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Category » Personal Growth & Development « @ Barbara J. Henry

THE Importance of Faith(Originally posted:May 31, 2009)

To achieve true success, I believe, you must have faith, faith in yourself, and your abilities, faith in others whom you will need to help you, and faith in someone bigger than yourself; I call that bigger entity God.

Faith is a very common word with which all are familiar, and if I were to ask you to define faith, I believe it could be done with little or no thought since it is such a well known word.
But what exactly is faith? Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines faith as having: ‘complete trust, confidence, or reliance.’
Each of us has to have confidence, or faith in ourselves and abilities if we are to achieve any degree of success, but we also need to trust other people, those who can help us to achieve our goals,that group of people who supports and believes in us and the unique abilities we possess and with which we want to serve others.
I am sure we all agree that none of us achieves success alone.

But, for true and lasting success, it is my opinion, that an additional type of faith is needed, and that is a faith and confidence in one whom I call God.
You may use another name, or no name at all, but I sincerely believe that in all things, there is a greater force or power working, and when we have the faith to acknowledge and to tap into that powerful force, we succeed in our undertakings that add value to our lives and to the lives of those around us.

Faith in ourselves, faith in others , and faith in God, allow us to take risks, and risks are essential to growth, to increased faith, and confidence.

As you continue to grow your faith, you will continue to take the daily actions and risks, that allow you to expand and grow yourself.

Where is your faith?

Please use the space provided below to make a comment.

Moments of Quiet Reflection(originally posted:May 14,2009)

Taking the time to be quiet, to silence the mind and activities, help you to renew your energy, your creativity, and your gratitude.

Many of  you may have  forgotten how important it is to be still, to spend a few moments just quieting the  thoughts and the mind.
You may also believe that you should be busy, doing something, every single moment.
If  idle for any amount of time, you  probably think   productivity has been compromised.  This is especially true, I believe, for those of you who are high achievers. But more often than not, being idle or quiet, for a few minutes of the day, is exactly what is needed

Let me ask you: Have you ever taken the time to still your thoughts and activities and found in doing so that you were much more productive and creative after the period of silence ended?
Consciously building moments of silence into your daily schedule will improve the quality of your life and energize your activities.

It will also help you to become more in tuned with yourself, your thoughts, your goals and  dreams.

For those of you who are serious about personal growth and self-help, spending time alone is a must so that you can get to know yourself, who you really are, and who you desire to become. Trying to figure this out amid the noise and chaos of everyday living is impractical, if not impossible.

So much is overlooked or missed altogether when too many things are on the ‘to do list’.
Deliberately taking time daily to quiet your thoughts, to come apart for a while, will give you the energy, focus, and direction you need to continue your journey of personal growth and development; it will therefore, help you get a clearer perspective of the things that really matter to you.
So, here is the challenging question: Will you commit to working into your day at least a ten minute block of time, where you do nothing but quiet your thoughts and count your blessings?
This can be done in the morning, before the hustle and bustle of the day begin,  at night before you retire, or both.

I believe if you do this daily, you will soon be well on your way to accomplishing your goals, no matter how grand or lofty they may be.

Quieting our mind, our thoughts and  our actions, momentarily throughout the day, will produce fresh perspectives, renewed energy, as well as more gratitude and creativity.
Remember: Most great ideas happen during the quiet, the reflective, the contemplative periods in our days and nights. It is our responsibility to provide the proper environment for the flashes of insight just waiting to appear.

Let me know what you think by posting your comment in the space provided.

Growing from the Inside Out (originally posted March 31,2009)

Personal growth is an admirable undertaking, but don’t be too alarmed or too hard on yourself (or others) when the  desired changes take longer than  expected.

So much information exists now on personal growth and self-help. These topics are two of the more popular today.

Everyone it seems has some useful morsel or tidbit, that when used,will catapult us into a completely different level of success, if followed for 30 days.
Since most  growth is from the inside out, I wonder how much real growth can occur in such a short span?

Consider this: Many trees take years to reach their maximum height, and for others, hundreds of years are required.
But we humans, infinitely more complex than trees and other living things, want to believe that significant growth, permanent and life changing, can happen almost over night.
Real personal growth or self-help, I believe, takes years, and during those years, many challenges,which cause internal conflict and ultimate growth, arise. Yes, personal growth is an admirable and necessary undertaking throughout life, but don’t be too alarmed or too hard on yourself (or others)
when the  changes you desire  take longer than expected.

My journey of personal development began over 13 years ago, and although I have experienced long lasting results in some areas, I am still a ‘work in progress’, a work that will be constantly ‘under construction’.
For example, my patience, or the lack thereof, still needs to be worked on daily, and although I have seen amazing results in this area over the years, the true test, heavy traffic when I am pushed for time, still has not been passed with flying colors; most of the time, the only color I see is red, and until I consistently respond favorably in this area, I will continue to do exercises, write journal entries, read self-help books, including my own , and pray daily until I have mastered my impatience.

It would be wonderful if this area of my life improved significantly over night or at least over a period of thirty days, but so far, 13 plus years have elapsed, and I still see things that need to be tweaked in this area.
You and I both must also remember that because of our humanness, there will always be something in our lives that need work.

Thankfully there are tons of information and people available to provide the help needed.
So, give your self a break; don’t be so critical of your slow progress.
Keep working on you until you see the desired results even if it takes a bit longer than expected.

Please leave a comment below sharing your opinion with me. I ‘d be glad to hear from you and I will respond.

New Year, New Decade, New Growth

2011, is a new year, and it ushers in a new decade. It is the ideal time for all who desire change, or growth in any area of life, to go for it!

It is quite easy to be optimistic during the first few days of a new year,especially when it comes after 2010, a year that came in with challenges of sundry kinds, and strutted out the same way. Although 2010 was a challenge, that may be still felt, this year, 2011, is new, and it ushers in a new decade. It is the ideal time, therefore, for all who desire change, or personal growth, in any area of life, to go for it! The optimism that comes with a new year is especially helpful for setting goals, making plans and resolutions, and these actions can be the spring boards to success in many areas of life, especially in the area of personal growth. You need to remember that daily focused actions will always result in success. The key of course is consistency, and with a new year, as well as a new decade to consider, you should experience noticeable personal growth in those areas where you focus your attention and take consistent, relevant,  action. No matter what the year, or decade, success still follows planned, continuous action, and as a result, you will see your dreams fulfilled and your goals realized.

What to do Next?

* Identify your most important goals, plans, for this year, if you haven’t done so already;

* Write them down as clearly and as accurately as possible;

* Identify daily, relevant actions you can take to reach your goals;

* Share the goals with someone who is interested enough in your success to help hold you accountable;

* Celebrate the victories you achieve along the way!

Remember “Thank You” This Christmas Season

In our technology – driven world, we sometimes forget the importance of the little things, the small courtesies so important in  effective communication and relationship building.

The art of communicating gets more and more sophisticated daily, it seems.
For those of us interested in self-help or personal development, it is an opportunity to learn new ways to express our ideas, to expand our minds. There is always a better, quicker, more efficient way to say what needs to be shared, from skype to tweets and everything in the middle.

But, in our high- tech world, I believe  we  sometime  forget the importance of  the little things, the small courtesies so important in effective communication and relationship building.
Let me ask you: How often during the course of a day do you forget to say ‘thank you’ for the awesome work done, the fantastic meal, or the indescribable deal you received from a family member, friend, or colleague?
I know I forget quite often, and that is what prompted me to write this post.
Sure , you and I know we should express gratitude for what others do for us, and that is exactly what a ‘thank you’ does. These two small words let others know that what they do for us is noticed and appreciated.

The words send a clear unequivocal message that we know no one owes us anything, and when we are the recipients of acts of kindness, whether words or deeds,  random acts or intentional ones, we appreciate them, and we express our gratitude by saying ‘thank you.

During this Christmas season, there will be many opportunities to use these two small words. Let’s make it a point to use them every chance we get, this yuletide season, and throughout the coming new year.

What To Do Next?

*Consciously, intentionally, and sincerely, say ‘thank you’ for every act of kindness you receive;

*Perform random acts of kindness for your loved ones and others in your network;

*Remind small children (They may be too excited during this season to remember on their own.) to express their gratitude by saying thank you.

Please  comment below. ‘ Thank you’

Smile Please!

Your smile says a lot about you, who you are, what’s important to you, and how you view the world as well as the people in it.
A smile is such a simple gesture, requiring so little effort or energy, yet it can be the one action that changes attitudes and opinions.

How many times has your attitude, about a matter or your opinion of a person, been swayed or changed altogether by a genuine unsolicited smile at the right time?
Do you smile at others as you pass them on your way “to somewhere?”
You know smiling does not require nearly as much energy or effort as frowning does (go ahead; try both now). Yet, getting to the point where a smile becomes second nature can take many years.

You see, the genuine smile comes from a heart that has learned,usually through many challenges, what’s really important in life. The ‘heart smile’ is not developed overnight, or without sadness, struggles and many tears.
Frequently, its wearer has wrestled with some hard (heart) problems and has learned to smile regardless of circumstances,because he or she now knows  what is really important in life.
The person wearing  ‘a heart smile’ has conquered the doubts and fears of life that make it so difficult to smile.
This over-comer now knows that the universe is always alert and ready to give whatever support is needed for him or her to successfully continue life’s exciting journey.

During this holiday season, there are so many reasons for which to be joyful and grateful. Use every opportunity with which you are presented, to gift those you meet with a heart smile.
Your smile may very well be the only gift someone receives this Christmas.

9 Write Ways to Solve Problems

Do you need an effective way to solve challenging problems that linger and baffle you?
This quick guide to problem solving is very effective when used as directed. Follow the steps closely and see what happens.
  • Identify the problem as accurately as possible;
  • Write problem using as many details as you can;
  • Ask: what is the ideal solution to this problem?
  • Write the ideal solution;
  • Ask: how can I obtain the ideal or perfect solution to this challenge?
  • Write all of the possible ways(ethical, moral, and legal) you think you can achieve the best solution;
  • Share with supportive family members and friends the problem, ideal solution and ways you have identified to achieve the best solution; ask for their input;
  • With supportive  family members and friends,  pray specifically and consistently about the problem;
  • Move quickly to implement actions that are revealed to you.
The answer of course, will not come overnight, but it will come if you diligently follow this guide.
What To Do Next:
Write me after you have followed the 9 steps and tell me how effective they were in helping you to solve your major problem.

5 Inspirational Quotes: Jump Starts to Personal Development

I love reading, and committing to memory, famous, and not so famous, helpful quotes spoken by those who have made valuable contributions to our world.
Such quotes help me to keep things in perspective, especially when I am faced with major challenges.

Throughout life, I have sought comfort and help from the wise sayings of such great people as Emerson who believed that ‘imitation is suicide’, and Socrates who admonished us to ‘know thyself.’
Yes, these two giants, so different, yet with so much in common, have been a source of inspiration and encouragement for me for as long as I can remember.
It was their constant companionship over the years which made me realize that inspirational quotes that reflect ones values, mission in life, or ones philosophy, can give the boost needed to jump-start  self-help and personal development efforts.

Over the years, I have identified and tagged five (5) quotes that have helped me to persist in my self-help and personal development growth; they follow here:

1. “To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night dost the day,that thou then canst be false to any man”. Polonius (In Hamlet) speaking to his son, Laertes;

2. “Ancora  Imparo” ( “I am still learning”) spoken by Leornardo Da Vinci when he was well into his 80′s;

3. “Self -help is the best help”. Aesop;

4. “Imitation is suicide”. Ralph Waldo Emerson;

5. “Know thyself “. Socrates

The above quotes have been invaluable to me over the years, and although I am still a ‘work in progress’, I am confident of my role in this world, and it is partly because of the value I have received from the wise words of Emerson, Socrates, and others like them.

What about you? Do you have a quote or two that has helped and guided your personal growth and development?
If so, will you share it  with me? Tell me how it has  helped you to stay focused in your efforts to become all that you were created to become.

Got Resilience?

Many of  you know a thing or two about being resilient, that is to say, having the ability to get up, or bounce back, in a timely manner, after a challenge has derailed your best efforts.

This  ability to get up and keep moving successfully, is not developed over night; it results from a prolonged belief in your goals and dreams as well as the belief  that you really  deserve  exactly what you are striving to achieve, and you believe that it can actually happen,  and that you can do it! Through many trials and errors, you have made a decision to keep moving forward, no matter how treacherous the terrain.

Over the course of your life, you have come to realize that if you are going to be successful in your personal growth and self-help efforts, or in life in general  for  that  matter, resilience is, and always will be, a key factor!

Of course, some challenges are monstrous, and they demand that you treat them accordingly;  you must at some point, decide to assess the damage, make the necessary adjustments, get up, and keep moving toward your goals, a bit bruised perhaps, but much wiser,  and with a greater sense of self  as well as a stronger determination to succeed.

Success, I am sure you agree, demands the best from each of us; you and I  will always be able to give our best when resilience is a part of  the success strategies used.

So, I say to you: Learn the lesson(s) the challenge can teach you; get up, get back in the fight, stay the course. By doing so, you will become the self assured, competent, successful overcomer you were created to be.

What To Do Next?

* Write a comment and share with me some of your true life stories of resilience;

*Decide now that you will stay with your goals until they are achieved;

*Look for and learn the lesson(s) each challenge can teach you;

*Get the needed help as quickly as possible, and keep moving onward and upward toward your goal!

The Greatest Christmas Gift

This Christmas may be the perfect time to get back to the real meaning of the season. Doing so can be  as easy as giving of yourself, your time, in special ways, to your loved ones.
This gift from the heart won’t set you back financially, and won’t that be great during this grueling economy?

Although no money is needed, giving the greatest gift will require some thought on your part because you must decide how, the best way, to give of your time, and yourself to those you love, something that tells each person how glad you are to have him or her in your life.
Do you know your loved ones well, I mean really know them? If you do, your task is easy because you know exactly what makes each one feel special.

If you start now, you will have all the time you need to create those very best things that will literally rock their worlds!

Christmas is the time for sincerity and genuineness, the time to take off the masks we sometimes wear, without thought, more often than not.
By doing this, you will discover the true meaning of the season and realize again, perhaps, that the greatest gift you can give this Christmas (and the remaining 364 days) does not have to come with a huge price tag hanging from it to show those special people how much you love and value them.

What to do Next?

*Think of that special something that is important to each of your loved ones;

*Show each loved one how much you care this Christmas by giving each of them that something that does not cost anything but some of you, some of your time, some of your thoughtful creativity;

* Leave a comment that tells me how you’re going to make this Christmas special for each of your loved ones without the huge price tag.

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