Self Improvement Newsletter
Issue # 238, April 1-4, 2003

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Self Improvement and Personal Growth Weekly Newsletter 
Issue # 238, Week of April 1-4, 2003 
Publishers: David and Michelle Riklan - 

In this issue:

-> Quotes of the Week
-> Personal Growth Products and Services
-> ARTICLE: YOUR DATE with DESTINY - by Chris Widener
-> BOOK REVIEW: The Breakout Principle: How to Activate the Natural
Trigger That Maximizes Creativity, Athletic Performance, Productivity and
Personal Well-Being -by Herbert Benson (Author), William Proctor (Author)
-> How to subscribe and unsubscribe to this newsletter
-> How to recommend our newsletter to a Friend
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I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely
miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite
certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.
--Agatha Christie, 1891-1976, British Mystery Writer

"Personal development is your springboard to personal excellence. Ongoing,
continuous, non-stop personal development literally assures you that there
is no limit to what you can accomplish." – Brian Tracy, American Trainer,
Speaker, Author, Businessman

"If money is your hope for independence, you will never have it. The only
real security that a man can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge,
experience and ability." — Henry Ford, 1863-1947, American Industrialist,
Founder of Ford Motor Company


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*** ARTICLE: YOUR DATE with DESTINY by Chris Widener ***

Destiny. What a powerful word. And the great thing about it? Everyone has
one! You have a destiny! Another great thing about destiny? We have a
significant role in shaping our own destiny! In essence, you can choose
your date with destiny – powerful!

Your destiny is the dream that lies within you of your desired and
preferred future. And the things that we choose each day are what lead us
to that destiny: Our actions, our words, our attitudes, and our
relationships. They all add up to develop and shape that date on which we
will reach our

Here are some thoughts to think about as you work on shaping your Date
with Destiny:

The Mental Question: Do you believe that you can achieve a life of
abundance? The frank truth is that many people simply do not believe that
they can achieve what lies in their heart. Success is for someone else, a
better person, or a smarter person. This is not true and is perhaps the
greatest obstacle we face on the journey to our destiny. If we are to
achieve the abundance in life we must first believe we can, or face our
own continual self-sabotage of what a college professor of mine called
“stinkin ’-thinkin.’”

Here is the truth:

It doesn’t matter what your intelligence is.
It doesn’t matter what your current resources are.
It doesn’t matter what you currently earn.
It doesn’t matter what family you came from.

Nothing in your current circumstances matter in whether or not you can
achieve your destiny! Nothing! Now, your current state may make it a
longer or harder journey than someone else, but the possibility is always
there no matter what your current circumstances are.

And that is the message we need to continually tell ourselves. “I can do
it.” Not “I can’t do it.”

Clear vision. Do you have one of your destiny? Here are some questions to
determine whether or not your vision is clear.

Can you describe it in intricate detail?
Can you “see” it?
Can you “feel” it?
Can you “hear” it?

Here are a couple of illustrations.

Perhaps you came from a dysfunctional family and your dream is to have
great moments with your family. Let’s start with a Thanksgiving meal. Can
you see each person there? What are they wearing? Are they smiling? What
is the conversation? Can you hear the laughter? Can you experience the
joy? Can you smell the turkey? Can you see people hugging each other and
saying “This was wonderful,” as they leave?

Another scenario: Your company. Can you see the large building you are in?
Can you see the workers? Can you feel the positive attitude they have as
they carry out their work? Can you experience the excitement as you get
the quarterly results? Can you see yourself handing out healthy bonuses
that bring pleasant surprises to your employees?

This is where it begins. A clear vision of your destiny.

Consider your resources. Are you aware of the resources you will need in
order to set your date with destiny? Do you know how you will go about
getting them?

What are your natural gifts and talents that you have? How can you best
utilize them in achieving your destiny?

What are your current level of resources?

Emotional health?
Help from others such as friends, family, employees or volunteers?

What will be your needed future level of resources? And have you developed
a plan to achieve this level?

The last thing I would encourage you to do is fix a date in the future
you believe you could believe you will be living your destiny by. A real
date. What this enables you to do is then begin to work backwards in
setting goals to move you along the way, proving you with future points to
strive for and evaluation point to reflect upon.

Here are the points again:

Answer the mental question: Do I really believe?
Develop a clear vision.
Consider the resources needed.
Set a date with destiny.
Develop a plan to get there.

About the Author
Chris Widener is a popular speaker and writer as well as the President of
Made for Success and Extraordinary Leaders. His brand new book is now
available: Live the Life You Have Always Dreamed Of - and you can get it
at Join subscribers in over 100 countries
around the world! Get Chris' FREE weekly Made for Success Ezine by sending
a blank email to Get his FREE daily
SuccessQuote™ with action point by sending a blank email to  Get his FREE monthly Extraordinary Leaders Ezine,
one of the world's most widelydistributed leadership newsletters, by
sending a blank email to or visit his websites at and .
Copyright 2003 Made for Success. Used by permission. All rights reserved

If you could reach just one goal in 2003, which one would it be? How much
of a difference in your life would it make if you reached it?


While walking through Costco, I noticed the large bin of photographs that
had been processed and were waiting for customers to pick up. There were
probably a couple of hundred packets listed alphabetically according to
customers’ names. I was struck by the fact that all of these personal bags
of photos were just sitting out in the open, to be purchased on the honor
system. Anyone could have stolen any of them, or taken someone else’s
package and paid for it as their own.

Then it occurred to me that this system works because no one really wants
to take someone else’s photos home. Who wants to see Joshua Bernstein’s
Bar Mitzvah pictures? Or little Ashleigh in her high chair with goopy baby
food dripping from her lips? Or the Hendersons’ motor home vacation to
Florida? No, no one really wants to take anyone else’s pictures home.

Yet on a psychological level, we do this all the time ¾ and live to regret
it. The photos we erroneously purchase are other people’s pictures of
reality. We adopt our parents’ model of relationship; our mother’s fears
about money; our older brother’s attitude about sex; our minister’s
relationship with God; our teacher’s opinion about politics; and on, and
on. And we pay dearly for them. Most people’s pictures of reality are
fear-based and limiting, and do not serve us. Yet we take them home and
replicate them in our own lives, to the point that we believe they’re our
own. Then, if we are not careful, we pass them on to our children. Then we
wonder why we and the people we know are so unhappy. All because we
accepted and paid for boring or unhappy pictures that never belonged to us
in the first place.

Contrary to what you have been taught, the reality you live in is a
choice. You generate reality by the images you focus on. The more you pay
attention to any picture of reality, the more real it becomes to you. You
can create and live in vast worlds simply by thinking they are real. This
does not mean they are real; it just means you have given them a great
deal of attention and belief.

A classic story tells of a man who went to visit a friend in his country
home. In the middle of the night, the man got up to go to the bathroom and
found a huge deadly snake coiled up on the floor, ready to strike him. The
next morning the host awoke to find his guest dead on the floor, lying
next to a coiled up piece of large rope. The fellow died not of a
snakebite, but of fright. He was just as dead as if the snake had been
real. His murderer was not a snake; it was his own mind.

This parable applies to every fear we experience. Enlightened teachers
tell us that nothing we fear is real at all; the objects we fear exist
only in our imagination. The word “fear” is an acronym for “false evidence
appearing real.” A Course in Miracles poignantly adds, “You can indeed
afford to laugh at fear thoughts, remembering that God goes with you
wherever you go.”

In a world where many people are afraid, and reinforce their fear by
attacking the objects of their fear, you can bring significant healing by
remaining sane and recognizing perceived snakes as actual ropes. Nothing
can hurt you unless you give it power with your thoughts. When you
remember the presence of love in a situation where others have forgotten
it, you are returning unwanted photos back to their bin, and taking your
own home.

The critical voice is not your own. Your were not born with thoughts of
judgment, lack, and separateness. They are all learned -- and can be
unlearned. Children and animals are our greatest teachers because they
have not yet passed the photo department and taken home other people’s
yucky albums. Children are connected to God and have not been taught
otherwise. Thank God for children, animals, and nature; they are our
lifeline to Original Innocence.

A five-year-old boy observed his parents bringing his newborn younger
brother home from the hospital. For days he pestered his parents to let
him be alone with his little brother. Fearing the older child would hurt
the infant, the parents resisted. But the boy persisted. Finally the
parents gave in, and hooked up an intercom in the baby’s room so they
could monitor any potential disturbance. Instead, they heard the older
brother close the door behind him, gently approach the baby’s crib, lean
over, look into the infant’s eyes, and speak these words: “Would you
please tell me about God? I’m starting to forget.”

At this time of year we celebrate the holidays of Easter and Passover --
both powerful lessons in letting go of the old and limiting so we can step
into a life of greater freedom and aliveness. In essence, both Jesus and
the Hebrew nation returned unwanted photos to the bin, and took home their
own instead. In doing so, they set the stage for us to do the same. Those
dark pictures never belonged to you anyway. You have your own and better
to enjoy.

About the Author
Alan Cohen is one of the most popular inspirational writers and speakers
in America. His books, tapes, syndicated columns, and transformational
seminars have touched the lives of millions of poeple who have found the
courage to believe in themselves and follow their dreams. You can visit
his website at 

*** BOOK REVIEW: The Breakout Principle: How to Activate the Natural
Trigger That Maximizes Creativity, Athletic Performance, Productivity and
Personal Well-Being -by Herbert Benson (Author), William Proctor (Author) 

If self-help books usually fall short of delivering life changes, The
Breakout Principle is a book of a different stripe: a science-based path
to self-transformation. Herbert Benson, M.D. pulls together 30 years of
mind-body research to describe the Breakout Principle: "a powerful
mind-body impulse that severs prior mental patterns and--even in times of
great stress or emotional trauma--opens an inner door to a host of
personal benefits." Breakouts open the door to different kinds of peak
experiences--self-awareness, creativity, productivity, athleticism,
rejuvenation, and transcendence--and lead to lasting changes.

Benson explains the stages of stress/struggle, release (during which you
give up unresolved destructive or negative thought patterns),
breakout/peak experience, and "new-normal" state. He balances the science
behind his concepts with practical, how-to tips. For example, many
different activities and types of experiences can trigger your personal
Breakout in the release stage, and Benson helps you figure out which ones
might work for you: repetitive mental or physical activity, an absorbing
personal encounter, expression of your personal belief system, "total
abandon" to an intense experience, altruistic activity, or filling your
mind with a dominant sensory impression. He and skillful co-author William
Proctor illustrate points with case studies and personal reflections,
making complex medical and philosophical issues more easily accessible.

Benson, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and
founding president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute, is well known for
his mind/body research, especially his work on the relaxation response.
His other books include The Relaxation Response, Beyond the Relaxation
Response: How to Harness the Healing Power of Your Personal Beliefs, and
Timeless Healing. This powerful and empowering book is highly recommended
as a guide for readers willing to do the work of making a life change.
--Joan Price

The list Price of this book is $25.00. To purchase this book for $17.50 at
a 30% discount from, go directly to 



“A preliminary trial to test the safety of a drug in people with
Parkinson's disease surprised scientists when all five patients showed
measurable improvement.
The drug eliminated the periods of immobility that had occurred as much as
20 percent of the time before treatment and reduced or stopped the
involuntary movements common to the disease, said Clive N. Svendsen of the
University of Wisconsin-Madison. Also, the senses improved for three
patients who had lost the ability to taste or smell.”
(Click here for complete news story) 

“September 11, 2001 was devastating to the world but it also created a
miracle for Janielle Fermaint, a sixteen year-old quadriplegic teenager
living with Cerebral Palsy.”
(Click here for complete news story) 

AIR POLLUTION - “Clean air progress has been phenomenal in big cities,
according to the Foundation for Clean Air Progress. Most dramatically,
from 1990 to 1999, Southern California's number of days of high pollution
decreased 100 %.”
(Click here for related news stories) 

N.Y. Bar Patrons May Someday Agree with Smoking Ban 
“As New York City bars and restaurants go smoke-free this weekend, bar
patrons may take comfort in a study that suggests -- given enough time --
those who disapprove now may actually end up liking the change.
In a California survey, most bar-goers said they supported and complied
with a similar law two years after it went into effect.”
(Click here for complete news story) 

Cancer trials
“People over 65 are not represented in sufficient numbers in studies on
promising cancer treatments, raising questions about how useful the
research is for the age demographic with the most cancer patients, a new
study said on Thursday.”
(Click here for complete news story) 

Stones cancel China concerts
The Rolling Stones have cancelled concerts in Beijing and Shanghai, China,
because of worries about severe acute respiratory syndrome.
(Click here for complete news story) 


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