Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Writing – The Power Of Your Dreams And The Opportunity To Bring Them To Life

Where do you keep your dreams? Are they stored in your heart or floating somewhere in space? Do you bring them out to play or push them away? Do you tell yourself maybe someday or just shake your head and say “no way”?

Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.”

Roy T. Bennett

Do not store away your dreams. Dreams are the core of us, our center, our soul. They are the best of us, something we hope for but do not quite believe.

Do not let your dreams fade away. Bring them out of storage, dust them off and write about them. Share your dreams and let them fly. Make them real.

Write about them! The simple act of writing them down, whether it be in a personal journal, a blog or story will bring your dreams to life.

When your dreams are written down, you can see them and reach out and touch them. They have substance, and they become real.

You now have a different perspective, a different expectation. You believe your dream is something you can achieve.

There you are taking that dream and making a plan on how to make it work. WooHoo! Do your Happy Dance.

That is what I am learning about writing. It can be so exciting and so powerful. The act of writing opens up so many pathways within me. Literally. Pathways between the right and left hemisphere of my brain.

A study done by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, found that you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams, simply by writing them down on a regular basis.

It is the way our brains work. The right hemisphere of our brain performs tasks that have to do with creativity and the arts. It holds our imagination. That is where we store our dreams. The left hemisphere performs the tasks that have to do with logic, like math and science.

A bundle of neural fibers called the Corpus Callosum connects the right and left hemispheres. Electrical signals move back and forth between them. They also travel up and down our spinal column and in the fluid that surrounds our brain.

When you write down your dreams and goals, the act of writing, allows the connection between your left and right hemispheres. Your thoughts and dreams become connected with your logical side. They become opportunities.

It then becomes logical and something you can do. It is no longer just a dream. There it is in black and white. You can see it, feel it, and touch it, and you can actively work toward achieving it.

I believe we all have ideas and dreams randomly floating in our brain. The right hemisphere to be correct. We have big and little aspirations. By writing my blog, I have opened my pathways, connecting the right with the left. Writing has let me know myself better. It encourages me to do those things I kept pushing away. You know, the things we would like to do but tell ourselves me can’t.

Think of all the people with their dreams tucked away. Think of yourself. What are your dreams? Write them down, look at them, touch them and breathe life into them.

Dreams and aspirations are an essential part of who we are. Write about them.

What can a pencil do for all of us? Amazing things. It can write transcendent poetry, uplifting music, or life-changing equations; it can sketch the future, give life to untold beauty, and communicate the full-force of our love and aspirations.

Adam Braun

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Go ahead, write about your dream today.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Beware – Energy Vampires – 7 Ways To Protect Yourself

Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

Come here my little pretty, let me suck away your energy. I’m hungry I need to feed!

People feed off each other’s energy. When you walk into a room, can you feel the energy, the vibe, what the other people are feeling?

Is it positive or is it negative? Does it make you comfortable, or do you want to turn around and walk away?

Sometimes it takes just one person to change the atmosphere of a room. Just like they had sucked the energy out of it.

That is bad under any circumstance but worse in the workplace. In a social gathering you can walk away. You can distance yourself from an acquaintance or friend. It is not so easy to do that at work.

How’s your energy? Do you have positive energy or negative energy? How do you feel every day? Are you usually positive and feel great, or are you more negative and feel down most of the time?

What determines our energy? It has a lot to do with what has happened in our past and how we have dealt with those things that shaped us. Our mindset and how we cope with life challenges have a significant impact on our energy. Whatever our perception of events around us and what we think about the most also affect our energy.

We love to be around positive people. They make us feel better, and we are more relaxed.

We usually are uncomfortable around negative people. They make us feel on edge and tense being near them.

It is not always easy to identify an Energy Vampire, especially when we first meet someone. They can be very charismatic. You may want to spend time with them. Until you don’t.

Have you ever spent time with someone, and at the end of the day you feel drained or overwhelmed? It could be a friend that you go to lunch with, or a colleague that you go with to a conference. You may be irritated, anxious and even depressed.

Why do you feel that way? What did you talk about, and did they have a negative attitude? Did you attempt to talk about something important to you, and they made you feel stupid to feel that way?

When you interact with anyone, and you walk away feeling drained, you have just spent time with an Energy Vampire.

An Energy Vampire tries to absorb your positive energy for themselves. Their purpose is to feel better about themselves. They lack empathy and are only concerned with their feelings.

I used to have that experience over and over with the same person. They needed a shoulder to cry on, and I was always there. Each time I would feel irritated and emotionally drained. It became worse as time went by. They never did anything to change their situation, but they always came back looking for that shoulder. I finally stopped. I could not take it anymore.

How do we protect ourselves from an Energy Vampire?

  • Determine what is acceptable for you. You may be in a situation where you cannot separate yourself from the vampire person. It may be a boss, a co-worker, or a relative. Do the next best thing. Set some boundaries for yourself. If possible explain what you can or cannot do. Remain positive and firm in your decisions.
  • Be passive and do not react. Be neutral and do not argue or dispute what they say. Energy Vampires seek out reactions from others which will increase their desire to keep interacting with you. Stop, be quiet, and let them talk. Hopefully, they will become bored and walk away.
  • Be positive and talk about positive topics. Smile, laugh. Steer the conversation away from anything negative or judgmental. Energy Vampires are melodramatic and can be manipulative. They like to complain and gossip. They tend to be jealous and resentful. Do not provide them with the environment they are seeking.
  • Learn to say no. When you say no, you are automatically taking away the ability for someone to steal your energy. There are many times when we automatically say yes to someone and then almost immediately regret it. We regret it because we know it is going to sap our energy. Learn to say no.
  • Spend as much time as possible with positive people that you feel good being around. Identify those who drain your energy and spend the smallest amount of time with them. Look for ways to eliminate them from your life.
  • Do a self evaluation. What upsets you about another person? You may have an issue in your life that you do not realize, and you attract the same type of person in your life. You may feel insecure on some level, or not worthy. Helping an Energy Vampire may make you feel needed. Once you realize and correct whatever issue you are having. the vampire moves on to find another source of energy.
  • Commit to doing what makes you feel good, what makes you feel happy. The better you are at taking care of yourself, the less likely Energy Vampires will be able to suck your energy.

Life can be busy and sometimes overwhelming. We need all the energy we have. Take care of yourself. Do whatever you can to rest, relax, and enjoy your life. Stay away from the Energy Vampires. Garlic, anyone?

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As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day!

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Brain Fog – Why Is Sleep So Important? What To Do To Support Good Sleep.

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Brain Fog. It feels weird. Do you know what I mean? You feel like you are having an out of body experience. You feel like you are dreaming or maybe sleepwalking. You sit there, and you cannot function.

There are times when we push ourselves a little too hard and wear ourselves out. You know it, you can feel it but, you keep pushing. That’s okay for a day, maybe two but any longer than that and your body starts to react. It is sending you a message. Slow down, rest, relax, get some sleep. If you do not listen, your body will continue to send you more messages. One of them is brain fog.

Good quality sleep is necessary for your mental health, physical health, safety and overall quality of life. Being deprived of good quality sleep will affect how we get along with others. I get grouchy when I am tired, does anyone else feel that way? Our reaction time slows down, and it is difficult to understand and to learn. Being sleep deprived can lead to chronic illnesses such as heart disease.

I forced myself to take a nap this week, not once but twice. I fought it, I did not want to take the time, but I have learned to tell the signs, and I finally gave in. I had been extra busy the past two weeks and was pushing myself to keep going. Once I had accomplished what I was focusing on, my body started sending me messages — time to rest.

So what can be do to make sure we are getting enough sleep?

  • Try to maintain a scheduled bedtime. Remember when we were kids? There was a reason for going to bed at the same time and also for getting up on schedule. You want it to be a habit. You have a natural sleep-wake clock within you called your circadian rhythm. Your brain controls your circadian rhythm, which works best when you maintain a set sleep-wake schedule.
  • Exercise is so vital for our overall well being. Walking, running, bicycling, swimming, lifting weights. All of these activities are good for us, mentally and physically and it helps us sleep.

According to John Hopkins Medicine and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, exercise helps us get good quality sleep.

“We have solid evidence that exercise does, in fact, help you fall asleep more quickly and improves sleep quality,” says Charlene Gamaldo, M.D. , medical director of Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep 

Researchers don’t completely understand how physical activity improves sleep. “We may never be able to pinpoint the mechanism that explains how the two are related,” she says. 

However, we do know that moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of slow wave sleep you get. Slow wave sleep refers to deep sleep, where the brain and body have a chance to rejuvenate. Exercise can also help to stabilize your mood and decompress the mind, “a cognitive process that is important for naturally transitioning to sleep,” says Gamaldo.

  • Cut back on stimulants such as caffeine. The effects of caffeine can last up to 8 hours. Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea and, oh no, chocolate. Not being a smoker, I did not realize that nicotine is also a stimulant. We all know smoking is bad for us, but if you do smoke, avoid it for a few hours before you go to bed.
  • Slow down your activity at least an hour before bedtime. Do not exercise strenuously before bed. Doing slow, gentle Yoga stretches have been shown to help promote good sleep because it releases tension held in your body and enables you to relax. Four relaxing Yoga poses to try can be found here: https://www.elitedaily.com/wellness/yoga-help-you-sleep/1812434
  • Step away from Social Media by turning off your computer and any apparatus with bright light. Do some reading before bed instead of watching the TV. Listen to soft music . Do some meditation.
  • Avoid eating large meals close to your bed time. You should not eat a full meal within 3 hours of your scheduled sleep time. Also, avoid any food that is spicy or acidic, which may cause heartburn. It is not beneficial to go to bed hungry, so having a light snack is okay. Try eating yogurt or a banana before bed or maybe a small bowl of cereal with some berries. Bananas contain serotonin and berries contain melatonin which helps support sleep. Drinking tart cherry juice which is also high in melatonin is also something to try.
  • Make your bedroom a restful haven. Soft, comfy sheets and blankets, and a great pillow will make you comfortable. Your bedroom should be quiet and dark, with only very dim lighting if needed. It should also be on the cooler side, between 60 to 65 degrees. Studies have shown that colder temperatures help stimulate sleep, and we will cycle naturally through sleep stages. A cooler sleeping environment will also support our natural melatonin levels.

If you do all of these practices and still cannot sleep or show signs of sleep deprivation, talk to your doctor about your concerns. There could be an underlying heath problem.

“… sleep deprivation is an illegal torture method outlawed by the Geneva Convention and international courts, but most of us do it to ourselves.” 

― Ryan Hurd, Dream Like a Boss: Sleep Better, Dream More, and Wake Up to What Matters Most

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a good night’s sleep.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Work Dynamics – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly- The Webs We Weave

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Do you love your job? Do you get up ready to go to work and know you are going to enjoy the day? Do your peers interact well together and respect each other? Does your boss communicate well, show respect and encouragement and acknowledge individual contributions?

If you can answer yes to those questions be happy, very happy, because you are working in a good environment. Consider yourself lucky. That type of environment is not easily found.

There are companies that are toxic because of the webs woven by boss and employees. Once a culture is negative it can be extremely difficult to correct and takes the work and positive input of many, many people.

Most of us have probably worked for a company that was good but not great. It was good enough to be acceptable. Sometimes we end up in jobs that are barely tolerable. Unfortunately, we do not always have many options and we feel lucky just to have a job.

What can we do to improve the dynamics of the work place?

  • Use your communication skills. Communication is indeed a skill and quite often we overlook it’s importance. We think we are good communicators but are we? Communication is not just our use of language. It is also our ability to listen, ask questions, understand and observe body language.

One of the most frustrating experiences for anyone is to talk and not be given the respect of being heard and understood.

  • Be kind. Be friendly and smile. Say hello even when you do not like someone. You have to work with them and you may not truly understand them. Try to learn more about them. Ask questions and try to look at it from their perspective. If given the chance they may surprise you and you will probably surprise them.
  • Be positive and look for ways to incorporate that into the work culture. When working on projects and you have a new idea try to present it in such a way that others will be able to see the benefit as well. Show them how they will gain from your idea.
  • If someone is confrontational toward you, or others, try not to be defensive. Take a deep breathe, smile and ask them to clarify what is wrong. Listen and take the time to try to understand the way they are feeling. Ask more questions if appropriate and thank them for their input. Tell them you appreciate their concerns and will take them into consideration. Let them know you are willing to talk whenever they have a concern that affects the work dynamic and you would appreciate the same courtesy.
  • Recognize when you or someone else are stressed. Having someone stressed in the workplace can affect everyone. You can take steps to work off your stress with exercise, meditation, reading a book, watching a movie or taking a walk. Suggest the same activities to a co-worker. Ask them if they have watched a recent movie or read the newest book and encourage them to do so. Tell them how relaxing those activities are for you.

If you are the boss or the employee how you interact is so important to the overall dynamic. There is always a shift of actions and reactions within a group of people and it should be up to all involved to realize their impact on others. As a group you should be working toward the same goal. I believe it is something that should be talked about within any company, large or small. It should start at the top but it can start anywhere. Communication is the most important element.

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The goal is to be happy. If you can work somewhere and be a positive influence everyone wins. Happiness is contagious and others will be encouraged by your attitude. Their attitude will change and you will become more supportive of each other. That is a win-win in any environment.

Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change you forever.”

Amy Poulter

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Spend some time with someone who inspires you today.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do – Is It Time To Move Forward Or Time To Stay In Place?

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You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward, just take the first step.

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I feel like crap today. I can’t move forward. I don’t feel like doing anything but feel I have to. You know those days when you wake up in the morning and you feel okay but once you get to work you don’t. You feel stuck. You’re there, you want to go home, but there is a meeting or a class or something you really need to work on.

What the heck should you do. Power through or throw in the hat? Head to the bathroom and barf or just suck it up.

My option is usually just suck it up. Once I get moving I’m okay. It may not be pleasant and I may not be glowing with contentment but I get the job done.

My feeling totally yucky today has led me to writing this post. I was just poking around trying to decide what to write about and decided to look at some quotes. I wanted to move forward and I took that first step and here I am.

My analogy could easily apply to other situations of “What to do when you don’t know what to do”.

In my case it was making a decision to either be a slug or to actually do something and in this case it was what to write today. It could easily have been about something else.

Sometimes we just get overwhelmed, tired or just feel yucky. Maybe I should have taken a mental health day.

We all have hurdles, some are small and some are much larger. You may have come to a stalemate, a huge hurdle in your life that is overwhelming and requires a big potentially life changing decision.

You can use the same techniques in all situations. It is good to practice them all the time so they become part of your everyday life. Make them habits.

What can you do to keep moving forward?

  • Depending on your situation you may not be able to figure it out quickly. It won’t be an overnight decision. Life throws us some interesting curves sometimes. Take some time knowing you may be unhappy or uncomfortable until you can come to a decision.
  • If you have a “smaller” less significant problem you will still need to take a little time to understand why you are stuck. For instance take that mental health day and use it to rest and refuel. Access what was wrong and then refocus so you can move forward.
  • Make a decision on what to do but keep it simple. This will make it easier to take a first step. Don’t overthink it and don’t make it too complicated. Take that first step, evaluate the result and then use what you learned from the first step. Keep moving and do it again. .
  • Smile. Smiling is the easiest, simplest thing you can do to feel better and boost your confidence. Smiling can change your whole perspective and make everything easier.
  • Look for ways to relax that you usually don’t take the time for. When you go to lunch leave your phone behind, go for a walk or actually talk to someone face to face and do not talk about work. Talk about sports, a great movie or a book you are reading. Hopefully, you do those things as a hobby. If not, consider doing them for your well being. It is important to do things that relax you, give you energy and help you to look at your life in a new, fresh way.
  • When you are faced with anything that significantly affects your life and you have to make changes, either small or large, consider it an opportunity. Stop and listen to yourself. Listen to your body, your mind, your emotions. We do not normally do this and it is important. Take the time to learn about and understand who you are and then make the changes you need for yourself.
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As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Calm – It’s A Skill We Should All Strive For – 8 Steps To Take

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Blindsided! Assaulted! Worry! Unease! Overwhelmed! Are these familiar feelings?

Like an explosion. You feel it surge over you. A negative response to a multitude of possible happenings.

You feel blindsided. Time to calm down, relax, breathe.

How do you calm down, not just right now but in the future? What can we do to quickly alleviate a stressful reaction and automatically calm ourselves?

Being calm appears to be easier for some of us then others. I would place myself in that category most of the time. There are times though when everyone has a demanding, stressful experience and it is overwhelming.

Some of us are easily thrown by everyday life experiences and find it difficult to calm ourselves. When you find yourself not being able to cope it can feel like your thoughts are bouncing off the walls. It is difficult to bring yourself out of that feeling. It feels almost like you are vibrating and you feel scattered.

So how do you learn to be calm? With any change, it is not automatic. We are training ourselves, learning something new and there is a process. We are learning small things that we can do and make into habits and part of our everyday life.

Smile, breathe and go slowly”

Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Is there an image, a quote, a book that makes you feel good? Perhaps a memory that you think of often that makes you happy or gives you a feeling of contentment. Use that. Whenever you start feeling a surge of distress think of that one thing that calms you.
  • Try yoga or meditation. I love yoga, it is very relaxing and is good for you physically and mentally. Both meditation and yoga are scientifically proven to reduce anxiety. Find a class near you and try it for a minimum of a month so you can feel the calming effect. Make it a habit. I think you will be glad you did.
  • On the other side of that is someone who is a totally focused, high energy type. Okay, accept that is who you are and go for it. Work hard, play hard so at the end of the day you are tired and feel happy. You have achieved you own form of bliss. I would encourage you that at either the beginning or end of that all out day you learn to practice something calming. We all need to calm down at some point. It’s good for us.
  • The wonderful experience of music. So many wonderful songs and types of music to choose from. Everyone should be able to find a list of songs to listen to. Let the sound surround you and sink into it. Let you mind go to relax and find calm.
  • Revisit a old hobby that you loved to do and lose yourself in it or try something new. Everyone has something they love to do but may not take the time to do anymore. I love working on a piece of old furniture and restoring it, bringing it back to life. I love art and would like to try some sketching. Lose yourself in the act of doing. Your mind and body will relax and stress will melt away.
  • Slow down. I know that is easy to say but it is a good practice and it is calming. When you find yourself rushing, slow your pace. Take a deep breathe and think of something soothing. Hum one of your favorite songs.
  • My favorite. Go outside. Take a walk by yourself and let you mind go, relax. If you have a dog, take them for a walk and have a conversation. It’s great because they are not judgmental and offer comfort and affection.
  • Rethink decisions. Why did you choose to do something? Why do you maintain a friendship that drains you and causes anxiety? Move away from activities and relationships that bring you down. Find a new friend. Find new activities that are beneficial for you and your family.

Take a deep breath, get present in the moment and ask yourself what is important this very second.

Greg McKeown

Be mindful of where you are, how you feel and what is truly important to you.

Smile, relax, breathe. Life is wonderful and full of possibilities. Do something you love each and every day. Stay connected to the things you enjoy and calm you.

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As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a peaceful day.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Looking For The Best You? Clear Your Mind And Push Hard To Open The Door To A Better You

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Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you.

Unknown

Did you think it would be easy? Welcome to reality. Life is wonderful. It’s also hard. It takes work. Sometimes the work is easy and sometimes it is mind numbing hard.

We do not pop into this world all set and ready to go. We have to learn to do everything. Doing anything new always requires work of some kind. The great thing is we can learn. We just have to be willing to put in the effort.

Sometimes we are scared to try something new. What if we fail? The answer to that is just keep trying. Good things are well worth the effort required.

What about the door? There will be many doors we believe are closed but are they really? We think they are and in our mind we have decided they would be really hard to open. It is up to each of us to open ourselves to change so we become stronger and start to believe we can push the doors open.

When we attempt to learn something new and we really suck at it we automatically want to give up. We look for an easy way out. We don’t want to put in the work required and sometimes we are just comfortable with the way things are. Why change?

If we just take some time to understand our reaction we would realize that we are making excuses. We learn new things all the time and don’t think about it until we are faced with something that is a challenge.

Remember when you were a kid and you quickly learned so many things? We did not even think about it, we just went for it. Why? Because we weren’t scared to do new things. We had not learned to be cautious or scared. We thought we could do anything.

What happened to that positive attitude? Life happened. We may have tried something and were hurt. Our parents or friends told us not to do something. Someone said it was scary. We tried something and it did not work or we did something in front of someone and became embarrassed. We are influenced by others.

We need to stop being so easily influenced by the negativity of others. We should not listen to others or to the voices in our head that tell us we can’t. Try it anyway. We’re adults now right? So we can make you own decisions.

It’s time to be open minded. It is time to try new things. We should be excited to try something new. Sometimes we are, but most of the time not so much.

What do we have to do to embrace new experiences? How do we become open to trying?

  • Accept the fact that there may be a better way to do things. Recognize that you do not have the answer for everything and that you may not always be correct. Sometimes you are just too comfortable with where you are. You have done well at your job or in relationships, You’re great at doing multiple things like playing a great game of basketball or writing and presenting projects at work.

The question is can you be better. The answer is more than likely, yes, you can. You can be better in what you already do and you can be better doing something new and different as well. You will be expanding your life.

  • To make changes to the way you think it is necessary to make yourself vulnerable. You have opened yourself up to the possibility of change and possible failure. There is risk involved. Scary, isn’t it.
  • When you become more open minded and are trying new things you will probably makes mistakes. Mistakes are part of learning. You have probably heard the saying, “Fail Forward”. It is a proven fact that we learn the most when we fail.

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.”

– Morihei Ueshiba
  • You become stronger by opening up yourself to change. When you do something that is new, something that scares you, it can be life changing. If you are successful that is certainly a win. If you try and fail and pick yourself up and try again that is an even bigger win. Each attempt you make you learn and become a stronger person. You are better for it.
  • You become more confident. It is a great feeling to be open minded and open doors to new ideas, new people and new experiences. Your life is richer. It may not necessarily affect you monetarily. Your life will be richer because you are experiencing so much. You feel good about yourself.
  • It may not be easy to learn to think differently but it is so important. Look for new ideas and new ways to do things. Read, but read something different. Listen to other people, but not the same people. How about joining a discussion group. Watch something different instead of the same old stuff on TV. How about webinars, like TED talks. Open Your Mind. Expose yourself to the wonderful diversity of life.
  • The most important part of being open minded is knowing what is important. How you conduct your life will help determine how successful you are opening doors. Are you friendly and are you sincere? There is a t-shirt I really like which states, “In a world where you can be anything…Be Kind”. Are you kind? Do you help people or are you in it for yourself? The way you approach life and how you conduct yourself has a big impact on how easy it is to open doors. Opening a door for someone else may lead to you having a door opened for you as well.
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As always, Thank You for reading my blog. What good will you do today?