Friday, July 31, 2009

Some tips in "Goal Setting"

Many of my friends complain of feeling powerless to events influencing their life right now. Certainly there are many factors beyond our control that can affect us, such as the economy, our jobs, the value of our savings or retirement plans, our mortgages, etc. So, I have been telling them to regain some sense of control. The first thing you need to do is to work on a vision of how you want your life to be, as well as a clear plan on how to get there. It is surprising how many times I ask friends about the direction they want to go in, only to discover that they are simply wandering along just letting life happen to them, all the while wishing that their dreams would come true.

Why should we sit back, waiting for life to happen as it will, when we have the power to set our own goals and the energy and desire to make our dreams a reality? Setting goals puts you squarely in charge of your own life, and that is a very desirable situation. That is why I have decided to share a few simple tricks I have found helpful in making goal setting even easier and more successful.

1. The physical act of writing a goal on paper helps to anchor it in your mind, so write your goals down every day, and make certain that you keep your goal centered on you and not someone else.

2. Be sure to state your goal in positive terms, as such statements draw positive things your way. For example, "I am always on time" is preferable to "I am never late."

3. Our subconscious only understands present time. So, if you create goals that are set in the future, your subconscious will keep those goals in the future. For this reason, it is best to always write your goals as if they were already happening or had already happened. You will also want to prioritize your goals.

4. State your goals clearly and precisely so that the Universe and your subconscious know exactly what YOU want. Using strong words that evoke emotion and command action helps to call forth the energy needed to move forward.

5. And, most importantly, when you write down your goals, imagine yourself already being, doing, or having the things that you are dreaming about. This will further activate and imprint your goals on your subconscious.

I hope that my tips, will help to make your dreams a reality. It may take some patience, and you may need to readjust your goals to the time, but I feel confident that you can achieve the goals you set for yourself. I just hope that you feel it as well!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Enjoying Summer

While the thought of summer may bring to mind hot, languid, lazy days, in reality our daily life may be far removed from such images. Many of us have to balance demanding working schedules, busy children, and a long list of "good weather" chores to be done around the house. With the likes of such to contend with, a season we expect to be relaxed could actually be quite stressful. However, even with a busy schedule, you can make your summertime a healthy one, and here are a number of suggestions to do just that.

Did you know that having friends can help you live longer, and even more so than your family members? It's true! Research in Australia has shown that people live longer if they have good friends. So if a busy summer schedule has cut into your friend time, why not make a phone call to one or two of your close friends. Schedule some quality time, like meeting for afternoon tea or planning to run early in the morning together to catch up and get some exercise at the same time.

And speaking of exercise, finding opportunities to get outside for some exercise while enjoying nature can stimulate your metabolism, relax your mind, and soothe your spirit. Just a regular thirty minute evening stroll in the park or an early morning walk in the cool air can leave you feeling recharged and ready to face anything that comes your way. Plus, exercising every day will help you sleep better at night, especially if you get yourself into bed at a reasonable hour in spite of the longer hours of light. A good night's sleep can really help you keep up with a hectic schedule.

Healthy, fresh foods are another way to take advantage of the summer. If there's a farmer's market near your home, be sure to stop by for some seasonal treats like summer squash, sweet corn, and tomatoes. Summer is also a wonderful time for berries, which can be eaten fresh or blended into frosty, fruity smoothies. All those antioxidants you will be taking into your body will boost your immune system and help rev up your metabolism, too.

When you are out at the farmer's market, or on a hike, or visiting the beach, remember that the summer sun can be very strong. Be sure to apply good quality sunscreen to protect your skin. And always don your favorite shades to protect your eyes from cataracts and wrinkles.

Summer is one of the best times of the year, so even if you need to make appointments with yourself to get some fun time into your schedule, be sure to do it. Toss out any guilty feelings that you might have about taking time for yourself, and make the most of each and every day this summer.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Lesnar Show

If you may not know it yet, I have been a fan of the UFC ever since I've seen the first season of the Ultimate Fighter, where they had Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian. And since then, I never missed a single episode, especially if there's an event.

So Brock Lesnar, in the parlance of pro wrestling, had gone straight heel.

After bludgeoning Frank Mir to retain the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight championship at the hyped UFC 100, the former pro wrestling star decided to put on a real show. (as seen in right photo)

Lesnar ran around the octagon flipping off the Mandalay Bay Events Center crowd with both middle fingers. He shouted at Mir as the challenger sat on a stool trying to regain his equilibrium. Mir stood up and they went sort of nose-to-broken nose before Lesnar cackled with laughter.

In the post-fight interview, Lesnar encouraged the booing fans to “keep going” before continuing to taunt Mir.

No one and nothing was spared. Lesnar even turned his attention to the UFC itself, which paid him an estimated $3 million for the fight, pointing at the giant Bud Light advertisement in the middle of the octagon.

“I’m drinking a cooler full of Coors Light, Coors Light because Bud Light won’t pay me anything.”

Anything for the children at home, big guy?

“Hell, I might even get on top of my wife tonight.”

With his clown-show antics, Brock Lesnar just became the greatest villain in modern fighting. From refusing to tap gloves prefight in a sportsmanlike ritual to this over-the-top rant that came right out of the silly wrestling circus.

“Straight WWE,” said a stunned Dana White, the president of the UFC. “Brock went so far over the top tonight I can’t even describe it. I don’t think in the history of the UFC we’ve ever done anything like that.”

Postfight, White pushed his way into Lesnar’s crowded locker room and took the big guy into the bathroom for a private “discussion.” Lesnar himself described it as “a whip-the-dog session.”

“With women in here you don’t want to know what I said,” White said. It worked, Brock showed up at the press conference smiling, supposedly contrite and even drinking a Bud Light.

“First and foremost I want to apologize,” Lesnar said. “I acted very unprofessionally after the fight. I screwed up and I apologize. I apologize to Bud Light. I’m not biased, I drink any beer.”

It was mostly a chance for laugh lines, but it was still an apology. Lesnar said the pent-up energy of avenging a loss to Mir caused him to go crazy. “I’m a sore loser,” he said. “I don’t like to get beat. I believe I gave that fight to him. So there was a lot of emotion in this fight for me.

“Man, I was so jacked up. I’m used to selling pay-per-view tickets. I come from a business that is purely the entertainment business.”

And so that was the excuse. Lesnar didn’t flip, he just flipped the switch back into Vince McMahon’s operation where nothing is too over the top. The UFC, however, is real and it has tried to position itself not as a blood sport but one based on sportsmanship and mutual respect.

Lesnar did the UFC no favors in that regard. And neither did veteran Dan Henderson, who dropped a vicious forearm smash on an already knocked out and prone Michael Bisping on the undercard. Henderson then admitted he did it on purpose to avenge prefight trash talk. The UFC even went on to award him its $100,000 “knockout of the night” bonus. White also gave Henderson a talking to, but Henderson still said it “felt good.”

The damage done to the UFC’s mainstream momentum remains to be seen. While some will be repulsed, others will be drawn in. It’s cage fighting, after all. Things get out of hand.

That this occurred on the promotion’s biggest night, when the numerical significance of the card was expected to bring in a large first-time audience, wasn’t appreciated by the UFC. The night was electric and highly entertaining. And while it is likely to most offend people who weren’t disposed to giving mixed martial arts a chance in the first place, White was aghast at Lesnar’s act. This isn’t what he built. This isn’t what he wanted.

“What he’s doing out there tonight is not real,” White said. “You don’t have to act like something you’re not. This isn’t the WWE. I don’t ask these guys to act crazy so we get more pay per views. That’s not the business I’m in.”

In the meantime, the cementing of Lesnar’s reputation as the promotion’s most hated man is done.

“Brock hasn’t made himself very loveable,” White said. “They hate Brock.” For the UFC, a classic villain is business gold. He’s the ultimate leading man for the organization. Some loathe him. Some love him. No one can ignore him. For those seeking his comeuppance however, there isn’t a WWE storyline that can be written to stop him.

Lost in the antics was Lesnar’s performance, a brilliant effort that showed both his growth as a mixed martial artist and the immense potential. The question becomes, who the heck can tame this mountain of a man from the Minnesota woods?

Shane Carwin? Cain Velasquez? Mir in a final chapter of a trilogy of fights? No doubt they’ll get a chance, and no doubt they stand a chance.

The greatest beneficiary of each Lesnar snarl, however, lives in Stary Oskol, Russia, a man named Fedor Emelianenko who is considered the No. 1 heavyweight (if not pound-for-pound fighter) in the world. If anyone has the knockout power to stop the 6-3, 265-pound Lesnar, it’s Emelianenko.

Fedor doesn’t fight in the UFC though. He’s with its rival promotion, Affliction. He’ll fight Aug. 1 in Anaheim, Calif., in what is the last match of his contract. Affliction is hoping to re-sign him until 2012, but the UFC will come hard after him. More now then ever. And that means money, big money.

“Eventually Fedor is going to be here,” White said. “I want Fedor. We’ll end up getting that deal done and then we’ll do Brock vs. Fedor and we’ll do a huge fight.”

Time will tell, but the pressure to sign the elusive Russian has been ratcheted up. A villain was born and there isn’t an obvious superhero in sight. The UFC brought Brock Lesnar over from the WWE for just this kind of a sensation. And the big man has delivered – the good, the bad and the embarrassing.

Only Dana White has no scriptwriters that can contain him.


Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports' national columnist and author of "Resilience: Faith, Focus, Triumph"

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I have really been touched by the news this past month of the political turmoil in Iran. The protests and demands for freedom by the Iranian people have both moved and inspired me, probably in the same way that many have been inspired by the labors of those who became the founding fathers of the United States. There are many countries that still fight for even the smallest liberties that many of us of take for granted. Did you know, that out of 103 countries of the world, 43 are still not free? And that actually equals over a third of our world population!

In some of these countries, the population is kept in the dark, denied education and health care, and often left in a constant state of fear for life and limb. In others, women are denied education and live an extremely oppressed existence. And in still others, entire tribes or races are the victims of genocide. If what I am writing seems too terrible to think about, well it is terrible! I have to admit that, when I compare my life to the lives of people in countries who still struggle under the yoke of oppression, all of my personal cares and concerns seem very small indeed.

I certainly don't want to imply, that we should feel guilty about the freedoms we benefit from. On the contrary, we should be joyful and grateful for the many liberties we enjoy each and every day, because any of us could have been born in a country where we might never experience the independence and free will we have now.

We enjoy a number of very precious liberties, including the right to speak freely without fear of being arrested, the right to a free press, the right to practice the religion of your choice, the right to a full education, and the right to vote for your candidate of choice. And because these freedoms have been practiced for a long time, it has become an accepted and expected way of living. I just wanted to take this opportunity in lieu of the turmoil going on in our world to say how fortunate those of us who do benefit from such freedoms actually are.

"Freedom" may be a small word, but it carries a huge significance, especially for those who are still fighting for it and for those to whom it is nothing more than a dim hope. I am sure you will agree that we should greet each new day with a sense of humility and gratitude for the privileges and liberties we continue to enjoy, and that we should never take our freedom for granted.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Feed your mind

Did you know that keeping your mind active is one way to live longer and healthier? Studies have shown that when you "feed" your mind with new information, you are actually building brain cells that can benefit you, both physically and mentally.

And there are plenty of ways to do that. It can be as simple as thinking of a topic that interests you and then researching it. When you research, you expose yourself to a wealth of information. And with today's sophisticated online search engines, researching is much easier than it used to be. That makes it easy to keep your mind active without even leaving home.

And there are other means to find mental stimulation. If you are fond of formal classes, you could look into the curriculum offered at a local learning center, community college, or even a major university. Many universities now offer online classes, which really broadens your learning options. Whether it's a cooking class or a university course in psychology, you'll benefit from learning something new. You can also stimulate your "little grey cells" by visiting a local museum or watching historical, scientific, and other educational programs on television.

And don't forget the easiest and simplest lifelong learning pursuit, reading. A powerful activity for keeping the mind honed and sharp, reading is an inexpensive and pleasant pastime. Studies show that teachers and professors tend to keep their mental faculties longer, and this is attributed to their regular reading habits. So, settling in with a book is good for your health!

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