Self-Improvement and Interesting Knowledge

A dear friend of mine sent me this e-mail a little while ago. This is a snippet from that e-mail;


Last week I was downloading some free game apps onto the iPad.  One was Monopoly Hotels or something.  Money literally falls from the sky just in case you need a few extra bucks to buy something.  I can see why people get interested in these types of games because they are a bunch of quick wins.  But I was trying the game out and all I could think of is that there isn’t even a story.  Just fake money and a bunch of cute graphics.  You can’t even do anything wrong.  I was disturbed because I thought of all the people who play the game or similar games and what a waste of time it is.  I can see it as stress relief, but if people spend more than that on it, I literally think it’s a waste of time.  But I wonder if there is some mandate or ulterior motive for which these games are made.  To keep our attention in a screen, to zombify us, to keep us weak? Take our money through some new App?


Although I do enjoy video games, when I get really involved and spend all my free time playing I feel that it isn’t good for me.  I don’t feel guilty for goobing around, just that I should be paying attention to life and working on myself.  Developers research what makes games hard to stop playing and routinely implement these things into the games.


Her final question was whether I think that it was wrong for her to play too many video games. This is my reply:



In this day and age videogames have taken over as perhaps the premier form of modern entertainment. People have many devices in which to play these games and you can see somebody playing just about anywhere, now that tablets and smart phones are much more affordable.

Being far older than I look, I can remember that day when people used to worry about television and how this evil little device was going to take over the minds of the world, turning us all into zombies that would work all day and then come home to drool in front of our televisions. And before this it was the radio the people feared; people would sit around listening to the little box just like they now sit in front of the TV or in front of the monitor playing some videogame.

People have always wondered about these seemingly simplistic forms of entertainment. In many ways they are rightly concerned that many of these programs or video games are truly just a waste of time. They worry that their precious time is taken up by menial and silly things that are not worthy.

Generally speaking, I do agree that there are many programs and games out there that are really just a waste of time and they are specifically designed to hook the attention of the viewer. These games and programs can be quite destructive because they have an addictive quality. And as my friend mentions in her e-mail, the makers of this entertainment seem to design their programs in order to take advantage of the weaknesses that we all suffer from.

But are all these games or all of these television programs bad?

The answer to this is and an emphatic no!
It has been a long-standing trend to consider these forms of entertainment a waste of time. I personally believe it comes from our Puritan background where we consider ‘idle hands to be the devil’s work’. People sitting in front of some kind of monitor with very little movement tends to engender a reaction in others; this reaction is never a positive one.

When television was the biggest evil in the world, people believed that watching nonsense on television amounted to not only a waste of time but of depravity of the mind. Certainly all television is terrible, they would think, and even what would later be called educational television was still largely a waste because there you were sitting in front of that boob tube drooling; how much can someone learn like that? These critics thought that there wasn’t much to be gained from television and that the only real way to learn and experience was to do it physically.

While people seem to be a little more active while they play video games, the lack of physical action engenders the same feelings that were once generated by the television or the radio. Videogames are seen as even worse because there is, to my knowledge, no such thing as educational video games for adults. In other words if you are a person of a certain age and you are playing video games, you are essentially wasting your time. Most likely you are even learning terrible things because most videogames involve some kind of killing or some other horror, or so it is believed by non-videogame players.

But believe it or not these forms of entertainment are highly valid forms of personal growth. This seems like an impossibility to the Puritans out there but human growth is not a purely physical affair. Our subjective, highly personal, experience is an incredibly important part of our lives. It is true that most people tend to believe that subjective experience can only be gained through objective action, that is people believe that you must experience things and from this physical experience you grow subjectively. But this subjective growth without physical action goes on all the time; for example in our dreams there is no physical action at all and yet our dreams help us immensely in our personal growth.

  • Playing video games might seem like a waste of time but it is not. When we play a videogame it is usually because we like that game, this in and of itself is a subjective experience that teaches us about our personal likes and dislikes and it allows us to define the parameters of our personality. Since videogames are so prolific and have such a varied nature, they can truly help us fine tune our desires and as a result the scope of our personal values.
  • When we are playing a game that we like we are playing this game because there are certain facets within it the challenge us or inspire us in some way. This personal inspiration allows us to fully experience these facets that we covet so much. It allows us to experience new ideas and to formulate our own conclusions about what would be better or worse. Many artistic individuals find great inspiration to videogames, not because they are copying something that they see but because the subjective act of pursuing something they enjoy allows their minds to make a quantum leap into new possibilities that then discovers new ideas. These discoveries are often even more fantastic than the original game.
  • Sometimes we pursue a certain game because we are curious in an almost morbid way. People seem to forget very quickly but as children we are all quite morbid. We love to pretend that we are dead or that we are killing someone in the most terrible way. Children do not do this because they are evil but they do this because they have a more free approach to their subjective reality. They explore what it would feel like to die in the most terrible way, what it would feel like to kill someone and in this way they understand the reasons why they shouldn’t. When we are drawn to violent and destructive videogames, we are doing very similar things, we are exploring what it would be like to experience certain terrible situations and what it feels like to destroy an opponent or kill a monster.
    As long as we are willing to explore our feelings while we perform this subjective and morbid exercise, we will soon discover that these are just passing fancies. When a person learns to listen to his subjective desires, he or she will realize that a certain game becomes quite boring after a while and it is in this way that the subjective part of the individual changes perspectives and pursues new games that inspire new subjective ideas and ideals.
  • Videogame can help the subjective individual state by allowing a person to release certain hormones and emotions that might have been built up during the day. Often when people engage in very violent or sometimes even very whimsical videogames, they do so because they are trying to pursue a type of release that they are not getting in their physical life. While it is the case that indeed a person should try to pursue objective change, it is also the case that this kind of subjective/hormonal release is a necessary component within all of us. Those that usually engaged in terrible ‘physical’ violence are usually those that do not allow themselves this kind of release; instead they try to control these terrible feelings that they are experiencing and bottle them up. After a while the bottle becomes quite full and it explodes releasing this anger and these frustrated feelings on the objective physical world.


Videogames are not a bad thing, they are source of growth and great subjective potential. Just like the radio and the TV before them, the videogames of today help us find internal truths. They also help us to find new growth as individuals, and even though this growth does not seem evident because subjective growth is a very difficult thing to measure, this growth is nevertheless palpable to those that enjoy these videogames. Their joy and their desire to explore new realms in the videogame world, is a subjective feeling that should not be ignored because it is an internal desire to explore new realms and internal possibilities.

Individuals that greatly enjoy videogames, and play them on a regular basis, tend to be people with huge imaginations. These videogames provide new ideas and the type of mental scaffolding that they use in order to pursue new ideas within themselves. This is especially true of introverts who need this kind of subjective vehicle in order to grow in ways that would be very difficult for them through regular objective means. There are those that would argue that introverts should get out there and experience “true” reality, but people that make such statements are people that are usually very unaware of the potential of the subjective mind and of the incredible power that many introverts have.

Subjective reality is a valid reality. In many ways this subjective experience is far more valid than the objective and physical one. It has become our custom in this modern age to explore our subjective experience through videogames, television, comic books, books, etc.
Do not deny yourself these subjective realities because you believe that it is somehow a wicked waste of time. If you explore your feelings, you will know when you are playing silly games or doing silly things that are wasting your time, and you will also know when you are truly inspired to take ‘action’ as it were in the subjective realm. Pursue your desires in this subjective realm and when you do so you will grow immensely as an individual.

Getting a handle on the QWERTY (or) DVORAK debate

DVORAK is a revised layout of the English keyboard that was invented by the US physician Dr. August Dvorak in 1932. It is said to be far more efficient and faster than the QWERTY keyboard that is standard today. A great deal of controversy surrounds the battle between these two keyboard layouts and their practical application. This paper is written to try and address some of these issues and perhaps help in settling some of the debate. I hypothesize and hopefully prove that DVORAK has great application in the relief of physiological stress that is accompanied by the heavy use of keyboard entry.

Most modern people have become used to spending a great deal of time in front of a computer. Whether this is because of the fact that people now work more and more in an office environment or because they like to spend a lot of time on the internet, the computer (the keyboard that runs it) has become a huge part of all our lives. As a result, carpal tunnel has become an endemic illness that affects larger and larger groups every day.

Basically if you spend large amounts of time on a keyboard, then it is quite probable that you will develop some kind of pain due to carpal tunnel; which is defined as a compression at the wrist of the median nerve. This can cause numbness, tingling, and pain. It can be cured to a certain degree by assuming a correct posture, developing an ergonomic working environment, and by wearing a wrist brace. But a large part of the problem is due to the amount of typing that we do and the stress that this causes on our hands and wrist joints.

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of carpal tunnel and you have gone as far as you can go ergonomically, then I suggest that you give DVORAK a try.

Is DEVORAK faster than QWERTY? Is DEVORAK more efficient mechanically than QWERTY? The former is a difficult question to prove because of psychological issues that I will get into later, but the latter can be proven with some calculation. In order to prove or disprove the efficiency of any keyboard layout, we must ask ourselves: Which are the keys that I must type in most often, and how hard is it for us to type these keys?
In order to answer the latter question, we can begin by finding out which are the most used letters in the English language? Fortunately there are 2 great sources that might be able to answer this(1):

  1. The first is the letter frequency used by Linotype machines. This is a keyboard operated machine that cast an entire line of text into one large piece of metal. These machines which are sorted by letter frequency for convenience, set the following letters as being the most often used (in descending order):
    Etaoin shrdlu cmfwyp vbgkqj xz
  2. The second is the Morse code letter frequency organizer; which organizes letters in frequency of use so as to give these letters the shortest symbols for ease of use (in descending order):
    e it san hurdm wgvlfbk opjxcz yq

If you look at a DVORAK keyboard (Fig 1) you can see that Dr August designed his keyboard with these letter frequencies in mind.







Fig 1


Perhaps these sources are old, is there more recent evidence? Actually as a result of statistical analysis, it is now possible to know with relative certainty the frequency of letter usage in English or any other language. The graph below shows the percentage of letter usage in the English language(2):











As can be seen from the above graph, both letter frequency measures are very accurate ( the linotype letter frequency is nearly identical to the new data). But how does this stack up when it comes to actual words and to typing in general.

In order to measure this I again referenced two sources to get the most used WORDS in the English language:

  1. The first is based on the combined results of British English, American English, and Australian English surveys of contemporary sources. These include; newspapers, magazines, books, TV, radio, and real life conversations(3)
  2. The second is a rank of word frequency calculated by running word list in wordnet dictionary database against a few popular search engines from 2002 to 2003 (4).

Using the first twenty words in each of these sources, I calculated the number of letters that are found in the central letter row of each keyboard layout. For example using the central word row of the QWERTY keyboard:

[A S D F G H J K L], we find that the word [THAT] has 2 letters that are found in this middle row.
We can say therefore that… 2/4 = 1/2 = 0.5 of [THAT] can be found in the most easily accessible row in QWERTY.

I did this same calculation for each of the twenty words in each separate source. You can see the result of my calculations on the two bar graphs below (to see my complete calculations, please see the bottom of article).










According to these calculations;
QWERTY has an efficiency of 36 %
DVORAK has an efficiency of 87 %











According to the second set of calculations:
QWERTY has an efficiency of 40%
DVORAK has an efficiency of 87%

With two statistically viable samples of twenty words each we can see that DVORAK is mechanically about 47% more efficient than QWERTY. This means that without having to move your fingers at all (just pushing down on the key below your finger), you can type a significantly larger percentage of English words using DVORAK. As a result, your hands and wrists will be far less strained and it should improve carpal tunnel by the large reduction on strain, stress, and fatigue.

As you can see from the two graphs, the words chosen by both sources are nearly identical, which is something that you would expect if these two sources are accurate. Because of the fact that we don’t have percentage of words used (actually I did find percentage of words used but it counted words and ‘lemmas’ so not really an accurate representation in my opinion), we can’t have 100% accuracy on our calculations. But with the above method, you can easily make a decent estimate of the mechanical efficiency of DVORAK. Also I did not want to pursue these calculations to a great extent because of the fact that generally speaking (a mean of the English population) we will all be using these words, but specifically we might be using words regularly that are quite different from this mean. For example if you are a biologist, or a computer programmer, you will most like have your own set of used words that are slightly or very different from the ones sampled here. In this case, you will have to try and come up with your own list of most used words and calculate the keyboard efficiencies as I did and decide for yourself whether switching to DVORAK will be of any help to you.

What about speed?
Well mechanically we can easily ‘guestimate’ that DVORAK should be about 47 % faster than QWERTY. Barbara Blackburn of Salem, Oregon seems to have given great credence to this when she became the world’s fastest typist using the DVORAK keyboard (212 wpm!)(5). But why then isn’t everybody switching? And why are some people finding it so hard to get positive results with DVORAK?

There are two big reasons for this and they both have a psychological basis:

*  The first reason is that it is actually hard to learn a typing format. In order to learn QWERTY, you probably began by playing around as a kid. You found your parents computer or typewriter and started to play with that. Eventually you had to take some kind of course in school, which you had to pass, and now you possibly find yourself in a work environment that uses machines that only support QWERTY. That was a lot of effort to learn one typing format!

This relates directly to the ‘learn to ride a bicycle’ weirdness. At first the effort to learn to ride a bike is hard, but after you ‘get it’, you never forget. You don’t think about what you are doing, you just do it. Learning a keyboard format is the same thing, it took you a bit longer perhaps to learn QWERTY but now you don’t think about it, you just let the fingers magically find the keys on their own. Actually if you had to think about it, you would probably screw up all the time. This is because neurological connections in your head have been established through repetition and without thought resistance, your brain will naturally take the neural path of least resistance. The less you think about doing it and just do it, the better you do.
But as anyone who is bilingual will tell you, you can have two competing and complex neural paths in your head. There will always be bleed-through (as in Spanglish for example) but your brain is complex enough to be able to handle both complex neural paths.

*  The second reason is that nasty/healthy tribe mentality that we all suffer from. Most of human history is the history of tribes. We are hardwired to instinctually identify with a group of individuals and to fight to protect that group and what it stands for. If I am from the small DVORAK tribe and you are from the QWERTY tribe we are going to be instinctually antagonistic towards each other. If I am from the PC tribe and you are from the Apple tribe…
Well you get the idea.

We are all very complex creatures that love our tribal connections( did someone say Facebook?), but sometimes those tribal connections don’t make logical sense. We can now be part of many tribes and can consciously choose which tribe suits our personal needs best.

Speed seems to be better with DVORAK, but you will have to prove that to yourself.
There is a great driving force in life; this driving force is called need. If you have pain and are suffering as a result of carpal tunnel yet you need to keep typing because of your job or personal desire, then I suggest that you switch to DVORAK. I believe that that the calculations above prove that point.

If you have the need to use DVORAK then I suggest that you take the time to learn this keyboard layout properly, which is actually a lot easier that you think. The links below will be of help I hope. I am not an affiliate and I do not endorse any of the products and sites below. They are given here as help and additional resources for any interested parties. (Great tutor for learning QWERTY or DVORAK) (Another real good DVORAK tutor) (A site that helps programmer’s layout their DEVORAK keyboards with optimal placement for key commands) (DVORAK in zine form)

(1)(2) Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia <>
(3) world-english <>
(4) insighting <>
(5)thelongestlistofthelongeststuffatthelongestdomainnameatlonglast <>







We are often told that dealing with people is a fine art. Often we are told that, “you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.” There is definitely a huge amount of information given on how to deal with people by complimenting them and appealing to their egos.


The thing is that if you look really deeply into this type of technique for dealing with people, you end up getting a bad taste in your mouth. Most people won’t admit to it, and they will play along the lines of how it is always a good thing to be nice to others. The thing is though that most of this complementing and ego boosting tends to be very shallow and untruthful. In your mind you get the picture of the person that is smiling at you but doesn’t really mean that smile. Personally I think of the hard-core salesman that would say anything to get you to feel good so that you would buy his product, or the retail person that must smile in order to get through the day but she hasn’t really felt like smiling for a very long time.


‘Political correctness’ also comes into play here where lately people seem to find it very easy to say what they believe they should say instead of being honest. What I AM trying to say is that this whole, “Win friends and influence…” type of game can be quite dubious at times. There is though a better way to deal with people using these techniques.


  •  First of all you don’t need to give someone a complement if you don’t feel like giving someone a complement. Be honest with them and yourself, there are times when people are not meeting your expectations and you should not complement them for it. To think that if you complement them you will get better results can be a critical mistake, one that is as grave as blowing your top every time you don’t get what you want. The complement technique has a time and a place and when it is used at the right time and in the right place it can help you and the other person by creating a positive atmosphere through positive feedback. When used at the wrong time it makes a liar out of you and the person that you are dealing with.
  • Never underestimate the power of honesty. By being honest with yourself and with the other person about how you feel about them, perhaps you can begin to help everyone out and reverse this whole political correctness craze. Imagine what it would be like if people got actual truthful feedback about how they are treating you or how they are acting towards others. No one tells the truth anymore, we have all become politicians.

But how do you do this “ win friends and influence people” technique correctly? Perhaps we should begin by only complimenting those people that truly deserve it. Because it is indeed the case that those people that are good to us do need this positive feedback. It is quite often the case that these folks who treat others with respect or who provide good service are not given the kind of praise they truly need.


The praise that they truly need is truthful. This kind of praise has a certain emotional quality to it that cannot be faked and when it is given to another person it is a truly inspiring thing. It can be even a small word or two but this is enough usually to boost another person’s spirits and to give them hope about what they are doing and who they are as a person.


Praise given because it is supposed to give you an advantage over someone else so that you can get what you want is not true praise. This Kind of false praise is made up of empty words that do not have the same emotional tone; which is a truly important thing. You are lying telling someone how wonderful they are so that you get what you desire and the other person is lying to you by smiling and accepting this token to their ego like a tip for a service that they haven’t even provided yet . In the end you have two people who are participating in what has come to become known as “the politically correct society.” Deep down we know what the truth is.


The other day I had to get some x-rays done because of a certain accident that I had been in. This meant that I had to go get x-rays on two separate occasions. The lady who took my pictures was nice and quiet and did her job as efficiently as she could. On the first set of x-rays when my doctor looked at them he commented on the fact that they were very good pictures and that the person that had taken them had done a good job. When I went to see this lady again to get the further set of x-rays taken, I went through the same routine as before letting her do her job in her quiet efficient manner. In my mind I thought of the doctors praise and thought of telling her about it but then decided that I shouldn’t because I would be bothering her. I felt shy and did not want to tell her what I had heard, and then I remembered the fact that there are times when a person needs to hear that they’re doing well, that they are appreciated for what they do.


I straightened up and I told lady that the doctor had said that she had taken some great pictures and that thanks to her, his diagnosis was a lot easier. It was an honest compliment given to a person who did a good job and who probably didn’t hear that very often. This was made evident to me when she told me that it was too bad that the radiologist in charge never said such things but that she appreciated the doctors comments because she thought that he was indeed a good doctor himself.

After a little complaining like this, she started to light up and became very excited about the fact that she did a good job, on perhaps a small matter since I’m sure that she takes many x-rays a day. She made sure that I had the numbers that I needed so that I could call and find out about the results to my x-rays and while she was taking my new x-rays she did a darn good job taking extra time and extra care with each picture that she took. My complement allowed me to get better service and results.


But the truly important thing here is that my complement was an honest one and it was probably a complement that was needed because the lady probably had not heard her work praised very much in the past. My complement had an emotional honesty to it that I could not fake and it was this feeling of goodness towards that other person that made this complement so powerful. It was hardly a couple of phrases that I spoke but I’m certain that it helped her greatly and it helped me by making me feel good about what I had done; overcoming my shyness in order to let another person know that they are appreciated.


You can indeed get what you want if you go around complimenting and feeding another person’s ego. But it is far more important that you become more honest and give praise only when praise is due so that we all begin to become more honest with each other about how we feel. It is also a type of responsibility to be able to get over your shyness and praise those people that truly do a good job and are truly helping you in some way because even though you sometimes feel like it’s not important enough for you to speak up, the reality is that those people who are truly worthy of praise do need your good feelings; those loving feelings that come honestly from your heart. A praise like this can give someone meaning and it can allow them to overcome difficulties in their own lives through the strength of your positive emotional energy. Give a little love when others deserve love, such honest emotion can only bring goodness into your life and the life of others.



One of the biggest causes of stress, anxiety, and negative emotions of any kind is our inability to cope with our mistakes. Even though it is a well understood fact that we are all fallible, a fact that is easily understood logically, making even the smallest of mistakes can cause an instant upsurge in blood pressure. Some people are able to see and accept the mistakes that others make without much trouble but they tend to fly off the handle, emotionally speaking, whenever they themselves make a mistake.

While I could go on and tell you about the fact that we are all imperfect creatures, that we all make mistakes, and that these mistakes are a natural part of our daily process, I doubt that it will help too much when it comes to forgiving yourselves for the mistakes that you make. The reason for this is that even though people can logically understand that mistakes are a natural part of life, they can’t seem to be able to reconcile the mistakes of others and the mistakes that they themselves perform. That is when people understand the concept that mistakes are a natural thing, what they are really doing is accepting the fact that others will make mistakes and that these mistakes are natural. It is much more difficult though for them to accept the fact that they will make mistakes and that these mistakes are natural.

See there is the real crux of the matter; accepting the fact that YOU will be making a lot of mistakes often

Why is it so hard for us to accept this? The reason I believe is that whenever we try to understand something logically, we tend to go through the process like any academic process; we tends to put it on the blackboard as it were and look at it in a detached fashion. We put all the facets of this particular problem outside of ourselves, structure these facets, and then figure out how they fit together to create this particular problem. While this is a very good way to understand logically why it is that we all do make mistakes, this is not a very good way to realize EMOTIONALLY that what we are seeing on the board is going to happen to us as well.

What you must do therefore is to begin to realize and to accept as fact the inevitable conclusion that you will be making mistakes. In order to do this you must consciously take the realization that you logically came to and put yourself into that scenario that you had previously only conceptualized on that imaginary board in your mind. By doing this you will objectively understand that you are not a detached being merely observing a logical conclusion but an actual person who will be affected completely by the logical conclusions that you have made.

Basically what you need to do is to take the last step in your logical reasoning. This step involves the conscious realization that you are the one that will be making those mistakes. That you will be making mistakes often and that you need to forgive yourself for these mistakes because they are natural.

Let me repeat:
you will make mistakes, many mistakes, and this is natural. It actually will help you to get better at everything that you want to do

I’m not asking you to make an emotional realization, because these emotional realizations can only happen through time and personal experience. What I’m saying is that you need to accept the final aspect of this logical conclusion that you are making and by doing so you will allow yourself to make mistakes without so much emotional trauma. When you can do that you will have taken a big step towards self-acceptance.

Self-acceptance is one of the most powerful things that you can do in order to relieve the stress and anxiety in your life. While many systems out there tend to really advocate a change in emotional stability, it is my personal opinion that in order to make deep and lasting change in your life you first need to make an objective realization and then through time develop the emotional stability that comes along with that realization. To just work on your emotional states will only have you bouncing back from one emotional state to another without ever fixing the problem at its root; which is usually a belief that you hold. These beliefs can best be tackled by using logical and objective thought so that you develop a natural inclination towards your desired goal. Essentially you are not fighting yourself you are expanding yourself and giving yourself direction consciously.

Incorporating self-acceptance can make a huge difference in your life. Realizing that mistakes are natural and that you personally will be making many mistakes as a natural result of your existence, can be one of the best things that you can do for yourself.

  • Accepting the fact that you will make mistakes, accepting yourself, can be very helpful. When you do this you are inspired to correct any behavior that you do not like or that you do not think was correct. If you make a mistake and you can’t handle that fact emotionally, then you will not try to correct these mistakes but you will try to ignore them instead, cover them up. By accepting the fact that you make mistakes and therefore accepting yourself as who you are, you will quite naturally take whatever steps are necessary to correct your behavior. Without personal recrimination you will logically or intuitively try to find a way to correct the mistake so that in the future you are able to function better. You will be a better problem solvers when you are not so emotionally distressed.
  • When you accept the fact that you do make mistakes, you are accepting reality. Since there are no perfect people, at least that I know of, then it is quite unlikely that you are the one true perfect being on Earth. If you look around, is there any person that you know or have heard of the has never made a mistake? Since the answer to this question is no, then why is it that you expect that you will never fail while others are allowed to do so?


Mistakes are there so that we know the right way to go. Through mistakes realize that what we have done was not correct and are therefore given an answer as to how to proceed next time. If we make a mistake that next time around then we are told again that this too was a mistake and we must therefore correct our course by going in a different direction. In other words;

mistakes are our friends!

Accept the fact that YOU are going to be making many mistakes throughout the rest of your life. Forgive yourself for these mistakes and accept yourself. Develop self-acceptance and through this one act, relieve yourself of much of the stress, anxiety, and negative emotions that can make your life a difficult thing to bear.

Any kind of self improvement involves change. Change can be a very difficult thing for the individual because it means a totally new perspective or lifestyle; anything new can be quite scary. If this change is difficult for the individual who is often times wholly dedicated to changing, imagine how difficult this change must be for the people around you.

One of the biggest setbacks whenever we are trying to make any kind of personal self improvement, is the disapproval that we can sometimes experience from the people around us. It is sometimes the case that this negative feedback from the people around you can be caused by jealousy. Sometimes when others see you doing well in your goals, it can be very unsettling for them which can cause them to lash out at you.

This is definitely not something that is often discussed in self-improvement articles and other materials. It can be difficult to admit that often times the most difficult thing in achieving your goals is overcoming the negative angst from others. Whenever you make a goal and begin a major re-modification of some aspect of your life, you must be prepared to deal with the negative energy from others.

Sometimes this negativity can take on the form of a lack of any kind of positive reinforcement. Usually the first thing that a person notices when they start to make a deep change their lives, is that those around you tend to get very silent. This silence stems from a desire to not provide approval as a result of the other person feeling threatened by your good effort. Sometimes it is even the case that actual negative remarks are made which can be very damaging when you are expecting moral support and positive energy from those that you consider allies. Indeed it has been noted for example that one of the greatest hindrances to sobriety can be the family members or friends of the person who is trying to make a positive change away from a life of dependency*.

It must be realized though that this jealousy is very seldom evil intent. Generally what is going on here is that people are being forced into a change of routine and this change can cause huge amounts of anxiety for them. We are all bound by our routines and we hate anything or anyone that breaks these routines that we hold so dear. Routines create comfort because they allow us to participate in a cycle of activity that can be easily controlled. This control stems from the fact that we know exactly what we are doing now and what will happen in the future. This kind of comfort is most satisfying and is indeed a pleasurable thing, but when a person creates a change in their life there is a ripple effect that can affect all the people around them.

When you create a goal for yourself and are very successful in the changes that you wish to make, you end up affecting those people around you by breaking certain routines that they’ve held dear, that provide great comfort for them.

  • If for example you have a friend that you always went out for a smoke with and all of a sudden you are no longer there because you have decided to give up smoking, you create a routine break for that friend and this causes anxiety for him or her.
  • If you set a goal to become more financially successful at something and begin to see positive gains, then all your friends and family will see this as a change and therefore a break in their personal routine. If you could do it then why can’t they? Shouldn’t they be trying as hard as you? They used to believe that life was so and so and all of a sudden you brought a big change in their lives; one which usually instigates a forced introspection in themselves.
  • If you begin to practice a change in how you think about things, for example trying to practice the law of attraction in your everyday life, and you begin to have a more positive attitude, people can see this as a negative in their own lives. Again this is not evil intent, it is just that you broke another person’s routine; life was so and so and then all the sudden you came along and changed it. While you might find it quite negative that others are trying to destroy your positive outlook, you must try to see it as just that other person’s only way to cope with the change in routine that they now face.


This website is dedicated to giving you ideas and methods to improve many situations in your life. I hope that you use some of these methods and that they work for you, but I must let you know that these methods can cause some grief. This grief comes from the negativity that you might experience from the people around you. This negativity is not caused because these people have evil intent towards you but it is caused because as a successful person, as a person that has successfully implemented a self improving change, you are also the cause for change towards all those that are a part of your life. As you change, you change the way others perceive you and therefore perceive themselves and the world around them. You possibly change the way others relate to you and therefore create a routine break that can be quite discomforting.

When you begin any kind of self-improvement goal, be prepared to handle this negativity at first. It is just a change in routine which others will have to deal with. As one routine dies, another begins and once you overcome this initial negativity from others you will begin to see that this new routine that you are creating will create its own momentum and help you maintain the change that you fought so hard to make. By understanding that the negativity from others is just another little hurdle in your self-improvement, you will be prepared for this and hopefully will have the strength to overcome it.

The most interesting aspect of all this is that once a new routine begins, as the people around you begin to perceive you in a new way, this new routine will be an ally that will help you maintain the change that you have made. If you start falling back on your old ways, it will be those people around you that will help you maintain your new change by pointing out any discrepancy in the new routine that they have become accustomed to.


There are few things that can be more debilitating than the fear of rejection. This fear usually stems from a deep desire to be loved and liked by everyone that we meet, which is an impossibility. You need to develop a thicker skin or to figure out some way to be able to reframe what rejection means, or else you will be stuck without the possibility of ever going beyond the first obstacle of life; which is fear. In order to be a successful person, you need to be able to overcome this fear. This fear is a terrible thing because it will stop you from taking action.

If you cannot act, if you can’t put yourself or your work on the line, then there is no possibility of you becoming a success. Begin by realizing that in order to succeed you must fail, because it is through these failures that you will understand what you are doing wrong. You can either see this failure as a type of doom that spells your future disaster or you can see this failure as a growing experience that will show you a better path.
This is the logical conclusion and one that can be easy to say but very hard to do. The reason for this is that this fear has very little to do with your work or who you fundamentally are as a person. This fear is completely related to your ego and its inability to feel pain. The worst pain that the ego can feel it is an attack upon itself. Since it is nearly impossible to get rid of this ego, the best way to deal with it is to either come to a logical conclusion that it can accept or to reframe the meaning of the pain that it is experiencing.

In order to begin to overcome the fear of rejection then, you must realize that is an inevitable part of life. There is no possible way that everyone will like you or that everyone will like or love what you do. Since you can’t please everyone, then you must prepare yourself for the eventuality that someone is not going to like what they see.

Fear of rejection can stop us cold and can make us stop trying. If you stop trying, you will stop making progress and without progress there is no growth. It is the case though that rejection must not be taken lightly, it must be understood as an obstacle to overcome. This obstacle means that someone did not agree with something that you did or perhaps they do not like you because of whom they perceive you to be.
In either case you must take this obstacle seriously. By not trying to ignore it or white wash it with some flowery positive words, you have a far better chance of overcoming rejections like these in the future. Taking responsibility for this obstacle allows you to look at it in closer detail and without the crippling emotional responses that we usually feel when we are rejected.

If you take responsibility for this rejection, you can begin to take a closer look at what the mistake was. Objectively study the reasons for your rejection and see if it is caused by something that you did. If it is, then try to come up with a logical approach that will allow you to not be rejected like this in the future. If you are rejected because of something that you are and cannot fundamentally or do not want to fundamentally change, then accept the fact that this rejection is something beyond your control. Taking responsibility for the fact the you have been rejected and objectively studying the reasons for this rejection will allow you to detach yourself emotionally. Through this detachment you can see whether this rejection is just, whether this rejection is teaching you something, or whether this rejection is a prejudice.

Another good way to be able to handle rejection is to reframe what these rejections mean. When you can’t find that objectivity because you are deeply hurt, it is sometimes easier to look at things in a different way for a while until you regain enough composure to find a more detached and objective view. Examples of good reframes are the following:

  • Next time that you fear that you might be rejected, tell yourself that when your ideas are rejected you get the benefit of more information about what is and isn’t going to work. This allows you to get closer and closer to a successful outcome.
  • Tell yourself that nothing that people do to you is personal. People have their own reasons and their own anxieties for whatever it is that they do or say. There is no reason for you to feel badly about what they say because any hurtful rejection from another person usually means that that person has many negative beliefs and anxieties that ‘they’ have to deal with.

A reframe like the ones mentioned above, can help you greatly in achieving a state of detachment. Through detachment it is much easier to examine any rejection that you might face and to grow from these whenever possible. There is no reason to fear rejection if you realize that rejection of any kind is always a lesson. It is your decision whether you wish to grow from this lesson or whether you wish to take it personally. Remember though that sometimes the lesson is simply the fact that you need to be able to understand that others will judge you through their own particular beliefs and ideas, which can be wrong. When this is the case, the lesson means that you need to understand that people aren’t perfect, just like you.

If you want to have a happy and productive life, you need to learn to manage your emotions. The emotion that gets us into the most trouble is anger and it is critical that you manage this emotion or else you won’t be able to function very well around other people. Whether you become aggressive, scream and yell, or perhaps even violently lash out of other people, you need to realize that angry emotional outbursts like this can wreck a career, a marriage, or a good friendship.

As I’ve told you before, it is never a good idea to try and suppress an emotion. Certainly you do not want to try and block an angry emotion or impulse because this will only lead to greater trouble in the future. Anger is a natural emotional response to certain stimuli and it is as important as the feeling of joy or love. To suppress this emotion will make you feel powerless and this will instantly lower yourself self-esteem. If you keeps suppressing your anger, over time you will become so frustrated that you will eventually explode either by hurting others or by hurting yourself.

What you need to do is to be able to manage your anger by discovering the beliefs that are causing this anger in the first place. Remember though that it could quite well be the case that the anger that you are feeling is quite justified. Anger allows us to confront difficult situations so that we change that which we do not want in our lives at the moment. If you do feel anger, then allow this emotion to happen and discover why it is that you are having this angry feeling. Also you need to let this emotion help you when you know that you will be facing rather scary odds; anger can sometimes be your best friend.

If you have been suppressing your anger for a long time or if you know that your anger is completely out of control, then you must begin by immediately trying to discover what it is that is causing your angry outbursts. The best way to do this is to allow your emotions to take place as I have told you above, and through this release, discover why it is that you are getting so angry. If you think that you can not express your anger in public, then I suggest that you wait until you are somewhere by yourself and in this quiet and confidential atmosphere let your anger go. Scream, rage, punch whatever it is that you need to punch to express yourself fully and as you do ask yourself; “why am I feeling this way?” Allow yourself to feel this emotion totally and through this release you will naturally discover the beliefs that you have that are causing this emotion.

If you’re having trouble with this method then you can also try reviewing these typical beliefs that cause angry outbursts:

  • No one must ever treat me poorly or disrespect me.
  • The world must not be unjust or unfair, especially to me.
  • I must get what I want when I want it and nothing should get in my way.
  • No one should ever make me feel guilty, inadequate, embarrassed, or ashamed.
  • No one and nothing must ever expose my weaknesses or my mistakes.

As you read the list above, see if any of them ring true in your heart. This will give you a clue as to what beliefs you are holding right now that are causing your anger management problems. Study this phrase that pertains to you and try to do a little backtracking. Keep asking yourself why you feel that the statement is true. Discover your own feelings and beliefs as these will always tend to have their own personal quirks; since you are an individual with your own personal characteristics and problems.

As you study these beliefs, and find out which one applies to you and in what reason in particular, decide whether this belief is an empowering one or a disempowering one. I am not here to tell you that something is right or wrong or that you should follow some moral code or another. This is for you to judge and to examine personally. Discover for yourself if the belief that you now hold, that is causing your anger management problems, is right or wrong for you now.

If it is wrong, or you feel that it is disempowering and you wish to change it, have a little talk with yourself. Have a debate with yourself, ask the part of you that believes this beyond a shadow of a doubt whether it might be wrong. Debate this belief with this part of yourself until you can make that part of you change its mind. Use logic and honesty to point out why it might not be a good thing to believe that the world is unjust and unfair for example. Use past experiences in your life to let that part of you know that indeed it is not always true that the world is an unjust place. Continue this debate for as long as you need to and have this debate as often as you think you need to have it, until you can get that part of you that believes this to realize that it is wrong.

There’s no need to hate that part of you or to try and defeat it. This part of you is most likely trying to help you and thinks that you need to have these angry outbursts because it is the only way that you can get something that you need. Show this part of you that there is a different way to go about it, that there is something else that it might want to believe instead because indeed the old belief was not correct.

When you can make this personal change you will find that your anger will no longer be an issue. This is not a fix that will last a lifetime, you are constantly changing and growing and it is quite likely that you might need to have a debate with yourself in the future about a different belief that you do not find empowering.

In the last article, we had discussed how ingestion alone will not allow you to acquire all the energy that you need in order to stay healthy. We are conditioned to think that all of the energy intake that we need has to come through some kind of food or drink and as a result we tend to believe that this is the only way that we will get the energy that we need to stay healthy and strong. The reality of the situation though is that there are different ways to acquire this energy and even though you should not stop eating, you should use these other methods so that you have the extra energy that you need to give your best every day.

Extra energy absorption will not only give you greater strength to be able to tackle those things that you must confront every day, it will also keep you healthy and give you the energy to fight off infections and diseases that can take their toll on all of us. This becomes more and more important as the human population increases.

It is the case though that you should maintain a good diet, now this does not mean that you should become some kind of health nut, only eating those things that you think you should eat. What you should do instead is listen to your body and listen to your own rhythms and in this way discover those things that give you the most energy and make you feel good. Listening to your body when it tells you that it feels good goes a long way to understanding what it is that your body craves and why. There is no need to give up meat or to start eating meat if you are a vegetarian; what is most important is that you listen to your own body needs, cravings, and desires and in this way find your optimal diet.

You should also make sure that you exercise on a regular basis. Again you should not become some kind of health nut because this is actually detrimental to many. Try to do something light every day, like a pleasant stroll to get the blood moving through your system. This general movement, allowing the blood to flow and the heart to beat just a little faster, is enough to keep you healthy and energetic. Again this does not mean that you should give up heavy exercise if that’s what your body craves and what you think you like and need. You must remember to follow your cravings and listen to what your body needs.

Beyond this here is an exercise that is called ‘the child of the Sun’, it is another exercise that was developed to allow you to absorb energy through non-digestive means. You can do this exercise every morning or in the middle of the day whenever you have time. I do not recommend that you do it at night because the energy absorption might interfere with your sleep.

  1. Sit with your back straight on a comfortable chair; it is preferable that you sit with this exercise since lying down or standing up can interfere with your visualization. This is an exercise where you powers of visualization are very important and they are directly related to how well you can absorb energy using this technique.
  2. Close your eyes and visualize the Sun, a great big flaming ball of fire and energy before you.
  3. Imagine that your body is lifting up and imagine yourself going into the Sun. Try to get into the middle of this flaming ball of fire.
  4. You don’t have to worry about anything because you are a child of the Sun and this is where you belong. Let the tremendous energy of this huge Sun flow through your entire being invigorating and strengthening every cell of your body.
  5. After about a minute return to your body, you can open your eyes and go about your business. If you think you need extra energy, try to stay in the ball of the sun a little longer but there’s no need to do this exercise for more than a couple of minutes.

If you are really good at visualizing, you will notice great benefit right away from this exercise. It is also the case that you will notice more energy as you go about your day, try to keep an eye out and notice that you will most likely be performing tasks without feeling so lethargic and weak, as might have been the case before.
This is also a wonderful exercise if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder. This visualization will greatly help with your mood and will give you the extra pep that you need in order to get by those gloomy days of winter.

There is a very powerful energy that many people are beginning to work with. This energy is usually referred to as ‘love’ energy and can be equated with the warmth of the heart that we feel for someone we love. This is indeed a type of great energy and must be separated from the petty sentimentality’s of the ego which is a completely different thing altogether. This energy is beyond man and exists as a type of internal nourishment and cohesive power that helps connect all the things around us.

This energy is usually seen as pink in color; pink not like paint but the pink color of radiating light, sort of like the beautiful pink that you sometimes see during sunset.

There are those that are beginning to work with this energy on a greater and greater basis. As a result they are beginning to discover new ways to make this energy available on a greater and greater basis to all the people in their lives. If you are one of these people, do realize that this is an energy that can be accumulated and used to bring great benefit to all the people around you.

It is possible that you might wish to help someone heal from an illness. It is also possible that you might wish to help someone out who is financially in distress. Whatever the case there is no fear of error with this type of energy and you can use it to help anyone that you think might need it. Sending this energy to a person or even a group of people will help them in the most remarkable ways. What is most interesting about this prayer or meditative practice, is that you are sending pure love energy out from yourself and you are letting this energy help that other person in the way that they most need that help. In other words you are not visualizing money upon them or health or whatever else you think they need but what you are doing is sending them pure loving energy that will allow them to receive that which they most need at the moment.

While I do call this a type of prayer, there is no religious connotation here at all. Prayers and this loving energy of which I speak are talked about by all great religions. I am going to show you a method here that will allow you to accumulate this loving energy within yourself and then project it to someone that you think needs it. This method has no denominational dogma and can be done by anyone without fear that they are somehow not being true to their beliefs. The most important aspect of this particular prayer is that you create that loving feeling within yourself before you project this energy onto others.

  1. Create a feeling of love or warmth in the center of your chest in the area very close to your heart. Imagine that you are breathing in through your heart and as you do so you are bringing in this loving energy into yourself. Visualize this wonderful energy as a glowing pink aura which accumulates and emanates from your heart and eventually surrounds your entire body. The feeling of being completely surrounded and consumed by this loving pink energy is very important so make sure that you master this step before you go on.
  2. Once you have this glowing energy about you, visualize as clearly as you can in your mind’s eye the person or group that you wish to help.
  3. Intend or will that a portion of your aura in the form of this beautiful pink light is sent to the individual or group that you wish to help. Feel love for this person or group and keep visualizing that wonderful pink light surrounding them until it encapsulates that person or group in a beautiful glowing pink aura.
  4. Dismiss all thoughts of what you just have done from your mind and think of it as mission accomplished.

It is possible that you will have to do this prayer/visualization every day for a number of days before you feel satisfied that the person or group has received the energy that you wish to give them. When this visualization/prayer is done correctly, it can have amazing results on the other person. The important thing is to never try to send this love energy with a particular desire in mind. That is do not try to send this energy with the hope that it creates something specific for the other person. This energy must be given freely and it is up to the other person’s inner being to use this energy in the best way possible to create exactly what they need in order to help them best.

It is sometimes the case that the only changes that you might see in the recipient of your prayer is on the emotional level. If this is the case then you should not fret because it just means that this was the most important use of the energy that you had provided. All external healing must come from within first so any internal change or emotional healing can be an incredible gift indeed. It is also interesting to note that using this technique to help others will also help you to receive an inflow of what can only be described as great spiritual strength.

Very few people are aware of the kind of energy that they have. For the most part they tend to become aware of their energy level when becomes really low, in which case they are usually looking for a power drink or a cup of coffee. The reason for this is that most people tend to believe that their energy level is a direct result of their metabolism only.

While it is true that the kind of foods you eat and how much you eat tend to greatly affect your energy levels, your metabolism is not the only source of energy intake that you have. Since science does not have any great understanding of subtle energy, it does not take into account the fact that energy can be accessed in a more direct fashion. Since science is our new religion, in the West we are mostly bombarded with different ways of increasing our energy level through the ingestion of different supplements, foods, and drink.

You must realize though that you can greatly increase the amount of energy that you have. You must first become aware of the fact that energy can be accessed through more subtle means. In Asia for example, the old ways have not been forgotten and people practice many different techniques in order to increase energy in their bodies. The practice of yoga and chi-kung are the most famous and best known in the West.

There are of course ancient Western schools of thought that have understood this subtle energy and have taught how to work with it as well. Ancient European people understood quite well that energy existed in many different degrees and that these energies could be tapped in different ways to provide different benefits.

I would like to share with you here at technique that you can use to increase your energy level. This technique uses breathing, which is one of the best ways to tap into subtle energy and increase the flow of this energy within your body.

  1. Find that nice relaxed sitting position either on a comfortable chair or on the floor. Keep your back erect. You can also stand to do this exercise if you so desire; if this is the case then try to take a comfortable standing position with both feet shoulder width apart and no slouching.
  2. Take a really deep breath to the count of five.
  3. Slowly relax your body and as you do so let the air out of your lungs for a count of 10.
  4. Repeat this exercise to a count of 10.
  5. While you are doing this exercise you must close your jaw firmly and clench both your hands into fists. You must keep your entire body relaxed except for your jaw and your hands. As you breathe in and out, think to yourself that each breath is bringing you a great surge of energy into your body and that this energy is being stored deep within your body.

The benefits of this exercise might not be noticeable at first. It usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes before you start noticing the great surge of energy that you have ingested into your body. This general increase in energy should last a few hours and should give you the extra ‘pep’ that you need to get through a hard day.

You can do this exercise as many times as you like during the day. If you are persistent and you do this exercise at least once a day for a month, you will notice a great increase in your overall energy level. Doing this exercise on a regular basis will allow you to fight off infection and disease and should actually even help you to increase your personal confidence since confidence is really just high energy level.