Our Little Secret: How to Unravel the Truth Within

We are all hiding something deep within ourselves. And we know that we are hiding it, and we also have a feeling that everyone else is hiding it – although we’ve never talked about it with them. It’s what Rumi called “the open secret.” The essence of this secret is the inner feeling that we have no idea what we’re doing.

It’s the part of us that feels like a fraud – a fake. It’s the part of us that wonders how everyone else does it. We wonder how they have this whole life thing all figured out. How can they keep it all together, and why can’t we? It’s the part of us that wonders what part of the magic formula are we not clear on? What are we doing wrong?

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Written by Jodi Chapman | http://www.pickthebrain.com

We are all hiding something deep within ourselves. And we know that we are hiding it, and we also have a feeling that everyone else is hiding it – although we’ve never talked about it with them. It’s what Rumi called “the open secret.” The essence of this secret is the inner feeling that we have no idea what we’re doing.

It’s the part of us that feels like a fraud – a fake. It’s the part of us that wonders how everyone else does it. We wonder how they have this whole life thing all figured out. How can they keep it all together, and why can’t we? It’s the part of us that wonders what part of the magic formula are we not clear on? What are we doing wrong?

And yet, rather than simply coming out and asking someone about this, we hold it deep inside and cover it with shame. We believe that something must be horribly wrong with us if we are the only ones who can’t figure out how to be a part of this world. And so we learn to cover up this shame with a mask. We learn to send out our representatives into the land of “I’m fine.” and “Everything’s swell.” We enter the world with our best selves – our accomplished selves. We learn to play the game.

See if you recognize your own representative in any of these examples >>> Leer más “Our Little Secret: How to Unravel the Truth Within”

How to Stay Alert & Refreshed: 6 Ways

3. Breathe Deeply

In traditional Buddhist practice it is recommended that you breath deep into your stomach, utilizing more than just the top half of your lungs. This act has calming effects can also serve to wake up the mind as it focuses on something internal.

Whenever you feel yourself slipping away into sleepiness, try to refocus by bringing your mind back to deep breathing patterns.

4. Go Outside

Get some fresh air. Sometimes sitting in a warm office with a comfortable chair and staring at a flickering computer screen is enough to send anyone to sleep.

When you’re in darkness, your body produces melatonin, a sleep hormone that makes you feel sleepy. Exposing yourself to natural sunlight helps stop the production of melatonin so that drowsiness goes away naturally.

Get outdoors and breathe in some fresh air. If you can’t leave your desk, open the windows and let in as much natural light as possible. Too much fluorescent lighting can tire your eyes and interfere with brain activity, which leads to fatigue.

5. Stimulate the Mind

Find something to laugh about or something that is interesting, fun, stimulating, and otherwise pleasurable to think about.

Focus your mind on these thoughts as much as you can throughout the day to keep your mind awake and alert. Try watching funny video clips or photos or read some really funny jokes.


http://workawesome.com/productivity/stay-alert/
Stay alertWe all know what it feels like to stay up too late and struggle to stay alert the next morning.

Some common causes for tiredness in the workplace are keeping odd hours, a bad diet, too much or too little exercise, caffeine addiction, alcohol abuse and, poor sleeping patterns.

It is important to first establish the reasons behind why we get tired because it can help determine the factors that need changing to combat the lethargy.

As you will see, altering your behavior will help change the results of the next day.

How to Stay Alert & Refreshed at Work

1. Healthy Diet

A healthy diet improves concentration and helps you stay alert, both mentally and physically. Not eating properly is one of the most common causes of sleepiness.

Often when our blood sugar is low, we become tired. A great preventative measure for this is to look for foods that keep your energy up for a longer amount of time.

Protein is great for energy that won’t make you sleepy while complex carbohydrates are a good choice for long lasting energy. Things like oatmeal and whole grain bread are ideal.

Avoid sugar. Although it gives you a little boost, when the sugar crash comes it will be harder to handle if you are already tired.

2. Drink Caffeine

If you hadn’t thought to have a cup of coffee yet, you must escape from the rock you live under immediately!

Although coffee can be just the thing you need, remember that too much coffee is a bad solution because it is addictive. If you start to need a cup of coffee to start your day it may be time to start reevaluating your diet.

Chinese Green Tea can be a great alternative that has many health benefits. Leer más “How to Stay Alert & Refreshed: 6 Ways”

Upgrade Your Personal ‘Exit Strategies’ for 2011

Business planners often include an ‘exit strategy’ detailing how they plan to leave the business: will they ‘run it dry’ (increase personal salary, pay off debts and close down), sell your shares, or liquidate? These strategies require advance planning and are often well-thought out.

But have you ever thought about your own personal exit strategies – the ones you use for giving up on your own personal projects, hopes and dreams?

In most books about personal change and growth we are often told that our reasons for pressing ahead with our projects must be more important than our reasons for quitting. This is true.

But when was the last time you examined the validity of your reasons FOR quitting?


Business planners often include an ‘exit strategy’ detailing how they plan to leave the business: will they ‘run it dry’ (increase personal salary, pay off debts and close down), sell your shares, or liquidate?  These strategies require advance planning and are often well-thought out.

But have you ever thought about your own personal exit strategies – the ones you use for giving up on your own personal projects, hopes and dreams?

In most books about personal change and growth we are often told that our reasons for pressing ahead with our projects must be more important than our reasons for quitting. This is true.

But when was the last time you examined the validity of your reasons FOR quitting? Leer más “Upgrade Your Personal ‘Exit Strategies’ for 2011”

8 Must Read Success Lessons from Dr. Seuss

Theodor Seuss Geisel was a cartoonist and writer. He’s most popular for his children’s books written under the pen names Dr. Seuss, Theo. LeSieg and once he wrote under the name Rosetta Stone.

Theodor published over 60 children’s books. These books were often characterized by imaginative characters, rhyme, and frequent use of trisyllabic meter.

His most famous books include the bestselling Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hears a Who!, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.

Eleven television specials, three feature films, and a Broadway musical have been created from adaptations of Theodor’s work.

Without further a due, here are 8 lessons from Dr. Seuss.

8 Must Read Success Lessons from Dr. Seuss…:


Theodor Seuss Geisel was a cartoonist and writer.  He’s most popular for his children’s books written under the pen names Dr. Seuss, Theo. LeSieg and once he wrote under the name Rosetta Stone.

Theodor published over 60 children’s books.  These books were often characterized by imaginative characters, rhyme, and frequent use of trisyllabic meter.

His most famous books include the bestselling Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hears a Who!, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.

Eleven television specials, three feature films, and a Broadway musical have been created from adaptations of Theodor’s work.

Without further a due, here are 8 lessons from Dr. Seuss.

8 Must Read Success Lessons from Dr. Seuss…: Leer más “8 Must Read Success Lessons from Dr. Seuss”

Build Your Future: Invest in Yourself

My friend (and writer of brilliant blog, Exile Lifestyle), Colin Wright, once said to me (paraphrasing), “You can never go wrong with investing in yourself – that way, everything that you learn and have can go with you. You can invest in three ways – your health, your network, and your knowledge, and all three are necessary to be successful.”

Wiser words have never been spoken.

Investing in yourself is the true way to improve yourself. If you trade your time and effort now for increased skills or knowledge, relationships, and better health, your results will multiply in the future. While we all have to do what is necessary and proper to maintain equilibrium – keep working at our jobs, for instance – we should be leveraging our spare time for self-investment instead of wasting it on things that truly don’t matter.

Taking an attitude of investing your time in yourself now will result in payoffs later. The key is to discriminate between what is investing and what is not – because more things can be considered “investing” than we think. Being social – talking to just about anyone – is investing because it improves your communication skills, extroversion, and builds relationships. And, yet, many people like being social because it’s fun. Investing doesn’t have to be boring – in fact, by pursuing what you’re interested in, you can invest in yourself very effectively.

However, no amount of intellectual or emotional investment is worth it if we don’t invest in the first pillar: health.
The Importance of Health

Your health, first and foremost, determines how effective you are. How you treat your body determines your mood, your ability to focus, and how you treat others. In short, how you feel determines how you behave – and the best way to feel great is to live a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some simple ways to invest in your health:

* Exercise Often: Engaging in exercise makes you burn calories, lose weight, feel good, and stay mobile. It’s the catch-all for good health, in my mind. Make sure to switch things up to keep your body adapting and to make things more interesting; don’t do the same workout 5 days a week.
* Eat well: People will tell you different things, but as long as you maximize your green vegetable and fruit intake, while minimizing processed foods, you’re eating pretty well. Buy organic produce as often as you can: the difference in things other than price – like taste and nutrition – is very noticeable. Eating smaller meals and sticking to “natural” foods like nuts, fruits, veggies, and meats is a nice rule of thumb, though you can eat some carbs as well to give you energy that lasts throughout the day.
* Sleep well: Figure out what you need to function at your best, and make it your mission to get that much sleep every night. This is simple but the hardest change to implement, in my opinion, but the rewards are great. Don’t get cocky – your body does need sleep. Give it the rest you deserve.


Photo credit: Arkady Golod

My friend (and writer of brilliant blog, Exile Lifestyle), Colin Wright, once said to me (paraphrasing), “You can never go wrong with investing in yourself – that way, everything that you learn and have can go with you. You can invest in three ways – your health, your network, and your knowledge, and all three are necessary to be successful.”

Wiser words have never been spoken.

Investing in yourself is the true way to improve yourself. If you trade your time and effort now for increased skills or knowledge, relationships, and better health, your results will multiply in the future. While we all have to do what is necessary and proper to maintain equilibrium – keep working at our jobs, for instance – we should be leveraging our spare time for self-investment instead of wasting it on things that truly don’t matter.

Taking an attitude of investing your time in yourself now will result in payoffs later. The key is to discriminate between what is investing and what is not – because more things can be considered “investing” than we think. Being social – talking to just about anyone – is investing because it improves your communication skills, extroversion, and builds relationships. And, yet, many people like being social because it’s fun. Investing doesn’t have to be boring – in fact, by pursuing what you’re interested in, you can invest in yourself very effectively.

However, no amount of intellectual or emotional investment is worth it if we don’t invest in the first pillar: health.

The Importance of Health

Your health, first and foremost, determines how effective you are. How you treat your body determines your mood, your ability to focus, and how you treat others. In short, how you feel determines how you behave – and the best way to feel great is to live a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some simple ways to invest in your health:

  • Exercise Often: Engaging in exercise makes you burn calories, lose weight, feel good, and stay mobile. It’s the catch-all for good health, in my mind. Make sure to switch things up to keep your body adapting and to make things more interesting; don’t do the same workout 5 days a week.
  • Eat well: People will tell you different things, but as long as you maximize your green vegetable and fruit intake, while minimizing processed foods, you’re eating pretty well. Buy organic produce as often as you can: the difference in things other than price – like taste and nutrition – is very noticeable. Eating smaller meals and sticking to “natural” foods like nuts, fruits, veggies, and meats is a nice rule of thumb, though you can eat some carbs as well to give you energy that lasts throughout the day.
  • Sleep well: Figure out what you need to function at your best, and make it your mission to get that much sleep every night. This is simple but the hardest change to implement, in my opinion, but the rewards are great. Don’t get cocky – your body does need sleep. Give it the rest you deserve. Leer más “Build Your Future: Invest in Yourself”

Inspiration: Interesting & Unique Typographic Book Covers

By Callum Chapman

Books offer graphic designers, illustrators and typographers a great way to expand their portfolios. There are endless possibilities that can be explored when designing for book covers, and often are explored, as can be seen in this post.

I’ve had an increased interest in book covers recently after putting together another showcase at The Inspiration Blog on minimalistic book covers, since then I have been browsing for book cover inspiration daily so thought I would share some of my findings here at DesignM.ag. This showcase presents a collection of 64 typographic book covers, all of which are interesting and are genuinely unique. The books themselves are crossed between a number of…


By Callum Chapman

Books offer graphic designers, illustrators and typographers a great way to expand their portfolios. There are endless possibilities that can be explored when designing for book covers, and often are explored, as can be seen in this post.

I’ve had an increased interest in book covers recently after putting together another showcase at The Inspiration Blog on minimalistic book covers, since then I have been browsing for book cover inspiration daily so thought I would share some of my findings here at DesignM.ag. This showcase presents a collection of 64 typographic book covers, all of which are interesting and are genuinely unique. The books themselves are crossed between a number of…

Coney Island of the Mind

Buy on Amazon

Eight Weeks of Bruce

Buy on Amazon

Estrella Distante

Buy on Amazon Leer más “Inspiration: Interesting & Unique Typographic Book Covers”

How to (Gracefully) Manage Your Critics


Many of us have an innate reflex to please everyone. It is a curious and burdensome responsibility that we have assumed since childhood. As creative leaders, the need to address critics is a reflex that is liable to override other more important uses of our energy. While we carefully weigh the costs and benefits of most decisions we make, criticism has the tendency to lead us astray.Of course, criticism is important. Early detection of disappointment or misunderstandings can save us a whole lot of turmoil further down the line.

But, oftentimes, our efforts to address our critics become an obsession. Even worse, our efforts can backfire by fanning the flames. A single harsh comment on a bulletin board can turn into an aggressive and insulting exchange that is not constructive but still liable to keep you up at night. For this reason, many prominent bloggers and companies have removed comment boards altogether.

Don’t cut off your critics. Feedback helps us correct our course and spurs a dialog that serves to build community. Instead, you should decide how and when to respond.

Consider the following tips on how to manage your critics: Leer más “How to (Gracefully) Manage Your Critics”