Self Improvement Newsletter
Issue # 131, March 10, 2001

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This is Issue # 131, Saturday, March 10, 2001 of the Self Improvement Weekly Newsletter, the FREE newsletter for Personal Growth, Self Improvement and Self Help.
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In this issue:

-> Quotes of the Week
-> Personal Growth Products and Services
-> 7 WAYS to ENSURE a VERY COOL DAY from START to FINISH  - written by Dr. Drew Rozell
-> A List of the Top 20 do's & Don'ts of a functional relationship  - written by Eve Bernshaw
-> BOOK REVIEW: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity - written by David Allen
-> Brief News of the World
-> How to subscribe and unsubscribe to this newsletter
-> How to Advertise in the Self Improvement Newsletter


Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time. - Marion Wright Edelman, 1939-, American Lobbyist on Behalf of Children

I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. - Anne Frank, 1929-1945, German Jewish Refugee, Diarist

Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. - Voltaire, 1694-1778, French Historian, Writer

For a collection of some of our favorite quotes, see our web page at


~~~~~~~~~ Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life ~~~~~~~~~
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1) Set a Relaxed Tone. Give yourself plenty of time and space in the morning. Avoid waking up, jumping in the shower, throwing on some clothes, and dumping coffee in your lap while weaving through traffic. If you begin your day burning adrenaline, you've set the tone for a stressful day where you're continually running late.

2) Move Your Body. Exercising in the morning provides an energy boost and the warm comfort of relaxed muscles that lasts throughout the day. You need not do a full workout; even a few minutes stretching or walking around the block will make a big difference.

3) Underpromise. Put a boundary in place to protect you from taking on situations that will cause you stress. Instead of saying yes to a request when your gut is screaming NO, say no. Underpromising means giving yourself a cushion for completing projects and making appointments to avoid the sub-standard work and stress that come with rushing around to meet a deadline.

4) Overdeliver. Okay, now that you've underpromised, you have the opportunity to overdeliver -- to exceed expectations. For example, tell customers that you will have a project completed in three days and then deliver it in two days. Not only have you avoided the stress of a tight deadline, you've exceeded your client's expectations. As a result, you will feel more professional because you are acting more professional. When you feel better about yourself, you'll end up accomplishing more. Consistently.

5) Get away from your workspace for lunch. This noon, remove yourself from your work area and eat slowly. Find a quiet spot, eat something light, and relax. You will return to your work re-energized and with a fresh perspective on your work.

6) Clean house. Schedule 10 minutes before you leave each day to maintain your workspace. File things that need to be filed, delete unimportant e-mails, toss paperwork you don't absolutely need, and return phone calls you received that day. You will have completed your day and will have a friendly space to welcome you to work the next morning.

7) Have something to look forward to each evening. Have something better to do with your evening than the default of zoning out in front of the TV or doing more work. Prepare a nice meal. Dust off your guitar or piano. Listen to some music. Talk with a friend. Take a class. Read a book. Join a club or league. Connect with your family. Learn something. Build a life.

Yes, I know this is a 'Top 7', but I figured this was an opportunity to overdeliver.

8) Sleep well. Only 35% of adults sleep the recommended 8 hours or more per night during the 5- day workweek. It affects you more than you think. Turn off the TV , put your work away, and get the rest you need. Pleasant dreams!

About the author
Personal coach Dr. Drew Rozell holds you accountable for making the changes that allow you to live a very cool life. Meet him at

**  A LIST of the TOP 20 Do's & Don'ts of a FUNCTIONAL RELATIONSHIP **


1. Who you think you are is important. Like attracts like. Think about it. Do you like who you are?

2. What you want in a relationship is important, and when you are willing to ask for it, you will be able to create it. But only ask for what you want when you are clear about what it is. Until then, don't go around demanding things you just think you should have.

3. We get exactly what we focus on. The problem or the solution. We make a choice between them with every decision we make.

4. Tell yourself the truth about what you want, not what other ( family, friends, spouse) say your should have.

5. Tell everyone else your truth about what you want. Don't be afraid to share your vision and dreams.

6. You are not defined by your relationships unless you choose to be. Consider what it says about you if you deed over your soul to one.

7. Interdependent (two independent functional people) relationships are the only ones that work, long term.

8. Truth is the first thing necessary to create trust in our relationships. Respect is earned from trust, and love is earned from respect. Intimacy is the gift we get when we risk telling the truth. See the hierarchy of a functional relationship

9. Fear of intimacy is fear of the truth. Your truth is better for you than someone else's. Just get to know what it is so you can own it.

10. If your relationship is not getting better, it is probably getting worse. Life is dynamic and nothing ever stays the same.

11. Every relationship is unique. It takes what it takes to work. If you want it to work, you have to work it. No shortcuts. No 50/50 deals.

12. It's not your job to fix your mate, and it's not his or her job to fix you. Take the relationship and what your mate says at face value and stop reading into it what you'd like to hear. We can work with what's real. It's impossible to deal with what's not real.

13. Unconditional love is an inside job. If you haven't gotten it by now, guess what...start working from within. When you can give it to yourself, you'll be ready to give it to someone else. If you can give it to someone else, you'll recognize it when it's given to you.

14. If you both are committed to creating a functional relationship, agree to start doing it today, without any judgments about the past. Be willing to work in the solution and let go of your need to control the outcome, moment to moment, one day at a time. Joy can only be experienced in the present moment.

15. Most of our fears about what may happen in this relationship are really fears we experienced in past relationships, and have nothing to do with this person. Come to grips with what's real and what's Memorex!

16. When in an argument, ask yourself Does this really PASS THE SO WHAT TEST? For you to be right, does the other person have to be wrong? Think about it. Life is short. Don't waste it on arguments that have no meaning or purpose. You can always agree to disagree if you need to. Then laugh about it and go on to the next thing. Start observing your arguing as just another one of our dysfunctional, immature habits that need to be broken.

17. When we finally learn to say we are sorry (at 3 or 93) we get to finally hear we are O.K. To error is human, and there is great virtue in all forgiveness, ourselves included. The best ways to teach our children this lesson is by watching us demonstrate it.

18. Any negative, hurtful or sarcastic remark is abusive. Like a sharp knife, each word will carve out a chunk of a loving relationship that can never grow back. Please consider the source and the outcome of your remarks, before you open you mouth to tell your truth.

19. Never let a day go by without saying and showing how much your relationship and partner mean to you. Never take a moment for granted. Express how grateful you are for your good fortune, however meek or humble it may be. Appreciation and gratefulness have magic in them. It seems the more we express them, the more reasons we are given to say thank you.

20. To have a functional relationship you have to be willing to risk loosing it everyday, by telling your truth. If you don't feel free to tell your truth, start asking yourself why you think it's so important to stay, and what else you are willing to lose besides your self-esteem. For starters, you can ask your mate to tell their truth, and be willing to accept it at face value, with no judgment. Now you both get to know if you each want a relationship based on what's real.

For optimum results, start doing this in the first five minutes of meeting anyone.



What is a functional relationship?
Without the beginning base of truth in a relationship, trust cannot occur. Without the development of trust, respect will never be born. Without a level of respect for   another, a functional relationship of love will not seed and nourish the partners.   Intimacy occurs when we become willing to share our whole selves with another in this order. It is the gift we get when we learn to engage in a balanced, loving
and functional relationship.

Copyright 1999 E.K.Bernshaw All Rights Reserved

Eve Bernshaw,  author of TheTransitionProcessT is a career and transitions counselor .  She maintains a private practice, training and consulting firm that specializes in functional decision-making and communications in career, business and relationship issues.   As a business development consultant for over 25 years, she continues to advise organizations and individuals on issues surrounding their professional and personal growth, vocational change, or independent venture development.

** BOOK REVIEW: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity - written by David Allen **

With first-chapter allusions to martial arts, "flow," "mind like water," and other concepts borrowed from the East (and usually mangled), you'd almost think this self-helper from David Allen should have been called Zen and the Art of Schedule Maintenance.

Not quite. Yes, Getting Things Done offers a complete system for downloading all those free-floating gotta-do's clogging your brain into a sophisticated framework of files and action lists--all purportedly to free your mind to focus on whatever you're working on. However, it still operates from the decidedly Western notion that if we could just get really, really organized, we could turn ourselves into 24/7 productivity machines. (To wit, Allen, whom the New Economy bible Fast Company has dubbed "the personal productivity guru," suggests that instead of meditating on crouching tigers and hidden dragons while you wait for a plane, you should unsheathe that high-tech saber known as the cell phone and attack that list of calls you need to return.)

As whole-life-organizing systems go, Allen's is pretty good, even fun and therapeutic. It starts with the exhortation to take every unaccounted-for scrap of paper in your workstation that you can't junk, The next step is to write down every unaccounted-for gotta-do cramming your head onto its own scrap of paper. Finally, throw the whole stew into a giant "in-basket"
That's where the processing and prioritizing begin; in Allen's system, it get a little convoluted at times, rife as it is with fancy terms, subterms, and sub-subterms for even the simplest concepts. Thank goodness the spine of his system is captured on a straightforward, one-page flowchart that you can pin over your desk and repeatedly consult without having to refer back to the book. That alone is worth the purchase price. Also of value is Allen's ingenious Two-Minute Rule: if there's anything you absolutely must do that you can do right now in two minutes or less, then do it now, thus freeing up your time and mind tenfold over the long term. It's commonsense advice so obvious that most of us completely overlook it, much to our detriment; Allen excels at dispensing such wisdom in this useful, if somewhat belabored, self-improver aimed at everyone from CEOs to soccer moms (who we all know are more organized than most CEOs to start with). --Timothy Murphy

The list Price of this book is $ 24.95.  To purchase this book for $ 19.96  from, go directly to


The Salvation Army has raised $438,000 for its Peacehaven Nursing Home for the Aged.
The fund was raised from a charity gala dinner on Sunday, attended by President S.R. Nathan.  Besides pledges and donations, support also came from various artistes who shared their talents at the dinner performance.  The fund will be used to provide residential care for 340 patients, the home's target for the future.
(For complete news story, click here)

Brazil approves first whale sanctuary Bowing to pressure from environmentalists, Brazil's president Fernando Henrique Cardoso has approved a pact to create the country's first whale sanctuary. Cardoso signed a decree that will establish an official Environmental
Protection Area in the southern state of Santa Catarina.
(For complete news story, click here)

Babies born to older mothers tend to have significantly higher than usual blood pressure, which may affect the working of their hearts and arteries throughout their lives.   Doctors at Harvard Medical School who made the discovery called it unexpected.   But they said it is one more indication that the environment in the womb can influence the development of health -- both good and bad -- long into adulthood.
(For complete news story, click here)

"McDonald's Corp. on Monday voluntarily recalled about 234,000 "Scooter Bug" toys  after learning three children had choked or gagged on the toy's antennae, which are prone to breaking off."
(For complete news story, click here)

"A school district's mandatory gun safety lesson has piqued the interest of a half-dozen states and prompted state legislators to propose laws requiring all schools in the state to offer the information.  But some experts say a gun safety program void of message reinforcement at home is incomplete."
(For complete news story, click here)

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