Thursday, July 31, 2008

Welcome to Bliss!

Mixonian is excited to announce a new link. Just imagine, you can now access a Bliss spa experience in one simple click. Check it out below the photo on the right.

Self-care is a major Mixonian theme. Now you can easily shop for pampering skin care products, fitness footwear, shapeware, foundations, clothes, hair products, cosmetics, and a lot of other goodies.

They even offer Smashbox and Laura Mercier cosmetics! Is that not just too cool?

Bliss spas are found in most major cities. You can reserve treatments to soothe and beautify yourself through their website. And you can sign up for their free newsletter.

Now you have one more wonderful option for self care. Bliss is within your reach. Enjoy!

Redefining Failure

The following is an excerpt from David Cameron's e-book, A Happy Pocket Full of Money. It is a great reconceptualizaton of failure and this can help you avoid the fear of failure, a crippling emotion.

Most people have been programmed to fear failure. They give up to avoid failure, or they do not even attempt just so that they may not fail. Failure, however, is an illusion. Begin to see it as an illusion.

Failure, suffering, is an essential component to success. It is what helps you correct wrong thought if you approach it with an attitude of learning. Through failure, you learn how to succeed. By trying and failing, you refine your thought and point it ever closer to success. But this is so only if you do not give up.

Through failure, you get to know success and how to get there. How else would you know what success tastes like if you did not know what it does not taste like? And how would you get there without knowing how to? Think about that.

Failure is an integral part of success. Failure is actually a successive moment that leads to ultimate success. Failure is not the opposite of success, a separate entity from success.

Failure is success, it is the same thing but they are on different ends of that spectrum, the spectrum of achievement. It is just like hot and cold are different ends of the spectrum of temperature, or a thermometer. Failure and success are both different vibrations of the same thing.

Failure is not failure as such. It is only truly failure when you accept it as the end. But if you accept it as a blessed part of the process, a part that helps you succeed further, and know what this further success tastes like, then you can never ever possibly fail, ever. Failure is an illusion. Stop fearing it; love it for the gifts it brings you.

Taken from A Happy Pocket Full Of Money, pages 127 and 128 of 236

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Seeing Destiny in Others

Last November, I attended my first academic conference, the annual meeting of the National Communication Association. If you're interested, they're meeting in San Diego this upcoming November....and as an added incentive, I'll be speaking on Mr. Chavez. ;-)

The presentations were (some of them, anyway,) more interesting than I had expected. I went to one session to hear my brilliant friend, Dennis, speak. While I was there, I heard several beautiful talks on how we can express love through our communication. In one of these, I heard, for the first time, love defined as "seeing destiny in the other."

That was a real breakthrough for me. I saw a practical way to love.

Seeing destiny in someone is to acknowledge his potential for a wonderful and fulfilling life. My mother definitely has always seen destiny, a beautiful and brilliant destiny, in all four of her children. Ideally, all mothers do this.

How wonderful when a friend, or even an acquaintance, sees destiny in us.

What brings this to mind is my reading Christine Kane's two posts on encouragement. She expresses encouragement as seeing the other person capable of merging her dreams with current reality, in some way or another. Being an active encourager is a wonderful way to live.

As you see destiny in the other, your own appears more vividly.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Juggling All the Balls

Life is full of paradoxes; accepting them is a sure sign of wisdom. Today's paradox is focus is needed for outstanding results yet an unbalanced life is unsustainable. Focus and balance: What would Yoda say?

I think the answer is to focus on one thing at a time. I am convinced that multitasking only works with jobs that require no concentration or little creativity. I mean you can put in a load of laundry and then go check on the cooking rice, but then again I have burned rice too many times to count. (The answer to burned rice, by the way, is a rice cooker!)

Julia Cameron writes about a wonderful tool in her book, The Artist's Way. If I were more technologically savvy, I would reproduce it here but my efforts this morning have failed so far. Here is a narrative description.

The tool is a pie chart with 6 sections:

- spirituality

- work

- exercise

- play

- family/ friends

- romance/adventure

Draw a pie with these 6 sections. Although you can change the names of the categories. For example, you could put 'health' instead of 'exercise.' Now, imagine that the center of the pie represents 0, and the outside border of the pie, what you've drawn, represents a number, like 10. Then draw a dot in each pie slice that indicates your strong and not-so-strong areas, rating each from 0 to 10.

Ideally, you would connect these dots to make a symmetrical shape. Probably though, if you're like me, you can now see which areas need the most work.

The good news is the simple visualization of your life like this can help you restore balance. It worked for me. I drew my life-as-a-pie back in March and had two areas that were really low, and one that was much higher than the others. Looking at it 4 months later, I am living a more balanced life.

It's easier to achieve balance at the times of your life when you're aren't involved in a consuming project. But these projects give our life such intensity!

The goal is not to live each day in complete balance. The goal is to achieve balance over your lifetime. The pie can give you suggestions where to focus next.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

New Perspective on Creativity

If you're like me, you think being creative is for hobbies and extra-curricular activities, while being proactive is for business. Really think about what it means to be creative at work.

Last night I was reading an e-book, Happy Pocket Full of Money by David Cameron. In one part he was describing the act of being creative using similar language to that usually denoting what it means to be "pro-active."

I first ran into, or absorbed the concept of being proactive when I worked with the Stephen Covey Group in Caracas in the early 1990s. Stephen Covey's first habit of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is simply: Be Proactive. What he means is that we don't wait to live a life of reactions to events, but we design our lives and work to merge our vision with reality.

Being pro-active is really more of an attitude, or way of being, rather than an activity.

David Cameron explained the same wisdom in terms of an attitude of creativity, in contrast to reactivity.

I think this is a valuable insight to broaden our understanding of what it means to be creative. This is on my mind because I'm developing an e-course entitled, "Creative Communication @ Work." My use of the word "creative" really does mean being proactive, not being creative in the sense of sending purple emails or wearing black nail polish to work, although I have no problem with either of these options.

You will not be surprised to know that I like the word, "creativity" much more than "being proactive." The former is much more humane sounding and the latter sounds more like business jargon to my ears. If you tell me to be creative, I'm excited; if you tell me to be pro-active, I feel pressure to perform. Ahhh, the power of words.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Scary Dreams and Other Messages

I think one of the reasons Robert Moss' book, The Three Only Things appeals to me is my limited experience with dreams. I don't know if it's because I usually am totally exhausted when I go to bed at night, or if it's because I haven't considered dreams important, but in any case, seldom do I remember my dreams.

However, during my marriage, and most especially during my pregnancies, I dreamt many times and most vividly that my husband no longer loved me. But the dream that left me the most devastated was one in which my husband's father, with whom I had always felt affection, treated me with total and complete indifference.

I realized at the time that these dreams reflected my fears. I still don't know if they were the fulfillment of self-prophecies, or if they contained warnings that went unheeded. But I do think I should have paid them more attention.

These days I write down anything I can remember from a dream, which isn't much. And just today, I went to Mass with my children, and one of the scripture readings was about God speaking to Solomon through his dreams.

I think there are messages out there for us that we tend to ignore.

Here's an example that was not in a dream: After talking to a fellow grad student last night, I realized how long it might be before I get to defend my dissertation. I was feeling really discouraged on many fronts. And in today's mail arrived a magazine, one to which I had cancelled my subscription months ago because I feared it would distract me from my dissertation.

The subtitle of the magazine in huge letters read: THINK RICH...NEVER GIVE UP. It was the right message, at the right moment. This time I'm listening.

Friday, July 25, 2008

9 Powers of Dreaming

The following comes right out of The Three Only Things by Robert Moss. It is truly a delightful book:

A dream can be an adventure playground, a jungle gym, a night school (and a flight school), a garden of heavenly delights, a place of encounter with the more-than-human, a portal into the multiverse. A dream is a place, as the Egyptians understood very well. It may be a place of beauty or terror. It can be a place of healing, initiation, higher education, and outrageous fun.

If we are losing our dreams, we are closing off worlds of possibility, entertainment, and learning.

Of all the gifts of dreams, for me the most important are the nine powers of dreaming we'll now unfold.

1. We solve problems in our sleep.

2. Dreams coach us for future challenges and opportunities.

3. Dreams hold up a magic mirror to our actions and behavior.

4. Dreams may tell how us what we need to do to stay well.

5. Dreams are a secret laboratory.

6. Dreams are a creative studio.

7. Dreams help us to mend our divided selves.

8. Dreaming is a key to better relationships.

9. Dreams recall us to our larger purpose (30-31).

Kinda makes you want to take a nap so you can dream a little. Wishes for a super Friday!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Batman and I

You may not read Mixonian for the movie reviews but I wanted to share with you my impression of the Batman movie, I think it's called The Dark Knight. It has been a while since I've seen a Batman movie; it's been many many years since my mother pinned dishtowels on my shoulders so I could run around like Batman, Robin, and of course the glamorous Cat Woman. My brother, John Del, played the role of Robin, but now I wonder if he harbored a desire to topple his big sister and be Batman himself!

The scoop is....I didn't like the movie last night. At all. It was too dark, too creepy, and too violent. It put a (temporary) damper on my sunny disposition and I am so grateful to have only paid the matinee price!

My reaction to this movie reminds me of how much our surroundings influence us: the media products we see, the books we read, the music we listen to, the kind of people we hang around with. Studies show that optimistic people are happier and more successful; don't let Batman or the evening news put you in a dark frame of mind.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

5 More Ways to End Email Drama

As you pay close attention to these email guidelines, you'll see how to make your own email messages more readable and easily understood. This is continued from the July 20 post on email for a total of 10 Ways to End Email Drama.

6. White space directs the eye.
Email messages are not as easy on the eyes as letters are. You need to use lot's of white space to draw the reader to what you are writing. Cluttered messages are stressing. Make sure there is a blank line between each paragraph, and make your paragraphs short.

7. No reverse typeface. Reverse typeface means white letters on a dark background. This type of layout is more difficult to read. Avoid it.

8. Use bold for emphasis. Underlining words creates additional clutter and WRITING IN CAPITAL LETTERS is screaming at your reader, not a pleasant experience. After bolding, italicizing is the second best way to draw attention to key words.

9. Subheadings clarify.
If you're like me, you're in a hurry when you read and when you write. That's the root cause of most email drama anyway. A one to three-word subheading to your paragraph makes your meaning more evident. Capitalize the first word of your subheading.

10. Use bullets or checklists. A checklist is a good way to provide important information in a condensed format. Either a checklist or a string of bullet points helps you to organize your own thinking and make your meaning easier to capture.

Imagine your work life with no email drama. Think of all you can now accomplish!

Find Life's Hidden Meanings

"In times when passions are beginning to take charge of the conduct of human affairs, one should pay less attention to what men of experience and common sense are thinking than to what is preoccupying the imagination of dreamers" -- Alexis de Toqueville in Democracy in America.

I have an e-friend, that means we haven't actually met but we took a wonderful e-course together, Great Big Dreams, in the spring with Christine Kane. Her name is Marcia and she strongly recommended this book to our group, The Three Only Things (yes, I know it's got a really odd title.) I am so glad she did because it is not something I would ordinarily read, but I am enjoying it immensely!

The book's subtitle is "Tapping to power of dreams, coincidence, and imagination." The author, Robert Moss, is also a novelist, a history professor and a foreign news correspondent. My kind of Renaissance guy.

This book is about irrational, or supernatural messages that may come to us in the form of dreams (remember the story about Joseph and the fat cows and the skinny cows?,) or seemingly random encounters. In essence, his work validates the notion, when you're ready to learn, the teacher will appear. If you have a question, the answer will come, but maybe not in the form you expected. He gives such interesting examples from a variety of times and cultures.

One incredible example came from the life history of Winston Churchill. Our image of this man is the perfect statesman, who rallied the British to such courage during World War II. Well, it turns out this man was addicted to flying small planes, not the safest of past times, especially in the early twentieth century. His wife, Clemmie, was desperate for him to stop flying, especially when she was pregnant with their third child. It was not, however, until she had a really spooky dream, not about flying but about their baby, that he promised to stop flying, at least until the child was born. That was in 1914 (90-91).

If you are an admirer of Carl Jung's work, you will particularly enjoy this delightful book. I'll soon have a direct link, but in the meantime, just click on any of the book covers below on the side to order it from Amazon.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

5 Ways to More Effective Email

Ever hit the “reply” button when you meant to hit the “forward” button?

Of course you’re familiar with email drama. Perhaps you got yourself involved in one yourself, where the misinterpretation of a message, or one that got sent to the wrong person, spun off into a totally unproductive soap opera segment.

First of all remember everything you write can be used against you, even by someone you never met. Second of all, don't take your received messages so seriously!

1. Think first. Before you initiate a thread, carefully consider what you really want to communicate, what emotion you want to share, and the personality of your intended recipient. Make sure you wouldn’t do better by calling the person, or sending a longer, more formal letter. If you’re replying, see if your reply really is necessary. Sometimes we get copied on messages that are only slightly relevant to us.

2. Edit. Never hit “send” without re-reading your message at least once. If you’re not a good speller, use spell check to give a more professional image. Even a simple message of “no” can be improved to “no, thank you anyway.”

3. Review emotional content. If you’re feeling great, no worries. But, if you’re concerned or angry about something, even if it’s totally unrelated to the message, you’ll probably send negative emotional content without intending to do so. Don’t write email when you’re upset.

4. Control time spent in checking email. Before you automatically start your day by checking email, consider if the early hour would be better spent doing something else. What are your real priorities for the day? Postpone email until later in the morning, and don’t check it every five minutes. If you’re expecting an urgent reply, call the person.

5. Interpret with care. If you find yourself offended by an email, file it to look at again at a later time. Remember everyone tends to be stressed and busy. Give the sender every benefit of the doubt. If you still feel bad, call the person and ask him or her to explain more carefully the message.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Optimist's Creed

What does a green house have to do with optimism? I think it's an optimistically green home and to boot, very attractive. I took this picture last week in El Hatillo, right outside of Caracas.

This creed was written by Christian D. Larson in 1912. I understand the Optimist's Club uses an adaptation for its organizational mission. It's still worth reading, almost 100 years later.

Promise Yourself....

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature you meet.

To give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds.

To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Christmas in July

Yes, dear readers, I know it's only the middle of July. But getting a head start on Christmas shopping is both smart and fun. And relaxed. Browsing through the August isses of one of my favorite magazines, Domino, I'm passing on 5 gift ideas all at good prices and in excellent taste.

1. This could be for that difficult-to-shop-for teenage boy: a green and white Finnish dartboard. $48

2. Opinel knife from France. This family business has been making knives since 1890. #VRN10 has a folding blade and a beechwood handle. Just under $12.

3. Toy wooden skyscrapers "New York." The highest one is 4 inches tall. Priced at $14 for 14 pieces. Muji Soho. 212.334.2002.

4. Thick canvas storage bin with handles in a chic black and white bead print. 12.5 x 8 x 10.5 inches. Regular price is $98 but if you buy the magazine there is a special offer to get 20% off (page122).

5. A doormat made of recycled flip flops! Very nice design. Regular price $89 for the 3 x 5 foot size but there's also a 20% discount for Domino readers.

Mixonian also recommends books as gifts and there are four specific recommendations down on the left of the blog. We welcome other gift ideas from readers. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What A Great Boss Looks Like

Well....this picture was not taken at work, but Maria Luisa is a fantastic boss. It has nothing to do with her being beautiful or chic. She is an effective leader because she sees her job as making her team successful, and at the same time she is aware of the big picture of the entire organization and how she and the teachers who work under her, fit into that larger organization, which happens to be Merici Academy.

Maria Luisa doesn't tell people what do to. She makes the teachers' objectives clear, and then she asks how she can help them achieve those objectives. She does not worry about doing tasks that do not fit her image as head of the English department. She can provide grammar exercises or tests, help grade papers, or even do substitute teaching, whatever is needed.

She doesn't shy about correcting mistakes or deviations from established norms. She simply states what needs to be fixed, without any accompanying drama.

She is open to new ideas, and will usually encourage those who work under her to try different perspectives and tools. She has a wardrobe full of dress-up clothes for teachers and students alike, that are used for different class dramatizations.

The thing about working under Maria Luisa is that you know she is always on your side. Thank you!

Being Happy Around Negative People

By Marci Shimoff

In my seminars the #1 question I'm asked is:How can I be happy when I deal every day with unhappy and negative people?

Staying happy around negative people is definitely an art. You can probably relate to this scenario: Your day is humming along; you're in the flow, maybe celebrating a personal victory or just appreciating the blessings in your life, when all of a sudden—wham! You cross paths with a perennial complainer or someone who's in a bad mood, and down you go, no longer feeling quite so happy. You may even start to feel resentful, annoyed, or downright upset.

So what's the deal? Why does your wave of positivity seem to crash when it bumps up against a wall of negativity? It boils down to the phenomenon of entrainment or—as I call it in Happy for No Reason—emotional contagion. This law of physics says that when two objects are vibrating near each other, the one vibrating with the greatest intensity will dominate. In relationships this means that the person with the strongest emotional state sets the tone of any interaction.

So the next time you're in a positive, high-flying state and you come across someone who's on a downward spiral, you have an important choice to make: You can either invite the other person to synchronize with your emotional state, or you'll automatically synchronize with theirs. It's certainly easier to make the right choice when you don't know the person well.

It takes a bit more resolve when you deeply care about the person. However, indulging another's negativity only adds fuel to the fire. Misery may love company, but that leaves you both miserable.When you're truly happy for no reason, you have a strong "emotional immune system" that prevents you from catching another's negativity, and your peace and well-being are not affected.

Until then, you may need to boost your immunity. Here's Your Happiness Prescription:

The next time you find yourself dealing with someone who's angry, depressed or otherwise oozing negativity, try this:

1. Keep your emotional balance by tuning in to your body. Deepen your breathing, and notice any sensations that arise within you. This will keep you from a knee-jerk reaction.

2. Point out the positive—gently and without judgment. Most people who are feeling cranky and upset are not deliberately trying to bring others down. Look beyond their behavior and you'll see that they're just trying to find a way to feel some relief. Offer a lighthearted comment—or better yet, a bit of praise or appreciation—and they may see the situation from a new perspective.

When you can't think of anything positive to say, know that simply staying neutral in the face of their negativity is a gift in itself. Remember, emotional entrainment works in both directions. The happier you are within yourself, the more happiness you spread to those around you.

Marci Shimoff

Marci Shimoff is a celebrated transformational leader and #1 New York Times best-selling author. To learn more of her powerful techniques for establishing deep and authentic happiness and well-being, visit

Write Down Your Future

Do you think of life as something that happens to you, or something you create? Reality is a combination of what we think and do, and what happens to us, plus our reaction to outside events. We are co-creators of reality. If a farmer wants the reality of selling corn on the market at harvest time, he would not plant peanuts. Obviously.

The degree to which we co-create our lives, rather than simply living in reaction to all that happens, is somewhat our decision. Think of the personal quality of persistence, people who prevail through all kinds of obstacles to achieve their objectives. Persistence is a wonderful ability to see the desired outcome, even when it doesn't seem to correlate with current events.

Recently, in cleaning out a file cabinet, I ran across a list of goals I wrote down in 1988. I remember my dear parents had me write down life goals when I was 16 years old, and that in my early twenties, this 1988 list was replacing the earlier list which I had lost. If I ever looked at this list between 1988 and 2008, I certainly do not remember doing so. Nevertheless, it was unreal how many of those goals I had achieved in the subsequent two decades.

For example, I had written down, "get a PhD." At that time, I assumed that I would continue my studies in Economics, I had never even heard of the discipline of "Communication," in which I am now a doctoral candidate. In 1988 I no earthly idea how or where I would get a PhD; it sounded like something I'd like to do, and I wrote it down. And, now I've almost accomplished that objective.

Other completely, or significantly-completed goals include achieving my ideal body weight and learning German, travelling to certain parts of the world and having three children. I also wrote down the goal of writing a book, a work now in progress. I wrote down that I wanted to learn how to make croissants. My son recently learned how to do that, and frankly, that no longer interests me. I'd rather just eat the ones he makes every once in a while.

At a seminar at Merici Academy just over a year ago, I heard a speaker explain that a person is young at heart as long as she has dreams and goals. This speaker had learned this definition from an octogenarian.

Write down what you'd like your future to be. That's the first step to making it reality.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

7 Steps to a Wealth Mentality

Last week my friend, Ruben, shared with me some interesting business materials from the incredible internet marketing mastermind, Joe Vitale. I thought I'd post his 7 Steps to Attracting Wealth with you. Here they are:

1. Give money away. A generous person is a mentally healthy person. The ability to part with money by sharing with an inspiring cause or person reinforces a mentality of abundance in your own mind. I would suggest that you send the money to Mixonian : ), but I'm not set up to receive donations....yet. Seriously, think about helping someone in a way that gets you enthusiastic about it.

2. Get clear about what you want in life and your attitude(s) toward wealth. Reflect to see if you are storing any negatives beliefs about money. Some of these could include the conviction that money is evil, that wealthy people are mean, that wealth is only for certain people and not you.

3. Take inspired action. When you get an idea, act upon it. How many times have you seen someone else successfully implement your idea?

4. Support a cause. This is related to #1. If you see that having money enables you to make a positive impact, this reinforces your own wealth mentality. Helping others wards off greed.

5. Get support. Share your ideas and establish accountability with like-minded people; it doesn't have to be a large group. Even two people in agreement is far more powerful than going solo. Be with people who nurture you and limit your time with negative thinkers.

6. Be grateful for what you do have, which is a lot. If you're reading this blog, you're already ahead in the game. How powerful is an attitude of gratitude!

7. Do what you love. According to Joe Vitale's research, the most successful people always follow their passion. If you're in a work situation that pays well, but you think it's not really you, think about the positive aspects of your job. You can see it as a way to pay the bills and enable you to do other things you love, or you can cut loose. Don't be in a rut.

Taking a close look at people you truly admire and you will probably see evidence of these suggestions in their lives. And, if you aim for the moon and only hit a star, it's not a bad outcome.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Reunions and Vacations That Rock

Imagine yourself on a sunny sandy shore, sitting under the shade of a bright blue umbrella, just a few yards away from the pale turquoise water of the Caribbean Sea. Delicious! That's where I was last week - at Morrocoy National Park in Venezuela.

If you don't have a vacation planned for any time during the next 6 months, start making arrangements now. Time away from the daily routine is indispensable for the creative, rich life.

While I was in Venezuela, I got to see many dear friends. Reconnecting with people you enjoy but no longer see on a regular basis can even be healing. On my return flight, I read the following passage from Write It Down, Make It Happen, by Henriette Anne Klauser, PhD. Her ideas resonated with the writer in me, and a lot of what she suggests reminds me of Julia Cameron's work. She writes about a friend's experience with a college reunion:

...[W]hat I learned, going back to seeing my old classmates, was yes, you probably do grow and change, but here is something in your personality that doesn't change. Your sense of humor, or non-sense of humor, the way you look at life in general, and the way you interact with other people -- there are certain basic things about you that just don't change. Of the people that were at the reunion, all of them were pretty much the same in some fundamental way. Their personalities were the way they were thirty years ago.

There is security in that, because you can look at yourself and say, "I am the same person, I haven't become a different person" (146).

Think of someone with whom you'd like to reconnect. Renewing old friendships is a great example of an important, but not urgent thing to do. You may be surprised how much fun it is to catch up!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Get Good Things

by Jack Canfield

Asking for what you need is probably the most underutilized tool for people. And yet, amazing requests have been granted to people simply because they've asked for it!

Whether its money, information, support, assistance, or time, most people are afraid to ask for what they need in order to make their dreams come true.

They might be afraid of looking needy, ignorant, helpless, or even greedy. More than likely, though, it is the fear of rejection that is holding them back. Even though they are afraid to hear the word no, they're already saying it to themselves by not asking!

Do you ask for what you want or are you afraid of rejection?

Consider this: Rejection is just a concept. There is really no such thing as rejection! You're not any worse off by hearing no than you were before you asked. You didn't have what you asked for before you asked and you still don't, so what did you lose?

Being rejected doesn't hold you back from anything. Only YOU hold yourself back. If you are told no, ask for what you'd have to do to get it, or ask again at another time when the circumstances have changed. Ask if they know someone else who might say yes. When you realize that there's no merit to rejection, you'll feel more comfortable asking for things. But you may need a bit of help learning how to ask for what you want.

First, ask as though you expect to get it.

Be confident in your request coming from a perspective that there's no reason why you wouldn't get it. Or they say no, you can ask them why, or what you would need to do to get a yes. You might need to form a better business plan before you will get a loan. You might need to take a course in computers before you will get a promotion. You might need to spend more quality time with your family before you will get the loving support you need. By getting this feedback you are able to make adjustments and ask again with better chances of getting a yes.

Second, assume you can get what you want if you only ask for it.

You want a window seat? Assume all you have to do is ask for it. You want an ocean view? Cheaper tickets? A scholarship? A better deal? Just ask for it as if that's all you have to do to get it.

And finally, be specific about what you want or need.

Do you want to make $5,000 more a year? Then don't just ask for a raise. Ask for $5,000 more a year. Vague request produce vague results. Don't just ask for more time with your spouse; ask for a date on Friday night. Don't ask for help on a project, ask for what you want that person to take care of.

Getting a good perspective on rejection and learning how to ask will make a world of difference for you as you work toward your goals. Practice asking and you'll get very good at it! You'll even speed your progress by getting what you need, or improving yourself in order to get it later.

Make a list of what you need to ask for in all areas of your life, and then start asking!
© 2008 Jack Canfield

* * *
Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is the founder and co-creator of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

21 Ways to Be Nice to Yourself

Today is the third day of the second half of the year. Mixonian hopes that things are going well for you and that you are being very very nice to yourself.

Being nice to yourself is essentially forgiving yourself for not being perfect while making it easier for you to succeed in your endeavors. Having high expectations for yourself and others is a great motivator...up to a point. If you think about it, life runs along a grid of paradoxes: be disciplined, but have fun; be spiritual, not a religious fanatic; make money, don't be consumed by money.

Aristotle's well-known suggestion was moderation in all things. We're still not sure if that means moderated moderation.

Being very nice to yourself sets a wonderful example for how others should treat you, too.

21 Easy Ways to Be Especially Nice to Yourself:

1. Get enough sleep. If possible, take a nap.

2. If the day is hectic, find a space to do nothing for 15 minutes. This will actually make you more productive and focused.

3. Go to the library and check some books that you would never buy, but are curious about.

4. Write a letter...on stationery.

5. Go over your list of things to do and eliminate/postpone a fourth of them. Remember Pareto's Law, the 80/20 rule. (If you don't remember, it's that 20% of input yields 80% of the output.)

6. Write out what an ideal day for you would be. Ideally, this would be in your journal.

7. Hire someone to help you with the house, even if it's just once in a while.

8. Organize a drawer, or a chest of drawers.

9. Clean out the refrigerator.

10. Think in terms of baby steps for any area in which you feel really frustrated: exercise, diet, saving money.

11. In Suzuki music training program, parents are taught that their main job is to do whatever it takes for their child to experience success: lower the bar, encourage, reward good behavior. Consider making your own success inevitable.

12. Sign up for a cooking class or a wine tasting. If you're in the Atlanta area, click on the link to the left for and Nancy can help you with this. Actually planning a small cooking class or wine tasting is a great way to entertain close friends.

13. Try a new healthy food. My personal suggestion is organic dates, but anything healthy works. I'm planning to try collards soon.

14. Remember that no one oppresses you without your permission. If you feel overwhelmed, that's your problem to solve.

15. Forgive others. Let it go. There is no room for resentment in life. Too risky.

16. Take the magazines laying around, go through them and cut out pictures that inspire, save articles that interest you (file them!) and throw the rest away.

17. You now have permission to give away the crocheted toilet paper cover your Aunt Edna made for you. Remember William Morris' advice, "Keep only those things that are useful or you believe them to be beautiful."

18. Be brilliant and start looking for Christmas gifts now.

19. Work on your gratitude list. Think of 5 different things for which you are so grateful. What you appreciate, appreciates.

20. Think of one word or short phrase to guide you for the rest of this year: organize, lighten up, experiment, focus, baby steps.

21. Plan a vacation.

Speaking of vacation, Mixonian will be taking her own advice and taking a vacation. Back July 14.

Lorraine Lewis of Pennsylvania won the alpaca scarf. Look out for a new drawing in August.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Think Right

One of Mixonian's most popular posts is from March 1, a bit on Investor's Business Daily's top 10 qualities of successful people. This post re-visits the first item on the list:

How you think is everything. Always be positive. Think success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment.

This advice is not the first on the list for nothing, nor is the list arranged in alphabetical order. This is first because it is the foundation for other good things to happen.

Probably you have realized by now that your span of actual control in the whole universe is not as big as it "should" be. I mean wouldn't the world be a better place if people always did what you think they should?

Maybe, maybe not. What we can control, largely, is our approach to life, how we bounce back (or not) after the surprise elements. Blogger, author, exercise instructor and entrepreneur Marie Forleo says that no matter what happens in your day, you pretend that such is exactly what you want: the unexpected traffic, the spilled tea on your dress, the no-show appointment, whatever. In the same vein, I tell myself, "this (meaning whatever the surprise element) is going to turn out for the best, even if I can't see it right now."

This is not to deny that really nasty things happen. They do. However, our getting all down, angry, and into self pity about it only makes it worse! Any negative reaction makes it harder, and take longer to bounce back. And positive things do happen as a result of negative things, you just have to look for the silver lining.

No matter what happens today, assume that it's for the best.

Results from the alpaca scarf drawing will be published later today.