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Life without limbs: Nick's story

He was born into the world with neither arms or legs. Throughout his childhood, Nick dealt not only with the typical challenges of school and adolescence such as bullying and self-esteem issues; but also struggled with depression and loneliness. He constantly questioned why he was different than all the other kids surrounding him; why he was the one born without arms and legs.

Nick is a fine example of someone who made lemonade out of lemons.

How to stay positive in a tough economy

Life for most people is a bad dream. Most people are constantly bombarded with people, money and health problems. There is a way to ease this pain and suffering. It is called meditation. Meditation will not magically solve all your problems. But it will give you a sense of inner peace and strength so you can deal effectively with the problems in your life. There are other things you can do to lift your spirits during this tough economy:

1. Get an attitude of gratitude: Gratitude is one of the fastest ways to become inspired and increase your happiness. Make giving thanks a regular practice in your life and watch your inspiration soar. Try making a gratitude list before bed, encouraging your family to name things they are grateful for at the dinner table, or taking a gratitude walk, where you notice things to be grateful for.

2. Give back: There has never been a more important time to give back than now. Donating your time, energy, ideas, unused items and/or money to others who are less fortunate gives you a valuable perspective on your own life and encourages a state of gratitude. You don’t need to make a monetary donation to contribute–volunteer your time and make giving back a regular practice. Even just taking the time to smile to a stranger can be a blessing to you both.

3. Experiment with affirmations: Affirmations are a powerful way to program your subconscious mind with positivity. They take very little time and are easy to do. To begin, write down five positive statements in the present tense. These statements are meant to be an antidote to negativity, so you want to make sure your affirmations make you smile and feel optimistic. Say your affirmations aloud three times per day and see how your attitude shifts.

4. Do a negative news fast: The media can bombard us with negative messaging and catastrophic thinking. Take a break for one week from all media and see the difference it makes in your life.

5. Stop complaining: During tough times it is easier than ever to complain, magnifying what you don’t want and creating more of it, because “misery loves company.” Instead, make the decision to be a positive light that shines brightly. Make a commitment to stop complaining and you’ll notice how your quality of life improves. Notice how much more goodness you attract to your own life.

6. Focus on what you want: What we focus on grows. In brain science terms, this phenomenon is due to your Reticular Activation System (RAS). This is the area of your brain that determines what is important. We are always collecting evidence to reinforce our beliefs and prove our story. So if we focus on what we don’t want, like the poor economy, our RAS will find evidence to support how poor the economy is. If however, you make a deliberate conscious decision to focus on what you want, you’ll put your RAS to work for the good of your life.

7. Surround yourself with positive people: Now is the time to be vigilant about the people you surround yourself with. Say goodbye to the “energy vampires” in your life and spend your time with positive, inspiring people. If you have a co-worker or family member that drains you, limit your interaction as much as possible and make a conscious effort to protect yourself from their negativity. Lead the conversation with questions and topics that evoke a positive conversation.

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