Table of Contents

  • Inner Peace: Ten Steps to a Balanced Life
  • Parenting: Children Need to be Reassured with Love
  • Personal Relationship: Give Someone a Gift
  • Management Effectiveness: Four Traits of Admired Leaders
  • Health: Preventing Fatigue
  • Inner Peace: Watch What You Say to Yourself
  • Personal Excellence: Handling Irritating People
  • Parenting: What is “Quality Time?”
  • Personal Effectiveness: If You Cannot Agree With Others . . .
  • Personal Growth: The Greatest Cure Known
  • Inner Peace: How About an Emotional Check-up?
  • Interpersonal Relationship: Preventing War in the Living Room
  • Personal Effectiveness: Are You Emotionally Mature?
  • Resources: Peace Quotes
  • Ecology: Eco-Ideas for Urban Planners
  • Parenting: How to Ruin Your Child with Negative Programming
  • Health and Healing: Fruits and Vegetables Prevent Disease
  • Personal Growth: What is Maturity?
  • Ponder on This
  • Health and Healing: Try This to Cut Stress
  • Action Program for Kids: Helping Save Sea Turtles
  • Personal Effectiveness: The Art of Conversation


Ten Steps to a Balanced Life

Dr. Susan Smith Jones suggests these ten steps towards a healthy and balanced life:

Keep Fit. Get plenty of exercise, sleep, water and nutritious food.
Learn to relax. Have a recreation or a hobby. Learn deep-relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga and breathing exercises.
Rid yourself of negative emotions.
Embrace gratitude. No matter what is going on in your life, be grateful.
Practice forgiveness every day.
Visualize your goals and dreams daily.
Find time each day to be alone.
Simplify your life. Slow down.
Develop a sense of humor. Don’t take yourself or life too seriously.
Be loving. Nothing will change your life more quickly than embracing a consistent feeling of love in your heart.
Source: Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Celestial Arts Publishing, P.O. Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707, U.S.A.

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Children Need to be Reassured with Love

Parents should not take it for granted that a child knows he or she is loved, says Dr. Dorothy C. Finkelhor.

Because parents constantly correct him or criticize him with “That is not right” or “Don’t do that” in trying to train him. The child needs to be reassured constantly, otherwise he will feel that he are no good within himself. He needs to know that though they may not approve of everything he does, they always approve of him.

Show your love by showing a genuine interest in his studies and activities, by recognizing his achievements and positive qualities, by complimenting him, by willingness to do things for him, such as helping him in his homework, and by simply saying that you love or care for him.

Source: Dorothy C. Finkelhor, Ph. D., How to Make Your Emotions Work for You. A Berkley Book. Berkley Publishing Corp.

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Give Someone a Gift

Giving is one of the greatest sources of fulfillment in life. Today, consider a person you have been thinking about and send him or her a gift. It does not have to be an expensive one. The gift should be an unmistakable symbol of your relationship, your friendship, or the extent of your intimacy.

Source: Alan Epstein, Ph.D., How to Be Happier Day by Day. Viking Penguin, Penguin Books, Inc., 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014, U.S.A.

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Four Traits of Admired Leaders

Based on surveys of more than 15,000 people, the top four traits of admired leaders (and the percent of people who select them) are:

Being honest – 87%
Being forward-looking – 71%
Being inspirational – 68%
Being competent – 58%
In other words, the most important quality of a leader is credibility.

Here are other identified traits of good leaders:

They keep their promises and commitments
They believe in the self-worth of others.
They can make a difference in the lives of others
They admit their mistakes
They arouse optimistic feelings
They create a climate for learning through trust and openness
Source: James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It, cited in Communication Briefings, 1101 King Street, Suite 110, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, U.S.A.

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Preventing Fatigue

The ability to rest effectively in between work is one of the best known ways of preventing fatigue and stress. Here are three insights shared by Dale Carnegie:

The U.S. Army discovered that soldiers can march longer when they are allowed to rest ten minutes in every hour.
Our own heart can sustain uninterrupted pumping of blood for 80 or 90 years. How can it do this? Dr. Walter b. Cannon of the Harvard Medical School explains “Most people have the idea that the heart is working all the time. As a matter of fact, there is a definite rest period after each contraction.” This aggregate rest period is 15 hours per day.
When Winston Churchill was about 70 years old, he was able to work 16 hours a day, year after year, during World War II. His secret? He worked in bed each morning until 11 o’clock, reading reports, dictating orders, holding conferences, etc. After lunch he sleeps for an hour. In the evening before dinner he sleeps for another two hours. Because he rested frequently, he was able to work on, fresh and fit until long past midnight.

Are you able to take restful breaks during the day? If not, then you should now review your daily routine and insert periods of unwinding.

Source: Dale Carnegie, quoted in The Leader in You, by Dale Carnegie & Associates Inc. Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, U.S.A.

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Watch What You Say to Yourself

Words can have a subconscious influence on you. When you say: “He’s a pain in the neck,” or “She drives me crazy,” you may be programming garbage into your subconscious. The subconscious mind does not know that you don’t really mean those things.

Use more positive phrases as part of your daily vocabulary. Your words are powerful. Choose them wisely.

Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Celestial Arts Publishing, P.O. Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707, U.S.A.

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Handling Irritating People

Who has not been subjected to the presence of irritating people? If you’re one of them, you are either very lucky or are living practically alone.

If you are like the rest of us, you know that you need to be assertive in dealing with them, but at the same time we need to do so without creating more friction. Here are some suggestions from Michael Aquino:

State your positive intentions. Say something like: “I want to understand what happened so we can prevent this from happening again.” Doing this helps create a climate of goodwill. The other person does not perceive your assertiveness as a challenge or rejection.

Set partial limits. Define under which circumstances you feel okay about something and under which you do not. Example: “I am willing to stay another ten minutes, then I want to leave.”

Deflect the kind busybody: Differentiate the person’s kind intention from your negative response. Example: “I appreciate that you want to help, Helen. This is a job, however, that I prefer doing on my own.”

Speak for yourself. And invite others to do the same. Be willing to state your reaction and feelings. This way, the listener is less likely to become defensive. Example: “I’m not comfortable that you went through my desk while I was away.”

Be as specific as you can. If you’re annoyed by someone’s gripe sessions about her husband, identify first what is bothering you. But don’t condemn or scold. Example: “Marianne, I am uncomfortable when you talk about your sexual problems.” Saying that “I’m angry that you cancelled at the last minute” is specific, but saying “You’re unbelievably rude” is a nonspecific global attack.

Ask questions that may help clarify. Questions encourage openness and honesty. Example: “What are you expecting from me right now?” “What bothers you?”

Forecast the worst. In certain situations, mentioning your worst fears paradoxically reduces the chance that they will happen. Example: “I’ve been reluctant to talk with you because I was afraid you’d blow up. Please hear me out without losing your temper.”

Source: Moneysaver Magazine. 5th Floor, Concorde Condominium Bldg., Benavidez St. cor. Salcedo St., Legaspi Village, Makati, M.M. Philippines

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What is “Quality Time?”

We often hear of parents and teachers speaking of “quality time” that needs to be spent with children. Some parents think that this is something like a planned weekend or vacation. Ron Taffel, in Parenting by Heart, writes that parents and children have told him that quality time have the following characteristics:

it is rarely scheduled
it usually grows out of ordinary, everyday events
it almost never costs anything
it is often an activity that parents like as much as kids do
it is something preteens and adolescents end up loving – even if only in short spurts.
Source: For the Love of Life. Theosophical Order of Service, P.O. Box 41584, Tucson, AZ 85717-1584, U.S.A.

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If You Cannot Agree With Others . . .

. . . You can at least refrain from quarreling with them.

There is a practical reason for this, says the book Napoleon Hill’s Positive Action Plan: “When you quarrel with others B even if you win the argument B you place a great deal of unnecessary stress upon yourself. It is impossible to maintain a Positive Mental Attitude when you allow negative emotions such as anger or hate to dominate your thoughts.”

No one can upset you or make you angry unless you allow them to do so. Instead of arguing with others, try asking non-threatening questions such as:

“Why do you feel this way? What have I done to make you angry? What can I do to help?”
By asking in such ways, you may find that the situation is just the result of a simple misunderstanding or misperception. And even if the problem is more serious, such positive behavior will greatly help in resolving them.

Source: Napoleon Hill’s Positive Action Plan. Interpreted and updated by Michael J. Ritt, Jr. and Samuel A. Cypert. Dutton Book. Penguin Books USA Inc., 375 Hudson St., New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.

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The Greatest Cure Known

. . . for loneliness, discouragement, and discontentment is work that produces a healthy sweat, according to the book Napoleon Hill’s Positive Action Plan.

Emotions are strange. They do not always respond to reason. But they respond to action. “If you have occasional feelings of loneliness, discouragement or discontentment, the best way to kill such negative emotions is to work them to death. . . . Physical labor can help. Choose a task that doesn’t require a great deal of concentration, and then focus on accomplishing the task at hand.”

When you feel bad, dwelling on your misfortunes will only make you feel worse. Do you best to put them out of your mind and think about more positive, constructive things.

Source: Napoleon Hill’s Positive Action Plan. Interpreted and updated by Michael J. Ritt, Jr. and Samuel A. Cypert. Dutton Book. Penguin Books USA Inc., 375 Hudson St., New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.

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How About an Emotional Check-up?

We often hear of people having annual physical check-ups. But don’t you think that a regular emotional check-up is equally necessary? We often ignore the symptoms of psychological and emotional illness. We distract ourselves from the pain, and often fail to deal with the root cause.

Here are suggested questions to yourself to check your emotional wellness, according to author Earnest L. Tan:

Look into your emotional life. Are you basically a happy person? Or are you constantly having negative feelings, such as anger, resentment, fear, guilt, depression? Are your feelings appropriate and realistic, or are they inappropriate and neurotic?
Explore your self-concept. How do you feel about yourself? Do you like what you see about yourself? Do you basically believe that you are an OK person? Do you feel you are lovable and capable?
Check your physical health. Are you always complaining of some form of pain in your body? Do you feel more fatigued rather than energetic? Do you feel ill most of the time? Does your doctor tell you that your illness is all in your head? Do you feel a zest for life?
Reflect on your relationships. Do you have many friends or are you a loner? Are your relationships casual or intimate? Can you truly express your honest feelings to people? Do you feel comfortable and relaxed around people?
Examine the feedback of people regarding your total personality. Are people excited when they see you? Or do they tend to avoid you? What do people openly say about you? Are they praises and affirmations or are they mostly criticisms and put-downs? Can people express their feelings with you openly?
Reflect on the above questions, and, says author Tan, “if you find that your responses are pointing to a more negative side, then it is worth exploring the factor that is possibly causing this.” The journey of finding the root cause may be a painful one, but remember: “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable!” The road to freedom is a difficult yet exciting process.

Source: Earnest L. Tan, How to Attract Love. Spiritus Books, Manila.

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Preventing War in the Living Room

When we feel that tension is building in the family, like a volcano about to erupt, we feel out of control. This is rage building up, not just anger.

Dr. Sara Bhakti suggests that the best thing to do in the circumstances is to leave, fast. “Discharge the rage elsewhere rather than inflicting it on the other person. Rage is a powerful force. It does violence to our emotional bodies and is not unlike a physical explosion to our physical bodies. An out-of-control, enraged person is like a highly charged bundle of explosives.”

An analogy, she says, would help us understand this. If you feel a sudden attack of diarrhea coming, would you continue to stay in the living room and finish your sentence? Of course, not. You leave the room immediately.

When a person develops awareness when anger is building up, then rage is prevented, and the person can now more competently deal with it without losing control. One may even say: “I am really getting angry; in another minute I may explode!” This warning may help prevent things from boiling over.

Source: Sara Bhakti, Ph. D., Listening with the Heart and Other Communication Skills. Gaea Center, P.O. Box 652, Santa Cruz, CA 95061, U.S.A.

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Are You Emotionally Mature?

Dr. William C. Menninger of the famous Menninger Clinic, lists the following criteria for measuring emotional maturity:

The ability to deal constructively with reality.
The capacity to adapt to change
A relative freedom from symptoms that are produced by tensions and anxieties.
The capacity to find<D> more satisfaction in giving then receiving.
The capacity to relate to other people in a consistent manner with mutual satisfaction and helpfulness
The capacity to sublimate, to direct one’s instinctive hostile energy into creative and constructive outlets.
The capacity to love.
Source: Contributed by Mr. Jim Challis,

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Peace Quotes

Peace is the work of justice indirectly, in so far as justice removes the obstacles to peace; but it is the work of charity (love) directly, since charity, according to its very notion, causes peace. THOMAS AQUINAS

There is perhaps no phenomenon which conveys so much destructive feeling as moral indignation, which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue. ERICH FROMM

Christian values are never defended by murder, torture, or repression. Sad indeed would be those “humanistic, Christian values” that require violence for their maintenance. Declaration of Latin American Bishops, 1977

Sensitivity to the immense needs of humanity brings with it a spontaneous rejection of the arms race, which is incompatible with the all out struggle against hunger, sickness, under-development and illiteracy. POPE JOHN PAUL II

If all the Churches of Europe closed their doors until the drums ceased rolling they would act as a most powerful reminder that though the glory of war is a famous and ancient glory, it is not the final glory of God. GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

I do not believe the greatest threat to our future is form bombs or guided missiles. I don’t think our civilization will die that way. I think it will die when we no longer care B when the spiritual forces that make us wish to be right and noble die in the hearts of men. Arnold Toynbee has pointed out that 19 of 21 civilizations have died from within and not conquest from without. There were no bands playing and flags waving when these civilizations decayed. It happened slowly, in the quiet and the dark when no one was aware. LAWRENCE GOULD

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Eco-Ideas for Urban Planners

Cities and heavily populated areas are now a major ecological threat to the region where the cities are located as well as to the whole planet. It has become essential that city planners must seriously undertake action plans to curb the ecological damage of urban growth. Commercial and residential planning for example must take into consideration steps to reduce the use of cars by planning business locations within walking distances of residential areas.

Here are some ideas as presented by Peter Berg:

Cities should implement full-scale recycling programs and promote the use of recycled materials.
Buildings should be made to use renewable energy.
Single-passenger automobile use should be heavily discouraged through increased tolls; gasoline taxes should be imposed to pay for more public transit; downtown streets should be closed to private automobiles.
Planning decisions should be framed around residents’ interest in preserving neighborhood livability.
Public information programs should teach natural features, native plants and animals in the city to all school grade levels.
Source: Call to Action, edited by Brad Erickson. Sierra Club Books, 730 Polk St., San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

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How to Ruin Your Child with Negative Programming

Parents are often unaware that the small daily remarks they make in the presence of their children can program them to behave in certain ways and can result in problem children or unhappy adults. Here are examples from the book the Secret of Happy Children by Steve Buddulph:

When disciplining, using put-downs instead of simple demands. Example: “Give that back, you selfish little brat!”
Using put-downs even in a friendly way, such as a pet name: “Hey, elephant ears! Dinner’s ready!”
Comparing: “You’re as bad as your father. Why can’t you be sweet and good like your baby brother?”
Setting an example: “You hit him again and I’ll kill you!”
Talking to other people about children’s faults in their hearing: “She’s awfully shy. I don’t know what’ll become of her.”
Taking pride in unwholesome behavior patterns: “He sure hit her! He’s a real little O’Reilly!”
Using guilt to control children: “God, you exhaust me! I’m so sick I could just lie down and die.”
Statements such as these develop patterns in attitudes and behavior that lead to unhappiness and conflict, both inner and outer. Be aware of them. You may be the cause of your children’s future problems.

Steve Biddulph, The Secret of Happy Children. Bay Books, 61-69 Anzac Parade, Kensington NSW 2033, Australia.

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Fruits and Vegetables Prevent Disease

Many studies have shown that regular intake of fruits and vegetables are effective in preventing diseases.

Women who eat lots of fruit and vegetables cut their risk of stroke by 54%. Spinach and carrots were quite effective

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>Men with highest intake of potassium, found in fruits and vegetables, reduced the risk of kidney stones in half. (From study of health professionals by Harvard School of Public Health.)
Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Celestial Arts Publishing, P.O. Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707, U.S.A.

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What is Maturity?

Maturity covers three areas: mental, emotional and social. Thomas Sutherland defines these three aspects as follows:

Mental maturity is shown by such behavior as decisiveness, realism and appropriate patience. Immature behavior includes prejudice and over identification with one’s own ideas.
Emotional maturity comes through the control of our feelings, and consistency of behavior. Over-concern about our own needs indicate emotional immaturity. The more we “fly off the hand,” or sulk, the more we show immaturity.
Social maturity includes humility without feeling unworthy; feeling confident and sure, but realistic; showing openness, friendliness, unselfishness and faith in, and respect for, others.
Mature Behavior

Immature Behavior

Thinking used as a blue-print for action

Thinking used as a way to avoid action

Thinking decisively

Thinking without direction

Taking responsibility

Avoiding responsibility

Taking successes and failures in stride

Making a big ado about success or failure

Working hard and for a sustained period

Unable to work either hard or for any length of time

Thinking in terms of reality

Thinking in terms of wishes

Listening to and profiting from criticism

Resenting any criticism

Using defeats as a stimuli to improved efficiency

Making excuses for defeats

Showing affection and liking for people

Hiding behind a tough shell

Controlling temper

Blowing one’s top

Stimulating and enthusing people

Bullying and abusing people

Building up and encouraging people and ideas

Tearing down and belittling people and ideas

Dependable, consistent and solid

Often late, erratic and inconsistent

Able to arbitrate and compromise

Insistence on getting own way – always

Being moderate and temperate

Being an extremist

Interested in others

Interested only in self

Source: Helping Yourself with Applied Psychology, edited by Robert W. Henderson, Wilshire Book Co., 12015 Sherman Road, North Hollywood, California, U.S.A.

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Ponder on This

Bertrand Russell, the Nobel Prize philosopher and mathematician, wrote:

I am persuaded that there is absolutely no limit in the absurdities that can, by government action, come to be generally believed.

Give me an adequate army, with power to provide it with more pay and better food, and I will undertake, within thirty years, to make the majority of the population believe that two and two are three, that water freezes when it gets hot and boils when it gets cold, or any other nonsense that might seem to serve the interest of the State.

Of course, even when these beliefs had been generated, people would not put the kettle in the refrigerator when they wanted it to boil. That cold makes water boil would be a Sunday truth, sacred and mystical, to be professed in awed tones, but not to be acted on in daily life. What would happen would be that any verbal denial of the mystic doctrine would be made illegal, and obstinate heretics would be “frozen” at the stake. No person who did not enthusiastically accept the official doctrine would be allowed to teach or to have any position of power. Only the very highest officials, in their cups, would whisper to each other what rubbish it all is; then they would laugh and drink again.

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Try This to Cut Stress

Jane Cole-Hamilton, a nutritional consultant in Canada, suggests that stress can be relieved by identifying its location in the brain hemispheres. The brain is known to have two hemispheres: the right side which is creative and emotional; the left side which is logical and factual.

If you feel depressed or emotionally drained, it is the right brain which is stressed. Switch to the left brain by doing math, writing factual prose, or organizing. The emotional right brain will calm down.
If you feel time-stressed and overburdened, it is the left brained which is stressed. Switch to your right brain by singing or playing a sport.
Jane Cole-Hamilton, quoted in Communication Briefings, 1101 King Street, Suite 110, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, U.S.A.

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Helping Save Sea Turtles

Many Olive Ridley sea turtles are being killed so their skin can be used to make expensive shoes. Other sea turtles are killed and stuffed for wall decorations. If these practices continue, there will be no more sea turtles. Students in Tarzana, California, decided to help stop the slaughter. They made cards with pictures of the turtles on them to create interest and raised money by doing chores and having a sale at which everything cost less than a dollar. The students raised $141.62, which they sent to the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, Earth Island Institute, 300 Broadway, Suite 28, San Francisco, CA 94133-3312. (415) 788-3666. Write or call for a packet of information and a video about the sea turtles.

The Helping Hands Handbook by Patricia Adams and Jean Marzollo. Random House Juvenile, 201 East 50th<D> Street, New York, NY 10022

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The Art of Conversation

People enjoy persons who seem to be able to carry on an enjoyable conversation. Here are simple guidelines that will help in making you a good conversational companion. The first is of course to be a good listener B being able to listen not only to the words, but also to the tone, body language, feelings, etc.

Here are additional tips from Lifeline magazine:

Don’t monopolize the conversation.
Don’t contradict.
Don’t abruptly change the topic.
After a diversion, bring back the subject.
Don’t make dogmatic statements of opinion.
Source: Lifeline, Abalos Bldg., 9 Pinagtipunan St., Mandaluyong City, Philippines

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The Only Answer to All Our Problems . . .
. . . Whether they’re political, economic, personal or whatever, is to act from the center of ourselves. Act, not react. Acting from the wholeness that we are, which is our soul level . . . and when we contact that, we’re not defensive or on the offensive or anything else because we’re secure in what we are. We know who we are. We know we’re part of the whole. DOROTHY MACLEAN, Founder of Findhorn
There is perhaps no phenomenon which conveys so much destructive feeling as moral indignation, which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue. ERICH FROMM
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Prepared by:
Peace Center
Theosophical Society in the Philippines