Discovering Your Individual Rhythm for Productivity

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
Discovering Our Individual Rhythms Here are some questions to aid in discovering your individual rhythm for productivity: When do you feel the most productive? Is there a certain time of day?  Day or night?  Do you feel the most productive after a certain order or sequence of events or tasks?  Do you work better in groups, individually, or a combination of the two? At what pace can you complete tasks without feeling burnout? This pace could vary per task as well as per ...
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Igniting the Flame of a New Idea

by Steve Martin Relationships, Self Improvement
How is starting a fire a perfect illustration for "igniting the flame of a new idea?"  In order to start a physical fire you need three basic elements.  Those elements are fuel, oxygen or oxidizing agent, and heat.  When considering the parallel to new ideas, fuel could represent the new idea itself, oxygen could represent allowing this new idea to be or stay "uncovered" to the environment around it vs. hiding this idea, and heat from friction could represent the ...
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Resolved Resolutions

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
As we approach a New Year, many of us create New Year's resolutions that we say we are resolved to accomplish.  Yes, I know using resolutions and resolved in the same sentence could be seen as a "double positive" or at least a redundant way of writing.  This redundancy, however, illustrates to me how we as people tend to need to restate goals and the like multiple times in order to stay on track.   So What Are the Statistics? Over the years ...
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Understanding, Discerning, and Handling Disappointment, Discouragement, and Encouragement

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
Understanding, discerning, and handling disappointment, discouragement, and encouragement can help us get through the difficult seasons of our lives.  Let`s start from the top and point out the difference between disappointment and discouragement. Disappointment and Discouragement The difference between disappointment and discouragement is an important thing to keep in mind and to think through before the hard times come. Once the hard times come, it can be more challenging to discern whether we have progressed from disappointment to discouragement.  Two important tips ...
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Creating Pressure through Pain and Pleasure in Order to Motivate Us Toward Positive Change in Our Lives

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
What is your attitude and perspective toward pressure in your life?  This attitude will be the determining factor in how well you handle stress and any other pressures in your life. Where Do We Experience Pressure in Our Lives? Pressure comes in many forms or ways in our lives.  As people we have biological drives like hunger and thirst that cause us to feel a form of physical pressure to eat and drink to meet our needs.  We feel pressure to reach ...
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Mastery through Consistently Celebrating and Practicing the Fundamentals

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
Mastery through consistently celebrating and practicing the fundamentals is a simple yet profound truth.  When we lose sight of this truth, we start to lose sight of our goals.  It's only when we refocus on this truth that we regain the momentum we once had. Obstacles to Consistent Practice The myth that "we have arrived."  The truth of the matter is that we are imperfect people that are subject to many forces in the world around us.  We need to be consistently ...
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Shattering Our Walls in Order to Rebuild Boundaries

by Steve Martin Relationships
When discussing human relationships, the topic of how to shatter our self-protective walls that we hide behind in order to rebuild healthy boundaries that protect our individuality eventually comes up.  So what are some differences between walls and boundaries? Walls vs. Boundaries Walls confine us to an "unchangeable past;" boundaries open up the future as a result of being our unique individual self in the present. Both are a kind of protection. Walls limit positive outcomes; boundaries allow for unlimited possibilities for future hope ...
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Holidays, Special Days, Traditions, and Their Role in Human Social Experience

by Steve Martin Relationships
So what role in human social experience do you think holidays, special days, and traditions play?  In North America we are between two significant holidays; Thanksgiving and Christmas.  New Years Day is also on the way.  First of all, let's talk about tradition in general with its pros and cons. Tradition-It's Ups and Downs In my local geographic region there is a major river that separates two counties.  Just as with many water bodies, there are many recreational activities that take place ...
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3 Factors that Affect Self-Perspective

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
3 Main factors that affect self-persective are a sense of belongingness, a sense of value, and a sense of competent confidence. Breaking It Down Belongingness- This is a sense of being loved, wanted, and part of some family, group, etc.  Some psychologists think that this can be traced back to before birth. Regardless of how far back in our history these thoughts and feelings go, most of us seek this sense of belongingness from some other source(s) if we do not get ...
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3 Components of Self-Perspective

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
There are basically 3 Components of self-perspective:  self-esteem, self-image, and self-worth. 3 Components Explained Self-Esteem-Self-Esteem is how you feel about yourself in terms of personal value. Self-esteem focuses on the emotions and feelings behind your own self-estimate.   Self-Image- Self-Image is the mental picture you have of your self.  Self-Image focuses on the visual picture(s) you have of yourself in your own mind as a result of your perspective of yourself. Self-Worth- Self-Worth is the value you give yourself as an overall person.  Self-Worth ...
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Unity in Diversity as Applied to Families

by Steve Martin Relationships
Some of us may be familiar with the concept of unity in diversity, but may have never considered what that would look like as applied to families.  In a nutshell, the concept of unity in diversity involves unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation. All this leads to more growth, learning, and working together.  This concept has been applied to many areas of learning academically. Practical Application to Families I'd like to take a more practical approach to what this concept may ...
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Three Essential Factors in Change

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
In this article on three essential factors in change we will be discussing willingness, capability, and motivation in general and how they relate to and affect change.  Here's a brief summary of these factors: Willingness- Willingness involves making an honest effort to change and grow and springs from knowing or seeing the need for change as well as respect for your own conscience. Seeing the need for change and positive growth and improvement involves an openness on the part of an individual ...
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Genuine Friends, Being Brothers, and Soul Sisters 2

by Steve Martin Relationships
We are going to focus on being brothers and soul sisters in this second article on genuine friends, being brothers, and soul sisters.  Years ago I was discussing with a community youth leader the difference between having a brother and being a brother.  Anyone can have a brother, but actually BEING a brother is a choice and altogether different concept. Being a Brother... Here are a few characteristics of being a brother: A proverb states, "A brother is born for adversity."  Therefore, a ...
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Genuine Friends, Being Brothers, and Soul Sisters 1

by Steve Martin Relationships
Since it seems difficult at times to define and find genuine friends, be brothers, and soul sisters; we need to ask ourselves the some basic questions, like: "What are genuine friends?"  "What is the difference between having a brother and being a brother?"  "What are soul sisters?" What Does It Mean to Be a True Friend? To me a true friend has a sincere and caring approach that is revealed in multiple positive qualities: Patience- Whenever we have the opportunity in our lives to be a ...
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Whatever Happened to the Skill of Listening?

by Steve Martin Relationships, Self Improvement
Have you ever asked yourself, "Whatever happened to the skill of listening?"  Have you ever been in a conversation and, after talking, wonder if you have been heard?   The Importance of Listening The skill of listening is an intrical part of many areas of our lives.  Learning how to listen upholds good friendships, is part of the foundation of fulfilling marriages, aids success in jobs and businesses, and is part of many everyday experiences and transactions.   Important Elements of Listening Focusing- To start with ...
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Flies, Directed Desire, and Running to Win

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
So what do flies, having directed desire, and running a race to win have in common? There are very few insects that illustrate "raw desire" better than the common house fly. Annoyingly so, a house fly seems to have no fear or even good sense when it comes to pursuing what it so desires in the moment.  What we can learn from this tiny and annoying pest? The lesson is the value of raw desire to motivate us in persevering ...
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What Can We Learn From Ants?

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
So what can we learn from ants? There are actually many lessons that we can learn when we study ants.  Here are a few of them: Individually they can learn, but collectively in a colony they are much more intelligent.  Together they have the same size brain as a single human.  Maybe you have heard the acronym for TEAM is Together Everyone Accomplishes More or Together Everyone Achieves More?  Ants are great examples of how they use teamwork with many other qualities. Ants ...
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The Patient Bamboo

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
The Growth of a Chinese Bamboo Tree I've chosen to name this brief article, "The Patient Bamboo" because of the growth cycle of the Chinese Bamboo.  Here are some of the basic phases of the growth of the Chinese Bamboo: Plant the seed-Until the seed is planted and gets the nutrients it will not grow.   The seed sits in the ground for 5 years and may not seem to grow at all. In a six week period it will grow 90 feet. Questions from ...
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Eye of the Storm and the Harmony of Opposites

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
Nonharmonious Interactions in Nature Two similar examples in nature of nonharmonious interactions are a cyclone and a thunderstorm.  A cyclone is large air mass that rotates around low pressure centers. It usually has spiraling inward winds that rotate counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere of the earth.  Thunderstorms are created by cold fronts, warm fronts, stationary fronts, and occluded fronts.  All four fronts are basically in simplest terms a nonharmonious interaction between two opposite forces.  Opposites ...
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PAV the Way for Your Business 3

by Steve Martin Business, Finance
Visualization-the Third Stage Because of a lack of vision, businesses can go under and/or be unsuccessful.  Vision happens in three ways.  Past, present, and future.  Over the years, I've come across businesses with varying degrees of vision.  Some can't learn from their past mistakes, others do not have a clear sense of where they are going in the present, and still others are so stuck in the present that they are caught by surprise when the markets they are part of ...
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