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12 Tips for Being Good Feng Shui

12 Tips for Being Good Feng Shui

    Feng shui teaches that everything is alive with energy. Everything. That means that you too are alive with energy. What kind of energy are you? When I evaluate environments for good feng shui I look for a feeling of harmony and balance, a predominance of positive energy, and few sources of negative energy. The same criteria can be applied to people.

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    You’ve probably met people who immediately repel you by their looks, behavior, or attitude. And, you’ve probably met other people with whom you feel an immediate affinity or attraction. I like to describe it this way. When I meet people with whom I feel no connection, no desire to interact or even worse, the desire to get away from them, there is just no velcro. Nothing about their energy pulls me toward them. But, when I meet people with whom I feel an immediate connection and a desire to know them better, there is velcro.

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    What’s really exciting is that we have complete control of the quality of our energy. We get to choose how we think and act. Following are 12 suggestions for ensuring that you have good feng shui and in turn attract others with good feng shui into your life.

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    1. Be a positive light in your world. You can do this by looking for the positive in every person, exchange or circumstance. If you expect to find good things, you will. Even in the most difficult circumstances there are always gifts and lessons. Rather than focus on things that irritate you, look for something good about every encounter.
    2. Learn the difference between criticism and feedback and refuse to criticize anyone. When you criticize you are shooting the person with word bullets. Criticism does more harm than good.
    3. Refuse to be a blamer. Blaming is an attempt to make the other person wrong. It is also commonly used by people who don’t want to take responsibility for their own behavior. Look for ways to solve problems rather than pointing a finger at the person who caused the problem.
    4. Be courteous and kind with everyone, even people who aren’t being courteous to you. What you put out comes back to you. Put out curt, discourteous behavior and you are likely to get the same in return. Respond to discourteous people with polite, friendly behavior and you’ve held onto your own personal power and you’ve done your part to have a positive interaction.
    5. Become an expert at managing your anger. When you feeling angry and are likely to say hurtful things, shut your mouth and breathe. Walk away until you can cool off and can identify the true cause of your feelings. What you think you are mad about while angry may not be the real reason. Once calm, go back and respectfully discuss the situation with the goal of working things out.
    6. Admit a mistake as soon as you are aware you have made one and do whatever it takes to correct it. Hiding mistakes is a form of dishonesty and therefore negative energy. When you admit mistakes and make things right, you flush out the negative energy and can start again with a clean slate.
    7. Be a lifelong learner. When you continue to learn, you continue to grow. You then having interesting ideas and information to share with others. You become interesting to others.
    8. Be interested in others. You’ve probably heard the saying, “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” Lead with curiosity and caring and you’ll find yourself attracting all kinds of wonderful people into your life.
    9. Listen like you’d like to be listened to. Listening tells people that you care about them as a person, that what they have to say really matters. It is an incredible gift that identifies you as a giver rather than a taker.
    10. Make service to others a way of life. What you put out there comes back to you. We are all meant to make a difference in some way. Serving others gets us out of the confusion of our own heads and is a way for us to participate in making the world a better place.
    11. Refuse to take yourself too seriously. When you take yourself too seriously life is hard work and you feel burdened by the responsibility of trying to be perfect. What a setup! Work hard, but learn to go with the flow. You aren’t really in charge anyway! Life gives you exactly what you need when you need it. Why not take a breath, put a smile on your face and expect the best.
    12. Develop a playful, positive sense of humor. People with a good sense of humor are like magnets in any situation. They provide relief from the seriousness in situations that threaten to hold all of us hostage from true connection with each other. Lighten up and look for the funny in every day, especially in your own behavior!

    Are you good feng shui? Are you a source of positive energy in all areas of your life? It’s up to you. Being good feng shui is a choice that is available to everyone. Can you imagine what our world would be like if everyone had good feng shui?

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    Last Updated on August 20, 2019

    Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

    Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

    Most of the skills I use to make a living are skills I’ve learned on my own: Web design, desktop publishing, marketing, personal productivity skills, even teaching! And most of what I know about science, politics, computers, art, guitar-playing, world history, writing, and a dozen other topics, I’ve picked up outside of any formal education.

    This is not to toot my own horn at all; if you stop to think about it, much of what you know how to do you’ve picked up on your own. But we rarely think about the process of becoming self-taught. This is too bad, because often, we shy away from things we don’t know how to do without stopping to think about how we might learn it — in many cases, fairly easily.

    The way you approach the world around you dictates to a great degree whether you will find learning something new easy or hard. Learning comes easily to people who have developed:

    Curiosity

    Being curious means you look forward to learning new things and are troubled by gaps in your understanding of the world. New words and ideas are received as challenges and the work of understanding them is embraced.

    People who lack curiosity see learning new things as a chore — or worse, as beyond their capacities.

    Patience

    Depending on the complexity of a topic, learning something new can take a long time. And it’s bound to be frustrating as you grapple with new terminologies, new models, and apparently irrelevant information.

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    When you are learning something by yourself, there is nobody to control the flow of information, to make sure you move from basic knowledge to intermediate and finally advanced concepts.

    Patience with your topic, and more importantly with yourself is crucial — there’s no field of knowledge that someone in the world hasn’t managed to learn, starting from exactly where you are.

    A Feeling for Connectedness

    This is the hardest talent to cultivate, and is where most people flounder when approaching a new topic.

    A new body of knowledge is always easiest to learn if you can figure out the way it connects to what you already know. For years, I struggled with calculus in college until one day, my chemistry professor demonstrated how to do half-life calculations using integrals. From then on, calculus came much easier, because I had made a connection between a concept I understood well (the chemistry of half-lifes) and a field I had always struggled in (higher maths).

    The more you look for and pay attention to the connections between different fields, the more readily your mind will be able to latch onto new concepts.

    With a learning attitude in place, working your way into a new topic is simply a matter of research, practice, networking, and scheduling:

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    1. Research

    Of course, the most important step in learning something new is actually finding out stuff about it. I tend to go through three distinct phases when I’m teaching myself a new topic:

    Learning the Basics

    Start as all things start today: Google it! Somehow people managed to learn before Google ( I learned HTML when Altavista was the best we got!) but nowadays a well-formed search on Google will get you a wealth of information on any topic in seconds.

    Surfing Wikipedia articles is a great way to get a basic grounding in a new field, too — and usually the Wikipedia entry for your search term will be on the first page of your Google search.

    What I look for is basic information and then the work of experts — blogs by researchers in a field, forums about a topic, organizational websites, magazines. I subscribe to a bunch of RSS feeds to keep up with new material as it’s posted, I print out articles to read in-depth later, and I look for the names of top authors or top books in the field.

    Hitting the Books

    Once I have a good outline of a field of knowledge, I hit the library. I look up the key names and titles I came across online, and then scan the shelves around those titles for other books that look interesting.

    Then, I go to the children’s section of the library and look up the same call numbers — a good overview for teens is probably going to be clearer, more concise, and more geared towards learning than many adult books.

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    Long-Term Reference

    While I’m reading my stack of books from the library, I start keeping my eyes out for books I will want to give a permanent place on my shelves. I check online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, but also search thrift stores, used bookstores, library book sales, garage sales, wherever I happen to find myself in the presence of books.

    My goal is a collection of reference manuals and top books that I will come back to either to answer thorny questions or to refresh my knowledge as I put new skills into practice. And to do this cheaply and quickly.

    2. Practice

    Putting new knowledges into practice helps us develop better understandings now and remember more later. Although a lot of books offer exercises and self-tests, I prefer to jump right in and build something: a website, an essay, a desk, whatever.

    A great way to put any new body of knowledge into action is to start a blog on it — put it out there for the world to see and comment on.

    Just don’t lock your learning up in your head where nobody ever sees how much you know about something, and you never see how much you still don’t know.

    3. Network

    One of the most powerful sources of knowledge and understanding in my life have been the social networks I have become embedded in over the years — the websites I write on, the LISTSERV I belong to, the people I talk with and present alongside at conferences, my colleagues in the department where I studied and the department where I now teach, and so on.

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    These networks are crucial to extending my knowledge in areas I am already involved, and for referring me to contacts in areas where I have no prior experience. Joining an email list, emailing someone working in the field, asking colleagues for recommendations, all are useful ways of getting a foothold in a new field.

    Networking also allows you to test your newly-acquired knowledge against others’ understandings, giving you a chance to grow and further develop.

    4. Schedule

    For anything more complex than a simple overview, it pays to schedule time to commit to learning. Having the books on the shelf, the top websites bookmarked, and a string of contacts does no good if you don’t give yourself time to focus on reading, digesting, and implementing your knowledge.

    Give yourself a deadline, even if there is no externally imposed time limit, and work out a schedule to reach that deadline.

    Final Thoughts

    In a sense, even formal education is a form of self-guided learning — in the end, a teacher can only suggest and encourage a path to learning, at best cutting out some of the work of finding reliable sources to learn from.

    If you’re already working, or have a range of interests beside the purely academic, formal instruction may be too inconvenient or too expensive to undertake. That doesn’t mean you have to set aside the possibility of learning, though; history is full of self-taught successes.

    At its best, even a formal education is meant to prepare you for a life of self-guided learning; with the power of the Internet and the mass media at our disposal, there’s really no reason not to follow your muse wherever it may lead.

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    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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