I have a confession. I’m a Photoshop® wannabe. In case you don’t know it, Photoshop® is the premier software program for digital photography. It has more features to tweak, enhance, and distort photographic images than you can imagine.

As much as I’d like to master this program, truth be known, I’m still very much a beginner. However, I’ve taken some Photoshop® classes and my instructor used little sayings to help his students remember certain Photoshop® tricks and applications.

My favorite saying is, “If it’s not selected, then it’s not affected.” What he's referring to is if you don’t select an area to work on by clicking on the select button (you can also use the magic wand to determine the area first...really!), then you can’t have an affect on that area.

Think about it in terms of life. What you select, you affect and you allow it to affect you. What you don’t select you can’t affect and, therefore, it is less likely to affect you! Genius!

So ask yourself - “Do I know what I am selecting and why I am selecting it?”

Are you conscious of your choices (selections)? And what are the outcomes (what is affected) as a result of your choices? If you find yourself continually having a negative experience around certain people, places, and/or situations, how might you be able to make a different selection?

As you improve your SQ (Select-ability Quotient: How wise and aware you are of your selections), you’ll find yourself making different choices (selections), and therefore, you’ll also be affected differently.

Some selection differences may include: being more assertive (Saying no when you mean no, and being direct with your requests), trying out new activities (i.e.: yoga, Tai Chi, dance, meditation, basket-weaving, scuba-diving), going to new places/events (poetry readings, spiritual ceremonies/services, art shows, the beach), and/or hanging out with new and different people.

As you try out all these new opportunities notice the new and different outcomes. When you’re positively affected, make a note of the situation, as you’ll want to repeat that selection.

Now before you leave your spouse, quit your job, move to Arizona, or sell your house, do an inner selection inventory.

What are you selecting in your thoughts?

Are you selecting positive, life-enhancing, empowering thoughts? If not, then perhaps you’ll want to experiment with some new thought selections.

Unlike your external environment, you do have control over your internal thoughts. You can change them whenever you choose to (whenever you make a new selection).

Select positive thoughts and you’re bound to have a more positive mood. (Remember: It’s what you select that has an affect.) Start from the inside, and then work to the outside.

So there you have it: The Photoshop® wannabe’s Selection-Affection Connection. All of which brings us to a very popular old story...sort of...

The Four Little Pigs and Healthy Boundaries

Remember the story of The Three Little Pigs? These three little pigs were out and about when the big, bad wolf showed up. When the pigs saw the wolf, they ran to the first little pig’s house, which was made of straw. The big, bad wolf chased them to the house and huffed and puffed and blew the straw house away.

But just in the nick of time the three little pigs ran off to the second little pig’s house, which was made of sticks. When the big, bad wolf got there, he again huffed and puffed, and blew the stick house away just like the first.

The three little pigs frantically ran to the third little pig’s house, which was made of stone. When the big, bad wolf arrived he couldn’t muster up enough huffing and puffing to budge the stone house. The three little pigs were safe.

And as long as the pigs used the windows to look through and the kept the door locked (Boundaries!!), they were safe—all of which brings us to the fourth little pig.

The fourth little pig also lived in a house made of stone, but his house was different because it had no doors or windows. This little pig was most definitely safe, maybe too safe. This little pig had totally disconnected himself from the outer world. Let’s look at all the boundary dynamics in this story.

The first two little pigs’ houses represent permeable boundaries. This means the boundaries were insufficient because they offered too little protection. Their boundaries were too easily breached and entered. They allowed outer influences to have too much control and power.

When people have permeable boundaries, they suffer a great loss of energy and identity and they leave themselves vulnerable to unnecessary hurt.

The fourth little pig’s house represents boundaries which are overly rigid and inflexible. Often when people have been severely hurt or have an extreme fear of getting hurt, they overreact to protect themselves and construct these rigid boundaries. Yes, they are protected from hurt, but at the same time they live a life of loneliness and isolation.

The third little pig’s house represents firm and flexible boundaries. These boundaries are strong enough to keep out unwanted influences; but with the proper use of the doors and windows, they are flexible enough to discern whom to allow in. These are the healthiest boundaries to have.

This is a good time to do an inventory of your boundaries - are they too firm, too permeable or are they just right!

Author's Bio: 

I provide mental health counseling, marriage counseling and relationship counseling to help professionals and their families eliminate stress, maximize success and create extraordinary relationships at home, at work and in the community. As a mental health counselor, marriage counselor and relationship counselor my number one goal is to help people live their lives and relationships fully and completely. I've been offering counseling, coaching, and educational programs since 1987. My programs are focused on empowering people to have more successful lives, businesses and relationships. You'll always find FREE Life and Relationship Success Special Reports at http://kendonaldson.com/. I'm also the author of Marry YourSelf First! Say "I DO" to a Life of Passion, Power, Purpose and Prosperity http://www.marryyourselffirstbook.com/