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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Tips for Improving Self-Control

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
Defining and Analyzing Self-Control From my experience, self-control in our daily lives is to be able to avoid doing unproductive activities in order to give our time, energy, and other resources to more productive activities.  Discipline then could be looked at as being able to do the more productive activities consistently in our lives.  Although the definition of these two words could be looked at from many different angles, I see self-control and discipline as two sides of the same coin.   Life ...
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A Few Practical Suggestions for Improving Discipline in Your Life

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
How Do We Define Discipline? Discipline as referred to in our daily lives and as I have discovered, is the ability to do what we know is the right thing consistently in any given situation.  This is different from self-control in the sense that self-control is the ability to not do what we know is wrong in any given situation.  Although these definitions could vary depending on your perspective and how you think about these words, to me they seem to ...
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How Can I Become a More Flexible Person?

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
A Reoccuring Truth As we live our daily lives we are faced with changing circumstances and variables that we have no control over which continually affect us to one degree or another.  To me this reminds me that we are not in control of the world around us.  This may seem obvious to some, but sometimes we need to be reminded of this thought when we don't get the immediate outcomes we had planned for.  The most important thing we can ...
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Embracing Adulthood

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
This article called Embracing Adulthood is being written as a result of multiple observations of individuals, groups, and society in general.  It appears that in many countries in the world today we see the development of a "dependency culture" at various levels of society.   What is "A Dependency Culture?" A dependency culture is prevalent where one "ruling class" of people make it their task to lord over another people group "for their own well-being."  This can occur in overcontrolling families, extreme ...
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Disintegrated People

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
What are "Disintegrated People" Simply put, disintegrated people are those of us who have not brought into harmony aspects of our lives resulting in intrapersonal (within ourselves) and interpersonal (socially) conflict.  Frustration, confusion, loneliness, and conflict many times are some of the fruit of this lack of harmony.  What Causes Disintegration? So what leds people to this state of disintegration? There are a couple of causes of this and the factors that cause us to be in this state may be a single ...
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Reflections on Free Will

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
My Focus In various discussions with others and some readings, I've heard some negative reflections on free will.  Usually they involve someone else's poor decisions or the evil that exists in the world today.  In this article I would briefly like to reflect on some of the more positive thoughts on free will and how they can encourage and motivate us. How Can Free Will Be An Asset? Free will allows you to transcend your past history by learning from your mistakes.  All throughout ...
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Suggested Solutions to Reconcile the Concentrated/Simple Food Diet with the 4 Food Groups

by Steve Martin Health and Fitness, Self Improvement, Food and Drink
Are the Four Food Groups Contradictory to the Concentrated/Simple Food Diet? So let's do a short review of the Four Food Groups.  To start with, the dairy group includes milk, yogurt, and cheese.  The recommended servings are 2 to 3 a day. The protein group includes poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts.  The serving for the average person is again 2 to 3 servings a day.  However, for weight lifters or body builders the recommending intake of protein is equivalent ...
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The Role of Income-Related and Investment-related Institutions in Personal Financial Planning-part 2

by Steve Martin Finance
Choosing a Financial Path to Travel 1.  Start with the end in mind by discovering your purpose.  Your purpose is something you can get excited about.  Your purpose is the legacy you want your life to leave.  It can be your one of your motivating reasons for moving forward and persevering when circumstances become difficult and challenging.  You can also think about how to plan so that you get to this final cause in a quicker and smoother way. 2.  If you ...
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The Role of Income-Related and Investment-Related Institutions in Personal Financial Planning- Part 1

by Steve Martin Finance
What Are These Articles About? These articles will discuss some of the contemporary institutions that relate to personal income and financial planning and discuss advantages and disadvantages of each and how this information could be formulated into a variety of financial plans tailored to each individual's unique characteristics, talents, and life situations. What are Some Specific Institutions? Corporations- Corporations became more useful in the early 1800's when a more intense Industrial Revolution began.  They were ideal for raising large amounts of money and giving ...
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Living on Less Than You Earn

by Steve Martin Finance
Suggestions for Living on Less Than You Earn One way to build up wealth is to slowely decrease your liabilities (debts and expenses for example) by paying them off and increase your assets by saving and investing.  Here are a couple of helpful suggestions to consider using in order to live on less than you earn: Create a monthly budget to live off of or a Personal Profit Margin (PPM).  Budgets help all of us to not spend more than we earn or ...
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