Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday Night Classic Music Video

It was sunny and 55 degrees out when I picked this out a few months ago:

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Your First Love

There is a little known fact that most little boys think that they are going to marry their Mom when they grow up.

I don't recall when this happens, maybe around age 3, and not all of them say it out loud, but at that very young age, an attachement is there that guys don't want to end.

Mom then has to explain to her son, that she is already married to his Dad, but one day when you are older, you'll find someone just as special. Now go outside and play. That's the way the conversation goes.

Years later. Teen time. We want nothing to do with our parents, or at least Mom.

Have you matured since then? You have 1 month before Valentines Day. Time to read and reflect on this story from AOM:


Blow Up Your Relationship with Your Mother-And Get One Step Closer to Being the Man You Want to Be

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Wayne M. Levine, M.A.

If you want a very quick take on how important this article may be to your future happiness and success as a man, honestly assess your reaction to its title.

What did you feel? Were you aghast? Did it offend you? Did it piss you off? Are you utterly confused? If you’re this guy, you DESPERATELY need the wisdom found below.

Were you intrigued by the title? Did it resonate with you for some unknown reason? Did it make you smile? If you’re this guy, you also DESPERATELY need this wisdom. The difference is, it may be much easier for you to take action.

And if it turns out that you have already taken this courageous action, terrific. You’re now in a mature relationship with your mother. Good for you, and for those around you.

If you other good (or not so good) little boys want to feel what it’s like to be a real man, a real man in your relationship with your mother—and ultimately, a real man in your relationship with a significant other—then pay close attention. If you follow the advice you’re about to receive, you will never be the same. And that’ll be a good thing!

Damn That Little Boy

We’re having this conversation because something isn’t working in your life. And one place you can see it manifest is in your relationship with your mother.

You may be in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, even 60s. But when you’re visiting your mom, or having a phone conversation with her, you feel like that little boy having to obey her rules, feeling compelled to argue with her, angry as hell, or terribly sad, with how she makes you feel with her words, her “looks,” or the attitude you know so well.

You’re nodding your head. Your stomach is tightening. Your breathing has become a bit shallow. Do you know why? Well, we’re talking about you and your pain. You have felt it for years. Your girlfriends, wife, buddies, and kids have seen what happens to you when you’re in the presence of your “mommy.” What the hell is going on?

Here is where the wisdom begins. Take a deep breath. You can change what’s going on between your ears, and that will change your relationship with your mother, and that will change everything for you as a man.

Weak vs. Powerful

When you’re with your mother, or just having thoughts or a discussion about her, and you find yourself angry, resentful, sad, withdrawn, irritable, silent, withholding, stubborn, argumentative, or just numb, you are what many of us guys in the men’s biz would call “not in your power.” You know when you’re not in your power. You can feel it. You just might not have ever labeled it. You’re not in your power when you feel weak, stuck, paralyzed, victimized, and in the problem. And you feel weak when these negative feelings take hold.

How did this happen? Well, you had help. When you were young, you learned how a man behaves with, responds to, and deals with women. Your greatest teacher, for better or worse, was probably dad.

Whatever your circumstances, a young boy learns from his parents (or other adults) how to thrive or survive in relationships. Depending on the level of dysfunction in your family of origin, you may have had to develop some very interesting coping skills.

For example, if dad was a coward, and mom grew to be (in your eyes) an angry, controlling “bitch”, you know very well how to “please” mommy so as to avoid her wrath. Or, dad may have left (divorced, died, abandoned, abused, etc.) the family when you were young, and mom bestowed upon you her resentment toward men.

What happens for these unfortunate boys is that they grow up to be self-hating men. These men unconsciously do not trust other men or themselves. For these guys, being who they are—men—is shameful. As a result, they relinquish all power to the women in their lives, without even being asked. This offering up of men’s power is one of the main contributors to women feeling unsafe, insecure, and, ultimately, resentful and angry. (A fabulous topic for a future post.)

To relinquish power is to be other than the man you want to be in a given situation. You don’t speak up. You avoid conflict in the face of intolerable circumstances. You lie to appease. You lie to yourself, attempting to believe that you are not disappointed or even disgusted with your own behavior.

Back to mom.

Mama’s Boy

Though this will probably not come as news to you, you are a “mama’s boy.” You don’t like that diagnosis? You want a second opinion? OK. You never feel, honestly, as if you measure up as a real man. There’s your second opinion.

Your primary concern is in pleasing your mother, trying not to worry her, worrying about her and how she feels, trying to change your mother, annoying your wife with your concerns about your mom, arguing with your mom, letting your mom dictate family schedules, allowing her gift of guilt to guide your choices… must I go on? This is so painful. Let’s get out of this problem and into the solution, shall we? Let’s blow up this relationship and give you the opportunity to finally be the man, husband, and father you want to be, and that your family needs.

“Blow up? That sounds so violent, Wayne, so unnecessarily macho. Couldn’t you communicate this concept in a more professional, therapeutic way, a way that honors me, my mother and our relationship?” Mmmmm, let me think…NO! Grow up.

There’s nothing to be honored about your current “good little boy” relationship with your mother. It has run its course. You no longer have any need of it. It needs to be jettisoned, like a rocket booster that’s out of fuel. It’s killing you, killing your relationship with your woman, compromising your effectiveness as a father, and keeping you weak as a man in every part of your life. Got it? Let’s blow this “muthah” up, move on, and be the best man, husband, father, and son you can be!

Blowing Up Your Relationship

Ultimately, you’re going to create a whole new relationship with your mother. It’ll be a mature relationship, on your terms. It’ll be loving, attentive, helpful, considerate—whatever you want it to be. But it won’t be like the old relationship. And as difficult as it may be for you to imagine this change in your life, I can assure that I, and many men I’ve coached, have made the transition and have lived, happily, to tell of it. Here’s what you’ll want to do:

Set Your Terms

I teach men to develop and honor their N.U.T.s, non-negotiable, unalterable terms. Without these terms, expect nothing to change. With these terms, everything is possible. Remember, these are changes in you, in your thought process and in your behavior.

We’re not talking about changing others, though you changing may very well motivate others to change in response. Blowing up your little boy relationship with your mother doesn’t require anything of her. This is where you start to take back your power.

Here are a few terms (N.U.T.s) to consider:

When she becomes critical, our conversation is over. (Because you will no longer conduct conversations with your mother that you would not conduct with any other human being.)

The needs of my new family supercede those of my mother. (Because you want to be happily married. This doesn’t mean you can’t accommodate and care for your mother in an appropriate manner.)

When my mother visits, the conditions of her visit will first be agreed upon by me and my wife. (Because you need to remember whose life and house you’re responsible for.)

My mother will not be left alone with, or allowed to drive, my kids. (Because you do not trust her, or she has lost her capacity to responsibly care for your children or to drive an automobile. You are responsible for making this call, period.)

I will no longer try to change, correct, or argue with my mother. (Because I no longer need to be right, or work on my own issues through my mother. What I have to change in me, I will address. She’s responsible for her own life, choices, and growth.)

Make No Announcements

You can’t ask for permission to be the man you want to be. So don’t try doing so here. There’s no need to alert the media about this change in your intentions. There’s no need to make any form of announcement to your mother, or to anyone else, though it’s perfectly fine to include your wife in your plans.

Grab your balls and act. At your first opportunity, honor your new N.U.T. If you’re really being the man you want to be, nothing she does or say can truly keep you from following through.

She will definitely be unhappy with you. But eventually, if you’re consistent, she will learn that if she wants to have a relationship with her son, she will have to conform. This works. It REALLY does. You don’t have to explain a thing. You’ll just have to tell her, ONCE, that if she insists on doing that thing she does that is no longer acceptable to you, you will end the conversation.

Get Support

As you can already anticipate, this is going to be, possibly, enormously difficult for you. It will upset you. You will find yourself in doubt and fear. You might feel guilty that you are somehow “slowly killing your mother.” You might believe what she tells you about yourself. All of this is to be expected. It’s the fire you must go through. But you don’t have to go through it alone. You’ll need support.

That support should come from other men. Let a man, or circle of men, hold you accountable, prop you up, and encourage you to stay the course. Chances are, these other guys have to do the same demolition to their own relationships with mom.

You Must Remember This

You must remember that this process has nothing to do with blaming your mother. The problem is that you already do. What’s being suggested here is to stop blaming her, to start accepting her for who she is, and then relating to her as an adult who needs nothing from her, rather than a little boy who is completely dependent upon her.

And this can happen even if your mother has already passed. You can still—and you must—honor her for having done her best, and accept her for whatever you saw as her shortcomings. Then, let her know, in your own way, that you no longer need her to mother you, and that you have matured into a grown man. You’re ready to cut the apron strings. Create a ritual, and take this exercise seriously. Let your mother know, and let it sink into your own heart, that you love her and thank her for having done her best.

If you’ve always had a loving, respectful relationship with your mother, and have never felt anger toward her, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not angry and that you don’t need to create a new, mature relationship with her. For many good little boys, being angry with mom was—something you learned as a child— totally unacceptable. Allow yourself the opportunity to become completely conscious and assess your true feelings for and relationship with mom. Consider how your unexpressed anger with her may be seeping out onto your girlfriend, wife, daughter, and other relationships with women.

When you blow up this relationship, and allow yourself to have a mature, loving relationship with your mother, your life and all of your relationships will forever be altered. You’ll feel more like the man you want to be, and you’ll be more the husband and father your family needs you to be.

I encourage you to do the work necessary to get clear about your current relationship with your mother. If you have the courage to do this work, you’ll see you have the courage to face any challenge in your life.

____________________________________________________

Wayne M. Levine, M.A. is the director of BetterMen.org in Agoura Hills, CA, where he life coaches and mentors men to be the best men, fathers, husbands and leaders they can be. He also coaches women, couples and teens. Wayne facilitates several weekly men’s groups, and created the BetterMen Retreat for men. Wayne, a relationship expert, is the author of the best-selling “Hold On to Your N.U.T.s—The Relationship Manual for Men.

©2011 BetterMen.org

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fear?

From the DLM Blog:

Overcoming the Fear of Success

Posted: 09 Jan 2011 07:31 AM PST


I've got a problem. At least, I used to. Success freaked me out. I thought I wanted to be successful, but I really didn't.

Oh, I'd think a lot about wanting to make more out of my life, to do something that filled me with passion and excitement, but I never bit the bullet and did it. You know why? I was scared I'd fail.

Failure, to me, meant saying I was going to do something publicly, trying to do it, and then not being able to do what I wanted to do. I've always been like this, for as long as I can remember.

As a matter of fact, one of the earliest memories I have is of me playing baseball. I was probably seven years old, maybe even younger than that. I loved baseball (still do), and I was pretty good at the fielding part. I played shortstop, which isn't a position where you can hide someone who's not very good. If you want to hide a seven year old, you send him to the outfield, so he can pick dandelions.

I was terrified of hitting, though. Not because I was scared of the ball; I just didn't want to hit the ball. I thought it would be the most embarrassing thing in the world to make an out in a critical situation. So, every time I went up to bat, I prayed for a walk. I honestly never swung once the entire season.

Naturally, I ended up striking out a lot. Same result as I would have gotten had I swung, without the opportunity to ever get a hit. That thought never crossed my mind, though.

Finally, the last game of the season, my dad finally said something to me. He realized what was going on, I think, and explained to me that I never had a chance to get a hit if I never swung the bat.

So, the last at bat I got in that game, I swung. And you know what?

I struck out. Again.

And I cried.

But, after the game was over, my dad told me he was really proud of me. And his words started to sink in. I realized I had to be willing to fail in order to succeed. To my young mind, this was a new thought; one I'd never really considered before.

Is this kind of situation playing out in your life?
Here I am now. I'm 32 years old, and I'm still scared of putting myself out there. I think it's natural for pretty much everyone. We think that, if we say the way we'd like things to be in our lives (whether it's professing love to someone, or admitting we're dissatisfied with our jobs, or wanting to go back to school when we're definitely past our college years), people will laugh at us. They'll beat us back into conformity with everyone else, and that won't feel good.

I once heard of an experiment that was done with a group of chimpanzees. These chimps were placed in an enclosure that had a pole in the center. On top of the pole was a platform that had a treat on it (bananas or something). Whenever one of the chimps would try to climb the pole to get at the treat, the researchers would hit the group of chimps on the ground with water from a hose. Eventually, if one would try to climb the pole, the others would grab it, to prevent the group from getting sprayed.

After a while, the researchers quit spraying the chimps. The chimps behavior, however, continued. They still kept anyone from climbing the pole. After a while, none of the chimps tried to climb the pole anymore.

Later, the researchers introduced a new chimp into the group, and removed one of the originals. The new chimp tried to climb the pole, and was instantly pulled back down by the group. After awhile, it quit trying to climb the pole, too.

New chimps were introduced one by one, and original chimps were removed. Eventually, all of the original chimps were gone. None of the chimps currently in the enclosure had ever been sprayed with water. Yet none of them ever tried to climb the pole, because each time they did, the group would pull them back down.

Think about that. None of the chimps even knew why they weren't supposed to climb the pole, yet they all enforced it just out of habit. Because that's the way it's always been.

People behave in the same way. If we try to do something extraordinary with our lives, and we tell people about it, we're worried we'll be ridiculed for it. Mocked and shamed into conformity. People tell us it can't be done, simply because they've never seen anyone do it before.

Well, I think it's time that it stopped. Thumb your nose at the rest of the chimps and climb the pole. Do what you want to do, and don't worry about what other people think.

These are the lessons that I've learned since that day I struck out in Little League:
  1. Everyone's scared.
    No one has it all together. If you talk to any successful person, you'll find out that, not only were they scared to begin doing something different, they still get scared every time. It gets incrementally easier, but the fear never goes away. Professional athletes still get nervous before the game. Musicians still have butterflies in their stomachs before concerts. Authors freak out the night before their books are released. What you're feeling is no different that anyone else.
  2. No one's paying attention to you.
    This is a corollary to lesson #1. People are so worried about how things are going for them they don't have time to be concerned about anyone else - especially you. Consequently, people spend time worrying about other people, who really have no time to worry about anyone else because they have problems of their own. See how silly this all is? Oh, sure. There are some people who are paying attention to you. But, they're usually your spouse or family or really close friends. The kinds of people are going to be supportive of you, anyway. That's a good kind of attention.
  3. You have to know where you want to go.
    What's the old saying? “If you don't know where you're going, any road will do”, I believe is how it goes. You need to figure out what your dreams are for yourself. Once you've figured out what you want to do, you can put a plan together to achieve it.

    One of the things that always concerned me about goals was hearing all of these “self-help gurus” saying you have to set huge, aggressive, audacious goals for yourself. The implication was that if you don't dream big, you might as well not bother. That always put me off, because I've never wanted anything really big in my life. No huge mansions or Ferarris, no yacht in the Caribbean.

    I came to believe that everyone needs to start somewhere. If you have a lot of credit card debt that you want to get paid off, that's a fine dream. There's nothing wrong with your dream of a debt-free life. You don't have to want to build a multi-million dollar business in order to put the power of dreams to work for you. Just start dreaming, and however big or small they are is good enough for now.
  4. Do what makes you happy, and don't worry about others.
    Obviously, you have to be smart about this. I'm not saying run out on responsibilities and obligations you have set for yourself. What I'm saying is that there are very few people in this world who's approval you should be after. Your spouse and kids, maybe your extended family's, if they're supportive; that's about it. If a person doesn't have a vested interest in your success, you can confidently disregard what they think about what you're choosing to do. The only way you can count your life as truly successful is if you're doing what you're meant to do, regardless of what society at large thinks of it.
It's taken me over 25 years to fully absorb the lesson my dad tried to pass on to me that day on the baseball diamond. I've finally started to put something out there to the world that's reflective of who I truly am, without shame or apology. And I'm finally happy with who I'm becoming. I'm pressing on to be a better person, and, even though it scares me every time I hit “publish”, I'm learning to enjoy the butterflies. Because I'm starting to be who I'm supposed to be.

Written on 5/26/2009 by Jason Barr. Jason writes for LDCL, a blog about Life Design and forming the habits necessary to reach your goals, whatever they may be. If you like what you just read, you can see more posts like it twice weekly by grabbing a subscription here. Republished on 1/9/2011.Photo Credit: Jimee, Jackie, Tom & Asha

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Video Time: Morning around the World

Each of us have our usual morning routines.

Take a look at how they are different and the same around the world:

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tech Tuesday Tip

This week another tip from Kim Komando:

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Stupid or Smart?

It's your choice.

All of us have the same 24 hours each day.

How we spend our time makes all the difference in the world.

What is the difference between spending time online and watching Television?

I believe the web is more akin to what we did before the dominance of the boob tube for entertainment.

We READ when we are online.

Time online is more like reading a book, than watching television.

You're reading right now, right?

The DLM Blog has more on this subject:

How to Become More Intelligent

Posted: 08 Jan 2011 04:54 PM PST


Intelligence is your capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding and mastery. It’s your aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts and meanings.

Knowing a great deal is not the same as being intelligent; intelligence is not information “alone,” but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used. -Dr. Carl Sagan

This article will offer you five ways to increase your intelligence by showing you how to enhance your capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding and mastery.

5 Ways to Become More Intelligent

  1. Read Often
    Do you realize that through reading you can learn in a few hours what took someone decades to learn? Reading not only informs, but it also increases your capacity for learning, thereby increasing your intelligence.

    Although knowledge is not the summation of intelligence, it is the foundation of intelligence, so it’s crucial that we cultivate the joy of reading.

    It’s an amazing thing, people who become successful write down how they did it, and then sell that information for a few dollars. For a few dollars and a few hours you can literally pick someone’s brain; you can buy a piece of their intelligence.

    Reading gives you insight into great minds and sharpens your intellect. This allows you the ability to make greater logical connections because reading gives you more pieces of life’s puzzle. By reading from a multiplicity of sources, you gain the wisdom of many.

    Reading (blogs like this one) is a great way to increase your intelligence. Remember, readers are leaders, and leaders are usually intelligent.

  2. Teach Others

    “Those that understand, teach.”- Aristotle

    Teaching increases your capacity for reasoning, a critical aspect of intelligence.
    Anyone who’s ever successfully taught anything realizes that teaching increases your capacity to reason. When you teach, you’re often required to view what you’re teaching from a variety of perspectives.

    “I've always felt that a person's intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting points of view he can entertain simultaneously on the same topic.”-Abigail Adams

    When you teach, it’s often essential that you question what you believe in order to deal with objections and oppositions that are sure to arise. Teaching is often more beneficial to the teacher than the student.

  3. Get Into Action
    Action increases your capacity to understand a subject. As the old proverb goes, “In all thy getting, get understanding.”

    You can have information, and you can teach what you know, but you will never fully understand a subject until you put it into practice. If you want to significantly increase your intelligence related to cooking, don’t just watch the Cooking Channel and don’t just tell someone how to cook; you must master cooking yourself by trying, failing, and perfecting the act of cooking.

    You will always understand things better when you do them yourself. Knowledge gives you the pieces of the puzzle; understanding helps you put the puzzle together.

    “A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.”-Henry David Thoreau

  4. Master One Subject
    Mastery is a sign of intelligence. Mastery comes from focusing on one subject until you fully understand it. If you can fully understand one subject, it will help you to better understand other subjects. In other words, mastery will increase your aptitude for grasping truths. If you can master playing the piano, you will better understand music in general.

    Additionally, if you can master any subject, you will understand what it takes to succeed.

  5. Bonus: Watch More Television
    You probably didn’t see this one coming.

    By watching more television, you can become more “well-rounded.” Of course I’m not referring to watching more of the The Simpsons, I’m talking about watching television shows that offer an educational message such as political shows or shows on The Discovery Channel or The History Channel. These shows can increase your capacity for learning, reasoning, and understanding as long as you don't choose educational shows that also stress you out.
By putting these principles into practice on a consistent basis, you will begin to take on the characteristics of an intellectual. Your capacity to learn will be stretched, your reasoning skills will be utilized, your understanding will increase, and you will master at least one subject.

Written on 11/05/2009 by Mr. Self Development who is a motivational author that offers a practical guide to success and wealth; support him by visiting his blog at mrselfdevelopment.com. Republished 1/8/2011.
Photo Credit: Kamil PorembiƄski

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Zig It

Advice for the new year, or anytime. From the DLM Blog:

7 Powerful and Amazingly Motivational Quotes from Zig Ziglar

Posted: 24 Oct 2010 09:58 AM PDT


Zig Ziglar was born in 1926 in Coffee County, Alabama, United States. He is an American author, salesperson and a motivational speaker. He is over 80 years old and still travels around the world attending motivation seminars to help people get stuff done.

Sometimes, a simple quote can change the way you see something, and that is what Zig Ziglar does so well.

With all that said, enjoy the 7 quotes below and think about how you can apply them to your own life. Is there something that can be improved? What steps can you take today to improve what you already have?
  1. "You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
    Being selfish in life might make you happy in the short-term, but sooner or later you’ll realize that what really matters is helping others.

    It is what brings joy into your life and gets you up in the morning. As I went from a professional poker player to a more service oriented business, I started feeling a lot better.

    I am by no means saying to neglect yourself, because if you do not help yourself, you cannot help others, so there’s always a fine line of balance.

  2. "The greatest good we can do for others is not just to share our riches with them, but to reveal theirs."
    Everyone has at least one gift and one passion in this life, usually more. Sometimes we’re blind to what’s in front of us, and we need someone else to point out the obvious.

    It took me a long time to realize that I really liked writing. Writing is something that comes naturally to me, and I love it. If it is one of my riches I do not know, but for now it certainly seems like it.

  3. "Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude."
    It is not your inherent ability that determines your success, but your attitude. I’ve seen people have everything delivered to them on a silver platter and fail miserably. They gave up at the first sign of trouble.

    I’ve also seen people succeed with very little. If you’re determined to succeed, you won’t stop until you do. That’s the way I learned to play poker, and that’s the way I’ve learned to make a living online.

    I didn’t see myself having any other option than to succeed. I really like what I do, and I wasn’t going to give it up easily.

  4. "Every choice you make has an end result."
    What kind of choices are you making today, and how will they affect your life one day, one month, one year, or ten years from now?

    Are you constantly avoiding going after your passion because you’re afraid of what might happen? Are you waiting for the stars to align so you can go after your dreams?

    The decisions you make today are the ones that shape your life, so choose wisely.

  5. "If you learn from defeat, you haven't really lost."
    I failed a lot before I succeeded and started making a living online. Although failing hurts, I no longer look at it as defeat. I learn from each failure, and from each mistake I make.

    It may not be obvious what I’m learning all the time, but sooner or later it dawns on me. When you’re starting out with anything new, such as going after your passion and your dreams, you will make a lot of mistakes, and it will feel like you’re failing, but in reality, you’re making progress.

  6. "If you wait until all the lights are "green" before you leave home, you'll never get started on your trip to the top."
    This is an excellent quote, because a lot of people want to wait until things are perfect until they start going after their dreams.

    If you’re one of them, you most likely will be waiting your whole life. If you want to do something other than you’re doing now, then go after it, and start doing it in any little way you can.

    Stop waiting for permission. Stop waiting for things to work out. Start doing what you can do today, conquer your fears and take things from there.

  7. "Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful."
    Adversity doesn’t feel nice, but it is sometimes just what you need in order to be successful. We don’t have a crystal ball, so we can’t really see that today’s adversity is tomorrow’s success.

    Don’t judge the mistakes you make, the failures you have and the adversity you run into, because you never know if all of those things lead to something wonderful.
Written on 10/24/2010 by Henri Junttila. Henri is addicted to living a free and passionate life. He runs the Wake Up Cloud, where he shows you how you can learn how to find your passion and live consciously.Photo Credit: ziglar.com

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