Traits of a Real Winner

A champion’s mindset includes the belief that winning is inevitable, not a remote possibility

A champion’s mindset includes the belief that winning is inevitable, not a remote possibility

Every single winner holds a special collection of habits, tools, traits, and tips that helps him or her to become an actual winner. When immovable values and ethics, movable thoughts and ideas, and the ability to take action combine in an individual, no force in the world can stop him or her to achieve his or her goals, dreams, and aspirations. It is a unique assortment that stands winners apart from the ordinary lot.

Winners are the people who are never afraid of taking a first step in the process of goal accomplishment. They prefer to move ahead instead of looking over the past. They learn from their previous mistakes but never repent. They have enough motivation to take their chances and accept new challenges. They believe in learning from the past, making efforts in the present, and anticipating for the future.

People with unbending ethics, morals, and values are consistent and reliable. They do not easily accept failures and keep making effort. Their defeat urges them to try even harder so as to accomplish the apparent impossibilities. Their flexible ideas and thoughts enable them to be more adaptable and versatile. They are better able to understand others’ choices, preferences, commitments, and requirements. This particular ability helps them to maintain a positive attitude and eliminate negative perceptions.

Winners can handle any kind of situation by taking appropriate initiatives. They evaluate a situation, consider their goals, and determine the best line of action. Above all, they never back out and continue striving to accomplish their aims.

It is extremely important to find out the category of humans in which you appropriately fit. Once your particular category is decided, you will be able to know yourself better, determine your course of action, and pursue your ambitions.

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2014: It’s time for an Honest Self-Assessment

Celebrate and Welcome 2014

Celebrate and Welcome 2014

          With 2014 just around the corner, it’s time for an honest self-assessment: each one of us to reflect upon the year gone by. It is time to introspect upon our strengths, accomplishments, and experiences; as well as, our weaknesses, shortcomings, and challenges. It’s an opportunity to reevaluate our interests, aspirations, and purpose and take corrective action. It is time to understand the difference between urgent and important, to balance work and life, and to plan for the year ahead. It is time to define clear priorities, set goals, and take time bound actions. It is a time of hope, a time to make a new beginning with resolve and confidence to achieve our goals. It is an occasion to brace ourselves for the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. 2014 will be a year of change, and opportunities. Make best use of your time, talent and energy. 

I wish 2014 will be fulfilling, rewarding, and will bring peace, prosperity, and happiness to everyone.   

Happy New Year 2014!!

Contributed by Rakesh Malhotra, Founder of Five Global Values (www.fiveglobalvalues.com) and Author of “Adventures of Tornado Kid, Whirling Back Home Towards Timeless Values”.  Passionately determined to uncover the mystery of human behavior. His fascination with the influence of core values on human behavior stems from a career which has seen rise from an entry-level sales job to that of a seasoned CEO. Having worked, lived, or traveled to more than 40 countries, he has been able to study performance and human behavior across all cultures.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Be Socially Responsible to Change Your World

Compassion is one of the most important values that enable people to create a better environment.

Be Socially Responsible to Change Your World

Human morals and values serve as the driving agent in the act of giving the world a better shape. The importance of values in social responsibility or environmental sustainability cannot be undermined. Strong and deep-rooted values encourage people or organizations to come to the fore and be responsible enough to modify the world and make it a peaceful and prosperous place to live.

Compassion is one of the most important values that enable people to create a better environment. It motivates you to acknowledge others for who they are rather than focusing on minor differences. The feeling of mutual respect makes you human and distinguishes you from other species that exist on the earth. Organizations, while working on the principles of mutual respect, can formulate a newer, better, and more responsible society.

An easily ignored value that binds individuals or the entire society together is loyalty. It gives you enough strength to stand up against exploitation, injustice, and other evils present in your society. Above all, make sure to be honest to yourself. While being honest, people and organizations are able to accept their flaws, improve themselves, and consequently focus on improving their surroundings.

The most significant fact that should not be overlooked is that only a responsible citizen can create a responsible society. Execution of social responsibility is vital for every organization or individual in order to create an atmosphere which is supportive, generous, and where communal interests are preferred.

Examples of Individual Social Responsibility

Individual Social Responsibility enables an individual to introduce minor or major changes in his or her social environment. It makes a person more responsible in his or her actions that are believed to impact communities that may or may not be related to his or her immediate surroundings.

A significant contribution is made to social responsibility by the kind of choices and decisions that people make. Even their code of conduct, their way of treating others, and the products, services, and resources they prefer are related to the domain of social responsibility. Individual social responsibility is majorly about treating others in the same way as you want yourself to be treated. You are considered to be socially responsible if you consider yourself accountable for your particular actions and dealings. Your constant attempts to have a positive influence on your fellows and to improve your environment make you socially responsible as well as appreciable.

Contributed by Rakesh Malhotra, Founder of Five Global Values (www.fiveglobalvalues.com) and Author of “Adventures of Tornado Kid, Whirling Back Home Towards Timeless Values” .Passionately determined to uncover the mystery of human behavior. His fascination with the influence of core values on human behavior stems from a career which has seen rise from an entry-level sales job to that of a seasoned CEO. Having worked, lived, or traveled to more than 40 countries, he has been able to study performance and human behavior across all cultures.

 

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“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” – Mother Teresa

 

A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.

Peace signs and peace demonstrations. Peace in the heart, peace in the home. Peace of mind and peace of spirit. Peace, a state of harmony and calm that is characterized by a lack of violence, can be found in many shapes and forms.  The English word was derived more than 700 years ago from the Hebrew word “shalom,” which means safety, prosperity and friendship. Since that time, the word “peace” has been used to connote lack of war, goodwill among others and a calm internal state, among others.

Peace is a universal value, which, like love, compassion, integrity, respect and responsibility, can be found on every continent, every country, every state, city, town and neighborhood. Peace is diverse and knows no nationality, geography, culture or race. As a general rule, the more widespread peace is, the more unity, happiness and accord will exist among tribes, cultures, governments, families and friends.

Inner peace is a particularly prized state, since someone who experiences inner peace is better prepared to deal with personal and global challenges and discord, can enjoy true happiness regardless of what is going on around him or her, and experiences a genuine state of calm, joy and understanding.

In addition, there are a variety of peace prizes awarded to leaders in the peace community. The most remarkable of these are the Nobel Peace Prize, given annually by the Nobel committee to a person or persons who actively work for peace, and the International Gandhi Peace Prize, which was named after Mahatma Gandhi, the former leader of India, and is awarded to people and institutions that contribute to political, social and economic peace through their non-violent methods. Notably, these distinguished awards can be earned by anyone, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or nationality.

Likewise, the United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan conflict management group created by Congress “to prevent and mitigate international conflict without resorting to violence.” The center works to save lives and increase the government’s ability to manage conflicts. Peace is a powerful concept that pervades government institutions all the way down to individual lives.

In addition, the idea of peace has spread to schools (Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina), institutions (the Peace Corps), drinks (Peace Coffee), songs (“Imagine” by John Lennon) and more. There are even Twitter and Facebook groups dedicated exclusively to peace. While peace protestors wearing tie-dye t-shirts and waving peace signs were more prominent in the 1960s, symbols of peace continue to proliferate today, in homage to the idea that peace is important, no matter what the year, location or world circumstances.

Parents, caregivers, leaders and individuals who are seeking to create more peace can start with the concept of inner peace.

Ask yourself: How can I create more peace in my life? Where can I be more peaceful and less angry? How can I show others that I am committed to peace? What do I need to let go of or invite into my life? Examining your own life history is a great place to start identifying and spreading peace.

Then, you can share written and verbal stories and songs with children that espouse peace over violence, discuss current world events (both peaceful and violent ones) and their impact on others, and remind your children and family members of the value of peace in the world. When you see acts of  anger or violence, be willing to point them out and discuss them. Likewise, when you see acts of peace, be willing to celebrate them.

Further, you can get involved in peaceful activities in your community, whether it is a march for peace or a peaceful cause, a meditation group focused on cultivating inner peace or a nonprofit organization that helps victims of violence get back on their feet. There are a variety of small and large actions you can take to make your household, neighborhood, community and world at large a more peaceful place.

Unfortunately, acts of violence among children – shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado and Virginia Tech University, among others, as well as the fact that more than 13 million school kids will be bullied this year – sometimes seem to be more prominent than acts of peace. While these horrific incidents serve to spread an environment of mistrust, hatred and confusion, peace, love, compassion, integrity, respect and responsibility can counteract the weight of anger in the world. Applying a peaceful attitude and peaceful actions when dealing with children can help to foster more love and less hate in the world.

At first blush, peace might seem like more of an abstract concept than a tangible goal, but true peace, the kind that starts within, can spread like wildfire, changing ideas, lives and communities in the process.

Peaceful thoughts lead to peaceful words, which lead to peaceful actions. When you find peace in your mind, it’s easier to speak and communicate with peaceful intentions, leading to more peaceful interactions in your life.

Contributed by  Rakesh Malhotra, Founder of Five Global Values (www.fiveglobalvalues.com) and Author of “Adventures of Tornado Kid, Whirling Back Home towards Timeless Values”.  Passionately determined to uncover the mystery of human behavior, his fascination with the influence of core values on human behavior stems from a career which has seen rise from an entry-level sales job to that of a seasoned CEO. Having worked, lived, or traveled to more than 40 countries, he has been able to study performance and human behavior across all cultures.

 

 

 

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Formula for Success: Keep an Attitude of Gratitude

Staying Positive

Keep an attitude of gratitude; picture courtesy Joseph Clough website.

An attitude of gratitude is one of the most influential contributors to staying positive in life. It is the most powerful way to enhance success and happiness. Appreciating someone or something for positive qualities can have a tremendous impact on your daily life. By showing gratitude, you embrace positive elements of determination, enthusiasm, energy, and attentiveness.

Gratitude can help in developing your sense of self-respect and self-esteem. It motivates you to appreciate all the amazing facets of life and create a steady balance of peace, harmony, and happiness. Difficulties present opportunities to grow and develop as a person. You have potential to convert adversities to blessings by adopting a thankful behavior. Gratitude maintains and strengthens your relationship with God and other fellow beings.

Express your Gratitude

Some people are inherently more positive, hopeful, and optimistic than others. Even the most cynical and pessimistic people can develop a positive and satisfied attitude with constant practice. If you feel that someone has done something nice for you, you should never hesitate to instantly thank him/her. When you show the attitude of gratitude, you actually share your joy with people around you. It does not only make you feel good, but also gives a certain level of confidence to others.

Do not Take Things for Granted: You easily ignore a majority of positive things in your life only because you are used to them. You are able to realize their significance only when you lose them. Do not falter to appreciate something before it is too late.

Small Things Matter: Developing the attitude of gratitude requires you to observe little things. When you are able to appreciate minor blessings, you can achieve great levels of happiness and satisfaction. It is never too difficult to be thankful for a little smile, small gift, or minor compliment.

Find Good in All Circumstances: Circumstances are neither bad nor good. It is your response to those circumstances that determine their good or bad nature. If you have a positive approach, you can manage to obtain some benefit even from the most terrible situations.

Make Careful Comparisons: It is quite natural to compare yourself with others. While you compare yourself with those who are more affluent, you should also remember the people who are not as fortunate as you. You should make appropriate and encouraging comparisons as sentiments of jealousy can affect your contentment and self-esteem.

Life is already full of anxieties, tensions, and problems. A simple act of considering positive aspects of life can make a huge difference. You can have an entirely different perspective of your life only if you learn to count your blessings, notice minute joys, and acknowledge everything that you have. If you have an attitude of gratitude, you can treasure your life, family, profession, and relations.

Contributed by Rakesh Malhotra, Founder of Five Global Values (www.fiveglobalvalues.com) and Author of “Adventures of Tornado Kid, Whirling Back Home Towards Timeless Values” .Passionately determined to uncover the mystery of human behavior. His fascination with the influence of core values on human behavior stems from a career which has seen rise from an entry-level sales job to that of a seasoned CEO. Having worked, lived, or traveled to more than 40 countries, he has been able to study performance and human behavior across all cultures.

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Live Life on your Own Terms

A great majority of people share a common desire to live their lives to the fullest. While some people enjoy it as a reality, the others accept it as a mere illusion.

Utilizing time to make appropriate decisions is a vital condition to lead a more purposeful life. When people are unable to do so, they feel agony and pain. This suffering can only be prevented by making right decisions about critical subjects.

Must-Made Decisions: If you want to live your life on your own terms, you should learn to take decision and make choices. You need to have guts to make the most important decisions including what you want to study, where you want to reside, where you want to work, and how you want to earn money. Unless you know your true self, you cannot determine your desires and interests. Analyzing your inner self develops strong values and makes you self-confident. If you fail to make this analysis on time, you actually risk yourself being exposed to others’ beliefs and judgments. Therefore, it is essential to make such life-altering decisions to make the most of your life.

Discipline and Action Strategy: You cannot make right decisions without having a definite execution strategy. Effective decisions always need an action strategy that defines the process of making those decisions a reality. Besides execution strategy, you need to have discipline to increase your productivity. Discipline is a key ingredient to become a much better person as it keeps you moving ahead. No matter how effective action plan you have, you are not likely to achieve anything if you lack in discipline. Furthermore, knowing the purpose of your life can take you to great heights. It takes special efforts to get past others’ opinions and explore your own ambition.

 Be Your Own Hero: You do not always need to admire others for their positive qualities. You can also have an encouraging impact on your surroundings. To live your life to the fullest, you should be able to see a hero within your own self.

You should realize the fact that heroes are not afraid to try something new. They meet and beat all sorts of challenges. You should identify that your inadequate confidence in yourself may not let you live your life on your own terms. It is your lack of self-assurance that makes you please everyone by living up to their expectations.

The process of becoming your own hero begins when you are able to take responsibility of your life. Without losing the elements of your personality, you should mold yourself as your personal hero. You can be your own hero when you feel that you need to be protected, whether personally or professionally. As a hero, you will find enough bravery and courage inside you to change your thinking style as well as circumstances.

Contributed by  Rakesh Malhotra, Founder of Five Global Values (www.fiveglobalvalues.com) and Author of “Adventures of Tornado Kid, Whirling Back Home towards Timeless Values”.  Passionately determined to uncover the mystery of human behavior, his fascination with the influence of core values on human behavior stems from a career which has seen rise from an entry-level sales job to that of a seasoned CEO. Having worked, lived, or traveled to more than 40 countries, he has been able to study performance and human behavior across all cultures.

 

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Character is the foundation for self development

On Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary

Great work requires great and persistent effort for a long time

Character is the foundation for self development

According to Swami Vivekananda, character is the foundation for self development. Character formation requires traits such as purity, thirst for knowledge, hard work, perseverance, faith, humanity, submission and veneration.  I   read an interesting article in Times of India today and thought of sharing some Inspiring and timeless thoughts that can elevate you from success to significance.

1. Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, and live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.

2. Be a hero. Always say, “I have no fear.” Tell this to everyone — “Have no fear.”

Fear is death, fear is sin, fear is hell, fear is unrighteousness, fear is wrong life. All the negative thoughts and ideas that are in the world have proceeded from this evil spirit of fear. Face the brute, which is a lesson for all life—face the terrible, face it boldly. The hardships of life fall back when we cease to flee before them.

3. We must have friendship for all; we must be merciful toward those that are in misery; when people are happy, we ought to be happy; and to the wicked we must be indifferent. These attitudes will make the mind peaceful.

4. Fill the brain with the high thoughts, the highest ideals, place them day and night before you, and out of that will come great work. Who will give the world light? Sacrifice in the past has been the Law; it will be, alas, for ages to come. The earth’s bravest and best will have to sacrifice themselves for the good of many, for the welfare of all.

5. Truth, purity, and unselfishness – whenever these are present, there is no power below or above the sun to crush the possessor thereof. Equipped with these, one individual is able to face the whole universe in opposition.

6. Everything can be sacrificed for truth, but truth cannot be sacrificed for anything.

Strength is the sign of vigor, the sign of life, the sign of hope, the sign of health, and the sign of everything that is good. As long as the body lives, there must be strength in the body, strength in the mind, strength in the hand.

7. Great work requires great and persistent effort for a long time. Character has to be established through a thousand stumbles. As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different tendencies various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God.

8. So long as millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every person a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them.

9. We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.

10. Stand up, be bold, and be strong. Take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders, and know that you are the creator of your own destiny. All the strength and succor you want is within you. Therefore, make your own future.

11. Do not believe in a thing because you have read about it in a book. Do not believe in a thing because another man has said it was true. Do not believe in words because they are hallowed by tradition. Find out the truth for yourself. Reason it out. That is realization.

Source: Speaking Tree, Times of India http://timesofindia.speakingtree.in/spiritual-blogs/seekers/philosophy/swami-vivekanandas-sayings

Swami Vivekananda realized three things are necessary to make every man great, every nation great.
· Conviction of the powers of goodness.
· Absence of jealousy and suspicion.
· Helping all who are trying to be and do well.

Complete work of Swami Vivekananda can be found by clicking http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/vivekananda/complete_works.htm

Contributed by Rakesh Malhotra,  Founder of Five Global Values (www.fiveglobalvalues.com) and Author of “Adventures of Tornado Kid, Whirling Back Home Towards Timeless Values” .Passionately determined to uncover the mystery of human behavior. His fascination with the influence of core values on human behavior stems from a career which has seen rise from an entry-level sales job to that of a seasoned CEO. Having worked, lived, or traveled to more than 40 countries, he has been able to study performance and human behavior across all cultures.

 

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Only Resolution for 2013: Taking Action

With 2013 just around the corner, people all over the world are preparing to welcome it in their own respective ways. While some people believe that New Year’s Eve is the time to remember the past to determine their shortcomings, others think that it should be about looking forward to the upcoming year.

A great majority of people make New Year’s resolutions at the end of every single year. However, most resolutions are never accomplished. The fact that nobody appears to keep or accomplish his or her resolutions has significantly lessened their charm over the years. Making resolutions for the coming year can be a terrific idea, but it is only valuable as long as there is an effective execution plan. Without the ability to take action, any kind of resolution is almost unattainable.

Positive Aspects of Resolutions

Making a New Year resolution can be quite useful for the following reasons:

A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.

Everyone has certain aspects of life that he or she wishes to change….Take Action Now

Self-Assessment Opportunity: While making New Year’s resolutions, individuals get a perfect opportunity to evaluate their actual goals, aspirations, values, interests, and priorities. They get a better idea of what they want in life to make it more fulfilling and rewarding.

Chances of Improvement: Everyone has certain aspects of life that he or she wishes to change or improve. The creation of resolutions enables them to recognize such areas so as to experience transformation and growth. It actually lets you acknowledge your inherent power to change your life as per your interests.

Acknowledgment of Positives: While making resolutions, you may be able to realize the positive aspects of your life. Your self-esteem may get a significant boost when you are able to recognize your accomplishments and achievements. These resolutions give you some time to relish and rejoice the success that you may have made in the previous year.

Negative Aspects of Resolutions

In the absence of a convincing action plan, your New Year resolutions can prove to be pretty disastrous in any of the following ways:

Misaligned Goals: Your excessive efforts to force a change can occasionally backfire. The reason being you may be struggling to make a change that is not in your best interest. If your resolutions lack personally meaningful goals, then you have great chances of never accomplishing your resolutions. What matters the most is to identify the reasons for which you want to change yourself or your life.

Extreme Self-Criticism: Resolutions can often instill self-criticism and repentance in your personality. Individuals who stumble on the achievement of their resolutions not only criticize themselves, but also feel guilty or humiliated for their failed attempts. They usually visualize un-kept resolutions as failures which further urge them to not accomplish the aims.

Longer Time Frame: The resolutions you make at the starting of the year may not match your interests at later stages. With time, you are likely to change and develop new perceptions about life. With such changes, you may feel restricted by your resolutions. An active action strategy is the only thing that gives you enough strength to revise your resolutions according to your new interests and preferences.

Importance of Acting on Resolutions

If you do not formulate an effective action plan while making New Year’s resolutions, it is quite likely that you may never achieve your aims. A specific execution plan enables you to achieve your goals in a more efficient and better way. Your chances of getting successful in keeping your resolutions largely depend on how well-made, specific, and clear your action strategy is. Such plans make you better equipped to realize the clarity and quality of your goals.

The act of implementing your resolutions makes you more realistic and dynamic. You actually think about exclusive benefits that you can enjoy after completing every single step. It is the action strategy that makes you enjoy the process of goal accomplishment. It not only keeps you focused on the target, but also maintains your motivation level. When you are determined to take action on your resolutions, you may not lose your focus.

The most workable action plan motivates you to execute your resolutions one at a time. It gives you a realistic approach towards your target and makes you less likely to give up along the way. A passionate execution of goals gives you enough courage to not think about setbacks as utter failures.

While New Year’s resolutions can be encouraging and a means of promoting growth and self-advancement, their darker aspects can lead an individual to extreme levels of self-condemnation. However, if you are able to devise an effectual action strategy to realize your most important goals, then you can make the most of your resolution.

About Rakesh Malhotra

Rakesh Malhotra, founder of Five Global Values www.FiveGlobalValues.com), is a world-traveled, values-driven business leader who specializes in organization behavior. Rakesh’s fascination with the connection between human behavior and core values was sparked many years ago. As a result of working, living, and traveling around the world to nearly  40 countries, Rakesh realized that the Five Global Values determine overall  human behavior  across all cultures. He is also the author of Adventures of Tornado Kid: Whirling Back Home Towards Timeless Values.

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When hearts are broken

The National Association of School Psychologists offers some good suggestions on talking with your child when a tragedy such as this occurs:

 

Values are Important

Children should be taught to love and respect themselves

Make time to talk with your children. Remember, if you do not talk to your children about this incident, someone else will. Take some time and determine what you wish to say.

• Model calm and control.  Children take their emotional cues from the significant adults in their lives. Avoid appearing anxious or frightened.

• Reassure children that they are safe and (if true) so are the other important adults in their lives. Depending on the situation, point out factors that help insure their immediate safety and that of their community.

• Let children know that it is okay to feel upset.  Explain that all feelings are okay when a tragedy like this occurs.  Let children talk about their feelings and help put them into perspective.  Even anger is okay, but children may need help and patience from adults to assist them in expressing these feelings appropriately.

• Observe children’s emotional state.  Depending on their age, children may not express their concerns verbally. Changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns can also indicate a child’s level of grief, anxiety or discomfort.  Children will express their emotions differently. There is no right or wrong way to feel or express grief.

• Look for children at greater risk.  Children who have had a past traumatic experience or personal loss, suffer from depression or other mental illness, or with special needs may be at greater risk for severe reactions than others.  Be particularly observant for those who may be at risk of suicide.  Seek the help of mental health professional if you are at all concerned.

• Tell children the truth. Don’t try to pretend the event has not occurred or that it is not serious.  Children are smart.  They will be more worried if they think you are too afraid to tell them what is happening.

• Stick to the facts.  Don’t embellish or speculate about what has happened and what might happen. Don’t dwell on the scale or scope of the tragedy, particularly with young children.

• Monitor your own stress level.  Don’t ignore your own feelings of anxiety, grief, and anger. Talking to friends, family members, religious leaders, and mental health counselors can help. It is okay to let your children know that you are sad, but that you believe things will get better. You will be better able to support your children if you can express your own emotions in a productive manner. Get appropriate sleep, nutrition, and exercise.

Source:  Excerpt from the email from Dr. Eric Twadell, Superintendent, Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL

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Stay Healthy – Make fitness a priority

Today’s fast paced existence has led to stressful living and detrimental lifestyle choices. In light of this problem, the need to have the right foods and achieve overall wellness has become a major priority for many.

Unhealthy diets comprised of processed fast foods, sedentary lifestyles, and highly demanding professional lives have all contributed to the spike in lifestyle ailments like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and even depression. If we do not put a stop to this haphazard way of living, we are at risk of putting our future generations through the same cycle of bad choices and poor health.

Never before has the importance of wholesome nutrition and fitness been so evident as today. Countries like Denmark have gone to the extent of introducing a ‘fat tax’ on all foods with at least 2.3% of saturated fat, and the UK is mulling the idea of introducing the same system in the country.

Though several countries are now taking health and fitness very seriously, we as individuals must take the initiative to put our health and that of our family back on track and give our children a future that isn’t riddled with health problems. After all, the world recently welcomed its 7billionth humans on October 31st in the Philippines and India, and in light of this landmark, we’d do well to reflect on how we can ensure that our future generations do not suffer from health issues simply because we didn’t do enough to educate them about the importance of good health.

The Scenario

Burgeoning populations, dwindling resources, and rapid urbanization have all given rise to an uneven demand/supply equation. There are various pockets on the planet that are heavily populated, but have poor resources when it comes to sustainable agriculture and adequate healthcare. On the other side of the coin, the problem of plenty is plaguing countries like the US.

The emergence of the fast food industry, which was set up to cater to people who are on the go and have no time to cook, ensured that burgers, pizzas, hot dogs, and fried chicken became part of the standard ‘American fare’.

Since these foods have become everyday staples, many parents have brought up their children on a diet that’s anything but wholesome due to lack of awareness and time. Entire generations in the US have grown up eating fried, saturated, and sugary foods, and as a result, child obesity and juvenile diseases have become a huge cause for concern.

As of 2011, nearly 1/3rd of American children between the ages of 9 months and 2 years were either overweight or obese.

If unhealthy foods are to blame in this side of the world, it’s child malnutrition that’s claiming the lives of many in Asia and Africa. Places like India and Sub-Saharan Africa in particular have been plagued by this issue, where almost half of all child deaths have been traced to undernourishment. Apart from the unavailability of beneficial foods, factors like access to health and medical services also play a vital role in determining how well-nourished children in most societies are.

What We Can Do

Ill health, lifestyle diseases, decreased lifespans, and inactivity can all be combated if we make numerous well-meaning choices- both for ourselves and our children. Never before has nutrition been such a determining factor in the progress of our future generations.

If you have kids, talk to them about the importance of being well-nourished. Unhealthy foods can stunt growth, lead to many illnesses, and even affect a child’s ability to perform well in school. Communicate this to your kids in a simple way without scaring them so as to make them more aware about the importance of good food.

Young children don’t have the capacity to understand why some foods are ‘good’ and some foods are ‘bad’, so it is your job to tell them why this is so instead of merely telling them to ‘eat their veggies’.  Make your child habituated to healthy eating and abundant physical activity from the time he/she is a toddler so that he/she can grow up to love nature’s bounty instead of opting for fast food and a sedentary lifestyle.

On her part, First Lady Michelle Obama has kick started a movement to increase awareness about healthy eating and exercise with her ‘Let’s Move’ campaign, which focuses on educating parents about the importance of wholesome nutrition and promoting physical education and good food programs in schools. She has also done her bit to promote organic farming and urge people to avoid sugary and unhealthy foods and drinks.

Conclusion

If you are passionate about making the world a better place to live in, you need to start in your own backyard. If you long for a healthy, disease-free future for your family, take action today and resolve to buy only wholesome, natural foods from your grocery store.

Make fitness a priority for yourself and your loved ones- encourage your kids to go out and play instead of sitting at home and playing video games or watching TV for hours. Make exercise a fun activity instead of a dull chore for yourself and your spouse by changing your routine periodically and reminding yourselves that you are exercising to feel good, not just to maintain your weight!

If you are concerned about your children being averse to eating natural foods, be innovative with your cooking and explore some fun ways in which you can introduce vegetables, pulses, and grains on their plates by ‘camouflaging’ them with flavors they love.

Finally yet importantly, inculcate a love for nature and all its offerings in your children so that they can appreciate the value of every morsel on their plate, every gush of fresh air outside, and every ray of sunlight.

 

 

 

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