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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 16, 2018

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

    No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

    Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

    Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system”.

    A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

    Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

    In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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    The power of habit

    A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

    For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

    This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

    The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

    That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being six hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

    Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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    The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

    Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

    But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

    The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

    The wonderful thing about triggers (reminders)

    A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

    For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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    But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

    If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

    For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

    These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

    For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

    How to make a reminder works for you

    Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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    Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

    Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

    My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

    Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

    I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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