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You hear it all the time: Success is a state of mind.  Some would argue that success is a natural result of proper planning, preparation and focused action – and that viewpoint certainly holds a grain of truth.  But there are also many exceptions to disprove that “rule.”  Have you ever wondered how two people can attempt the same objective in the same way and only one of them succeed?  Is it sheer luck?  Timing?  Tenacity?  More often than not, it’s a person’s mindset that determines whether they fail or succeed.

What is a mindset, anyway?  Typically, it’s your predominant state of mind from day to day.  It’s what you think about, focus on, and expect from your daily experiences.  Think negatively, expect the worst, feel pessimistic about your options and that’s exactly what you’ll seem to draw into your life.  Likewise, think positively, expect the best and focus on a successful outcome and you’ll get it most of the time.

It makes sense, but how exactly does this work?  Why is a Success Mindset so important?  Take a few moments to read about three of the biggest reasons below.

1) A Success Mindset boosts your confidence and self-belief.

A lack of belief in yourself usually comes along with a sense of powerlessness and futility, which is the exact opposite of a Success Mindset.  Lack of confidence means you see no point in trying to be successful because it won’t happen anyway.  Obviously, this is a recipe for failure in any endeavor.

Having a true Success Mindset, on the other hand, means you believe in yourself and your capabilities.  You acknowledge that you have strengths, experience and abilities that will contribute to achieving your goals and you believe you can succeed if you try – and that motivates you to

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HopeLooking at all of the bad news, tragedy, and hardship that floats through the world today, be it on television, the Internet, or word of mouth from friends and neighbors, there may be times where you feel overwhelmed. Sometimes, you may even just want to curl up into a ball and stop all the noise from creating so much stress and anxiety.

For many, the challenge of rising above the pain and discouragement of life is very difficult. Although you can not eliminate grief, negativity, and disappointment from your life, the effective tips below can help you in your effort to stay up in a down world.

1. Look beyond your circumstances

Whatever you’re going through today won’t last forever. You can rise above the pain and sorrow by focusing on the hope that better days are ahead. Optimism isn’t the opposite of reality – it’s just the best way to view it.

2. Focus on what you have rather than what you think you lack

A scarcity mentality discourages, but an abundance mentality encourages. Counting the blessings in your life and reviewing them daily will help you maintain a grateful and positive attitude.

3. Attend to the needs of others

It takes no time at all to find someone around you who would appreciate your help. They may need love, physical or material help, encouragement, time, etc. It’s nearly impossible to feel discouraged when you’re actively engaged in encouraging others.

4. Be true to what you value most

When your life consistently reflects your values, it keeps you from having to carry the heavy burden of guilt, regret, failure and disappointment. Stop and think before you act, and then do what you know is right.

5. Minimize the negative influences in your life

Your thoughts, behaviors and emotions are

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changeChange is inevitable – everybody knows that. Still, most people seem to resist change even if it’s positive. In today’s world, nothing stays the same for very long, so those who are unable to effectively “ride the waves” will likely find themselves drowning. Here are ten powerful tips to help you overcome the fear of change.

“To change is to be vulnerable. And to be vulnerable is to be alive.” Alexis DeVeaux

1. Jump in and stay engaged

It’s easy to stay on the sidelines, whether you are at work or at home! The key is to become engaged with the situations at hand, rather than opt for distancing yourself. At work that could mean actually paying attention and participating in meetings. At home it could mean turning off the television and conversing with your family. Staying on the outside often leads to resentment and a sense of powerlessness. Ask questions, listen and participate.

2. Be prepared for a reaction

A common perspective would have you believe that in order to be stable you should be stoic, emotionless. At work, it shows perspective and leadership. At home it is supposed to show strength and stability. But the truth is you are human and have human emotions. Not only that – everyone else around you also has feelings and emotions. Don’t be surprised to experience sadness, joy, anger, laughter, crying, confusion, discomfort, excitement, etc – it’s normal!

3. Identify and express your emotions

Unacknowledged and unexpressed emotion causes stress and will make the change process painful. As a result, stay away from bottling things up. You must be able to express yourself in a reasonable manner, so that things don’t get pent up and start building unhealthy levels of stress.

4. Regularly monitor your attitude

Do two things. First, be aware

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Depression in MarriageEveryone longs for – and needs – intimacy. Intimacy in marriage exists when a husband and wife allow each other to experience everything they have to offer physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially, and spiritually without fear of criticism, judgement or rejection.  In the absence of intimacy, a marriage can not thrive and will struggle even to survive.

Prior to marriage, few couples give a great deal of thought to how they might prevent or deal with the potential roadblocks to intimacy in their marriage.  In fact, few married couples address such obstacles until they find themselves in the middle of difficult times.

As much as every couple desires closeness, companionship and harmony in their relationship they cannot avoid the fact that there are a number of things in life that may keep them from enjoying true intimacy.  Some of the more common threats to marital intimacy include parenting pressures, financial stress, unresolved conflict, anger, unforgiveness, etc.  But the “Silent Killer of Marital Intimacy” that often goes unaddressed is depression, especially when it strikes the woman.

It is estimated that over 18 million Americans suffer from depression each year. While both men and women are susceptible, women are twice as likely to suffer from depressive symptoms than men are.  One out of every four women will experience at least one depressive episode in their lifetime.

Although the quality of a marriage can be impacted when either spouse is depressed, research has shown that women may experience greater relational difficulty when depressed.  This is significant because they are more likely to derive a sense of well being from their roles in intimate relationships with others than men are (Jordon, Kaplan, Miller, Stiver & Surrey, 1991).

Studies on marriage and depression reveal that it can be both the cause and the result of marital

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DadIf I asked you to tell me about your father, you might give me a variety of responses. Maybe you weren’t raised by your biological father. Instead, you were raised by your mother, a stepfather, adopted father, or grandfather. Or, your father may have raised you but you didn’t have a good relationship with him. Or as is the case for me, your father passed away and all you have left are memories. Or perhaps you had – and still have – a great relationship with your dad.

Is the Role of a Father Really That Important?

There are those who say that fathers don’t play a significant role in the lives of their children and that, in fact, parents don’t really have the kind of influence we once thought they did. This is not true! Parents play a vital role in the lives of their children, and fathers, in particular, have a profound influence on their development.

A survey of over 20,000 parents found that when fathers are involved in their children’s education, including attending parent-teacher meetings and volunteering at school, children were more likely to get A’s, enjoy school and participate in extracurricular activities, and less likely to have repeated a grade.

In a 26-year study of 379 individuals, researchers found that the single most important childhood factor in developing empathy is paternal involvement. In other words, fathers who spent time alone with their kids doing routine childcare at least twice a week raised children who became the most compassionate adults.

Forty years ago eighty percent of all children in the U.S. grew up in a home with two biological parents. Today, only about fifty percent of our children will spend their entire childhood in an intact family.

I can’t help thinking of some of the recent events