Tuesday, August 30, 2011
By Nancy Banfield Johnson
I hated crossword puzzles. The hints made no sense to me. I went through all the across and the down clues and could only fill in a few answers. With lots of spaces and no hope of completing the puzzle, I gave up. Without planning to, I recently learned how to overcome my hatred of crosswords. I have managed for the first time in my life to complete one. Here are lessons I learned that can help you if you want to try something you hate.
1. Find the motivation.
This summer a close family member had major surgery. We spent six to eight hours a day, day after day, sitting in a waiting room or at the bedside. I could have worked on my computer or read a book, but that felt selfish and unsocial. I was desperately bored. I completed all the other word games in the paper. So I decided to attempt the dreaded crossword puzzle.
2. Ask for help when you get stuck.
I told myself this would be different. If I just kept at it, I would get it. My hope sank as I skipped from one clue to the next with my pencil motionless in my hand. My niece heard me grumbling and started to help me. After that, every time I picked up a crossword, if I needed help, I asked for it or found answers in a dictionary, thesaurus or internet resource like "crossword heaven".
3. Keep an open mind.
My niece taught me that crossword clues can be misleading. What we thought was a verb turned out to be a noun. Some words we thought referred to one thing actually meant something else. I would be sure an answer was right, but when I could not make it work with the other answers, I was forced to reconsider. Over and over again, I found out what I originally was so sure of turned out to be wrong.
4. Make it fun to stick with it.
Before I was ready to give up soon after I started. As my niece and I sifted through the clues, we each came up with some funny answers. The rest of the family got involved. Soon we were all throwing out possible solutions and laughing at the most ridiculous ones.
Attempting to do something you hate is difficult. You may decide never to do this. (I certainly won't when it comes to cottage cheese. Who invented that rubbery, tasteless stuff, anyway?) If there is something you hate, but you would like to do, you now have some strategies to do it.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Fear can be a powerful motivator, giving you the strength to do things you never thought were possible. However, it can also have a crippling affect, leaving you incapable of performing the tasks necessary to achieve the success you deserve. You can overcome fear to achieve the success you seek, but it takes willingness and desire on your part to be able to reach past the fear and take action. Here are five ways you can start the process of overcoming fear to achieve the success you deserve:
1. Knowing what it takes to succeed
It's not enough to have a picture of the final destination in mind. You need to write down clear goals, break those goals down into manageable steps, and then move forward one step at a time. It's hard to be fearful of a single day's to-do list, but as you build achievement upon achievement one day at a time, you will achieve success.
2. Set realistic expectations
You might want to be able to pay off all your debt, quit your job, and make a million dollars within six months, but if you want to overcome fear, you need to start by having realistic goals in the first place. What is it that you truly want? Is waking up every morning and going to work at a dead-end job draining your spirit? Focus first on making a goal to replace the income from your job with enough income from your entrepreneurial activities so that you can escape the cubicle, then work on increasing your earnings to achieve your million-dollar goal.
3. Surround yourself with successful people
Associating with people who believe in your ability to succeed is one of the surest ways of overcoming fear to achieve success. If you are constantly surrounded by people who try to kill your dreams and want you to conform, you will lose faith in yourself and become fearful. By choosing to be around people who have achieved what you want to achieve, you can begin to believe in your own ability, vanquishing fear. You will achieve success.
4. Recognize that change takes time
Making changes takes time, and overcoming fear to achieve success is a continual process that requires you to keep pushing forward, reminding yourself of the small successes along the way, and being forgiving to yourself when the outcome is not exactly what you desired.
5. Believe in yourself
Monday, August 22, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
There was a rich merchant who had 4 wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best.
He also loved the 3rd wife very much. He’s very proud of her and always wanted to show off her to his friends. However, the merchant is always in great fear that she might run away with some other men.
He too, loved his 2nd wife. She is a very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant’s confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and tide him through difficult times.
Now, the merchant’s 1st wife is a very loyal partner and has made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household. However, the merchant did not love the first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her.
One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew that he was going to die soon. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself, “Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I’ll be alone. How lonely I’ll be!”
Thus, he asked the 4th wife, “I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No way!” replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word.
The answer cut like a sharp knife right into the merchant’s heart. The sad merchant then asked the 3rd wife, “I have loved you so much for all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No!” replied the 3rd wife. “Life is so good over here! I’m going to remarry when you die!” The merchant’s heart sank and turned cold.
He then asked the 2nd wife, “I always turned to you for help and you’ve always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?” “I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!” replied the 2nd wife. “At the very most, I can only send you to your grave.”
The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated.
Then a voice called out : “I’ll leave with you. I’ll follow you no matter where you go.” The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered from malnutrition. Greatly grieved, the merchant said, “I should have taken much better care of you while I could have !”
Actually, we all have 4 wives in our lives
a. The 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it’ll leave us when we die.
b. Our 3rd wife ? Our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they all go to others.
c. The 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how close they had been there for us when we’re alive, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.
d. The 1st wife is in fact our soul, often neglected in our pursuit of material, wealth and sensual pleasure.
Guess what? It is actually the only thing that follows us wherever we go. Perhaps it’s a good idea to cultivate and strengthen it now rather than to wait until we’re on our deathbed to lament.