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05/07/2010
IconSeven CEO skills moms can use to create wealth from the home Del-Metri Williams www.momthink.com A successful mom and a successful chief executive officer share superiority in nearly identical skills: NEGOTIATION CEO finesses lower interest rates on a loan.A MomEO offers to do her landlord's bookkeeping inexchange for a reduction in rent. A CEO talks a mid-level manager into taking early retirement.A MomEO cajoles her middle child into an early bedtime. Whose job is harder? CRISIS MANAGEMENT A CEO makes headlines when he meets a productionschedule despite a labor strike.A MomEO finds a last-minute baby-sitter for a sick child,so she can take her infant who just fell down the stairsinto the hospital emergency room. Then she picks upthe dog from the vet, packs her husband's suitcase fora business trip, and fills prescriptions for bothchildren and the dog. After all this she makes dinner! Whose job is harder? FINANCIAL ACUMEN A CEO studies the real estate market and snatches up adozen distressed properties he can use to expand hisbusiness.A MomEO studies sales and clips coupons so she canstretch her grocery budget by 50 percent. Whose job is harder? MULTITASK EFFICIENCY A CEO is talking to a supplier in Tokyo, a buyer in Milan,and a banker in Los Angeles. At the same time he'ssigning letters, tipping a masseuse, and ushering hisnoon appointment into the office.A MomEO interrupts a phone conversation with her son'steacher three times to answer call-waiting signalsfrom the pediatrician, the cable company, and someoneselling time-shares in Florida, while she is also making dinner, paying bills, and holding a colicky baby on her hip. Whose job is harder? BUDGETING A CEO who runs finances into the red has to facecompany shareholders and the possibility of layoffs.A MomEO who is short of cash at the end of themonth must face her family and the probability oflate-fee notices and dunning phone calls. Whose job is harder? BOTTOM-LINE MENTALITY A CEO pays midtown Manhattan rent only if the forty-sixthfloor office space is crucial to profit-making potential;otherwise, he leases a warehouse in New Jersey. He hasto be hard-hearted enough to reduce payroll and to cancelholiday bonuses when sales fall behind expenses.A MomEO pays rental premiums to keep her children inthe best school district even though she could live inmuch nicer quarters on the other side of town. Andin lean times, she has to weigh the pay-back potentialof hiring a tutor for her daughter who wants to getinto medical school versus hiring a voice coach for herBroadway-bound son. Whose job is harder? LEADERSHIP A CEO inspires his team to work weekends, forfeit vacationtime, and miss family functions in order tocomplete an important project on schedule.A MomEO convinces her husband to miss MondayNight Football, her seventeen-year-old son to driveher five-year-old daughter to a pajama party, and herten-year-old son to do the dishes so that she can takea night class at the local college. Whose job is harder? There are two reasons mothers who choose to stay at home often feel undervalued and unappreciated: Society does not honor the mother's role. Moms do not honor their role. Society will never be a force for change-it is a reaction to change. So it's up to these moms to start treating themselves with respect, to acknowledge and prove their worth. Personal success does not have to be at odds with parental success. And this is not just a twenty-first century concept-there is a proverb thousands of years old that supports this concept. It is known as the story of the virtuous or noblewoman. This lady was a mother who owned two businesses. Her clientele were wealthy men. Her business was so profitable she became a real estate investor. Her husband was a political figure with a lot of influence in the city. She hadher own personal household staff, and her children were proud of her.This mom's story appears in the Bible! I believe this is God's way of saying that He wants us to use all of the gifts and talents He has given us. Through these abilities, we can create wealth for ourselves-even if we are stay-at-home moms.Perhaps, especially if we are stay-at-home moms! Excerpt from AS A MOM THINKETH; A MOTHER'S GUIDE TO UNLIMITED WEALTH Del-Metri Williams (President and Founder of Mom Executive Officers) www.momthink.com www.momeos.com E-mail: info@momthink.com Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconWhistle While They Work Homebodies By Cheryl Gochnauer Cheryl@homebodies.org Copyright 2001 Shirley, a stay-at-home Missouri mother whose children are now grown, clearly remembers the challenges of teaching kids to help out around the house. "If there was a trash bag sitting in the middle of the hallway, Cheryl would yell, 'Mom, do you want me to pick this up?' Rob would walk around it. Jimmy, the youngest, would kick it down the hall. None of them would do the right thing from the start - simply pick it up and take it to the dumpster." I can't believe she hasn't gotten over that "trash bag in the hallway" thing yet. Mom, that was 35 years ago! As your Homebodies hostess and Shirley's reformed daughter, this is the part of the column where I'm supposed to give you some wonderful advice on raising tidy kids. I have to admit, however, that training my own daughters to do their chores has been more than a little challenging. Neither my kids nor any of my friends' kids were born with a natural inclination to whistle while they work. In fact, I think the trend points the other way. From what I've observed, most children work very hard in avoiding any kind of household labor. Don't feel alone as you're telling your child to clean up his room - again. Avoid throwing your hands up in despair when faced with a bombed out bathroom. Your sisters have been there, and are fighting the same battles now with their children. Calmness, clarity and consistency seem to help. (Resist screaming, which may get the chore done but demoralizes both screamer and screamee.) Be very specific about what you want done, how and when. Make sure everyone understands the goal, tying penalties and rewards to the outcome. If they fail to do the job, don't hesitate to impose sanctions! Tomorrow, do it again: calmness, clarity, consistency. Calmness, clarity, consistency. Wear them down. Repeat after me: You are the parent; you will prevail! Time for me to take my own advice. I'm downstairs finishing up laundry when the oven timer goes off, announcing the cake is done. I know Karen is doing her homework at the kitchen table, approximately 10 feet from the oven. I keep folding shirts as the buzzer continues to blare. After about three minutes of incessant beeping, Karen crosses to the staircase (which, incidentally, is farther away than the oven) andyells: "Mom, do you want me to turn this off?" Must be genetic. Comments? Write Cheryl@homebodies.org or visit her website at www.homebodies.org . Cheryl's books, "So You Want to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom" and "Stay-at-Home Handbook: Advice on Finances, Parenting, Career, Surviving Each Day More" are available in Dr. Laura's Reading Corner or at your favorite bookstore. Or you can order an autographed copy directly from Cheryl by following thislink . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconDivorced Stay-at-Home Mom The Dollar Stretcher by Gary Foreman gary@stretcher.com Gary, Do you think it is realistically possible for a divorced, single Mom of a 15, 12, and 6-year old to stay home with her children? I do not have a profitable skill, a degree or money in the bank. All I know is that a tired, stressed-out mother is not what I want for my kids. They deserve more of me. I currently hold a temporary job that has lasted over a year so far. It covers the monthly expenses, including car payments for a pre-owned car I just purchased this past November. Their Dad kicks in his share, but not enough for us to live on alone. Any suggestions? Sue Sue has plenty of company. Over 1 million couples get divorced each year and roughly one third of all families are headed by a single parent. According to Raise the Nation, an advocacy group, there are over 13 million single parent households raising 20 million children. They also estimate that only 1/4 receive full child-support. So is it possible to Sue to get by financially without working? Probably not. Studies indicate that financial problems are one of the biggest hurdles for single parents. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics nearly one half of all single mothers have more than one job. Talk about stress! With a little work Sue can determine whether it's possible to survive without a job. If she doesn't already have a budget, she'll need to create one. Having a budget is a good idea whether she tries to stay-at-home or not. It's important to know how much income you have and where it's going. And Sue's stress level will go down once she knows that her expenses don't exceed her income. The next step is to adjust her budget as if she wasn't working any more. How much income would she lose? And, how many of her expenses could she reduce if she were staying at home? The exercise isn't exact, but it will give her a pretty good idea of whether there's any possibility of staying home. Chances are that she'll find that staying home isn't financially feasible. But Sue shouldn't give up if she can't stay home. There are other ways to reduce stress. The first step is to guard against depression. A divorced person is three times more likely to suffer from depression. Fortunately, doctors are better at identifying and treating depression than in previous generations. A single parent must stay organized. There simply isn't time to look for lost keys. There are many resources that can show you how to get things under control. Organization can bring a sense of serenity to a home. Train your children to help. Even preschoolers can learn their colors by helping to sort laundry. You're not cheating them by teaching them to cook and clean. In fact, you're preparing them for adulthood. And, sharing tasks is often the real quality time that they'll remember years later. Also remember that children aren't damaged because they don't have everything that their friends have. Despite what the advertisers or your kids say. Sue will be well served by spending time with other adults. A lack of adult friends breeds depression, fatigue and fear. A mentor could be valuable to Sue. Someone who has been a single parent and knows the challenges. Same thing with a good friend. Knowing someone in similar circumstances puts your own situation into perspective. Being able to help them, and be helped by them can be beneficial, too. And don't limit the friendship to talking. Cooking an extra meatloaf to share with your friend will relieve their mealtime stress one day! If Sue finds that she's still overwhelmed, she might want to consider sharing housing with another single mother and her children. By sharing cooking, cleaning and shopping chores the two mothers regain some of the advantages of a two parent home. Finally an editorial comment. In recent decades people have laughed at the notion of 'staying together for the children'. After hearing of the struggles of single parents like Sue maybe it's time to reconsider the idea. That isn't to say that people should stay in an abusive relationship. But perhaps trying to tolerate a troubled marriage is less painful and takes less effort than trying to raise children alone after a divorce. Hopefully Sue will find the resources to live comfortably and enjoy the years she spends raising her children. Gary Foreman is a former financial planner who currently edits The Dollar Stretcher website www.stretcher.com and newsletters subscribe@stretcher.com Copyright 2003 Dollar Stretcher, Inc. all rights reserved. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconSummer Reading for You Your Teens By Patricia Chadwick www.parentsandteens.com patti@parentsandteens.com Though summer can be very hectic and busy with camps, vacations, and a host of other activities, I encourage you to take the time to relax and catch up on your reading - and encourage your teenagers to do the same. When my kids were younger, every summer we had a reading chart. As they would finish the required hours of reading they'd mark it off on the chart and collect their prize from mom. If they finished the entire chart, they got a special "Grand Prize". Even though they are teenagers now, I still use a reading chart to encourage reading in my kids. For every 4 hours of reading I give them a small prize like an ice cream sundae, a ticket to the local minor league baseball game ($2.00), a tube of lipstick or other make up, candy bars, etc. You get the idea. Something that costs a dollar or two. If they finish the entire chart, ( I usually set it around 35 hours of reading) I give them something special. They pick the prize before we start, and it usually costs about $10.00. I encourage you to start your own reading program with your teen. Mine may not work for you. Be creative and come up with something that will work for your family. Set goals for all of you and plan on achieving them this summer! When you get tired of the frantic pace that summer can bring, steal away and curl up with a good book. Patti Chadwick is the creator of Parents Teens found at www.parentsandteens.com . She is also the author of MISSION POSSIBLE: RAISING GREAT TEENS! and LOOK UP! A 30-Day Devotional Journal for Teens. Both books are available on her website in both ebook and print formats. To purchase visit: https://www.pcpublications.org/pt/securebookform.html . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconLearning to Read Is Child's Play By Jeanie Eller www.ActionReading.com Find out if your child can read. Sit down with your child. Take something they have not memorized (like a story in today#146;s newspaper or this article) and have your child read it out loud to you. If your child has completed first grade they should be able to fluently, accurately and independently read a story in the newspaper and answer comprehension questions about the story. If they cannot, you need to immediately teach your child to read. The Federal Government spent 2 Billion Dollars of our tax money to find out how children learn to read. They came up with 7 principles of learning to read. The following are ways that you can teach these principles and your child can enjoy learning to read. Phonemic awareness just means the awareness that words are made up of sounds. A person (child or adult) must have this awareness before they can move on to the next step of learning to read. Sing songs; play rhyming games and start making the connection of the beginning sound of the child#146;s name with the symbol (letter) that represents that sound. For example if the child#146;s name is Keelan, every time you see a letter K in a book or on a sign, say, #147;Look, there#146;s your sound kuh. kuh#148;. Do not call it by its letter name Kay. Call it by its sound, kuh. Teach your child letter sounds not letter names. Teach your child the aah, buh, cuhs first, not the ABCs. Letter names do not make words. Sea Aye Tea does not make a word. When your child says the sounds of the letters, Cuh-aah-tuh the word #147;cat#148; will come right out of their mouth. For help with teaching the sounds get the FUNdamentals program. You can also make and play the following games. Have your child make an Aah-Buh-Cuh Book. Take a cheap scrapbook with white or beige pages. At the top of each page write one letter. (Both capitol and lower case). Let your child cut or tear pages out of magazines and paste them on the appropriate pages. I also let my children have any duplicate photos. My son pasted a picture of a friend at a party on the Dd page and said, #147;Dan Doherty dancing. Duh, duh, duh#148;. Aah-Buh-Cuh Bingo. Take a piece of paper and make 5 rows across and 5 rows down to form 25 Bingo squares. Say a word that begins with each sound of the alphabet. You can always leave out one. Have the child write the capital and lower case letter for the sound. Then give the child Cheerios or MMs to use for markers. Say a word that begins with a sound and the child will find that sound and put the marker on it. When they have a straight line across, down or diagonally they say #147;Aah-Buh-Cuh#148; and they get to eat that row. Aah-Buh-Cuh Checkers. Take a cheap checkerboard and write the letters in random order with a black marker. Each time the child moves apiece they say the sound they are moving to. If they forget or say the wrong sound, they lose a turn. Tips on How to Help Your Child with Reading From LEARNING TO READ IS CHILD#146;S PLAY. Jeanie Eller has been a classroom teacher for over 36 years. She trains teachers all over the country. She taught illiterate adults to read in two weeks for the Oprah Winfrey Show. She is the developer of the ACTION READING FUNdamentals learn to read at home program. She can be reached at: 1-800-378-1046 or www.ActionReading.com . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconCrabby Kid Day Shelly Burke www.homeiswherethemomis.com Just like mom and dad, kids have bad days. Their trauma of missing Barbie dolls, or dropping a pass during the recess football game may not be as dramatic as a big people crisis, but they're still real to the kids. Sometimes you can tell your child is going to have a bad day from the moment he wakes up, grumpy. Or, you can tell by the way your daughter walks into the house after school that she had a bad day. Try to find out the cause of the bad mood. Bad moods may be a result of changes in the child's life, like starting school, a new sibling, potty training, or vacation. It might be the first warning of an illness, or there might be no discernable cause. Tips for Helping Kids get Through a Bad Day Talk about it Even young children can answer your question, what's making you unhappy? You might have to ask more direct questions of older kids, like, what's bothering you? or, did something in school happen to upset you? Sympathize with what happened, talk about it (if your child wants to), dry tears, and give hugs. If your child doesn't want to talk about it, reassure her that, when you want to tell me about it, let me know and we can talk. Time alone Ask your child if he wants to be alone, and respect his wishes to play, pout, read, rest, cry, watch a video, or just relax. Check in on him periodically to see if he's ready to talk. Stay close Even if your child doesn't want to talk, she might want to be close to you. Talk about your day, take a walk, tell a joke, tickle her, wrestle, read a book, bake cookies together, or let her just sit on your lap and be close. Eat! Even if it's not nutritious, a snack will increase his blood sugar and may improve his mood. Take charge If grumpiness or a bad mood is out of proportion to what caused it, or affecting the whole family, it's time to be firm. Say, enough talking about it for now. It's time to think about something else. Let's do something fun! The tactics you use depend on your child and the particular situation. Try as many different things as you need to. With a little help from you, your children can get through bad days. Shelly Burke is the author of Home is Where the Mom Is. For more information, to read another excerpt, or to order, go to www.homeiswherethemomis.com . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconThe Mother of All Battles - Redux By Judy Gruen copy;2003 (For permission to reprint, either online or in print, please send me an email at judy@judygruen.com . Forwarding is most welcome. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com) I breezed through the kitchen as the kids were in their usual seated positions, wolfing down breakfast and snatching at the berries from other people's bowls. Canvassing the riot of cereal boxes, milk cartons, and lunch fixings mussing up my kitchen, I decided this was as good a time as any to introduce my brand new parenting technique. I cleared my throat and addressed the masses. "Good morning. Beginning today, I will conduct a daily briefing with all of you at 0700 hours to assess the status of Operation House Clean-Up. First, everybody needs to participate in mop-up operations after breakfast. I will also assign you each a reconnaissance mission throughout other areas of the house that are not yet secured from mayhem, dirty school pants, and puzzles half-completed and then abandoned. When these goals are achieved, we will reconnoiter at the van at 0745 to leave for school, most likely joining a long convoy of other vans, so make sure to use the latrine before we exit." "Why are you talking like Donald Rumsfeld?" asked an older child. "What do you have against Rummy?" I asked, feeling defensive. It has given me no end of pleasure in recent weeks to watch this man stare down journalists asking "Are we there yet?" questions about the war. How could anyone fail to admire a guy who wasn't afraid to let journalists know when they were asking stupid or repetitive questions, which was often? I proceeded. "Furthermore, it has come to my attention that episodes of looting have taken place in one of the boys' rooms. Be forewarned that this type of activity will not be tolerated. Perpetrators will be captured and will feel the consequences." "I thought this war was supposed to be about freedom from tyranny," moped another kid who, I had just decided, had been reading too many war articles in the newspaper. "You're taking away our civil liberties! It's our right as kids to make messes and then just get up and leave them." "Look," I explained, "how many resolutions need to be made and then broken before you people know I'm serious? Look at this place! Backpacks all over the floor, homework lying around on the dining room table, empty Corn Pops boxes on the counter. Why, last night I personally witnessed at least a dozen sock-flying sorties in the no-fly zone in the living room. I'm looking for a coalition of the willing to introduce some order here." Then another kid piped up. "What happens if we don't want to join? Do you really intend to go it alone, and force your will on us unilaterally?" "What will happen is that those individuals who fail to join our coalition might find their faces on a pack of playing cards with WANTED notices written under their names, their last known whereabouts, and a reward fortheir capture." "If we agree to join your coalition of the willing, does that mean we can also go without showers for a month, like the Marines in Iraq?" The boy who asked this looked hopeful. "I'll have to refer that question to Central Command, which happens to be me. The answer is No." At this point the kids became quiet, except for the one busily blowing bubbles into his sugary cereal milk with a straw. This seemed to settle the matter for a few days, though I encountered pockets of resistance throughout the house. Some of my recruits had trouble prioritizing. For example, my daughter found it more important to gently wave her hands around outside as her nails dried than to set the table for dinner. And the boys still found playing computer war games more gripping than sorting laundry. Go figure. However, I remain undeterred in my mission. My only fear is that if I get too tough, I might find the kids slapping my photo with their shoes. On the other hand, at least I will have found a way to make them pick up their shoes from the floor in the first place. Judy Gruen is the author of "Till We Eat Again: Confessions of a DietDropout" and " Carpool Tunnel Syndrome: Motherhood as Shuttle Diplomacy "(both from Champion Press). Subscribe to Judy's email humor column at www.judygruen.com . Enter your email on the Newsletter page or write to her at judy@judygruen.com . More >>

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05/07/2010
IconRemembering to Nurture The Nurturer Homebodies By Cheryl Gochnauer Cheryl@homebodies.org It's a good thing Carrie was born on a Sunday, or her daddy might havemissed the whole thing. The year Carrie arrived, Terry was workingfull-time, plus starting his own business on the side. He allowedhimself one day off a week. That's it. The other six days, he workedevery waking hour, and many of the ones when he should have beensleeping. Was he a workaholic because he was supporting his stay-at-home wife? Nope. I was working full-time, too. And because he was sleeping when Iwas working, we never saw each other. Literally. I take that back. We had a standing date for lunch on Wednesdays. Wemet at a little cafeacute; near my office, 1-2 p.m. Then he had to run. Two years of this ridiculous lifestyle brought us nothing but a failedbusiness and an almost failed marriage. Absence does not make the heartgrow fonder. Absence makes the heart grow resentful. Many couples who have had to deal with love on tight schedules know whatI'm talking about. A great relief settled on the Gochnauer householdonce Terry dropped the second job. And when I came home two yearslater, our marriage really started to grow. That's because we were finally able to spend lots of time together. Itdidn#146;t matter what shift Terry worked, because when he was off, I wasoff. We hear a lot about how having a stay-at-home mom benefits kids. I'mhere to tell you - having a stay-at-home wife benefits a husband, too. But what if we're working opposite shifts so our children are never indaycare? Be careful. Sometimes we get in trouble by focusing too much on thekids and not enough on Mom and Dad. It's crucial that we cultivate therelationship that's holding this family together, treating it with asmuch respect as the mother and child bond. Whatever schedule you and your husband are on, build in lots of qualityAND quantity time for the two of you alone. A peck on the cheek as thebaby is passed from one parent to the other isn't going to cut it. Each husband and wife needs to feel as loved as the children they'renurturing. Try to find the balance that will allow all members of yourfamily to blossom, as everyone receives the affection and attention theyneed. You might want to check out Cheryl#146;s latest book, #147;Stay-at-HomeHandbook: Advice on Parenting, Finances, Career, Surviving Each Day More#148; (InterVarsity Press, 2002) from your local library. If you#146;drather have your own copy, visit www.homebodies.org/bookstore/orderSAHH.htm or write Cheryl@homebodies.org . You can also read her column on the Web by clicking here . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconA Process To Deal With War/Terrorism Jitters How We and Our Nation Can Learn To Cope with the Worries Over The War With Iraq By Dr. J. Mitchell Perry, Business Psychologist and Human Performance Expert We are being bombarded daily with war news in Iraq.The news is unsettling and unnerving and is taking a toll with the serenity ofAmericans at home. We are becoming more worried than usual, and some of us are having trouble coping with the stress.How can we cope with this threat to our well-being and life- as- we-know it?Here are five tips: Accept the Reality That War/Terrorism Happens Recognize that war is a constant and that war will always be with us. About a dozen wars are ongoing in the world at any given time. Understand that terrorism and war rocks our perception of stability, but, in essence, stability is merely a perception. Remember that you will always feel better when you accept circumstances as they are rather than agonizing about how things should be. Control Over- Compensating Behavior By overeating, over-drinking, gambling, incurring credit card debt, chronic lying, overworking, etc., we are living our lives out of control. Start by identifying the out of balance indicators. Next start to solve aberrant behaviors to get our life back in order. Take some proactive steps toward more control and responsibility over what you can control. Lose the weight, exercise, get your financial house in order, increase your effort to live up to your basic governing standards, manage your time better....in short take more command over your life. When you do, you will find the severity of concerns/worries about the war with Iraq will lessen once you have better control over your own personal and business life. Look At the Threat Realistically By accepting the reality of war, we can focus on a solution on how to deal with it. When we focus on a solution, we will go beyond merely describing the problem and provide ourselves with mental and emotional tools. Problem describing can be a chronic habit and lead to more worries, increased perception of helplessness and powerlessness. So spend more of your time focusing on problem solution. Your power will increase and so will your ability to cope with the reality of war. Keep the "Worry" In Context with the Rest of Our Lives Change your behavior to protect against the perception of disaster. Preparefor and be ready to accept a new reality. Since September 11, the world has changed and so have our ways of dealing with national security. We now face the task of coming to terms with the daily threat of terrorism. Remember that other countries have been dealing with this for years (like Israel and South Africa). When you catastrophize, you get weaker. When you concentrate on what you can do, you get stronger. Focus On Connection With Others Around You Spend more time making contact with people your care about. Strengthen those relationships that need time and attention. Do the maintenance on yourself and those important people in your lives. Make your relationships closer and you will feel stronger and less alone. Get out of worrying alone and spend more time with others. In that way you will feel less hostage to the latest news release promoting fear. The reality is that we have more control than we think over what develops in our lives. Sometimes events outside our control can be a threat to our perception of control. However, our journey can be smoother once we strengthen our lives with more balance. Our goal is to increase our personal power and decrease being hostage to fear. The above ideas can aid significantly in that goal. Dr. J. Mitchell Perry is a business psychologist, author and human performance expert. He is based in Ventura, California and his website is www.jmperry.com . Email: drjmperry@jmperry.com Phone: 800 JMPERRY. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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