Make Them Love You

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Want to be a magnet? Is it even possible to be attractive to everyone you encounter? Maybe. But you CAN increase your mojo; your IT factor, and your appeal; right now.

Hopefully you’ve got bigger goals than wooing a member of the opposite sex. Cultivating your inner magnetism can help stimulate your career, your finances, your everyday life, and your personal/social interactions as well. The following list will enable you to sell yourself in business, personal relationships, social settings and more. Here’s how to Make Them Love You.

1. Decide that you’re the best. No one is perfect. However, everyone has something that no one else can imitate. What’s unique about you?

Identify your talents: Pay attention to compliments to determine your strengths, and fine-tune the present version of yourself (hone skills, practice, improve, upgrade). Organize your life so that your activities, conversations and social interactions enable your strengths to shine. For instance, if you’ve EVER been told you have a beautiful smile, start using your smile like a weapon; a disarming, charming magical magnet. Smile even when you’re less than happy. Never be caught without your smile.

Similarly, if you’re great at chess, play chess all the time and hang out with people who appreciate the game. It’s easy to shine when you’re in your element. Great dancer? Humorous personality? Let it shine. Dance at the company party or neighborhood gathering. Make people laugh if you’re good at it. Super clean? Show off and brag about your meticulous housekeeping. Great clothes? Flaunt them. If you have a great body, show it off! Find something great about you, embrace it, publicize it and praise yourself.

To start this new habit immediately, go look in your favorite mirror and make yourself look as appealing as you can. Then say you yourself, I’m glad you are mine. Then reply to yourself, thanks, I agree; you are the best person for me.
If you expect others to gravitate toward you, you’ve got to believe your own hype. Want him to like you? He’ll like you equally as much as you like yourself. Don’t lie to yourself. If you’re not totallyin love with you, start correcting that right now.

If you’re waiting for your boss to be impressed by your work, impress yourself and everything will fall into place. Are youimpressed with yourself? If not, do something about it now.

2. Be busy. It’s okay to dream of a promotion, college acceptance letter or a date with that special someone. But dreaming alone won’t work without action. What are the qualifications for getting into that great position, or school, or relationship? Have you done the work? Preparation is the key to seizing your moment of opportunity.

Suppose your boss is considering promoting you. Show him or her why you’re a great investment. Hinting and askingfor what you want is only the first step. But to earn any substantial promotion, opportunity or relationship, you’ve got to be seen doing a damn good job, repeatedly, with a passion.If you want to feel beautiful, religiously attend to your personal upkeep and walk the walk of the attractive, successful, motherly, fatherly, wifely, husbandly or scholarly role you desire.

Go the extra mile. Look great every dayas opposed to being lazy on occasion. Work hardeven when no one is looking. If you know exactly what you want, you should be busyall the time; setting or accomplishing new goals, evaluating and upgrading, maintaining and planning. What’s more appealing; a bustling restaurant with steady business or a quiet establishment with no customers; just a bored staff, sitting around waiting for the phone to ring; waiting for a customer to walk in?

Busy is always better. If you don’t know what to get busydoing, see our article about setting goals, (click here to set goals).

Since the majority of our readers request relationship advice, we will reiterate the above advice for their benefit. Busy is better. Never be too available. If you don’t have a lifeoutside of work and family, try to establish one. No one thinks it’s interesting that you sit around waiting for their call. At least pretendto be busy. Moving on…

3. Be consistent. Anyone can act a certain way, but consistency separates the real from the fake. Everyone behaves when the situation is new, but how long can a habitually tardy person beat the clock? Usually not very long. Always be consistent in your efforts, attitude and demeanor. Just be yourself and you won’t have to worry.

Make sure that being yourself includes mastering certain virtues like good manners, promptness, discipline and character. After you’ve become comfortable consistently putting your best foot forward, everyone around you will be convinced that you’re pretty great.

4. Be mysterious (a little). No boss, coworker, friend, or potential romantic partner needs to know every single detail about your past, present and future. Are we advising you to habitually lie to make yourself look good? Absolutely not. We do believe that honesty is the best policy. However, learn to use honesty carefully with discretion.

Don’t tell your supervisor or boss your personal business. If you’ve already started sharing too much, just stop! Business and personal conversations should NOT intertwine unless you’re counting on being promoted via a relationshiprather than your skills and abilities. Be loyal to yourself! Don’t expose your deepest and darkest secrets to anyone unless you are paying for a therapy session. Yes, people need to vent and express their feelings. Wisely find a neutral party; perhaps a stranger in whom you can confide…only for the sake of getting advice.

Like it or not, people judge each other based on what they know,so do you really want to spill your guts and reveal your weaknesses to a person you want to impress? Take care of yourself emotionally, but do so in a private manner. Relationships and work situations are competitiveand very judgementalatmospheres. Don’t show your hand! Honesty is the best policy; but save your revealinghonesty for last; once you’ve reached the top and no one can deem you weak or unreliable.

5. Maintain the utmost confidence. It’s easy to be confident when you’ve got goals that you can complete one by one; when you’re focused on your future and busy making your visions a reality. Look your best and always give your absolute best performance, no matter what the stage.

The key to confidence is knowing who you are, where you’re going and exactly when you plan to get there. Picture yourself handling your business, climbing the ladders of achievement and success; deeply involved in your ideal social and romantic relationships. Then be grateful that you’re focused and motivated. When you live your life with this kind of purpose and focus, you’ll be so confident and magnetic that people will be drawn to you. Opportunities will come to you! People will approach you and become instantly engaged and attracted. And if anyone doesn’t love and admire or approve of you, you won’t even notice.

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Countdown to the New Year: Three Steps to Success

It's time to get clear on what you want, no matter what it is!

It’s time to get clear on what you want, no matter what it is!

Make it a point to lay EYES on the things you want; at least three times a day.

Make it a point to lay EYES on the things you want; at least three times a day.

2013 is drawing to a close. It’s time to plan and strategize for the years ahead. What? You tried that last year? Join the club. There’s something about the year’s end that motivates people to restructure, organize and aspire.

If you failed to meet your goals for the year 2013, take a moment to pat yourself on the back: You are leaps and bounds ahead of individuals who set NO GOALS at all. Here’s a list of things you can do to guarantee your progress, achievement and accomplishment for not only 2014, but for the rest of your life!

1. SPELL IT OUT

Make a list of things you want. Whether it’s a material item like a Mercedes Benz, an ideal like inner peace, or a situation; such as a new position at work or a friendship/romantic relationship, WRITE IT DOWN. If you do this correctly, you’ll find yourself with a 3-5 page list of things you desire; in no particular order, with no categorization.

This exercise helps you achieve clarity; you’ll start to notice what’s important to you. When creating your list, don’t hold back. If you truly want 200 pairs of shoes…just write it down without judging yourself. When you’ve run out if things to add, it’s time to move on to the next step. But keep the list handy; you’ll think of more things to add as you continue.

2. DRAW IT UP

Create an IMAGE to serve as a visual aide for your life’s goals. Using pictures, words or objects, create a vision board or vision diagram that illustrates or signifies the items on your list. For instance, if you’ve chosen to use pictures, collect pictures of your desired outcome; the fancy car, the cozy home, or the corner office. If you’ve chosen to use words, collect or write words such as “promotion,” “graduation” or “sobriety.” If you don’t know how to make a diagram or vision board, search the web for inspiration and get creative! My personal vision board is a pyramid with colored words to signify each goal or desire. Once your vision illustration is complete, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

3. PREDICT, PLAN & PREPARE

It’s time to revise your five or ten-year plan. Don’t have a written five-year plan? Well, get excited, because once you take the time to write out a five-year-plan (or ten-year plan), you will experience a surge in confidence, motivation and clarity. We’ve all heard the adage, “If you fail to plan, then you must plan to fail.” This is true, even for the most savvy procrastinators and talented go-getters.

The five-year plan forces you to organize, schedule and prioritize the tasks you need to complete to reach your goals. For instance, if you plan to vacation in Paris next Christmas, the five-year plan empowers you by taking the trip out of “the land of make believe” and places it squarely on your proverbial plate of “things to do.” You might look at your five-year plan and realize that your trip can ACTUALLY HAPPEN if you stick to your savings plan. Don’t have a savings? Want one? Add “savings account” to your list of wants. Then add your savings goals to the five year plan! Predict the amount you can save, plan a method of saving (or investing!) and prepare to set out on your journey.

For each item on your list of wants, find a creative way to convert it to a tangible word or picture for your vision illustration, and a creative way to make your desire an ACTION point on the five-year plan. Suppose you want to lose fifty pounds. Within your five-year plan, you can incorporate a daily or weekly workout schedule that enables you to see progress from week to week. Break each goal or want into to bite-sized pieces. How much weight do you predict you can lose in a week? What about 52 weeks? What about 104 weeks? As you can see, preparing a long-term PLAN can help make your goals attainable. Your PLAN gives you the assurance that if you keep working, you will see results. Your ideal weight is no longer an elusive pie in the sky; it’s approximately (or exactly) 30 weeks and  90 workouts away. STICK TO THE PLAN.

Armed with your list of wants, your vision board, and your five-ten year plan, you’ll be hard to top. Spend quality time on these three steps and TREASURE your vision board. Keep the LIST, the VISION ILLUSTRATION and the PLAN in a special place so you can refer to it EVERY DAY. If you internalize your vision and stick to your plan, you will be amazed at how quickly the world becomes your oyster. Suddenly it’s no longer a tedious climb to the top, but an invigorating hike toward a sublime destination.

So don’t shy away from proclaiming 2014 to be “your year.” So what if you said the same thing last year? Anyone who discourages you from your optimism and enthusiasm is probably goal-less and possibly soul-less. Pay the haters no mind. Just because you didn’t get that promotion or close that big deal in 2013 doesn’t make you any less successful or any less likely to succeed in the years ahead. Even if you did absolutely nothing you can call productive, you DID read this article! So you strategized; planned and prepared for another launch into a fresh year. You LEARNED! Have a wonderful year.

How to Make a Comeback: Starting Over from Nothing

2he91t0Everyone makes choices. Sometimes we regret them. Even when we don’t regret our choices, we sometimes feel as though our lives need a makeover. It’s easier to revamp your life when you’re at the top of your game. But what if you’re down and out? What if you have nothing. You don’t have to be homeless to have nothing. Plenty of people experience periods of their lives when they wind up at the mercy of family, friends, spouses or strangers; having free-fallen into a state of destitution through varied unfortunate and extenuating circumstances. Upon landing flat on their asses, however, they are in the perfect position to mount a comeback of epic proportion. But how?

1. ADMIT YOUR MISTAKE OR LOSS. This is the most vital part of the plan. Take time with this step. Look at your life and clearly identify the reasons why your choices led you to this place. If you believe it wasn’t your fault, you’re in denial. If you don’t identify your bad choices, you will repeat them until you do. Feel like hitting rock-bottom again in a few years? I didn’t think so. Find out what you did wrong.

2. FORGIVE AND FORGET WHAT YOU DID TO YOUR SELF. This is critical. If you haven’t mastered step one, don’t bother going any further; you’re playing yourself. After checking off your bad choices, it’s important to immediately stop envisioning the bad choices and switch your vision to the positive choices you are making today. Reading this is a positive choice. Congratulations. You can now picture yourself on the comeback trail.

3. GET ON THE COME-BACK TRAIL. This is a choice. Would you like to remain in a defeated state, or would you like to come back and take the proverbial crown of your life? Choose now. If you choose the crown, that’s a great choice. You’ve chosen to read this article, and you’ve also chosen to make a comeback. You no longer make bad choices. See yourself as a responsible chooser. Congratulate yourself and stick to your new formula of making good decisions on purpose. Now you can begin to move ahead.

4. CHOOSE SOME GOALS. Depending upon your interests, talents, wants and needs, choose goals for yourself. Employment and/or education are key here. Finding employment can be a liberating and energizing process. When you’re starting from nothing, you don’t have to search for your dream-job. All you need is a steady stream of income that you can budget as you please. No matter how small the amount, we can use money to get more money. It’s possible to find your dream job when you’re starting over. If you don’t find it right away, it’s alright to accept a position as a waiter or maid; service jobs will provide the money you need to buy a fancy suit for your interview, renew your driver’s license, save for your own apartment, or a number of other goals. Budget your money wisely, according to your goals. For instance, Sarah is determined to finish her accounting degree, but she accepts a position at Hardee’s hamburger restaurant. With her first paycheck, she takes a portion of the money, deposits it onto a pre-paid credit card, and orders her college transcripts, which total $40. Therefore, the job has helped her to move one step closer to a meaningful goal. Sarah feels energized, motivated and successful; all while working at Hardee’s.

Maybe your goal is to move out of “so-and-so’s” house. Goals differ depending on the individual and his or her unique circumstances. Write down your goals. Prioritize them. Then write them down again, in order of importance and urgency. When you break life into a series of goals, it seems less overwhelming. Sometimes a goal can be as simple as placing an uncomfortable phone call. If you can’t force yourself to call that bill-collector back, ask a trusted friend to do it for you. Removing yourself from the situation by having a friend call can be helpful. You will realize that communication works wonders. Your friend won’t feel the same stress, devastation and/or humiliation as you would feel while calling your cell-phone provider to ask for more time to pay. Write down your goals. When you do, you will miraculously start getting instructions on how to proceed.

5. TAP IN TO YOUR RESOURCES. Everyone has resources available during times of hardship. Look into social programs for people in your position. Whether you make use of government assistance, grants, financial aid, food pantries, thrift stores and Goodwill stores or not; they are there to help and you should use everything available to you.

People can be the greatest resource. Friends, coworkers, former coworkers, neighbors, associates, sorority sisters, fraternity brothers, old athletic teammates,  former friends, distant relatives, and even strangers can be valuable resources while you’re on the comeback trail. Look at every person you know as a resource. When you’re mounting a comeback, there’s no time to be shy. Talk to everyone. And when you can, share your story, as well as your needs. No one can help you if you don’t know what you need. So open up! Ask people where they work, who they know, what they know, and/or how they can help you, or introduce you to someone else who can.

Intangible resources include motivation, encouragement, positivity and the like. A good way to make sure you take advantage of the intangibles is to develop a support system. Even if you only know one person, make sure you maintain the relationship. It’s your support. Everyone faces challenges that cause them to feel discouraged from time to time. You can keep yourself encouraged and make significant progress with the support of just one good person! Don’t take your relationships for granted. In an age where the term BFF is thrown around very loosely, people take friendship for granted. It doesn’t take a round-the-clock clingy, two-peas-in-a-pod, best friends forever relationship to support you. A simple regular, candid conversation with a stranger can fill this need. If you are fortunate enough to have a best friend that you’ve known to be loving and loyal for a decade or more, you are the exception. Take full advantage of your long-term friendships; especially when you’re down and out. That’s what friends are for. It can be tempting to hide from your loved ones when you feel that you’ve failed. DON’T DO THIS! Learning to swallow your pride and admit your imperfections is obviously part of the journey! You need help. Stop pretending that you don’t.

6. CREATE A DAILY ROUTINE AND ESTABLISH CONSISTENCY When you’ve completed the steps above, you’re well on your way to a come-back. But consistency is key. Keep realizing new truths about yourself. Keep congratulating yourself for each small step you make. Continue to set new goals and tap in to your resources. As you continue, you will see that it’s much more than a come-back; it’s a lifestyle of success. Whatever your spiritual beliefs, incorporate them into your life as part of your daily routine. It’s important to structure your life around your goals. For people who have trouble setting goals and managing their time, making a list of every single task to be completed each day. Soon, you’ll get the hang of strategically structuring your days to complete what needs to be done.

A Day Without Spending

A penny saved is a penny earned. Do you know how much you spend on a typical weekday? A typical weekend day? If not, now’s the time to get on top of your finances. Why? Because your money is meant to be enjoyed, not chased as it dwindles down to nothing before your very eyes.

Can you go a day without spending a dime?

Can you go a day without spending a dime?

People who know the value of saving often go days without spending a dime. If this idea sounds foreign to you, yet you dream of increasing your cash flow, keep reading. Try to go 24 hours without spending a dime. Fill your vehicle with fuel the day before. Prepare your breakfast and lunch, along with any snacks, and your dinner. Then, go about your day as usual, pretending that you don’t have a single dime to spend.

Skip the paper and coffee. Skip the lottery tickets. Skip the cigarettes. Skip the energy drink. Park in a free lot. Skip the vending machine. Decline the school fundraiser candy-bars. Don’t order anything online. Say no to your kid as you drive past Happy Burger. When your friend asks to borrow a few bucks, explain that you don’t have it today.

Plan ahead for a day without spending.

Plan ahead for a day without spending.

Try to go about your day without buying anything. “But we need toilet paper…” Buy the necessities. When you make it safely back home, calculate the amount you spent. Realize that you’ve earned money by declining to spend. Do it all again the next day. This exercise will show you the importance of avoiding impulse buys. It’s easy to quickly spend more money than necessary when you’re out and about.

Building wealth is about being smart with your money. Deciding what and when you will spend is crucial to taking charge of your finances. Money isn’t for convenience. It’s for progress. Don’t give your money away for trivial pleasures throughout the day. Stash it safely in savings or investment and use it only when your hand is forced!

Broke After Christmas? What is Christmas, Anyway? by Malik Yates

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Many people plan their entire year and/or financial life around Christmas. They overspend each December, then struggle for most of the year. By the time they gather the reins of their personal finances, it’s time to overspend on Christmas presents all over again, when in some cases, last year’s gifts are still being paid off (with interest)!

Every year, shopping malls are packed with gullible consumers who spend their last dime on toys, jewelery, clothing, kitchenware, socks, pajamas, electonics, fine fragrances—even cars! Why? Because of the massive marketing campaign aimed at capitalizing on the holiday of holidays; Christmas. A so-called Christian celebration, Christmas is a season of sacrifice; when the poor go into debt, neglecting budgets and savings plans to waste money on “great gifts” to prove they love their families, friends, loved ones, Jesus, or Christmas…depending on who you ask.!? It’s all pretty confusing if you wake up and think about it.

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Dolls and other toys, purchased with precious dollars at Christmas-time, are quickly discarded and forgotten in many cases.

Who doesn’t love Christmas? Each year, it becomes less about religion and more about….wait….what is it about? That’s right…it’s the season of giving, right?  It sounds great to say, “Christmas is a season of giving!” But isn’t that statement incomplete? If Christmas is about giving, isn’t it also about receiving?

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As a practicing Christian, if you truly want to commemorate the birth of Jesus, what does that have to do with putting up a Christmas tree and buying gifts for everyone you know?

Christians believe that Christmas is ALL ABOUT the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, right? That’s pretty peculiar, since the Bible never mentions Christmas. The Bible does, however, provide a list of festivals Christians should commemorate, none of which involve shopping. It also forbids the celebration of pagan holidays!

Was Jesus Christ born on December 25? No. What is the significance of December 25? Apparently, many things! Supposedly it’s the birthday of the pagan deity Mithras. I’ll spare you the details on Roman gods. December 25 is celebrated worldwide as part of the winter solstice. Even Wiccans celebrate Yule. December 25 is sometimes referred to as the birth of the Egyptian sun god Horace. What is Christmas?

Casting Christmas as a Christian holiday and promoting the tradition of shopping and gift-swapping is a very slick approach to separating the poor consumer from his or her money, thereby making the rich even richer. But since it feels good to participate in Christmas, go right ahead, since you’ve got money to burn. Just don’t blame your overspending on Jesus.

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It’s okay that you love Christmas. It’s simply a tradition that people have become accustomed to. Research the origins of Christmas  and decide if it’s worth the devastation of your savings and budget. You might find that celebrating Christmas goes against your religion! If you choose not to celebrate it, you’ll save yourself money and stress. If you choose to continue celebrating each year, because you feel obligated to your children, family members and friends, that’s your decision. At the least, take a step back and examine Christmas as it relates to your priorities.

There is no commandment in the Bible that says, “Thou shalt work and save all year long to make sure you go all out for Christmas. Thou shalt get thy kids everything they want each year on December 25th because that’s the day Jesus was born.” It’s time to wake up.

Give Christmas its proper place in your life, depending on what you believe. But in today’s day and time, with so much information available, if you still believe that God wants you to celebrate December 25th because it’s Jesus’ birthday, you really should read more. Start with your Bible.

When shopping, don’t allow television advertisements to dictate how much money you spend! Just because you see a commercial depicting a young child with 30 gifts under the tree, doesn’t mean you can’t choose one or two useful, practical gifts for your kids. Kids see commercials, too. When we go out and buy the new Jolly Janet doll, which costs 50 dollars, we’re teaching our daughters to be gullible and reckless with money! Teach your kids that just because they see something on television, doesn’t mean they should go out and exchange their money for it.

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Some people create numerous extra montly bills for themselves each Christmas.

How much did you spend on Christmas gifts? Was it too much? Think carefully about what Christmas really stands for, and ask yourself why it should affect your budget in such a catastrophic way. So you love Jesus? Good for you! Christmas has nothing to do with Jesus.

To take control of your finances, you need to be responsible and wise with your money every day, and especially during the season when advertisers go all out to make everyone spend, spend, spend! Be vigilant this Christmas. Sure, it feels good to give gifts, but it also feels good to stick to your budget and use your money for priorities that matter.

Learn to live beneath your means. For example, suppose you win 1 million dollars in the lottery on Christmas Eve. In order to avoid going broke, you’ve got to SPEND LESS MONEY THAN YOU BRING IN! Sure, it would feel great to give your mom a fabulous, million-dollar mansion for Christmas. But in reality, if you only have one million dollars, you can’t afford a million dollar house. Likewise, if your paycheck is only 2000, you can’t afford 2000 worth of Christmas presents! Don’t get a loan, and don’t use credit cards. Live beneath your means. Cover everyone on your Christmas list for $200 or less!small-gift-box-in-hand

“But they will say I’m cheap…” If you’ve never been called cheap, chances are, you’re not very good with money and you’ve seen many, many days of being broke. A cheap person is a person who knows how to save more than he or she spends. Have you ever noticed that the person who is called “cheap” is usually known for having lots of money? A person who manages money wisely is rewarded with more money. And that’s in the Bible.

So, if you spent too much on Christmas presents and happened to find this article during your desperate search for a bailout, take heed to this information and set some financial goals for yourself. Are you money’s bitch? The following questions can help answer that:

  1. How do you track your daily spending?
  2. How much money do you spend on a typical day?
  3. What is the total of your monthly bills?
  4. Besides recurring expenses like gas, utilities and rent/mortgage, how much money do you spend in a typical month?
  5. How much do you save every pay period?
  6. How long would it take you to save $10,000?

If you’ve never made a physical list of your daily spending, do so today. The results might surprise you. Take notice of how much money you spend! Your list might look something like this:

  1. Coffee, muffin and fruit          $5.00
  2. Parking                                  $5.00
  3. Lunch at Olive Garden          $10.95
  4. Gas                                       $40.00
  5. Chips and Coke                    $4.95
  6. Pack of gum                         $1.80
  7. Bottle of wine                       $10.00
  8. Random toy                         $12.00
  9. Random snack for kids        $9.99
  10. Two fashion magazines       $10.27
  11. Cute pair of shoes               $49.99
  12. Pizza for dinner                   $30.00

Writing down what you spend helps you face your errors! In the example above, the lady spent close to $60.00 in one day on fast food. Had she eaten a homemade sandwich for lunch, or prepared dinner from raw groceries, or deprived her kids of their favorite nuggets, fries, and milkshakes, or a combination of all three, she could have saved a great deal of money.

Track your spending for one day and you’ll see how you’re making yourself poor!  Live beneath your means. Just because you have the money for a happy meal doesn’t mean that your money is meant to be spent for a happy meals! Let that sink in. Bond with your kid by letting him help you make great burgers at home. You can enjoy life while being wise with your money. And if you choose to boot Christmas out of your life, you probably won’t regret it. Don’t worry about who calls you cheap. When they ask to borrow money, just remind them that they’re asking a cheap person, then say no. Save, Save SAVE!!! That is, until it’s time to begin investing.