Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The 137 best blogs about personal development

  1. Abundance Tapestry
  2. Albert Ellis Institute
  3. Always Well Within
  4. Advances in the History of Psychology
  5. Anxiety No More
  6. Anxiety Slayer 
  7. Art of Non-Conformity (Chris Guillebeau)
  8. Art of Charm, The (Jordan Harbinger)
  9. Association for Psychological Science
  10. Barrie Davenport 
  11. B Brown Random Tagline 
  12. Brian Kim
  13. Bold Life, The
  14. Bounce Blog, The
  15. British Psychological Society
  16. Calm Monkey, The 
  17. Canfield, Jack 
  18. Chance Scoggins 
  19. Craig Harper (Australia)
  20. Daring Adventure
  21. Deric Bownds Mindblog 
  22. Do it myself (Glenda Watson Hyatt)
  23. Dragos Roua 
  24. Dumb Little Man 
  25. Early to Rise
  26. Egoist Blog, The
  27. Ellis, Debbie Joffee
  28. Elliott Hulse 
  29. Empower Blog (Dr Hiten Vyas)
  30. Enjoying the Small Things (Kelle Hampton)
  31. Escape Adulthood
  32. Experimental Philosophy 
  33. Extraordinary Ordinary, The
  34. Fancy Feet (Heidi Cave)
  35. Flourishing Life, A
  36. Four-Hour Work-week (Tim Ferris)
  37. Gail Brenner 
  38. Gala Darling
  39. Greater Good 
  40. Hansen, Mark Victor 
  41. Happiness in this World 
  42. Happiness Project, The
  43. Happy Girl
  44. History of Psychology 
  45. Home-life Simplified (Australia)
  46. Hope to Cope 
  47. Ian's Messy Desk 
  48. Influence People (Brian Ahearn) 
  49. Inspire Me Today
  50. James Altucher
  51. John Vespasian
  52. Jungle of Life, The
  53. Kimchi Mamas
  54. Larry Winget
  55. Les Brown
  56. Life Dev 
  57. Lifehack 
  58. Life Optimizer
  59. Literary Lawyer, The
  60. Live Bold and Bloom 
  61. Living Rationally 
  62. Living with anxiety 
  63. Love and Smiles 
  64. Maverick Philosopher 
  65. Manage Your Life Now
  66. Martin Poldma 
  67. Meant to Be Happy 
  68. Mindful 
  69. Mindhacks
  70. Miz Meliz
  71. Mudita Journal
  72. My Super-Charged Life
  73. National Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapists
  74. Oliver Burkeman
  75. OK Dork (Noah Kagan)
  76. One Crafty Mother
  77. Optimistic Life
  78. Panic and Depression 
  79. Partially Examined Life, The 
  80. Penelope Trunk 
  81. Personal Excellence 
  82. Personal Success Factors
  83. Personal Success Today
  84. Philosophers Anonymous
  85. Philosophy and Life  
  86. Philosophy Blog, The
  87. Philosophy Etc 
  88. Philosophy in a Time of Error
  89. Philosophy Talk 
  90. Pick the Brain
  91. Please Feel Beautiful
  92. Positive Blog 
  93. Positive Provocations
  94. Positive Sharing
  95. Proctor, Bob
  96. Prolific Living
  97. Providentia
  98. Psych Central
  99. Psycholocrazy 
  100. Psychological Science
  101. Psychologies Magazine (United Kingdom)
  102. Psychology of Well-being, The
  103. Psychology Today Blogs
  104. Psychology Tomorrow Magazine
  105. Pursuit of Happiness
  106. Radiant Soul Space (Otiti Jasmine)
  107. Ramble. Focus. Ramble.
  108. Rational Philosophy
  109. Rationally Speaking
  110. Recovering Engineer, The
  111. Reflecting a Life 
  112. Research Digest on Brain and Behaviour 
  113. Richard Koch
  114. Robert Ringer
  115. RSD Nation 
  116. Start of Happiness, The
  117. Sensophy (Jacob Sokol)
  118. Shake Off the Grind
  119. Simple Productivity Blog  
  120. Situationist, The
  121. Splintered Mind, The
  122. Stefan Molyneux 
  123. Steve Pavlina
  124. Steven Aitchison (Change your thoughts, change your life) 
  125. Talent Develop 
  126. Teaching High School Psychology
  127. Time Shifting
  128. Tiny Buddha
  129. Today is That Day
  130. Tracey Cleantis
  131. Try to Stay Positive 
  132. Unclutterer 
  133. Unlimited Choice
  134. Up Popped a Fox
  135. Vishnu's Virtues
  136. Wisebread
  137. Zen Habits

Monday, 20 April 2015

Do not let adversity render you blind to opportunity

From time to time, it can be beneficial to sit down and make a list of all factors that are keeping you down. Make sure that you have plenty of paper available since the outcome might be long. If this is your first attempt at compiling such list, don't overdo it. A dozen pages will do.

A long list of problems

Depending on your age and circumstances, you may wish to write down that you are too young or too old. If you live in the countryside, you should mention that opportunities are scarce. If you inhabit the city, that competition is fierce.

Should you be looking for a job, write a remark that the market is hard. For half of the open positions, your experience will be insufficient; for the other half, you will be overqualified. The situation will be worse if you are going out on dates. Those who might love you won't recognize you and those who approach you might not fit your needs.

After you have finished your list, read it aloud. In view of the obstacles that are blocking your way, the conclusion seems inescapable. The arguments have been heard and judgement cannot be deferred. Would you agree that no improvement is possible?

You aimed at a target and missed, so stop running and quit. You tried your best and it didn't work, so go away and never return. Your attempts did not lead to success, so it's time to abandon your quest. You have wasted your resources and exhausted your forces.

Your best ideas are spent, your best years filled with discontent. Since your performance did not earn a decoration, you can choose between abdication and resignation. Your ambitions are impossible to achieve, how could you ever be so naive?

Turning the situation around

Nonetheless, even if your difficulties seem insurmountable, the above conclusions are wrong. Thousands of individuals overcome much worse problems than the ones you have. Those who search for better ways tend to multiply their chances of success.

As long as you refuse to quit, possibilities continue to exist. The tide will turn today, washing away yesterday's waste and bringing new opportunities. Turn around, face the water, and look for the best moment to sail away from the coast.

Irrespective of your background and constraints, your situation can change for the better. Male or female, young or old, you should relentless pursue your goals. Most problems can be solved if they are faced with courage and creativity. Obstacles can be circumvented and solutions invented. Do not let adversity render you blind to opportunity.

For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by MissTurner under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us

Thursday, 16 April 2015

In praise of determined, intelligent persistence

"Wisdom is the most general of sciences," observed Aristotle, "since it requires man to know principles and to follow them. Prudence, on the other hand, is a virtue concerned with the particulars of human action. Prudent is the man who can tell, at the same time, what is the best and what is feasible for him."

The rational approach

The rational approach to dealing with personal deficiencies and bad luck starts and ends with reality. Cards are not evenly distributed in the game of life. Expecting others to compensate you for present or past trouble is unlikely to improve your situation. If anything, pity and compassion will paralyse you. What to do then? In my view, these four are the steps that one should follow:

First, remember your uniqueness. You are unique in your genetic characteristics and personal circumstances. Do not compare yourself with others. Irrational comparisons bring nothing but misery.

Second, do not remain passive. Take action. Discard unrealistic expectations and figure out how to make the best of your situation. Look for practical solutions. Assess different alternatives. Make a plan and implement it consistently.

The chosen path

Third, make a vow to persist until you find the way. Realize that, more often than not, focused long-term activity is able to counterbalance personal deficiencies, major obstacles, and even tragedy. Keep on advancing on your chosen path and don't look back.

Fourth, keep your peace of mind, even if things don't work as you would like. If you look around, you will find plenty of examples of people who have succeeded despite overwhelming burdens. Maintain your serenity and trust the principle of cause and effect. There is no guarantee of success, but intelligent persistence has proven to work more often than not.

For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by Dalbera under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Minimize your psychological and financial dependence

Anyone who tells you that you should always be yourself under any circumstances does not have your best interest in mind. On the contrary, placing yourself in difficult situations for no good reason will prevent you from enjoying life and leave you little energy to develop your talents. Being authentic is great, but not at any cost.

Minimize your risks

When it comes to pursuing your dreams, you will be much better off if you do it the right way. Minimizing your psychological and financial dependence on other people's opinion is a prerequisite for being able to make your own choices without fearing dire consequences. My point is that it is perfectly rational to avoid confrontation in situations from which you cannot walk away.

Increasing individual independence from third parties' opinions is such a fundamental skill that it should be taught at school. The idea that only millionaires possess the means to speak out their mind is false, although unfortunately, such an argument is frequently invoked to favour conformism. The truth is that everyone can take steps to protect his privacy and integrity. In my experience, the following two strategies are particularly useful:

Protect your privacy

There is little advantage in providing details of your private life to strangers, colleagues at work, employers, suppliers, or anyone who does not belong to your circle of close friends. Why should you give anyone the opportunity to use that information against you or the power to manipulate you in anyway?

Rudeness is unnecessary to protect your private life and, to prying questions, it is often wise to give a vague reply. In most cases, people will accept your reluctance to provide personal details and change the subject.

Create a financial reserve

Accumulating a financial cushion will do wonders to protect your peace of mind and personal freedom. The temptation to engage into doubtful business or professional practices can hardly tempt a man who possesses enough savings. He will be able to used those to quit his job and spend a couple of months searching for a new position.

Nobody needs to be a millionaire to be able to do that. The real bedrock of self-confidence is not magic or make-belief, but financial foresight. If you save regularly every month, it should not take you too long to accumulate a financial cushion that can take you through a rough period in your professional life.

Make the decision to bring your dependence on other people's opinion down to a negligible level. Find polite ways to show your determination to protect your private life. It is easier than you think and it will save you lots of problems down the line.

Establish a reasonable monthly savings goal for yourself and stick to it until you reach your desire level of safety. By adopting these simple measures and implementing them consistently, you can substantially enhance your well-being, peace of mind, and happiness.

In the US and in some other countries, you can use Kindle Unlimited to download my latest book for free

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by Stig_Nygaard under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us

Monday, 13 April 2015

Why you should discard bromides and embrace rationality

Few are able to keep a cool head when facing insurmountable obstacles. Frustration derived from hardship leads many to despair. When misfortune and tragedy strike, empty promises won't help. What advice can be given to those who suffer from physical deficiencies or find themselves discriminated on the basis of their origin, background, or personal history?

Severe problems

Television and magazines are full of recommendations for disadvantaged individuals. "Be positive and have confidence," they are told. "Better times are coming." On many occasions, such bromides are dispensed by those who have never encountered serious problems in life or who have inherited most of what they possess.

Nowadays, many of those affected by severe problems, instead of seeking out a rational response, turn to nihilism, obsession, or revenge. None of those approaches works, none of them has ever improved anything. What is the reason of their popularity? Why do people follow those paths?

A blurred vision

Nihilism will deprive your life of direction, replacing ambition by neglect and dereliction. Your vision will become blurred and you will be reduced to perceiving, from everything, the worst. Purpose will be buried by random decisions, convictions will turn into derision.

Obsession will narrow your range to the minimum, pushing you to devote every hour to senseless goals, such as acquiring fame and power. History tells of many small men who became murderers to enhance their feeling of self-importance. This is not the way.

Revenge will waste your life by focusing your attention on past misfortune. Getting even seldom solves problems and frequently results in additional harm. Revenge will consume your efforts and resources, leaving you empty-handed, sad, and mad at yourself.

Aristotle's advice

No wonder that envy and discouragement are rampant in contemporary society, possibly more than in any previous era of humanity. Already in the year 326 B.C., Aristotle emphasized the importance of seeking rationality as a way to attain happiness. Unfortunately, the voice of the philosopher seems long forgotten.

For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by Rach ScottHalls under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us