Personal Development


Do you want to learn more faster? Well you need to determine your learning style. Here’s how ….

learning-cycle

An interesting post over on Zen Habits prompted me to dig out my occupational psychology notes, specifically those to do with effective learning.

Leo is an advocate of the “just do it approach”, but that may not always be appropraite.

Consider, for example, the David Kolb model based on Experiential Learning Theory, as explained in his book Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development

Our learning style is a based on your preferences in approaching a task and how you respond to the experence.

So do you prefer gaining new information by thinking, analyzing, or planning (‘abstract conceptualization’ – ‘thinking‘) or through experiencing the ‘concrete, tangible, felt qualities of the world’ (‘concrete experience’ – ‘feeling’)?

Then do you prefer to watch others involved in the experience and reflecting on what happens (‘reflective observation’ – ‘watching’) or just  ‘jump straight in’ and just doing it (‘active experimentation’ – ‘doing’)?

According to Kolb’s model, the ideal learning process engages all four of these modes in response to situational demands. For learning to be effective, all four of these approaches must be incorporated.

As individuals attempt to use all four approaches, however, they tend to develop strengths in one experience-grasping approach and one experience-transforming approach.

The resulting learning styles are combinations of the individual’s preferred approaches. This adds additional dimensions to the basic cycle presented:

learningcycle

Learning Styles

These learning styles are as follows:

  1. Converger;
  2. Diverger;
  3. Assimilator;
  4. Accomodator;
  • Convergers are characterized by abstract conceptualization and active experimentation. They are good at making practical applications of ideas and using deductive reasoning to solve problem
  • Divergers tend toward concrete experience and reflective observation. They are imaginative and are good at coming up with ideas and seeing things from different perspectives
  • Assimilators are characterized by abstract conceptualization and reflective observation. They are capable of creating theoretical models by means of inductive reasoning
  • Accommodators use concrete experience and active experimentation. They are good at actively engaging with the world and actually doing things instead of merely reading about and studying them.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Diverger

Tracks VergeStrengths

  • imaginative thinker
  • uses own experience
  • looks at situations from many different perspectives
  • brings coherence to a mass of information
  • sees relationships between things, grasps the whole picture
  • wide-ranging interests
  • good at listening and sharing
  • likes to get involved in the experience/information directly and then reflect on it
  • enjoys brainstorming and generation of ideas/altematives
  • likes social interaction/discussion/group work
  • aware of people’s feelings
  • wants to see the whole picture before examining the parts

Weaknesses

  • frustrated by action plans
  • waits too long before getting started
  • easily distracted
  • can be too easy going
  • sometimes indecisive
  • cannot see the trees for the wood
  • forgets important details
  • only works in bursts of energy

Assimilator

ASSIMILATEStrengths

  • precise
  • good at creating theoretical models
  • very thorough
  • sets clear goals
  • enjoys ideas and thinking them through
  • analytical, logical
  • interested in facts and details
  • applies theories to problems/situations
  • good at bringing different theoretical viewpoints to critique a situation
  • examines facts carefully
  • likes collecting data
  • sequential thinker
  • specialist interest
  • avid reader
  • uses past experience constructively
  • sees links between ideas
  • thinks things through
  • well organised
  • plans in advance
  • enjoys didactic teaching
  • happy to rework essays/notes
  • works well alone

Weaknesses

  • needs too much information before starting work or giving opinion
  • reluctant to try anything new
  • likes to do things in a set way, lets go of the past reluctantly
  • gets bogged down in theory
  • does not trust feelings, trusts only logic
  • needs to know what the experts think
  • overcautious, will not take risks
  • not very comfortable in group discussion
  • does not make use of friends/teachers as resources

Converger

Hit The RoadStrengths

  • practical application of ideas
  • decisive
  • integrates theory and practice
  • enjoys solving problems in a common-sense way
  • likes to try things out
  • feels happiest when there is a correct answer/solution
  • draws references from experience
  • good  at using skills and tinkering with things
  • focuses clearly on specific problems
  • able to see where theory has any practical relevance
  • moves from parts to whole
  • thorough
  • works well alone
  • goal setting and action plans
  • strategic thinking
  • knows how to find information
  • gets things done on time
  • not easily distracted
  • organises time well
  • systematic notes/files
  • reads instructions carefully

Weaknesses

  • intolerant of woolly ideas
  • not always patient with other people’s suggestions
  • resents being given answers
  • tends to think their way is the only way of doing something
  • needs to control and do it alone
  • details get in the way sometimes, cannot see the wood for the trees
  • not good at suggesting altematives/lacks imagination
  • getting the job done sometimes overrides doing it well
  • not concerned very much about presentation of work
  • needs to know how things they are asked to do will help in real life

Accommodator

Danger, Will Robinson!Strengths

  • testing experience, trial and error
  • committed to action
  • very flexible
  • wide-ranging interests
  • enjoys change, variety
  • willing to take risks
  • looks for hidden possibilities and excitement
  • not worried about getting it wrong by volunteering/asking questions
  • gets others involved
  • learns from others, quite prepared to ask for help
  • gets involved in something which sparks their interest
  • uses gut reactions
  • often gets right answer without logical justification
  • wants to see whole picture before examining the parts

Weaknesses

  • tries too many things at once
  • tends not to plan work
  • poor time management, leaves things till the last minute
  • not very interested in details
  • does not check work or rework it
  • jumps in too quickly without thinking things through
  • sometimes seen as pushy.

Which learning style are you?


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Nelson Mandela was world’s most famous prisoner. He provides a fantasic role model for anyone who wants to live up to their beliefs and values.

Here are my top 50 Nelson Mandela quotes which provide inspiration everyday:

Book cover of

Book cover via Amazon

  1. A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
  2. [A] new society cannot be created by reproducing the repugnant past, however refined or enticingly repackaged.
  3. After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
  4. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
  5. As a leader… I have always endeavored to listen to what each and every person in a discussion had to say before venturing my own opinion. Oftentimes, my own opinion will simply represent a con-sensus of what I heard in the discussion. I always remember the axiom: a leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.
  6. As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.
  7. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
  8. Communists have always played an active role in the fight by colonial countries for their freedom, because the short-term objects of Communism would always correspond with the long-term objects of freedom movements.
  9. Does anybody really think that they didn’t get what they had because they didn’t have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment?
  10. Don’t, call me, I’ll call you. [on his retirement]
  11. During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realized. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.
  12. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
  13. Extremists on all sides thrive, fed by the blood lust of centuries gone by.
  14. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
  15. Freedom would be meaningless without security in the home and in the streets.
  16. I cannot conceive of Israel withdrawing if Arab states do not recognize Israel, within secure borders.
  17. I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.
  18. I did not enjoy the violence of boxing so much as the science of it.
  19. I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself.
  20. I dream of the realization of the unity of Africa, whereby its leaders combine in their efforts to solve the problems of this continent. I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses.
  21. I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all! I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.
    Nelson Mandela

    Image via Wikipedia

    I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment

  22. I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
  23. I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies, and that is what I normally tell other people who say those who are struggling for liberation in their country are terrorists. I tell them that I was also a terrorist yesterday, but, today, I am admired by the very people who said I was one.
  24. If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.
  25. If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
  26. If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
  27. In my country we go to prison first and then become President.
  28. It always seems impossible until its done.
  29. It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.
  30. Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.
  31. Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfil themselves.
  32. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.
  33. Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.
  34. Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.
  35. Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.
  36. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
  37. Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.
  38. That was one of the things that worried me – to be raised to the position of a semi-god – because then you are no longer a human being. I wanted to be known as Mandela, a man with weaknesses, some of which are fundamental, and a man who is committed.
  39. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
  40. The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
  41. There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.
  42. JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 4: Forme...

    Image by Getty Images via Daylife

  43. There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.
  44. There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
  45. There is no such thing as part freedom.
  46. There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
  47. True reconciliation does not consist in merely forgetting the past.
  48. We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.
  49. Whatever the sentence Your Worship sees fit to impose upon me for the crime for which I have been convicted before this court may it rest assured that when my sentence has been completed, I will still be moved as men are always moved, by their conscience. I will still be moved by my dislike of the race discrimination against my people. When I come out from serving my sentence, I will take up again, as best I can, the struggle for the removal of those injustices until they are finally abolished.
  50. When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.
  51. We are really appalled by any country, whether a superpower or a small country, that goes outside the U.N. and attacks independent countries. No country should be allowed to take the law into their own hands.
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Zen Habits have just published a great new post. It’s called 17 Arse-kicking Strategies to Stick to Your Diet and Get Fit.

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Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter.

I’m not a big fan of “dieting” — a word that conjures up images of hunger and chewing on celery or doing some kind of fad diet — but I do believe in trying to eat a healthier diet.

Don’t diet, but do stick to a healthy diet, in other words.

But that’s easier said than done, as we all know. The healthy diet goes out the window around the holidays, for example, or when there’s a family party or a function at work full of unhealthy food, or when we go out to eat with friends, or when we go to a ballgame or amusement park or the beach, or when … well, you get the idea. There are lots of ways to get off a diet.

And there are just as many ways to stick to your healthy diet.

I’m not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, and I often will give in to temptations. But I’ve gotten better over time, partially because practice makes perfect and partly because I’ve learned a lot of great tips, from my fellow bloggers and from you, my favorite readers in the world.

So today we’re going to look at a few of the tips and tricks that I’ve found useful in sticking with a healthy diet.

1. Know your motivation. I have a friend, Jerry, who is getting healthy so that he’ll be alive and well to see his 3-year-old son grow up. When he gets tempted by evil junk food, he asks himself whether he’d rather eat the sweets or see his son grow up. When you have a powerful motivation like this, and remember what choice you’re making whenever you face temptation, it’s easier to be strong when you’d otherwise cave in.

2. Take it in gradual steps
. You don’t have to overhaul your diet overnight. I highly recommend changing your diet in small steps — just drink water instead of soda, for example, or eat fruit instead of candy or chips. Once you adjust to this small change, make another a week or two later, and so on until you’re eating much healthier a few months later. This small and gradual process makes it much easier to stick with a healthy diet.

3. Don’t be drastic. I’ve seen fad diets like the Cookie Diet, Atkins, the Banana Diet, and different cleansing fasts — and I don’t recommend a single one of them. They’re drastic, and very few people can last with them for a long time. And the fact is, while you might lose a lot of weight with a drastic diet in a short amount of time, as soon as you get off the diet and go back to eating unhealthily, you’ll gain the wait back. Don’t do anything drastic — make long-lasting changes.

4. Choose foods you love. This is incredibly important. If you hate eating salads, don’t make salads a key to your new diet. I happen to love salads, but everyone has different tastes. Don’t eat foods just because they’re good for you — eat them because they’re healthy AND you love them. For me, that means berries and almonds and oatmeal and salads and yogurt and cottage cheese and tofu, but for others it might be salmon and lean grass-fed beef and asparagus and walnuts. Find the foods you love that are healthy, and you’ll stick with the diet much longer.

5. Pack food. Always bring healthy food with you, wherever you go. Sometimes this just means packing snacks if you’re going on a few errands (I like almonds and fruit), other times you might want to pack more substantial meals and pack them with ice to keep them fresh. Packing your lunch to work is a great idea, along with a bunch of snacks to keep you satisfied all day without eating the donuts someone brought in.

6. Eat before you go. If you’re going out to a restaurant or party, eat a small healthy meal first. That way you won’t be starving and won’t need to eat a huge amount of unhealthy food. You can get by on a salad or some fish and steamed veggies or an appetizer or something like that, and still enjoy the company of your friends and loved ones.

7. Don’t get hungry. When you allow yourself to starve, you will often binge, because your blood-sugar levels are so low that you crave instant sugar (or refined flour). When you’re starving, you are more likely to indulge in donuts or cake. So eat snacks throughout the day, or small meals, so that you never get super hungry.

8. Choose healthy when you eat out. If you go to a restaurant or party, look for the healthy choices. I love a good salad bar, but you could also choose a lean cut of meat, grilled not fried, with steamed veggies, or some black bean or lentil soup, or something like that.

9. Indulge in little bits. I don’t believe in going extreme and not allowing myself to eat treats such as … mmm, chocolate cake. But the key is to eat healthy most of the time, and when you do indulge in a treat, do it in small amounts. Two or three bites of cake or ice cream, for example, won’t kill your diet but will satisfy your sweet craving. Eating a whole tub of ice cream? Not recommended.

10. Eat small portions when you go out. If you go to a party with lots of food, try for small portions. Just eat until you’re slightly full, then have some water and talk with people without eating for awhile, then when you get hungry have another small portion, and so on. Try for the amount of food that will fit in your hand. If you space out several small portions over the course of a couple hours, you’ll feel satisfied but never take in too much.

11. Have tasty substitutes for your weaknesses. When I feel like eating something sweet, I’ll often have berries or fruit. My sister Kat likes to mix berries with almond butter, chocolate protein powder, and water — a weird but satisfying treat. Whatever your weaknesses, find a substitute that will satisfy your cravings when they inevitably come up.

12. Clear your home of unhealthy snacks and foods. If you have junk food in your home, you’re more likely to give in at some point and eat it. But if you clear your home of these foods, you won’t have that temptation. Clear your fridge and cabinets of candy, baked sweets, fried foods, foods made with refined flour, fatty and greasy things like chips and fries, and so on.

13. Bring your own healthy food to a party. If it’s allowed, bring a dish to a party you’re planning on attending, and make it a healthy one. I like to bring a couple of my favorites: Leo’s chili, and my Best Soup Ever.

14. Fill yourself up with water, fruits, veggies, and lean protein at a party
. Lots of parties will have at least a couple of healthy options — some fruits or veggies, maybe some lean protein that’s not fried. I will fill myself up on these, even if they’re not entirely a meal, and then eat a healthy meal later.

15. Don’t stuff yourself. Make this your ultimate rule. Even if you break down and get fatty, fried food at a restaurant or party, just don’t eat until you’re stuffed. Try the Okinawan rule of eating until you’re 80% full. This way you can eat the unhealthy stuff and still limit the damage.

16. Don’t starve yourself. This might sound like the “don’t get hungry” tip above, but it’s bigger than that — don’t eat so little that you’re starving. For most women, that means don’t go below 1,200 calories a day — for men, it’s 1,500. But even those are too low for many of us. You only want to cut a moderate amount of calories from your diet — if you starve yourself, you’ll lose muscle, you’ll get unhealthy and you’ll end up falling off the diet eventually.

17. If you indulge, burn it off. Sometimes all of the strategies above will fail. That’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up about it — just get back on the wagon, back on track. Look at it as a small bump in the road. And better yet, get outside and burn off the calories by running, walking briskly, playing sports, whatever it takes. Then start eating healthy again.

What are your favorite strategies for sticking with a healthy diet? Share in the comments!


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Pick The Brain have just published a great new post. It’s called Empower Other People To Help You Achieve What You Want.

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Image courtesy of *sweetcaroline

You can only get what you want, if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

One way to help other people is to empower them because by empowering them you could literally change their lives for the better.

Empower means “to give somebody power or authority” and also “to give somebody a sense of confidence or self-esteem”.

People always feel motivated and inspired when they feel empowered. And when they feel motivated and inspired by you, they’d be more than happy to help you achieve whatever you want.

Once you’ve mastered this ability to get people to help you voluntarily, it will make you a more powerful, effective and successful person.

I have listed some of the methods which you can adopt to empower other people.

1. Show More Appreciation

To empower someone, you have to make the person feel good about himself/herself. And the simplest way to achieve that is to express your appreciation for everything that person does for you, large or small.

Every one of us has a deep desire to feel appreciated and a sense of self-worth. If you could satisfy this craving of any individual, he/she would go to great lengths for you.

The most direct and also the simplest way to show your appreciation is simply to say – sincerely and honestly – “Thank you.”

So often in life, we have taken things for granted – especially towards those who are close to us – that we fail to say those two simple little, yet powerful words for the things that they have done for us. Instead, we often complain about the things they’ve not done for us.

It is time for us to start looking more deeply into the good of other people and tell them, “Thank you. I really appreciate that.”

By doing so, you’ll be helping yourself garner the greatest support from people to help you get to where you want.

2. Show Your Genuine Interest in Other People

Why do you think most people love dogs? Simple. Because dogs are born to be genuinely interested in people.

They’re always happy to be around you. They’d wag their tails, lick you, and jump around you to show you just how excited they are to have you here.

This showing of genuine interest in people is something we have to seriously learn from dogs. Yes, you heard me right. Learn this from dogs.

Everybody loves some attention, even though they may not seek attention openly or publicly. This is because attention shows us that somebody actually care about us. It shows us that our existence is not being ignored and neglected. It proves that we’re worth being taken notice of.

A genuine show of interest can do wonders in nourishing a person’s sense of self-worth. So, if you want to empower other people and help yourself at the same time, show your genuine interest in other people.

3. Show The Other Person He or She is Important

To blossom a person’s sense of self-worth to the ultimate, we have to always seek to make the other person feel important.

Sincere appreciation and recognition are the keys to making someone feel important. Take note that the keyword here is sincere because nobody wants to listen to cheap and insincere flattery. Insincerity will only backfire.

The first step to making a person feel important is to STOP TAKING HIM OR HER FOR GRANTED. And show deep appreciation.

If you want to make your team members feel important, you can try something like this:

“Ally, thank you for the great job done. Without your help, the project wouldn’t have been such a great success. You’ve proved to be a very important and worthy team player. And I hope you’d continue to offer this great support to help us move forward together.”

Or if you want to make your kids feel important, try this:

“John, thank you for being such a wonderful son. You’ve been the best gift to mum and dad. We’ve always been very grateful to having you in the family. We couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

And remember, when showing appreciation; always start with a simple “Thank you.”

4. Show Respect

Ego is a fundamental element of the human nature that, which if upset, can cause a major emotional upheaval.

Ego, in other words, means your self-concept. It is made up of two components, namely your self-esteem and your self-image.

Human beings will always strive to raise their level of self-esteem and self-image, or seek to protect them from being impaired by other people and circumstances.

Whenever you need to point out somebody’s fault, remember to show respect to his/her pride by doing it in a discreet manner so that he/she will not feel embarrassed.

By allowing their ego to remain intact, you’re in essence giving them a chance to remain empowered. One rule you need to adhere to in order to empower someone is to first not do anything to dis-empower him/her.

If you find someone that you could look up to, you can always go up to the person to tell him/her how much you respect what he/she has achieved or handled a dire situation or overcome an adversity.

Nevertheless, do remember the key to empowering a person is to be sincere and honest with your words and actions.

5. Give Encouragement Instead of Criticism

Now this is a common one. Whenever your kid, your spouse, or your employee makes a blunder or slip up in their responsibilities, how would you react?

You’d probably fly into a rage and make all sorts of crude remarks. No? Ok, maybe you’re more refined and well mannered that all you’d do is reproach them for committing the mistakes.

However, in spite of the placidness of the criticism, it is still not an empowering approach.

Perhaps you could try an approach like this one:

“Honestly Lesha, I’m disappointed that we didn’t manage to clinch the deal this time round. However, I do believe you’re a bright young lady, and I’m very confident that you have what it takes to clinch us the next deal. You would do whatever it takes to secure it for us, right? Correct me if I’m wrong.”

Now, that wouldn’t sound harsh, would it?

Every one of us has the magic power of empowering other people simply by generously giving praise and showing encouragement to help them realise their underlying potential.

“Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement.” – Dale Carnegie

Now that you’ve learnt how to empower other people, so when and where should you apply each one of them? The answer is: all the time, everywhere.

Have you got any other suggestions on how we can empower other people? Please share them in the comments section below.

Mark Foo is a Personal Development Blogger @ TheBigDreamer.com  where he writes about success, personal finance, wealth creation and entrepreneurship to help people become better, wiser and richer.

In his movie debut, Ambition to Meaning, Wayne Dyer explores the spiritual journey in the second half of life when we long to shift from ambition to meaning and find the purpose that is our unique contribution to the world.

“I’ m more proud of this film than of anything I’ve ever done before.” – Wayne Dyer

Visit AmbitionToMeaning.com to watch the trailer and music videos or to order the DVD.

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4-hour-work-week-guide

CEO Bernard Sandoval of Sandia has developed a check-list for his employers based on some of the principles in Tim Ferriss’s book The 4-Hour Work Week.

Download it here

In the book Ferriss uses the acronym DEAL for the four main chapters. It stands for: Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation.

  1. Definition means to figure out what a person wants, get over fears, see past society’s “expectations”, and figure out what it will really cost to get where a person wants to go.
  2. Elimination is about time management, or rather about not managing time. This is achieved applying the 80/20 rule to focus only on those tasks that contribute the majority of benefit. There’s a difference, Ferriss says, between efficiency and effectiveness. The book’s emphasis is on effectiveness.
  3. Automation is about building a sustainable, automatic source of income. This includes techniques such as drop-shipping, automation, Google Adwords and Adsense, and outsourcing.
  4. Liberation is dedicated to the successful automation of one’s lifestyle and the liberation from a geographical location and job. Incidentally, Ferriss notes that if somebody has a regular job, the order of steps will be DELA, not DEAL.

The book asserts that technology such as email, instant messaging, and Internet-enabled PDAs complicate life rather than simplify it.[4][5] It advocates hiring virtual assistants from developing countries such as India to free up personal time.

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Follow these simple steps to declutter your life and add day-to-day clarity:

  1. Think about your values and write down those that really matter to you. What is most important? Spending time with family? Accumulating great wealth? Achieving powerful influence? Acquiring possessions? Expressing yourself? Learning new ideas? Experiencing adventure and travel? Maintaining excellent health? Socializing with friends? Contributing to the community? You can’t do them all. Cut out activities that aren’t consistent with your core values.
  2. Write a list of goals you’d like to achieve. Focus on doing a few really well, rather than a lot in a mediocre way. You can’t add hours to the day, but you can cut down on activities.
  3. Say no instead of yes. People agree to requests from others because they like to please them. Instead, realize that you have a right to say no. Creating plans or policies makes saying no easier. (“I’m sorry, I already have a financial planner.” “I’m sorry, we already have a plan for giving to charities.”)
  4. Stop being a slave to communication tools. Do you really need an office phone, a home phone, a cellular phone, pager, fax, e-mail and internet ICQ technology?
  5. Give away clerical tasks to others who can handle non-priority activities.
  6. Stop spending time to save money. Instead, spend money to save time. Don’t drive across town to save a few cents on a grocery item. It’s not worth your time. Do hire someone to do chores you’re not fond of.
  7. Cancel subscriptions to magazines you never get around to reading. Only read one newspaper per day.
  8. Cut back on television time. Only watch those shows you decide on beforehand. Circle them in the television-listing magazine. Then turn off the television when the program is over. Cancel extra cable television packages for channels you rarely watch. Go for broke. Give up watching television altogether.
  9. Clean out your basement or your office. If you’re not using something, get rid of it. Put an expiry date on items when you can’t decide to keep them or not. Get rid of them when the expiry date arrives.
  10. Quit organizations that aren’t contributing to your advancement, your network or your fun.
  11. Automate repetitive, clerical, mechanical tasks. For instance, set up automatic bill payments. Include your automatic savings plan as part of your monthly spending.
  12. Make a plan for the weekend that doesn’t involve work. Plan to spend more time with your family or with people who make positive contributions to your life. Stop spending time with people who are a drain on your energy or vitality.
  13. Carry a smaller wallet or purse. Start by cleaning out the one you’ve got. Get rid of unnecessary credit cards and other clutter that you don’t use regularly.
  14. Stop checking up on your financial portfolio every day. Most people invest for the long term. Checking your results daily adds to stress and might lead to expensive and unnecessary changes.
  15. Make time for yourself. Set aside time each day to reflect quietly, go for a walk, plan for your future or meditate. Visit the park instead of the mall.
  16. Cut back on debt. Consolidate your different debts into one and pay it off. Put your credit cards in a spot where you won’t be able to use them until you’re debt-free. Track your expenses for a month, then cut back your spending on items you don’t need. For instance, pack a lunch rather than buying one at work. Mix and match your outfits rather than constantly buying new ones.
  17. Consider renting a vacation home rather than buying. You won’t be burdened by time (and money) spent in maintenance. Also, this allows you to visit a different spot each year.
  18. Plan time for a vacation every year. Some people claim “I haven’t had a vacation in three years” as if it was a badge of courage. It isn’t.
  19. Cut back on your children’s planned activities. If they have to use a time planner to schedule their activities, and you spend all of your time taxiing them around, they’re probably too busy.
  20. Live closer to your work so you don’t have to drive.
  21. Take a moment each day to be grateful.

What do you think? Have I missed any points? Please leave your comments below:

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