Category Archives for "Life Success"

Life success is when you are happy and satisfied on your path of growth and peak experience.

The Justification Trap

Have you ever allowed yourself to do something that you really should not have?

The human mind is a wonderful thing, however, it can work against you if you allow it to.

Is can be beneficial to understand how this can happen so you can prevent it, keeping yourself out of undesirable situations.

Last week, in my family we experienced a situation that is a good example of how the mind can lead us astray – if we let it.

My youngest daughter came to a point of thinking something was OK to do, when it was not.

It appears that her path of thought was supported more by her desire to do something rather than all the facts.

She justified, in her mind, that certain things occurred in ways that supported her desire.

The mind can do this easily.

This allowed her to make decisions that further supported what she wanted.

It’s a normal function of the mind that it tries to find solutions that support our desires – this is how we grow, develop and fully experience our life.

You may have noticed how your mind may attempt to circumvent your values in an attempt to take the shortest route to producing your desire.

You support this line of thinking when you take a small step allowing your mind to guide you to think something is acceptable now when previously it was not.

It’s usually a small step, but then another small step, and another and so on.

And you will find yourself doing something you shouldn’t.

This is where you may say something to yourself like;

“It will be OK this time”, or

“They didn’t tell me not to”, or

“But I really want this”, or

“Who will know”, or

“Just this once”, or

You may recall some of your own.

Here is where you need to be in command, to temper the minds tendency to give you what you want- no matter what.

This is an opportunity for you to solidify your standards and principles.

Every time you stop your mind from taking the shortest route to give you what you want, you strengthen the position of your values.

Even when you think you have developed habits that are based on your principles, still be on the watch for what you are doing.

Keep monitoring your thoughts and actions, your unconscious mind can slip into finding the easiest way to accomplish your desires without telling you – that’s how it’s built.

Don’t take for granted that you are all set with your thinking.

Change is constant with new and different circumstances coming before you that need your interpretation.

Continue to filter everything through your principles.

Justification is just a convenient way to circumvent your principles in order to get what you want.

Justification turns off the filtering mechanism you use to interpret what you do.

Vigilant thought management is the key.


“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Choose your

words, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.” — Anonymous

“The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny – it is the light that guides your way.” — Heraculitus

“The character ethic, which I believe to be the foundation of success, teaches that there are basic principles of effective living, and that people can only experience true success and enduring happiness as they learn and integrate these principles into their basic character.” — Stephen Covey

“Character and personal force are the only investments that are worth anything.” — Walt Whitman

Questions Expand Your Mind

Asking yourself questions is one of the best ways to get an answer.

Well, yes – that statement is obvious – but do you really get it?

Follow me here a minute – –

How many times do you let something undesirable continue to go on and on?

Why is this?

Part of the reason is that you may allow yourself to stew over something and replay the distasteful aspects over and over.

This mental activity does not support doing anything productive to find a solution or termination of the situation.

It actually just perpetuates or even enhances it.

I’ll bet you can easily think about some situations where you.

So, think again about situations where you have moved through into a solution or beneficial outcome.

What did you do to get to this point?

You asked yourself questions – didn’t you.

This may still seem too basic to you – what is he getting at?

OK, you move on with some change by asking yourself a question.

Why did this happen?

Who did this?

What do I do now?

How can I fix this?

You get the idea.

Aren’t movement, understanding and change always based on a question?

The point I am making here is that you will stay repeating the same thoughts and actions until you ask a question.

So then this leads to the fact that the beneficial outcome is based on the kind of questions you ask yourself.

Questions that probe deeper and deeper are the ones that are most valuable.

Questions that are bases on continually asking a question and being aware of the various answers you receive.

Questions that carry on from an answer you get.

Questions that continue to ask why – again and again – not just stopping at the first answer.

The quality of the outcome is directly related to the quality of the questions you ask.

This is related to a very basic concept – that there is always a new idea coming out of an existing one.

One idea leads to another.

Think about it – when you get an understanding about something, there are now new possibilities available that weren’t before.

The key here is that asking a question is the way that you seek that next understanding that builds upon the previous idea.

If you don’t ask – you remain with what you have.

Your unconscious mind may tend to resist this kind of probing questions if you are not accustomed to doing this.

Your mind will tend to just want to repeat what it has been doing.

This is where you will need to exercise your command over your thinking ability.

Learning to step aside from a situation to purposefully ask yourself questions with the purpose of developing new perspectives and understandings is a very valuable skill.

This stepping aside, quieting your chattering mind and asking questions is a skill that must be practiced frequently if you are to get it to be a normal part of your behavior.

You can only override your existing habitual ways of thinking by developing a new pattern.

One idea leads to another – and another, and so on.

Keep asking questions and you will find that you will get more and more appropriate and useful answers revealed to you.

You will learn to be receptive to more answers that come from your inner self and universal intelligence.

Be open to the feelings and varying ways answers are conveyed to you.

This is growth in action.

. . . On purpose.


“Every clarification breeds new questions.” — Arthur Bloch

“Asking the proper question is the central action of

transformation… Questions are the key that cause the secret

doors of the psyche to swing open.” — Clarissa Pinkola Estes

“The answers you receive depend upon the questions you ask.” — Thomas Kuhn

“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” — Albert Einstein

“The word question is derived from the Latin quarrier (to seek) which is the same root as the word for quest. A creative life is a continued quest, and good questions can be very useful guides.

Most useful are open-ended questions; they allow for fresh

unanticipated answers to reveal themselves.” — Source Unknown

“It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.” — Decouvertes

Reminder Of Thanks

Today I want to just remind you about recognizing and giving thanks for something that is important to you.

Here in the US, we will be celebrating our countries independence.

This is a big holiday here, which I presume most are in support of.

This holiday, as are most, is in celebration of something important to a group of people.

Taking time to pay attention to and recognize something that you are thankful for is a worthy activity.

Like the Independence Day celebration here in the US, many things are looked at once a year as a reminder of the meaning and why it is important to us.

This can of course be done on any schedule you choose.

Once a year is good for some things, but more frequently may be desirable.

There are things you can recognize daily or even more often.

Anything that is important to you,

Anything that has deep meaning to you,

Anything that you want to be a part of your daily life,

A way of thinking,

A person,

An activity,

A behavior,

A mindset,

A perspective,

Anything that you feel thankful and grateful for,

Can and should be noticed and celebrated often.

Often enough to keep it a part of your daily operating system,

Or as some call,

“Your map of reality”

The way to have the things that are truly important to you be an integral part of the way you think and behave is to be appreciative and thankful for them.

Since it is so easy for our moment to moment thoughts and activities to cloud out things that are important to us, it can be very powerful when you purposefully keep yourself aware and reminded on a regular basis.

Even with something like national independence, wouldn’t it be of value to be aware of all that it may mean to you more often than once a year?


“The grateful mind is constantly fixed upon the best. Therefore

it tends to become the best. It takes the form or character of

the best, and will receive the best.” — Wallace Wattles

“Gratitude is an opener of locked-up blessings.” — Marianne Williamson

“The enlightened give thanks for what most people take for granted. As you begin to be grateful for what most people take for granted, that vibration of gratitude makes you more receptive to good in your life.”

– Michael Beckwith

Stop your busy activities for a moment

Take a look at what you have been doing and thinking for the last few hours or day.

Are you supporting what you want in your life or are you caught up in hectic reactive behavior?

Of course there are many things which you must do,

But in order to enjoy more of what you want,

You must gradually insert it into your life – yourself.

Ask yourself,

How could I have done things a little differently?

What can I do now, and tomorrow that will bring in a little more of what I want into my day?

Come up with a simple plan of how you will do it.

Schedule it in, go over in your mind what and how,

Use reminder notes, set your watch or phone alarm as a reminder,

Whatever you can use to jog yourself out of the routine just enough to insert a little something different.

Change is usually done little by little more often than through a big event,

Yet we tend to hope for the big event.

While you are waiting you can do it a little at a time and before you know it – you are there!

Checking up on yourself everyday is a good way to discover what to change and how do go about it.

Come up with a balance of doing what is necessary along with a continuous process of growth.

The growth part can very easily slip away, getting consumed by all that you think you need to do in a day.

The power of the human mind is in the ability to exert command over your thinking and what you do.

Choose to step in and be the director of your behavior.

Enjoy the discovery,


March 30, 2006

Doing what you want

One of my newsletter subscribers was talking about how she wants to become a writer, so I though I would comment about getting started with something new.

First, doing something on your own takes self discipline, you don’t have a boss keeping you going enough to get things done.  It is amazing how much time can fritter away if you do not keep yourself on task with what your specifically want to be doing.

Us humans, we can easily fall into that place of continuous preparation, never taking enough purposeful focused action to accomplish anything meaningful.  You may find that you must be an even tougher taskmaster to yourself than your boss was.

It will take motivation to do this.  Motivation and drive that come from a deep seated burning desire.  This is where you will discover the energy behind passion.  If you don’t have sufficient inner drive, it will be tough to get yourself to do what you must to succeed at what you want.

This deep desire is what helps you to be able to do what may be uncomfortable and that which you would rather not do.  There is a part of all of us that seeks comfort over all else, and it will win over your use of time if you do not have enough drive and self discipline.

Now, this deep desire comes from your purpose, your reason for being, your why.  If what you want to do is tied to your purpose you will be getting assistance from your subconscious mind as well as Spirit.  Although, you may be getting in your own way and sabotaging yourself with some of your past habit patterns.  And this is a subject all it’s own.

You don’t have to be able to state what your purpose is, don’t stress if you don’t know, most people don’t know.  However you can get a clue about it by what you are deeply drawn of urged to do.  You must be careful to separate your deep signals of desire from your ego desires.

The other main area to think about when starting out in something like writing is to learn about the field of writing.  What kinds of writing are there, what are you inclined to do?  Are you looking for a way to make money from it?  When you study the field you will discover many various avenues of possibility.

Now I’m not trying to be a wet blanket here but getting something published can be a long arduous process.  I highly urge you to really research well the different ways to get published and understand them all before jumping in.  There may be writing opportunities for you that you have not though of that are a little different from what you initially thought you want to do that may be appealing and have better pay prospects.

Be careful for people selling all kinds of magical ways to get published quickly and easily, they are not all they are cracked up to be.  Just know what you are buying.

And also it will take persistence and determination, which is supported by your inner drive.  Keep yourself doing purposeful activities that lead to the results you want and you will move in the direction of your desire.  You do know the sure fire ways to never get to where you want to be are?  Quit or don’t even start.

Another warning.  I said earlier that you need to know about what you want to do before doing it.  But you certainly do not need to know ALL there is to know, get started in whatever way you can as soon as you can.  ‘You will learn the most about anything by immersing yourself in it.  Don’t get stuck thinking you must know it all before proceeding.

All that you will encounter on your way to what you want is part of your life journey, just keep going – do something about it now.


Get more with “Effective Personal Development Newsletter”

February 18, 2006

Be In Place To Win Your Happiness

Watching the Olympics going on in Torino the last few days has revealed a lesson we all can use.  To always be ready, prepared and in position to win.

The American skier, Ted Ligety won the Alpine Combined event because he was there and he has given it his best.  He was not favored to win before the race, but when the predicted leaders had troubles he was there.  Had he not given it his all, someone else would have been there.

Then, yesterday in the Snowboardcross final race when American rider Lindsey Jacobellis crashed near the end, with a sizeable lead — Tanja Frieden of Switzerland was there to take the gold.  Tanja had kept striving after an earlier mishap on the course that slowed her down.

Be There

Both of these people were there, giving it all they had — ready for the opportunity to present itself.  They could have not given it their all figuring that they were not favored to win.

How about you — are you ‘there’, giving it all you’ve got?  Success comes to those who are ‘in the game’ and ready for the opportunity.  One difference between you and an athlete is that every person can be successful in life, where in the Olympics there is only one gold metal per event.

In order to succeed at the things in your life that you want to succeed at, you must get yourself in the position to do so.  If you want a different job or career, what are you doing about moving in that direction?

If you want to be less emotionally reactive to things going on around you, what are you doing each day to change that?

If you want less stress in your life, what are you doing to both reduce stress inducing situations and learning to handle stress differently?

These things and more are common things people complain about, but do little to change.

Are you in position to succeed?

What is getting yourself in the position to win?  Being in the right frame of mind with your attitude and your thinking.  Being the kind of person that does, is or has what you want.  Doing the things that successful person does.

Just doing more reading ‘about’ the dilemma will only help to make you more aware of it, not change it.  You must DO things each day to effect change in your life, just as an athlete must train every day.  Just like an athlete cannot get good at their sport without continuous practice, you can’t get good at life!

Whatever it is that you want to work on in your life to change for the better, you must pay attention to daily.  Make time to think about it, contemplate it, ask yourself discovery questions, and notice when and why you do the things you want to change.  Make it your intention each day to notice doing these things, analyze your thoughts and behaviors and plan how they can be done differently.

Once you have decided how you can do it different, begin to.  Thinking about what you want is definitely important, but taking appropriate action is critical.  The thinking part is the preparation and helps keep you going, but you must take action.  Not just any action, but purposeful action — the right action.

Don’t quit too soon!

You don’t need to get it all done perfect at first, again like the athlete it takes time and repeated effort.  Another good analogy from the Olympics is the ice dancing pairs.  The American couple, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, who have been skating together for one year, are considered a new couple.  The well-established highly successful pairs have been together for several years, some 10 or more.

The idea to get from this is — don’t expect perfection after your first tries at change.  It takes time, just keep at it.  It is an ‘all your life’ activity not a one shot quick fix.

This cannot be done once in a while, I’m sure you’ve already tried that.  Most of us have.

Developing a successful life is an everyday thing, continuous self-improvement!

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Look for more articles here on self-improvement addressing topics like motivation, goal setting, self-confidence and living a purpose driven life.

Grow, discover, and thrive,


John Halderman, a writer, speaker, and trainer intent on helping you get real results from your personal growth efforts.

He supports methods, tools, and knowledge that bridge the gap between information and effective results.

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