Thursday, 28 May 2015

Look for opportunities, don't listen to pessimists

Stop listening to negative reports and look beyond the headlines. Things will continue to get better overall as entrepreneurs seize the immense economic possibilities of the 21st century. My overall optimism is based on the following factors, that you will find no difficulty in observing yourself.

Base your optimism on facts
First, emigration has become easier than at any previous time in history. Millions of people are moving every year from one place to another to take advantage of the expanded opportunities to exercise their talents.

Sometimes, emigration takes place within the same country (between two cities), but very often, it involves crossing the border between countries. As travel costs continue to decrease and regulations become more flexible, companies benefit from the influx of new talent and workers can find jobs that offer improved economic prospects. In addition to the economic advantage, the contact with other cultures also tends to make people more tolerant and open.

Second, artists can now offer their creations directly to millions of consumers. The tide has turned for creative individuals. If you are a musician, you can now develop your career without having to wait for a record company to give you a break. The same goes for writers, painters, illustrators, composers, and photographers.

Even new film-makers can now make their movies at a fraction of what it used to cost a few years ago. With the help of low-cost digital cameras, free editing software, and internet distribution, many wonderful films are getting made nowadays, films that would have never seen the daylight in previous decades.

Purpose and commitment

Third, the cost of starting a new business has never been so low in history. In some cases, all you need is an innovative idea and the determination to build something from scratch. We live in a world where vision and commitment are more important that the size of your bank account. Money and other resources can always be borrowed if you know how to apply them productively.

The endless possibilities offered by the internet have unleashed human creativity to levels unknown before. You no longer need to relocate in order to have your products designed, manufactured, and sold in other countries. Video-conferences with clients and suppliers all over the world have become virtually free-of-charge. The cost of market intelligence has also been drastically reduced.

What is even better, the time-line for starting a new business has been compressed and shifted. Low-cost software applications will routinely spare new entrepreneurs hundreds of hours of work, and the work that still needs to be done, they can do it during the evenings and weekends.

Look ahead, stay alert

Never before in history have millions of people enjoyed the opportunity of starting their own business while they can still keep their day job. A lower risk for starting new companies means that more companies will be started, making overall economic growth almost inevitable.

For the three reasons above, I believe that the world economy will continue to grow strongly in the next decade. Of course, the situation will not be equally positive in all countries and in all currencies, but so what? Creativity will always flow to places where opportunities exist and this is the way it should be.  

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


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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Coming out a winner despite severe adversity

by John Vespasian

The thesis of this book is that the dominant ideas about how to reduce stress are ineffective because they are irrational. They hardly provide any short- or long-term relief. Reason is the only workable method to relieve stress permanently, a method that requires work and dedication, but provides excellent results.

This book presents many real-life examples that will show you how to eliminate stress in tense situations, bring peace of mind to your life, make choices that enhance your self-reliance, avoid nerve-wrecking inconsistencies, and lead a good life based on reason.

The principles presented in this book are supported by extensive historical evidence, logical arguments, and workable strategies. If you are serious about reducing the stress in your life, this book is for you.

Chapter 1 - The key skill for overcoming negative stress
What to do when problems begin to accumulate
Don't let difficult people get you down
How should you deal with unfairness?
Living happily despite rejection and negative criticism
The essential element for sleeping well

Chapter 2 - No more stress from financial difficulties
Breaking out of a stressful lifestyle
Raising yourself from disaster
Don't make this major mistake if you can avoid it
What you shouldn't do if you value your time
Here is a recipe proven by experience

Chapter 3 - A structured approach for reducing stress
The characteristics of effective remedies
Facing rapid changes and excessive pressure
An unusual method that produces wonderful results
How to reduce your tension by improving your routines
The temptation to do things you don't need to

Chapter 4 -The straightforward way to eliminate conflicts
The man who painted himself into a corner
When situations get out of control
Surviving and thriving in the face of conflict
Long hours don't necessarily lead to success
The most dangerous threat you can encounter

Chapter 5 - Get rid of anger definitively
Don't let this popular nonsense mislead you
Understanding where negative emotions come from
The drop that makes the glass overflow
Eight powerful strategies for reducing anger

Chapter 6 - Learning to overcome discouragement
Don't adopt these counter-productive strategies
How to stay afloat during difficult times
Coming out a winner despite severe adversity
A great formula for leaving discouragement behind

Chapter 7 - How to become immune to sadness
A challenge that millions of people continue to face
The main reason why people feel stressed
Breaking out of pessimism once and for all
Discarding ineffective emotional reactions

Chapter 8 - The end of worry and preoccupation
Serenity amidst poverty and sickness
How to reduce your exposure to emotional fallout
Practical techniques for getting rid of worry
Learning to be optimistic

Chapter 9 - The type of lifestyle that minimizes stress
Do you want to function better?
Here is a lifestyle worth imitating
Overcoming your constraints in a clever way
Never be embarrassed to do the right thing

Chapter 10 - The escape from stressful routines
How to put your dissatisfaction to good use
Bold steps can create exciting possibilities
If you are tired of boredom, here is some advice
The adoption of effective practices

Chapter 11 - Advice for seemingly insoluble problems
When no solutions are in sight
An advantage that you can always create for yourself
Stay away from defeatism and resignation
The critical skill for surmounting daunting obstacles

Chapter 12 - Keeping a clear mind in the face of prejudice
What to do in the face of overwhelming social pressure
Stay alert and don't overlook these threats
Are you inadvertently following a terrible example?
A safe method for navigating dangerous waters

Consistency: The key to permanent stress relief
by John Vespasian

Monday, 25 May 2015

Initiative and inventiveness in times of turmoil

In some areas of the world, the economy is stagnating, inflation is rising and unemployment remains high. As a result, millions of people are seeing their lives disrupted. Those who have recently lost their jobs may have the feeling that finding a new position is going to take extensive efforts and a very long time.

The stock markets are showing daily fluctuations over 3%, an enormous range by historical standards. Some investors have liquidated their holdings in despair and incurred a substantial loss. The current levels of market volatility are testing the faith of the most devoted believers in a better economic future.

Overcoming hesitation

The psychological pressures that accompany these events are considerable. The gloom-and-doom atmosphere that dominates conversations inevitably influences people's decisions. Purchases are delayed and changes are feared. When the future looks dark, hesitation seems safer than action.

Nevertheless, despite all these threats and uncertainties, I remain massively optimistic about the future of the world economy. I am convinced that growth will soon resume strongly and take us to higher levels of prosperity. On which facts do I base my optimistic conviction? Are my positive expectations justified by statistical trends?

Yes, in fact there are lots of positive economic data out there if you care to look for them, and not only in China, India and Singapore. Freight volumes are growing and the same can be said of the number of new vehicles sold. More car sales means more steel production and more jobs. For every negative newspaper headline, you can find plenty of data that predict an upwards trend.

Even so, my purpose today is not to engage a statistical discussion. Facts can be measured, but opportunities need to be discovered. Improvements are what you get when you apply creativity to problems.

Structural factors

For predicting the future, structural factors are more reliable than isolated details. If you know a man's character, you will be able to foretell his destiny with greater accuracy than if you know everything he did during the last two days.

Human creativity, or rather, the increased opportunity to exercise it, provides us a solid ground for forecasting a bright economic future. Like a man's character, the level of personal initiative and inventiveness in the world changes only slowly, but one it gets as good as it is now, chances are that it will stay this way for many years.

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


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Sunday, 24 May 2015

The 142 best blogs about personal development

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

Friday, 22 May 2015

Prevent unnecessary conflict and avoid wasting your time

Ideally, you want to adopt cautious, discreet measures that spare you unnecessary conflict. Instead of confrontation, avoidance should be your preferred approach. Here are some practical ideas about how to prevent unnecessary conflict.

Prevent unnecessary conflict

The first line of defence is simply to avoid people who constitute an obvious threat. For example, imagine that you are waiting at a queue to buy a cinema ticket and you see a man approach. He is walking exceedingly fast, bumping into passers-by, and he does not even stop to apologize. 

His face shows a stern expression, his eyes are focused on the side-walk, and he is talking to himself, oblivious of his surroundings. He is headed to collide with people waiting in the cinema queue. 

For a moment, you think of calling his attention, but your prudence takes over. You take a step backwards and let him go through. Congratulations you have spared yourself some completely unnecessary trouble.

Pay attention to early signals

The second principle is steering away from people who are repeatedly involved in fights. Imagine for example that you hire a new recruit for your sales team, a young man who made an excellent impression during the interview. He possesses considerable drive and ambition, together with first-class verbal skills.

The young man seems to be the right kind of person to represent your company. During the interview, he gave good answers to your questions and you feel confident that you have made a great choice.

However, on his second week on the job, you perceive details that no longer match the first picture. On Tuesday morning, he comes to work unshaven, wearing yesterday's ruffled shirt, with a ketchup stain on his tie and a bruise on his forehead.

Gently, you draw his attention to how important it is for a salesman to give a professional image, but he tells you that he has been involved in a bar fight. Two weeks later, a similar episode takes place.

You hesitate for a short while, wondering if he is going through temporary difficulties. That might well be the case, but you know that you shouldn't take the risk of having any kind of aggression against co-workers. You summon the young man to your office and, regretfully, you fire him. Congratulations again, you have put an end to situation that could jeopardise your business and your future.

Discard irrational rigidity

As a general principle, it is a good idea to stay away from people who are irrationally rigid in their attitudes or views. Imagine for example that, in the factory where you work, the Head of Finance assigns you to take part in a project with several persons from other departments. During the first meeting of the team, a participant defends an untenable approach and opposes all sensible suggestions from colleagues.

That person, whom you have never met before, makes an overall impression of obstinacy and does not even allow other team members to finish their sentences. His stubbornness surpasses all tolerable levels and goes as far as threatening anyone who disagrees with him. Should you face him head-on and engage in a verbal confrontation?

Your best option is to try to have all important decisions postponed and, as soon as the meeting is over, discuss the problem discreetly with a few team members that you trust. Then, together, you go to see the Head of Finance, tell him about the incident, and have the troublesome individual removed from the project. Congratulations for a third time, you have prevented some serious problems down the road.

Say no to pointless confrontation

Another trait of people who are likely to cause unnecessary problems is that they use of offensive or hurtful words. Imagine for instance that you meet a very attractive woman and begin to date her regularly. Her charms make her irresistible. You feel that you have met the woman of your life and start thinking of marrying her.

The only aspect that troubles you is that, from time to time, she gets disproportionately upset about problems or inconveniences. One evening, when you arrive late for dinner due to a traffic jam, she becomes enraged and attacks you verbally. You put the incident down to her having a bad day and forget about it.

However, after spending a weekend together, you inadvertently wash her blue dress with the white linen and she reacts furiously, shouting insults at you. As a result, you decide to stop seeing her and call yourself lucky for having detected the problem early enough. Congratulations, you have spared yourself plenty of unnecessary irritation and inconvenience.

Draw the right conclusions

Are these recommendations exaggerated? Should you always be on the watch for potential dangers? No, but you need to remain alert to a reasonable extent. Wise people know how to separate their desire to live in a perfect world from the reality of human experience.

When you detect an aggressive person, avoid automatic reactions and behave as prudently as you do in your everyday business dealings. Do not waste time trying to fix the problems of strangers. Instead, move on and seek out the company of benevolent, kind individuals, since those are the type of people that are going to make a positive difference in your life.

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


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