Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How to Prepare Yourself for Going Back to School

School can be an intimidating place sometimes, but you can make it far less scary by being prepared. Whether you're a teenager facing a foreign environment or an adult who's returning to college, it can be unnerving. Luckily, it doesn't need to be a harrowing endeavor.

You can prepare yourself for the educational experience so you're ready to face the challenges that may pop up over the course of the year. By organizing your life and planning your schedule wisely, you can control the school experience, instead of the experience controlling you.

Follow these tips to prepare for the upcoming school year:

1. Forget what you see in movies and television. Despite what "Ender's Game" may've suggested, your classmates won't be sadists who single you out and harass you for their own amusement. Movies also suggest that schools pigeonhole you into various cliques. While this is more evident in high school than in college, it doesn't work to the extent that John Hughes movies or "Saved by the Bell" would have you believe.

2. You can always pre-study. If you have a class that you're nervous about, you can get a jump on the material by glancing over the textbook before classes begin. The internet is another handy source to read ahead and familiarize yourself with the basics of the material that'll be covered in each course. Even just a glance in advance can help you retain the information much easier.

3. Regiment your time. As a kid, it's simple: you go to school, come home, do your homework, and then you have free reign until bedtime. As an adult, you must take work and family responsibilities into account. Balancing school and a job can be done successfully with proper planning.

* Your reasons for going back to school will also play a role in how you schedule your time. If you're taking the classes for recreational purposes, you can get away with only taking a class or two. If you're going for a degree or certificate, your goals may require a higher workload. Be careful, though, to only take on what you can reasonably handle.

4. Know your limits. While it's true that you go to school to expand your mind and learn about unfamiliar topics, it's important to schedule your course load wisely. Seek to take difficult classes in different semesters to ease the pressure a little. Avoid putting off your least favorite courses until the end. Instead, sprinkle them throughout to make things easier on yourself.

5. Stay organized. When taking multiple classes, it's important that you keep things organized. The difficulty of this task will vary depending on your class load. If you're taking multiple classes, binders or multi-subject notebooks with dividers can keep class materials organized and all in one place.

School can be a fulfilling experience that challenges your mind and expands your horizons to a whole new world of possibilities. It can also be overwhelming. As the school year approaches, you can ease that feeling of trepidation with careful planning. An organized schedule and mind is the key to your success in school.

Friday, October 15, 2010

5 Ways to Maximize Your Weekend Staycation

Who says that you need a fat bank account - or even time off from work - in order to enjoy a relaxing vacation? Break the mold by turning one of your free weekends into a fabulous staycation you and your spouse can enjoy alone.

You can enjoy a romantic weekend in "Hawaii" or even stay at a luxurious "New York City" hotel. The choice is yours! And the best part is that there are no reservations required!

Implement some of the ideas below to make your home feel like a pricey destination hotel.

1. Pack away! It won't feel like a Staycation if you're pulling your everyday clothing out of your own dresser. Pack your suitcases like you would if you were leaving for vacation and wear a fun outfit. Pack sunscreen if you have a backyard or patio at home.

* Be sure to keep your "vacation outfit" in line with the theme of your staycation "destination." If your theme is the Bahamas, avoid Hawaiian print shirts and khaki shorts. However, a maxi tube dress is suitable.

2. Give your guestroom a makeover. The excitement of your staycation will fade within seconds if you're waking up in familiar surroundings. Throughout your staycation, make your guestroom your destination of choice. And give it a makeover to stay within your staycation theme.

* If you're going for a beach theme, purchase a mosquito net canopy and hang it over your bed. Place string lighting overhead to make it feel as if you're sleeping under the stars. And finally, scatter candles and seashells throughout the room to finish the look.

* Consider purchasing new bedding for your guestroom to make it feel as if you're in a luxury hotel suite.

3. Create a romantic environment. Nothing brings a couple together like a romantic getaway. Make your home feel like a romantic hotel suite by scattering fresh red rose petals throughout the stairway of your home and throughout your sleeping quarters.

* Make the most of candles. Dine by candlelight. Watch a movie in a room lit solely by candles. And soak in a bubble bath surrounded by slowly burning scented candles.

4. Tropical drinks. It's no secret that most people like to have a little more than wine while on vacation. Daiquiris, pina coladas, Hawaii Kai swizzles and Bahama mamas are popular tropical drinks that just scream, "Island retreat!"

* Use a cocktail shaker rather than a standard kitchen blender to mix your tropical drinks. It's a small detail that will add a sense of authenticity to your little vacation.

5. Utilize your outdoor space. Transform your backyard into an oasis. If the weather allows, spend most of your staycation outdoors. Purchase patio chaise loungers for relaxing. Alternatively, if you're on a super tight budget, borrow a set of beach chairs from a friend.

* Fire up the grill! Try a new tropical grilling recipe and dine outdoors. Remember to maximize your outdoor table setting by using candles, rose petals and a tablecloth to set the mood.

* Splurge on a masseuse. You and your spouse will feel like celebrities when you receive professional massages in the outdoors. An outdoor massage in a private patio or fenced in backyard is ideal. Masseuse rates vary. However, you can expect to pay $150 to $200 per hour for an on-location couple's session.

Maximizing your Staycation is all in the details. Small finishing touches like candlelight, changing your sleeping quarters and enjoying tropical cocktails in the moonlight can make all of the difference. With some ingenuity, you can feel like you're on a cruise to the Bahamas.

And, the best part of a staycation is the financial savings over expensive travel.

Why spend thousands of dollars on an elaborate vacation when you can experience enjoyment and pleasure right in your own backyard? With a little planning, creativity, and an open mind, you can create an inexpensive staycation full of memories that will last a lifetime.

Monday, July 27, 2009

How To Influence People

A Pebble in the Pond

In today’s growing population, it is so easy for everyone to get lost in the crowd. The great things we do can go unnoticed if we simply sit there and wait for luck to strike on us. What is necessary is to be that person who inspires other people to change for the better. This not to say that we all must aim for world wide popularity. The important thing here is to be able to inspire others to follow our footsteps and create a ripple effect, much like a pebble thrown into a pond.

Influencing can sometimes be looked at as being able to subtly convince people to do what you want without making them feel like they are being coerced, much like a sleight of hand. The other person isn't prodded into agreeing with you, but is unconsciously being persuaded into understanding what and how you think.

Influencing is also about inspiring. The thing with the world today is that countries are ridden with problems. What we all need right now is that person to give others hope and to enthuse them to follow in their footsteps. The world leaders have been trying to do this but their efforts are futile and are in vain because the people don’t have enough motivation to think positively. Aside from that, the majority cannot directly relate to these world leaders. To most people, they are figure heads who are much like strangers. It is harder to relate to someone we hardly know, and though we hear their goal, the impact increases when the action comes from someone we can all relate to.
This article is a call for everyone to be that bringer of change.

Whoever you may be, influencing others is about having the confidence and willingness to use yourself to make things happen. We all must use every means of communication to create the impact that we all want, because right now, we all just let things happen.

To be able to inspire others, we need to understand what they want and need. This in no way means twisting ourselves into knots to become someone else. Rather, it's about understanding which portion of our personality fits theirs. Of course to make this a reality we need time. But if we do want things to change, we have to be that change, that person who inspires others to follow our footsteps.

Every single day, we're confronted with situations where we need to influence, lead, and persuade people. We need to take advantage of these situations, and one way to do this is to lead by example, not just words. People who talk a lot tend to drive others nuts. By seeing what they can become, people are more inspired to follow. We must have a proper understanding of people and their nature if we are ever to win others over. When we gain a proper insight, then and only then, can we become the person of influence. This is very possible when we show them how they can get what they want by simply following our examples. It is leadership at its finest, because it is by example.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Why Visualization Works to Your Benefit

A great way to achieve your dreams is using the power of visualization. One creative method is called “process visualization.” Once you've had your goals set, you can think of your daily habits, behaviors, and the steps needed to get what you most want. You have to write down these action steps and visualize them. You have to create the mental picture of the entire process, going beyond the thoughts of only the end result. Some people even go to the point of visualizing their entire day as they would want it to unfold. When the pictures are vivid, you will be neurologically preparing your brain to carry out the behaviors needed towards that end.

By giving yourself a goal, you are able to alter your attention and behavior, thus steering your dreams towards your way. It will be effective because it allows your body to adapt to the situation and somehow alter it to adapt to what you want.

The greatest mental power is your imagination. You are able visualize anything and add embellishments so that you can embellish your visions and add details that seem to go beyond what’s normal. For those who want to achieve something, you could even imagine your life as if it were in a movie set packed with all the special effects. Think 3D!

Here’s why visualization works:

• It puts the subconscious on notice by saying "Here are my dreams, so help me achieve them." The subconscious then sends creative ideas and amazing inspirations for you to do to bring you a step closer.

• You might tell your subconscious that you would like a car and all of a sudden you start seeing these cars everywhere. An area in your brain has been activated and you are noticing lots of beautiful cars much like the one that you like. Visualization makes notice the things that once escaped your notice.

• Visualization is like prayer. In totally unexplained, accidental, and coincidental ways, you attract the right people, the right situations, and the right resources. You may feel that you are living a charmed life.

• Visualization gets you enthused and excited because your subconscious starts believing that your dreams are coming true. You believe that your dreams are yours for the taking and so you are stirred to take action.

The secret is that you have an amazing power within yourself that can bring about miraculous conclusions. The power that you have has been known to cure incurable diseases, build billion dollar companies, create magnificent notes, paint masterpieces, and make a perfect home.

Visualization is the light switch that turns on this power. Anyone that has created anything worthwhile in their lives used this method, whether deliberately or instinctively. The ones that systematically use visualization consciously have created amazing success. We all know who they are. They are world-famous athletes, the super rich, star entertainers, top salespeople, and almost anyone you can think of whom you believe has created a rather interesting life. Visualization is such a powerful tool that it pays to practice and increase our visualization skills.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Being a Winner in Everything You Do

Some people begin tasks with the attitude for failure. As soon as they’ve started the first step, they’ve already set their minds for disappointments. This is the idea of self-preservation for most people. If they think that being happy only makes you angrier when things don’t work your way, then they will go through life just plain miserable.

There is a definitive distinction between the attitudes of the successful versus the unsuccessful. Yes, things may not always work your way. They’ll be times that you can’t help but be disappointed with how things are turning out, especially when you’ve set yourself up to be all gung-ho about it. But isn’t life special that way? When you give it your all and come out successful at it, the delight that you’ll feel will be incomparable. Developing a winner's outlook is one of the most basic characteristics needed for achievement. Sadly, society ingrains in us to expect the worst yet hope for the best. This explains why most people live a life filled with frustration and misery.

A lot of the people do not want to take responsibility for the way their life has turned out. Some people learn at an early age to play the victim of fate. This allows them to absolve themselves of any accountability that comes as a repercussion of their choices. But then something good happens, and they immediately jump at the chance of taking credit. This allows us to feel somewhat emancipated by believing that the fault is not entirely theirs.

Your mind creates what it focuses on, and when you have nothing in it but negativity, reality will manifest it. So when you have a half hearted attitude towards what you do, you will never get the result that you want for the simple reason that your heart won’t be in it. The successful, on the other hand, take the repercussions head on. They face up to their responsibilities and believe that they can achieve most anything they desire if they just never give up.

Once winners decide to do something, it is only a matter of time before it actually happens. All hindrances are just measly tactics to delay them from reaching the end. If you want to become this successful individual, never think that you can never be the best, and the most you’ll achieve is the silver medal. Go for gold by seeing yourself through your decision. Stay calm and simply look at Plan B if the first try didn’t work. Believing that you will be successful even before it happens increases the likelihood that it will happen. Once you have set your goal, you must have the drive to reach it regardless of the obstacles. Set your priorities and make sure that you create a balance just so you have a healthy attitude towards everything.

You all have the potential to become winners, you just need to believe in yourself and be open to the chances that come your way. With the optimistic outlook in life, barriers are there merely to test your will and fortitude.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lighten Up and Enjoy Your Life

Just to give you a clue on how improving your outlook in life helps you, take a look at the world’s leaders. Some of these people rose from nothing simply because they had hope and belief. They never stopped in their mission and did everything within their power to achieve success and happiness.

Unfortunately, many people have this mistaken notion that happiness and success were mutually exclusive concepts, and that to be on top, you have to step on others along the way. The road to success may be ridden with potholes, but a slow and sure journey towards the end is better than one that is done in a hurry. When things are done haphazardly, it gets more chaotic. Pressure forces you to take the shortcut and when impatience is involved, it is inevitable that you will hurt others.

What you need to do is enjoy life and know that happiness is closer than you think. If you are not satisfied with where your life’s going, it may be because you’ve hurt others along the way and that your conscience is badgering your heart until you to do what is right. You are simply looking at the wrong place and doing the wrong things. When you are not where you’re meant to be, then you can never feel fulfillment.

What you need to know is that you are here to enjoy life and to fulfill your purpose. We all are meant to do something good, and we must take heed to our calling to feel this utter contentment. You might be distracted from the right path for many reasons, and as a result you gradually lose all hope until you end up in total misery.

But where is happiness and how can you attain it? Most people seek it in the future. They wait for certain things to happen for them before they can say that they are happy.

These foolish individuals can never think in the presence. A wise man understands what he possesses at the moment. There is nowhere but here and nothing but now.

You have to know that you have a purpose in life. Working towards this purpose at a gradual but steady pace will keep you hopeful even during your darkest moments. You will have a sense of responsibility and this is what will keep your smile on despite adversities. It is innate in a person to know what their purpose is, they just need time to soul search and realize what needs to be done. When you follow what you have been meant to do, you will live in harmony with the rest of the world.

The peace and happiness you are all seeking is already within. It just needs to be rediscovered and unearthed. Embrace what you have right now and celebrate what is yet to come. Remember, you are all capable of great things. Fear limits what you can achieve and you must remove this from your heart. Remember, your psyche knows no boundaries, so let your faith open your mind to unending possibilities.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Journey To Success - Playing to Win

Most of us would like to succeed at every endeavor and be like the superhuman we all would want to be. Unfortunately, unlike those superheroes we know of, we bleed and get hurt every time we fail. So, instead of pursuing our goal, we back out and quit. Life is a game, and our goal may not have to be to win in every round. What should be important is we learn from the rules so that we really do get to triumph in the end.

In our professional lives, we would like to be with a team of winners, but to make this even remotely possible, we need to create a good relationship among the players. We need to constantly inspire ourselves to try even harder. We all need a sort of wake up call to realize that winning is rarely easy. It takes a lot of hard work, patience, and time.

We need to celebrate every single moment of that journey. Yes, we may make bad choices along the way, but so what? At least we know whether they work or not. Once we make that decision to bravely venture into the unknown, we need to take careful and deliberate steps. The faster we rise, the harder we fall, and we should know that when every step is planned and deliberated, mistakes won’t blow up at a monstrous proportion.

When we play the game of life, we also need to realize that in order to win, we must come up with innovative ideas. We need to let go of perceived notions and let our creative juices flow. If we become willing to test things out, we get to strategize even better. Yes, we may be unsuccessful, but the disappointment is not the entire point of the journey. The most accomplished individuals in today’s world have failed, but they let their thirst for victory guide them through the entire process. In the end, their failures were soon forgotten because what people ultimately remember is their courage to take risks. In fact, they have become icons that inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

We really need to think about what we want most out of life. Otherwise, all the effort will be futile if we really aren’t that satisfied in the end. Playing to win requires inspiration, and what sets apart winners from the losers is their goal. They are out there in the field, giving it their best shot because they want to be the best that they can be. People who fail tend to play by giving it only a bit of an effort simply because they don’t want to lose. This negative attitude is what brings people down.

To succeed in life, we need to face each day with a kind of hope that gives us the strength to overcome hurdles and still smile after a sad and depressing day because we know that things can always get better. As long as we have the strength to wake up each morning and drag ourselves out of bed, we can still do something. Let us keep this thought always in our hearts because this is what will make a difference in our lives.