Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How to Get Organized for Life

Getting organized can be very difficult for most people. Appointments, grocery lists, dance classes, work, school, gym, visits, parties and of course cleaning the house, can all get piled up until you just don’t know how you are going to handle it all. Making a few adjustments in your attitude and your daily habits can have you staying organized for life.

1) First, you have to declutter. Choose an area and work on it until it is completely done. This could be something small, like a kitchen counter, or something more substantial, like a closet. There is no skipping this step. You will never get organized if you don’t get rid of the junk. If you tend to save things, you need to set limits for yourself. Don’t keep things longer than a set length of time. If you don’t use it within that time, say six months to a year, then get rid of it.

2) Inevitably, you will want to keep your child’s precious art, or the ticket stubs from your anniversary date. There will be things that come into the house that are special to you. Prepare for that eventuality by designating a “year box” for yourself. Keep it under the bed, in the garage, in a closet, or where ever it can go. Label the box with the year that it is, and keep your mementos there. Force yourself to be choosy and don’t keep things that won’t fit in the box.

3) Have a place for everything that comes into the house.
Do your keys have a place? Does your laptop have a special storage space? Do you have an inbox for mail? Simply having a designated spot for mail can cut down on a lot of clutter. When the mail comes in, stand by the trash or shredder and go through it. Take bills out of their envelopes and throw the envelope away. Put bills that need to be paid in your inbox. Throw away everything that you don’t need and go through the inbox monthly to clear out old or outdated information.

4) Force yourself to follow small rules. You can’t expect to change completely overnight, but you can sort of brainwash yourself into behaving. When you are about to put something down, say aloud what you are doing. “I am putting the mail on the kitchen counter.” By implementing this little strategy, you will be conscious of the fact that you are making your home disorganized. When you put something where it goes, say aloud, “I am putting the mail in the inbox. Good for me!” These silly little positive reinforcements will have your brain trained to do the right thing in no time.

5) Laundry is a huge problem for even organized people. Time yourself when you fold laundry. If you fold it right out of the dryer, it usually takes between five and ten minutes. If you are a competitive person, keep a dry erase board by the dryer. Compete for folding/hanging time with your spouse, kids or just with yourself. Get that positive reinforcement by using wood hangers, like shirt hangers, skirt hangers and dress hangers. Wooden hangers keep clothes spaced nicely and the organized look is a subtle reward for your brain. You will trick yourself into wanting to hang up clothes!

Controlling your small everyday habits will save you so much time that you won’t believe that you didn’t do it before. Make it fun or silly and you will have your habits under control for life.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Motivation for Doctoral Study

The Motivation for Doctoral Study
Understanding Why You Want to Do a Ph.D.

Jul 22, 2007 Alistair McCulloch

Doing a PhD is a huge undertaking. Understanding your motivation will help you succeed and also help your supervisor support you. Five motivations are discussed here.

The Importance of Motivation

‘Doing a PhD is unlike anything else you will ever do. You must be sure you want to do one to succeed.’ That’s the advice any admissions tutor worth their salt will give an applicant for a doctoral degree. In your application form and during an interview, they will want to explore an applicant’s motivation for wanting to ‘do a PhD’.

A PhD student’s motivation can stem from a variety of different sources. Understanding your own motivation for doctoral study is important because it will dictate, in part at least, the type of research degree you study for and your likelihood of success. Understanding your motivation will also help your institution (through your supervisor) support and encourage you in the best way.

There are five main sources of motivation for the research student.

If you are doing a PhD which includes a project related to improving your employing organisation’s performance, then it is probable that you will have at least part of your fees paid and that you may be given time in which to study. The motivation here will be to complete a qualification where failure to deliver could have a potentially negative impact on your career because the qualification is tied so closely into your current occupation. Your project will be highly applied and, once started, and unless you change employer half-way through, you will have a very high chance of successful completion.


A research student whose motivation falls into this category is interested in doctoral study as a way of enhancing their employability. If this is you, you are likely to be as interested in the general skills and broad knowledge that you can pick up along the way as you are in the final qualification and the specific skills you need to complete the doctorate. You want these additional elements that the doctorate can provide as you believe they will make you more attractive to future employers. There is a high chance that you will choose to pursue a professional doctorate.

Career Change

There are a few careers where possession of a doctorate is a pre-requisite. These include university teaching and research scientist. If this is what motivates you, you will want to concentrate on completion of the qualification as quickly as possible and are likely to want to complete a UK-style ‘big-book’ type of thesis. Additional skills training will be valued only as far as it contributes to your planned career path.

Read on

* Improving PhD Completion Rates
* Choosing a Topic for a PhD Thesis
* Where Should I Do a PhD?


A student who pursues a PhD in a topic in which they are already interested and about which they want to know more, is likely to be highly focused on that topic, and will specifically seek the skills they need to complete it. If this is you, you may well be relatively indifferent to the requirements of prescribed generic skills programmes, although you may be motivated to attend for the ‘social’ benefits of meeting with other students. This will be particularly true if you have retired from employment.


If you are taking a PhD primarily as a means of self-development, then you are likely to be what has been trermed a ‘lifelong learner’. The very act of studying is its own motivator and, given the fact that you have studied successfully at the full range of levels prior to commencing doctoral study, you are likely to complete your PhD. However, given your emphasis on the process as much as the qualification, you must be careful not to run out of time.

Concluding Comment

It is true that studying for a PhD is unlike anything else you will ever do. Anything you can do to enhance your likelihood of success should be welcomed. Understanding your motivation will help you do this and also help you to choose your doctoral subject and the type of PhD for which you study.

Note: This article draws on a Guide to Postgraduate Supervision to be published later in the year by the Society for Research in Higher Education. The Guide focuses on Part-time Students and is written by Alistair McCulloch and Peter Stokes.

Read more at Suite101: The Motivation for Doctoral Study: Understanding Why You Want to Do a Ph.D.

The Body Language of Love

Do you find it hard to determine a man's body language and love? Is his body language giving signs that he is into you? How will you determine if it is already love? Body language and love is a game that is not easy to play. However, to play this game better, there are ways of knowing of a guy really likes you.

Body language and love should not be taken lightly. Most men are shy and don't know how to express their true feelings, leaving a girl like you confused and uncertain. There are times when men say one thing, but their actions say otherwise. There is a way of knowing if a guy is really in to you even if he doesn't say it up front to you. However, body language and love are still two different things. Just read his body language and you will know if he feels something more than just friendship. Here are some of them;

• Lifted shoulders - signifies that the guy finds you attractive and has taken on a more compliant side because he has found someone very exciting. This is like cooing over the latest model of sports car or motorbike. In the dating scene, this body language means that the guy is interested in you and wants to know you better.

• Pigeon toes - this toe in body movement means that the person is very much interested in you and is intimated by this feeling. By trying to make the body smaller, the person is showing that he is not threatening and is very harmless in fact.

• Palm up - when a person who is interested in you faces and talks to you, most likely that person will be talking with his palms up. This shows vulnerability and signifies his willingness to be open to you.

• Forehead bow - a person is very in to you when he uses the forehead bow. This gesture is tilting the head a little forward and looks at you under the eyebrows. The tilting head and the bedroom eyes is an old flirt move used by men ever since.

• Genuine Smile - if a person smiles at you with his eyes, then that smile is genuine and only means that he is very interested in you. Chances are, he will hold your glance a little longer, and sending signals that he wants to know you better.

• Eye Contact - if a person looks at you in the eye, look away and then make glances at you again means that he is trying to catch your attention and is very much interested in you.

• Speak very low - men talking to someone they are interested usually talks in lower tone of voice. This is a way of making their love interest to come closer so that she can hear what he is saying.

• Smoothens his hair and clothes - a person is interested in you if he talks to you and he is smoothing his hair or his clothes. This signifies that he wants to look the best in front of you.

Body language and love is somehow interconnected. However, never rush things, slow it down and make sure that what his body language means is love.

Article Source:

Monday, October 11, 2010

How to Survive Our PhD

10% of a PhD is down to brains, 10% luck and 80% is stubbornness and perseverance. Unless you really, really want it, you’re going to have a tricky time.

1. The first thing, and this is really vital, is to make sure you understand the project. You need to be able to explain every single experiment to your mum/10 year old cousin and have them understand you. “Because my supervisor told me to” is not a valid answer in the viva! A great tip for getting to grips with your project is to give regular talks, plus you could try entering writing competitions aimed at PhD students, even if your writing isn’t that great.

2. Read the literature. Don’t leave that massive pile of papers till the week before your viva, as you’ll probably find out that someone else has already done the same thing as you back in 1978. And it will probably have been your examiner who did it. You have to be the world’s expert on your project, even if it is just an obscure earthworm protein that only 3 people have ever heard of.

3. Read around the literature. Keep some perspective on your project and keep in mind why it is important in the big scheme of things. A malaria vaccine is great, but if you don’t know the name of the little buzzy thing that transmits the parasite, then you’ll fail the viva! If you have an opinion on the latest news in your field, you’ll impress your examiners by showing that you care about your subject area outside of the test tube.

4. Have your own ideas. Your boss won’t think of everything and if you’re not correcting/arguing with them by the end of your 3/4 years, you might have problems when your examiners start asking difficult questions. If you read enough papers, you’ll come up with great suggestions for developing your project.

5. Be focused. Your thesis should tell a story – have clear goals in your mind and stick to them. All the proper controls and repeats are far more important than having tried to cure HIV, TB and the common cold all at once. But don’t put all your eggs in one basket – try to use different methods to confirm results and be aware of all the strengths and shortcomings of different techniques.

6. Be critical. If something goes wrong, chances are it was something you did. I demonstrated for an undergraduate cloning practical where the students believed they were cloning a gene into a vector, when in actual fact we had given them uncut plasmid and water in all the reagent tubes. Yet 20% still got no colonies on their transformation plates and blamed it on the ligase. Be 100% sure it wasn’t your fault before you claim to have disproved DNA and always look for alternative explanations.

7.Talk to others. Force your boss have regular meetings to discuss the overall direction of your work but rely on other lab members and fellow PhD students for day to day support. Not only does this mean there is always someone to sit with you in the disabled toilet while you while you cry over another failed Northern blot, but they might also be able to help with a new technique or come up with some vital control that you’ve missed.

8. Be organised. Write to-do lists and tick them off as you go along. Always write up your lab book every night (not at the end of the week), whether your experiments have worked or not. If you one day decide to sell your soul to industry, you will be forced to keep lab books in such excruciating detail that you will horrified if you haven’t got into the habit of recording everything. When you begin, start a freezer stock, primer and clone recording system and stick to it. Treat every gel as if it is a world-changing result and take its photo. Because if things don’t work out to plan, you’re going to end up writing up using those failed gels to illustrate your thesis.

9. Know when to stop. You’re boss will probably let you slog away for an extra year with no money if you give him the chance. You don’t have to do everything – one of the aims of a PhD is to turn you into an independent researcher, so have a look at the work of post-docs in your lab and use them as a gauge of how well you are doing. Remember to bear in mind that most people run over 3 years and you will have to be pretty lucky to have done enough within the scheduled time. A rough estimate is that you’ll need to work twice as hard as the post-docs in your lab for at least 3 years to be able to breeze through that viva!

10. Don’t expect too much. Everyone says this, and every PhD student refuses to believe them, but you really don’t need amazing results to pass (at least not in the UK were you can get through the viva without any positive results at all)! There isn’t any magic secret that you’re told at the end of your viva that makes every experiment from then on work perfectly. Examiners will understand that sometimes proteins just really want to turn themselves into an insoluble mess and refuse to be refolded. So long as you have done everything in a logical order and thoroughly explored each failed experiment, then you’ll be fine.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Staying Positive in Trying Times


How to maintain a positive attitude in troubled times.

The fact that these are depressing times does not mean that we have to feel depressed. This is important, as maintaining a positive attitude is a fundamental part of protecting personal relationships which are never more at risk than during difficult times. It's an old saying but true that when money goes out of the door, love goes out the window. Translate that in work terms to when the cash flow is in short supply, everyone and everything gets looked at with a magnifying glass.

What steps can we take to protect those all-important relationships, both at home and at work?

1.Recognise that times have changed and that we have to adapt to new circumstances and values. It may be that things will NEVER be the same again.

2. 20-20 hindsight is easy; forecasting the future correctly is not. Don't blame and beat up on yourself for getting things wrong: be forgiving of yourself, and, of course, your significant others, and accept that you (and they) have almost certainly done the best you can under the circumstances.

3. Instead of looking for what is wrong with others, look at what is right: it is so easy to find fault, but so much more rewarding and motivating to recognize and appreciate the good things other do, and equally important, to complement them for it. Everyone needs the following three things in their life: appreciation, affection and attention. Give those to your nearest and dearest and reap the results.

4. One negative individual can poison an entire family or team. Change the current from negative to positive: the smallest gestures can begin to defrost a cold, resentful relationship. Guru Max Kirsten says: "we have been conditioned into appreciating only the grand expensive gesture, but small acts of kindness can mean more." Practic random acts of kindness - it makes you feel so good about yourself, let alone what it does for the recipient.

5. Appreciate what you have rather than thinking about what you cannot get, if only at this time. This includes not only tangible things like money, a house, jewellery and other possessions, but intangibles such as health, family, friendships and respect. Accept that it is no disgrace to downgrade, if only as a temporary measure. It is better to be resilient and adaptable than to try to maintain an untenable status quo. Since everyone is doing it, it is far less painful and totally acceptable right now: frugality is the new buzzword.

6. Accept responsibility for what is wrong in your life rather than blaming others:
list the resentments that you carry around in that suitcase which goes wherever you go - and then think of what you have contributed to each of them. Then let them go - empty the suitcase and pack it away. You will feel so much lighter when you're not carrying that burden on your back.

7. Move out of the "I" mode and into "We". Instead of focusing on what you do for others, appreciate what others contribute to your life, and then see how, together, you are greater than the sum of your parts. Share your worries, dreams and plans - again it releases the pressure valve in you when you hear your thoughts in words and often they seem so much less dramatic than when they run around in your head.

8. You don't have to accept everything your partner/boss/employee says, but try accept their right to say it and to understand his/her experience. Again be less judgmental with people and aware that we are all flawed individuals. Once you accept this, your expectations will be lowered and you will be disappointed less often when people don't come up with what you were hoping for.

9. Stop comparing yourself or family members/co-workers with others: nothing hurts more than feeling or being told that someone else "does it better." That "someone else" is probably being told the same thing about you! Comparing is absolutely the worst thing you can ever do for your self-esteem. You are unique and special and different from everyone else.

10. What you think and what you feel matter, but what you do is what really counts. So perform positive, generous acts. Project enthusiasm, not pessimism: In fact, research has shown that maintaining a smile on one's face can actually make those around us feel happier. The converse is even more true: it is so easy to bring others down and make them soak up your anxiety and negativity. Nowhere is this more evident than in today's media - yes there is doom and gloom but spreading it doesn't help anyone.

So, why not think about what is good in your life; the job you still have, the family who love you, the co-workers who respect you, the friends who admire you, the good health that you enjoy, the beauty of nature, and the fact that spring follows winter as surely as day follows night.

For more help with seeing the sunny side of life contact Adrianne Morris, Success Coach on 07956 514714 To see Adrianne Morris's blog go to

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Keep Laziness Away

How to Keep Laziness Away?

Our behavior is a puppet of our brain. No doubt the brain is rightly located at the topmost position in our body. Psychology of the mind elevates any illness more than its actual clinical indications. Laziness is also an illness of mind and needs to be tackled with strong will power.

By Jamila Joshi message icon | Friday, May 14, 2010

"Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little, falls into lazy habits of thinking" - Albert Einstein

Lack of mind control for laziness can destroy your dreams of achieving your goals. To get rid of laziness is not an easy job but at the same time not impossible as well. There are ways wherein one can program the mind in such a way that there is no space left for laziness.

1. Avoiding addiction
Get addicted to better and constructive habits than laziness. Once you swallow the bait, you have to pay for it. Be prepared to act immediately when you get a slight sensation of laziness.

2. Think of the outcome than the difficulties
Achieving a given task is not is not a cake-walk. The bug of laziness further makes it tougher. Think of the moment when your task will be achieved, applauds and appreciations that would follow then. This dream is achievable only if you overcome laziness. So think of the final outcome rather than the problems, because focusing on the problems would stimulate laziness.

3. Too much load at a time will take you nowhere
Organize your daily routine to get rid of laziness. Set your daily tasks from morning to evening in splits to keep your brain active and keep a time span for some relaxation as well. Focused work will pay more than running after too many things at a time.

4. Develop a positive attitude
If you add too many negative thoughts, laziness will be your guest. So avoid words like 'I can't', 'I won't', 'I don't' etc.

5. Make your tasks more interesting than monotonous
Repetitive tasks lead to boredom and we tend to lazy around to avoid completing the assigned jobs. Here is where creativity comes into picture. Doing things differently every time is the solution. Example: Cooking if done monotonously can get boring and can be an invitation to laziness. If you feel lazy to cook, think how you could make it interesting. One way is to create a restaurant kind ambience in the dining room, by scattering some flower petals or lighting candles on the table and picking up a different menu to cook as a change from the routine.

6. Look around for something interesting

After long hours of work, a break is essential. There are many things around us which can refresh our mind in no time. What we need is the vision to identify these things. Pick up the newspaper and glance through the pages, solve a puzzle which can be refreshing to your mind and motivate you to switch back to your work without feeling lazy.

7. Quality sleep is a must
A sound sleep evacuates unwanted thoughts from the mind. Mental tiredness can lead to laziness. So it is essential to refresh ownself with a good quality sleep.

8. Exercise, a source of fresh air
Exercising early morning, preferably in open air would not leave any space for laziness. Exercise replenishes the lost energy and freshness of mind.

9. Look forward to meet successful personalities, not failures

Success cannot be achieved in an easy way. This fact would sound convincing only when you hear the experiences of successful personalities. Laziness is the root cause of failures, so don't keep failures in your vicinity.

The above tips to avoid laziness can be successfully accomplished only on regularly carrying out the activities and maintaining positive attitude towards the tasks assigned. Once you are into the habit of overcoming laziness then it just cannot come in your way.

Source :

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Charming People With Your Charisma

Charisma is essentially intangible. In spite of this, you will always know when you are in the presence of a charismatic person, because they have the ability to engage your attention in a way that someone without that personality trait would struggle to do. Charisma, like charm, is indefinable but you know when you've experienced it in action: you come away from an encounter knowing you've been with someone extraordinary and special. In essence, they make you feel that you're the most important person in the room. Compare and contrast that with so many people you meet who seem to be looking over your shoulder to see if they're missing something on the other side of the room or if there's someone more important to talk to.

I want to quote from an article in respect of the actor Will Smith which I came across while on a recent trip to the USA:

"Spend seven seconds sitting across from Will Smith, and you'll discover why he is a superstar. He's charming and attentive, observant and clever - without ever seeming to try. When he talks, he makes eye contact; when he laughs, it takes over his entire body. Though he seems happy-go-lucky, he didn't end up where he is by accident - Smith is consistently in charge, on point and thinking ahead."

Not everyone is fortunate enough to be born charismatic, but with a bit of effort, you can develop it to a significant degree. Here are 10 tips to help you do so.

1. The overwhelmingly large part of communication is non-verbal. Often your body language says more than your words. Research has shown that only 7% of understanding comes from the listening part of a conversation. It is therefore absolutely essential to show positive body language. Your posture is so important - individuals who slouch or hunch their shoulders convey negative messages. Smile and look people in the eye when communicating. Nod frequently to show that you are listening and try to allow them time to finish their sentences before jumping in with what you want to say.

2. Develop your communication skills - speak and write with flair. Speaking confidently is not a gift possessed by all but can be developed by all. Tone, cadence, use of pauses, speed of speech; emphasizing certain words - sometimes repeating key words; lack of 'uhs' and 'ums' and 'you know' and avoidance of jargon; varying the number of words in successive sentences; and, not least, vocabulary - all these contribute to your style of speech, and many to your particular style of writing. Think about Barack Obama compared to John McCain. A neat handwriting can be achieved by practice and says so much about you as a person. Challenge yourself to download and learn a new word every day and try to use it.

3. Develop an individual style of 'being' - in what you wear, how you conduct yourself etc. This helps to establish your 'presence factor, the impact you make on people you meet, the first impression you create. It requires being particular about everything you do, whether its ordering a particular type of tea (say Assam or Earl Grey) or coffee (double espresso macchiato rather than instant with milk), your favourite tipple (Balvenie double wood single malt rather than 'whisky'.) It means you dress with flair and style, not necessarily flash but always neat, shoes polished, hair styled, nails cleaned. For women wearing striking costume jewellery, for men an eye-catching tie, will have people remembering you.

4. Charismatic people convey the message that they are 'authentic' - authentic people are more likely to be trusted. Authentic people have the courage of their convictions. To be authentic, always follow through on your promises/actions - walk the talk, don't just talk the talk. Follow-up contacts, if promised, the very next day and think of who you know who might be a useful contact for people you've just met. Always deliver more than you promise - never disappoint. Believe in your cause - believe in yourself.

5. Make everyone you meet feel important. Be generous with praise without being sycophantic. Be warm but be genuine. Engage with people, find a point of rapport with each and every person - make people feel good about themselves and good about you. Pick up on an accent or notice a piece of jewellery and ask a question about it - it will break the ice when you're both a little inhibited or nervous.

6. Sense of humour is key - but never at anyone else's expense. Convey an image of loving life, of being fun to be with, of being playful. Above all don't take yourself or life too seriously - life may be depressing, but it doesn't mean you have to be depressed! Don't tell jokes unless you feel very confident about your delivery and remember the punchline!

7. Be master of your domain: prepare your subject thoroughly - develop your expertise, skills and knowledge. Work to eliminate areas of weakness. Leave nothing to chance. If possible, before a meeting or event, try to find out the guestlist, see if there's anyone you know or would like to know. Find out a little about them and impress the hell out of them when you meet them and ask about one of their favourite interests or recent achievements.

8. Passion: being passionate requires that you be enthusiastic, spontaneous, challenging and energetic. It is what excites you and gets your adrenalin flowing. One thing that draws a crowd and makes someone the centre of attention is a person who exhibits that kind of passion.

9. Persistence: charismatic people do not take no for an answer. Like the legendary Pacman, if they cannot get round an obstacle, they go over, under or even through it. Giving up is not an option. Finding the 'tipping point' is: looking for the often small 'tweak' that will take you across the threshold. Being persistent will impress the person who is being difficult or evasive.

10. Most of all, have the courage of your convictions: be prepared to take intelligent and considered risks (within reason) to get where you want to be. Be prepared sometimes to step into the unknown - feel the fear about finding the extended you, but do it anyway. Changing your life can be so much fun, and can be so exhilarating and worthwhile!

Challenge yourself to significantly raise your charisma chart!

Adrianne Morris, is a Success Coach helping individuals and small business grow exponentially. For more articles by Adrianne see the website: or call Adrianne for a "coffee" over the phone to see how she can help you to being a charming, charismatic character: 07956 514714

Article Source:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Stop feeling guilty

Guilt is just a destructive emotion that is all about suffering and feeling bad. We all make mistakes. There isn't a person alive that hasn't hurt someone, whether intentionally or not. We all make mistakes and our mistakes affect others. Feeling guilty forever for those mistakes does not help them or us. If you need to right a wrong to let go of the guilt, do it.

How to Stop Feeling Guilty:

1) If you actually did something wrong (according to your own belief system, right the wrong and then let it go. When you feel guilty, you can clean up your mistake by saying: "I feel terrible about what I've done to you. I really didn't mean to hurt you. I am sorry I hurt you. The reason I did what I did is __________. What can I do to make it up to you and earn your trust again?" If the other person won't cooperate, ask them what you need to do, and if they won't accept anything, let it go.

2) Realize that no one is perfect and ask others about their issues and listen to their answers and imperfections.

3) If you made a mistake, learn your lesson and move on. If there really is no lesson to be learned, realize that and talk yourself out of the guilt by reminding yourself to forget the "shoulds" because you would probably do it the same way if you had it to do over again.

4) Ask yourself where the guilt is coming from. Then ask yourself if that is a person you want to be like (because you are following their values). Then ask yourself if that person is perfect? Of course the answer is no, so make a list of all of their imperfections. Then decide he or she does not have a right to judge you and let it go. If this person insists on making you feel guilty, use some of the points on the list to remind that person that he is a hypocrite.

5) Don't "should" on yourself. If the guilt is coming from you, then you have unrealistic expectations of yourself. But most unrealistic expectations come from our parents and other authorities who remind us that we are imperfect. Don't take on their bad view of you or their belief system about the world. Evaluate yourself by your own standards, and stop using the word "should."

6) Don't get sucked in when someone tries to guilt-trip you. "I know I'm not that important to you." "Should you have another drink?" "Isn't that too expensive for you?" "Don't you think you should go home now?" Don't answer the question or you are becoming sucked in.

Instead, state a firm boundary like, "Mother, like I said, I can't talk now, but I'll call you when I get home from work." Or, "I'll decide: when to go home, whether to have another drink, what is and isn't too expensive." Then don't keep talking or they know they got you.

7) Don't make guilt-ridden negative statements to yourself, i.e. "How could I be so stupid?!" "If only I would have been smart enough to(whatever)." "I sure screwed that one up!" "I can't believe I did that!" Instead, say positive statements to yourself. "That may have been a mistake, but I learned my lesson." "It's surprising that I misinterpreted that because I'm usually right on target."

If needed, quietly remind yourself of all of your other good traits and how great you are in other areas.

We have to demand that others accept us as we are. We can't let anyone lay his or her value judgments on us. We can't let others play God with us. And in return, we can't play God with them. Stop asking yourself, "What will people think?" Those "shoulds" keep you from enjoying your life. Those "shoulds" cause resentment, create guilt, and put responsibility where it doesn't belong. What have the "shoulds" done to you?

When we were small children, we trusted our thoughts and feelings. We knew when we felt angry or sad, and we expressed these feelings naturally without thinking about whether we should or shouldn't. Then we were told by our parents and others in society, "You shouldn't feel that way," "What do you mean you don't love your mother?," "Don't you talk to your brother like that!"

We learned to trust our parents' moral dictates: you should respect authority, you should obey your husband, you should always be polite to others. We often trust theirs more than our own.

Stop living your life the way others' want you to. Stop feeling guilty because you're not perfect, when neither are they. Live your life according to your own values and beliefs and no one else's.

About the Author

Carolyn Bushong, a Denver therapist, helps couples & singles: in her office, on-line, by phone. Author of: Loving Him Without Losing You, Bring Back the Man You Fell in Love With, The 7 Dumbest Relationship Mistakes. Has appeared on Oprah. 303-333-1888

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Our 44th Convocation Ceremony

Graduation is the awarding of a degree or certificate following the satisfactory completion of a student's program of studies while convocation is the ceremony at which the degree or certificate is publicly presented. The word "Convocation" arises from the Latin "con" meaning "together" and "vocare" meaning "to call."

This morning, I've celebrated this joyous ceremony again, with my beloved Post Graduates, who have finally succeeded in their pursuit of knowledge for a better future. They have sacrificed their heart and soul to realize their dreams and truly follow their heart. As adult learners, their hard work and determination are admirably amazing and have certainly paid off..

“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”
~ Vince Lombardi

My heartiest congratulations to all FPPSM Post Graduates :

Doctor of Philosophy

Roland Yeow Theng Nam
Wan Maseri Wan Mohd

Master of Science (Human Resource Development)

Adeline Mayintana Anak Jaret, Ahmad Hisham Ab Wahab, Akmalia @ Balkhis Ali, Azeyan Awee, Daliyana Mohd. Dali, Farhana M. Razin, Farhana Hanim Mohsin, Hastuti Tarawe, Intan Shahnaz Zulkifli, Loo Chuk Li, Mapijan Sapari, Mona Ghafourian, Ng Mui Noi, Nor Intan Hasalimah Hashim, Nor Zuhailah Che Hussin, Noramira Mohamad, Nur'ain Achim, Sabarudin Ahmad Sabadin, Shah Aruzaman Ismail, Shah Iskandar Fahmie Ramlee, Siew Cheng Cheng, Siti Hasmak Muhamad, Siti Masitah Ashar, Siti Salwa Norazlan, Tan Chiew Ting and Xie Yongui

Master in Technology (Management)

Anwar Y.M Ragab, Bita Seyfi, Chong Hwa Jie, Connie Ting, Ishamuddin Mustapha, Kalam Azad Abu Bakar, Mohamad Hal-Amin Abas, Noorihan Mahtar @ Mokhtar, Norhasni Jamlie, Nur Syazwani Mohd Rozi, Nurul Huda Che Ali, Siti Hajar Abdul Rauf, Suhaili Khidzir, Tan Owee Kowang, Thoo Ai Chin, Wan Maisara Wan Mohamad and Yee Shuh Fieu.

A special message dedicated to my Post Graduates....

Today is your day. It is an important and memorable event in your lives. You have achieved distinction and made your family proud. Remember this moment... The degree you have obtained is a recognition of success. Apply the things you have learned as much as you could. Your degree represents an advantage in today's marketplace. Be proud of what you have accomplished. Build on it for the future. Spark up your creative minds to innovativeness that would reinforce your knowledge and other capabilities that are vital in this challenging globalisation era.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Effective PowerPoint Presentations



1. Select sans-serif fonts such as Arial or Helvetica. Avoid serif fonts such as Times New Roman or Palatino as they are sometimes more difficult to read.

2. Clearly label each screen. Use a larger font (35-45 points) or different color for the title.

3. Use a single sans-serif font for most of the presentation. Use different colors, sizes and styles (bold, underline) for impact.

4. Avoid italicized fonts as they are difficult to read quickly.

5. No more than 6-8 words per line.

6. For bullet points, use the 6 x 6 Rule. One thought per line with no more than 6 words per line and no more than 6 lines per slide

7. Use dark text on light background or light text on dark background. However, dark backgrounds sometimes make it difficult for some people to read the text.

8. Do not use all caps except for titles.

To test the font, stand back six feet from the monitor and see if you can read the slide.


1. Keep the background consistent and subtle.

2. Use only enough text when using charts or graphs to explain clearly label the graphic.

3. Keep the design clean and uncluttered. Leave empty space around the text and graphics.

4. Use quality clipart and

5. Try to use the same style graphics throughout the presentation (e.g. cartoon, photographs)

6. Limit the number of graphics on each slide.

7. Check all graphics on a projection screen before the actual presentation.

8. Avoid flashy graphics and noisy animation effects unless they relate directly to the slide.

9. Limit the number of transitions used. It is often better to use only one so the audience knows what to expect.


1. Limit the number of colors on a single screen.

2. Bright colors make small objects and thin lines stand out. However, some vibrant colors are difficult to read when projected.

3. Use no more than four colors on one chart.

4. Check all colors on a projection screen before the actual presentation. They may project differently than what appears on the monitor.


1. Check the spelling and grammar.

2. Do not read the presentation. Practice the presentation so you can speak from bullet points. The text should be a cue for the presenter rather than a message for the viewer.

3. Give a brief overview at the start. Then present the information. Finally review important points.

4. It is often more effective to have bulleted points appear one at a time so the audience listens to the presenter rather than reading the screen.

5. Use a wireless mouse or pick up the wired mouse so you can move around as you speak.

6. If sound effects are used, wait until the sound has finished to speak.

7. If the content is complex, print out the slides so the audience can take notes.

8. Do not turn your back on the audience. Try to position the monitor so you can speak from it.

Adapted from:

1. Bankerd, Kathy. “How to Optimize Projection Technology: Using Fonts, Graphics, and Color to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Presentation”. Syllabus. November/December 1997.

2. Bird, Linda. “Avoid the Mistakes of PowerPoint Rookies.” Smart Computing. January 2001.

3. Brown, David G. “PowerPoint-Induced Sleep.” Syllabus. January 2001.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tips for Postgraduate presentation

Tips for postgraduate first stage/viva preparation

1) Limit your slides and vary the presentation to make it interesting.

2) If examiners tried to ask irrelevant questions, it is best to try and relate the question to your work first, if possible, before you said 'I don't know'. Or, if it really is irrelevant, then emphasise on your scope of work.

3) Always have a 'flow of presentation' slide after your 'title' slide in order for people to know how your presentation will go.

4) Normally, you are given 20 minutes for presentation for PhD work and there will be Q&A sessions afterwards.

5) If you did make a mistake in calculations or theory, try to reason why you have made that mistakes. And if it really is an unacceptable mistake, apologies and say that you will take note and improve it in your real thesis.

6) KNOW your examiner. Check his specialty and what kind of questions he/she likes to ask. Does he like to ask basic or technical questions? Is his field related to you or other area?

7) If possible, try to make network with experts around the world to check whether your research is up to date and can be recognized worldwide.

8) Make publications or have a plan on what kind of publications you wish to submit/publish before the end of your study.

9) Put page number on your slides and print out the slides for the examiners. This will make it easy reference for them and you.

10) Predict questions by examiners. And hide slides that you think are important/possible to be asked but not necessary in the 20 mins presentation. This will help you if you panicked in the Q&A.

11) Prepare your mind mentally and practice with people around you. You may be surprised that they may ask you basic questions that you don't even expect.

12) If you get provoked, try to remain calm and reason logically. Do not dwell on a question, else the examiners will only see that one mistake and forget all the other good things that you have done.

13) Write in points instead of full sentences.

14) Color the important key points in your slides to attract examiners attention to it.

15) Know your topic well. Remember, you are the expert in this field since you are the one researching on it, not the examiners. But how? This is most important especially in order to gain confidence and 'research authority' thru out the viva. It is suggested the student start with writing a review on their area of research, say from 10-50 yrs back up to today. Do organize the journals/refs chronologically (general to specific; primer to least related in specific) then tabulate things, who did what and where. This is to ensure the student will have a strong perspective from many angles; and could comments on any loophole/unresearched topic/successfully developed/contradicting among researchers etc. This will make the research more challenging and interesting.

16) Perform exhaustive keyword search through science direct or comparable technical search engine. The search should cover every possible combination of keyword to show novelty or research gap, possibly beyond reasonable doubt. One of the typical FAQ by any examiner is to question candidates on the exhaustiveness of their literature review/search. Just by showing a number of related work picked from literature, candidates often failed to demonstrate that they have indeed done an exhaustive search.

Source :

To All FPPSM Post Grad Students (Masters by Coursework and also Mixed Mode Programmes):

All the best for your presentation next week!
(29th March - 2nd April 2010)

From :

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fifty Ways to Show Your Love

How can you say, "I Love You" through your words and deeds without using those three words all of the time? Here are fifty great ideas:

1. Leave a note under her windshield wiper at work.

2. Give her a flower for each month you have been together.

3. Give her a facial massage.

4. Take her to the ballet or theatre.

5. Plan an overnight at a bed & breakfast.

6. Get a babysitter every friday.

7. Give your mate a romantic basket - with bubble bath, massage oil, chocolates, etc.

8. Give her a key with a note that says, "You have the key to my heart" or, "You're the key to my happiness."

9. Send flowers to your sweetie's workplace.

10. If you go on a business trip for an extended period of time, send your mate cards timed to arrive the beginning, middle, and end of your trip.

11. Pack "I love you" notes in her suitcase or lunchbox.

12. Leave a rose on the windshield.

13. Give her 10 red roses and 2 white ones in the middle with a note that reads "You will never stand alone."

14. Complain less, compliment more.

15. Praise her in front of people.

16. Wake up every morning fifteen minutes early to cuddle with each other.

17. Make your wife breakfast in bed.

18. Do her chores for a week.

19. Wash her car.

20. Always look into her eyes when she's talking to you.

21. Give a map - "I can never be lost with you around."

22. Give her a pocket dictionary - Write "You" as the meaning next to the word "Life", mark the page and give it to them "Without you, life would have no meaning."

23. Turn her birthday into a birthday month.

24. Sit down and write your goals together.

25. Massage her shoulders whenever you get a chance.

26. Bake cookies together.

27. Take a bath together.

28. Turn the A/C on and enjoy a fire - in the summer.

29. Send a greeting card for no reason.

30. Create your own homemade card.

31. Give a fish & fish bowl with a note attached that reads, "Out of all the fish in the world I pick you!"

32. Start a journal of your thoughts and present it to your wife.

33. Celebrate her 1/2 birthday.

34. Ask the question, "What can I do for you today, honey?"

35. Hold her hand whenever you walk together.

36. Tell her that she is the best thing that has ever happened to you in your entire life.

37. Renew your wedding vows.

38. Learn to have the last word in arguments, "I'm sorry."

39. Make a list of 100 reasons why you love your wife.

40. Create a jar filled with "Love Coupons." Make the coupons redeemable for hugs, kisses, back rubs or any number of special favors. Give the jar to your lover and let him/her redeem the coupons over time.

41. If your partner is stressed out, let her take a nap and keep all distractions and emergencies away during that time.

42. Talk about your dreams together and where you two are going in life.

43. Say, "You mean the world to me."

44. Call your wife right now to say "I Love You."

45. Catch her eyes in a crowd and wink.

46. Place a card on hersteering wheel that says "You drive me crazy!"

47. Unplug the TV and leave a card on top that says "Turn me on instead."

48. Write a personalized love story and have it bound.

49. Pray over dinner every night.

50. Say, "I Love you" three times a day for the rest of your life.

Source :

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Letting Go

Letting Go

By Dee Edgett

There was once a lonely girl who longed desperately for love. One day while she was walking in the woods she found two starving song birds. She took them home and put them in a small glided cage. She nurtured them with love and the birds grew strong. Every morning they greeted her with a marvellous song. The girl felt great love for the birds. She wanted their singing to last forever.

One day the girl left the door to the cage open. The larger and stronger of the two birds flew from the cage. The girl watched anxiously as he circled high above her. She was so frightened that he would fly away and she would never see him again that as he flew close, she grasped at him wildly. She caught him in her fist. She clutched him tightly within her hand. Her heart gladened at her sucess in capturing him. Suddenly she felt the bird go limp. She opened her hand stared in horror at the dead bird. Her desperate clutching love had killed him.

She noticed the other bird teetering on the edge of the cage. She could feel his great need for freedom. His need to soar into the clear, blue sky. She lifted him from the cage and tossed him softly into the air. The bird circled once, twice, three times.

The girl watched delighted at the bird's enjoyment. Her heart was no longer concerned with her loss. She wanted the bird to be happy. Suddenly the bird flew closer and landed softly on her shoulder. It sang the sweetest melody, she had ever heard.

The fastest way to lose love is to hold on too tight, the best way to keep love is to give it -- WINGS!

Source :

Sunday, February 14, 2010

History of Valentine's Day

Every year, the fourteenth day of the month of February has millions across the world presenting their loved ones with candy, flowers, chocolates and other lovely gifts. In many countries, restaurants and eateries are seen to be filled with couples who are eager to celebrate their relationship and the joy of their togetherness through delicious cuisines. There hardly seems to be a young man or woman who is not keen to make the most of the day.
Gifts for Valentine's Day

The reason behind all of this is a kindly cleric named Valentine who died more than a thousand years ago.

It is not exactly known why the 14th of February is known as Valentine's Day or if the noble Valentine really had any relation to this day. Saint ValentineThe history of Valentine's Day is impossible to be obtained from any archive and the veil of centuries gone by has made the origin behind this day more difficult to trace. It is only some legends that are our source for the history of Valentine's Day.

The modern St. Valentine's Day celebrations are said to have been derived from both ancient Christian and Roman tradition. As per one legend, the holiday has originated from the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalis/Lupercalia, a fertility celebration that used to observed annually on February 15. But the rise of Christianity in Europe saw many pagan holidays being renamed for and dedicated to the early Christian martyrs. Lupercalia was no exception. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius turned Lupercalia into a Christian feast day and set its observance a day earlier, on February 14. He proclaimed February 14 to be the feast day in honor of Saint Valentine, a Roman martyr who lived in the 3rd century. It is this St. Valentine whom the modern Valentine's Day honors.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, there were at least three early Christian saints by the name of Valentine. While one was a priest in Rome, another was a bishop in Terni. Nothing is known about the third St. Valentine except that he met his end in Africa. Surprisingly, all three of them were said to have been martyred on 14th February.

It is clear that Pope Gelasius intended to honor the first of these three aforementioned men. Most scholars believe that this St. Valentine was a priest who lived around 270 AD in Rome and attracted the disfavor of Roman emperor Claudius II who ruled during this time.

The story of St. Valentine has two different versions - the Protestant and the Catholic one. Both versions agree upon Saint Valentine being a bishop who held secret marriage ceremonies of soldiers in opposition to Claudius II who had prohibited marriage for young men and was executed by the latter. During the lifetime of Valentine, the golden era of Roman empire had almost come to an end. Lack of quality administrators led to frequent civil strife. Education declined, taxation increased and trade witnessed a very bad time. The Roman empire faced crisis from all sides, from the Gauls, Slavs, Huns, Turks and Mongolians from Northern Europe and Asia. The empire had grown too large to be shielded from external aggression and internal chaos with existing forces. Naturally, more and more capable men were required to to be recruited as soldiers and officers to protect the nation from takeover. When Claudius became the emperor, he felt that married men were more emotionally attached to their families, and thus, will not make good soldiers. He believed that marriage made the men weak. So he issued an edict forbidding marriage to assure quality soldiers.

The ban on marriage was a great shock for the Romans. But they dared not voice their protest against the mighty emperor. The kindly bishop Valentine also realized the injustice of the decree. He saw the trauma of young lovers who gave up all hopes of being united in marriage. He planned to counter the monarch's orders in secrecy. Whenever lovers thought of marrying, they went to Valentine who met them afterwards in a secret place, and joined them in the sacrament of matrimony. And thus he secretly performed many marriages for young lovers. But such things cannot remain hidden for long. It was only a matter of time before Claudius came to know of this "friend of lovers," and had him arrested.

While awaiting his sentence in prison, Valentine was approached by his jailor, Asterius. It was said that Valentine had some saintly abilities and one of them granted him the power to heal people. Asterius had a blind daughter and knowing of the miraculous powers of Valentine he requested the latter to restore the sight of his blind daughter. The Catholic legend has it that Valentine did this through the vehicle of his strong faith, a phenomenon refuted by the Protestant version which agrees otherwise with the Catholic one. Whatever the fact, it appears that Valentine in some way did succeed to help Asterius' blind daughter.

Claudius IIWhen Claudius II met Valentine, he was said to have been impressed by the dignity and conviction of the latter. However, Valentine refused to agree with the emperor regarding the ban on marriage. It is also said that the emperor tried to convert Valentine to the Roman gods but was unsuccesful in his efforts. Valentine refused to recognize Roman Gods and even attempted to convert the emperor, knowing the consequences fully. This angered Claudius II who gave the order of execution of Valentine.

Meanwhile, a deep friendship had been formed between Valentine and Asterius' daughter. It caused great grief to the young girl to hear of his friend's imminent death. It is said that just before his execution, Valentine asked for a pen and paper from his jailor, and signed a farewell message to her "From Your Valentine," a phrase that lived ever after. As per another legend, Valentine fell in love with the daughter of his jailer during his imprisonment. However, this legend is not given much importance by historians. The most plausible story surrounding St. Valentine is one not centered on Eros (passionate love) but on agape (Christian love): he was martyred for refusing to renounce his religion. Valentine is believed to have been executed on February 14, 270 AD.

Thus 14th February became a day for all lovers and Valentine became its Patron Saint. It began to be annually observed by young Romans who offered handwritten greetings of affection, known as Valentines, on this day to the women they admired. With the coming of Christianity, the day came to be known as St. Valentine's Day.

But it was only during the 14th century that St. Valentine's Day became definitively associated with love. UCLA medieval scholar Henry Ansgar Kelly, author of "Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine", credits Chaucer as the one who first linked St. Valentine's Day with romance. In medieval France and England it was believed that birds mated on February 14. Hence, Chaucer used the image of birds as the symbol of lovers in poems dedicated to the day. In Chaucer's "The Parliament of Fowls," the royal engagement, the mating season of birds, and St. Valentine's Day are related:

"For this was on St. Valentine's Day, When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate."

By the Middle Ages, Valentine became as popular as to become one of the most popular saints in England and France. Despite attempts by the Christian church to sanctify the holiday, the association of Valentine’s Day with romance and courtship continued through the Middle Ages. The holiday evolved over the centuries. By the 18th century, gift-giving and exchanging hand-made cards on Valentine's Day had become common in England. Hand-made valentine cards made of lace, ribbons, and featuring cupids and hearts began to be created on this day and handed over to the man or woman one loved. Valentine's day greeting cardThis tradition eventually spread to the American colonies. It was not until the 1840s that Valentine's Day greeting cards began to be commercially produced in the U.S. The first American Valentine's Day greeting cards were created by Esther A. Howlanda Mount Holyoke, a graduate and native of Worcester. Mass. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap". It was when Howland began Valentine's cards in a large scale that the tradition really caught on in the United States.

Today, Valentine's Day is one of the major holidays in the U.S. and has become a booming commercial success. According to the Greeting Card Association, 25% of all cards sent each year are "valentine"s. The "valentines", as Valentine's Day cards are better known as, are often designed with hearts to symbolize love. The Valentine's Day card spread with Christianity, and is now celebrated all over the world. One of the earliest valentines was sent in 1415 AD by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife during his imprisonment in the Tower of London. The card is now preserved in the British Museum.

There may be doubts regarding the actual identity of Valentine, but we know that he really existed because archaeologists have recently unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to a Saint Valentine.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Positive Affirmations to Boost Confidence

Positive affirmations can be a very powerful tool in the process of boosting confidence levels. These statements can do wonders to transform negative thoughts and feelings into supportive and motivational encouragement. Positive affirmations can increase your feelings of personal worth, empower you to take on difficult tasks, help you cope with change, and allow you to deal with stress. Here are ten positive affirmations to help get you on your way to becoming a stronger person.

"Stressful Situations Are Just Challenges": Learn to handle stress in a constructive way that you can grow from. Stress can be quite debilitating, but it does not have to be. You can work at teaching yourself to take stressful situations as a challenge. Challenges bring many opportunities that can easily be missed if you are not careful.

• "I Can Handle Whatever Comes My Way"
: Rather than automatically thinking that you cannot handle stressful situations, take them as they come and work with them. Instead of trying to fight off something that does not immediately make you happy, meet it head on, and work with what you have. If you spend your time and energy working with, rather than against, a situation you will have much less conflict in your life.

• "I Can Accomplish Anything I Set My Mind To": Instead of automatically assuming you cannot do something, convince yourself that you absolutely can! This may be one of the most beneficial positive affirmations that you can give yourself. By repeating this statement anytime you feel overwhelmed you will give yourself the courage needed to step up and take on any challenge. If you truly believe you can do anything, you can.

• "I Am A Strong Person": Lack of self-esteem can often make a person feel very beaten down. Reminding yourself that you are a strong person on a regular basis is one of the best positive affirmations that can help boost your confidence level and keep you from feeling taken advantage of.

• "I Am Doing My Very Best": It is not uncommon to start to believe that you are worthless or that you have nothing to offer when you lack self-confidence. Remembering to believe in yourself, and that you are doing the very best you can will help you to feel a sensation of inner peace. The best you can do is the best you can do, and you have to learn to be happy with that.

• "I Am In Charge Of My Life"
: The next of the positive affirmations reminds you that you, and only you, are in charge of your life. Only you can change the way you think and act. If you truly want to be happier and boost your confidence level, it must come from within.

• "Happiness Begins With Me": Happiness comes from within, and you must choose to be happy. Positive affirmations such as this remind you that you need to make a conscious choice to be positive, and look to find the good in every situation. Once you begin to find your own personal happiness, others will gravitate toward you.

• "I Can Remain Calm Under Pressure": Learning how to remain calm in the face of pressure is key to boosting your personal confidence. If you react too quickly to a particular situation and lash out, others will not feel comfortable around you. If you can remain calm in a stressful situation, deal with the issue, and work to resolve it in a positive manner you will feel much better about yourself and others will be more apt to work with you.

• "I Will Find The Good": Teaching yourself to find the good in any situation is one of the positive affirmations that just about every person can benefit from. It is extremely easy to revert to negative feelings, and have a very depressed general attitude. It takes work to be positive, and finding the good in any circumstance will help you to have a more positive outlook on life.

• "This Too Shall Pass": The last of the positive affirmations reminds you that no matter how dire the situation seems, it will pass with time. In many cases, the problem that is causing you unhappiness is very short lived and really has no lasting impact on your life. Reminding yourself of this will help you to get through the issue faster while increasing your self-confidence.

Positive affirmations should be practiced everyday. The more you repeat these statements to yourself, the better you will feel. In time this will lead you to have more self-esteem and take on more challenges you would have once hesitated to even consider.

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