Join The 30 Days Read To Succeed Challenge

(We are starting October 30th!)

  • Get Your Mind In Ultra Shape By Reading 5 Pages a Day From Any Success Book Of Your Choice.
  • Develop a Powerful Success Habit
  • Re-programm Your Mind For Success And You Develop The Discipline To Get Moving Every Single Day To Your Goals.
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Today many of us are probably busy planning romantic dinners, choosing gifts for our beloved ones and writing St. Valentine’s Day cards.

No matter what we do, our thoughts turn to love and romance. I am not an exception.
That is why today I want to talk to you about true love, expressed without condition and expectations, love that we long for and hope to find.

Sometimes when we fall in love, we think “This is the person of my dreams”, but as the years go by, we realize that what we felt had nothing to do with love. It was something else all together. And at other times love comes softly. It starts with sympathy, with mutual respect, with desire to share each other’s company. And slowly these feelings flourish into life-long love.

So what is true love? And is there a difference between that and the heart-pounding adrenaline rush we feel when you see a handsome guy working out in the gym or when you meet a cute girl who makes eye contact as she passes by?

Does it have anything to do with a feeling of “floating on clouds” like Hollywood movies often show? Is love an emotion at all? Certainly love is accompanied by strong feelings, but they cannot be our only criteria for love. A relationship simply would not last long on emotions, would it?

What does your experience tell you?

Are there any qualifiers that make love “true”?

How do we really know if it is real love we feel?

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The brand Chanel has long had  its reputation in the world of fashion, but few people know that it was Coco Chanel, who gave women bathing suits, pants, slacks, costume jewelry, and of course, Chanel No.5.
Her influence on 20th century fashion was so great that she was the only person in the courtier field to be named in Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century.
This story is her story.

An orphan girl

While Coco Chanel  gained world recognition, her early years, however, were anything but glamorous.
Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel was born on 19th August 1883 in Saumur, France. Little is known about her childhood, apart that she had five siblings: two sisters and three brothers and that her father worked as a peddler.
When she was 12 years old her mother died of tuberculosis. One week later her father left the family, abandoning her at a provincial orphanage. For six years Chanel was raised by the nuns, who taught her how to sew – a skill that would prove to be very useful in her future life.
As soon as Gabrielle turned 18 she left the orphanage determined to become a famous singer. She moved to a little town of Moulins (south of Paris) and started singing at prestigious clubs and cabarets in  the town.  It was during this time that she began to be called “Coco”, which as Chanel later explained was a “shortened version of coquette, the French word for ‘kept woman’ ”.

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Last week I had to pick up my friend at the airport in Bergamo, Italy. The plane was 20 minutes late and I was sitting at the airport café, drinking apricot juice and observing people around me.

A little girl and her dad, sitting across from me had gotten my attention. The girl seemed upset. She had her head down, as her father was giving her one of those “long parent’s lectures” we all disliked when we were little. He talked about “being responsible”, “behaving like a grown up”, “not jumping around the airport”. When the ‘lecture’ was over the girl lifted her eyes and said something that made me choke on my juice.

Dad! I am just a little girl. I’m allowed to make mistakes. Don’t expect me to behave well ALL the time.

In another year or two and this girl will start lecturing her parents. 🙂

Although, she was right – we sometimes judge others too quickly. But the truth is that whether we are 5 or 80, we are all allowed to make mistakes and even misbehave once in a while.

I am sure that anyone who has children will agree that at times they can be our greatest mentors. In fact, we can learn from them just as much, if not more, than they can learn from us.

What is your opinion?

Have ever received advice from a child that has left you speechless?

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Weight loss is not always a piece of cake. Although, I kind of wish it was, both literally and metaphorically. However, losing the few extra pounds that you have packed on over the winter holidays is not as complex and difficult as most people come to believe.

Basically, losing weight and keeping it off comes down to 5 simple things:

1) Burning desire to have a fitter, slimmer body
2) Courage to accept that some eating habits need to be changed
3) Long-term commitment, not just a spontaneous wish to be slimmer
4) Knowledge about the foods we eat and the psychology behind our eating habits
5) Certain amount of will power

Take a few seconds to ask yourself what stands in your way of achieving your weight loss goals?

  • Do you really-really want to get fit or do you simply like the idea of losing a few pounds?
  • Do you realize that losing weight is not just about staying on a diet for a few weeks? It is about changing your relationships with food?
  • How committed are you to your weight loss goal? Are you motivated to make long-term lifestyle changes? (If you are not sure, you might want to read this first)

If you have answered “yes” to all three questions you are mentally prepared to get into the best shape of your life. All you need is a place to start!

The practical tips and psychological insights below can help you to achieve your weight loss goals by changing your eating habits little by little.

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Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. This statement rang true when I watched an inspirational video below. It is about one small boy’s initiative to remove a tree that was causing a traffic jam in a street in India. The boy knew full well that he could not do it by himself, yet it did not...

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Do you remember that kid in high school who everyone disliked because they made straight A’s?  You know the one that would always raise their hand to answer any question, always studied hard for the tests and never skipped a single lesson in their life?
We had such kid at our school. His name was Alex and the poor guy fitted the stereotype of a “geek” perfectly.  He was slightly overweight, wore thick glasses and baggy sweaters with worn out elbows, which as you can probably guess, did not help to make him popular amongst his classmates. He was constantly teased and made fun of, because of his intelligence and his appearance. To my greatest shame I have to admit that while I never teased him, I did not defend him either. Kids can be cruel sometimes and I did not want to become an outcast myself.
Recently I met Alex during a high school reunion and I hardly recognized him. He had lost all of his extra weight, got a different haircut, changed his old glasses and had become very attractive. His intelligence that years ago annoyed us so much now made us listen to his every word.
I am truly happy that back then Alex did not downplay his talents and personality, to fit in.
But I wonder how many of us change who we are and live below our potential in order to be accepted by those around us.
Have there been any situations like that? Have you ever downplayed your talents, because you did not want people to envy or judge you?
How did you act?
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Do you know one fact that actually bothers me every time I take the subway to go to the city? It is not the big crowds. Or the lack of air-conditioning. Nor it is the noise. No.

I get really worked up every time I see a bunch of high school students entering the train. Well, the students per se’ are not a problem. It is their backpacks that bother me so much. Everyone and I literally mean EVERYONE is wearing the same “Eastpak” backpacks. It is like there is some unofficial rule that every single kid from the age of 10 to 20 must wear identically styled backpacks that come in 6 or 7 ‘regular’ colors.

Did you have such “unofficial rules” when you were in high school? Have you sometimes felt an outsider, because you did not have the coolest cell phone or because you saw the world differently than most of your friends?

I know I was.

Even now as much as I would love to fit in wherever I go, I still prefer to be me. So what if my work does not fit a “regular job description”? Or that my lifestyle and interests are very different from those of many people? Or that every time I go to parties I have to explain why I do not eat meat or drink alcohol?

I made peace with it a long time ago.

But I meet a lot of people who still carry that fear inside of them, trying to mold who they are to gain the acceptance of their family members, co-workers, friends and other social groups.

It made me reflect whether looking at life differently is really such a big problem?

Being ‘normal’ and going with the flow does seem like a touchstone of life and the number one requirement for success to many people.

But real life shows that those who stand out and let their light shine are the ones who make it Big!

And here is why:

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If you are a super-organized, iron-willed and highly-determined person, I envy you. I seriously do, because once you set your mind on something, nothing will be able to stop you from accomplishing your goal. Sometimes I wish I was like that too, but let’s be realistic – I am not.

I had to start 3-4 times before I finally managed to change some of my habits, like exercising every day or sticking to a 3-month vision-improvement program. I am fully aware of how hard it may be to control the urges and follow through with your goals. But I also know how great it feels to say, “I made it!” and give yourself a big proud smile.

I want you to realize that no matter how many times you have failed before, building a new success habit does not have to be difficult.

Here are a few things that you might want to consider, before you start:

1. Be prepared. Very often changing one habit leads to some degree to a lifestyle change. For example, when I first decided to start waking up at 6 a.m., I suddenly got an extra 2 hours of free time. And honestly, I had no idea what to do with it. I had to completely rethink my morning routine. If I had not done this, my new resolution would not have lasted a week. Similar, if you want to give up an old habit, you have to know what other activities you will substitute it with.

2. Find specific time. If you block out specific time for your new habit, you are more likely stick to it than if you just go along with your ever-changing daily schedule.

3. Identify your triggers. Try this exercise. Close your eyes and mentally go over your weekly routine day after day. Think of what might prevent you from sticking to your habit? What situations, activities, events, surroundings, and thoughts trigger your old habit? Be proactive and do everything you can to avoid these triggers in the future.

4. Have a plan B. If your habit involves jogging outdoors each day for one month, what happens if it rains? If you have decided to get up at 6 a.m., what happens if you have to stay up late at your friend’s Birthday party? You need to think about these details in advance and have a plan B ready in case something goes wrong.

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Many people talk about success and want to be successful, but I bet every person defines success differently. For some being successful might mean achieving financial abundance, whereas others might consider a life full of joy and happiness as the true meaning of success.

Have you ever thought about what success means to you? What 5 words would you use to describe it?

The only person that can answer the above question properly is YOU. As much as I wanted to give you an ultimate definition of success, I cannot do it, simply because it does not exist.

To me success means ‘completion’ and ‘fulfillment of my potential’. And Goal Setting is a big part of it. It is that feeling of satisfaction that you get knowing they are the best they can be. It is that inner happiness that comes when you have found your place in the world and are moving in the right direction.

But I do not want to condition you by talking about my own definition of success. I would much rather learn about yours.

If you have never given yourself time to think what success means to you, now is a good time to start. Because once you have figured out what is important to you personally you will be able to focus on your visions and goals.

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The shades of our opinions, beliefs, worries, fears, hopes and expectations color our experience of the world. Every day we face situations that are neither positive nor negative, but our attitude towards them defines how they impact our life. If we see something as a problem, we will react differently than if we perceive the same event as a lesson, or even an opportunity.  Similar, if we approach people we do not know with distrust and an air of superiority, we will build a different kind of relationship than if we greet them with a genuine open smile.
No matter how old you are, where you live or what you do, having a positive outlook on life always pays off – even when things do not go according to plan; even when your kids misbehave; even when your manager is giving you a hard time; even when it feels like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Here is the positivity cheat sheet that will help you to deal with everyday challenges, occasional self-doubts and unwelcomed negative thoughts. I hope that it will make your world a brighter, and happier place.
• Get in touch with your spiritual self. When you shift your focus inwards and focus on the spiritual part of your life, your attitude towards many situations will change. Spirituality fills your heart with love and peace that ordinary problems cannot shatter.
• Keep positive people in your life. Positivity is doubled, when shared. Surround yourself with kind and optimistic people and their positive qualities will rub off on you.
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