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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PAV the Way for Your Business 2

by Steve Martin Business, Finance
In the previous article on PAV the Way for Your Business we described and briefly explained the preparation stage of action in a business.  In this article we will continue explaining some important factors in the administration stage of a business.   Business Adminstration Factors Business administration is a whole subject in and of itself, but here are a couple of brief general factors to aid in staying on track in the day to day life of an operating business.   Organization and ...
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PAV the Way for Your Business

by Steve Martin Business, Finance
Freedom and Responsibility For those of us who live in countries which allow us the opportunity to make income through business opportunities, we need to be reminded daily that with this freedom we have been given responsibilities.  I like to use the acronym PAV to summarize the basic responsibilities of many businesses in relationship to time and "life stages of a business."  PAV stands for preparation, administration, and visualization.  Preparation Before starting a business, there is usually a preparation stage that needs to ...
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When the Real World Collides with the Ideal World

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
The Ideal Self and the Real Self Taken One Step Further In order to understand what to do when the Real World collides with the Ideal World, we first must go back to our definitions of the Real Self and the Ideal Self. Psychologist Carl Rogers said the Real Self is who you are in actuality and the Ideal Self is how you see yourself.  The real world, therefore, is how the world around you actually is and the ideal world is ...
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Controlling Your State

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
Controlling your state is an important practice to learn since the world is constantly changing around us and there are no shortage of challenges we face.  When we say we are controlling our state, we are referring to our frame of mind including our repeated thoughts, consequental attitudes, words, and resulting behaviors. Awareness is the First Step To begin, we need to be aware of what our repeated thoughts or meditations are.  Are your repeated thoughts true?  Do they reflect the character ...
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Honey Bees and Teamwork

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
Lessons from the Bees and Wasps We can learn a lot from honey bees and wasps about community and teamwork.  Here are a few short takeaways: Each colony faithfully fulfills specific roles to reach a common goal.  A social wasp has a distinct "caste system" as does the social honeybee.  The queen is fertile and lays eggs.  Drones are fertile males which are born to mate with the queen.  Workers are the infertile females which do the work around the nest and defend ...
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The Three P's of Efficiency

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
What is Efficiency? Before we discuss the three P's of efficiency, we need to clarify our definition of efficiency.  Efficiency is the most conservative use of our most important resources to accomplish specific results. For me, this is mostly the best use of the three resources of energy, money, and time. A Great Example of Effeciency Spiders are great examples of efficiency in practice.  They waste very little energy to reach their end goal of catching prey in their web so that they ...
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The Two Dualisms of Kindness

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
The Lost Art of Kindness To me, kindness is a lost art because it is often not taught, made aware to us, and misunderstood.  Consequently, it is then underpracticed or malpracticed.  Kindness basically comes in two forms as well as two steps.   The Initial Two Steps Simply put, the first step is thought and the second step is action.  Although this may seem simple, many people sometimes practice one step and not the other.  In other words, thoughts without action are much ...
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What Does Thoroughness Look Like?

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
An Example of Thoroughness:  The Alligator So what does thoroughness look like?  Alligators are great examples of thoroughness in how they watch over their eggs after the incubation period.  The female alligator will watch over the nest and when they are ready to hatch and help remove debris from the nest.  The female alligator may also help by breaking the shells with her mouth as the baby alligators are hatching. What Does Thoroughness Look Like As a Process? A thorough process begins with understanding ...
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The Shrewdness of the Serpent

by Steve Martin Relationships, Self Improvement
For as long as we have known, the shrewdness of the serpent or snake has been admired because of its wily and crafty ways.  Tales have been told and lessons taught in regard to some of the positive characteristics we can learn from these animals.  Here's a quick breakdown of some of these characteristics: The snake sheds its skin on average two to four times a year.  Young snakes that are growing may shed every couple weeks.  The snake sheds its skin ...
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What are Dancing Monkeys?

by Steve Martin Relationships
The Story of the Dancing Monkeys An Old Fable by Aesop Aesop was an ancient Greek storyteller who had a fair amount of fables called, "Aesop's fables."  There was an old fable told by the famed Aesop called "The Dancing Monkeys."  In this fable a Prince trains his monkeys to dance and dresses them in masks and robes.  These monkeys put on quite a show and receive much applause for their acting from the Prince's courtiers until a courtier throws a handful ...
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Truth is a Two-Edged Sword

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
We all run into situations in our lives when telling a truth or hearing a truth can be a difficult task.  Here are a few reasons why this happens in our lives: Why and When Truth Can Be Hard to Hear Sometimes When we have been misled.  Sometimes we end up commiting our time, energy, or money to a project or person that turns out to be a misrepresentation of what we were told.  Not only can this feel like a betrayal, but ...
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Perception, Contentment, and the Glass Effect

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
The Illusion of More The first thought that we need to address relating to the subject of perception, contentment, and the glass effect is "the illusion of more. " So what is "the illusion of more?"   Sometimes we believe that if we had more of something like more time or money, for example, we would be happier and more content.  However, many people have found that having more of something doesn't truly satisfy.  It just causes us to think that we ...
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From Stagnation to Bold Action

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
What is Courage? In order to go from stagnation in our personal growth to bold action, we need to first understand what the definition of courage is.  Courage is not the absense of fear, but the presence of purpose.  If we are honest with ourselves, we all have fears.  It's not having and admitting that we have fears that keeps us from courageous action.  It's what we do with those fears and knowing why we are doing what we are doing ...
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The Pain/Pleasure Spectrum

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
The Pain/Pleasure Spectrum So what is the pain/pleasure spectrum?  Our experiences with pain and pleasure seem to run along a continuum with extreme pain on one end and extreme pleasure on the other end of the spectrum.  It would be reasonable to include tiredness and relaxation on the same spectrum between pain and pleasure.   Contrasting Experiences Pain and pleasure are contrasting experiences.  Tiredness and relaxation are also contrasting experiences.  So what is the purpose of contrasting experiences?  Each experience helps us as people ...
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Compromise and Strategize to Realize Your Goals

by Steve Martin Gaming, Self Improvement
As I've set goals in my life and worked toward achieving them, I've come to realize that some of my goals can be achieved in the present and the rest I will need to compromise and strategize to realize those goals in the future. The Importance of Setting Goals Not setting goals is like shooting without a target.  Goals that are measurable, reachable, and ownable can keep us on track in an ever changing world.   The Importance of Compromise Now that I've stated ...
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Discovering and Defining Joy, Happiness, and Fulfillment

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
So when you hear the words joy, happiness, and fulfillment what thoughts and images come to mind and how can we discover joy, happiness, and fulfillment? What are the differences and what do all these things have in common? What is Happiness? Happiness is basically defined as the state of being happy.  Words that help describe happiness are pleasure, satisfaction, delight, etc.  One important observation about happiness is that it tends to come and go in degrees and sorrow is it's contrasting ...
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Uncovering Humor in Daily Life

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
The Value of Humor The reason I chose the title "Uncovering Humor in Daily Life" is because I believe humor is a matter of perspective and subjects of humor are always present in our lives.  It's left up to us to discover them.  Humor is valuable because it helps us learn to be flexible mentally, relieve and cope with stress emotionally,  helps circulation and breathing physically, and makes us more appealing socially. The Many Varieties of Humor Humor comes in many forms.  From ...
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Suggestions to Organize Your Life

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
General Organization Suggestions to Organize Your Life Since organization is a necessary practical skill we all need at some time in our lives, here are a few practical suggestions to organize your life: 1.  Gain motivation to organize your life by asking yourself the question, "What is my motivating vision?"  It's important to always remind yourself of why you are doing what you are doing.  This helps you get through the tough times much easier. 2.  Set some long-term goals.  Long-term goals for me are goals ...
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