Harness Your Thoughts – You Are What You Think You Are

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This is an excerpt from an eBook  I wrote a few years back, enjoy. It was inspired and informed by James Allen’s “As A Man Thinketh”

You are what you think you are – rich, poor, slovenly, useful, use-less, shrewd, stupid, knowledgeable. However, if you think too hard about it, you may just realize that you have no idea what this means.

If we are what we think we are, then why can’t I think of myself as the person that has Jennifer Anniston’s body, Oprah Winfrey’s money, and a friends list as long as Tila Tequila’s – and make it all reality?


Well actually you can be and have all of that and more, if only you would take the time to manage your thoughts. Everything that you want to see, do, and be is in reality and actuality quite possible through thinking “aright”. Unfortunately, most of us are not masters of our own minds and are content to let our thoughts drift like so much flotsam and jetsam. Were we to harness and control our thoughts, not only would we become self-aware, but we would create an unstoppable success train!

Your Mind is a garden and if you do not cultivate it then someone or something will (and not in a good way, believe me).

This means that if you don’t plant the seeds yourself then you will most likely end up with a garden full of weeds.


Truly successful men and women know this: “Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts. By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life. He also reveals, within himself, the laws of thought, and understands, with ever-increasing accuracy, how the thought-forces and mind elements operate in the shaping of his character, circumstances, and destiny.


To control your thoughts means also to not be contrary in your thoughts. Metaphysicians teach us that we must prepare for the thing that we hope for – so we cannot hope for the best of times, all the while preparing for the worst. Nor can we anticipate an avalanche of abundance with one part of our minds, while our fingers Google debt consolidation loan options, or bankruptcy lawyers.


This contrariness causes blockage in the channels we use to turn thoughts into substantive things. You are what you think you are, and in the end, you will get only that which you think you deserve.


In “As a Man Thinketh” we are given three examples of contrariness in thought. The first is a man who lives in poverty and “is extremely anxious that his surroundings and home comforts should be improved, yet all the time he shirks his work, and considers he is justified in trying to deceive his employer on the ground of the insufficiency of his wages. Such a man does not understand the simplest rudiments of those principles which are the basis of true prosperity, and is not only totally unfitted to rise out of his wretchedness, but is actually attracting to himself a still deeper wretchedness by dwelling in, and acting out, indolent, deceptive, and unmanly thoughts.”

The second example is that of a rich man who is eating himself to death and “wants to gratify his taste for rich and unnatural viands and have his health as well. Such a man is totally unfit to have health, because he has not yet learned the first principles of a healthy life.

Lastly we have a crooked employer who places large profits above the well being of his employees. He is “altogether unfitted for prosperity, and when he finds himself bankrupt, both as regards reputation and riches, he blames circumstances, not knowing that he is the sole author of his condition.”


So we see that “man is the causer (though nearly always unconsciously) of his circumstances, and that, whilst aiming at a good end, he is continually frustrating its accomplishment by encouraging thoughts and desires which cannot possibly harmonize with that end.”

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Which Michael Jackson are you mourning?

I am a pretty emotional person who feels things deeply. Back in 97, I got up at 2 am to watch Princess Di’s funeral- and cried through the entire thing (she died on the day I finally received my bachelors degree and they buried her onmy birthday, should have been a great week for me, I know). When my dog Storm passed last month, I cried for days afterwards. And let’s not even talk about Tupac.

Of course I am mourning MJ and my husband knows this, so last night he asked me to pose a question to my friends and readers. The question is “Which Michael Jackson died for you on Thursday?”

Is it the little guy in the suede vest singing “I Want You Back”?

Or is it the gawky adolescent who sang “Ben”?

Maybe for you it’s the dude who brought us “Thriller”, “Beat It”, and “Billie Jean”

Did Michael Jackson the MoonWalker and “Smooth Criminal” pass away?

Or was it just Wacko Jacko? That overexposed and strange looking dude?

Leave a comment!

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When Paying Off Debt – Don’t Try To Eat The Whole Elephant

ccToday we are blessed with the ability to have just about anything we want quite quickly. If we get lost on a road trip, a GPS system will give us the correct directions instantly (failing that you can text your location and destination to Google and they will text directions back to you); we don’t just have restaurants we have “fast food” restaurants, and even conventional restaurants now allow fast ordering and pickup via the internet; can’t remember the name of that actor in National Lampoon’s vacation? Google it. Need to visit your money, pay a bill, trade some stock, or buy clothes for the kids? You don’t even have to get off the couch, just log on to your bank, favorite online store etc.

But what has the ability to get things done right now done to all of us? It’s given us the false belief that we can do everything FAST!  You can lose 10lbs this week, speak Italian by Monday, have a gourmet meal on the table in 30 minutes or less, and take a couple of hours off work to  change the contours of your body or thickness of your lips.  So then why shouldn’t you  be able to get out of debt quick, fast, and in a hurry?  I read somewhere recently that if you borrow against tomorrow, you will always be broke. Well think of your debt situation as you having borrowed against tomorrow – and now the day after tomorrow is here and you’ve still got the debt, but that windfall you borrowed against  just never happened.

The truth is that how quickly you get out of debt will depend on a couple of things:

  1. How far down the rabbit hole did you let yourself go? $2000 in credit card debt or $250,000 including a car and a mortgage (yes you should probably pay your mortgage off  if you plan to stay in your house).
  2. How much are you willing to give up ( from that Aruba vacation to eating out to t-bone steaks from the grocery store)?
  3. How much  income can you throw at your debt?
  4. How strong is your desire to be debt free – I mean do you want to be debt free or do you just want to get back to being able to using your credit cards and not hiding your car?

Getting out of debt can be hard work if you do not have the right tools – if you have 3 or more large sums to pay off then chances are you have creditors calling and offering their “special payment plan” , please understand that often these plans will leave you exactly where you are for another 10 to 15 years! In my last post  “How To Survive & Maybe Even Thrive In Our Down Economy” I discussed my aversion to credit counseling services – the main one being that they don’t get you out of debt very quickly (ok, yes I am addicted to fast) and the monthly payment you get stuck with just isn’t worth it in many cases, I also promised my Mamapedia readers some debt reduction tools.

When you begin the work of getting out of debt, don’t try to eat the whole elephant, you can’t really pay off anything if you are paying off everything all at once. Try the snowball method where you start with the little things – your $400 department store card, followed by the $1000 Amex, and then the $5000 Home Depot  bill.  Back to those tools I mentioned ( the links below are all to documents on Keith Chuvala’s FPU page), if you can afford it I suggest David Ramsey’s ” Financial Peace ” or his Total Money Makeover or any book on creating a budget  and managing your debt. The first thing any financial planner worth their salt will tell you is that you have to pay yourself first, which doesn’t mean that you take $200 from your paycheck and go shoe shopping. What it means is that  you should save and/or invest a portion of your income every pay day. David Ramsey suggests saving $1000 before you even consider starting your debt reduction plan because if you don’t have any savings then small emergencies will derail your efforts topay down your debt.

The next thing that you should do is determine what you take home and what you  spend each month, the three spread sheets on this page will help you to document this information and then create a quick and dirty budget.  There are many worksheets on Keith’s website that wil help you with everything from how to save to paying off debt, by far my favorite is the Debt Snowball Calculator, using this calculator I realized that I could actually pay of my 30-year refinanced-too-many-times-to count  mortgage befoe my youngest gets out of college – to me that is awesome!

OK this post ran a little longer than I planned, I hope that I’ve given everyone who’s having issues with debt a few tips and tools for getting out of debt once and for all. Also, if you leave a comment and are among the first 10 people to  link to the post on Twitter( put @deniseporter so I know that you did) I will gift you with a copy of  “The Total Money Makeover”.

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Manymoon & Me – Getting Things Done

Manymoon, helping me to get things done

I am the most disorganized entrepreneur on the planet. I have great ideas that I never actually do anything about since I am always too busy to do what I should be doing (did that make sense to you? cause I think I just confused myself).  I sometimes feel like I am just spinning my wheels, accomplishing nothing, and definitely not making good use of  the 24 hours that I am gifted with each day.

My son Rahsheen started writing about GTD over a year ago and did of course introduce me to every single tool and application that he came across. I finally made the  switch to GMAIL (since Comcast was frickin useless to me as a business owner) and adopted Google Docs, Mozy, and My DropBox as my “cloud computing” tools.

Unfortunately, applications are only as good as the person using them and my self-diagnosed ADD causes me to forget what I should be doing and even where I stored my task list!  I would keep notepad open and write my thoughts, ideas and daily tasks there –  I now have 50 or more of these lists orphaned on all the laptops that I have used in the past year ( and one or two on Google Docs). Needless to say, I have not been getting very many things done.

Recently Rahsheen mentioned Manymoon in passing and I decided to give it a shot. Manymoon “allows you to track your tasks and projects online”, so it’s basically project management software, but not as cumbersome as a tool like Microsoft Project for example.  At the time I had just taken on several projects and was in a state of confusion as to what I should be doing for each and when /how I would get them done.  I took a look at Manymoon found it aesthetically pleasing and created a project and some tasks but had some trouble , so I sent them feedback.  I was pleased when they responded several times  via email ( but I had already determined that the trouble was due to operator error).

Two weeks ago I got an email  from Amit Kulkarni at Manymoon customer service asking if I was interested in seeing a demo of the new version that they were working on.  Of course I said “Yes” and he called  me late on a Friday afternoon to do a demo. He  showed us (Rahsheen was jealous and got on the phone with me -:) the different options they were considering and asked us which changes we found more useful and what we liked or disliked about the various designs.

Let me stop here to explain why I am telling you all of this.  If you are a marketer of any sort, what Amit did should resonate with you. He made a personal call  to me an average (and heretofore unknown) user of his internet product, showed me things that others hadn’t seen yet, made me feel that the company really cared what I thought about the product, and gave me a say in the future design and therefore direction of Manymoon!  Because he  involved me in the creative process I am now more interested in the success of the product, and definitely more likely to use it and tell friends and co-workers about it!

Right now I am using Manymoon to get focused, I create projects, assign tasks to each project assign people  to each task  and so on. The cool thing is that Manymoon integrates with Google Apps, so I can pull documents over from Google Docs and add tasks to Google calendar.  Not only that, but I can send emails to task@manymoon.com and the email shows up as a task, I can use this for marketing, keeping track of  prospects, and keeping on top of emails that require some action on my part.  That’s what my world needs now,  seamless integration so that I can finally get things done.

As someone  who has a home-based business, a full-time job, and multiple blogging duties, Manymoon is  a great addition to my bag of tricks. Imagine what you can do with Manymoon and go do it!

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