The Winning Approach

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
"It's not where we started, but where we are headed" is a saying that sums up the philosophy behind the winning approach.  The Winning Approach may mean plans do not fall together exactly as we would like them to, but this does not mean that we are stuck in one place and can't move forward.  The Illustration of Building Multiple Houses Simultaneously To give a pictorial illustration, sometimes moving forward in our lives is like building multiple houses at once.  In other ...
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Overcoming Challenges by Understanding Entropy, Energy, Leverage, and Synergy

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
In order to explain the approach to overcoming challenges by understanding entropy, energy, leverage, and synergy, we need to first know the current state of affairs and why understanding these things is important. It's also worth mentioning this is an overview of a process and I may write future blogs about that will break down and explain further some specific aspects in this article. "How Things Are" The concept of entropy is a scientific concept that is explained through the laws of ...
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A Brief Commentary on Experiencing the Wonders of Life

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
This is a brief commentary on experiencing the wonders of your life.  The experience of wonder is simply recognizing and experiencing the moments in our lives that reveal intrigue and produce amazement and appreciation.  It also may be beneficial to recognize the fact that we can overlook these incredible and beautiful things that are in our lives for a number of reasons. What Keeps Us from Recognizing these Moments? A number of things can keep us from recognizing these moments: Cynicism- In reference ...
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GABA, Preparatory Sleep Chemicals, Slumber, and Sleep Supplements

by Steve Martin Health and Fitness, Self Improvement
To start our article on GABA, preparatory sleep chemicals, slumber, and sleep supplements, let's first define and explain what GABA is and does. What is GABA? GABA stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid and is the neurotransmitter that is activated to put you asleep.  In contrast, acetylcholine is a chemical secreted by the hypothalamus that wakes you up. What are Preparatory Sleep Chemicals? As we are going through our day, acetylcholine and other chemicals that increase wakefulness decline, and other chemicals like melatonin are on the ...
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Maintaining Physical Health through Your Own CPHCP

by Steve Martin Health and Fitness, Self Improvement
Maintaining your physical health through your own comprehensive and personal health care plan (or what I call in short CPHCP since I like using acronyms) is the first step to addressing health care concerns in any given country or region in my opinion.  In the United States various politicians have attempted to "reform or improve health care," but the debate continues on how to improve what many see as a "faulty or subpar system."   Personal Responsibility Initiates True Change We humans tend ...
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The Winning Perspective

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
Having a winning perspective can mean the difference between reaching our goals and giving up.  Let's look at the big picture first in review. Planning and Failing You may have heard the saying, "when you fail to plan you plan to fail."  The truth found in this saying is applicable to every area of our lives as we seek growth and improvement.  Spontaneity has it's place and value, but more often than not having a plan to begin with and refining it ...
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Systematic Neglect in an Imperfect World

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
I have discovered in various areas of my life that systematic neglect plays a crucial role in an imperfect world. I use the phrase "imperfect world" because in order to begin to implement systematic neglect in your life consistently, you need to first accept that the world you live in is never going to be perfect.  But let's start from the top and point out the reasons for systematic neglect and it's resulting role. The Reason Industrialization and information technology has created ...
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Win-Win Multiplies Success in Business

by Steve Martin Business, Finance
The concept that win-win multiplies success in business seems to be talked about more than practiced in my personal experience. I've actually seen other philosophies of business practiced more often in regard to those rendering a service, product, or idea. The reason win-win is always the most profitable to all parties involved is because it naturally multiplies business through referrals and at the same time benefits the customer and the business to the highest level. Three Approaches to Business Transactions There are ...
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Defining Bigotry and Discovering It's Causes and Solutions

by Steve Martin Relationships, Self Improvement
First, we must begin by defining bigotry and then we can start discovering its causes and solutions.  The most comprehensive definition of bigotry to me is "intolerance or hatred toward another group that is different from ourselves."  Many times we think of prejudice toward others of a different ethnic group, but sometimes we overlook other forms of bigotry including intolerance or hatred toward those who have different beliefs, philosophies, even personalities or gifts, etc. A Few Quick Examples My family is a ...
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Thoughts on Focus and Perception Followed by Wise Counsel and Perspectives

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
Focus and Perception To begin this brief article on thoughts on focus and perception followed by wise counsel and perspectives, I'd like to discuss focus and perception first. The subject or content of our focus many times becomes our reality.  A common illustration of this effect is the experience of driving and where our vision focuses.  Whether you turn your head or move just your eyes, where you look for any extended time is the direction your vehicle goes.   Our brain even contains a ...
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The Productive Process of Setting Goals, Game-changing Events, and Responses

by Steve Martin Self Improvement
To begin this article on the productive process of setting goals, dealing with game-changing events, and our responses, I'd like to share a personal experience.  Last week  was a busy week at work that left me tired and lacking in energy.  When attempting to pull off my usual workout, I fell short of all my goals.  This even remained true when I reset goals "on the fly" and retried on different days.  This kind of burnout occurs from time to ...
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Effective and Simple Solutions for a Sound Night's Rest

by Steve Martin Health and Fitness, Self Improvement
The first place to start in regard to effective and simple solutions for a sound night's rest are lifestyle choices.  The next step are  sleep times, supplements, and rituals. Basic Healthy Lifestyle Choices Basic healthy lifestyle choices have a lot to do with a good night's rest.  Some of these habits include regular exercise, honest and profitable work to the individual, a healthy diet, and positively developing relationships.  When one or more of these is lacking or missing, there is a possibility ...
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The Canadian Geese as an Illustrative Framework for a Functionally Healthy Community

by Steve Martin Relationships
The saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words," and as pictures go, the Canadian Geese can be used as an illustrative framework for the basics of a functionally healthy community.  Key Points So what are the key points that illustrate this basic framework through the behaviors of Canadian Geese? As each individual goose does its role, it uplifts the geese behind it.  Canadian Geese fly in a well-known and recognized V-formation.  Each individual goose in the formation creates additional lift for the ...
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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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