Monday, October 29, 2007

Time Manage To Create Mental Space

Self-improvement needs time. Time is precious. To improve, we have to create time to reflect and think. To take up a course or pick up a new skill, we need time. Learning involves the mind or the brain to digest the newly acquired materials. It does not come overnight. Learning takes time to internalise the concepts and form a change to the behaviour or habit (in the positive direction!).

To improve oneself, it is paramount that mastery of time management is necessary. This comes before any training can occur. Without creating time for mental space, focus and stamina cannot be sustained. Mutli-tasking to save time does not aid learning and the materials picked up will not be fully understood. The mind will flicker and lost concentration.

We need a clear mind and environment to focus on our learning. Find time or identify where time is lost and salvage it. Again, to emphasis, time is precious. Form a good habit and discipline through constant tracking of time used. With more time for mental processing, self-improvement is on the way. Happy time creation. :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

All People Are Different

All people are borned different. Whether it is physical or mental, we can improved by identifying our weakness and strength. Everyone has a certain strength that others do not have. This goes for weakness also.

Upon identifying our weaknesses and having the desire to improve them, we can pace ourself for improvement. Do note that our pace is OURS! We should not base on others to challenge our schedule. This may not be good for us as far as intellectual learning is concerned. We have to be comfortable and relax to learn and improve with absorption of new information or skill.

Everyone has their our learning style and habit. We can use others as a gauge to set reference for our learning to observe the missing link to the new knowledge but ultimately do feel comfortable and at ease to learn. With the proper learning mindset, we can improve ourself. But do not go into the comfort zone that inhibit us processing at a suitable pace. We learn to improve ourself and gain confidence as we move on in life. This is true satisfaction in living. With more knowledge, we can help others as well as ourself. Happy learning!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Reading to Keep Relevant

Being able to read is a blessed skill. To be able to read means being to capture knowledge. With knowledge, a person will be better informed and therefore will be in a better position to make better judgement.

Reading is fun. We pick up many information simply by reading. It can be information from books, newsapaper, television, or magazine. It can also be from the internet, which has plenty of materials. HOwever, reading is not simpliy acceptance of information. Reading includes the thinking part of learning, whereby filtering of relevant materials comes in. This inforamtion therefore becomes knowledge.

Reading trains up the mind of a person. It triggers the thinking juice and keeps it active. Linkage of old information and newly acquired information will form more knowledge. Reading is therefore deemed as one of the simple way to self-improvement. It is a cheap activity since reading materials are aplenty, easily made available almost everywhere.

In conclusion, read for pleasure and read for the good of one's future, as it makes one relevant to society. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Self-motivation | a necessary skill

Have you felt down and isolated at times? I believe everyone will encounter this one time or another. Regardless of age and gender, down time will occur at some stage. It could belong period or just a flash of moment. We cannot escape from it. It is part of our life especially now with the hectic lifestyle and working demands.

But all is not incurable. We can still brighten up ourself if we know haow to motivate ourself. The earlier we pick up this skill, the better it is and also faster to recover from the undesirable effect and feeling.

Learn how to motivate yourself by looking at the better time of the past (or maybe the future). Choose a better reference to boost the morale. Be aware the life is a cycle with its up and down. Take it with a pint of salt that the sunshine will come after rain. Choose message and mentall recite it to gear up the mode at this time of down-time.

Self-motivation is a form of self-development and improvement also. The more we practice, the faster we can switch back tothe "happier" self. Kids may not be skillful enough at their young age. Therefore, give advice to them to help them grow up with this necessary skill of self-motivation.

Some other tips to recover:
1) Talk to as many people as possible to rid the mind of the bad things loitering in the mind
2) Take a break from the usual routine (e.g. take a walk at the beah, feel the wind, hear the seawave, etc)
3) See comedy videos
4) Excercise physically
5) Read books on motivation
6) Play games with others (especially kids)
7) Do thing that you like and onfidenece with (to bring back good memories)
8) Listen to smoothening music to calm the mind
9) Pick up new skill to replace and realign your focus
10) Do social work as you may get to see worser situation than yours.

The list is not exhaustive but serve to give some ideas on how to self-motivate. With attitude, comes hope. Self-improve.

Steps To Selecting A Continuing Education Class

Adults want their education to be relevant to their specific needs. What they are learning must be applicable to their job, values or other responsibilities. Once they see the relevancy in their learning, adults want to create goals for their education. They will desire to see the path that leads them from the beginning to the end of a course, or even a whole curriculum. Each step of this path must make its value evident to the adult learn - why its important, how it will help them on their job, or how it will help improve their life. Finally, adults already have many life experiences and have acquired knowledge from a variety of sources outside of a formal educational environment. So they want to understand how they can connect this prior knowledge, what they already know, with what they will be learning.Here are the steps to take to select the best value in an adult education class depending on what your specific needs are:

1. Determine whether the location of the class is convenient for you. This includes taking into consideration the time class begins and the time it ends. Typically, continuing education classes will be held in the evening due to adults working during the day.Ask these questions: How will I get to class (driving, public transportation)? Will I leave for class directly after work, or do I need to make a stop at home? How far is the location of the class from my home and my job? Will I have to allow extra time before or after class because of traffic? Is there parking near the class (college campuses usually have limited parking for commuters) or will I need to walk a distance?2. Determine whether the class and the institution offering the class allow for flexibility that you need. Often these requests will be handled by the individual instructor, but if a diploma or certification is being offered at the completion of the class, the institutions offering the class may have certain guidelines you must follow.Ask these questions: How many days am I allowed to miss? Does the instructor offer a make-up class for those who might miss? Am I allowed to leave class early or arrive late?3. Identify the prerequisites for the class. This simply means understanding what you need to know before enrolling. If you do not have the basic background for the subject matter being taught, a great class can end up being a frustrating experience. The prerequisites are normally listed along with the class description and will indicate other classes that should be taken first or skills you should already have before enrolling.4. Identify all of your required materials and determine their costs. Most classes will require a textbook. The prices of textbooks are rising all the time and are often not affordable for many students. Depending on the subject matter of your class, your books can cost upwards of $100 each, particularly in technology, accounting and nursing. You may also need materials other than books such as access to a personal computer, special types of calculators or other equipment, certain types of paper or portfolios.5. Determine your instructor's availability to respond to questions and meet with you. Find out the instructor's office hours, phone number and email address. Most of the time the instructor will give this information in the first class, but you should be able to easily find this information if you are considering enrolling in a class. You can test the responsiveness of your instructor by contacting him prior to the first day of the class.6. Review the course description and outline. This is the most important step. You want to make sure that the class you are investing your time and money in is what you really need or want. The course outline is your map of the class. It should describe the objectives of the class (what you will know once the course is over) and the topics you will cover (how you will reach the objectives).You may attend an adult education course for many reasons: it is required by your job, it is an initiative you are taking to further your career, to increase your general knowledge of a topic, to network with your peers, or to even just get away for a few hours a week. Whatever your reason, you need to make sure you are getting what you need from the course. If you review the course outline and find that only one topic is relevant to your needs then this is probably not the class for you. Search for another course that perhaps focuses specifically on that topic. In some cases, this course may be required for the particular curriculum you have chosen. If you feel you have enough experience with the topics of the required class, you can often discuss with your instructor about "testing out" of the course.7. Determine what you get for completing the adult education course or curriculum. You want to see the value of having taken the class or classes. At the end of a class you may receive a certificate of completion, diploma or even a professional certification. If you are attending a college or university, you will most times end with a degree, graduate certificate or continuing education credits.Try to understand what these completion "rewards" mean to you, your career and your life. It could mean a new designation you can place on your resume or a diploma to display proudly on your wall, but it should be something to make you happy and appreciate the hard work you have put into the class.Being an adult learner is exciting, but can also have serious negative effects on a person. Self-esteem can be lowered if performance in the class is not as expected, frustration can occur if there is lack of convenience, and boredom is evident if the class does not seem practical. So be sure to thoroughly review all of the information you can about a class you may be interested in enrolling and be certain you feel you will get what you need out of it.

By: Deanna Mascle
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Boost Your Vocabulary And Become A Better Learner

If you want to be a great communicator, do you need to have a great vocabulary?You might be surprised to learn that a really big vocabulary is not necessary in order to express yourself clearly and to move others with your words.

Some of the most dramatic messages that have ever been uttered in the English language actually used very simple words to stir the blood, or touch the heart. Look at any well-known passage in the Bible. Chances are that the passage does not rely on sophisticated words to create its power. Think of Lincoln’s Gettysberg Address. Although President Lincoln spoke in a style that is very different from the way we usually speak today, his words still have the power to move us deeply with their clarity and their deep emotion. During the darkest days of World War II, Winston Churchill’s rousing speeches to the British people used very simple, common, powerful words to successfully ignite the courage and determination of his people.So if it’s possible to communicate effectively without using a lot of very big words, why should we bother to try to expand our vocabulary? The reason is that learning new words expands our understanding and improves our “mental muscles”. Every new word we learn entices our mind to stretch into new areas. When we have a larger bank of words to draw on, we improve our ability to think and express ourselves. Our thinking will become more fluid and supple, and we will understand more of the world around us and within us, when we have a larger vocabulary. In the modern world the ability to use words effectively is often highly rewarded. The English language has an enormous number of words, perhaps more than half a million of them. Most people however, use a vocabulary of just a few thousand common words on a daily basis. It is possible to get by in the English language with a limited number of words, but you expand your options as you expand your vocabulary. When you understand very few words, you are limited in your ability to learn new information. If you want to increase your vocabulary, there are many approaches you can use. One good way is to read books or articles that are slightly more difficult than what you are accustomed to. When you come across a word you don’t know, see if you can figure out its meaning from the context. Look at the way the word is made up, with its letters and syllables. Does it remind you of any words you already know? What parts of it are familiar? Many words in the English language are made up of common roots they share with other words. You may be able to deduce the meaning of the new word from the way the syllables are put together and the way it is used. You should consult a dictionary to be sure. If you come across a word you don’t understand during the course of a lecture or a conversation, you can ask someone to explain the meaning of the word. Many people are reluctant to do this because they are afraid of exposing their ignorance by asking. It is occasionally true that other people may choose to look down on you if you confess that you don’t understand a certain word. On the other hand, they may be happy to teach you something new. If you decide you don’t want to ask anyone else for the meaning of words you don’t know, be sure to make a note of those new words and look them up later.Should you try to learn new words directly from a dictionary? It depends on your learning style and your preference. Some people will become bored very quickly while reading a dictionary, while others will find it fascinating.All dictionaries are not alike, and you may find a certain version far more useful than the rest. Good dictionaries will do more than just give a definition of a word. Some will show you an example of the word used in a sentence. Often they will show you alternate spellings, and give the plural forms of nouns and the past tense of verbs. Most dictionaries will show you correct pronunciation. Some will tell you the historical derivation of the word. Many English words have their roots in ancient Anglo-Saxon, French, or German. Language is always evolving and new words are being created every day. New words can come from technology, from scientific discoveries, from other languages, from pop culture, and from the streets.When learning new vocabulary, you can better integrate it into your brain if you actively involve yourself in the learning process.When you encounter a new word, write out a definition of it in your own words, and write one or more sentences using the new word in context. Visualize the word in its printed form. Say the word out loud, and spell it out loud. Say a sentence out loud that uses the new word. Make up an image in your mind that will help you remember the word. If you make the image funny or bizarre, you will probably remember it better.To improve your use of language and your ability to think, practice summarizing the theme of an entire article or book using just one or two paragraphs. After you have read an article or book, try writing out two different versions summarizing your ideas. Do one version using very simple, everyday words. Make it as clear and simple as you possibly can while still maintaining accuracy. Do another version that uses very complex sentences and advanced vocabulary, like you imagine a university professor might write. This will give your brain a good work-out and increase your verbal and mental flexibility.If you are committed to expanding your vocabulary, how many new words should you try to learn in a day? It’s up to you. Just two new words a day will add up to more than 7000 words in ten years. Ten words a day would add 36,000 words in ten years. Once you have learned a lot of new words, should you work them into your conversation every chance you get? The kind of vocabulary you use should always be appropriate to the context in which you are writing or speaking. For example, if you are speaking to a group of high school dropouts you may want to use different words than if you are speaking to a group of scientists. Don’t use an impressive vocabulary merely as a means of showing off, always using big words when small ones would do. People can often intuitively feel when you are using fancy words merely for effect, and not because you need them to communicate. But if your new vocabulary really has become a part of you and has a useful place in your writing and conversation, by all means, go ahead and use it!
By: Royane Real
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This article was written by learning expert Royane Real, author of the special report “Your Quick Guide to Improving Your Learning Ability” If you want to improve your learning ability, download it today at

Learning Is A Lifelong Habit

Most people think of lifelong learning as being confined to academic endeavors. However, the lifelong learning approach covers all areas of life including spiritual, social, academic and physical. Nearly all successful people continue to learn and grow outside of the walls of the classroom.Lifelong learning is based on an attitude of constantly growing and evolving in various areas of your life. It is known in nature that whenever anything is not growing it is decaying and this is also true for us as humans. No matter what a persons age there are great benefits to be gained by challenging yourself in all areas of your life including physical challenges such as exercise, mental challenges such as a course of academic study or even other areas of learning such as challenging your limiting beliefs or habits, enhancing your communication skills, or even expanding your comfort zone.

Lifelong learners live by the motto "you're never too old to learn" and this attitude is the reason that people who approach life with this mindset are seen to not only live longer but also enjoy a better quality of life. This can be attributed to the law of nature known as the "use it or lose it" law. As we age it can be observed that those who are considerably inactive develop mobility problems as they age, whereas those who are quite active do not develop these mobility problems. A similar effect takes place with anyone who takes no part in any mentally challenging activity or pursuit. After years of mental inactivity you lose the mental abilities and clarity that you once had and when old age approaches the effects of not giving your brain the stimulation required to grow becomes more evident. The Good News The good news is that no matter what your age you can adopt the lifelong learner attitude and reap the benefits in any number of ways such as: Improved self-confidence Improved dexterity and hand-eye co-ordination Learn new skills Improve memory Improve and maintain social skills Overcome social isolation Improve physical, mental, and emotional health Improved outlook on life When deciding to embark on a course of study or activity a good starting point is to think about the things you might enjoy doing or learning. For physical activities many gyms have fitness programs not only for young people but also senior programs as well. Another fun activity is Tai Chi which is very popular with many seniors as it helps to calm the mind and also improves breathing. Some hobbies that are popular include painting, craft making, flower arranging, pottery and wood carving with all of these being relatively inexpensive and easy to learn. When is comes to a course of study it is mostly an individual choice weather to participate in an adult learning program through a local community center or to do an extensive study program through a college. With technology today, you don't even have to leave the house to be a lifelong learner. Personal development programs like Success University can be taken entirely online. If you want to refresh your computer skills, there are also numerous opportunites to learn online.Regardless of your individual choices the important thing is to be involved in a number of physical, social, spiritual, or academic activities and approach these with the right attitude. By adopting the lifelong learner approach to life you will not only extend your life but reap the benefits of a quality of life that most people your age could only dream of.

By: Carlos Scarpero
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Carlos Scarpero is a Personal Development Counselor with Success University, an internet entrepreneur and a lifelong learner. Visit his blog at

Monday, October 8, 2007

Sources of Self-improvement programmes

Self-improvement, as the wor implies, is the improving of oneself. Where then can we get the programmes to improve ourself?

One, for sure, is through external means. External means is the normal programmes like courses, self-help books, web-surfing, etc. This programmes are information based where latest information can be used to upgrade our skills or knowledge. We can learn this alone or in group where sharing of ideas happen. This leads us to another source of self-improvement.

This other source is from "internal self". This "internal self" can be an important means to self-improve. By that, I mean the new ideas generated through self-reflection. Looking at existing matters from a different perspective can yields a different solution and idea. New ways to do things and new directions can be set simply through self-reflection. Character can change for the better also, which means self-improvement!

Another way to improve through "internalself" is to contribute ideas or sharing of experiences. The experiences may have been kept and unused due to many unforeseen situations. In adifferent settingor different phase in one's life, the knowledge can become useful. Through the sharing, our mental health are kept active and thinking. Social networking is aformof "internal self" improvement where gathering of like-minded people shares views and update knowledge. It can be interesting and exciting to learn from each other.

Whichever way one choose, the ultimate goal is to improve and stay relevant.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Positive Attitude - Feel The Difference

Why do you need a positive attitude? Being confident and pleased with your inner-self is the beginning of the process. A wholesome self-image shines out love and certainty and makes the people who are around you feel the same way. Having an optimistic approach is a pivotal ingredient for realizing success in all areas of your life. Your disposition destines how you approach your life and is emulated in your career, business ventures, sporting achievements and relationships.A winner's attitude is a principal requirement for achieving your desires in life. People that we revere for achieving excellence would not have attained their goals by living their life with an impartial approach. The essential components for a blessed life are believing in yourself, having the ability to visualize your success and living with with a positive attitude. A positive attitude promotes an expectant outlook on life. You will feel joyful, healthier and more energetic. Your acceptance in yourself and your abilities will be amplified and by adopting an open and positive attitude your consciousness will be welcoming to the opportunities that will start to come your way. Often when people have a negative attitude they become totally preoccupied with their problems and are unable to see the opportunities that are staring them in the face. Once you teach your consciousness to automatically assume a positive attitude your difficulties will not be as momentous and you will be able to control them with ease. Impulsively we are charmed by the company of positive people. They make us feel great about life by lifting our spirits. Attitude, whether it's positive of negative, is extremely contagious - so choose to be around people who have a positive attitude and your personality will take on the same energy. When you choose to live your life with a positive attitude your body will be enveloped with a light energy which will magnetically draw people towards you. By absolutely believing that your goals will become a reality you have within you the potential to be, do and have whatever you desire - couple this with a positive attitude and you will be irrepressible. A New York engineering Professor was quoted in 1903 as saying that it would be impossible for man to fly. The Wright Brothers piloted the world's first powered airplane two weeks later. The Wright Brothers had a definite advantage - they absolutely believed that their dream was achievable! Don't let fear of failure hold you back from pursuing your dreams - instead take on a positive attitude and reach for your goals with faith. We all have the potential to soar to great heights if we take on a positive attitude like the Wright Brothers.Madonna Jeffries is the founder of Planet Abundance. Her mission is to provide effective self help and personal development tools that will enable you to achieve success in all areas of your life. Sign up for your FREE wealth creation mini course & receive 2 free e-books at Planet Abundance
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What stops you from advancing in Life?

Everyone wants to advance further in life and ultimately reach their goal. You would certainly not like to be left behind in the race. Do you tend to get lazy in the process? Why is it so? There are some factors involved in this.

Let us discuss each of the factors for being lazy or inactive and how you can avoid the Inertia:

1. Self-Introspection

2. Fear

3. Desirous of results without putting in equal effort (Lack of willpower)

4. Immediate Environment

Self-Introspection: First and foremost you need to do self-introspection that is doing your own SWOT analysis. What does one mean by self-introspection and SWOT analysis? This literally means that you take stock of your traits and habits. And also try to find out your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities that you can work on and what are the threats that you encountered in the path.

Often, lack of self-introspection is the cause of our short fall, and it is the lack of definite, undivided effort and attention that stands in our way to progress and achievement of the desired goal.

Introspection therefore means reassessing ourselves. The reassessment tells us where we are right now and what threats are we facing to reach to our desired goal and what opportunities do we have in hand to work on. Self-introspection is the reassessment of our own mental ‘block’ (created by our ownselves) and diagnosing deficiencies by removing negative tendencies in the form of habits, indecisiveness, fear, lack of confidence and so on – what we often term as failures.

What do we do here to ward of failure? We need to reenergize so that by uprooting all these negativities from our life the true happiness with the zeal to progress becomes prominent and firmly rooted.

Fear: The greatest enemy that stops us from advancing in life other than apathy, lack of confidence and inferiority complex is FEAR. It is the fear of the unknown. What if we do not achieve our goal? This unknown fear will literally stop us from moving forward – in fact we will not even fulfill our very aim to succeed. The best way to combat fear is to practice deep breathing exercises, and every night mentally affirm that you are under the protection of the Supreme Power of God, and energize your thoughts with positive feelings.

“Stay positive, Put your best foot forward, and always look at the rosy side of the picture, irrespective of the outcome.”

The key to ward of the fear is ‘Be Courageous and Bold’. Where does this fear emerge from? Fear comes from the heart, so fill your heart with LOVE, positive thoughts and when you feel agitated relax, calm down and breathe rhythmically, relaxing with each exhalation. This will help you in warding of fear in order to achieve your goal with full concentration.

”It often requires more courage to dare to do right than to fear to do wrong.”

Lack of willpower or determination: This is yet another factor, which is the major cause of frustration and subsequently dampening our ability to excel in life. It is, ‘desirous of results without the will to put in the effort’. Everyone wants to have quick and easy results without working hard for it. This is practically not possible. Because to gain something, you need to work hard, sweat out only then will you be able to reap the fruits of your hard labour.

‘Nothing comes free in life’.

You have the willpower within you to accomplish your goal, your end result. Don’t get bogged down by failure, sorrow, lack of confidence. You need to have a positive bent of mind, be optimistic, have determination and be consistent towards achieving your goal in life.
Remember, don’t be lethargic rather put in your effort to achieve your desired goal in life.

Immediate Environment: This is yet another factor you will ever meet in your life. It is your immediate environment. This immediate environment can be classified in to two:
Inner and the Outer. It is these two fields of environment that you will have to watch out for.

You can always keep control of your inner environment more than your outer environment. All your experiences come from your mind stuff – or the inner environment (your thoughts). What you perceive through all your senses from the outside world will equally shape your future. That is, if you perceive things around you to be positive, they will be positive. They will send positive vibes or thoughts within you thereby increasing your confidence in order to achieve your goal.

But on the other hand, if you perceive things around you to be negative, they will be negative. They will send negative vibes or thoughts within you thereby decreasing your confidence, lack of concentration in order to achieve your goal. You thus go towards failure.

Thus the important point here is to keep watch over your thoughts. For example, you may have stumbled upon a great home business opportunity that is potentially superb and just right for you in every aspect.

If you are having positive thoughts within you then you are happy, and quite willing to give it a go. But, on the other hand, there is something about this business that ‘stops’ you from going ahead with it. There may be several reasons for this that may make you lazy enough to achieve your goal.

What could be that negative factor? If you think about this, then you are doing self-introspection, you will no doubt come to a favorable conclusion…and surprisingly it is, the thoughts – the culprit.

To succeed in life you will have to begin by correcting your thought process. As rightly said, ‘Your thoughts reflect on your body language’.

So, in order to advance in life, you need to avoid the factors to inertia.

About the Author
Hari Qumar is a management graduate from a UK university and owns Begonia Infosys. He is actively involved in promoting SEO in India and works for an Affiliate marketing website as well.
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Procrastination: When it Serves and When To Break the Cycle of Inaction

“It is through acceptance that we overcome resistance.” Coach Karen

Just do it . . . Maybe

“I’m just a procrastinator!” As a Personal Coach I hear that quite often. One of the most frequent complaints people have about themselves is their tendency to put things off. It’s such a common problem that we have an entire language around it: dawdle, dilly-dally, poke, delay, fritter away, goof around, lazy, loaf, loiter, mosey, put off, waste time, and the list goes on. In spite of Nike’s urge to “just do it,” the frantic pace of today’s life seems to get in the way of that simple suggestion. My view is that procrastination has two sides to it. Sometimes procrastination serves, such as when we don’t have the information or skill we need to move forward, or when the activity really isn’t all that important but in the moment we think it is. However, most of what we call procrastination is truly damaging. It steals dreams, creates distrust and low esteem for ourselves or others, and perpetuates a cycle of inaction. Yet procrastination can be so easily overcome. And the most important single thing you can do is shift your thinking about it.

I was raised by two master procrastinators. As a child, our home was filled with partially-completed projects, the materials to start a project “someday,” and lots of reasons why a project couldn’t be finished. My own talent seemed to lie in “brinksmanship,” waiting until the last minute and finishing in a rush of adrenaline-filled activity. As a result, my work was never as good as I really wanted it to be. There was always a degree of disappointment, even though the adrenaline was a lot of fun. So I’ve looked at the issue of procrastination from a number of angles, both personally and professionally. Although there are a lot of reasons for procrastination, the one I’m addressing in this article is resistance.

Have you ever thought of something you need to do, and almost immediately experienced a feeling of “don’t wanna!” almost like a petulant child? Often when there’s something I “should” do, there’s the little voice that suggests that watching TV or playing video games would be a much more enjoyable use of time. And I don’t even like TV or video games! Yet there’s something that just wants to resist the action I need to take. Often people try to resist the resistance, having an argument with themselves about taking action. And as the old saying goes, “what we resist persists.” Rather than continuing the struggle, I suggest using acceptance to overcome resistance. To do this, acknowledge that you have the resistance, and accept that there’s some reason for it. Have you ever noticed that when you try to push someone, they tend to push back? If you push harder, they push harder. Yet when you relax and center yourself, your lack of resistance knocks them off center. So it is with procrastination.

Accepting the resistance means three things. First, it means that you are not “wrong” or “bad” by putting off action, only that there’s something blocking you. Self-criticism only creates low esteem and frustration. Somehow we think that self-criticism is motivating, and in the short-term it can be. Yet over the long term it has damaging consequences. Second, accepting the resistance allows you to observe the resistance to understand it. When resistance comes up it’s generally because of a belief (such as “I can’t be successful, so why try?”) and/or a fear (such as “What if I don’t do this right/perfectly?”). Once we allow ourselves to observe these fears and beliefs, we can choose to believe differently. And finally, accepting the resistance means opening yourself up to other possibilities. What if the resistance is trying to tell you something meaningful, such as signaling the need for more information or more support for the action? As I mentioned above, sometimes procrastination is legitimate, and questioning where the resistance comes from can help you choose a new course of action. Sometimes simply the mental shift to think of the procrastination differently, or to appreciate the situation, can make a difference in the resistance you feel.

The next time you find yourself procrastinating, accept yourself and the feelings you have. Then understand more fully what is going on, so you can then make good choices on how to move forward. Maybe the answer is “just do it,” and maybe not!

Copyright 2007, Karen Van Cleve. All rights reserved.

For the end of stuck and the start of passion in living well, please visit for resources to provide you with great tools and support to make real, sustainable change. You may also subscribe to our f*r*e*e newsletter, The Spark, to ignite the passion in your life.

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Exercising Our Brains 101 - Why and How

Major media publications (Time Magazine, Newsweek, CBS, USA Today...) are starting to explain the scientific evidence behind how brain training can improve memory and concentration and help delay diseases such as Alzheimer's. We have engaged our neuroscience and health experts to prepare answers to these 7 Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why is it so important to exercise our brains?
Answer: Our brains are composed of different areas or "mental muscles", and we can strengthen them through mental exercise- or they get atrophied for lack of practice. The benefits are both short-term (improved concentration and memory, sustained mental clarity under stressful situations...), and long-term (creation of a "brain reserve" that help protect us against potential problems such as Alzheimer's).

2. What are 1 or 2 things that are guaranteed "brain drains"?
Answer: High-levels of anxiety and stress are guaranteed to distract us from our main goals and waste our limited mental energies. A very repetitive and routine-driven life, lacking in novelty and stimulation, does too. Having a brain is what helps us learn and survive in new environments. The challenge, then, is to embark on new tasks that are not too difficult too early, and manage stress to prevent anxiety from appearing.

3. Tell us a few easy-to-do activities that we should all be doing often?
Answer: For stress management: a 5-minute visualization, combining deep and regular breathings with seeing in our mind's eye beautiful landscapes and/ or remembering times in our past when we have been successful at a tough task.

For short-term memory: try a series subtracting 7 from 200 (200 193 186 179...), or a series involving multiplication (2,3 4,6 6,9 8,12...) or exponential series (2 4 8 16 32 64...). The objective here is not to become a math genius, but to exercise and improve our short-term memory.

Another way is to try and remember our friends telephone numbers. In general: try something different every day, no matter how little. Take a different route to work. Talk to a different colleague. Ask an unexpected question. Approach every day as a living experiment, a learning opportunity.

4. Are crossword puzzles and sudoku really as great for exercising our brain as they are reported to be? Why? And what about activities like knitting?
Answer: "Use it or lose it" may be misleading if we think that "It" is just one thing. The brain is composed of many different areas that focus on different things. Doing a crossword puzzle only activates a small part of the brain. The 3 key principles for good brain exercises are: novelty, variety and constant challenge. Quite similar to cross-training our body muscles.

The first time we do a crossword, or sudoku or knitting, that is great, because it forces us to learn. But when doing it is completely routine, the marginal benefit is very limited. Nowadays neuropsychologists do not recommend paper-based activities but computer-based brain exercise software programs, since they can provide a variety of new activities all the time, always tailored with a proper increasing level of challenge.

5. Any foods that increase our brain fitness?
Answer: The main principle is that foods that are good for our body are also good for our brain. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold-water fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon, and tuna, also have shown some benefits. There is contradictory data on Ginkgo biloba. The best "brain food" is, literally, mental stimulation.

6. Does physical exercise also exercise our brains?
Answer: In summary, physical exercise is important because it influences the rate of creation of new neurons in our brains. Mental exercise is important because it helps determine how those new neurons are used-and how long they survive. Stress can reduce both the creation of new neurons and their lifetime, so stress management is important too.

7. Isn't active learning, that combines physical and mental exercise, the best way to stimulate the brain?
Answer: We are talking about 2 different things here: a) Habits for long-term good brain health: we usually mention the 4 pillars of nutrition, physical exercise, stress management and mental stimulation. Yes, constant active learning provides with great mental stimulation; b) Short-term Training and improvement of one specific area (memory,...): you need something more direct and well-targeted training experience such as that provided by a computer-based program, that assesses where you are today and "stretches" that specific capacity.

Both aspects are very important, in the same way that both walking often and going to the gym to do targeted workouts are complementary for physical fitness.

This article should have provided you with good information to reclaim your brain! remember, Use It and Improve It!

SharpBrains Brain Fitness Center provides the latest science-based information for Brain Exercise, the leading Brain Health blog, and reviews programs such as MindFit, Posit Science, emWave, IntelliGym, Cogmed, and more. Many publications, such as CBS, Scientific American Mind, Forbes, MSNBC, Birmingham News, San Francisco Examiner, and more, have featured our website.

Copyright (c) 2007 SharpBrains

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Time Management Strategies For Getting Organized

Do you constantly find yourself running out of time? Do you get everything done that you want to each day or do you find yourself with more activities then you are able to handle? If you can relate to these problems then you need some time management strategies for getting organized.

Before implementing any other time management strategies for getting organized you need to know what you want. If you have no goals and do not know what you actually want to achieve with the time you have been given then you will find yourself saying "yes" to everything, even where you should be saying "no". Knowing what you want to achieve keeps you disciplined in your time management.

Write down your Goals

In order to implement time management strategies you need to know what you want, but even people who know what they want do not always manage their time effectively. Strategies for getting organized also include writing down those goals. Take some time to write down what you want to achieve in life. What is it that you want people to say about you when you reach the end of your life? What dreams do you want to fulfill? Write them down and then set goals which say when you want to have achieved them by and how you are going to go about achieving them.


What are your priorities? When implementing time management strategies for getting organized you are going to need to think carefully about what is most important to you. Many possible activities will come your way each and every day and if you do not know what your priorities are then you may find yourself doing all the trivial things rather than those things that are really important for achieving your goals. Priorities should be worked out regularly with the help of a to-do list.

Create a To-Do List

Goals are extremely important in effective time management strategies but they can also be long term and if you do not have other strategies for getting organized then you may not accomplish those goals. Create a to-do list regularly and order it in terms of your priorities. Then you will have a workable plan for achieving your goals and can systematically work through your to-do list, accomplishing those things that are most important to you.

Categorize your activities

When looking at all the activities which occupy your day try to break them down into a number of categories. This categorization needs to be done on two levels. Firstly work out what activities you need to do, what activities you can delegate to others, and what activities are actually not important to be done at all. Delegate those activities that can be delegated, cut out the unimportant activities and then re-categorize the activities that only you can do and that are important for you to do. You may want to categorize this list into categories such as work, family, social, physical (health), spiritual, etc.

Use a Weekly Planner

Once you have categorized your activities the last of our time management strategies for getting organized is to use a weekly planner. Block out times on your weekly planner when you can do those activities that you need to and that you categorized above. Use different colors for different activity categories. Take time regularly to fill in your weekly planner and then review it daily to ensure that you do not miss any important events and that you stick to your goals.

Don't Procrastinate

One of the worst enemies of effective time management is procrastination. It is important that you start implementing these time management strategies for getting organized today. If you wait until tomorrow, you may never put them into practice so start today.

In conclusion, effective time management begins with strategies for getting organized such as knowing what you want, writing down your goals, prioritizing your to-do list, categorizing your activities and using a weekly planner. These time management strategies should be implemented regularly and begun immediately to ensure that you reach your goals and accomplish all that you want to with your life.

By: Toby Smith

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Achieving Efficient Time Management With Mindmapping

Time management is a subject that has been written about ad infinitum. Yet, still find it difficult to manage time efficiently and struggle to cope with their personal, business and social work and responsibilities. This imbalance of time accorded to different activities continues to be one main factor for causing stress syndromes.

The one most crucial aspect of time management is focusing on the main issues that will lead to achieving your desired goals and ambitions. Normally, we tend to spend a great deal of our time on unimportant issues that we end up spending 80% of our time for achieving 20% results, while giving just 20% of our time for achieving the remaining 80% of the results. This leads to wasteful spending of time and makes goal achievement a Herculean task. .

The first step for time management is splitting the most important from the unimportant and devoting your time and attention to the important issues, while delegating activities of less importance. One way is to maintain an activity logbook to examine time spent on different activities of the day, including time spent on errands, talking over the phone, reading paper, TV, etc. Your log book at the end of the day will reveal where you are wasting unnecessary time and where you need allocate more time for achieving your main goals.

‘Action Plan’ and ‘To Do List’ are renowned methods of time management. Apart from these, you can use Mindmapping to help manage time at every step in the process. Be it Action Plan, or To Do List, or Activity Log book or even Goal setting, Mind Maps are an excellent device for efficient use of your time and for attaining your larger goals.

Mind Maps offers a broad picture of your various activities and helps to keep you on course. While the other time management methods just lists activities needed to complete, Mind Maps you go beyond the mundane as it presents your larger goals and help to keep you in perspective and motivated. This kindles actions and leads to greater efficiency and application. Therein lies its efficacy and viability.

By bringing all the elements of your short, medium and long-term goals into a single Mind Map, it offers a comprehensive picture of the different levels of your activities. It helps you to see the relation between your different tasks and provides meaning and impetus to achieve your goals. It is a meaningful exercise that lends depth and action. It is an effective tool for increasing your efficiency and is a simple device for achieving your ambitions.

By: Mindmapper

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Are you struggling to keep up with the information glut in today’s business world? You need Avezah. Avezah is the world’s first and only company providing Mind Map summaries of Business Books. The innovative and powerful concept of Mind Mapping is based on fundamental principles of how our brain works. You are guaranteed to get the essence of latest business bestseller in 12 minutes or less. Visit our site now to learn more about our various Mind Mapped books.

Personal Development Plans And Nlp Techniques

Many life and personal growth coaches highly recommend creating a personal development plan to help you overcome limiting beliefs and start building a better life - but not many actually cover the steps you need to take to develop your plan. Which is a shame as it is a relatively easy and painless task - if you know how to go about it.

It may seem a strange way of doing things, but a good life coach will always ask you questions about the areas you are trying to improve. Like "Why do you think that everything in your life is not going as well as you would like it to?", or "Why do you think other people seem to find it easier to get what they want in life?"

The way I see it is this - the people who are able to achieve their goals and ambitions in life, with relative ease are much less inhibited, and even totally un-inhibited.

These people still get nervous and anxious when in demanding situations that take them outside of their comfort zone, but they have learnt how to control those limiting and dysfunctional emotions and behaviours and even eliminate them completely from their lives.

Successful people are constantly learning and adapting to methods that empower them. When they find something that works, especially where emotions and feelings are concerned, they repeat the behaviours that bring on those emotions until they become second nature.

If these people can learn how to not feel nervous and anxious in important situations, so can you.

If these people have learned how to remain calm and relaxed when they get into winning positions in sport, so can you.

If professional speakers can learn how to overcome their fear of public speaking, and present themselves in a manner which leaves their audience wanting more, so can you.

Successful people weren't always successful - they learnt how to become successful. So if people can learn how to overcome their frustrations and focus on the actions they need to achieve their ultimate goals and ambitions - so can you.

Learning to use NLP does not require hours on end of your time to make a difference in your life. If you can allocate 15 minutes a day to practice some very simple, and very rewarding techniques, you can immediately start to take control of your fears and frustrations and turn them into a winning and empowering attitude that will continue to take you closer to your goals and ambitions.

Before you turn tail and run at the thought of learning some NLP techniques, or if you're not really sure what it is, in it's simplest form, Neuro Linguistic Programming is basically a method of helping you change the way you habitually react to any given situation. When you experience anxiety or frustration, you are simply reacting negatively to the situation that is causing those emotions. NLP teaches you how you can easily change your reactions to be positive and empowering.

To help you get started, there are two very simple exercises that you can start practising right away:

1. You need to become aware of all the situations and environments that make you feel nervous, anxious and inhibited. Carry a little notebook in your pocket so that you can make note of them whenever they occur.

The reason behind this exercise is that you need to be aware of your barriers in order that you can start to break through them further down the road.

2. The second exercise is even easier - you simply need to write down how you would like to feel most of the time, and what feelings and behaviours you want to eliminate from your life.

Take you time to do step two thoroughly - the more detailed your list, the better you will be able to focus in on those areas, and create a personal development plan that supports your goals.

By: Wendy Jones

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Before you create your personal development plan, make sure you claim your free Building Confidence report and free video coaching from a renowned Master NLP practitioner and coach to top Fortune 500 companies.

Monday, October 1, 2007

What Kind Of Learner Are You?

The learning process is incredibly complex and made up of many factors. We all have preferred ways of doing things. Evaluating what that is can help us influence our learning. As good as a course or training material is, the one unknown is the person taking that course or using that material. Let’s consider what determines the kind of learners we are.

What are your strongest memories?What can you remember most strongly about those memories?The answers that you give to these questions may give you an idea of the way you remember information.So what memory type are you?There are three basic memory types . Visual, aural and kinaesthetic, which includes senses like taste or smell. We tend to be a mix of memory styles but the one which most strongly influences how you remember things is what we are looking at here. I have a predominantly visual memory and I can vividly describe scenes from my past. Diagrams, pictures and other images help to reinforce the learning process for me. Others remember sounds, tastes, smells or other sensations.What kind of learning do you like?At its simplest level there are two ways of looking at it, instructor-dependent and instructor-independent, learning with a physical instructor or learning without one. Learners, who are more independent, are more likely to be comfortable learning on their own and can usually exploit online resources better. A more dependent learner favours the classroom and believes that they can learn best from an instructor.What motivates you to learn?There are also two ways of describing motivation; intrinsic or internal motivation - a strong internal desire to learn and extrinsic or external motivation where there is an outside pressure to learn. Often our motivation is a combination of both. There is external pressure to learn because of a job, study or something else. Internal motivation is what pushes us in that learning or study. People with strong internal motivation tend to learn better as they often have a clear answer to the next question.Why are you learning?Like anything else we do in life there should be a purpose. To sign up for a course or training programme without purpose is almost like setting ourselves up to fail. Even “just for fun” is a reason. Just because an organisation provides free courses there still needs to be a reason beyond the excuse of a day off work. Working out the type of learner you are and whether or not you will benefit from different types of training or study is not an easy thing to do. But at the very least, by asking questions about it, we may benefit a little more from it.
By: Ken O Brien
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Ken O’Brien has over 10 years experience in English language teaching and vocational training. Educated Links( provides articles and other resources based around a range of education and training topics. It also includes a section on Irish resources. Ken was also part of the team that developed the Abacus Communications Business English courses (

Maintaining Motivation Whilst Distance Learning

For most students, whether studying in the classroom or by distance learning, their course of study is usually spread over many months, and in some cases, two or three years, and maintaining consistently high levels of motivation over such long periods is almost impossible. The reasons for this are many, and each of these reasons affects different individuals in different ways.Firstly, in general terms, once you have started your course of studies, this event itself changes the balance in your life. Study time has to be planned and fitted into a pattern of life where it didn’t exist before. Family, friends, and work colleagues are all affected, to a lesser or greater degree, by your decision to study. The demands of studying, the planning, the organising of facilities, the concentration needed, the pressure of coursework and-or examination deadlines – all add stresses to your life that have to be managed effectively. Once the initial excitement of starting the course and setting out on the road to achieving a new objective, has passed, then the pressures and the workload start to have more impact on your life.

Secondly, over these relatively long periods of study, you change. By this I mean that after one year, for example, you have gained more experience in your work role, you will have completed a large part of the course of studies. You may have been promoted, or been disappointed that you weren’t. Your work colleagues may have changed, or your manager may have been replaced with another. You may have changed jobs, moved to a new work location, or moved to a new home. You may have found new friends, or a new partner, be having relationship difficulties, or have become a father, or mother. You may feel unsure, albeit temporarily, that the course of studies is going to be as useful as you first thought, or the qualification as relevant to your career as you initially believed.Thirdly, the people in your life will have changed, perhaps in small ways, perhaps in significant, major ways. Your partner and family members will also have changed, at least in some ways. If you have children they will have grown older, and perhaps become more demanding of your time. Your friends may have developed new interests, or moved away, or changed jobs, and are not as close as before. Any one or more of your family, friends, work colleagues, may have themselves changed jobs or started a course of studies, and taken on the pressures that accompany these.Fourthly, a long course of studies will almost inevitably include areas of study that you are not excited about, or find boring, or which you can’t see the relevance of. Personally, I have always struggled with subjects like Statistics and Data Analysis, and motivating myself to study these was very difficult! Some of my colleagues love these subjects but dislike what they view as vague subjects such as those around managing people.Finally, studying for a professional development qualification is hard work. Very hard work. Working full time and also studying at professional level is the equivalent of having two jobs at the same time. This means that you will inevitably become tired and listless and probably irritable, at least on some occasions, as you work through a long course of studies.The result is that your motivation level will fall as it becomes more difficult to study effectively in this condition.The first, most important, most critical, step is to recognise and accept that maintaining a consistent level of motivation is impossible.The second, equally important step is to accept that although motivation levels will fluctuate, the extremes of high and low can be controlled.The third, equally critical step is to plan and take positive action to counter the influences that will be attacking your motivation levels.This action should be planned as early as possible, ideally at the very start of your studies, but it is never too late to implement such action. The specific actions are, individually, simple ones, and relatively easy to implement. The difficulty is in maintaining these actions, integrating them into your approach to your studies, to your work, and to your personal and home life, so that they become part of your lifestyle, rather than occasional, irregular activities. Before you start your studies, talk with your family or partner about the course of studies and why it is important to you, and to them. In some cases it will be appropriate to take their views into consideration before you decide to go ahead. Be as certain as you can be, through research, asking advice, consulting specialists, that the course, the qualification, is appropriate for your personal development, and that it fits in with your plans. Select a course provider, college, business school, university, that offers a format, a style, an approach, that you will enjoy being part of. Check with current and previous students. Ask colleagues and friends who have also studied by distance learning about their experiences.Set up a Personal Study Area, which you can organise and use for your studies. This should be a place where you will be comfortable, properly equipped, relatively undisturbed and where you can switch into “study” mode. Help yourself to avoid distractions occurring. Make it clear to family and friends, in the discussions you have with them, that once a timetable of study has been set and they have agreed that it is reasonable, they must not try to distract you. Turn off your mobile phone. Don’t have a television set visible from your personal study area. Take defensive action to prevent distractions occurring, such as contacting work colleagues before they contact you.Plan your studies so that you study at times that suit you, but also are times that don’t clash with times when it is important that you are with your family, partner, or friends. Keep your family, your friends, your partner, your work colleagues, your manager, appropriately up to date with your progress. Build in time for leisure and pleasure. Make sure that you take it! You will return to your studies fresh and re- invigorated. Plan your studies to take into account, and leave room for, working on tests, assignments, and revising for exams if required. Don’t set yourself unreasonable targets. If you can't study for more than an hour at a time, don’t plan to. Plan to work in 30 minute sessions. If you can't study effectively in the early morning, don’t plan to. Plan to study later in the day, or in the evening. If you can't actually manage to study for more than 8 hours a week, don’t plan to.Build some of your study activities into your everyday life. For example, if you are studying for a professional management qualification, read a business newspaper or journal instead of your usual newspaper, look out for business focused programmes on the television and radio, read business and management books to gain background knowledge and understanding, talk with your manager and specialists at work to see if you can be included, perhaps as an observer, in management meetings.Talk regularly with your Tutor. Good distance learning providers will have tutors who are accessible on a regular basis, and who will talk with you in the evening and weekends as well, at least for emergencies. Use email, instant messaging, and the telephone, appropriately but regularly.Equip yourself with the best study aids that you can afford. Your PC or Laptop doesn’t have to be the latest model, or the most powerful, and it’s not necessary to have the latest versions of software, but if it regularly crashes, or you lose valuable work, that can be very demotivating. Make sure that you have good quality anti-virus software (this should be kept up current through regular updates). Losing completed coursework and other files and folders because of a virus can make the most sane person suicidal! Don’t risk it, our own experiences and those of many of our students tell us that viruses are a real, ever-present danger.Keep fit and healthy. This is crucial. You need to take regular exercise, eat a balanced diet, try to avoid too much alcohol. It is well established knowledge that poor diet and lack of exercise has a very detrimental effect on concentration levels and on achievement levels.Reward yourself. When you meet a key target, submit an assignment on time, pass an examination, give yourself some time off, or a special treat. Be pleased with yourself.Finally, work at your studies to the best of your ability. Study hard. Study effectively. This will almost certainly guarantee that you will meet your deadlines and that the standard of your work will be high. The result will be that your progress will be successful and you will complete the course and achieve the qualification. Nothing is more powerful in raising morale and motivation levels than success.
By: CJ Williams
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CJ Williams is a tutor and management consultant currently working with Brighton School of Business and Management in the UK, specialising in Business and Management courses taught via distance learning. The writer, CJ Williams, can be contacted at

How To Find The Time To Get The Skills You Need

“I know I need to know how to create spreadsheets and update my database, but I just can’t find the time!” Does this sound like you? So many small business owners need to learn more about computer applications in order to function more effectively in their jobs. Finding a good time to get the training you need to do your job can be challenging for many business owners and professionals.If you find yourself registering to attend computer classes, but then having to cancel because something always seems to come up at the last minute, you are not alone. Many business people have a hard time planning ahead of time to attend training sessions that are scheduled for specific times. However, finding training classes at the last minute is nearly impossible, because good classes fill up quickly. It can be very frustrating to know that you need to improve your skills, but to be unable to find time to do so.

That’s where online training comes in. E-learning classes are available in every topic imaginable, from basic computer skills through how to design and market your company’s website. By selecting an online training option, your computer can become your classroom. Instead of leaving work or home to go to class, literally your class can be delivered right to your desktop, any time that you want it. Whether you have time to work on developing your skills first think in the morning, last thing at night, or even in the airport between flights, you can fit e-learning into your schedule. According to Randall Olson, Mobile Technical Institute’s IT Director, “The main reason that MTI implemented its comprehensive online training program is to make high quality training accessible to clients who aren’t able to attend pre-scheduled classes. We offer instructor-led classes that are very well attended. However, we frequently received training requests from people who just cannot work out their schedules to attend the classes they need. I knew we needed to create a training option that would work for them, so we implemented an online curriculum.” The great thing about advanced e-learning technology is that people who want to learn new skills can do so in their own time and at their own pace. Online classes are the ideal solution for individuals who need to find a convenient, affordable, and easily accessible way to improve their skills. The beauty of the e-learning environment is that you can choose exactly what you need to learn, and complete your training at times convenient to you, in the locations of your choice. People from all backgrounds and all skill levels can benefit from online learning. According to Olson, “our online training clients range from people who are learning to use their first computer all the way through advanced computer professionals who would otherwise have to travel across the country to find live classes that meet their specialized, high-end training needs.”Whether your goal is to master the computer applications skills that will help you run your business more effectively, to earn your real estate license, or to complete continuing education licensing requirements for your profession, there is an excellent online training program that will meet your needs.
By: Mary Gormandy White
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Mary Gormandy White is a career and training expert who specializes in customer service, management, and career development training at Mobile Technical Institute She also works with MTI Business Solutions, providing marketing, writing, and SEO consulting services to a wide variety of clients. Stop by regularly to read more tips for improving your professional skills and career prospects.