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12/29/11

Test Self-Talk for Truth or Error



Do you talk to yourself? Are you kind or critical? Do you argue with yourself? Do you win? Or do you find yourself exclaiming, “This is driving me crazy!”? Could it be that the thoughts are going over and over in your mind without ever coming to a conclusion?

The science of Epigenetic says that a cell can only be in one of two positions: open for growth or closed for protection. The brain, based upon messages the body sends, gives command to the cells to flow (growth) or to fight-flight (protection).


"Man's greatest instrument is his psyche and is little thought of
and often directly mistrusted and despised." Psychiatrist Carl Jung



The key to “self-talk” is self. Quit beating yourself up; it is counter-productive. Growth comes in a safe, nurturing environment. A state of flow awakens one to the truth of your own nature. Fight assigns consent to stand up for your legitimate needs. Flight grants the freedom to be the best you that you are created to be.

Become your own best friend. Take responsibility for your actions without judgment or blame. Do not use your words against you through guilting and shaming. Do not use your words against others by blaming, criticizing or gossiping. When you have a legitimate issue to confront, address it from a place of victory not from a victim stance.

Overcome the “Yeah, but” syndrome. Self-esteem and self-honesty go hand-in-hand. Instead of being critical, angry or upset, send love to the problem. Practice the command to, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. In the midst of acknowledging your own flaws, send love to you. Armed with a healthy dose of self-love, rather than nurse ugly thoughts of another, send love to the troublemaker.

Mirror images. Negative attitudes play a color-blinding role. It blinds one to powerful self-truths and dismisses positive character traits. One born with the gift of leadership becomes a dictator unless exposed to the eye-opening light of self-reflection. Without self-knowledge a polite response to an offender may be judged as being weak.

Muscles are meant to tense and relax, to close and open, and to hold and release as needed. Unfortunately, many hold residual tension in muscles that hinders relaxation. Tension remains in the body through the failure to release and let it go.

Become aware of the times you hold your breath and allow it to be a springboard to reflection.

Monitor your self-talk for criticism. Rather than beat you up, practice self-compassion and strategize self-improvement steps. Rather than mentally berate another, practice other-compassion and strategize self-improvement steps that will bring personal growth, health and peace.


Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach. Read past articles at www.monadunkin.blogspot.com. Contact her at mdunkin@flash.net.

12/22/11

The Freedom of Anger Resolution

Life hurts. A physical wound heals through proper attention of cleansing, ointment and time. So too with an emotional hurt. Only the proper attention is not to nurse, curse and rehearse.

Thought is reflected in the body as emotion. Thoughts may not be conscious, but emotions are. As the negative thought is replayed, one stays emotionally overwrought (raw). Lack of perspective unconsciously causes one to identify with his emotions and that emotion becomes “you”.

Emotion is the body’s reaction to thought. Hostile thoughts build up energy in the body that is experienced as anger. The more one identifies with his thoughts (likes, dislikes, judgments and interpretations) the stronger the emotional energy charge.
An important function of the mind is to remove emotional pain, thus the confused flurry of mental activity and the need to deny reality. Some things are so painful the only way to handle it is through denial.

Emotional pain is lessened through reflection that brings resolve. Resolution involves opening the mind to consider all sides of an issue; to be willing to see the pros and cons of all parties involved. Resolution brings things to an end. Problem solved. Resolution declares the conflict is over.


VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: It takes one to resolve, two or more to reconcile.
The resolution within yourself frees you in several ways.

1) It frees you to be civil toward the offender.

2) It frees you to be open to your part in the conflict.

3) As your attitude sets a gracious atmosphere, it frees the offended/offending party to be receptive to your insights.

4) It paves the way for reconciliation.

5) It strengthens you to live peacefully with unresolved issues.

6) It promotes overall spiritual and physical health.

7) It gives you courage to set boundaries and/or to respect boundaries.

8) It builds tenacity within to embrace a spirit of forgiveness to self and others.

When we cease to draw identification from the pain, we are freed to be free. We are freed to find resolve whether through action or inaction. We are freed to experience love, joy and peace. Love, joy and peace transcend emotions all the way to the state of being.

Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach. Read past articles at www.monadunkin.blogspot.com. Contact her at mdunkin@flash.net.
 

12/15/11

Acceptance vs. Approval

“You may love in all infirmities and even in spite of,
but love does not cease to will their removal.” C. S. Lewis



We as human beings are prone to attempt to control our environment, thus finding it difficult, if not impossible, to accept things as they are. The inability to accept self, others or circumstances is rooted in fear. Fear rejects. Allow these thoughts to give you the strength give a positive response to what life hands you.

Acceptance is not approval. Sometimes to understand what something is, it is necessary to start with what it is not. One does not have to approve of personal flaws in order to recognize another’s good qualities. In fact, acceptance of self – flaws and all - gives freedom to honestly evaluate positives to enhance and negatives to work on. Accepting one’s self gives liberty to receive others.

Acceptance is not complacency. To agree does not mean to put up with as though nothing can be done. It is to look at the locus of control. Whatever is within your sphere of control – i.e. self – then you have something to work on. Whatever is not within your realm of control – i.e. other people, time, the weather, world events, your team’s score – is not within your direct control.

Acceptance has its roots in faith and trust. Faith looks forward to the fulfillment of that which has not happened yet – as in a positive change in the individual. Trust rests in the end results. Trust is being true to your part of the bargain while allowing the outcome to just be, whether according to your dictates or not. To allow is to resist control.

Self-evaluation helps. The human condition tends to be judgmental over anything we are ignorant of, arrogant over, or non-compassionate for. Asking and answering difficult questions is a shortcut to self. Conquer your veto by honestly answering the questions, “Why do I not trust the outcome of this situation?” “By failing to accept, what are you trying to hide?” “Is it panic over losing control?” “Is it trepidation that s/he will become more difficult?” “Could it be lack of self-trust?” “Is it the fear of giving another permission to be himself?” “Is it because I see her actions reflecting badly on me?”

An inflated ego comes from a fragile place. Disapproval puts us in protective mode rather than openness to learn and grow. Your goal may be to get the individual to see another way of doing something. But the receiver perceives it much differently. Criticism is seen as a threat and threats must be countered. At a cellular level, he goes into protection mode. The individual may give in to your demands, but has learned nothing, as the mind is not in a frame of learning, growing and changing.

Choose to embrace the individual in spite of the disparity of beliefs. It is through acceptance of his humanity that opens doors to communication. God does not force the Ten Commands; he allows truth or consequences.

Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach. Read past articles at www.monadunkin.blogspot.com. Contact her at mdunkin@flash.net.

12/8/11

The Turtle's Edge

You remember the story, the turtle and the hare, and how slow consistency won over spurts of speed. Although I love those inspirational moments of quantum leap productivity, I am finding that persistent intermittent activity proves to be more sustaining of long-term success. Does persistent intermittence sound contradictory? Let me explain.

Decision vs. Circumstances: Words carry weight. To a hare, commitment is heavy, demanding onerous; with little or no fun. A decision is simply changing one’s mind from doing this to doing that. A decision is lighter, easier to handle, even energizing. The benefits of following your decision are such a blessing that one unconsciously slides into being committed to the goal.

Stretch/Grow/Stretch: The human body is equipped to meet challenges. Adrenaline may be released to power-up for a Herculean feat, or the parasympathetic system may be activated to power-down to preserve life (trauma in a fall, fatigue from overwork).

Small Steps: Ironically, speed walking is not in the length of the gait but in short steps. A health article predicted an individual’s longevity based on the time in which he completed a mile. The suggestion to increase speed was to take smaller steps. I tried it. It works. I am now applying this strategy to projects and receiving quicker results. As the task is broken down into small steps for quicker completion, energy is increased to keep on going.

Six-a-Day/Three-a-Day: The story goes that Ivy Lee proposed to Charles Schwab, president of Bethlehem Steel, a strategy to increase his company’s efficiency. Each executive was asked to take a few minutes at the end of each day to make a list of the six most important things to be done the next day; then number the tasks in order of importance. Early the next morning, they were to tackle number one and continue down the list until closing time. Whatever was left over would move to the top of tomorrow’s list. It worked.

This plan still works today. Pre-determine where your energy will go and start at the top. Feel good about marking off an accomplished task and proceed to the next. In my turtle’s edge frame, I go for three-a-day and anything else is a bonus.

Four/Seven: Release the popular 24/7/365 self-defeating attitude for performance. Decide to devote a minimum of four days out of seven to the newly formulated goal. I think back to a goal on my to-do-list that kept being moved to tomorrow until it became a drudgery to even think about doing it. So I marked it off. There. Forget about it. Go on to other things. Only subconsciously that goal was too important to mark off. Once I took it out of my have-to sphere of to-do, I found myself excitedly making plans and looking forward to doing them.

Just as the rising tide elevates all boats in the harbor, so, too, improvement in one area positively influences all. That is the power of decision; it creates a domino effect in the composite whole of your life.

Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach. Read past articles at www.monadunkin.blogspot.com. Contact her at mdunkin@flash.net.

12/1/11

Becoming Whole

Everyone searches for identity, purpose, satisfaction and significance. We long for love, self-worth, meaning, fulfillment and happiness. We often come up short.

Life must be lived to be realized. Wholeness does not take place in a vacuum. Inner wholeness is expressed through relationships, work ethics, love and commitment. By God’s design, we were placed in community to rid us of the illusion that we are self-sufficient.

Only separate beings can engage in healthy relationships with family, friends, career, community responsibilities and civic duties. Whole individuals interact without becoming enmeshed. Without individuation, true relationship does not happen.

Take yourself out of the middle. Someone cannot put you in the middle of a situation without your consent. And no one can keep you from taking yourself out of the middle. Unless you are a trained negotiator that can analyze sides with impartial unemotional perspective, remove yourself from this middle position immediately. Minimizing your role in the drama.

Realize that you are neither the rescuer nor the protector. Yes feelings may be hurt. Yes blame may be placed on you. Interfere (i.e. justification and rationalization) keeps negative energy going and delays rational thinking that can resolve misunderstandings. A recovering client remarked: “Who knew that I needed to learn to say ‘NO’?”

Scarred yet whole. On a nature walk I found a pretty white rock. It looked as though a mower thrashed it, knocking out pieces. Even though it was scarred, it was pretty. The broken places showed its inner beauty and solid structure. I made the parallel to life issues. Although scarred, the individual has inner beauty; brokenness reveals inner substance and character.

Substance not stuff. When you do not need “stuff” or externals to prove your value, you shift to “I am enough.” This insight gives way to being thoughtful of self and others. As you respect yourself, you generate respect for you in others.

Emotions denied. Emotions can be so strong the only way to handle them is through denial. Denial is refusing to acknowledge facts. Think back on a hurtful situation and observe it from a place of detachment. See the offense from a place of disengagement. Truth hurts only when it is supposed to. Observe and let go. When we come to terms with truth – the good, the bad and the ugly – we are well on the way to wholeness.

Give serious thought to ways in which you may be your own worst enemy. Are your actions bringing relationships closer and more meaningful? Examine your attitude see if is the path of happiness and success or unhappiness and failure. Practice these suggestions first with those you are not so emotionally attached. As you become comfortable with your newfound behavior and attitude, begin dealing with family members in your new assertiveness

Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach. Read past articles at www.monadunkin.blogspot.com. Contact her mona@monadunkin.com

11/24/11

Tools to Hasten Accomplishment

As any craftsman knows, the quality of the job is largely dependent upon one’s tools. Will power of itself will not bring success. Ever had a mental argument with you? Part of you is pro and part of you is con? Innately you know you can while timidly being afraid you cannot?

The effective use of self-talk is vital. The strength of any relationship is based on the strength of the will. Compliant or defiant, the relationship you have with you - as well as the relationship you have with everyone else – comes from a place of love. Use “even though” mantras to accept what is and to bring resolve rather than rebellion. “Even though I am unsure of this new venture, I boldly step up to the challenge.” “Even though I have failed in the past, I eagerly press toward to success.”

When you see it you believe it. Victory is achieved by putting new pictures into your “quality world” that develops and replaces present limitations, beliefs or values. Create an image board using magazine clippings, snapshots of your dream home, blueprints, sketched diagrams, dummied-up diploma, listing of sought for character qualities, etc. Put you in the picture to make your goals real and attainable.

Write your own life script. Compose a business plan that details who, what, when and how. Write in first person, present tense as though it is a reality rather than a proposal. Build emotional expectancy by stating events in the affirmative. Read your “blueprint” aloud several times a day. Hear your own voice speak the dream into existence – yea, shout it into being.

Validate the power of relationship. Step out in faith and share your goals with another. Allow others to encourage you; receive and do not discount. Embrace positive prophecies spoken into your life. Read success stories. Get input from those who have been there.

Employ the power of imagination. Everything mankind has brought into existence was first a thought. Just as there is more than enough air for you to breath, so too there are unlimited resources. Just as you have a plethora of thoughts daily, so too do you have abounding creativity and ingenious ideas. Just as there are billions of people on planet earth, so too is there an astounding number of individuals willing to cooperate with your endeavor. Set your mind’s eye free to dream and to envision limitless possibilities.

Speed up the process through meditation. Meditation awakens the reality that you are more than your physical body. You are more than your job, your possessions, your associations, your education, your abilities, etc. You are a creative part of a loving God. You are gifted with talents to bless yourself and the world. You are lovely and loveable. Through meditation you transcend time, access the origin of love, and connect with your place in the scheme of the universe.

Studies have proven that a mere thirty minutes a day of calm reflection of these suggestions for a produces amazing results mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically and relationally. These tools are not magic; employment will prove to be a mystery. Begin today and reap the success benefits.

Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach. Read past articles at www.monadunkin.blogspot.com. Contact her at mdunkin@flash.net.

11/17/11

Holidays and Hurry Sickness



What do the holidays mean to you? Cleaning? Cooking? Entertaining? Shopping? Decorating? Wrapping? Visiting? Does the rush, rush of our society that you have adopted dull your appreciation of the season? Stressors are inevitable but they do not have to be debilitating.

Applause is not necessary. Get in touch with who are, or who you want to become, and allow everything you do to come from that place of purpose. That includes participating as well as not participating. Life does not have to be tit-for-tat. Because another’s decorations light the city skies does not mean yours are not elegant. Give up the competition and be true to self.


“Hurry but don’t rush,” Coach John Wooden.


One might think that to stop rushing would mean to become a slowpoke. Not true. You can still hurry, just take care not to cross the line into a stressing rush. Rushing is energy draining and makes one more error prone. Hurrying is energy producing while allowing focused attention.

Do not expect easy. Everything has a learning curve. Some things have longer skill proficiency than others. To tackle a job expecting everything to flow seamlessly may be a contributor to the stress. Give yourself time to gain knowledge or to be trained. Factor in delays such as another’s lack of cooperation, materials shipment detained, inability to located needed resources or personal fatigue. Give time to patiently teach, as to inexperienced grandchildren making cookies. Spilled flour happens. Clean it up together and enjoy the adventure as well as the rewards.

Become rigidly flexible. I love goals and I find target deadlines invigorating. There was a time that I also found interruptions irritating; they got me off schedule. Then I adopted my oxymoron philosophy of being rigidly-flexible. I plan and prepare and stay focused to the degree that outside factors are within my reasonable control. But, when situations arise - a family emergency, a coworker needing help, a grandchild wanting a story read – no sweat, I’m flexible. Jesus could always be bothered.

Sometimes delays are blessings in disguise. Perhaps the interruption was needed for additional insight; or as a forced reprieve to catch your breath. Do not lie to yourself by thinking you cannot die until everything on your list is accomplished. Consider that maybe the packed schedule will hasten that event. Slow down and live. Slow down and enjoy. Slow down and love.

Include personal reflection. Rethink everything. Ponder deeply the meaning of life, celebrations, family, crises, relationships, God, work, play… What is life saying to you that you have been too harried to hear?

Activity does not mean accomplishment. Do not allow the demands of the season to propel you into over-spending, over-doing, over-committing, thus becoming over-bearing. Rest more and flurry less. Slow down and adopt simplicity.

The holidays come once a year. Embrace the true meaning. Enjoy family and friends. Be blessed by all your choices.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

11/10/11

An Uncertain Future

We are living in perilous times. The news is filled with tornadoes, tsunamis, rampant fires and earthquakes, not to mention homeland violence and worldwide wars. Truth is, all of us are facing an uncertain future. With coverage of disasters we now know that we don’t know what tomorrow holds.

Good fear, bad fear. Sometimes fear is a good place to start. Healthy fear causes one to think about what to do next; to plan ahead. It also forces us to let go of false securities and come to terms with what really matters in life.

What you cannot control. The list of things one cannot control is long and includes: the weather, another person, the past, time, the economy and how my favored team plays. What things might you have tried to control that have proven futile?

What you can control. The only thing within your control is you and your response to things/people that you cannot control. Things over which you have control includes your words, your attitudes, your facial expressions, your actions, your thoughts, your choices, your dress, your esteem, your feelings, your schedule, what you spend, where you go and with whom you associate.

Did I say you could control your feelings? Yes, you can control your feelings, but it starts with controlling your thoughts and actions. It is easier to think and act yourself into feeling differently than it is to feel yourself into thinking and acting differently.

Go with gratitude. You also control your perception of life and situations. You will never forget what you have lost; be thankful for what you have left. Even if the remains of a tragedy are slim, you have your life. You have blessed memories of those lost. You have a change to start over anew and afresh. You have talents and abilities to employ. You have love to share and experience to give.

Have compassion for you and for others. George Washington Carver shared how to develop empathy: “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong, because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”

Do not allow circumstances to beat you down. Allow difficulties to be your tutor to learn life lessons. Have faith in God and trust things to work out. Faith and trust go hand in hand. Faith strives to bring to pass what has not happened yet. Trust rests in the end results. Have faith in yourself, but not too much as to cause it to be a liability.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

11/3/11

Ongoing Secrets of Success




No matter how great yesterday’s success was, today is another day and there are more mountains to climb. Here is a look at strategies for continued flight.

Receive the gift of your changing self. Life is not a constant and neither are we. To resist change makes growth difficult if not impossible. Age seems to be a major obstacle for the young as well as the more mature. I love Tom Petty’s and Mark Cuban’s take on aging:



“If you are not getting older, you’re dead.” Tom Petty to Anthony Mason


“You are the youngest you will ever be, act like it.” Mark Cuban



Refuse to plateau – continually set new goals. Moving forward necessitates courage and focus. There will be moments of fear and doubt, but recognize this as a natural process of growth. Hold on to your excitement and determination until the feeling sticks. Do not dwell on past successes or failures. Saying “Yes” to one thing sometimes means saying “No” to another, but that is not an absolute. Sometimes the “Yes” or the “No” advances endless possibilities.

Be a receiver. Give yourself credit when credit is due. Confidently tackle new challenges. Notice and accept changes in yourself as they occur? Graciously accept criticism and honestly evaluate it for truth or error. Here is a test of receivership: How do you respond to a compliment? Politely receive the kind words whether you agree or not.

Competition is good; it shows what you can become. What will set you apart is the way you love your job (joy). Learn to love what you once disliked or dreaded. How? Determine what you lose yourself in then project that stage of well-being onto the unpopular task. Find your passion and transfer it to growth areas.

Understand what your job is and what it is not. Example: My job is to make the presentation; to show the benefits of the service or product; to be friendly, not pushy; to get out the door or pick up the phone; to network, to continually be educated. My job is not to force or coerce; to manage fellow co-workers, to set someone else’s schedule; to judge intentions. It’s your turn: “My job is…” and “My job is not…”

Own your feelings. When you have a negative feeling, do not resist it. Do not nurse it, curse it and rehearse it either. You are having a bad day; it may be legitimate; receive it, feel it and move past. Own it so you can discard it. Or savor it. Or store it as a learning experience. Or use it to motivate others. Resistance is tied to habits. To feel and release is the way to prevent the “moods” from becoming habit forming.

Look at the building blocks that have brought you success thus far and build on those. Evaluate what needs to be modified, added to or discarded.

What is your strategy for ongoing success. Let us hear from you.

Invite Mona to speak to your group. Whether business, organizational, civic or faith-based, you will be entertained with her humor, challenged by her gift of uncommon insights ad motivated by her thought provoking poems.

10/27/11

Overcoming a Bad Mood

I am rarely in a bad mood. Unfortunately, I went there this past week. In reflection I see that things went downhill based on my mood. Small irritants normally overlooked became fuel for complaints. Instead of whispering a prayer for compassion, I leaned toward condemnation. Here is my thought process for reframing the situation.

I cannot read another person’s mind. No matter how much I may think I know where someone is coming from, or where she is going, the only thing I have to go on is the information given. I do not know his intentions nor do I know the hopeful outcome. Assumptions divide; it turns the issues into you against me (ass/u/me). And like the proverbial donkey, assuming makes one stubborn.

Choose to not take it personally. How we interpret an event is always within our control. Seeing the disagreement as a personal attack makes one defensive. As in football, to defend one’s position takes the form of offensive. In relationships, it is a mark of maturity to allow a point through to its intended goal.

Determine locus of control. The key is to work on what you can control. It is difficult if not impossible to respond civilly if you are mentally or verbally calling him a jerk. Choose to see the value in the offender. Choose to address the issue not attack her rotten personality.

Become emotionally honest. Do not use a negative situation as a means to deny reality. Get candid with you if you were passive rather than complain about the aggressive of another. Get impatient with you for trying to push your truth on a non-taker rather than degrading him. It takes stamina to deal with hurtles and to develop character through them.

Truth is, everything has a pro and a con. It is easy to become negative. It is unproblematic to see the worst in the situation, self and others. This sets one up as an unwitting victim rather than a victor. It takes courage to sort through the bad and find good. It takes honesty to face the difficult and overcome.

Do not allow circumstances to beat you down. Have faith and trust God, you and others. Self pity is incapable of being comforted because it is its own satisfaction. Change comes through genuine sorrow over wrongs done, including the display of a judgmental attitude.


Let us hear from you. Please post comments or questions.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

10/20/11

How To's of Meditation

Meditation is not another thing to do. It is an invitation to stop doing. It is an invitation to be true to you. Unfamiliar things seem strange, new things seems awkward and anything untried remains foreign. Here are suggestions for the practice of meditation.

Find a focal point. Concentrate on something constant and easily accessible - like your breath. Inhale deeply through your nose, taking the air all the way down into your diaphragm. Hold the breath for 2-3 seconds then exhale through pursed lips. This simple act promotes mindfulness of the moment. It releases the trauma of yesterday without rehearsing the tension of tomorrow. It also changes the chemical compounds in your body.

Picture it. We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Imagine the fresh oxygen circulating through every cell in your body picking up toxins and being released with an exhale. Put color into it. Breathe in relaxing blue and breathe out grey stress. Breathe in sunshine yellow and breathe out blackened depression. Direct the breath to an area of tension and – like WD40 – imaging it releasing the hold and setting free.

Find the secret place. The human condition regrets yesterday and worries about tomorrow, thus failing to live in the present. For a few minutes deliberately set aside the noise around you – people talking, the buzz of traffic, a ringing phone. For a few minutes deliberately set aside the noise inside you – the to-do list, the looming deadline, the guilt. Go inside yourself; to your interior. Go to the God-spot within you, the one placed there at the moment of your conception.

Melt tension. Meditation has been clinically proven to reduce levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is the culprit that holds negative stress in the body. It is the “fight-flight” chemical that keeps one revved up, unable to flow. Cortisol is also the hormone attributed to “cravings” as well as the storage of food into belly fat.

Discover serenity. Meditation has been shown in studies to decrease stress and increase production of endorphins, the brain’s “happy drug”. When endorphins are activated through quiet reflection a spirit of thankfulness overtakes stress; an over-all-good feeling settles in.

Become wholly integrated. We are a composite whole and cannot divide ourselves from ourselves. Through consistence practice of meditation the mind’s irrational rationalizations and judgmental justifications begin to slip away and truth becomes real. You made an unwise decision, you are not stupid. It is a difficult situation, it is not horrible. He made a bad choice, he is not the devil personified. She was harsh, she is not evil incarnate. With frequent times of quiet reflection, the mind chatter is calmed. You learn to just be, and that is enough. You learn to let frustrations float away.

As with exercise and healthy eating, meditation results are not as immediate as one might wish but they do work. And it is well worth the effort; paying off like compound interest.

Invite Mona to speak to your group. Whether business, organizational, civic or faith-based, you will be entertained with her humor, challenged by her gift of uncommon insights ad motivated by her thought provoking poems. mona@solutionprinciples.com

10/13/11

Creating Energy

Do you remember the first two laws of thermodynamics? One, an object in motion tends to remain in motion; and, two, an object at rest tends to remain at rest. Energy is not created but redirected. Therefore, we have a lot of control over the amount of energy emanating from our own bodies; and whether or not it is positive or negative energy.

Emotions are energy in motion. The law of thermodynamics suggests that energy is always being exchanged from one physical system to another. So to increase your energy level, notice your resistance to life and shift it. Here’s how.

Write it out. Journaling is an excellent way to evaluate your emotions. Put pen to paper and record the good the bad and the ugly. Boldly underline. Use exclamation marks with flourish. Get it all out without reservations. Notate frustrations, hurts, dreams, misunderstandings, ideas, broken promises, fulfillments, disappointments, goals, intentions – be open and honest with yourself in all areas.

Give pause. Wait a few days go back and reread your journal. Once the emotion has subsided you will be able to assess with calm eyes. Look with objectivity at truth or error. Sanity prevails.

Speak into a tape recorder. Hearing your own voice express your dreams, goals and ideas generates the energy to follow through. Speak your anger and be empowered to control it.

Create or add to your “Thankful List”. Anything that appreciates goes up in value. As you reflect on the things for which you are thankful, your spirits are raised and creativity flows. Emotions are positively energized.

Remember your “Favorite Things”. Follow the Sound of Music advice and become aware of the bounty of life. “When I remember my favorite things, then I don’t feel so bad.” The dread and dole-drums will be broken and a lilt comes into your spirit.

Act as if. When Anna, in the King and I, was surrounded by threats and fears, she acted in spite of. She started to whistle as she casually began her chores. Her conclusions: “The result of this deception is very strange to tell. For when I fool the people I fear, I fool myself as well.”

Set a deadline. Get rid of the energy stopping excuse of “someday I’ll.” Decide it, set a deadline and do it. If the decision is a “No go” after all, then allow yourself to receive that into your emotions (and calendar). Move on with renewed energy.

When you are in control of your movements (body in motions) and your downtimes (body at rest), you do not need to control others. And we need both in good proportions.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

10/6/11

Being Objective

Objective is a valuable tool. It can open doors as well as minds. To be objective is to be impartial. And this is where the rub comes in. We are so close to who we are and how we see things and how we feel about them that is can be difficult to be objective.

Listen to the dissenter. Be willing to hear what your opposition has to say. An affront may be a distortion of truth but it also may contain an element of reality. Without countering, consider his position. Allow her to express her opinion.

Sift and sort. Denial and rationalization impede objectivity. As much as you may want to reject the input, recognize when you have been called by your true name. Do you have an edge to your voice when giving instructions? Are you late more often than you want to acknowledge? Do you spend money unwisely? Could you rearrange your schedule for more family time? Question your own reasoning.

Choose to be impartial. Take a balcony view. Step back from your emotions and observe your behavior as well as how others react to you. See yourself outside of yourself.

Be specific rather than general. It is unreasonable to pronounce “always” or “never” even if the infraction is repetitive. Instead of “You never get back with me”, make it, “I have not yet gotten your report; when can I expect it?” Rather than “You can change if you want to?” ask, “Do you think there is something you could do to improve the situation?”

Challenge your beliefs. Take a serious look at your hand-me-down views. Are all politicians corrupt? Are all rich people dishonest or all poor people lazy? Are all purple-people bad? Is your belief system the only valid one? Be careful to not lump all people into the same cesspool.

Becoming objective in receiving information as well as in giving it requires a commitment to improved relationships. Willingness to accept one’s biases – your own as well as theirs – is a good place to start.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

9/29/11

Control: Compete or Compliment

Mankind has been given a wonderful, albeit dangerous, gift called free-will. With this free-will we make choices that self-determines outcome. To use personal control is within one's scope to compete (disconnect) or to compliment (connect) with others.


You cannot control another person’s actions. Not only can you not control another's actions, you cannot control how s/he thinks or feels. To project your thoughts and feelings onto another is to magnify your own frustration.

For every leader who steps forth and takes charge, there’s a behind-the-scenes person who needs to be shown what to do. To denigrate either is failure to appreciate their unique place in this universe. The follower is no less valuable than the leader; s/he just likes the shadows better.

The same is true with those who openly show emotions and those who are hesitant to connect. It does not mean their love is any less deep; it means their way of expression is more subdued.

Everyone is such a wonderful mix of personality traits, chemical make-up and genes combined with life experiences, education, age differences, skills, talents and opinions that it is a wonder any of us get along. Our interaction with others is hard-wiring as well as conscious choices. The personality who races through life like the hare can be an irritant to the individual who prods along like the turtle. And vice-versa. Yet both cross the finish line. Each gets the job done.

A line in the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi is, “Lord, may I seek to understand more than to be understood.” As we choose to honor another’s humanity, his differences become less stark. As we choose to appreciate another’s creativity, her disparity becomes less important.

The opposite is also true. As we choose to honor our unique gifting without one-upmanship or one-downmanship, we find our place in the universe. As we appreciate our quirky personality without sanction or denial, we understand how others relate to us. As we develop our own shadow side, we increase our tolerance. As we balance give and take, we grow in compassion.

To accept what is, is to live in the moment. To accept what is, is to be a problem solver rather than a complainer. To accept what is, is to give yourself choices in your response. You can keep the pressure on and destroy relationship. You can detach completely and dissolve the relationship. You can work with what is and modify your involvement. The less energy you spend on fixing another, the more you have for self-improvement.

Acceptance does not mean approval. Acceptance means the only person’s actions, thoughts or emotions you can control are your own.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

9/22/11

Speak Up

It happens almost unnoticed. You overlook a discrepancy in an attempt to be nice. But it keeps happening. Rather than speak up about the real issue, you make cutting remarks or unpleasant facial expressions. You begin to “mind-read” about his/her meaning or intentions. The relationship becomes strained.

You do not effect change by remaining passive. Making a decision and speaking up does. Prioritizing your life and sticking with it does. Stepping out of your comfort (discomfort) zone does. Taking a risk to ruffle feathers does. Look at the larger picture and pick two or three things you want to be different. Concentrate on those and add to as you gain strength to be your own person.

You cannot control another person but you can take back control of your life. This upsets the “business as usual” routine and, by default, the other person does change; either for the better, for the worse, or a casual no big deal.

Think through your position by giving careful consideration to both sides. What the deal-breaker is and how you may have unwittingly allowed it to progress. Even so, carefully worded phrases may be misunderstood. No matter your clarity in expressing your desires, you cannot control how the other party will receive it. Or what will be said in return.

Remaining passive is not peacemaking. Sometimes making peace requires roiling the waters for scum to come to the top to be skimmed off. At times, things need to be disturbed so they can be settled. There may be accusations of your inconsistency. Be willing to listen and consider without automatically defending self.

Addressing the issue shows you will not remain silent and just take it. It helps to set needed boundaries. It shows you have guts and will not allow the disregard to continue. It demonstrates you are reasonable and willing to solve issues. It expresses your value in the relationship.

Please share your comments or experiences.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

9/15/11

Overcoming Criticism

Nobody likes to be criticized, yet there are times when critical input is, well, critical. When do you want to know that the boat won’t float? While it is still ashore? Or when it is in the middle of the ocean?

Even though the critique may be hurtful, one can respond in a manner that fosters relationship as well as self-improvement. When we graciously handle the initial sting, rational thinking returns.

Disconnect to reconnect. When you feel you are attacked, give pause. Take a deep breath to expel pent up emotions and reconnect with unbiased thinking. Reply with civility and tempered emotional detachment.

Help the critic to rethink his position with a suggestion such as, “Should we scrap the project completely or are there parts that are salvageable?”

Respond rather than react. Reacting is like pushing the “send” button too quickly. It is gone and you can’t take it back. Responding is giving rational thought before defending or denying. Responding is the willingness to be open and vulnerable.

Reframe the situation. In old black and white negatives, black is shown as white and white is shown as black. Rather than automatically dismissing a critique, give it the benefit of the doubt.

Be objective by asking yourself evaluating questions such as:

“What may I have overlooked?”

“What is coloring my view-point?”

“What additional information could be needed?”

Choose to value the person.
In any exchange, all we can give is information. His/her information may or may not be valid; his/her personhood always is. We get comfortable with our ideas and mode of expression. “If the shoe fits…” wearing it may be more palpable with a cushion. The decision to make relationship more important than being right can wonderfully lead to both.

Overcoming criticism is a two-sided coin: how to receive the information and how to respond to the informer. Through thought and practice both can be mastered in a win-win approach.

Please let me hear from you. Thank you for your friendship, your business and your continued support. Let’s reach our goals together.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

9/8/11

Leave 'Em Wanting More

Google gives several speculations as to who coined the phrase “leave ‘em wanting more”. Some say it started with show business. If your audience wants more, they will be repeat customers. Regardless, the underlying message suggests stopping while you are ahead. Or stop in order to get ahead.

To give too much renders one under-appreciated.

TMJ (too much information). To unleash excess information on another may be put you in a bad light. Too much complaining, even if valid, makes you appear petty. Too many details, even if your passion, become boring to those with a cursory interest. Too much self-depreciation makes others uncomfortable. Too much self-aggrandizement spurs companions to the exit door.

TMT (too much time). Time is a valuable gift life has given to each of us. How we use it is our gift to others. Giving too much time to a project can produce undue stress. Giving too much time to an individual can breed discontentment. Taking too much time to make a decision can leave one either behind or stuck.

TMS (too much stuff). Giving can be a touchy subject. When gifts are forced, the giver is often resented. How many toys do the grandkids need? Or even want? When gifts are thoughtless they are often under-appreciated. Is your giving in keeping with what you want to give (i.e. want them to have) rather that what the recipient wants to be given. Are you willing to give what the recipient prefers even if not to your liking? Or does it become something to be hidden and displayed only to appease guilt?

TMH (too much help).
Reaching out is a noble attribute and can be an excellent way to show that you care. From the giver’s standpoint, the help may be minimal, but from the receiver’s view, it may be a boundary breaker. Harmony in knowledge and skill sets renders a pleasant exchange. Ask politely before jumping in and doing. If part-way through tension suggests too much, graciously stop without offense.

Psychiatrists Carl Jung said that others are mirrors reflecting us back to us. When you sense tension from another, allow that to mirror a need to self-evaluate one’s own approach.

In what ways might you on the verge of “too much”? Project a little mystery. Not to be difficult, just to be less predictable. It’s to “leave ‘em wanting more.”

I'd love to hear from you. Please comment.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

9/1/11

A Case Against Perfection

Perhaps Ray Crock, the founder of McDonalds, said it best: “It is better to be green and growing than to be ripe and rotting.” Thus is the basis of my case again perfectionism.

Picture it. In your mind see an apple at the pinnacle of perfection. The color is vibrant, the juices are succulent, the aroma is sweet and your senses are heightened. Yet, a mere twenty-four hours later, the fruit is beginning to wilt. To lose flavor. To rot. To be nothing but a past memory.

Relieve the stress. Stress is a natural part of life - a good part - and becomes destructive only when we do not allow recovery time. Nothing and no one can operate at 100% energy and 100% efficiency 100% of the time. Down time is not a waste of energy; it is a regenerator. And recovery time increases creativity to boot.

Good is good. Look at what you have done and see what is good about it. Also look at the areas for improvement. Rather than scraping the whole project, tweak the defects and continue.

Stop beating yourself up; it serves no productive purpose. Self-evaluate? “Yes”. Self-condemnation? “No. Absolutely not!” C’s are passing grades. To celebrate a C motivates to achieve B’s and A’s. To condemn C or B work, disheartens. It places nervous tension on creativity.

Go for excellence. You may question the difference in perfection and excellence as mere semantics. Maybe it is more the attitude in which a job is performed rather than the flawless finished product.

Excellence is doing quality work. Excellence is doing the best you can in an environment of learning so you can do better the next time. To be perfect smacks of getting everything just right or suffering the consequences of failing to measure up.

Excellence releases creativity to try, fail and try again. Excellence releases energy; perfection saps energy.

Enjoy the fruit of your labor. C’s are passing grades, so celebrate. You do not really enjoy anything until you share it. Good enough is good enough. Receive it – in yourself and in others.

It is difficult to get to where you want to go without acknowledging where you are now. Accepting what is mysteriously frees you to inspired action and a positive focus on success. And you begin to see that you are getting better and better.

Now, what do you think? Let me hear from you.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

8/25/11

Fun-Filled School Days

Dr. William Glasser, founder of The Quality School, believes that nature gave us a gene that craves fun, and that this fun-need is satisfied through learning.

Think about it. Children are born explorers, wanting to know what is out there and testing everything to see what it looks like, tastes like, feels like, sounds like or smells like. The reward for this fun is knowledge.

The philosopher Socrates saw education as a spontaneous process. Although school definitely has its place, learning has more to do with living and experiences than with books and classrooms.

Teachers are planters of ideas and cultivators of your own imagination. All a teacher can do is give information and explain its application. What you do with that information is up to you, so embrace it rather than reject.

Attitude is a major player in successful learning. Education prepares you for an unknown future so develop a taste for learning, and encourage your children to love learning. Our technological progress has grown exponentially because we, as a nation, refuse to settle for the status quo.

There is a direct correlation between a poor attitude and low achievement. A negative attitude breeds frustration and produces stress. See learning as a challenge to be met and overcome. Watch your self-talk; purposely think things like: “I enjoy learning. I will understand this. I feel good about increasing my knowledge. Math is fun.”

Learning is not only obtaining knowledge but also knowing how to use that knowledge and how retrieve it at a later date. A disinterested student might question, “Why do I have to know this anyway?” Knowledge will make you a more interesting person and the world a more interesting place. The beautiful thing is, once you learn it, it is yours to keep and to use.

Learning is fun.
Reflect on your most fun filled days. It is probably because you were learning something. Perhaps you were improving a skill, enjoying nature or improving an interpersonal relationship. Bottom line, you were learning. And enjoying.

The more healthy your self-esteem, the more easily you learn. A primary cause of poor learning is having a poor self-image, not a lack of ability. A person is controlled by his self-image; the way you see yourself determines the way you behave. It does not matter what others believe about you, it only matters what you believe about yourself.

Cooperation is important. Each person is wonderful, special, unique and important. The trouble comes when we expect others to treat us like we are wonderful, special, unique and important. The more you see your good qualities and the more you see what is good about others, the more you will perform accordingly. And life will reward you accordingly.

Make your school days quality by wanting to learn and by always doing your best. Get a good night’s sleep so you will be refreshed and ready for fun. When needed, be sure to ask your teacher for help. She is your friend and co-partner.

I'd love to hear your insights. Please comment.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

8/18/11

Choices and Attitudes

Who has not had an experience when your back was against the wall? What to do? As with most things in life, the array of choices and attitudes are vast. In a rush-rush, worry-worry world one may become blind to options.

There is always a choice. Even in extreme limits, one always has a choice and can make things better or can make things worse. I find this insight effective in dealing with the residents at the sanction center.

When they rebel against limits, I ask “Is there anything you can do to make the situation worse?”

Although coming from a negative perspective it seems to empower them to realize they are “in control.”

I continue, “Conversely, is there anything you can do to make the situation better.”

Reluctantly most agree that when their back is against the way they still have the power to make things better or worse.

Attitude is the deal-breaker. So what could possibly make an impossible situation a little bit better? The key is attitude.

Attitude comprises words used, tone of voice, sounds made, facial expressions and body language. Without a word being spoken, a simple shift from rebellion to resistance is noticeable. And in most cases that shift is visible enough to effect a lowering of defenses so communication/negotiation can be re-established.

Privileges are subject to change depending on one’s attitude.

Choices are empowering. When keys are misplaced, an initial response is “No!” That is denial. In a state of denial vision is narrowed, thinking is decreased and stress rises. A seemingly illogical decision to choose to accept the lost keys! Yet that frees the mind to remember where they might be. It activates the eyes to see rather than overlook. It also releases creativity to solve the problem.

The choice of keeping a good attitude in the midst of an inconvenience frees you to have a good day regardless.

Choices can be crippling. Too many choices can have a negative impact. In a study of consumer purchases, a vendor offering six flavors of jam sold to 30% of those who visited his display, whereas the vendor with 24 flavors had only a 3% buy-rate. Too many choices lead to a stalemate.

Make your attitude your ally. This is done through the power of choice; if not of the circumstance, then definitely of your response to the circumstance. In those no-choice-back-to-the-wall situations, attitude can be a lifesaver.

Please choose to comment on this post. Thanks and choose to have a wonderful day.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

8/11/11

Conflicting Emotions

The need to know that our life matters is a need that cannot be denied. Each person is wonderful, special and important. One life is worth no more or no less than another.

Still, there remain two problems:

1) Thinking you are somebody (over self-confidence is a liability).

2) Thinking you are nobody (God does not make junk).


Each person is unique and special. Every human being has infinite worth and value by the simple fact of being created in God’s image. Beliefs are important because a person behaves the way s/he believes. Conflicting emotions produce conflicting behaviors. The belief that one does not matter (or matter too much) acts out by cheating, stealing, over-indulgences, addictions, perversions and inhumane acts.

Attitude plays a part. Perhaps nothing shapes our destiny more than the attitude we possess. It seems that low esteem, neediness and a negative attitude hang out together. A person with low esteem becomes his own worst enemy and then projects others to be against him. Get honest with self and ask, “Is the attitude I project helping me or hurting me?” “How is it helping?” “How is it hurting?” “What is my attitude doing to the important relationships in my life?”

Perception is important. One’s perception is his/her reality whether it is truth or not. My aim is to help people honestly explore their definition of what works. It is to help one self-evaluate to see if his behavior is in keeping with his core values. And if not, to be given tools to make changes. Each individual must come to that personal determination. When we encounter opposing ideas that engender anger within, I suggest our conscious trying to get us to wake up.

Destiny is shaped by choices made and all have consequences - good or bad. Behavior is purposeful and is our best attempt – at the moment – to get a need met. So the question is not “Will we get the need met?”, but “How will it be met?” and “What will be the outcome?”

Awareness is a key element in making positive change. We are a work in progress and will be under construction until the day we die. Continue to learn and to grow and to overcome. Do not allow circumstances to beat you down. Allow difficulties to be your tutor to learn life lessons.

Get to know you. Spent time in serious personal reflection to discover the wonderful person you are. You will find a unique human being with purpose and significance. Through meditation, be enabled to be freed from false macho or crippling shyness and become comfortable in one’s own skin. Search your heart and mind so the substance of who you are can be revealed to you. Esteem, wisdom, love, creativity, peace and joy are ours for the mining.

Everyone has an inner chamber into which s/he can retreat at will. It is a sanctuary free from daily cares, free from judgment, free from agitation, change and turmoil. It is a place where your senses can rest, where you are regenerated and recreated. The longer one stays in the secret place, the better equipped to handle the public life of the difficult. Life becomes congruent.

Now it's your turn. Share with us the ways you handle conflicting emotions, or ask for specific help in a specific area.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

8/4/11

Power Tools

All of us seek identity, significance, purpose and power. The power need is the need to feel important and to be appreciated for who we are and for what we do. The power need is met through confidence, being heard and understood, accomplishments and in the giving and receiving of service and respect.

Motivational speaker Les Brown has six "Tools to Reclaim Your Power" Here is my interpretation of Les's tools.

1. It’s possible. When you have an idea that will benefit self and mankind it is possible that you can implement it. If anyone else in the entire world has done something out-of-the-box, then it is possible that you, too, can do something beyond your current skill level, whether simple or exemplary.

2. It’s necessary. Once you begin the possible it becomes a need to carry through. Having left a place of safety it is necessary to broaden one's comfort zone. It becomes a white-heat passion that must be fulfilled.

3. It’s you. Others may in time come alongside to assist, guide or carry on but initially the weight is on your own shoulders. It is dependent upon your own unlimited belief in yourself. It is you investing your time, your energy and your resources into a fledgling concept. It is you motivating you to keep on keeping on, to continue when everything within says "Quit".

4. It’s hard. An airplane needs resistance to fly. Mechanically - as well as physically and emotionally - it is hard to overcome pull and drag in order to soar. It is hard to keep up momentum when others may think you are crazy. It is hard to get up after a seeming defeat. It is hard to push for change in a complacent, smug, self-satisfied world.

5. It’s worth it. Your second wind kicks in, the goal is in sight and nothing will stop you now. The rewards, small and no-so-small, begin to collect and grow. You are filled with gratitude to God, family, associates and the world for what you have learned and how you have grown in the journey.

6. It’s finished. This is the most beautiful part. Even before crossing the finish line, your dream has taken on a life of its own and it will succeed in spite-of-you, with or without you. Your legacy is intact and will be passed on to future generations.

Be like Tim the-tool-man Taylor and add “more power” to your dreams. When inspiration calls, answer the phone and give it directions to fine you.

I would love to hear your "power tools". Please comment.


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7/28/11

Calming an Angry Person

A client confessed, “When I encounter a difficult person I have a tendency to become difficult in response and I don’t like that.”

Anger is an emotion common to all. However, the manner in which we display this emotion is within our control. An angry person is difficult to communicate with. Whether employed by a two year old or an adult, angry outbursts are temper tantrums meant to control another.

There are two types of temper tantrums. One is whim-of-the-moment-frustration. The other is pent-up wrath over unresolved issues. Learn to distinguish between the two and respond accordingly, whether calming yourself or another.

Unprovoked angry outbursts. Frustration is the feeling one has when life says “No” and we wanted it to say “Yes”. The impulsive outburst is a release of emotions based on denial, fear, irritation, hunger, fatigue or illness. It is a sudden thought, want or feeling rather than reason or need. In a state of emotional anger, a person gives opinions rather than genuine thinking.

Ways to respond:
• Give compassionate attention by approaching in a calm and reassuring manner.
• Respond with kindness. Be tough on behavior and gentle with the person.
• Understand. Acknowledge his/her pain.
• Encourage self-control. Ask the individual to sit a moment and catch his breath.
• Empathize. Consider that in similar situations you may have acted rashly. Be compassionate where you have developed self-control.
• Give guidance, not condemnation or criticism.
• Value the individual regardless of behavior.
• Help the person to determine a solution; suggest, do not command.

Chronic wrath. Another type of temper tantrum is an outcropping of ongoing pent up unexpressed anger. The outburst is an attempt to control. Unresolved anger smolders and acts out in a variety of ways including aggression, passive-aggressive moods and irrational behaviors. It is manipulative. It is trying to get one’s way, regardless of how the absurdity. This anger is the breeding ground for violence.

Ways to respond:
• Be an adult in the situation. Do not sink to the angry person’s level of wrath
• Stay calm and speak in quiet tones. Whisper if necessary to quell the other’s shouting.
• Do not allow their manipulative behavior to be effective. If the person gets you angry, as diabolical as it seems, s/he has accomplished a goal, whether she gets what she wants or not.
• Respond to the need rather than react to the behavior.
• Ask “What” to illicit an honest response, rather than “Why” blames or justifies.
• Allow the individual to own his own feelings. They are legitimate, even if irrational.
• Give appropriate space. When push comes to shove, DON’T.

When we are able to verbalize the injustice – and are heard (without judgment or condemnation) - we are in a position to do the necessary emotional work that leads to overcoming. As one is able to appropriately express emotions he/she becomes a more developed person.

Let's talk. Share how you have handled a difficult situation or where you may need encouragement.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

7/21/11

Daily Thanks

Two things cannot occupy the same space.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to remain stressed when focused on being thankful. Your frustration with the inept co-worker eases as you mentally search for his/her positive qualities. The disgruntled mate seems less irritable as you appreciate his/her continued contribution to the family on a daily-thankless-basis. The childishness of a child is softened as you are thankful for the contribution of his innocent life.

It’s fact, not feelings. At the moment you may not feel grateful, but consider the alternative. No birthdays means no life. No messes means no opportunities to be responsible. No difficult relationships means no family, friends, neighbors or co-workers.

Eliminate negative thinking. Each time you feel negative, stop, acknowledge that thought and deliberately dismiss it. Look deeply to find the root of your emotion and consciously replace it with the greater truth of your potential. This practice is profoundly spiritual and life changing. Use it. Embrace it.

Adopt a spirit of forgiveness. To forgive or to not forgive, each has a powerful sway over your day-to-day existence. And it is a choice. True, it may be difficult to forgive. However, I suggest that it is also hard to not forgive.

Unforgiveness keeps one bound to the past. It sets you up for more hurts. Unforgiveness keeps you in misery. Would you not rather be happy?

Forgiveness does not mean condoning bad behavior nor does it render the offender free of justice. Forgiveness frees you of negativity. It gives you energy to enjoy life. It deepens your well of thankfulness.

Accept what is. Living in the present gives insight into the past and makes for more effective future decisions. The reason for this is because it adds depth. You begin to understand how yesterday touches today and connects to tomorrow.

Accepting what is lends to an unbiased assessment of what is working and what is not working. Failure to accept what is hinders the ability to make manageable improvements. Failure to accept what is magically expects things to improve in the future, while subconsciously doubting that it will happen. Failure to accept what is blinds you to the creative energy of solutions.

Having an “attitude of gratitude”
serves you on a daily basis, 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, all the years of your life. Is there a downside to being thankful? I have not found one. Can you honestly think of an upside to focusing on the problem? I have not found one.

What if I am right? Isn’t it worth a try? A genuine expression of thanks for whatever shows up in your life contributes to ongoing happiness and improved relationships.

P.S. Don’t forget to connect with me.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

7/14/11

Self-Care

It is more important that you take care of you than that you take care of them. Does that sound selfish? Done in the right spirit, it is the first step toward selflessness. You cannot give out of an empty basket. A hungry man is unable to feed another. A full chef delights in serving.

Decay or grow. Our bodies are built to move. Movement stimulates cell growth. Reduced movement results in cell atrophy. A lethargic lifestyle causes the body to waste away. Decay. The body is a good servant in that it responds as gracefully as possible to the treatment we give it.

Endless recycle program. Our bodies consist of trillions of cells. They continually die off and are replaced. Bones dissolve and regenerate. High school health class taught that we have a completely new body ever seven years. But it is in increments, like 1% a day. What determines the quality of replacement? Whether the replacement quality is high or inferior depends on the lifestyle choices we make every day. Stronger or weaker cells? Our choice.

Intentional care. Remember the airline instructions? In case of emergency, you place the air bag on you first before helping the child, elderly, infirmed or others. Be intentional about your nutrition, your rest and your needs so that you are in optimum condition - mentally and physically - to help others.

Emotions play a big part. Human beings are composed of molecules therefore everything affects our molecular structure. Destructive emotions such as anger, hate, resentment, stress and loneliness send a “decay” message to the cells. These long-held emotions lead to chronic pain. Even though the angry person may be wishing ill on another, in reality, he is issuing his own death warrant.

Conversely, positive emotions such as optimism, love, compassion and community promote strength, thus healthy molecules. Not only does the molecular body benefit, but also one’s mind, heart, spirit and social life.

Handling the day-to-day stresses of life begins with self-care. Start with quality quiet time. What if it really does work?

Please let me hear from you. Thank you for your friendship, your business and your continued support. Let’s reach our goals together.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

7/7/11

Overcoming Being a Jerk

In the movie, The Call of the Wilderness, Stewart Little befriended Carlos the Skunk. In building their relationship Stewart Little taught Carlos valuable life lessons. Carlos said “I thought the other animals didn’t like me because I smelled. Now I realize they didn’t like me because I was a jerk.”

Here is a simple assessment of jerky behavior and thoughts for overcoming.

Are you tactfully and respectfully able to speak openly and honestly? Do you give thought before addressing an issue? Do you respect the person even when you disapprove of the behavior? Or do you blurt out your truth (opinion) and let the chips fall wherever they may?

Can you address hard issues without undue anxiety? Are you emotionally honest about your feelings? Do you allow anger to mask your hurt?

Do you enjoy spending time with your family? Or do you dread togetherness? What is your attitude in taking care of common household responsibilities? Forced or willing? Are you a team player or a lone-ranger?

Do you recite a litany of what everyone is “supposed” to do? Do you keep score? If things do not go your way, do you raise a stink?

How do you handle criticism? Being defensive when corrected is a mark of immaturity. Rather than get honest with one’s shortcomings and deal with them head-on, a jerk tries to protect self at all cost. The ego is too bruised to handle the comment so he counter-attacks.

The jerk views his offensive behavior as an ill-fated flaw which he has no power to correct. It goes beyond being wrong to being a failure. Overcome being a jerk by realizing you have been given the opportunity of seeing yourself from another’s point of view. One outside of yourself. That the critic’s response is a mirror reflecting you back to you.

Do you mask your imperfections? Perfectionists are especially tough on themselves. Not so much from not knowing their faults but from fear of another finding them out.

Get over yourself. Become a part of the human race; one flawed individual interacting with other flawed individuals. See their comment as a meaningful suggestion not as a pronunciation of your being a totally inept person. Good response: “Oh, I hadn’t thought of it that way. Thank you for pointing it out.”

Are you willing to forgive? Regardless of how painful, do not allow a passing moment to become a lifetime hurtful memory. Do not allow your scars to turn into sarcastic, demeaning responses, aimed at the guilty and innocent alike. Start with the decision to forgive you. In time, that will give you the courage to extend forgiveness to others. Come to grips with your past so you can move beyond it.

Rationalization is not evaluation. Cessandra Farmer says that “Rationalization is giving a socially acceptable answer for a socially unacceptable behavior.” Rationalization is being a jerk. No matter how much information is given, either positively or negatively, until the individual evaluates the situation for himself, the confrontation is mute.

I suggest Carlos came to his conclusion by observing his previous off-putting behavior and assessing the lack of fulfillment. I encourage you to do the same. Self-evaluate, get honest and overcome. Even skunks can become pleasant to be around.

Let’s start a conversation. What jerky behavior have you observed? What are positive steps for change? Please make a comment regarding this post. Thanks.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

7/4/11

America, Land of the Free



"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,

that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,

that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Declaration of Independence





The human spirit loves freedom. The human heart also searches for truth. Truth, morality and rights, are not of human origin, but of divine origin. The rights we enjoy in America did not come from Thomas Jefferson, nor from the founding fathers, nor from our constitution, but from a higher source.

Man is not the creator and arbitrator of right and wrong. Right and wrong, good and evil are universal moral facts. It is not a matter of relativity. Some things are right. Some things are wrong. And you know it. To try to alter them is to invite chaos. The ambiguity of morality is evidenced in the actions of a society by what it esteems and by what it disdains.

Although we do not have the right to make up our own right and wrong, we do have a duty to enforce established civil laws. This fact is evidenced in literature of all ages with the theme being good vs. evil, from the Bible to Harry Potter. Regardless of the ensuing death and destruction, good always wins in the end. Michael Esses observed, “An endless number of laws have been enacted just to uphold the Ten Commandments.”

Mankind has been gifted with a conscience; that innate knowing of right and wrong. Conscience is that small voice inside that compels us to do what is moral, honest and encourages humane actions. Conscience produces guilt when disavowed.

Psychiatrist Victor Frankl, a survivor of four concentration camps assessed the state of America by suggesting that a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast supplement the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast. The liberties we enjoy - the ones fought for and sustained by the sweat and blood of patriots - are being threatened by usurped individual freedom to do what one sees as right.

Thanks to our God-given gift of freewill, mankind is ultimately self-determining. The liberty we experience and the world reputation we esteem will remain strong (and grow) in proportion to our individual and corporate appreciation of freedom and our moral responsibility to all humanity. Let freedom ring loud and clear.


7/1/11

Communicating Appreciation

A concerned parent asked, “How do I get my child to say ‘Thank you’ without prompting? Here are some thoughts.

Model a leadership role. Manners are more caught than taught. Be diligent in verbalizing thanks to others for acts of kindness, large or small. As you create an optimal environment of appreciation – at home as well as in social settings – the child is going to mimic you.

Give time time. It takes an incubation period, but at the end of the day, children are mirrors reflecting you. In YOU Raising Your Child, Drs. Oz and Roizen pronounce parents as the most powerful messenger in a child’s life from day one and that the communication “may involve no words at all.”

Robert B. Sloan, Jr., former President of Baylor University and father of seven, calls it the “lunch pail principle”. If you plan to be a good parent, then bring your lunch pail, for it is an all day affair.

Observe and comment. As a young mother I watched our daughter’s childish response to an impromptu gift given to her. She received the beautifully wrapped box with wide-eyed wonder. She issued “aahs” and “oohs” while un-wrapping it, but did not utter “thanks”.

As she removed the object from its container, she said, “I have always wanted one of these.”

Still no magic words.

The giver was obviously receptive to the child’s joy. It took great patience for me to observe without prompting.

As Melinda rewrapped the gift and returned it to its treasure chest she said, “Well, all I know to say is, ‘Thanks’.

I breathed a sigh of relief and learned a valuable lesson. A smile can imply “thank you” before words are formulated. To anxious parents I preempt their prodding by acknowledging the child’s unspoken communication. You can do that too.

Be gracious and give grace. In reflection, what is more gracious, an instant canned reply or a delayed genuine response? Extending training and patience is more a test of the parents own character than that of the child.

Parenting skills do pay off. Enjoy your child as you learn and teach each other.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Corporate Trainer, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

5/26/11

You and the Rest of the World

All people seek a quality world in which they can experience maximum happiness and success with a minimum pain, suffering and failure. The work force is a major part of this quality world. Whether domestic, volunteer or corporate, the relationship you have with your work and the people with whom you work is invaluable in your wholeness.

All humanity: Each human being has been encoded with gifts that, when unwrapped and put into use, bless himself, his family, the community and the world. Each person has a calling, and when the call is answered, her life becomes more fulfilling.

The civic community: Thomas Friedman tells us that The World is Flat. Each person is a vital part of a larger community and his behavior has a ripple effect on others. Become a valued member of society by obeying the laws of the land (even traffic rules), respecting property, voting, taking active participation in civic matters, recycling and protecting the environment. Value the natural environment by being a good steward. The relationship you have with the community is invaluable in the quality of life passed to future generations.

The work force: In any business leverage has three equal sides: marketing, technology, and people. People vote with their feet. If they do not like a product, they quit buying it. If they do not like the service rendered, they look else where. People continue to interact with people, and continue to do business with businesses that continues to add value to their lives. Every consumer’s buying motive is twofold: 1) a benefit to be gained 2) a loss to be averted.

In business: There are two kinds of customers, internal and external. When pressure is on performance and profit, caring people can behave in uncaring ways. A caring manager can come across as uncaring when his overarching thought are on upholding the company’s bottom line of profit by taking care of the external customers (shoppers and clients). In so doing, she fails to take care of internal customers (workers).

People contact is more about attitude than action. Choose to put everyone into your quality world; want to connect with them. A friendly face with a welcoming smile and an embracing attitude is of more value than canned client information, even if you have to ask again. Caring and service flow from you, once you know whom you are, to connect with others. The law of reciprocity comes into play and caring and service are returned to you. Yes, client knowledge is important. Genuine caring is vital.

A construction site visitor observed workers and ask, “What are you doing?” He received a variety of it’s-just-a-job-and-I-have-to-be-here-replies. One man was pushing a heavy wheelbarrow filled with bricks up a third-story gangplank. He was huffing, puffing, and sweating. His reply was, “I’m building a cathedral.”

In the things you put your hands to, are you just performing a job or building a cathedral? The people with whom you interact, are they “mere mortals”, or “wonderful blessings”?
There are no lone rangers. People matter. We need people. People need us.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

5/19/11

People in Your Quality World

Somewhere in our brain is a picture of a quality world: the people, places and things that comprise our ideal. Our life is spent trying to develop the quality world pictures into a reality. This includes family relationships and those with co-workers.

Life success is dependent upon the over-arching principle of the intrinsic value of people and the needs of each to love and to serve. All people are searching for identity, position, purpose and significance. It is through integritious giving and gracious receiving of friendship and service that we are fulfilled and find purpose.

There are two types of networks, internal and peripheral. Co-workers come with the job. Neighbors move in and out. With the exception of your mate, families are by chance, not choice. In one sense we all live in blended families; valuing diversity is vital for harmony. Choose to make the by-chance people a part of your quality world. Relate to them in a caring manner. Become involved and seek to understand. Spend quality time together having fun and openly communicate.

Value people and their potential. People in your internal network are there by chance, not choice, but that does not diminish their value and importance. Make a conscious, deliberate, continual, on-purpose choice to see their intrinsic value and importance. Appreciate each one’s unique contribution to your life and work. Help in the development of talents and be encouraging. Anything that appreciates goes up in value. The relationship you have with your family is invaluable in building overall success and in your legacy to future generations.

This includes you. You did not choose to be born, yet life and family is the greatest gift God and your parents gave you. Honor self and be true to you.

Peripheral people. The human condition places too much emphasis on peripheral people and thereby tends to be on stage and give top performance for them. It may be easier to be patient with the rude customer than to be kind to your difficult mate. It may be easier to be more longsuffering with a peripheral person, than with your cranky child or your irritating in-laws. It may be easier to be polite to those on the peripheral than those who contribute most to your happiness and success. Get a new perspective. Nurture the individuals in your internal network as you nurture a love-interest. Court them as you would your boss or a new account.

The beauty of your internal network is the ready availability for frequent interaction. Look for ways to show appreciation. Be aware of their unique talents and give specific praise. In your dealings with those in your quality world, be open and forthright with no hidden agendas. Be faithful to keep them in the loop through the power of information.

Family, co-workers and community all contribute to our quality world. The healthier the relationship we develop with them – individually and corporately – the greater our life success and happiness.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

5/5/11

Your Relationship with You

Children are born with a healthy self-love. All too often we are influenced to become someone else. We, as well as society, pay a heavy price for it.

Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a well known cosmetics surgeon, revealed that many of his clients thought their surgery was a failure because they were still dissatisfied with themselves. True beauty comes from within and starts with receiving the gift of you. Since your self-relationship is one you have total control over, why make it negative? Beating self up serves absolutely no wholesome purpose.

Appreciate your givens. You are you largely thanks to the DNA supplied from past generations. Givens include pre-programming of skin color, eye color, how tall one grows to become, etc. They just are. They are not for our shame, neither are they for our arrogance. Even though you were not privy to these initial givens, you have an ongoing part in your gratitude for the life bestowed upon you and in your thankfulness for your unique appearance, abilities and talents.

Self-image is the picture you have of yourself. It can be true or false. An anorexic may see self as fat, whereas a heavier individual may genuinely not see the excess pounds.

Self-esteem is the value you place on yourself – high or low, regardless of truth. A talented individual may esteem his gifts as unimportant, whereas a lesser talented person may esteem his abilities as noteworthy.

Self-worth is an internal knowledge of your intrinsic value and dignity as a human being whether you are thin or fat, short or tall, talented or untalented, business owner or hourly employee, rich or poor, or a multitude of other external measuring rods. Appreciate your innate worth, value and dignity. It is essential to receive the gift of yourself.

You have purpose. You were placed on planet earth for a reason. You belong. You are not a mistake. You are not junk. Healthy esteem recognizes that others have worth and value for the same reason. This truth produces humility and cooperation. You have gifts and talents that can contribute to your fulfillment, add to the happiness of others, as well as to making the world a better place. You are unique and special, a wonder to behold. You were formed with greatness in your bosom.

As necessary, work on your relationship with you, either to shore up a lowered esteem or to burst the bubble of an inflated ego. Healthy self-esteem and happiness go hand-in-hand. Healthy self-esteem and a high regard for others are close companions. Healthy self-esteem and life success are copartners.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

4/28/11

Investment in Wellness

What does it mean to invest?
What does wellness or wholeness mean?
What are some synonyms of wellness?

If I could take all of these questions and boil them down to one concept that embodies the totality of wellness, it would be relationship. We meet all of our needs -directly or indirectly- through our relationships with others. The irony is that when we are out of sorts, we attack the very people we need.

It’s all about relationship. From the cradle to the grave, two universal human needs are to love and to serve. No matter the venue – home, family, workforce, salesmanship, community involvement, volunteer work, government, law enforcement, or breakthrough sciences like Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, it is all about the state or quality of relating.

Relationship is about people skills. The foundation of people skills is about valuing the individual. Everything requires people. Everything is about people. We never get anything in life without having someone we need to thank. Psychiatrist William Glasser suggests that except for abject poverty, incurable illness or living under tyranny all human misery is a result of failure to have a good relationship with those people important to us.

Four great relationships of a lifetime. The four relationships include self, God (higher power), people in our quality world and the rest of the people in the world. All of these relationships are interconnected and affect each other.

Shakespeare had Hamlet to proclaim: “To thine own self be true and it follows as surely as night follows day thou canst not be false with any other man.”

What we give into the life of others comes back into our own. As we are true to self, we will be trustworthy in all our dealings with others. As we invest in determining self-motives, we will lessen judgments of others. As we genuinely assess our human flaws we become less critical of others. As we understand our humanity, we will have compassion for those weaker and appreciation of those stronger.

Anytime we are improving one relationship, by default we are improving all our relationships. Anytime we are destroying one relationship, by default we are destroying all our relationships. Even though circumstances change, all categories of relationships have value. All are worthy of investment of time and energy.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

Investment in Wellness

What does it mean to invest?
What does wellness or wholeness mean?
What are some synonyms of wellness?

If I could take all of these questions and boil them down to one concept that embodies the totality of wellness, it would be relationship. We meet all of our needs -directly or indirectly- through our relationships with others. The irony is that when we are out of sorts, we attack the very people we need.

It’s all about relationship. From the cradle to the grave, two universal human needs are to love and to serve. No matter the venue – home, family, workforce, salesmanship, community involvement, volunteer work, government, law enforcement, or breakthrough sciences like Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, it is all about the state or quality of relating.

Relationship is about people skills. The foundation of people skills is about valuing the individual. Everything requires people. Everything is about people. We never get anything in life without having someone we need to thank. Psychiatrist William Glasser suggests that except for abject poverty, incurable illness or living under tyranny all human misery is a result of failure to have a good relationship with those people important to us.

Four great relationships of a lifetime. The four relationships include self, God (higher power), people in our quality world and the rest of the people in the world. All of these relationships are interconnected and affect each other.

Shakespeare had Hamlet to proclaim: “To thine own self be true and it follows as surely as night follows day thou canst not be false with any other man.”

What we give into the life of others comes back into our own. As we are true to self, we will be trustworthy in all our dealings with others. As we invest in determining self-motives, we will lessen judgments of others. As we genuinely assess our human flaws we become less critical of others. As we understand our humanity, we will have compassion for those weaker and appreciation of those stronger.

Anytime we are improving one relationship, by default we are improving all our relationships. Anytime we are destroying one relationship, by default we are destroying all our relationships. Even though circumstances change, all categories of relationships have value. All are worthy of investment of time and energy.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

4/21/11

Frugal Living

I’ve been frugal all my life and now, thanks to the current economy, I am in style.

Apply the oil-change-lesson to everything. Pay me now or pay me later. Maintenance is a must. Get the oil changed ever 3,000 miles (or do it yourself). Rotate the tires routinely. Check and replace worn belts.

Closet cleaning and de-clutter. Break out the baking soda, vinegar and bleach to clean and disinfect most anything. They are more cost efficient than having a cleaner specifically for each area. With three products per closet, you have abundantly more space as well as more pocket change.

Use your creativity. How many new and exciting ways can you prepare hamburger meat? Create something new from old standbys. Mix and match clothes to make new outfits. Add pins or scarves for variety and newness.

Use the on-your-shelf supplies. How much food, make-up and cleaning supplies are about to expire from being shoved to the back of the shelf? Bring them to the forefront and make use of it. At the beginning of 2010 I committed to emptying our freezer and larder before restocking. Surprisingly, that decision has carried us four months with the exception of dairy products and produce.

Adopt the Shaker philosophy of “use it up, wear it out, make it do, do with out.” Allow it to become an adventure

Need vs. want. Save the sale price by refusing to buy just because it is a bargain. How many bargains currently clutter your closets and how many dollars have been dolled out for illogical emotional reasoning?

Rotate. Give a breather to clothes and shoes by allowing them to stand idle for a minimum of 24-hours between usages. The downtime makes lends to longer wear.

Learn to barter. Everyone likes to buy; no one likes to be sold. Buy on your terms, not the sellers. Make an offer whether it is an in-store product or a service. Ask, “Would you be willing to take $10.00 for this?” “I am able to pay $150.00 for the repair. Do you want the job?”

An apple a day…. Save on doctor visits by eating healthy, exercising, sleeping, washing your hands and engaging in positive thinking.

Frugal is not a dirty word. Being frugal is the best of cost-conscious living.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”