Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Mid-Year Resolutions Initiative

It's Time to Relaunch or Re-Ignite Your Personal Development Goals 

Did you know that the failure rate of New Year’s Resolutions is over 80%?

Even though, at least according to one study, over half of New Year’s Resolution setters were confident about achieving their goals when setting them. (Which, of course, makes you wonder about the other half!)

Research also shows that over 50% of all New Year’s Resolutions have been dropped by mid year (i.e. right around now).

Unfortunately, almost everyone waits until the beginning of the next new year to set new personal resolutions and goals.


Simply because there is no other social protocol suggesting that they do otherwise.

This is about to change.

Today we are launching the Mid-Year Resolutions initiative, along with our new website Living A Determined Life.

Our goal is to create motivation and provide tools for people to relaunch or re-ignite their personal development goals halfway through the calendar year. We want to make this an annual ritual, albeit one more successful than the current New Year’s Resolutions results.

So, to help ensure that your Mid-Year Resolutions are more successfully implemented than the traditional New Year’s Resolutions, our Living A Determined Life website has created an easy-to use 30-60-90 Day Personal Change Action Planning Tool, which can be downloaded for free.

Additionally, we have two free articles on the website to aid you in making Mid-Year Resolutions: 

Combined, these articles and the Personal Change Action Plan tool will help you kick-start your personal growth and self development.

Please share the Mid-YearResolutions initiative with all your family, friends, and colleagues. 

Together we can help others achieve their personal development goals, and they can help you attain yours. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Corporate Enlightened Self Interest

Leaders Need to Think Beyond Economic Growth and Success. 

This concept of enlightened self interest can (and should) be applied to the corporate and commercial worlds as well, through the concept of the Triple Bottom Line and its emphasis on people, planet and profits (note the order).
Consumers across the globe have begun acting on their desires for a higher level of responsibility by companies in dealing with societal issues. This global consumer movement was revealed in the 2011 Cone/Echo Global CR Opportunity Study which was conducted in 10 countries (USA, Canada, Brazil, UK, Germany, France, Russia, China, India and Japan) comprising roughly half the world's population. Over 10,000 consumers were surveyed.
The top three results in this study were:
·     81% of consumers say companies have a responsibility to address key social and environmental issues beyond their local communities.
·    93% of consumers say companies must go beyond their legal compliance to operate responsibly.
·   94% of consumers say companies must analyze and evolve their business practices to make their impact as positive as possible.

These consumers believe it is important for companies to address a full range of social and environmental issues, including:
·         economic development (96%)
·         environment (96%)
·         water (95%)
·         human rights (94%)
·         education (90%)
·         health and disease (90%)
·         poverty and hunger (87%)

Importantly, 94% of respondents indicated they are likely to buy a product that has an environmental benefit (76% did so in the previous 12 months) or one that is associated with a cause (65% purchased cause-related products in the past year).
Additionally, 93% said they would boycott a company for irresponsibility, with over half saying they have already done so.
Consumers are already using their own discretionary spending and loyalty to press their demands for greater corporate social responsibility, as this research clearly shows. Consumers want businesses and organizations to give back to the communities in which they conduct operations. Now the question becomes, is anyone in the corporate world listening?
Every organization, and in fact every individual, has the obligation to make the world a better place for our children and grandchildren to inherit.
It’s that simple.
It is also a huge responsibility.
Nations which produce only great, profitable corporations will be prosperous, but not truly great, nations. Our future generations need us to be producing great leaders, and great leadership, in all sectors of society.
It is time to change our commercial, business and societal focus from just profits and economic prosperity to the triple concerns of environmental sustainability, social responsibility and global harmony. As Henry Ford said, "A business that makes nothing but money is a poor kind of business." 
Everyone in a leadership position needs to be thinking beyond economic growth and success.
In the Project You concept, there is a great responsibility placed on people and organizations that are successful financially or socially to pay back to society for the fruits they enjoy. 
Basically this means a requirement to contribute to something larger than one's self (and applies equally to corporations, organizations and individuals). This can be done by contributing to their communities, a global cause such as the environment or starvation, or to any charity or cause of their choosing.
Achieving this means entering a world of collaboration, in which you work together with people and organizations with which you have a shared view and shared values.

This article is excerpted from the top-selling book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in paperback ($7.90) and Kindle ($6.88) formats. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Giving Back The Enlightened Self Interest Way

Enlightened Self Interest 

We live in a world ruled by self interests, with leaders (elected or otherwise) who have forgotten that their duty is to serve others and create a greater good for the greater many, rather than feathering their own pockets and those with whom they are in cahoots.
7 Elements of a Project You Life
7 Aspects of a Project You Life 

Australian Ian Berry, founder of the Differencemakers Community, is a major proponent of enlightened self interest, which he describes in his book Changing What's Normal as:
Enlightened self interest is a philosophy in ethics which states that persons who act to further the interests of others (or the interests of the group or groups to which they belong), ultimately serve their own self interest.
It has often been simply expressed by the belief that an individual, group or even a commercial entity will "do well by doing good."
In contrast to enlightened self interest is simple greed or the concept of "unenlightened self interest," in which it is argued that when most or all persons act according to their own myopic selfishness that the group suffers loss as a result of conflict, decreased efficiency because of lack of cooperation, and the increased expense each individual pays for the protection of their own interests.
Or, as Zig Ziglar put it, "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want." 
How can you apply Enlightened Self Interest into all aspects of your life? How can you give back to others and ultimately serve your own self interest? Please share your ideas in the comments box below. 

This article is excerpted from the top-selling personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in paperback ($7.90) and Kindle ($6.88) formats. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Generosity and the Law of Karma

You cannot be too kind or generous for the fruit of karma is happiness and success. 

Many people have a belief in what Deepak Chopra calls the Law of Karma, in which every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in kind. 
This is not a New Age belief, but one that has been around for centuries, including the biblical phrase "whatever you sow you shall reap."
In fact, a common belief is "what goes around comes around," a concept depicted cleverly in the movie Pay It Forward
In Chopra's book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success he wrote, "When we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success."
It is not a guaranteed thing, or something that provides an immediate payback, but there definitely seems to be some validity in this concept.
However, you should not be generous or kind to someone merely because you hope or expect to obtain some future reward. Do it because you genuinely want to, and because it is your duty and moral responsibility as a human being to give to others once you have more than you need. 
Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch lady who helped many Jews escape the Nazis during World War II, beautifully said, "The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation."
Or, as President Woodrow Wilson put it a few decades earlier, "We are not here merely to make a living. We are here to enrich the world."
Besides, being generous and charitable is one of the paths to happiness. 
Motivational speaker Og Mandino explains, "Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself."
Here's a little tip from Zig Ziglar worth practicing, "Be helpful. When you see a person without a smile, give him yours." Doing so won't solve the world's hunger problem or bring about global peace, but in one small way you will be making a difference to a fellow human.
Be generous with your words, your time, your actions, and your money. Be as generous as you can as often as you can. You will be rewarded with pride in yourself and the respect of those you love.
As speaker Patricia Fripp says, "You cannot be too kind or too generous." 

This article is excerpted from the top-selling personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in paperback ($7.90) and Kindle ($6.88) formats. 

Friday, June 24, 2016


Our Greatest Giving is of Our Time and Kindness 

Generosity is more than just gift giving or donating money. 
As Jim Rohn said, "One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention." Just being there for someone and listening to them without criticism or judgment is definitely an act of generosity.
As writer Joyce Hifler penned, "Giving is so often thought of in terms of the gifts we give, but our greatest giving is of our time, and kindness, and even comfort for those who need it. We look on these little things as unimportant ── until we need them." 
Project You Life Journey Key Elements
Project You Life Journey Key Elements 

If you can take this "being there" one step further, that is even better. 
"The finest gift you can give anyone is encouragement," noted American poet Sidney Madwed. "Yet almost no one," he added, "gets the encouragement they need to grow to their full potential. If everyone received the encouragement they need to grow, the genius in most everyone would blossom and the world would produce abundance beyond the wildest dreams."  
Benjamin Disraeli, a former British Prime Minister, had a similar view, "The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him/her his/her own."
Here's some good advice from the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, "You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late." 

This article is excerpted from the book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in paperback ($7.90) and Kindle ($6.88) formats. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Purpose Bigger Than Self

You Make A Life By What You Give

People who lead rich lives tend to have two qualities in common: 1) they are optimistic in their outlook and approach to life, and 2) they excel at giving.
What do they give?
They give money to causes and others they believe in. They share their wisdom, skills and lessons learned freely with those willing to listen. They give their time to their communities, religious institutions, schools, neighbors and to those they mentor. And, of course, they regularly agree to help when asked; but more often than not they volunteer their assistance before they are asked.
Author Kent Nerburn wrote, "Give in any way that you can, of whatever you possess. To give is to love. To withhold is to wither. Care less for your harvest than how it is shared, and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace."
It is frightfully amazing the number of people who do not make any charitable contributions, or who make only a few each year, despite their obvious wealth or financial well being. Even though there are definite tax benefits for donating money to charities in many countries, some people just cannot be motivated to give any of their money away.
Incredibly, there are even some people who spend more money on grooming their dogs than on feeding hungry children or contributing to cancer research. Apparently such people have never been exposed to these words from P. Anthony Ridder, the former CEO of the Knight Ridder newspaper publishing group:
The bottom line about success in life isn't whether you are financially successful, but whether you have given of yourself in some way to help others less fortunate than you and to serve your community and your country.
 On the positive side, it is hard not to be amazed by the overwhelming generosity of people in reaction to natural disasters, even when these occur in remote and faraway places. Examples include the millions and millions of dollars donated in response to the Black Saturday bush fires in Victoria, Australia; the Boxing Day tsunami that hit coast lines around the Indian Ocean; and the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Japan.
For anyone on the Project You Life Journey, the words of Sir Winston Churchill will definitely ring true: "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
Major acts of generosity or giving are not required, however. Small, everyday acts also add up to make the world a better place. 

In fact, as William Wordsworth wrote, "The best portion of a good man's life is the little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love." 

Plus, as Herm Albright said, "Perhaps the world little notes nor long remembers individual acts of kindness ── but people do."

This article is excerpted from the top-selling book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in paperback ($7.90) and Kindle ($6.88) formats. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Respecting Yourself

Life is more pleasant when you respect yourself and others. 

Now, a word of caution about Self Respect! 
This is not a self-hype, temporary motivational exercise. 
Yes, there is a role for motivational affirmations that temporarily build short-term bursts of self belief (especially in sports and other performance or competitive activities). We have all witnessed underdogs will themselves to victories in countless movies and sporting events.
Rather, this is a long-haul journey requiring the patience and compassion described by Shakti Gawain in our previous post More Thoughts on Self Respect
It also requires complete and honest truth with one's self. We all have strengths and limitations. No one is perfect. You have to be honest with yourself about your imperfections.
"Above all," as Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky said, "do not lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lies comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, around him, and so loses all respect for himself and others."
You will know when you are lying to yourself and trying to rationalize some course of action that your conscience is advising against. Follow your conscience and you will wake up each morning with a greater amount of respect for yourself. Disobey your conscience and the seeds of regret and self disenchantment begin to sprout. As William Penn wrote, "Only trust thyself and another shall not betray thee."
You also need to respect yourself enough to walk away from anything ─ or anyone ─ that no longer renews you, helps you grow or makes you happy. Of course, this is not to suggest that you run away from your responsibilities (particularly parental ones) or your relationships simply because you are unhappy or not feeling any growth. In fact, personal growth will come from how you work your way through such situations.
On the other hand, as Zig Ziglar points out, "Life is too short to spend your precious time trying to convince a person who wants to live in gloom and doom otherwise. Give lifting that person your best show but don't hang around long enough for his or her bad attitude to pull you down. Instead, surround yourself with optimistic people."
Respecting yourself also includes limiting the amount of damage you do to your body through over eating, alcohol, drugs, and your sleeping patterns.
Respect is not something that you turn on and off like a water tap. It should gush from you at all times, toward all people, living creatures, the environment, property, and things in general.
Yes, you will occasionally come across people whose actions do not warrant respect. In such situations it is best to recall Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's words above to treat such people "as if they were what they ought to be." In doing so, perhaps you might just help them overcome whatever obstacles and hurdles they face and be a factor in them becoming what they ought to be.
Even if your own respectful actions do not seem to have any impact on them, at least you will be left with a positive, respectful feeling toward yourself. 
Such a feeling makes it easier to walk away from idiots and those with self-proclaimed authority while maintaining peace with yourself instead of being angry with them and the world.
Just add a little bit of respect into each of your encounters with others, and life will become a whole lot more pleasant and rewarding. 

This article is excerpted from the top-selling personal and professional development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in paperback ($7.90) and Kindle ($6.88) formats. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

More Thoughts on Self Respect

The most important venture you will ever build will be YOU. 

For many of us, gaining ─ and maintaining ─ self respect is often the most arduous part of the ProjectYou Life Journey. It takes time, patience and commitment. It takes a willingness to test self imposed boundaries. It takes the mental energy required to frequently pause and have reflective conversations with one's self.
And, of course, it takes the ability to love all mankind as well as yourself. 
As the writer Joan Didion penned, "To have that sense of one's intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything."
When these words from Shakti Gawain ring true for you, you will know that you are on the right path to self respect:
"I am learning to be patient and compassionate with myself as I gain the courage to be true to myself."
It is far more important to be true to yourself than to seek acceptance and confirmation from others. 
The same goes for respect. As Steven H. Coogler writes, "Seek respect mainly from thyself, for it comes first from within."
One of the ironies about respect and self respect was identified centuries ago by the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu: "When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you."
Your continued personal development comes through the continuous process of building and maintaining high levels of self esteem and self respect. By changing the way you think about yourself, and by changing the internal verbal dialogues you have with yourself, you change your attitude, belief in self and your own abilities, the convictions you hold, and your energy levels.
All from simply how you think about and feel about you! 

And, as Lydia M. Child emphasizes, "Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture." (The most important venture you ever build will be you.

This article is excerpted from the top-selling personal and professional development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in paperback ($7.90) and Kindle ($6.88) formats. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Self Respect

Having Low Self Esteem Is Like Driving Through Life With The Handbrake On

The other important aspect of respect is self respect.
Like many attributes in life, respect for yourself is something you must have before you can give it to others. It is almost impossible to respect and love others if you do not respect and love yourself.
For, as Zig Ziglar has pointed out, "The most influential person who will talk to you all day is you, so you should be very careful about what you say to you!" Your heightened self awareness and self understanding, as highlighted in chapter five, is very critical.
If you are not careful, your constant chatter with yourself will pull you down through negative thoughts that create a poor attitude, an unattractive demeanor and reduced self esteem.
That is why it is important to understand and be aware of what motivates you and what drives your own self respect to lower levels. After all, having low self esteem is like driving through life with your personal handbrake on. 
"To think bad thoughts," notes James Clavell, "is really the easiest thing in the world. If you leave your mind to itself it will spiral down into ever increasing unhappiness. To think good thoughts, however, requires effort. This is one of the things that discipline ─ training ─ is about."
How do you eliminate, or at least control, the bad thoughts buzzing throughout your mind? Jim Rohn answers this question with a gardening metaphor: "You cannot take the mild approach to the weeds in your mental garden. You have got to hate weeds enough to kill them. Weeds are not something you handle; weeds are something you devastate."
You need not be controlled by your thoughts. In fact, you have immense control over your own thoughts, even the subconscious ones. Scientific studies have shown that the subconscious mind can only think what it is told. It cannot create new thought patterns by itself; but only through external stimuli.
Thus, if you tell yourself you are sad, unhappy or angry, then that is what your subconscious will believe and hence will direct you to act accordingly. However, if you tell yourself that you have a significant number of things to be grateful for, no matter how dire the current circumstances may seem, then you will approach your situation in a more positive, optimistic and happier manner.
The key is to fully understand yourself and how you allow situations, comments, thoughts, beliefs, and emotions impact you. As Nido Qubein has written, "Total, unconditional acceptance of yourself is the first step in building a positive self-image." 

This article is excerpted from the top-selling personal and professional development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in Kindle ($6.88) and paperback ($7.90) formats. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Respecting Others

Respect is a Core Value of a Project You Life Journey 

Fred Rogers, who had a famous television show in America called Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, had an interesting, almost altruistic, attitude about respect, one that very few people today would practice or preach:
As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has ─ or ever will have ─ something inside that is unique all the time. It's our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.
 In a similar vein, Lee Atwater, a political consultant and presidential advisor, proclaimed, "There is nothing more important in life than human beings, nothing sweeter than the human touch."
If Atwater's thoughts are anywhere near close to truth, then we all need to show greater respect to each of our fellow human beings. And there's probably no better time to begin than the present.
The ability to forgive is a core component of respect, for the art of forgiveness is an explicit display of respecting another person's universal strengths and human weaknesses.
Some very good advice comes courtesy of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German writer from the early 19th century: "Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you will help them become what they are capable of becoming."
Perhaps that is what the true essence of respect is all about ── treating people as if they were what they ought to be (instead of how you might be currently perceiving them).
Here's some more advice on respect, which is excerpted from a booklet called Lessons From Sports by college football coach Todd Dodge:
Respect your opponent.
Never get full of yourself, or you may get ambushed.
Don't ever think you have arrived. Don't be intimidated, but do give respect to your opponent.
You have to pay your dues and prove yourself before being promoted.
Be the perfect gentleman off the field and the ultimate competitor on the field.
Be grateful for what you have and for the support of those around you.
The importance of respect, and showing respect to others, cannot be overstated as a key ingredient of a Project You Life Journey
In our interconnected universe, having disrespect for others is akin to having disrespect for all, including ourselves.

This article is excerpted from the top-selling personal and professional development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in paperback ($7.90) and Kindle ($6.88) formats. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Respect Is A Core Value

Respecting Others Will Make You Feel At Home Everywhere 

The overall level of respect across all aspects of society seems to have deteriorated in recent years.
Evidence of this includes the profane language that permeates today's music, films and television shows; as well as the plethora of self-interest actions and abuses of power by persons of authority, politicians and business leaders. 
And currently in the United States we are witnessing perhaps the most disrespectful election year of all time. 
While societal signs of disrespect have yet to reach a crescendo, there is little doubt of the escalation of disrespect being exhibited today
As Gail Pursell Elliott, who is known as The Dignity and Respect Lady wrote, "As a society, we have come to a point where people too often treat one another as objects and opportunities, rather than as fellow human beings. Respecting one another as individuals, or not doing so, seriously impacts the future of all of us."
Having respect for other cultures and other people is extremely important as today's world becomes more interconnected and all of us are more frequently exposed to opportunities to interact with people from other cultures and backgrounds. One has to be careful, however, not to fall into the trap of ethnocentricity, which basically means believing that the values, beliefs and rules of one's own culture are the only valid ones or are automatically superior to all others.
Not only is such a belief system wrong and highly misleading, it also results in a very limited mindset that prevents you from learning from others. Once you begin to explore the world and other cultures, you will quickly learn that other societies, people and cultures have values, beliefs, rules, and protocols that are no better or worse than your own ── just different.

It is important that you respect these different values, beliefs, rules, and protocols, especially when you are in their cultural environment. Doing so will make you feel comfortable and at home everywhere across this magnificent planet.

This article is partially excerpted from the top-selling book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in paperback ($7.90) and Kindle ($6.88) formats.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Living A Principle Centered Life

Be Unflinching in Your Commitment to Your Principles 

Living A Determined Life means being totally committed to your principles and values. 
However, one of the most important things about personal principles is to understand that you cannot impose your values on others. 
For instance, suppose you place a high value on punctuality, but your partner does not. Any efforts you make to impose your value of punctuality on your partner will undoubtedly lead to numerous spats followed by many moments of anguish and despair.
When you make judgments of others based on your principles, friction ensues.
One aspect of emotional maturity is the ability to leverage your values with courage in your decisions and actions, combined with the ability to do so in consideration of the feelings and convictions of others. 
Another aspect of emotional maturity is the ability to understand how the values of others form a foundation for their own decisions and actions, even when these are not acceptable to you or are in direct opposition to your own views and convictions.
When you are emotionally mature you can have a great deal of ego strength, while maintaining respect and empathy for others.
Your principles require 100% commitment and dedication. They are not something to be pulled out of your wallet or purse and used to pay for your experiences in life like some kind of values credit card.
Be unflinching in your commitment to your principles. As Denis Waitley has written, "Moderation in temper is always a virtue. Moderation in principle is always a vice."
And lastly, by all means stick to your principles through hardships, turmoil, disappointments, heartaches, and in those moments when it seems like life would be easier if you just made a little compromise here or there. When it comes to your principles, there is no such thing as a "little" compromise.
In the words of Thomas Jefferson, "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock."

 This article is partially excerpted from the top-selling personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life. Get your copy today at Amazon in either Kindle or paperback format. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Principles Create A Meaningful Life

Your Conscience has a Full Understanding of Your True Principles. 

A person who has principles and displays these will be respected and liked by the people most important in their life. More important, such a person will be respected and liked by himself or herself as well. 
Principles are the foundation for a meaningful and worthwhile life.
No one can teach you which principles to inculcate within yourself, for the simple reason that what works for some may not work for you. Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else is absolutely unique. 
Your principles and values are what create your authentic self. 
There is no magic formula for always living up to your personal values, though this advice from philanthropist W. Clement Stone comes close:
Have the courage to say no.
Have the courage to face the truth.
Do the right thing because it is right.
These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.
The importance of knowing and understanding your principles cannot be over emphasized. As William F. Scolavino said, "The height of your accomplishments will equal the depth of your convictions."
Your inner spirit, usually speaking to you via your conscience, will always have a full understanding of your true principles. 
Listen to and obey your conscience. It speaks to you through an inner voice telling you things that we often refer to as hunches or gut feelings. Trust your hunches and gut feelings, for these are based on facts, principles and values that are coded and ingrained at your unconscious, spiritual level.

In other words: trust yourself. It's the best way to Live A Determined Life

This article is partially excerpted from the top-selling personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Values Form Your Principles

Principles are never Old Fashioned or Out of Date

Values form your principles. For instance, having a core value for integrity results in a principle never to tell a lie or hide the whole truth from someone. 
And, like values, principles should be put into a hierarchical structure, as at times two or more of your principles may be in conflict. It is important that you organize your principles by priority, based on which is most important to you.
For example, how would you handle a situation where a friend or colleague is about to drive off from a party in an inebriated state? He says he's fine to drive, but you think he should not be driving.
Does your principle of not interfering in other people's personal decisions overrule your principle of believing that drunk driving is wrong? Or vice versa? Will you be willing to risk the friendship or workplace relationship to prevent a possible tragedy?
If you respond with "it depends on who the person is" or "it depends on how high he appears to be," you are taking a situational approach and not a principled one.
If you decide that you place a higher value on not interfering in someone's personal decisions over the principle that drunk driving is wrong, then that is your hierarchical ranking for these two principles.
Your individual principles need to be formed around the great values of life, things like truth, love, the sanctity of life, integrity, being a person of your word, justice, fairness, friendship, spirituality, etc.

Despite the current trend of modern humanity to focus on happiness and pleasure as the cornerstones of life, do not think that matters of principle are old fashioned or past their use-by date. They are not and deep down they never will be. They are what make your own authentic self. 
Now is a good time to take 15-30 minutes and write down your own personal values and principles, and then reflect on how these will help you Live A Determined Life. 

This article is partially excerpted from the top-selling personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016


Your Principles Require 100% Commitment and Dedication

There will be times in your life when you are called upon to stand up for your principles, especially if you have principles based on your core personal values.
These moments need not be major, life-defining incidents. Rather, they often crop up during mundane day-to-day activities. When you take action in accordance with your principles, often called living up to your principles, the glow of self satisfaction can be immense and is reward enough in itself.
However, when you do not act in harmony with your principles, a little piece of you dies inside and your soul becomes uncomfortable and agitated. 
7 Key Elements of a Project You Life
7 Key Elements of a Project You Life 
A lot of the literature we read and the stories we hear while growing up feature characters struggling or learning to formulate their principles and act accordingly. One common lesson in most of these stories is that principles are not situational, something many people forget when becoming adults and entering "the real world."
Principles are the rocks upon which your decisions for action should be made. Your principles help ensure that you live up to your personal values, and thus need to be  solidly entrenched in your psyche and persona. As Edward R. Lyman wrote:
Principle ─ particularly moral principle ─ can never be a weathervane, spinning around this way and that with the shifting winds of expediency. Moral principle is a compass forever fixed and forever true.

Your principles require 100% commitment and dedication. They are not something to be pulled out of your wallet or purse and used to pay for your experiences in life like some kind of values credit card.
One of the best ways to Live A Determined Life will be, to paraphrase Shakespeare's famous line, to thine own principles be true. 

This article is partially excerpted from the top-selling personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

8 More Ways to Exhibit Kindness

No Act of Kindness Is Ever Wasted

In our last blog post on kindness in our daily lives, we shared a few ways to exhibit kindness. 

Here are eight more ways to exhibit kindness: 
React to rudeness with compassion. No sense throwing oil on a raging fire and making a bad situation worse. We all have moments of emotional meltdowns, so help those in emotional pain with calm and soothing words of comfort rather than your own angry words of confrontation.
Be generous to those who look like they need it, by letting the person who seems in a rush to go ahead of you at the check-out line or by giving up your seat on public transportation to someone who looks tired and worn out.
Truly mean the words "please" and "thank you" when you say them, and be sure to smile and look the other person in the eyes so that they sense your sincerity and genuineness.
Constantly be generous with your praise of others. It's amazing how far a bit of praise goes in creating energy, passion and enthusiasm in others.
Greatly reduce your criticisms and complaints about others, particularly behind their backs. The old rule about "if you cannot say anything good about someone, don't say anything at all" is sage advice.
Remind yourself of your previous acts of kindness, which is sure to bring a slight smile to your face. Such positive memories are a good way to spark new ideas on how you can continue to exhibit kindness to others.
Be grateful for the good things and people that come your way, and remind yourself that every act of kindness you generate produces feelings of gratitude and appreciation in others.
Remember that small acts of kindness count large, especially to the recipients. So give help to the person struggling with their onboard luggage, help the elderly or infirm cross the street, ask the stranger looking lost if they need directions. And always share your umbrella with those caught out in the rain without one of their own.
Many of the examples above may appear to be small and of little impact. However, as Aesop wrote, "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." 
Or, as Kahlil Gibran put it, "The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention."
In addition to the above, you should also be kinder and more gentle with yourself
There is little reward to be found in being overly harsh and too critical with one's self. 
While the old saying "kindness starts at home" certainly has a ring of truth to it, it is important to remember that authentic kindness starts with one's self.

Either way, exhibiting kindness to yourself or to others, is sure to bring more authentic happiness into your life. 

This article is partially excerpted from the top-selling personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Exhibit More Kindness Daily

Bring Additional Kindness Into the Lives of Others 

A recent blog post showed how extending kindness to others is one way of creating authentic happiness in ourselves
Here are several ways to easily add kindness to your personal values and to bring some additional kindness into the lives of others:
Share your knowledge and experiences with others through volunteer talks in schools and your community, or through free content you deliver via the Internet.
Donate used books, magazines, clothes, cookware, dishes, pots, and other items you rarely or never use (de-cluttering your home and your life is always a good feeling).
Provide assistance, comfort or food to those who need it the most, especially the homeless. Rather than toss unused food, bag it up and drive to an area where the homeless hang out or beg. Whenever you see a homeless or hungry person near a fast food outlet you are about to visit, add one healthy item to your order and hand it to that person as you walk to your car or drive away. The thanks you will receive will be well worth the extra few dollars you spend.
Help your neighbors with chores or watching their children so they can have a "date night" or just take some time from their own daily routines.
Make way for those who seem to be in a hurry, even if they appear rude or unfriendly. Perhaps they are dealing with a major personal or family issue, or maybe their work has them stressed. No sense in you getting stressed over their behavior. Better to step aside or allow them to rapidly pass you on the road. Who knows, you might actually be doing them a huge favor by letting them hurry on by.
Surprise your loved ones with notes of encouragement and appreciation. This works particularly well with pre-teenage children, who just love getting a surprised note of love, praise or encouragement from mom or dad in their packed lunches or hidden in their school books.
Actively engage introverts and shy people in small talk whenever you encounter them in hallways, elevators, stores, parties, or other public places. They often have great insights and a lot to say, if only asked and encouraged.
When you add kindness into your daily routine and interactions, you will quickly come to realize that extending kindness and truly felt pleasantries to others is one of the core components of authentic happiness. 

This article is partially excerpted from the top-selling personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.