Free Success Articles

Career

How to get the Courage to Pursue Your Dream Career

Ten Steps For Early Career Success

Elements of a Long Distance Job Search

 

Education

Teaching Philosophy

Solution to the Education Crisis

 

Health

Tips for Maintaining Excellent Health

 

Law of Attraction

Singles: What is the Greatest Obstacle to Finding Your True Love?

The Secret of Getting Law of Attraction Strategies to Work

 

Leadership

Leadership Crisis in America

 

Public Speaking

How to Give a Dynamic Presentation

 

School Success Stategies

Study Tips

Strategies for Taking Multiple Choice Tests

Note Taking Tips

Sensory Learning Styles

 

Motivation and Personal Development

Letter to a Discouraged Student

How to Awaken the Greatness within You

Attributes for an Effective Life

Small habits can change your life

How to Teach your students to motivate themselves

Now is the Time

How to Get the Courage to Pursue Your Dream Career

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

Congratulations.  After much thought and research, you have discovered which career is right for you.  The thought of it fills you with passion, enthusiasm, and inspiration.  This career will give you the opportunity to use your favorite and best talents to make a great contribution.  This is the type of work that Joseph Campbell referred to when he said, “Follow your bliss.”

Ahead of the Pack

You’re ahead of many others who have not discovered their “bliss.”  You feel grateful that you discovered your right livelihood, but now you face a dilemma.  There are risks.  Do you quit your present job or business and plunge ahead into your dream job or business?  Will you be able to pay your bills?  What will your family and friends think?  Is this career practical?

Heart and Mind Conflict

Your heart says, “go for it.”  Another part of you is scared and urges caution.  Fears you didn’t know you had start appearing.  You wonder, “What if I fail?”  When you listen to your heart or that part of the mind that says, “go for your dreams,” fears often come up.  The self-preservation part of your mind raises concerns.  Both parts of yourself are attempting to support you.  Both parts need to be heard and considered.  Before making your final decision, you may experience intense inner conflict between these parts of your mind.

You may feel like a war or boxing match is going on inside of you.  I once experienced this inner turmoil before I resigned from a secure job to begin full-time self-employment.  I had a steady salary, excellent benefits, and was less than three years from receiving a retirement pension.

Some of my friends and family cautioned me against leaving my job to follow my dreams.  I decided that leaving was best for me.

The Choice Is Yours to Make

I am sharing my experience to let you know that I have experienced this dilemma, not to influence you to do it the way I did.  The ideal is to start a part-time business and build it before leaving your job, or to go from a job to a job.  However, what is right for one may be wrong for another.  Only you can decide when to leave your job and whether to do it slowly or quickly.  It depends upon your personal makeup, circumstances, and finances.

Questions to Consider

How can you decide whether to pursue your passion?  Here are some questions that can help.

1.

What will be the costs for you and your loved ones if you don’t pursue your dreams?  What are the costs of leaving your current job or business?

2.

What are the benefits of pursuing your passion?  What benefits will you lose if you quit your present employment?

3.

What if you fail?  When you come to the end of your life, would you rather have tried and failed than to have never tried?

4.

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

5.

How will you feel about yourself if you pursue this inner calling?  What will your feelings of self-worth be if you don’t try?

Steps to Overcome Fear

Also consider the following:

1.

Begin moving toward your goal, no matter how slowly.  Start it as a hobby, or as volunteer work, or part-time employment.  Take the first step even if it’s a small one.  Emerson told us, “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.”  Action is powerful!  According to Goethe, “Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it.  Action has magic, grace, and power in it.”

2.

Read the biographies of others who took risks, overcame failures, and succeeded.

3.

Place inspiring quotations and pictures in your home and office.

4.

Listen to CDS that lift your spirit and motivate you.

5.

Reflect deeply on how you want to live the rest of your life.

You were born for a purpose that you are worthy of fulfilling.  The world needs your talents and contribution.

I leave you with a powerful quote by Helen Keller that had a positive impact on me when I was battling the fear of following my passion.  I hope it will inspire you to pursue your dreams.

“The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome.  The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.”

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching personal and career development. Career counselor, job placement specialist, trainer, and former owner of an executive search business, he teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want. Two of his e-books, How to Create the Job You Want and Effective Job Search Strategies are available for free at http://www.raymondgerson.com along with numerous articles on success and study skill strategies.

 

Back To Top

Ten Steps for Early Career Success

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

You will soon graduate and begin your professional career.  Naturally, you want to experience career success and fulfillment.  What follows are ten steps which will help you get your career off to a great start.  These strategies and principles will also help you to be successful throughout your career and to make a significant contribution.

1.

Know your talents and skills.

You will be most effective in a career which uses your best and most enjoyable abilities.  How can you discover your talents and skills?  Look for them in your favorite achievements, no matter how small the accomplishments.

You can also find clues to your talents by analyzing things you love to do, love to learn, and even love to talk about.  Consider favorite aspects of past jobs, internships, and volunteer work.  If you enjoyed an aspect of a job, it is likely that you were using your favorite talents and skills. 

Look at activities you love so much that time quickly slips away.  Some of your talents were probably involved in those activities.  Is there anything you’ve done in school, leisure, or work that seemed almost effortless?  You will probably discover that some of your best talents played a part in those activities.

Your talents, combined with a genuine regard for yourself and others, is a potentially powerful resource for making a great contribution.

 

 

2.

Seek a job you feel passionate about.

How can you make a great contribution if you feel lukewarm or indifferent about your job or work purpose?  It would be very difficult if not impossible to do so.

Where can you discover your passion?  Ask yourself the following questions.  What problems do you see in the world that you want to solve, resolve, or positively impact?  What societal needs do you want to fill?  What dreams or hopes of others would you like to make come true?

Choose a mission or work purpose that moves you.  When you use your best talents for a purpose that fulfills you, how can you fail?  You will be able to make a significant and positive difference.

 

 

3.

Determine the types of jobs and companies that address the problems and needs you’ve identified.

Use public, school, and career libraries to research and identify employers and opportunities.

Conduct information interviews with people—including hiring managers—in fields of work that interest you.  Join professional associations that allow you to meet and network with people in your career field.  Contact employers for their brochures and company information.

 

 

4.

Find a mentor who will provide guidance and motivation.

Seek mentors in your field of work and outside of your profession.  Yes, you can have several different mentors.  Choose mentors who are inspiring examples of the kind of person you aspire to be.  Simply ask them to be your mentors.  Most will flattered and eager to help you.

Where to find mentors?  Look at your place of business, professional associations, church, and among family and friends.  Ask others for recommendations.  Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, spoke of the advantages of forming a “mastermind alliance.”  This is a group of people with varied skills who can help you achieve your goals.  You can form a brain trust of people who support you and your dreams.

 

 

5.

Study, read, and learn everything you can about your job and career field.

Take advantage of company training programs and local continuing education classes.  If you read one book a week in your field of work, that will be over fifty books in a year.  This will set you apart from your competition and you will be on your way to becoming an expert in your field.  You can also listen to books on tape when you’re too busy to read.

 

 

6.

Commit yourself to do doing a great job.

Be willing to go the extra mile.  Work hard and show your employer that you are dedicated to your job.  Be a dependable employee who can be counted on.

Become known as a person of high character and integrity.  A good reputation takes time to build, but can be destroyed overnight.  Establish an excellent reputation both as person and professional.  It will follow you wherever you go and will bring much success and happiness.

 

 

7.

Take excellent care of your physical and mental health.

Maintain your vitality by eating healthy foods, exercising, and getting proper rest.  Balance your life with healthy and enjoyable recreational activities, time with family and friends, and a spiritual life that provides inner strength.

 

 

8.

Avoid drugs and go easy on alcohol.

You need a clear mind with an ability to focus your attention on the task at hand, to be successful.  No one can achieve greatness in sports, business, or any endeavor without the ability to concentrate.  Drugs and alcohol scatter and weaken the mind.  A clear mind produces clarity of thought which results in positive actions.  Positive actions will bring you success.

There are many visualization, meditation, and biofeedback techniques that can increase your power of concentration.

 

 

9.

Stay positive, motivated, and inspired.

You may encounter prejudice from certain people and many other obstacles in the workplace.  Avoid negative people and events which drag you down, as much as you can.  It is important to learn to get along with others who have different values and who see life differently than you do.  There is great diversity in today’s workplace which demands adaptability and the ability to work as a team member.

Read inspiring biographies of others who overcame obstacles to success.  Listen to tapes that motivate and uplift you.

 

 

10.

Build a portfolio of your accomplishments.

Before leaving any job or position, request a letter of recommendation from your supervisors.  Keep all of your letters and performance evaluations.  These letters and evaluations should become part of a portfolio that you are building.  Include articles by and about you and any example of performance excellence.  Take your portfolio to job interviews and present it when you are being considered for promotions.

You are moving closer to your graduation date.  You and your family made sacrifices and worked hard to get you to this level of achievement.  You will soon start your professional career.  A new beginning awaits you.  If you apply the ten steps in this article, you will increase the odds of having a fulfilling career and life.

Best wishes for making your dreams come true.

Raymond Gerson is a career coach with over 40 years of experience.  He has a Masters degree in psychology and has worked as a career counselor, job placement specialist, vocational rehabilitation counselor, college instructor of career development courses, developer and trainer of career seminars, and owner of an executive search and recruiting business.

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching personal and career development. Career counselor, job placement specialist, trainer, and former owner of an executive search business, he teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want. Two of his e-books, How to Create the Job You Want and Effective Job Search Strategies are available for free at http://www.raymondgerson.com along with numerous articles on success and study skill strategies.

 

Back To Top

Elements of a Long Distance Job Search

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

Seven initial steps toward a long-distance job search:

 

 

1.

Select the geographical area and the destination city in which you want to live.

2.

Know the type of work you are seeking so that you can conduct a focused search.

3.

Identify the activities that can be accomplished only by visiting the destination area.

4.

Identify activities that can be conducted from your present location.

5.

Do as much research and preparation as possible in your present location (the ideal would be to begin preparing six months before moving).

6.

Use as many available methods of contacting potential employers as you can: letter, telephone, fax, e-mail, and in person.

7.

Accumulate a list of at least fifty potential employers to contact.  (See the following list of methods for doing this task.)

Twenty ways to identify potential employers and opportunities:

 

 

1.

Contact the Chamber of Commerce in the destination city for a list of employers.

2.

Conduct informational interviews with employees in your present location who work for companies which are located in your destination city.  Ask the local employees for referrals for informational interviews.

3.

Obtain a copy of the yellow pages in the city you are targeting.

4.

Call employers in the destination city and request brochures, annual reports, and other printed materials containing company information.

5.

Contact your high school and/or college alumni association(s) for a list of people who live in the destination area.

6.

Subscribe to the newspaper in your destination city. Read the business section and the want ads for opportunities.

7.

Subscribe to regional magazines which provide information on topics and people of interest in the destination area.

8.

Attend seminars or conventions in the destination area (or other areas) with professionals in your career field of interest.

9.

Read trade journals in your career field.

10.

Polks city directories at the library provide the same information as a telephone book; they can be used when you do not have access to the yellow pages in the destination city.

11.

Join professional organizations in your field of interest.  (See the Encyclopedia of Associations in the library for a list of various professional associations.)

12.

If you belong to a church or synagogue, see if any members have contacts with churches or synagogues in your destination city.  Your minister or rabbi may be a good referral source also.

13.

Use family, friends, and other members of your network to identify people for informational interviews in the destination city.

14.

Contact state employment agencies in the destination city.

15.

Contact temporary and permanent private employment agencies in the destination city or local firms with offices in your destination area.

16.

Some cities have a Governor’s Job Bank (or other job bank) with job listings of state government and universities.

17.

Contact county and state government offices in the destination area.

18.

Use libraries and library career centers for information.  Ask the research librarian for assistance.

19.

Athlete clubs, YMCA, YWCA, and community organizations may be a source of contacts.

20.

University professors and past supervisors may be another referral source.

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching personal and career development. Career counselor, job placement specialist, trainer, and former owner of an executive search business, he teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want. Two of his e-books, How to Create the Job You Want and Effective Job Search Strategies are available for free at http://www.raymondgerson.com along with numerous articles on success and study skill strategies.

 

Back To Top

Teaching Philosophy

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

I believe that the purpose of education is to bring out each student’s potential and to teach them the knowledge and skills needed for a successful career and life.

A few components of my teaching philosophy are as follows:

1.

Be an example and model the attitudes, work habits and behaviors which are being taught. For example, in my Effective Learning Strategies and Transition to College Success courses I come prepared, on time, and return tests and papers the next class. Then I ask my students to come prepared, to be on time and to hand in papers on time.

2.

Set high and realistic expectations and treat students with respect, worth, and dignity. I communicate to my students verbally and non-verbally that I see them as capable students and expect quality work completed in a timely manner. They also understand that I care and will be available to support them so they can excel in my courses if they are willing to work.

3.

Students need to be active learners with time to discuss and reflect upon knowledge and ideas. A combination of motivating lectures, self-assessments, small group exercises, and class discussions are important to maximize student learning. Self-knowledge is as important as learning subject matter. Students learn well through asking and being asked questions, putting ideas in their own words, and teaching others what they are learning.

4.

A teacher’s power to make a positive contribution comes from within. As the teacher grows through personal and professional development, so does his/her influence. The type of human being the teacher is becoming will determine how he/she perceives his/her students. If the teacher sees them as potentially excellent people and students, then this vision will be transferred to the canvass of their minds and they will begin to see themselves the same way. The students will usually rise to the level of the teacher’s expectations.

5.

Students need to learn to set goals, think creatively and critically, improve verbal and written communication, and develop people skills to maximize success in their careers and life.

Teachers should help students to see how the course is relevant and applicable to their student’s goals and life. This stimulates self-motivation in students. For example, I find out what the hopes and dreams of my students are so that I can show them how ideas in the course can help them to achieve their goals.

I also created a web site with free articles, books, and other information to encourage students to strive for their dreams.

In conclusion, I believe that an education should bring out the best in students, develop their potential, natural gifts and character, and help them to become positive contributors to society.

 

Copyright 2008. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a Masters Degree in Psychology and over 40 years experience teaching and coaching career and personal development. He also teaches college success strategy courses as a part-time adjunct professor. He has written five books including, Create the Life You Want. Two of his career how-to e-books and a motivational audio are available as free gifts at: http://www.successforcollegestudents.com.

 

Back To Top

Solution to the Educational Crisis

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

More than 1.2 million students will not graduate from high school this year (2007) according to a recent report by Editorial Projects in Education. Editorial Projects in Education is a creditable non-profit organization that conducts extensive research to help raise the level of awareness about important issues in American education.

We have an educational crisis in the United States. Why aren’t millions of parents outraged and taking a stand? Why aren’t our leaders, including the President and Congress, making this issue a major priority?

This report by Editorial Projects in Education also provides startling statistics. Many major cities have schools in which less than half of the students graduate. One major city had schools in which almost 75% of the students failed to graduate. This is deplorable and tragic.

Many of our schools are failing to adequately educate our kids at a time when a good education has never been more important. What will the job prospects and quality of life be for students who do not even complete high school? How will employers in the U.S. remain competitive in the global marketplace if this trend continues? These are questions that need to be addressed.

Problems provide opportunities for solutions

In every crisis there are opportunities to make a positive difference. Every problem has a solution. What is a possible solution to the educational crisis? There are many schools and teachers doing a great job educating our students. We need to examine the schools, courses, and teachers that are producing successful results and create models of what is working.

For example, eighty percent of the economically disadvantaged students who graduate from KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) charter schools go to college. These kids from the poorest neighborhoods, who on the average are two grades behind when they start at KIPP, are outscoring students from excellent public schools on national standardized tests.

Many community colleges offer courses in study skills and effective learning strategies. These courses teach students how to learn, identify their best learning styles and skills, set goals and manage their time. These courses are often available to high school students as part of early college start programs.

I came out of retirement a year ago to teach success and study skill strategy courses part-time for a community college. One of the courses I teach is for at-risk students who enter college with two or more deficiencies. Students who take this course graduate at significantly higher rates than those who are not enrolled.

Why are the Kipp schools and many college success strategy courses working? The answer is motivated students who work hard, dedicated teachers and courses which help students identify skills, talents, goals and how they learn best. Students are motivated to learn when they are focused on realistic goals and see the relevance of their education to these goals.

An education should bring out the best in our students, develop their potential and natural gifts and help them to become positive contributors to society. We need to create educational systems which model schools, courses and teachers which have proven track records of helping students to succeed. This is one solution to the education crisis and a way to provide our young people with the education they deserve.

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a Masters Degree in Psychology and over 40 years experience teaching and coaching career and personal development. He also teaches college success strategy courses as a part-time adjunct professor. He has written five books including, Create the Life You Want. Two of his career how-to e-books and a motivational audio are available as free gifts at: http://www.successforcollegestudents.com.

Back To Top

Tips for Maintaining Excellent Health

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

Without good health it will be difficult to make your dreams come true.  Vitality and energy are by products of good health and are needed to achieve career success, excellent relationships, and many other goals.

There are no guarantees, but here are some ideas for increasing your odds of having a long and healthy life.

1.

Drink plenty of water. 

Much of our body and brain are made up of water.  You need water to stay hydrated, to flush out toxins, to assimilate nutrients from food, and for your brain to function properly.  Drinking plenty of water also keeps your skin from becoming dry and prematurely wrinkled from dehydration.

How much water do you need a day?  Rule of thumb is to drink one half of your weight in ounces each day.  For example, if you weighed 130 pounds, you would need 65 ounces or approximately two quarts of water a day.  If you do strenuous exercise or work, you will need even more water.

Coffee, tea, and soda are not substitutes for water.  They actually are dehydrating and if you drink them you will need more water.  Even fruit juice is not a substitute for water because it comes from a food source and is not a true solvent.

Drinking tap water is better than not getting enough but it is best to drink water which has been purified naturally or through reverse osmosis or distillation.  Only some of the bottled water meets these criteria.

I have a habit of carrying a bottle of water wherever I go and I drink at least one half of my weight in ounces every day.

2.

You need a little sunshine.

It is true that you can get too much sun but we need some sunshine.  Ten to twenty minutes of daily early morning or late evening sun is beneficial.

         

Sunshine gives you vitamin D which you need so your bones can absorb calcium.   Without enough vitamin D our bones can become brittle and break. It is unnatural to spend all of our time indoors.  We need fresh air and a little sunshine to maintain excellent health.

         

Several years ago I worked in a high rise and I was getting very little sunshine. I had a blood test and learned that I was low in Vitamin D and I was starting to experience some bone loss. Since that time I have been taking a vitamin D supplement and I try to get a minimum of 10-15 minutes of early morning or late evening sunshine several days a week. I have checked my level of vitamin D periodically and it has been normal.

3.

Exercise is important.

Our bodies need movement and physical activity. Proper exercise slows down our physical deterioration.

We need three types of exercise:  Flexibility, aerobic, and strength training.

A.

Flexibility exercise.

As we age our bodies become stiffer.  Yoga, swimming, tai chi, or just doing stretching helps us to maintain flexibility.

a.

Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise.

Walking, biking, jogging, dancing, and sports which help you to stay in your working heart rate for 20-30 minutes are beneficial to your heart. Charts are available to determine the working heart rate for your age bracket.

b.

Strength training exercise.

This exercise keeps your muscles firm and strong.  It also keeps your bones strong when combined with proper nutrition.  This type of exercise includes weight lifting (it can be light weights), calisthenics, and machines which provide resistance.

Unless we are an athlete or compete in sports we do not need to spend a large amount of exercising.  Like anything else it can be overdone and then the returns diminish. Moderation has its benefit.

My personal exercise program does not require a lot of time.  I spend twenty minutes a day taking a fast walk for aerobic benefit plus five minutes jumping on a small trampoline (rebounder).  I do five minutes of yoga a day plus five to ten minutes on an inverter table for stretching & flexibility.  I exercise for ten to fifteen minutes twice a week with light weights for strength training.

If your diet is good, a mild to moderate exercise program is sufficient to stay fit.

 

 

5.

Eat well.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are among the most important foods you can eat.  The greater the variety of colors, the better because they contain different types of antioxidants.  Antioxidants strengthen your immune system and slow the aging process.  Fresh produce is best, frozen is second best, and the least nutritious are canned fruits and vegetables.

It is beneficial to eat some raw foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.  They contain enzymes which are frequently destroyed when the food is cooked. Enzymes help with digestion and increase our energy. Eating a salad with one or two meals a day is a great habit.

When you eat raw food, know your sources to avoid bacteria contamination.  Whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts are beneficial.  Raw nuts, seeds, fruit, and vegetables contain energy in addition to vitamins and minerals.

Fast foods, food high in sodium, saturated fat, transfatty acids and sugar are best avoided or reduced.

Following some of these simple and common sense health tips can increase your chances of living a healthy and enjoyable life.

I have been a lacto-vegetarian (includes diary but no eggs, fish, chicken, or meat) since I was in my thirties (over 30 years). For the past two years I have been vegan (includes seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes but no meat or diary).

 

 

6.

Detox.

The world today is full of chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides. The air that we are breathing is full of chemicals. Toxins also get into our food and water and are in many products that we use on our bodies.

It is not enough to put good food and water into our bodies. It is also important to take out these toxins which are getting into our organs. We need to detoxify our bodies. If this sounds hard to believe, read the October 2006 issue of National Geographic magazine which provides evidence about the large amounts of toxins getting into our bodies.

One of the best products that I have found for removing toxins from my own body is Natural Cellular Defense ( NCD) which is a Zeolite. This is a mineral formed by a chemical reaction when volcanic lava mixes with sea salt. It is negatively charged and has the capacity to trap positively charged toxins and to pull them out of our bodies. NCD is sold by Waiora, a network marketing company. I have rarely been involved with marketing products through multi-level marketing companies but I sell NCD because I believe it is an easy-to-use and cost effective way to detoxify. If you would like to read more about NCD, you can go to my Waiora web site, www.mywaiora.com/588610.

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching personal and career development. Career counselor, job placement specialist, trainer, and former owner of an executive search business, he teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want. Two of his e-books, How to Create the Job You Want and Effective Job Search Strategies are available for free at http://www.raymondgerson.com along with numerous articles on success and study skill strategies.

 

Back To Top

Singles:
What is the Greatest Obstacle to Finding Your True Love?

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

Have you tried everything you can think of to find your ideal partner and yet nothing worked? Perhaps you’ve tried dating services, dance classes, joining organizations, relationship seminars, looking in the work place and having friends introduce you to others. Ever wonder why these efforts often fail to bring the right partner into your life? Have you ever asked yourself why some people find true love and not you?

I know how you feel. I tried everything too and searched for over 40 years without success. This may seem surprising to you because I have a Master’s Degree in Psychology, studied relationships, used law of attraction strategies and have been a teacher and coach in the field of personal development for over 40 years. And yet my goal to find the right partner eluded me until I was 63 years old in spite of my skills, knowledge, and best efforts. It was only when I discovered some little known strategies and removed the number one obstacle to finding a soul mate that the love of my life showed up.

Thousands Who Want an Ideal Partner Have this Obstacle- but Never Discover it.

What is the primary obstacle that prevents so many people from finding and keeping a significant love relationship? The answer is a self-image which contains one or more limiting beliefs. In most cases these are subconscious beliefs which are difficult to detect. These beliefs create inner resistance to the very dream or dreams that you are longing to fulfill. Even if ninety nine percent of you is saying “yes” to your dream of finding true love and one percent at a subconscious level is saying “no,” this can be enough to keep you from attracting your significant other.

Even if you use law of attraction strategies, such as imagining your loved one is already in your life and feeling grateful, this will not be enough if you have unconscious resistance.

Where do Limiting Beliefs Come From?

Many of our limiting beliefs were formed in childhood because we arrived at false conclusions about ourselves. For example, some children might decide that “I am not worthy of being loved” or “I am not good enough” because they did not measure up to their parent’s expectations and standards. These beliefs are often forgotten but operate at a subconscious level. If your limiting beliefs are conscious, you can easily examine them and see if they are true or false. The difficulty arises when these are subconscious beliefs because they are not easy to detect and they have a powerful influence on our lives.

Examples of Some Limiting Beliefs

There are many different limiting beliefs which can create an unhealthy self-image. Here are a few examples:

I don’t matter

I am a failure

I am not enough or good enough

I am not worthy of love

People don’t like me

People will hurt you

You can’t trust the opposite sex

I don’t need love or others

I am undeserving of good things

There are many other limiting beliefs which can operate at a subconscious level. Any one of them can develop a self-image that is capable of keeping many dreams from coming true. This is why I have been teaching others how to overcome these self-imposed, but often subconscious beliefs. They define and set the limits on our degree of success and fulfillment in life.

I don’t know if you have subconscious beliefs which are keeping you from finding your true love. This was true in my case. Deep down inside you probably know the answer because solutions to our dilemmas are within us.

The purpose of this article was not to discuss the variety of strategies for uncovering subconscious limiting beliefs. My purpose was to identify the primary barrier to finding a great love relationship based on my personal and professional experience and to put this before you for your consideration. Now you can look within yourself and decide whether inner resistance could be preventing you from attracting your true love.

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has over 40 years experience teaching and coaching career and personal development. He teaches college success strategy courses and is the author of Create the Life You Want. He teaches a teleclass called, “Attract the Love of Your Life.” For more information go to: http://www.attractyourtruelove.com

Back To Top

The Secret of Getting Law of Attraction Strategies to Work

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

Many years ago, Earl Nightingale made a recording called, “The Strangest Secret in the World.” He spoke about an age old secret that is rediscovered every generation by a fortunate few. This secret, which has been mentioned by sages for ages, is that “We become what we think about.” Another way of putting it is that we attract into our lives what we focus on most of the time. This is the law of attraction which means that like attracts like.

Recently a movie called “The Secret” and several current books discuss the Law of Attraction. Quantum Physics has also revealed that anything we bring into focus and observe is changed. Our perceptions influence matter. Our thoughts and life dreams can be transformed into reality.

If you focus your attention on what you lack, you are more likely to get more of what you lack and don’t want. If you visualize your desired outcome, expect it to occur, and imagine that your goal already has happened, then this dream is likely to come true. The thought of your goal becomes even stronger and more likely to occur when you associate positive emotions such as gratitude and joy with your desired outcome.


Why Law of Attraction methods sometimes fail to work.

The question I am often asked as a life coach who teaches Law of Attraction strategies is, “Why do they work sometimes and not at other times?” For example, one person imagines attracting the ideal partner and it happens, but when this same person imagines a great career it doesn’t happen. Why is it that someone can visualize a desired outcome and feel positive emotions about it for over a year and still not manifest their goal? This is the primary question I want to address in this article.

Why do law of attraction strategies sometimes fail to work? What is the main obstacle in the way? The answer is, “Your own inner resistance.” I am referring to your resistance to achieve the goal you desire to fulfill. This resistance may be conscious or unconscious.

There is a part of your mind which does not feel that the achievement of this goal is in your best interest. This part of your mind can sabotage your success. This creates an approach-avoidance conflict. All parts of you are not in alignment and unified toward fulfilling the goal. So it is like you are driving to a destination with one foot on the accelerator and the other foot on the brake. How can you get to your goal if you are pulling in different directions? This is the problem.

Without resistance you can easily achieve your objective.

Your Law of Attraction strategies will work easily for manifesting your desires when there is no inner resistance. This explains why you might easily and quickly attract the career of your dreams and fail to attract the love of your life.

The part of you that is resisting can be about many things. For example, deep down inside you may not feel that you deserve love, happiness, or success. As a young child you may have concluded that you were “not good enough” to receive some of life’s blessings for example. This false conclusion made as a child may be long-forgotten, but it can be running your life at an unconscious level. You are longing for a particular dream to be realized and yet one part of you is saying “no.”

What is the solution to this agonizing dilemma?

Let me illustrate the answer with a personal example from my own life. Many of my life dreams easily came true and some were realized through much effort. However, one of my biggest dreams, the desire to find an ideal partner and soul mate, consistently eluded me. I searched for over forty years without success. In 2003 I began to use some Law of Attraction strategies because my outer search was obviously not working. I started imagining that my true love was already in my life and I often experienced feelings of gratitude, appreciation, and joy. After nine months of this practice I realized that my dream was not coming true because I must have some inner resistance. I believe that the two steps that I was practicing would have worked without an extra intervention, if there had not been resistance on my part.

About this time in my life, I read a free and downloadable article at www.Pathwork.org which confirmed my insight. I also worked for awhile with one of their coaches. The article was about the “yes and no current.” The “yes current” is the part (or parts) of you which is ready to receive your desired outcome. The “no current” is the part that is resistant to receiving this blessing. I discovered that I did have a “no current” which was keeping me from finding the right partner. By discovering my “no current” I weakened it; it began to let go. Every part of me was then saying “yes” with no inner resistance. Bonnie, my sweetheart and soul mate, appeared in my life soon after. Actually I had known Bonnie as an acquaintance for over 25 years and never realized she was the one who I was trying to find.

Discovering what my no current was about.

My “no current” had to do with my mother, who never experienced a great marriage and didn’t find happiness in romantic relationships. I falsely concluded (as a child) that it would hurt my mother if I ever found, “true love,” with her still unfulfilled. This long-forgotten false conclusion from childhood was still operating in me as an adult on an unconscious level. It became a “no current,” preventing me from realizing my dream of finding a great relationship.

When I discovered what my “no current” was about, I could see how ridiculous it was and it lost its power over me. I knew with my conscious adult mind that my mother would love for me to have a wonderful relationship with a significant other.

Finally then, I was able to give my self permission to love and be loved by a compatible partner. Every part of me was now saying “yes” to a relationship. This occurred one month before my relationship with Bonnie began.

Overcome inner resistance.

If Law of Attraction strategies are not working for you, identify the inner resistance and bring it into the light of consciousness. This will dissipate its power. You can win over and befriend the resistant part of yourself so there is nothing holding you back from fulfilling your dream. There are many ways to find out what your inner resistance is about and to overcome it. These strategies for how to conquer inner resistance can be the subject of a future article. I discovered an unusual way to bring my unconscious resistance into my conscious awareness and this removed the last obstacle between me and my dream of attracting an ideal partner.

You may be thinking, “Okay, maybe I have inner resistance to realizing my goal because just imagining I have attained it has not made my dream come true.” The question you have to answer is, “How do I identify and win over this resistant part of myself?”

Which of your dreams and longings have remained unfulfilled? Imagine that your goal has already happened, associate positive emotions with it, and then overcome any inner resistance to your dream becoming reality. This is the secret for getting Law of Attraction strategies to work for you.

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a Masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching career and personal development. Career and life coach, job placement specialist, and former executive recruiter, he also teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want, which expands on how to use the law of attraction and overcome resistance to fulfilling your dreams. For more information on his books and articles go to http://www.raymondgerson.com Raymond used law of attraction principles to attract Bonnie, his soul mate. They are married and live in Austin,Texas.

Back To Top

Leadership Crisis in America

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

VA hospitals neglecting our veterans, a poorly rated public education system, unaffordable health care, and corporate corruption running amok have all been in the news. What’s going on here? What do all of these have in common?

“Inadequate leadership” is the answer.

Steven Covey, in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, mentioned the discovery of an interesting phenomenon when he reviewed success literature written during the last 200 years. The success literature of the past 50 years emphasized the importance of personality and skill development. The literature of over 50 years ago by writers such as Emerson, Thoreau, and others, emphasized character and inner development.

What happens if we do not build a strong foundation through inner development? We have witnessed charismatic politicians, ministers, athletes, and others with tremendous communication and interpersonal skills who ended up in disgrace and/or prison. What was missing? The foundation. It was either missing or unstable. Character is the foundation upon which we must build skills, techniques, and strategies for effectiveness which can withstand the test of time and temptation. Without strong character the likelihood is that our skills will be misused and improperly channeled, which may be damaging to us and others.

         

Competent leaders with character and integrity who lead by example are needed. We need principled leaders who genuinely care about the welfare of others.Where is the great leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Mahatma Gandhi? We need leaders of this caliber.

The good news is that we can develop successful leaders. We can achieve this by examining great leaders and systems that are producing results. Then we can create and use models of what is working. This is an effective way to address the problem.

        

Schools are one place where we can start developing future leaders. Our schools need to teach character education and create a climate where kids strive for excellence and learn to care about others.

       

Are there examples of such schools? Fortunately there are many. For example, kids from the poorest neighborhoods who go to KIPP charter schools, who are on the average two grades behind when they start, are outscoring students from excellent schools on standardized tests. The students develop character traits and work in a spirit of cooperation to help each other succeed. The teachers are excellent leaders whose dedication inspires students to bring out their best.

         

True leaders are torch bearers who nurture the seeds of greatness in their followers. Helping others to unfold their potential is education and leadership at its best. Developing more of these types of leaders is a solution to the leadership crisis.   

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching personal and career development. Career counselor, job placement specialist, trainer, and former owner of an executive search business, he teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want. Two of his e-books, How to Create the Job You Want and Effective Job Search Strategies are available for free at http://www.raymondgerson.com along with numerous articles on success and study skill strategies.

Back To Top

How to Give a Dynamic Presentation

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

INTRODUCTION

Would you like to experience the benefits of being a good speaker?  Speaking before groups offers a tremendous opportunity for personal and professional development.  Never before have excellent communication skills been more important than they are today.

Many persons have advanced their careers through their ability to make excellent presentations.  Communicating effectively before groups is expected of people in leadership positions.

Mastering the art of speaking to groups will increase your confidence in communicating with others on a one-to-one basis.  Your confidence in speaking before groups will grow with practice.  Also, you will conquer one of humankind’s greatest fears.

This article contains seventeen elements for making a successful presentation.  Use these ideas, and you will speak with greater self confidence and ease before a group of any size.

1.

BUILD RAPPORT AND TRUST.

Talk with—not at –-your audience.  Establish some common ground.  Communicate with sincerity and warmth, and make eye contact.

In speaking to a large group of secretaries, I established rapport quickly by telling them about my mother’s success as a secretary and how much I admired her.  I gave them examples of why competent secretaries are the backbone of my successful organization.

 

 

2.

DEVELOP AN EFFECTIVE OPENING.

Grab your audience’s attention from the start.  Use a dramatic or startling statement, a human interest or personal story, a question, an anecdote or illustration, a relevant quote—or a humorous opening, if appropriate.

I recently heard a speaker open with, “I wrote that great introduction you just heard.  It gives me something to shoot for when I speak.”

 

 

3.

DEVELOP AN EFFECTIVE ENDING

Close with a bang.  Use a relevant quote, a poem, or an appeal for action.  Give your audience a sincere compliment, a powerful story, or a summary of your main points.  Make sure your closing—whatever it is—is relevant to your topic.  Also, your entire speech and the ending should be tailored to your audience.

 

 

4.

REDUCE NERVOUSNESS.

According to the book of lists, public speaking is the number one fear, greater even than the fear of death.

Before presenting:  Thoroughly prepare and rehearse before your speaking engagement.  When you are about to begin, take several deep breaths.  Visualize yourself giving a relaxed presentation.

During the presentation:  Focus on your message and your audience, not on yourself.  Give yourself opportunities for physical movement.  Don’t try to be perfect.  Make nervousness work for you.  Channel your nervousness into enthusiasm; let your adrenalin take over.  Butterflies in your stomach?  Let them soar, taking you with them.

 

 

5.

MAKE YOUR PRESENTATION COME ALIVE.

Talk to the audience in terms of their interests, problems, and concerns.  Communicate with vitality and conviction.  Talk to, and make eye contact with individual members of the audience.  Change the pace with vocal variety and humor, using pauses to emphasize points.  Use inspiring human interest stories, making only a few points and supporting them with examples, illustrations, anecdotes, and analogies.  Use natural gestures; physically move from time to time instead of remaining behind a podium.

 

 

6.

USE VOCAL VARIETY.

Variety speed, volume, and pitch.  To emphasize points, speed up or slow down, speak more softly or loudly, and allow your voice to rise and fall.  Speak conversationally to an audience, but with greater force and energy.  Appropriate vocal variety and gestures will naturally occur.

 

 

7.

VISUAL AIDS, HANDOUTS, OTHER AIDS:

Use visual aids only when needed to clarify a point or idea.  Don’t show a visual aid to the audience until you are ready to use it.  Use visual media as an aid, not as crutch or a substitute.  Visual aids should be large, clear, legible, and brief.  Avoid talking toward your visual aid or turning your back to the audience.  You might provide a brief outline of your objectives, the topics to be covered, and information about yourself.  Then supply handouts that reinforce your points.  Distribute most handouts at the end of your presentation so that participants maintain eye contact and keep their attention on you during the presentation.

 

 

8.

TRY USING HUMOR.

You don’t have to be funny.  But humor can be effective in changing the pace, relaxing the audience, building rapport, and supporting your points.  If you are uncomfortable using humor, avoid it—or practice it on your friends and family until you become more comfortable with it.

If you use humor, keep it brief, relevant to the topic, and appropriate for the occasion.  Do not tell off-color jokes or racial, ethnic, or religious jokes.  Don’t say, “I’m going to tell you a joke”—just do it.  Allow your audience to laugh before you continue speaking.  Have a comeback if your attempt at humor fails.

Never use humor at the expense of another.  However, poking fun at yourself can let your audience know you don’t feel superior or have an egotistical attitude.  I often tell my audience the following story:

     A woman and her little boy came up to me after what I thought was one of my most inspiring speeches.  The woman gushed, “That was a wonderful talk, and I am so full with your message!”

     Smiling with delight, I asked her little boy, “And how did you like it, son?”

     He replied, “Yeah, I got a bellyful of it, too!”

 

 

9.

INVOLVE YOUR AUDIENCE.

Use stories and examples that relate to audience concerns.  Keep your presentation lively, allowing time for questions.  Ask if there are questions, and hold the silence a few moments.  If no one responds, say, “If there are no questions, let me mention a question I am often asked”—and then answer it.  You might also ask questions and request a show of hands.

 

 

10.

APPEAL TO DIFFERENT LEARNING STYLES AND PERSONALITY TYPES.

People think and learn in different ways.  Some are more logical; some, more intuitive.  Broaden audience response by varying your techniques.

Use some human interest stories, appeal to logic, present general themes (“the big picture”) and appeal to the senses, providing concrete examples.

The success of an engineer often depends upon his or her objective analysis of a problem.  If you’re speaking to a group of engineers, appeal to their logical thought processes.  Present a problem and a logical solution for it, perhaps using a graph based on statistical data.  This is not to say that human interest stories or appeals to the emotions are lost on engineers.  But they are most likely to be persuaded by logic.

 

 

11.

MANAGE THE SEATING ARRANGEMENTS.

Being physically close to your audience increases your ability to build rapport.  If the audience is scattered, it is more difficult to lead them as one unit.  Bring them together, removing large numbers of empty seats.  They will be less self-conscious if they are sitting close together.  Arrange seats so the audience can easily see you.

 

 

12.

DEAL WITH DISRUPTIONS.

If you encounter disruptive persons, keep control of your emotions.  Do not show irritation.  Wait until they finish talking; then use active/reflective listening.  Lower your voice; don’t try to shout them down.  Sometimes humor can reduce the tension.  If they continue to be disruptive and it is appropriate, ask them to leave or to meet with you later to discuss their concerns.

 

 

13.

BE A LEADER.

Your audience expects you to create the atmosphere, set the tone, assume a leadership role, and be in control.  They want to be treated with respect.  Arrive early to make sure everything is properly set up and ready.  Be yourself, allowing your unique personality to shine.

Remember, you are there to make something happen, to move your audience in some way.  It is up to you to inspire them.

 

 

14.

KNOW YOUR GOAL.

Every speech has at least one of four goals:  to inform or explain, to persuade, to inspire action, or to entertain.  Know the goal of your presentation, and keep it in mind as you thoroughly prepare.

Lack of preparation reflects indifference and insults your audience.  Careful preparation is the only way to achieve the results you want.  Use simple and clear language that communicates your ideas in a manner suited to your goal.

 

 

15.

EXHIBIT VITALITY.

When Dr. Kenneth McFarlin, an outstanding professional speaker, was asked what is the most important quality of a speaker, he responded:  “vitality.”  Vitality includes enthusiasm, energy, forcefulness, and aliveness.  It comes from a depth of conviction—a deep belief in yourself and in what you are saying.

 

 

16.

INCREASE YOUR SELF-MOTIVATION AND SELF-CONFIDENCE.

Use positive affirmations and visualization exercises.  Speak about something you believe in.  Set goals and take small steps toward your goals.

 

 

17.

TAKE RISKS.

Be willing to stretch your comfort zone, to risk, to grow.  Risk doing the thing you fear, and be optimistic.  Remember, an optimist is someone who may have worn-out shoes, but concludes, “Well, I guess now I’m back on my feet!”

 

CONCLUSION

Mahatma Gandhi was timid and afraid of people when he was a youngster.  He was afraid of conversing even with his classmates, and the thought of speaking to a large audience was terrifying.  Yet Gandhi became a great leader, fearlessly speaking to thousands of people.  By word and example, he inspired a nation to win freedom from British rule.

What was responsible for Gandhi’s transformation?  He became impassioned with a grand purpose, a great message that he was motivated to share.  Like Gandhi, you and I can become dynamic speakers when we have a valuable message to communicate.

You will be amazed at the positive influence you will have on others by becoming a good speaker.  Public speaking will enrich both your life and the lives of others.

Take advantage of opportunities to speak to audiences no matter how small.  Remember the words of Demosthenes, one of the world’s greatest orators, who said, “Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.”

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching personal and career development. He is been a professional motivational speaker and is a former Toastmasters contest winner. Career counselor, job placement specialist, trainer, and former owner of an executive search business, he teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want. Two of his e-books, How to Create the Job You Want and Effective Job Search Strategies are available for free at http://www.raymondgerson.com along with numerous articles on success and study skill strategies.

Back To Top

Study Tips

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

Create study aids based on your learning style.

Teach the lessons to others to reinforce learning.

Read and then highlight instead of highlighting as you read.

Highlight only important points and information.

Form associations to prior knowledge.

Paraphrase what you learn.

Preview reading assignments before reading them.

Stop reading now and then check your understanding.

Make summary notes of outlines.

Set clear goals for each study period.

Study in short intervals followed by brief breaks.

Anticipate test questions and create practice quizzes.

Ask questions as you read.  Turn headings and sub-headings into questions.

Avoid multi-tasking and eliminate external distractions when studying.

Get a good night sleep before you study.

Read, recite, and review the material.

Use memory aids such as acronyms, jingles, and flash cards.

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching personal and career development. Career counselor, job placement specialist, trainer, and former owner of an executive search business, he teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want. Two of his e-books, How to Create the Job You Want and Effective Job Search Strategies are available for free at http://www.raymondgerson.com along with numerous articles on success and study skill strategies.

 

Back To Top

Strategies for Taking Multiple Choice Tests

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

The majority of tests in college are multiple choice exams.  Here are some strategies to help you when taking these tests.

 

Read the questions and think of the answer before looking at the choices.

Do the easy questions first.

Treat answers as true and false statements.

Absolute terms such as always, more, and all, are more often wrong than right.

Qualifiers such as most, often, and sometimes, are more often right than incorrect.

Eliminate obviously incorrect answers to narrow down your choices.

Answer every question.

Pay attention to negative words or for when the question asks you to find the exception.

All of the above is more often correct than incorrect.

None of the above is more often incorrect than correct.

Go over the questions and your answers.

If two choices mean the same thing they are more likely to be wrong.

Know how much time is allowed.

If two options are opposites one is probably correct.

Be wary of grammatical options that do not fit the question.

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching personal and career development. Career counselor, job placement specialist, trainer, and former owner of an executive search business, he teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want. Two of his e-books, How to Create the Job You Want and Effective Job Search Strategies are available for free at http://www.raymondgerson.com along with numerous articles on success and study skill strategies.

 

Back To Top

Note-Taking Tips

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

Abbreviate and use symbols.  For example, use = for equal and psy for psychology.

Leave a couple of lines between topics and fill in what you missed after class.

Review and edit notes shortly after class.

Check notes with a classmate’s notes.

Compare notes with the textbook.

Send or skim the chapters before class.

Select a note-taking system.  For example, the Cornell note-taking system uses a larger column for your notes, a narrower column to the left to add questions later, and space for a summary at the bottom.

Date and number your pages and identify the subject.

Ask questions externally or internally to stay interactive with the material.

Highlight Key words later.

Make study aids and test questions from your notes.

Take the necessary material to class and be well rested.

It is better to write on one side of the paper so you can place them side-by-side for easier reviewing.

Include examples and facts which illustrate key points.

Consider taping the lectures to double-check your notes for accuracy.

Re-write key points in your own words.

Keep notes for each class in a separate binder.

Be alert for verbal and non-verbal cues as to what the professor considers important.

Sit close so you can see and hear well.

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching personal and career development. Career counselor, job placement specialist, trainer, and former owner of an executive search business, he teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want. Two of his e-books, How to Create the Job You Want and Effective Job Search Strategies are available for free at http://www.raymondgerson.com along with numerous articles on success and study skill strategies.

 

Back To Top

Sensory Learning Styles

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

There are many different styles of learning.  The three primary sensory learning models are:  Visual (eyes), auditory (ears), and kinesthetic (touch or hands-on).

Many people learn fast by incorporating all three.  However, it is important to have a preferred and dominant style of learning.  If you are strong in one style of learning you can use it to excel and compensate for any styles of learning that are less developed.

The following are helpful for the three different types of learners:

 

 

1.

Visual

 

Incorporate the use of images, photos, colors, maps, charts, and graphs.

Use DVD’s, radios, and films.

Create mind maps and time line charts as study aids.

Highlight, circle and underline the text and your notes.

Read the text before lectures.

Create your own symbols and drawings to illustrate key points.

Create flashcards to learn terms and definitions.

Ask professors to use more visuals for presentations.

 

2.

Auditory

 

Read the text out loud.

Tape lectures and listen to audios.

Participate in study groups to reinforce lessons.

Sit where you can hear the lecture well.

Avoid studying with disturbing noises in background.

Talk problems through.

Teach yourself lessons in your own words out loud.

 

3.

Kinesthetic

 

Read the text and your notes while walking around.

Study in short intervals followed by brief exercise breaks.

Take courses with labs and field trips.

Study with others.

Get your hands on what you are learning.

Participate in role playing exercises.

Use flash cards while moving about.

Use a computer to rewrite your notes.

Read and highlight to create movement and hands on activity.

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching personal and career development. Career counselor, job placement specialist, trainer, and former owner of an executive search business, he teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want. Two of his e-books, How to Create the Job You Want and Effective Job Search Strategies are available for free at http://www.raymondgerson.com along with numerous articles on success and study skill strategies.

 

Back To Top

Letter to a Discouraged Student

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

Dear discouraged student,

You said that “the school system hung the label of at-risk student on me and made me feel like I am dumb and a failure.” What others say about you is not as important as how you feel about yourself. Don’t let others define you. Find your own limits and discover from experience what you are capable of accomplishing. Discover your own abilities.

There are many different types of intelligence. Everyone has their own special talents and types of intelligence. For example, some have a gift for music, teaching, counseling, writing, sports, comedy, etc. These require different types of intelligence. Also, our intelligence is not fixed at birth. We can continue to increase our intelligence throughout our lives in spite of obstacles.

Read the biographies of great men and women and you will see that many of them were once labeled by others as unintelligent or mediocre. Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade and he had teachers who thought that he was not smart. Helen Keller was born deaf and blind. She was unable to speak until she was taught to do so by Anne Sullivan. Most people had no faith in her ability to accomplish anything of significance. As an adult, Helen Keller gave inspirational talks to audiences all over the world. It is not the hand that we are dealt that determines whether we win the game but it is how we play the game that counts. Helen Keller was born with a difficult hand but came out a winner. Some people are born with a good hand and lose the game by wasting their lives.

There are many other examples of intelligent people who were considered “dumb” by others. Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison’s parents were told when their children were in elementary school that they were “dumb.” Abraham Lincoln was demoted from being an officer in the military to the rank of private because he was considered incompetent. Even though some people considered Churchill, Keller, Einstein, Edison, and Lincoln to be unintelligent, they proved to be intelligent and made significant contributions to others.

It is difficult to predict what others will accomplish in their lives. Who can predict what you are capable of achieving if you work hard in school and are determined to succeed? Success in school depends more on skill and will than it does on brilliance. Good study skills, combined with the motivation to succeed, can take you a long way in school and life. Will or motivation must come primarily from within you. Study skills can be developed and courses are usually offered at community colleges and universities. Many of these courses contain success strategies which can be used to achieve your goals not only in school, but in your life, and they are also available to high school students through college early start programs. I could have used courses such as these when I was in school to build self-confidence and to learn how to study.

In middle school and during my early years of high school I experienced self-doubts, insecurity, and a lack of self-confidence. Like you, I also felt discouraged. When I compared myself to others they seemed smarter, more popular, and superior in many ways. I had no goals and I did not understand how my classes were relevant to my life and future. Needless to say, my grades were poor to average. IQ tests indicated that I was of average intelligence and this is how I perceived myself.

My parents were concerned about my poor performance in school and they spoke to a high school counselor about me. He told them not to encourage me to go to college. He said that I was not capable of succeeding in college and that I would probably perform at a mediocre level at anything I did throughout my life. Fortunately, my parents did not tell me this story at that time which I probably would have used as an excuse to quit school. I did not find out what this counselor said about me until I graduated with a master’s degree and an A average.

I thought about quitting school many times when I was a teenager. I am so thankful that I continued my education in spite of obstacles and periods of discouragement.

Over time and through my life experience, I discovered that I had talents and I began to develop my strengths. I discovered that I was capable of making a positive contribution to others through inspirational writing, public speaking, coaching, counseling, and teaching. I love my work and it gives me fulfillment and a deep sense of purpose.

Don’t give up on yourself. You were born for a purpose. Search within yourself and discover your own special abilities and how you want to use them to make a positive difference.

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching personal and career development. Career counselor, job placement specialist, trainer, and former owner of an executive search business, he teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want. Two of his e-books, How to Create the Job You Want and Effective Job Search Strategies are available for free at http://www.raymondgerson.com along with numerous articles on success and study skill strategies.

 

Back To Top

How to Awaken the Greatness within You

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

The power to make a positive difference comes primarily from within. It has more to do with who we are than what we say. This is why Mahatma Gandhi said, “My life is my teaching” and “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Our example speaks louder than words, but our words are also a reflection of who we are as a person.

Gandhi is a great example of someone who transformed himself and the lives of many others when he shifted from self-consciousness to other-consciousness.  From childhood to early adulthood, Gandhi felt awkward and self-conscious. He was shy and had many fears. Only when he became captivated by a passionate mission- a sense of purpose larger than himself-was he able to transcend his fears.

Gandhi’s compassion for the Indian people and his desire to free India from British rule became a burning desire that transformed Gandhi into a man of great courage, love, and inner strength. His life’s purpose took him beyond his petty self-concerns and self-imposed limitations. He became a great leader who inspired a nation to fulfill his mission.

Success and happiness that eludes us when we seek them directly will frequently come when our focus is on contributing to others. We need to get out of our own way and allow the power within to be expressed.

How to Find a Great Purpose

Many of us want to make a positive contribution. We want to know that our having lived on this earth made a positive difference in the lives of others. Your positive actions can inspire others to glimpse their own potential and to become what they are capable of becoming. This brings joy, meaning, and fulfillment to your life.

You may be wondering, “Okay, fine, but how am I supposed to find a great purpose that transcends my fears and self-concerns”? First, take a look at the multitude of problems and needs in the world. Which ones do you feel passionate about? Are there problems in the world that make you angry or sad? What inspires you to act? What impact do you want to have on the world? How could you use your talents to contribute to humanity? Answering questions like these can help you to discover how you want to be of service.

Your Enormous Potential

Many Psychologists have said that most people use only a small percentage of their brain power and creativity. Enormous resources are within each of us, but they often remain dormant until we find a purpose that transcends our self. We move then from self-centeredness to focusing on our unique way of helping others.

           

Like Gandhi, we can also rise above our weaknesses and liberate our dormant potential when we decide how we want to be of service. This is the secret for awakening the greatness within you.

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has over 40 years experience coaching and teaching career and personal development. He also teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books including, Create the Life You Want. For more information go to:

http://www.successforcollegestudents.com or http://www.raymondgerson.com.

Back To Top

Attributes for an Effective Life

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

INTRODUCTION

In the process of acquiring an education, we learn about many important subjects such as math, science, and history.  I believe our educations should also present ideas that help us develop into the best human beings we can become.  To fulfill our potential, we need values and attributes that enrich our lives and the lives of others.  These qualities, the result of our inner development, will allow us to mature emotionally and spiritually.

This article contains my ideas regarding ten attributes for living an effective life.  These traits will help you be more effective in school, work, relationships, and other areas of your life.

Developing these ten attributes builds character, which serves as a springboard for dynamic action.  Character is the foundation from which we can live effective lives.

BALANCE

We can live a balanced and fulfilling life by focusing on spiritual development as a top priority, and by devoting time to the other areas: physical, mental, career, financial, family, and social/recreational.

We can provide balance in our lives by maintaining our health and vitality; developing a clear mind and a positive mental attitude; discovering our talents and making a contribution in a meaningful career; meeting our financial needs and obligations; taking care of our responsi-

bilities to family; taking time out for fun; and building meaningful friend-ships. 

Both time alone and time with others are needed for mental and spiritual well-being.

FAITH

Belief in ourselves and trust in a Higher Power can help us through difficult times.

An attitude of surrender, “Thy will be done,” is the highest form of prayer.

“Letting go and letting God” enables us to accept and appreciate life in all its variety.

Faith in a Higher Power gives us stability and peace.

FORGIVENESS

Forgiveness comes from a compassionate heart.

We can find the courage to forgive ourselves and others.

Revenge and violence are often the result of a lack of forgiveness.

A forgiving attitude gives us peace of mind.

HONESTY AND INTEGRITY

Being honest gives us self-respect and faith in ourselves.  According to Shakespeare, “No legacy is so rich as honesty.”

We can be honest without injuring the feelings of others.

Honesty is what we do when no one is watching as well as when others are present.

Integrity includes honesty and involves adhering to our values and principles.

Persons of integrity do not compromise their principles for money, comfort, or quick results.

Integrity requires courage and the strength of one’s convictions.

There is congruency of thought, word, and action in the person of integrity.  This person serves as an admirable example for others.

INTERPERSONAL SKILLS

Positive relationships revitalize us and increase our enjoyment of life.

Relating well with others reduces feelings of loneliness.

We grow and learn about ourselves through our relationships.

Perceiving the good qualities in others and showing appreciation are keys to better relationships.  According to William James, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

Listening to others is one way to let them know they are important to us.

As our ability to listen and communicate improves, so does our effectiveness in building successful relationships.

Although we may disagree with someone, we can choose words that show respect for that person’s point of view.

Learning to relate effectively with others is a skill that can be acquired.

LOVE

When love is awakened in us, other good qualities—such as joy, inner peace, and courage—develop automatically.

Love is courageous and forgiving.

Our soul is love.  God is love.  Love is our essential nature.

Love enables us to see that all of us are children of one God.

Now, while we have them in our lives, is the time to love and appreciate others.

Saints experience the highest form of love:  Divine love.  They demonstrate our potential to love.

MOTIVATION

To achieve anything in life, we must desire a goal and then take positive action to attain it.

Motivation begins with a strong desire from within oneself.  Abraham Lincoln once remarked, “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.”

To make a wholehearted effort toward our goals, we must be strongly motivated.

Visualizing our dreams will increase our motivation to achieve them.

Strong motivation, combined with the will to take action, removes barriers that block our potential.

PERSEVERANCE

Perseverance enhances our ability to accomplish goals.

Perseverance is powerful, like the sustained winds of a hurricane removing obstacles in its path.

Inner growth and personal transformation require perseverance.  John Ruskin put it this way:  “The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it but what they become by it.”

Our minds are our greatest hindrance.  Life’s hardest battles are fought within ourselves.  We need courage to win these battles within our mind.

RESPONSIBILITY

Responsibility implies that we respond to the needs of the situation at hand.

We need to determine the difference between unnecessary obligations and appropriate responsibilities.

Self-improvement is a responsible and unselfish action; it is a prerequisite to effectively helping others.  We cannot make a significant contribution to others if we avoid helping ourselves.

Being true to ourselves and to our commitments is a form of being responsible.

SELF-CONFIDENCE

Self-confidence means that one believes in oneself.

Self-confidence grows as we discover and utilize our strengths and talents to make a positive difference in the world.

Experiencing a series of small, incremental successes is an excellent way to overcome fear and build self-confidence.

Faith in a Higher Power can enable us to face life with greater courage and self-confidence.

As our self-confidence grows, we increase our ability to attain our dreams and enhance our joy of living.  Believing that we are worthwhile makes life worth living.  William James stated:  “These, then, are my last words to you:  Be not afraid of life.  Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”

CONCLUSION

Developing these ten attributes enables us to live effective and fulfilling lives.  I believe each of us has enormous potential.  Each of us is a unique child of God, who is an unlimited source of love, energy, joy, and creativity.  We possess vast inner resources from which we can make a contribution.  Drawing upon these resources, we can develop ourselves into the best human beings we are capable of becoming.  Our lives, therefore, become a blessing, not only for ourselves, but for all the people whose lives we touch.

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching personal and career development. Career counselor, job placement specialist, trainer, and former owner of an executive search business, he teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want. Two of his e-books, How to Create the Job You Want and Effective Job Search Strategies are available for free at http://www.raymondgerson.com along with numerous articles on success and study skill strategies.

 

 

Back To Top

Small habits can change your life

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

Your day-to-day habits have a cumulative effect over time. Positive habits bring positive results and negative habits yield negative consequences.

Small positive habits done on a consistent basis can yield large dividends over enough time. For example, walking a mile a day might seem like a small habit, but in one year you would have walked 365 miles and in ten years you would have walked 3, 650 miles. Imagine the benefits to your heart and respiratory system after ten years of walking just one mile a day.     On the other hand, let’s say you drink one can of soda a day. This gives you the equivalent of ten teaspoons of sugar a day. What effect will this have on your weight and long-term health compared to a healthy habit like walking? According to a research study conducted by the American Journal of Nutrition published in August 2006, an extra can of soda a day can pile on 15 pounds in a year.

Your habits may seem small, but they can have big effects. Habits tend to be difficult to break and can easily follow us through life. So doesn’t it make sense to replace negative habits with positive ones and to add new positive habits to your life? You can use small positive habits to maintain excellent health, to achieve your dreams, and to live a fulfilling life.

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching personal and career development. Career counselor, job placement specialist, trainer, and former owner of an executive search business, he teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want. Two of his e-books, How to Create the Job You Want and Effective Job Search Strategies are available for free at http://www.raymondgerson.com along with numerous articles on success and study skill strategies.

 

Back To Top

How to Teach your students to motivate themselves

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

How can you teach your students to motivate themselves?  How can you get them to pursue worthwhile goals?  What is the secret of self-motivation?

Advertisers know the secret.  They use the pain/pleasure principle to motivate potential customers to buy their products.

Advertisers link pain to the avoidance of their products and pleasure to their use.  For example, if you leave home without your American Express card what happens in the television commercial?  Suffering occurs.  When you leave home with the card, you experience wonderful benefits.  At least that’s what the commercial tells us.  Advertisers understand that our minds are attracted to pleasure and that we dislike pain.

So what is the lesson that you can teach your students?  Teach them how to link pain with not pursuing their dreams.  Teach them to associate pleasure with the pursuit of their goals.

What is a practical way to teach this pain/pleasure principle to your students?  First, ask them to identify a goal.  For the purpose of this example, let’s say it is a career objective.  It will be easier for your students to sustain a high level of motivation toward this goal when they identify pleasurable reasons for taking action and painful consequences that will result from inaction.

You can ask your students to do the following exercise:

1.

List five benefits of obtaining the job you want.

2.

List five costs of not obtaining the job you want.

You can teach your students to use this self-motivation strategy for any goals that they wish to pursue.  They can frequently review the benefits and costs for the inspiration to make their dreams come true.

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching personal and career development. Career counselor, job placement specialist, trainer, and former owner of an executive search business, he teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want. Two of his e-books, How to Create the Job You Want and Effective Job Search Strategies are available for free at http://www.raymondgerson.com along with numerous articles on success and study skill strategies.

 

Back To Top

Now is the Time

Printable PDF

 

By Raymond Gerson

 

We do not know how much time is left for us or for others.  It is important to express to others now what we wish to say, before it is too late.  If a loved one dies with unresolved issues between us or if words of love have not been expressed, it may disturb our peace of mind and leave us in a lot of pain.  On the other hand, if we say what we feel needs to be said, whether asking for forgiveness, expressing our love and appreciation, or acknowledging the other person’s impact on our lives, we are left with a sense of completion and closure.  We may grieve the loss of that person in our lives, but there can also be a sense of peace with the pain.

My father died three days before Father’s day in 1994.  He and our family knew that he was dying.  I had the opportunity to let him know verbally and in writing the many ways that he positively affected my life.  When he died, there was a sense of completion.  I had a flight booked to go see him on Father’s Day weekend.  Three days before that weekend as I was dressing for work, my intuition urged me to go immediately and not to wait for the weekend.  Fortunately, I listened to the inner guidance, jumped in my car, and drove the three-hour trip to be with my father.  I had the opportunity to be with him for the last three hours of his life.  One of my hands was on his chest when he died.  I saw him take his last breath and felt the life go out of his body.  What remained was an empty shell and it was obvious that he, the soul, was gone.

I had often heard the expression, “One moment we are here and the next moment we are gone.”  I actually experienced this, because one moment I felt life in the body of my father, and in the next second he departed and there was no life.  For some time after this experience, I would find myself looking deeply into each person’s eyes with realization that in a moment one of us could be gone.  It impressed upon my mind that only now, in this moment while we are alive, can we relate to one another.  Now is the time to say what we want to communicate to others.  In the present moment, we are capable of embracing each other verbally, physically, or visually.

The awareness that we will die one day can serve as a catalyst for living life more fully, for connecting with the deepest part of ourselves and others, and for making the best possible use of the time which remains.

 

Copyright 2007. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson has a masters in psychology and over forty years experience teaching personal and career development. Career counselor, job placement specialist, trainer, and former owner of an executive search business, he teaches college success strategy courses. He is the author of five books, including Create the Life You Want. Two of his e-books, How to Create the Job You Want and Effective Job Search Strategies are available for free at http://www.raymondgerson.com along with numerous articles on success and study skill strategies.

 

 

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed