. No matter how other people try to motivate them to start seeing the good side of life, it’s hard for them to abandon the burdening thoughts.

If you have any doubts that you’re suffering from depression, you should inevitably visit a doctor and follow his instructions. In the continuation, you will find tips that, in addition to the therapy and counseling, will help you find the motivation to fight this condition.

Recognize the Habits that Lead to Depression

During the early stages of depression, there are certain patterns your body and mind are prone to. If you recognize them and you take actions on time, you’ll be able to prevent the condition from getting more serious.

  • Insufficient physical activity is one of the symptoms you should keep your eye on. If you’re sitting through your days, you’re becoming lazy and/or you start eating too much. Inactivity contributes to lowered self-esteem. Proper exercise, on the other hand, makes you feel good because it stimulates the brain to produce serotonin and dopamine – the chemicals that are responsible for your good mood.
  • Consistent sleep deprivation also makes you depressed. If you’re not getting at least seven hours of sleep each night throughout a prolonged period of time, you put your body and mind under too much stress. You are irritable and your performance is affected. All this makes you vulnerable to depression. If you are working too much and you can’t get enough sleep, it’s time for a serious change in your routine. No job is more important than your mental and physical health.  
  • Negative thoughts are a major cause of depression. Are you focusing your mind on the bad experiences? You pay little attention to the good things that surround you? Constant thoughts of loss, helplessness and disappointment may lead you into deep depression that’s difficult to beat. The only way to fight these thoughts is by making an effort. You need to exercise, hang out with friends, and find a moment to enjoy a beautiful sunset. Don’t let this state get more serious!
  • Isolation is a common sign of depression. When you avoid your family members and your friends, the bad emotions get deeper. Isolating yourself from social life is the worst thing you can do at this point. Accept that invitation for a coffee and don’t allow yourself to be alone for a long time. Keep in mind that social media is not real social life; you need to make actual contacts and have real conversations with people who make you feel good.

Don’t Ignore It!

People are not always aware they became depressed. You may recognize the signs listed in the previous point, but you don’t relate them to depression. You are getting strong headaches, stomach and muscle pains, and the doctors don’t find anything wrong with the bodily functions? If you deny your mental state, you are making it more serious. You may mask your depression with a smile when you’re in front of other people, but you’re still suffering inside and the result is the same: you are depressed.

When you are experiencing pain with no physical causes and you are constantly thinking about problems, you should not ignore the situation because it won’t solve on its own. Recognition of hidden depression is the first step towards healing. When you can’t help yourself, it’s time to seek professional help. Once diagnosed, the condition can be treated with psychotherapy, which may or may not be combined with antidepressants.

Get Enough Sunlight

When you’re not getting sunlight, your body produces greater quantities of melatonin – a hormone that makes you feel sleepy, reduces the temperature of your body and makes you weak. When you’re in a dark room, you have difficulties to function properly and it’s hard to get out of bed.

Wrap yourself in sunlight whenever you get a chance to. If you can’t get a walk during the day, make sure to get enough sun in your room or office. Feel the positive vibes that penetrate your body with the sun rays.

Try Acupuncture

Western medicine has been ignoring the benefits of traditional Chinese healing methods for a long time. That is no longer the case; even Western doctors recognize that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for physical and psychological disorders. Traditional Chinese medicine is founded upon the principle that our mind and body are integrated into a single system. Our emotions have strong impact on the physical levels, but the relation also works the other way around. Thus, proper physical stimulation can bring the psychological condition back to balance.

Find a certified acupuncturist in your area and trust this ancient healing method. You might start feeling better after few sessions. However, keep in mind that acupuncture cannot replace psychotherapy and antidepressants. If you suffer from clinical depression, you can only use it as a complementary method to the therapy your doctor prescribed.  

Try the ‘Concrete Thinking’ Method

According to the results of a research published by the University of Exeter, a method named ‘concrete thinking’ can be an effective self-help treatment for this condition. People who suffer from depression are prone to generalizations and abstract thinking. This method teaches them to think more specifically when pondering the problems. They are not avoiding or suppressing the negative thoughts; they are just viewing them from a realistic angle.  

Don’t Neglect Productive Mental Activity

It’s important for depressed people to occupy their minds. If you leave your mind to wander, it won’t take you in a good place. Find the strength to start learning new things. There are tons of free online courses that will help you discover new interests and steer your energy in a productive direction.

You can read the books that have been on your reading list for a long time, watch movies that make you think, play chess or simply solve Sudoku puzzles. These mental activities will slowly take you away from the negative thinking patterns.

Accept a Helping Hand

When you are depressed, you’re not making only yourself feel miserable. The people who love you are also unhappy and they would do anything to help you surpass this state. Don’t push them away. When they are trying to convince you to go out for a walk, accept the invitation even if that’s the last thing you want to do.

It’s important to maintain your contacts as much as possible. Connect with old friends and don’t bring them to bad mood by talking about your depression. Find interesting topics for discussion and make real efforts to get involved in the conversation.

Eat Healthy Food

Food cannot beat depression, but it will certainly affect your mood. Doctors recommend a diet high in nutrients for people who suffer from this condition. Your body needs vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and good fat to support its functions.

Carbohydrates, as well as foods rich in Vitamin E, can increase the levels of serotonin. As a result, they directly affect your motivation. Your body does need carbohydrates, but that doesn’t mean you should opt for unhealthy, sugary meals. Always choose complex carbs (whole grains) combined with delicious fruits. It’s also important to stay hydrated, since dehydration affects your energy levels and makes you feel light-headed.    

Set a Direction

Maybe your depression comes from a serious problem or loss. Can you do something about it? If there is anything you can do to surpass that situation, then you need to set some goals. You may feel helpless at this point, but it’s important to keep yourself together and do something to rise from the ashes. Set an ultimate goal, and steps that will help you achieve it. Now, start walking through those steps, but keep the big picture in mind. The list itself will motivate you to go forward.

Maybe there is nothing you can do about the problem that brought you to this state. You can’t bring someone back. You still need goals! Think about the things you always wanted to achieve. If there is nothing you can do to make the problem go away, you can at least make yourself a happier person by achieving a goal that was always on your mind. 

Read Self-Help Books

This type of literature seems silly to people who have no problems with depression, but it can literally change the life of someone whose life has been consumed by this condition. Good self-help books can help you build self-confidence and find strength to face depression. Some authors have the ability to touch your soul and motivate you to discover the meaning of life all over again.

Most of these books have been written by psychotherapists who know what they are talking about, so you can certainly trust them. These are a few you can read:

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns

Depression Self Help and Cure: The Ultimate Guide to Curing Your Inner Self by Steven J Smith

The Depression Cure: 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs by Stephen S. Ilardi

Remember: There is Treatment & the Result Depends on You

You have more strength than you realize. Although you think you cannot get out of the vicious circle of negative thoughts and feelings, depression is a curable condition. A visit to the doctor won’t be enough for you to surpass the state. You have to make an effort and you need to believe that you’ll get cured.

It’s important to take depression seriously. If you don’t seek treatment, it will only take you deeper in the sea of hopelessness. The above-listed tips are a great addition to the therapy prescribed by a doctor. If you’re going through the initial stages of depression, maybe these methods will be enough to motivate you and bring you back to balance.

Article by Stephanie Norman
___________

Stephanie Norman from Sydney has been a contributing blogger and professional writer for 4 years already. She writes creative and business content covering writing, content marketing, and inspirational issues as a freelancerAlso, sometimes she provides editing service at Australian Writings, a company that offers assignment help and assistance for students. You can follow her at Facebook and  and Google+.

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White Dove Remedies

The Placebo Effect is an interesting way to harness the positive power of your brain to heal your body. It is a truly remarkable phenomenon by which an inactive substance, such as sucrose pills, can improve your health; according to recent research, even when the individual knows the pill is a placebo!

The placebo effect is real – even if you know the treatment you’ve been given has no medical value, research has concluded, the Mail Online reports.  – NHS News

The following remedies contain no active ingredients at all. Just a simple sucrose pill that can help you take full advantage of the Placebo Effect.

Combo

Our Placebo Remedies

  • Banish – for PMS Relief
  • Hush – for Panic Attacks
  • Puritus – for Morning Sickness
  • Libidos – Increase Sex Drive
  • Supra – Lose Weight & Gain Confidence

Placebos work for some people, often better than medication, as attested in numerous clinical trials. Labelled for specific conditions to help you optimise your brain’s ability to deal with the condition(s) that affect you, here are our Placebo Remedies which will shortly be available on Amazon.

Rather than dismiss it, we should try to understand the placebo effect and harness it when we can. – Harvard Health

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14 Excellent Reasons Why You Are Not Living a Happy & Peaceful Life – Part 2

This is Part 2 of an article entitled 14 Excellent Reasons Why You Are Not Living a Happy and Peaceful Life by Zdravko Lukovsk. You can read Part 1 Here.

You’re Afraid to Break Free from your Comfort Zone

There is only one thing that never changes…and that is… CHANGE itself! Understand that your comfort zone is an illusion. When in a comfort zone, you think that you have peace and that you can be happy but believe me, that’s one big illusion.

The first serious sign of a big problem or obstacle will break this wrong picture that you hold. It is impossible to feel at peace if you constantly hold onto something.

This can be your job, it can be your habitual lifestyle that is not healthy, it can be the habit of drinking alcohol from time to time… there are literally millions of examples. You have to observe yourself and decide what YOUR comfort zone is.

And yes, unfortunately even holding to our loved ones so dearly is not good for us. I am not suggesting that you should let go of them, not under any circumstance, but what I do suggest is that you have to accept that peace and happiness come from the inside and never from the outside.

We cannot depend on peace and happiness only from the people and things outside of us. After all, we’ll all die one day, and whether we like or not, whether we accept it or not, that’s reality and that’s the truth. We have to learn to live with that voice that speaks to us. We also have to learn to control it!

Come on, do me a favor and go on and play “I Want to Break Free” from Queen. Play it and sing it from your heart.

Break free! Let go of your comfort zone and do the things that you love doing! Go after your big dreams, don’t be a fool!

Hey, you know what? …

…Do something that scares you, each and every day. Do it! If you only commit to this single habit, you will literally astound yourself! Your life will be a different story!

You Haven’t Eliminated your Work-Overload

If you’re one of those individuals that take the overtime for the extra dollars, you can afford to stop it. There are much better ways to earn money than trading your time for it.

As a matter of fact, trading time for money is without question the WORST way on earth to earn money!

This can lead do depression, stress and overwhelming, and how can you possibly expect to live in peace like that?

You have to give your mind and body a rest.

If you need more money, then study, expand your mind, step into action and create several multiple streams of income. Passive income is the real secret to great wealth.

The only way to make good money by trading your time for it is being a CEO or a high paid manager which in turn has other disadvantages. So if your vision is not becoming one of those individuals, stop taking the overtime hours!

You Don’t Get Outdoors and You Don’t Exercise Enough

When was the last time you went hiking? Have you lost contact with nature completely?

Here’s few suggestions what you can do: yoga, walking near the beach or park, sailing, dancing, hiking, volunteering, doing something interesting in your yard, visiting orphans and making them feel special, sailing, fishing, going to the zoo and so on…

Pick something that connects you with nature. For example, I really love hiking! I do it every week and it’s simply amazing. I am a new person when I come back home. I have so much fresh energy locked up within me…I just radiate positivity and happiness from me.

You can do the same. Listen to nature’s sounds, feel the wind on your skin, listen to the birds, breathe that fresh air deep in your belly and be grateful for your life!

You Love Watching Soap Operas or Reality TV

If you belong to this group of individuals, I beg you to stop wasting your life! So far, I haven’t seen a single benefit a person has gotten from doing this. Really.

Watching this nonsense is just wasting your life. Not only that, more often than not it fills you with fears and negativity. Gossips, crying, bad language, cheating, I mean what’s good in any of that?

Turn off the TV! Now I am not suggesting to completely cease watching television in your life, but at least make it less frequent.

I don’t watch TV at all, and I feel awesome!

Instead, start educating yourself, read some great books, go out and eat something special, take your partner on a romantic evening…

You Love Perfectionism (The Wrong Way)

While this not necessarily is a bad thing, more often than not it has the exact opposite effect than improving ourselves. Trying to do everything perfectly is setting ourselves up for failure.

It literally stops us from enjoying the moment, it creates a feeling of rush and eventually, we end up not doing much. Instead, we tend to procrastinate. Understand that we as intuitive human beings are not perfect in a logical sense. Our subconscious programs and human emotions are much more complicated than the rational computer machine.

Don’t expect to do everything smoothly according to a predetermined plan. Now, see how I don’t say “don’t plan at all” or “don’t strive for perfection”.

No! You should strive for perfection, but don’t be that much stressed about little details or doing everything perfect.

You Don’t Practice Mindfulness (Even Worse – You Don’t Know What It Is!)

Mindfulness is moment to moment awareness. It’s not only being aware…it is being AWARE that you are aware! The mindful mind is the mind which constantly observes.

It observes the various thoughts and emotions as they come and go. It is forever present “in the moment”. You see, living a mindful life, is living a life of moment to moment awareness and unfoldment.

You can never be bored or annoyed by doing this…Every second you have a mission, a goal which is focusing on your thoughts that live and exist in your inner world. And our mind is like a dancing monkey, it never stops to think, it is a machine without an off-switch!

Your job is to take control over it.

Now I’ll be straightforward upfront here… This is without question – THE HARDEST thing one can achieve in a lifetime. I mean to become completely, fully mindful.

The people who have achieved this like the Buddha for example, are very few, just a handful of individuals.

But nobody is asking that from you! All I’m suggesting is to practice this amazing skill in your life, just for little bit! Just by taking the time and living mindfully for 15min each day, you won’t be able to recognize your “new-self” in a few months.

How to practice it?

Start with simple meditation. Take 15min. each day and sit comfortably in a place where nobody can disturb you. Shut down all outside distractions including cellphones, iPads and laptops.

Take the time and focus on your breathing. Follow mindfully each and every breath. Your mind will go astray very often. Your job is not to become mad and upset because of it! Instead, just observe your thoughts and purposefully bring your attention back to the primary object of focus – your breathing.

Every time the mind starts to think of something else, you observe it, and bring it back to where it was.

As time goes by, increase the amount of time spent on meditation. Also, whenever you catch yourself during the day creating mind movies, stop it, and observe yourself in that particular moment.

Remember, too many positive emotions can be equally harmful as too many negative emotions. This is because we become dependent on outside circumstances. Something good happens, we get excited, something bad happens, self-esteem and confidence plummet down.

You need to find the balance!

There’s a great course on mindfulness called “Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation” from Professor Mark W. Muesse Ph.D, who teaches at the Rhodes College – just a helpful resource you might be interested in.

You Always Take Things Personally

Get this – nothing is really personal! The only way something becomes personal, is if it comes from YOU.

As odd and as strange it may sound, it’s true. For example if your boss yells and criticizes you, it is about him or her, not you. If your sale doesn’t close and you get rejected from a prospect, it’s not about you, it’s about them.

It is all about their perceptions, their attitude, their needs and their expectations, not yours. Understand that!

You can certainly influence their decisions to a certain degree, but please don’t take these things personally. Sometimes things will happen differently to how we expect and think should happen.

Focus on what you have control over – and that’s your attitude comprised of your thoughts and emotions. Do the best you can, and learn to be happy with yourself, the way you truly are.

You Don’t Act On the Things You Have Control Over

You are in full control of your inner world. You have the power to control every single thought and emotion that goes in your mind.

Start deliberately to imprint in your subconscious mind, the kind of thoughts that you choose to have.

Start using affirmations and create new positive beliefs about yourself and the world you live in.

Here’s great one for relaxation and calmness of mind:

“I feel calm and relaxed. With every inhalation I breathe in calmness and with every exhalation – stress, doubt and fear leave my mind and body”

Then take a deep breath and breathe in calmness. Exhale, and let go of all negative emotions.

Repeat this procedure for 5 minutes every time you wake up in the morning, and every time before you go to bed at night.

This Article Ends Here but Your New Journey is Just About to Begin…

Phew, now that was a long article! I’m glad you came to the end.

Happiness and peace cannot be found outside of you. You don’t find happiness or peace, you MAKE happiness and peace. They all exist right now, in the present moment. Your job is to become aware of them.

They are after all, just emotions, and all emotions happen as a result of the thoughts that we think. So start thinking about what makes you feel peaceful and happy.

Practice these tips regularly and commit to living a positive and peaceful lifestyle.

I’ll wrap everything up with one famous definition of happiness by Epicurus:

Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.”

Zdravko Lukovski is an obsessed personal development enthusiast who loves studying and expanding the mind. He is a dedicated student of life who owns several websites including www.EnlightenmentPortal.com/. If you want to read more of his writing, check out these top positive thinking exercises and activities!

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14 Excellent Reasons Why You Are Not Living a Happy & Peaceful Life – Part 1

I’m just a regular guy. I don’t claim to be the “expert” who will solve all your problems. I can’t give you peace and happiness, but what I can do, is help you in awakening them from within. Why? Because I’ve done it in my life, and I know that I am no more special than you are. If I can be happy and live a peaceful life, you can do it too.

Understand that if you don’t get your thoughts and emotions together, and in order, you will be always lost in life. You probably won’t perceive the world as a happy and peaceful home we all share, until you first recognize and develop peace from within yourself.

The advice that follows is really common sense but for some strange reason we tend to neglect it. Please don’t do that. I also don’t ask you to accept it either. But please, take a step and do some of the suggestions and see if they alter and improve your life in any way. I’m inclined to believe that they will astound you!

The Food You Eat is Poisoning You

While eating a hamburger or a cheesecake might make you feel good in the next few minutes, in the long run this is literally killing you. Not only does junk food and processed food affect your health, they make you feel stressful and unhappy with yourself.

Foods rich with lots of sugar and lots of carbs are destroying you both physically and mentally.

Well you might say “I’m trying to avoid them”. Oh come on… Really? Get this: the action behind the word “trying” doesn’t exist in the real world. Think about it. Let me give you an example…

Turn your head slowly to the right. Come on, do it right now. Just slowly turn it, and bring it back to where it first was.

Did you do it? Good!

Now… just “TRY” to move your head to the right but don’t actually move it. Just try it…

Did you do it? Of course not! There’s no such thing as trying! You’ll either do it or you won’t! You’ll either eat junk food or you won’t, you’ll either step out and do the things that you have to do, or you’ll stay in your comfort zone behind the excuse that you at least “tried”!

Get serious and stop this destructive behavior at last. Start eating nutrient-rich foods. Eat as much fresh vegetables and fruits as you can, boost your energy levels! Also, eat nuts and berries and please avoid dairy products and meat.

And don’t forget, fresh water gives life! It will not only make you healthier, you will feel much more in harmony with the nature which in turn will help you to be in peace with yourself.

You Haven’t Learned to Love Unconditionally

This is self-explanatory. Give love to others and love will come back to you. By loving others I don’t mean just your close family and your relatives and friends. No… I mean love the world and all the people in it! Love the people you meet at the street or in the grocery store, love people regardless of their race, color or culture, feel compassion and be connected with the Universe, we all come from one same source after all!

Love is about giving without conditions. Giving and sending positive emotions and wishing the best to everyone and everything. There’s no way how this will not make you feel at peace with yourself!

You Can’t Stop Focusing on the Mistakes from the Past!

This is the one thing that destroys so many lives and I’m sure that you’re very familiar with it. But why do we constantly keep reminding ourselves of our past mistakes? Why do we keep doing it?

I think I’ve found the answer to that question. It can be summed up into 3 simple words: It’s a habit! It truly is…

The moment we see something in the outer world of people, circumstances and events, we instantly remind ourselves of some event or situation in the past. And most of the time we do this unconsciously, meaning, we don’t give any conscious effort to control our thoughts at all.

We simply get the idea stimulated from an outside force and we immediately start making movies in our head.

Sometimes these ideas are rooted deep in our subconscious. From time to time they swim to the surface of our mind and take our peace and happiness away. Well you have to stop this if you’re serious about making peace with yourself!

And remember, not to “TRY” and not think about it. Haha, no no, you can’t escape this problem even you deeply love to do it!

The next time you experience bothering thoughts from your past, say STOP to yourself! Immediately think of something different. If this doesn’t work, try the observation technique.

Simply say to yourself – “right now I’m just experiencing a negative thought from my past and I am well aware of that. I won’t let this influence me, and I won’t get involved with this negative idea!

That’s it. Gradually with time, you’ll start to become more aware of your thought patterns and you’ll start living more in the present. And before moving onto the next point, I’d add just few more words of advice you should consider:

  • If you really made some big mistakes in the past that have become your nightmare, understand that what’s done cannot be changed. There’s no point for you to keep suffering about this. Simply let go of it completely and forgive yourself. Accept that what happened is done and that you won’t let that happen ever again in future.
  • If the opposite is true, so instead someone else wronged you or hurt you a lot, learn to forgive them. Again, this now exists only in your mind, the past is over! You have to move on with life. Holding to this idea not only won’t make the person pay back for what they’ve done, it will only cause more stress and unhappiness to you!

You Haven’t Buried your Emotional Baggage Deep in the Ground!

We all carry certain doubts, worries and fears. Your emotional baggage can come from your past actions, it can be connected with your insecurities, your fear for the future, your fear from poverty or losing love, it can include your criticism or judgement to others, it can be the feeling of guilt or resentment.

It is vital that you recognize this extremely powerful force that’s destroying you from the inside. If it is fear, learn to accept the worst scenario and promise yourself that you’ll do everything in your power to do the exact opposite.

For example you might fear that you will never have enough money. Ok, stop right there! Accept the fact that you might never have enough money. Come on, do it right now! Just think of it and accept it.

Now that you’ve already accepted the worst scenario as a possible reality, promise to yourself that you will give the best you’ve got to become rich! Be honest with yourself. And do this for all the fears you have.

I knew a man once who was so terribly scared that he might die because he was sick. He was afraid of serious illness and he was constantly thinking about it. He really was sick, and he was afraid of the future, constantly worrying and having fears.

He was killing himself with months until one day when he went to the doctor. The doctor told him that his situation is hopeless and that he will die in a month or two.

The first and obvious reaction for him would be to “die” from a heart attack in the exact moment from too much stress and overwhelm. But no… this man felt deep relief. He felt that the burden he was carrying for so long is now buried deep inside. He accepted the fact that he will die and from that moment on he focused on doing what he loved the most.

Now this is not a happy ending story. Unfortunately this man didn’t even try to fight for his life. The doctor’s words were like the voice of God for him. Now don’t get me wrong, under no circumstance do I suggest that we should accept situations like this one as a fact and live with it.

That man could have lived for many years but he put a signature on his destiny right in that moment.

What is valuable from this lesson is that the entire burden that he carried was imaginary! It was happening in his mind! He could have decided long time ago to accept that he might die and do the things he loves the most! Instead, he didn’t do it, he contributed even more to his illness and he certainly was not at peace with himself!

Fear and worry were destroying him from the inside.

You get the message. Accept the worst scenario as a possible reality and then give EVERYTHING you’ve got to do the exact opposite.

By the way, this is the advice that comes straight from “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, and that man DID know what he was talking about!

Self-Care Seems to be a Removed Word from your Dictionary

Driven with the idea of caring for others, we often tend to forget to take care of ourselves. Work and care for the kids, work and care for the spouse, work and care for our old parents, worry and care about what the boss will think, worry and care about that project at work, work and care, worry and care, stop it for God’s sake!

Pay attention to your needs and desires! Make a peaceful morning ritual for yourself. Start meditating immediately after you wake up. Do some stretching and make yourself a fresh juice rich with vitamins. Spend some time thinking about your future and your goals.

What is it you want to change in your life? What are your desires, dreams, hopes and aspirations? Give yourself a pat on the back and love yourself for who you are.

I’ll share with you one thing I do each morning that you might want to do too. Each day when I wake up, I thank God, the Universe, Nature, Life (call it what you want), for the amazing things that will happen to me. I then literally KISS my hand and I love myself. Now I don’t know how to describe to you how I “love” myself, so you’ll have to figure that out by yourself.

This is amazing technique that really brings peace and happiness in my entire being. Try it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

You Can’t Stop Worrying Constantly What “Others” Think

This is terrible. This is the only life we’ve got and we choose to let others be in control of it. This is also sad…unfortunately…

Understand that you can’t control everything. As a matter of fact ALL that you could, all that you can and all that you will ever be able to control is your very own thoughts and emotions! Nothing else!

Take full responsibility for your life! What other people might think or feel about you, has nothing to do with you! Concentrate on your goals and on your attitude.

Guide your actions and your thoughts, and know that you will get to where you’re going. Don’t listen to other people’s opinions!

If you want to be at peace with yourself, you also have to learn to LET GO OF CONTROL. Yes. You cannot control what your spouse thinks, you cannot control what the next move of the government will be, you cannot control what the attitude of your boss will be like, and you cannot control and eliminate world poverty.

You can certainly influence and strive to change things, and I strongly encourage you to do that!

But stop giving yourself a hard time. Relax, bring peace into your mind and live your life mindfully. Be aware of the beautiful unfolding and cease controlling everything.

Soon, peace and happiness will become your best companions!

This is Part 1 of an article entitled 14 Excellent Reasons Why You Are Not Living a Happy and Peaceful Life by Zdravko Lukovsk. You can read Part 2 Here.

Zdravko Lukovski is an obsessed personal development enthusiast who loves studying and expanding the mind. He is a dedicated student of life who owns several websites including www.enlightenmentportal.com. If you want to read more of his writing, check out these amazing positive thinking activities and exercises!

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How to Choose a Book Title

You did it. You’ve finished your book. After hours, days, weeks, even months of living and breathing your story and countless edits, you’re finally ready to so unveil it. You stand up, get ready to call your publisher, when you suddenly thought: well, damn. What’s the title going to be?

Choosing a title for your book or story is one of the trickier parts of writing. The title you choose has to be intriguing enough to catch the attention of your average bookstore browser while still being descriptive of your story.

It’s a difficult task, so we’re giving you some tips on how to create and choose your book title.

Base your Title on the Theme of your Story

We’re absolutely sure that your story has a theme. Is it a romance novel set in a historical era? Or an adventure story with a mythological premise? Or maybe it’s a coming-of-age story set in Asia? Whatever your theme is, your title has to be representative of it. One example of a theme-based title is The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a coming-of-age story about a boy who is used to fading into the background. The idea here is to make sure that your title points directly to the heart of your book’s theme.

What to do: Pinpoint the predominant theme of your story. Once you have the theme, list down some key words related to it then whittle them down to those that apply your story.

Work in a Key Element of your Story

There are writers who have the skill to apply one element to their story and make it a central yet subtle part of it. One example is the Bridges of Madison County, a novel about two people who met and fell in love at the wrong time. The key element to the story is the actual bridges of Madison County, where the woman lived, which the man came over to take photographs of. If your story has a certain element that holds it together, try to incorporate that into your title.

What to do: Think about a thing or an event that is pivotal to your story. Could be your characters worked in a vineyard. Or maybe your whole story happened because of an event. Determine if there is a single element that brings your story together and work that in to your title.

Be as Descriptive as Possible

Think about the last book you bought that’s not a required reading or not by your favorite author. Chances are you picked it up because you’re intrigued by the title. There’s also a huge chance that the reason it caught your eye was because its title pretty much told you what it’s about. A good example to this is the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Apart from the series name that is already plenty descriptive, each book of the series has a longer title that tells you what Percy and company are dealing with. For example, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. You just know that the whole story revolves around the adventures of Percy Jackson and a lightning thief.

What to do: Ask yourself what is your book about, really? In this case, don’t just dwell on a theme or an element. Think about who your characters are, what their situation is, where you story is set, and even how your characters live. Try to describe the whole story in one sentence.

Throw in a Bit of Mystery

Being descriptive does not mean you just throw it all out there, leave some room for the reader to be intrigued, too. Let’s still go with the Percy Jackson example, shall we? The title Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief tells you that it’s about three different people: Percy Jackson, the Olympians, and a Lightning Thief. What it doesn’t tell you, however, is who and what these people are. When you read that title you think, “what about the lightning thief?” or “is Percy Jackson the lightning thief?” or “is the lightning in the story a metaphor or is it an actually lightning” then you go “wait, you can steal lightning?!” which can lead to “I have to find out what this is about!”

What to do: Read through your title choices and see how you can make each one intriguing. Add a little mystery to it. Instead of going full-out descriptive, play around with the words to make readers wonder and want to find out what it is about.

Test It!

You’re probably going to have a list of several possible book titles that you think will all be perfect for your book. You’ve looked at the elements, the theme, and the characters. Your titles are descriptive yet mysterious. You have five of the best book titles you can ever come up with. You’re next problem now is, which one do you choose? One thing to remember when you get to this part is that you’re not the one buying your book. Other people will be buying your book. What you need are unbiased opinions from potential readers.

What to do: Ask friends which among your titles they’d be most interested to read, without telling them that they’re all meant for one book. Just give them your list and ask them which one they’d be intrigued enough to read. Or better yet, in this day and age of technology, go online. Create a poll and ask people to vote on your titles. Most importantly, listen to them. If your polls and tests show that you get more engagement using Title No. 1, don’t insist on using Title No. 2 simply because it took the hardest to form.

Yohana Petrovic is a writer and blogger. She has 10 years` experience in educating and now she is a proofreader at http://globalessays.org/ . You can reach her on Facebook: Yohana Petrovic or on Twitter: @YohanaPetrovic

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Be a Hero Today!

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

– Dalai Lama

I believe everyone wants to be a Hero in their life. To do something that comes from the heartlevel … from the depth of our soul … a loving service to the Universe that makes the world better and to have this amazing feeling of passion and to be truly alive that only can come with making your life about helping others and the world.

This is what it’s all about – you have a gift or gifts you want to share with the world. Everyone does. The challenge is finding it buried below all society’s conditioning, or what you were told would make you happy in life.

One of the first steps in being a Hero is to connect with who we are being every day of our lives, who we are being with people we come contact with and also with life itself. Are you bringing compassion, kindness, love and peace i nto the world? Are you being a Hero mother and father to your kids? Are you being a Hero with a smile to that stranger you passed on the street? Are you being a Hero to the waiter who just served you, or the hotel maid who cleaned your room? Do you have a Hero’s compassion for the Choices are what make Heroes?

Heroes decide everyday who they’re going to be in this world.

The greatest thing you can do to make this world better and more beautiful is to be more compassionate, kind, loving and peaceful every day of your life. Will you be perfect? NO! Can you be a little better today than you were yesterday? YES! That’s what it is to be a Hero – to be just a little better, more authentic and truer to who you are each and every day.

The most amazing thing happens when we live our live like this. We find our gift(s), our purpose for being here …the passion that makes us come alive.

  • Can you be better today with love, compassion, kindness and peace?
  • Can you be a compassionate husband or wife today?
  • Can you be a peaceful human being today?
  • Can you bring inspiration and joy to the Universe today?
  • Can you be a Hero and make the world better today?
  • Are you willing to be a Hero in your life?

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single minute before starting to improve the world.

– Anne Frank

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.

– Og Mandino

Tony Edgell is the author of The Hero Inside You. Visit his website to learn how to found your purpose and passion that comes from the heart and soul. http://www.tonyedgell.com For daily inspiration follow Tony on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/tony.edgell

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