Self Help Sanctum

fulfill your self

Business Basics – Finding Your Niche

This short article considers what is meant by business and provides advice on finding your own niche in the age of the Web.

What is Business?

Survival requires many inputs; food, shelter etc etc. Yet more inputs provide additional comforts of life. Humans developed division of labor as means of increasing efficiency and individual utility. Rather than everyone try to do everything themselves, we specialize in a particular function and do it for others in return for the benefit of their functions; the process is blurred somewhat by money.

Business, essentially, is the process identifying the function/niche(s) that you wish to perform, doing it (them) for other people and receiving payment (and using such payments to buy your own needs/wants). (more…)

The Power of Focus

Isn’t life amazing? Though sometimes frustrating, overwhelming, even infuriating, our journey through the material world is a truly fantastic adventure filled with potential for fulfilment and pleasure. But how many of are actually taking advantage of all that is on offer? Or to put it another way, how many of us are simply coasting through on cruise control and missing much of what’s out there?

Life is certainly complex. Numerous things demand our attention, and in the final analysis most of these urgencies are utterly meaningless. Have we paid the gas bill?, remembered Mrs X’s birthday?, chosen the right outfit for the company “do”?….. The list is endless. The trouble is, with so much noise, can we even hear – never mind respond to – the real message? (more…)

Living in the Moment

Live not for tomorrow,
yearn not for the past,
live only for the moment,
it’s all that is ours.

These words should be obvious, but how many of us find it so difficult to focus our attention on the moment.

Perhaps as an attempt to abdicate personal responsibility we too often tend to fall into one of two traps. Either our attention is fixed upon the past, memories of how it was, and how it was so much better than now… Or we imagine that everything will be alright tomorrow. Only tomorrow never comes!

If we can look back at the past and identify happy times, that is great. Some can only remember sadness. Of course it does no harm at all to reminisce from time to time. But, for whatever reason we have been “spared” to exist in the present and so it is our implicit duty to make the most of that most precious of times – now. (more…)

The Introvert Personality

A Definition of Introvert

Introversion is the tendency to focus one's attention towards the inner, mental world rather than external, physical "reality".

Introversion is a natural characteristic occurring in about 25% of the population according to psychotherapist Dr Marti Olsen Laney in her excellent book The Introvert Advantage. Dr Laney offers a further definition of the introvert personality, ie that introverts are those who draw energy from the inner world of ideas and emotions as opposed to extroverts who thrive on external experience and interaction.

Introversion is not something we have or not, rather we all occupy a specific point on an introvert extrovert continuum.


Goal Setting and Achieving

Personal Goal Setting and Planning

Our logical, rational mind tells us we live in a predictable world. We flick the switch, the light comes on; turn the key, the car starts etc etc. But experience tells us life isn’t so simple. What we expect often doesn’t come about, while surprises happen with disturbing frequency. This inherent complexity and seeming randomness begs the question of whether it is ever worth the bother of trying to set goals or plan for the future.

How many of us drift through daily life on autopilot? How much of what we experience is the result of conscious planning or intention, and how much just simply happens? Routine and habit are very comfortable states for the mind in which the subconscious takes control allowing our consciousness to wander freely in aimless chaos. Those that have tried meditation will know how much effort it takes to tame the mental flow of garbage.

Whether you subscribe to the Spiritual view of being incarnate to learn and grow, or the materialist alternative of this life being all there is, spending our existence like a train traveling along fixed tracks is a terrific waste of potential. Despite life’s uncertainties, it follows that a degree of goal setting and planning combined with willful action is essential to make the most of our time on earth. (more…)

Purpose, Goals and Success

Purpose and Goals

Everyone has a purpose in life. For those of a spiritual disposition it might be to serve others, to resolve one’s karma, or simply to amass experience to carry back to the higher realm. For everyone else it might be to leave their mark in some (hopefully positive) way, to do their best for their family, or simple to fill their lives with as much happiness as they can find. Purpose is as unique as the individual.

Our true purpose remains constant throughout our life, but is most commonly expressed through our many and changing goals. It is our goals which motivate and drive our choices and actions and dictate, to some extent at least, our destiny (or the kind of life we experience).

At any one time an individual has goals at various different levels. At the highest level are our major goals. These specify what we want to do with our lives, what we want to achieve. Depending on our stage in life, as well as our unique character, major goals might be to graduate college, own a house, move to ABC, retire with a pension of $X,000 a month… (more…)

Finding Fulfillment

Knowing thyself

A necessary and key condition for a fulfilling life is that our efforts are aligned with our true goals. Although this sounds simple, and self-evident, sadly many people go through life without even being aware of their true nature or what their goals are; it’s unsurprising such folk struggle to find satisfaction

This article presents a straightforward framework for discovering your goals and creating a roadmap for their realization.

The suggested mechanism consists of 9 components: (more…)

Thinking Out of the Box

What is Thinking Out of the Box?

Thinking out of the box is the mode of thought that dares to challenge conventional wisdom, ie it dares to question beliefs so deeply held by so many that they are considered almost sacred. Thinking out the box is an all too rare quality, but when applied it can bring revolutionary leaps in human progress. Even where the existing ways really are most appropriate, an “out of the box” critic can actually enhance their validity by forcing their proponents to justify them.

By contrast, thinking inside the box is following convention. doing what everyone else does just because that’s the way it’s always been done. Thinking in the box allows survival, but without innovation we cannot do much more than stand still and stagnate. (more…)

Time Management Techniques

The Benefits of Time Management

Despite the relentless march of technological progress many of us are busier and more pressured than ever before. Take the cell phone as an example. Just a few years ago if we were out, we were out of contact, and that was that. Now we’re contactable 24 hours a day, wherever we may be. And, more often that not, that out of hours contact brings yet more to be done.

If you do have too much to do in too little time, be pleased. At least you are special and in demand. It also shows you are living life fully, if not necessarily in the wisest fashion.

A less frequent, and possibly worse, problem is that of not having enough to fill our time. The over-worked and over-stressed may think this is an enviable position to be in, but think again. If we cannot fully utilize our time we begin to question the very reasons for our existence.

Fortunately the ideas of time management can help in both situations. (more…)

The Only Child

Review and Reflection on The Only Child – How to Survive Being One by Jill Pitkeathley & David Emerson

The Only Child: How to Survive Being On

Historically only children were a relatively rare phenomenon, but recently statistics show they are increasing, eg most notably in China which has operated a one-child policy since the late 1970′s but in the United States, Europe, Britain and Japan the number of one child families has also increased considerably since the 1940s.

Pitkeathley and Emerson’s book, first published in 1993, is based on an extensive series of interviews with only children and those close to them.

The overwhelming conclusion is that being an only child is not the ideal from of upbringing, and The Only Child illustrates a number of reasons why this is so. That said, it is certainly not a sentence of doom and, particularly by understanding the issues around being an only one, there is no reason why onlies shouldn’t lead happy, successful and fulfilled lives.

Personality is formed (largely) by an amalgam of innate characteristics and the experiences of early life (ie upbringing). While it would be a gross oversimplification to suggest that all only children share similar influences and personalities, this book does identify a number of core issues to which a significant number of only children can identify. (more…)