Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Joy and Excitement of Living

 By Willie Horton

Years of psychological research suggests that we are not living life to the full. This research concludes that we go through the motions of daily life, using the faculties of automaticity (to enable us perform almost everything mindlessly), categorization (so that we can pigeonhole every new experience or person that we meet and, in the process, experience nothing new) and recognition (the mental process whereby we try to make sense of what our senses are telling us by using our own "stored knowledge" the greater part of which is decades out of date). We "live life" on auto pilot - and I don't call that living at all.

In fact, the normal adult, in using these normal, standard mental capabilities, is slowly sucking the life out of themselves every single day of their so-called lives. This slow and mind-numbingly "not-too-bad" self-destruction started in childhood when we were told to conform, to sit up straight, to stop making noise, to stop doing the things that we enjoyed, to stop letting out minds wander and to steer well clear of any fanciful ideas for our future - we needed to get a good education, get a good job, retire and die! As children, our spontaneity, our joie de vivre, our unbridled imagination ruled our lives. These were the things that created the excitement, made life fun and that made long sunny summer holiday days seem to go on for ever. As children - up to the age of eleven or twelve - we were in what the University of Chicago describes as "flow" - we were what our youngest daughter would call "gurdy". As young children, our lives were carefree, open to all kind of possibilities, exciting and adventurous.

Contrast that with the normal everyday life of the average normal adult! How many of us can truly say that we leap out of bed bursting with excitement every morning? How many of us can say that we live carefree lives? How many of us are fully open to all life's wonderful possibilities? You may well say that we have to grow up - but, I'm pretty sure that the record (years of psychological research) shows that people grow older - they rarely grow up. Because if you did bother to grow up, you'd be able to control your state of mind. You could choose to be fun-loving, carefree, spontaneous, turned on and open-minded. You could decide to leap out of bed, bowled over at the prospect of the day ahead. You could choose to be open-minded and alert to all life's wonderful possibilities.

Unfortunately, though, the progression through adolescence changed the electrical activity in our brains. As our network of neural connections reached "fully adult operational" - our mental processes sped up and our logical processes took over. Or at least that's what the normal person thinks! However, there's nothing logical about worry - akin to wishing the worst for yourself! There's certainly nothing logical about stress - obvious when you consider that stress only exists in the mind of the sufferer - we make ourselves stressed. And, believe you me, there's nothing logical about closing your eyes to today's opportunities - but if you're pigeonholing everything that happens before you even experience what's going on, you will simply never notice the opportunities that are staring you in the face.

This how we behave as adults - our normal subconscious minds living in and longing for those sunny summer holiday days - our conscious minds distracted by the cares and worries of what might happen - instead of focusing, fully focusing as we did as children, on the here and now. We're slowly killing ourselves - the normal adult, existing in this half-life of useless thought and worry is as good as dead.

But it can be completely different and the great news is that you're the one who decides - you do not need anyone's permission or approval. Your life is entirely in your own hands. It is you who can decide to become like a little child again - not childish, but clear, focused, open-minded, fun loving, up for life's great adventure. It's entirely up to you to choose your state of mind - didn't you know that you choose your own thoughts and that your thoughts become things. It is you who can decide to come to your senses - revisit reality by seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling and tasting. Yes, this is how we experienced the wonder of the moment as children. We didn't make up our minds on what we were experiencing based on the "stored knowledge" of preconceived notions and so-called logical thought patterns - we jumped in, splashed around - we simply let ourselves go.

You've got to let go too - of all the crap that's in your head. You've got to come to your senses - see, feel, hear, smell and taste what's really happening. Break the chain-reaction of normal adult recognition, experience what's really going on. Today, right now, when you finish reading this article, stop to "smell the roses" and you will have taken the most important action for today - you'll have taken a definitive step towards living life to the full, in the here and now, where it's meant to be lived.

Copyright (c) 2010 Willie Horton

About The Author
Willie Horton has been a Personal Development expert since 1996 - working with top leaders in major organizations. An Irish ex-accountant, ex-banker, published author and keynote speaker, he travels the world, from his home in the French Alps, enabling people "live the dream". All his work - including his acclaimed Personal Development Workshop - is now online at

The author invites you to visit:

Article Source:

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Seeing Sense in the Here and Now

By Willie Horton

If your life isn't all that you want it to be or if you're unhappy with yourself - what you think is going on has nothing to do with reality! Decades of research prove that the normal subconscious mind quite literally makes up your reality for you. This personal version of reality has absolutely nothing to do with the real thing. It is concocted from a a mish-mash of "resident thoughts" in your subconscious mind - what some people call their "baggage", which we mainly learned through the experiences that stuck in our mind from our formative years - generally speaking, before we reached in or around twelve years of age.

So, what about real reality? What about living the life that you actually want to live? If you actually do want to live the life the kind of exciting, happy and successful life, you're going to have to stop paying attention to the crap in your head that, as things stand, has given you the very real impression that your life is more like some black fantasy! Instead, you're going to have to start paying attention to real reality. You're going to have to come to your senses - and I mean that literally.

Your body's five senses are your only interface with the "outside" world. Every sound you hear - whether it's a rushing stream, traffic going by, something nice being said to you, or bad news - is first perceived through your ear, transmitted to your brain, interpreted in conjunction with what psychologists call "stored knowledge" (the resident thoughts that I mentioned a moment ago) and, as a result, made sense of. Same with each sight, each smell, each taste, each tactile feeling. The fact is, however, that so-called normal people don't make sense of what is being perceived - they make nonsense of it! Because, rather than paying attention to their senses, they let their stored knowledge make up their minds for them. And for normal adults, that stored knowledge is way out of date - and the older you get the more out of date and irrelevant to the present moment it becomes.

Over seventy years of research in the field of psychology has found that adults simply don't know how to pay enough attention to their five senses - and even when they do decide to pay attention to something, their internal programming will even override that decision. The normal adult cannot pay attention to the actual reality of the moment as experienced by them, for real, through their five senses. However, it is these senses - and only these five senses that provide us with the real here and now information. Instead of paying attention to this real data, years of automatic behaviour drowns out our sensory perception and creates a half-life of automatic living. In other words, normal people are, at best, sleepwalking their way through life, at worst, as good as dead.

From my own work's perspective, I find plenty of people who are completely unable to pay attention for even five minutes - on occasions when I've asked a group to simply sit still for five minutes, the mere suggestion of sitting still resulted in some people almost hitting the ceiling such was their inability to simply experience and appreciate the moment in a calm, still and focused fashion. We all need to sit still for a few minutes each day. This should be an "exercise" in, first of all, tuning in your attention to focus just on what you are seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling and tasting and then, thereafter, fine-tuning your mind to pay attention to what is actually going on before your very eyes. In undertaking such "mental fitness training", you should not analyze what's going on, don't add your own interpretation. If you do, you will be using your "stored knowledge", the crap we've already mentioned. In the process, you will simply have done all over again what you have been doing all of your adult life - interpreting reality instead of experiencing it for what it really is. Instead of doing this, you should find somewhere where you will not be disturbed and simply sit down, simply observing what you are experiencing. In reconnecting with the real world, you will find that it is, in fact, full of excitement and opportunity - opportunity which has always been before your very eyes but you were too blinded by your own misconceptions to see what was going on.

Real life is lived in reality. Real, effortless success simply flows in reality - it is only your resident thought processes that have distanced you from the effortless success that you can experience in reality. Open your mind, come to your senses, live your dream.

Copyright (c) 2010 Willie Horton

About The Author
Willie Horton has been a Personal Development expert since 1996 - working with top leaders in major organizations. An Irish ex-accountant, ex-banker, published author and keynote speaker, he travels the world, from his home in the French Alps, enabling people "live the dream". All his work - including his acclaimed Personal Development Workshop - is now online at

The author invites you to visit:

Article Source:

Saturday, 14 February 2015

5 Easy Steps To Finding Passion In Your Life And Career

By Dorothy Tannahill-Moran

Many people, particularly as they accumulate years of work experience, find they have a growing desire to put passion into their life and career. My observation about why this takes place is that as we grow in life experiences a lot of the excitement or "newness" diminishes. We simply have been there and done that enough that our threshold for what will rock our world continues to go up. It's increasingly harder to get that same level of excitement.

As we recognize that this element of excitement is missing, it can trigger us to go in search of something we can feel passionate about. We often look around us seeing others in careers that bring them incredible joy, something they are passionate about, and we want that same feeling for ourselves. We remember how it feels to have something in our lives that consumes our thoughts and makes the hours flow quickly. The biggest issue with going in search of your life and career passion is: HOW do you discover your passion?

All too many people think that your passion just comes to you like a thunderbolt from the heavens. In other words, we think for some people it just magically appears. This leaves the rest of us to feel unlucky because the magic hasn't happened. Finding your passion is something we all have access to. It might seem magical, but it is simply a process, like most things in our lives, and requires turning off the TV and taking some actions.

Here are 5 simple steps that will lead you to your passion:

1- Start first with what you already know you're interested in. Sit down and write out a list of all the things you have some interest in trying, but never have. Your whole process requires self honesty and it starts here. Don't list anything just because of someone else's interests. If you aren't genuinely interested, don't list it. It's also important to create this master list as it will live on perhaps for the rest of your life. As you try things on the list, you may eliminate some and add others.

a. You must realize that this is a discovery and experimentation process. You need to proceed with a certain playfulness and curiosity. You are going to try these things, probably for the first time, and you have no idea how they will turn out. In fact, you need to assume that while you may enjoy many of those activities, most of them will not turn into a passion.

b. Because most of the activities you try will not turn into a true passion, you need to develop self-patience with no self-judgment. Have fun with the process. Be open to new discoveries. You will find your passion, just be patient and trust the process. Don't criticize yourself if it doesn't happen immediately.

c. You do not need to limit your list to only things that seem related to a job. When you find a passion, you may well be able to turn it into an income opportunity, if you choose.

2- Make goals. You can't just make a list. You have to take action. Like all great goals, they have the characteristics of 1) being specific 2) having a time for completion 3) and are actionable. A bad example: I will solve world hunger. This goal is missing all of the key characteristics. A good example: I will enroll and take glass blowing classes starting no later than Sept 2010. Setting goals for your drive to passion means you will hold yourself accountable for making something happen in your life.

3- Get curious and go in search. Your biggest asset on your quest to find passion is to get curious about your environment and what other people are doing. Ask questions. Let one thing create a thread to others that you continue to follow. There are an unlimited number of things out there that people are doing and others who are inventing more things to do. Surround yourself with people who are passionate about the work they are doing or with people on a quest like you. Having others in your life, who are excited about life, will drive your process forward. It's great to have daily doses of inspiration.

4- Record your results. To get the most out of your exploration, you need to spend time in introspection. You need to think about each action you take and your reactions to them. This will help you understand what works for you and what doesn't. What you learn about yourself as you move forward will help inform your next steps. Consider keeping a discovery journal. If you do best debriefing your actions by talking, consider asking a person who is also going through a quest for passion to help you. You can ask each other deep probing questions and deepen the learning.

5- Repeat. Don't try something just once. Give any new endeavor a chance to capture your interest by getting past the new start up roughness. Continue to move through the steps exploring, experimenting and learning until you discover the passion you are looking for.

Discovering something you can feel passionate about will greatly enhance your life and career. It is not magical nor is it difficult, but it does take effort. As long as you stay open about the possibilities and continually entertain new things, you will find the passion you want in your life.

About The Author
Want to reprint this article? You can reprint this article as long as you use the following: Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is a Career Coach and expert on helping her clients achieve their goals. Isn�t it Time You Put Passion into Your Life and Career? Discover the Fast and Easy Path to Finding Passion. Find out how:

The author invites you to visit:

Article Source:

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Burying Your Head in the Sand?

By Susan Russo

"Everytime I close the door on reality, it comes in through the windows." Jennifer Yane

When you choose to avoid dealing with life's circumstances regardless of what it is, it ultimately either silently eats you alive or hurts the other people who need you to deal with it.

Whether it's your own issues such as unhealthy relationships, procrastination, weight lying to yourself, destructive habit, or whatever the case may be or if it's the people we are the closest to and we don't want to deal with their pain and all of the emotions that go along with it, burying your head won't help anyone or anything.

Children for instance don't have a voice when they are exposed to abuse, by you not dealing with your own ugly affairs you impose upon these kids unwanted emotions and feelings that isn't only unfair to them but it puts them in a miserable situation that they really don't deserve or have anything to do with. They are the victims.

Or if you have co-workers, friends or family members who are hurting but you are too busy to get involved, that 5 minutes you may lend a hand or an ear may be all they need to feel better.

There's no question that dealing with confrontations or any of life's adversities isn't any fun, but sweeping them under the rug can make you fat, sad, depressed, delusional, out of touch or just plain empty. This escape mechanism may work in the short run, i.e. avoiding the immediate pain, but in the end it all catches up to you in one way or another.

Or course there is the opposite of avoidance and that is the consummate dweller. The person who thrives on worry and can't let go of thinking about the situation. They consume themselves with what if, if only, should I, could I, what if I do and what if I don't. These people don't bury their head in the sand they bury it in fear and paralyze themselves.

So how do you dig yourself out of the sand, meet somewhere in the middle and make it okay to deal with the realities of life?

First, you have to be honest about life and know that it isn't always going to be easy street for yourself or those you love. Then you have to deal with it. Period. Know that avoiding it doesn't make it go away and eventually you will have to deal with it anyway.

By confronting problems whether they are yours or not brings relief and some clarity to the situation. It helps you move off of square one and helps to get you or others unstuck from believing their is no solution.

And, many times not only does it bring about significant changes it ultimately helps to eliminate the issues and then you don't have anything to bury your head in the sand about anymore!!

So the next time you want to run and hide when your own garbage starts to wreak or someone else is looking for direction, embrace it head on, say your piece and then let it go. Just deal with it!

That little act of dealing with what ails you or others will not only help you or them but it will release you from the stress that goes along with avoidance. And, there is nothing quite like facing reality, letting it go and moving on.

About The Author
To find out more about how to stop wasting your time and begin living your best life now, go to: Susan's work has inspired people from all over the world to take back their power! Learn the secrets in Susan's new book: "The 7 Keys to Unlock the Power Within You" found at=>

The author invites you to visit:

Article Source: