Month: February 2008

Why Some People Hurt Others – Blame It On The Pain

When someone does something to you to intentionally hurt you, it can make it much worse than if they were to do the same thing accidentally.  When speaking of mental wounds, part of the reason for this is that you feel like there must have been something about you that made them want to hurt you.

That is almost never, quite possibly actually never, the real cause.  The real cause is nearly certain to be the internal pain that they feel from something in their own life… it could be something from early childhood, or it could be something from earlier today, but the desire to inflict pain on someone almost always originates from your own pain.

Think back to the last time you did something to intentionally hurt someone, even if it was very small.  What were you feeling at the time?  It wasn’t sweet, sugary feelings of happiness and love, was it?

You may not have thought directly of pain… you may have been angry, or jealous, or some similar emotion.  Those feelings only come from pain, however… you don’t get angry, for instance, without feeling that someone has done something wrong to you.

The same is true of others… no one truly does things just because they enjoy inflicting pain.  Even if it seems that way to them,  THAT feeling in turn is caused by some pain from their past.

That doesn’t mean that their actions are justified, by any means… it’s still wrong to hurt someone intentionally, regardless of how badly you’ve been hurt in the past.  Your own pain isn’t a valid excuse for inflicting pain on others.

On the other hand, once you realize that the harm comes from the pain of another, it does make it far easier to forgive them, and somewhat easier to not take hurt from the actions in the first place, even when they are intended to cause pain.  It takes away their power, because you realize that they are attacking from a place of weakness, not a place of strength.

And it’s amazing the amount of relief that you feel when you truly forgive someone… it takes a lot of energy to hold a grudge.

Try this, when you have a chance:  Think back to one of your hurts that you carry with you… it doesn’t have to be a big one, but it could be if you choose.  Now think about the person who caused that hurt, and picture them as having done it because they were lashing out from their own pain (a feeling the vast majority of us are familiar with).  Let yourself feel that feeling, the conscious knowledge that you are saying or doing something you don’t really mean because of your own hurt, and then understand that whatever they did came from a similar place, that they had just as hard a time controlling it.

It changes the way you feel about it a lot when you look at it that way, doesn’t it?

How To Stop Forgetting Names

This is a first for A Miracle A Day… a guest post.  This is one that I, personally, could use, and I hope that you find it useful as well.

Here it is, then, a guest post from Gaetano at

By far the best technique to impress when you are networking and building relationships with prospective clients or business partners is to remember their names. Can you remember the last time someone remembered your name how flattered you felt? When someone addresses you with your name, you feel that you are important.

Our name is something hard wired into our brain. This is quite natural. Our parents were the first to call us using our name and therefore it is something we react to subconsciously. When we hear our name we pay more attention to what is being said and there is a higher probability that we will act upon something when we are addressed by our name. Therefore, it is invaluable for you to remember peoples’ names if you want to draw and keep the attention of someone, be it a friend at a party or a potential client in a business meeting.

Also, since many people have trouble remembering names, if you manage to remember names using the below techniques you will manage to stand out from the rest of the crowd. You will also come across as a bright person and this definitely gives bonus points to your charm score.

The above was just a summary of the benefits of remembering names. I hope it was enough to convince you how important it is to remember names when networking and socialising. If you are like how I used to be and you keep on forgetting names, then I suggest you start following these tips. The following tips can help you remember more names and in doing so help you build stronger relationships both in your business and in your personal life.

  1. Make Sure You Get It Correct From The Beginning

    It happened once to me and I will make sure it will not happen again. I once was introduced to a person and I didn’t get the name right. I didn’t ask him to repeat his name since I was embarrassed. I hoped that his name will be mentioned in a conversation. But it didn’t happen. I still have the cell phone number saved with “Unknown name” as his name. I can still remember that this person was an English teacher.

    So pay attention when you get introduced. Make sure you get the name right as from the beginning so as to avoid embarrassing situations like the one I have described above.

  2. Call The Person By Their Name

    Once you get introduced address the person using his/her name. Do this for two reasons. First of all to make sure that you got the name right. If you got the name wrong you want the other person to politely correct you before you go ahead and memorise the name.

    The second reason is because such a technique will help you to associate the name with the person and his/her characteristics like face, voice and general character. Such association will help you remember the name more and will come handy if you meet that person another time.

    For instance, I find myself better at remembering voices rather than faces, especially where women are concerned. Women have a tendency to change hair style, making them look completely different. Even though years pass their voices remain the same. Hence I find myself remembering more names by associating a name with a voice.

    Finally, calling a person by his name makes the conversation more personal and enjoyable.

  3. Ask How To Spell It

    If someone has a rare name and you do not know how to pronounce it or spell it you could say something like “That’s an interesting name. How do you spell it?” This way you will get the information you need without sounding boring. I also understand that this technique highly depends on the situation in which you are socialising. If you are in a formal meeting you don’t want to ask how a name is spelt. But if you are socialising in an informal way, then it will be a good idea to ask how a name is spelt. No, such question is not intrusive but it shows interest. Once you know how to spell the name, try to spell the name in your mind by visualizing the spelling of the name. This process further helps you  memorize names.

  4. Associate The Name With A Characteristic Of The Person

    When you get introduced to a person try to ask for some details about the person like what s/he does, hobbies etc. The more information you know about a person the more you have to associate with the name. It is very hard to remember a name which is not put into context. By getting information about the person, you will associate the newly learned name with a context.

PS – I (Jason) still need a question to answer for tomorrow’s article, so if you have one, please send it in, either in the comments or via email – jasonivers at yahoo dot com.

9 Ways To Remind Your Wife You Love Her

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a day to show your significant other that you love them.  Marketers, of course, love this, throwing one thing after another that you can buy in order to show your love.

Many of the best ways to show your love, though, actually cost very little.  They are also not limited to Valentine’s Day… you can remind your significant other any day, in ways that mean more than money.

Being a husband, I think about how to remind my wife I love her from time to time.  I have, for your use, put together a list of nine different ways to do so… I may at some point try to come up with things that would work in reverse (how to remind your husband you love him), but I don’t naturally think that way, so it takes more effort, and therefore more time.

Some of these do cost, but not much (well, the cost of one depends on how long you’ve been together… if it’s been long enough, it could get pricey)… and most of them cost only time and attention.

How To Remind Your Wife You Love Her

  1. Give Her 1 Rose For Each Year You’ve Been Together

    This is what I’m doing for my wife tomorrow (yes, she’s a subscriber, but she doesn’t read the articles the day they come out, so I’m safe)… unless you’ve been together a very long time, it’s relatively inexpensive, and it has significance beyond simply buying her flowers.  You’re showing that you’ve been thinking about the relationship, and remembering the past, by taking the time to get one per year.

  2. Read To Her

    This won’t really work for all women… but my wife loves it (as do a few who are slightly jealous of her for it).  You could try it out yourself, or try to find out something else that provides an opportunity for being close while still building memories that appeals to your wife specifically.

  3. Frame (Or Re-Frame) An Older Photo

    This works best if you can find a photo of something significant in your relationship… a wedding picture, the day you proposed, or some other time that has a special place in both of your memories.  It doesn’t have to be that, though… anything that features you together will work.

  4. Call Off Work

    This is another option that has a cost, although for most it doesn’t have a direct monetary cost… and taking an entire day off work shows your wife a little bit of how much you value her, much more so than buying her chocolates or even a necklace.  It lets her know that she is more important to you than anything else, enough so that you took a day away from everything else just to spend it with her.

    Of course, if your wife works, too, this would have to be something you plan together… it wouldn’t do much good for you to do it and then have her gone all day while she’s working.

  5. REALLY Look At Her And Tell Her How Much You Love Her

    When you’re together long enough, you tend to grow accustomed to each other.  That leads you to stop really appreciating each other so much, so that you look past them, not really seeing them, and even when you have time together, you don’t make use of it… quantity time instead of quality time.

    If that’s the case for your relationship, taking the time to really see her and appreciate her can be very powerful… for both of you.  It can remind you of how much she truly means to you, and if you are really looking at her, and really present, and you tell her how much you love her, she will notice… and most likely appreciate it.

  6. Kiss Her In A Way That Shows Her What You Just Told Her

    Another thing that tends to fall away as you’ve been together longer is those kisses where the rest of the world fades away, and all that is left is the two of you in one unending moment.  Really looking at her, and being present, as mentioned above, provides a great opportunity to correct this mistake.

    It also adds another level, showing her how much you love her, in a way that words haven’t the ability to express.

  7. Intentionally Touch

    A lot of couples, especially ones where the wife needs reminding of the love they share, don’t touch nearly enough.  Touching intentionally brings intimacy, no matter what parts of you are touching.  It can be feet under the table, legs as you sit beside each other, or even lips while you kiss.

    Touching intentionally makes a really big difference in a relationship, and should be something that you make a conscious effort to keep up, not something that is saved for special occasions… it should be more that the occasion reminds you if you have let it slide.

  8. Hold Hands

    One of the best ways to intentionally touch is to hold hands.  Skin on skin contact has more impact than clothing on clothing (ie your legs touching), and your fingers are exceptionally sensitive… making the impact that much greater.  As long as you are both doing it because you want to, it tends to convert quantity time to quality time… bringing you closer together and reminding her that you love her.

  9. Skip A Movie And Do Something That Gives You Slow, Quiet Time Together

    I’ve written about this before (in fact, it’s my most popular article), but it bears repeating:  if you want your relationship to be strong, close, and in general live up to its potential, you really need to have slow time together.  Slow time is time when you are focusing only on each other, leaving the rest of the world behind.  It’s being together, and fully aware of each other and the fact that your significant other loves you enough to dedicate time to you alone.  It is, by definition, quality time… and of critical importance.

    Movies and other things that involve focusing on something else makes it much harder to have this kind of time… it’s hard to focus on the person you’re with when something else constantly requires your attention, too.  If you want good slow time, skip the movie on your next date.

Some of these ways are things that come naturally when a relationship is new, but that doesn’t make them less true or applicable… it just makes them take less conscious effort.  They are all focused on making you closer, reminding your wife that you love her by increasing your intimacy.

If you have a close, intimate relationship your wife will have no doubt that she is loved… that love will be present around her the vast majority of the time.  You will, essentially, be reminding her constantly, through action and not just words, of your love.

What better Valentine’s Day gift can you give?

8 Ways To Get Better Sleep

There is very little as important to your overall health as getting enough good sleep.  It affects your mental state, your emotional state, your physical health, and pretty much every other aspect of your life.

Note, however, that I didn’t just say enough sleep… I said enough good sleep.  Plenty of people get eight hours of sleep each night… some even get ten or more.  A lot of those same people, however, still wake up tired (and stressed!).

The difference between bad, indifferent, and good sleep is huge.  Normal, indifferent sleep is enough to get by, as long as you get plenty.  Bad sleep, on the other hand, can leave you more tired than when you started.

Good sleep can leave you feeling well rested, and just give you a positive feeling all around.  Better quality sleep also means that you need less overall sleep, meaning you can do great with less sleep… sometimes a lot less sleep!

So, on to the list:

  1. Have A Bed Time

    When you set a standard bed time, a time that you go to bed each night, your body starts to adjust, getting ready for bed when it knows that time is coming up.  You’ll start to get tired at the same time, you’ll fall asleep faster and easier, and your body can adjust all its rhythms to match, meaning it doesn’t have to waste time and energy, using them instead for deeper rest and better rejuvenation.

    Having a set time that you get up every day is also a good idea, though your body can generally handle different wake up times for set days (ie waking up later on the weekend).

  2. Have A Bed Routine

    It also helps to establish a routine for other things, setting up a routine that tells your subconscious and your body that it’s time to start shutting down and getting ready for sleep.  Your body and subconscious then work together to tell your conscious mind that it’s time to slow down by making you feel sleepy.

    That means that you are going to sleep in a natural sort of way, rather than trying to force yourself.  The result is that your body and mind shut down together, rather than fighting each other, making the whole process smoother and easier.

  3. Avoid Having Large Meals Near Bed Time

    When you have a large meal near bed time, it means that your body is going to be working on digesting that food while you sleep, keeping it from spending its resources on other things, like healing and rejuvenation.  It also may mean that other processes from the digestion disturb your sleep, like indigestion or even having to get up to go to the bathroom.

    A small snack, on the other hand, especially if it’s the right kind of snack, can actually aid your sleep and the healing that goes on during it.  One good example is a protein shake containing casein (a protein that comes from milk… not sure if it triggers lactose intolerance or not).  Casein is a protein that breaks down slowly, providing fuel for repairing muscles for much of your sleep.

  4. Avoid Going To Bed Long Before You Go To Sleep

    Another relatively common practice that causes inferior sleep is going to bed and doing something other than sleeping, such as reading or watching television.  When you do these things, you’re training your subconscious mind to recognize that place (bed) as a place where more input occurs, so that it needs to pay attention.  When you use it only for sleep you are telling your subconscious that bed is a place for rest and relaxation… so when you head there, that’s what it immediately starts implementing.

  5. Listen To Your Body

    Your body communicates with you all the time, every day… and you’ll sleep much better if you listen to it.  If you are itchy before bed, take care of it… the same goes for hunger, feeling dirty, or anything else.  When you take care of such things beforebed time, then they aren’t constantly taking part of your subconscious mind’s attention away from the important business that it generally takes care of during slumber.

  6. Get At Least Moderate Exercise Each Day

    You are set up so that it is intended that you get mentally tired and physically tired in proportion… when you work your mind all day without working your body, it throws you out of sync, meaning that one part of you is telling your subconscious that it’s time to rest while another part is communicating that it has plenty of energy, and is ready to do more work.  This imbalance causes your subconscious to try to find something in the middle, resulting in too much rest for part of you and not enough for another.

    Physical exercise, even when it is just moderate, balances out the equation for the growing proportion of the population that has a job that doesn’t require physical exertion.  More exertion brings more physical tiredness (and thus less imbalance), so generally the harder you work, the better you’ll feel and sleep.

  7. Get The Right Lighting

    Lighting plays a much larger role in your sleep than you might think… if you have the right amount of light (not too little or too much) it can tell your body, and your subconscious, that it is time to go to sleep.  This is especially true if you can find a light that can slowly dim, simulating sunset (here’s an example).

    The same holds true for waking up, as well… the right amount of light (which, as you may have guessed, is more than for going to sleep) can help you to wake up in a much better way.  Lights that simulate sunrise work even better… and most lights that do one (sunset or sunrise) do the other as well.

  8. Get Up When You Wake Up

    One final suggestion, from my own personal experience… I almost always feel better, more rested, and have a better outlook on the day when I roll out of bed as soon as I wake up.  When I lay there, even for a few moments, it makes it causes my body and subconscious to relax back into sleepy mode.  That conflicts with my mind’s need to get up and do whatever needs doing that day.

    The exception of course, is when you actively do something like, oh, I don’t know, snuggling your wife.

You can find all sorts of people who tell you that you need to get your eight hours of sleep, but most of them ignore the quality.  If you get good sleep, you may only need six hours… if you sleep poorly, you may still not feel rested after twelve hours.

The quality of your sleep is much more under your control than most people think… reclaim your rest starting today!


PS – It occurred to me this morning that I should make clear that I’ve never used the techniques from yesterday’s articles… they come from a summarization of many studies I’ve read, my own observations, and what I’ve noticed brings my wife and I closer together (or where the lack keeps us from being as close as we could be).  That doesn’t mean it’s a guess… just that I’ve never had occasion to do it.

How To Turn A Friendship Into Something More In 6 Steps

It happens to both men and women… someone you are interested in only looks at you as a friend.  For women, it tends to be the “just one of the guys” phenomenon, while men get the dreaded “You’re such a great friend” (dreaded because it implies that a friend is all that you are).

Sometimes it’s due to circumstances when you meet… maybe the other person is in a committed relationship (that has since ended), or has recently gone through trauma, and they simply aren’t looking for a potential romantic interest.  Other times it’s because you simply give off that “vibe”… you make the wrong sort of impression on them in the beginning.

The good news is that it doesn’t really matter why it is that you fall into the “friends” category.  The process to get out of it is the same, and it’s not all that physically or financially difficult.  Mentally and emotionally, on the other hand, can be quite a different story.

The first and foremost thing to remember is that you need to maintain an awareness of the other person’s unspoken reactions, both through body language and through things like the speed with which they speak… these things can be a map showing you where land mines lay under the surface, allowing you to avoid them.  They can also tell you when the other person truly isn’t interested, rather than simply not having thought of you that way before.

So, here goes… 6 steps to turn a friend (or even acquaintance) into a romantic partner:

  1. Be Around Them More

    This should be obvious enough to not even need saying, but it is the basic building block for the rest.  The more “active” time you spend around them, the more you will be in their thoughts, which provides you with a little subconscious “step up” from just the other people around them.

    “Active” time is time when you are doing something that causes interaction between the two of you… talking, working together, or anything else that makes them actively think about you.

  2. Ask Questions

    A great way to get someone to feel closer to you is to give them an opportunity to talk about themselves without directly asking them something they would consider “too personal”.  You can do this by asking questions… particularly if you are creative enough to ask them a non-standard question, ie “What’s the worst food you’ve ever eaten?” instead of “What do you do for a living?”.

    This gets them to open up and let you past the initial set of mental walls to the next set, generally reserved for people they connect with in some way.

    I have an entire article on creative questions, if you want more ideas.

  3. Do Things Together

    The next step after breaking the ice a little more is to actually get them to do things with you.  These don’t have to be major things, and they don’t need to be dates… anything you do together, where there is a lot of interaction between the two of you, helps build shared experiences, and helps to put you more in their thoughts.

    It’s even better when the things that you do together are unusual, whether because they are new to them or simply because they don’t happen that often (as in something that happens once a year or less)… that makes both the event and you stick out even more in their memories.

  4. Be Close Physically

    As humans, we subconsciously group people into categories, with a different “comfort zone” of physical closeness for each.  Strangers make us uncomfortable when they are even vaguely near us, while acquaintances can be somewhat closer, friends closer yet (including touching, depending on the closeness of the friendship), and romantic interests the closest of all.

    That being the case, if you keep to the “friend zone”, that is where the person is likely to subconsciously categorize you.  If, on the other hand, you make smallventures past that comfort zone when opportunities arise (preferably naturally… most people can recognize when you are trying to create them) , you force them to subconsciously re-evaluate that status.

    Small ventures is key here… they give you a chance to evaluate body language.  You need to be able to see if they are subconsciously welcoming the closer approach, or if they are rejecting it.  If they are welcoming it, you are well on your way, but if they reject it, it’s a sign that you need to pull back and be patient.

  5. Be Open Emotionally

    If you want to build a romantic relationship with someone, you will first have to expose some of your own inner self.  They can’t form a relationship with a blank wall… you have to provide them with some sense of who you are for them to be able to reach out to you.

    At the same time, you don’t want to be pushing your self on them… you want to make it available when they show interest.  Otherwise they may feel like they are unimportant to you, that you are simply looking for a place to have more attention on you, you, you.

  6. Small Romantic Gestures

    You also may need to make small romantic gestures from time to time, things that are culturally accepted as being things that “couples” do.  This could be something like buying small pieces of jewelry for a woman (an inexpensive necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings, for example), or making a meal for either… it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s not too large a gesture, but is still something that is generally accepted as something that a significant other would do.

    This, as long as you keep it from being overwhelming from either magnitude (too big a gesture) or frequency (doing it too often), helps to break you out of the “normal” friend mode, and bring you into consideration for something more.

All of these things work together, if you leave out any part of them, you are going to have a much harder time reaching the place you want to go.  Again, the awareness of their non-verbal reactions to your actions is essential… if you don’t pay attention, you won’t know what’s working and what is pushing them further away.

This advice is intended to help you get a chance to move out of the “friend” mold… a chance, not a certainty.  They may truly not be interested you in that way, no matter what… their response may permanently be “no”.  If that’s the case, no matter how much you love them, you need to accept it.

Good luck… if you follow this advice, and don’t rush, you should get as good an opportunity as is available to you.  Make the most of it!