The Academy of Achievement – Get Inspired!

Mount Everest from Kalapatthar.Image via Wikipedia

Do you want to be inspired to make a difference in your own life and in the lives of others?  Do you want your children or grandchildren to find a mentor?

The Academy of Achievement is an amazing site for lifelong learners of all ages. Here, you can learn about people who took those steps needed to change the world in some awesome ways.

Many of these people beat great odds in their lives to become successful political leaders, business people, writers, athletes, entertainers, songwriters, movie directors, scientists, religious leaders . . .

Some grew up in poverty; others fought against racism and discrimination. Still others faced religious persecution, illnesses, disabilities.

This site includes profiles, biographies, and interviews of achievers and visionaries such as:

The Keys to Success section links to famous people who talk about the 7 factors leading to success in life.

The people inducted into the Academy of Achievement reached great heights. They changed their own lives, and the lives of others on our planet, for the better. Many of us have it in ourselves to do the same. We can reach for the stars by taking that first step, thinking outside the box, and breaking away from our fears to accomplish great things.

After all, if not in this lifetime, when?

Quote for the Day:

There is one elementary truth –

The ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans.
The moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that never otherwise would have occurred.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now. (Goethe)

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Self-Talk and Your Emotional Wellness

Bea talks to herself – a lot. Must be an age thing. Or could it be a trait of her astrological sign, Gemini, the twins? Since she’s like two people (yea, one of them is evil, just ask Mr. B.)  she’s allowed to converse with herself. (Or maybe she simply needs therapy. Whatever.)

How about you? Do you have an internal conversation going on all day? If so, are you always berating or picking on yourself for small mistakes? Is your emotional wellness suffering because negativity thrives in your mind?

What about at night, when you should be relaxing, and instead are going over all the bothersome stuff that went on during your day? 

For many of us, the bad stuff starts to gnaw at us at night, when we’re not filling up our time with activities and our body is trying to unwind.

This type of negative thinking only leads to:

  • Stress
  • Excess worry
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Fear

Is your internal self-talk negative or positive? It may sound weird, but you are what you think.

If you are constantly putting yourself down, and predicting that things are going to go badly, life will often reflect that negative outlook. On the other hand, clearing out these negative thoughts can make a big difference in how you view the world and how the world responds to you.

This has been Bea’s experience in the last couple of years. Change in attitude led to change in perception which then led to a happier set of twins.

Yep, believe it or not, Bea was born moody. Ask her friends, her hubby, her siblings – oh yea, they’ll tell you some stories about Ms. Gemini. One minute UP, one minute DOWN, she was like a walking mood ring.

Then  one day, she simply decided “I don’t want to live this way anymore.” (wow, really profound, eh?)

She learned how to change her attitude. She learned how to obtain a sense of serenity (Right on, Deepak Chopra).  But believe me, it wasn’t Instant Karma. It isn’t easy, and it’s still a work in progress. But what the heck, life’s a journey, isn’t it?  And Bea is working to make that journey a happier, more fulfilling one.

6 Things Bea does to Improve her Outlook:
• She reads motivational books and actually works to apply the principles described in these books.

• She’s learned how to re-wind that self-criticism tape that ran through her head and replace it with positive self-talk. (This takes practice!)

• She listens to inspirational/motivational CDs before bed – which help clear her mind of worrisome thoughts. Better sleep = Happier Bea.

• Every night, she makes a mental list of ten things she’s grateful for and thanks God for them.

• She compares her life to other people’s lives, and usually finds that her life is just peachy compared to some others she’s seen. (Watch the news if you really want an eye-opener! Crazy bad things are happening to people on the eleven o’clock news.)

• She chooses happiness. (Yea, after all those years of thinking she was just meant to be a cynical gloomy gus, she realized that she had been making a choice to be a crab ass – what a concept, Bea!)

Guess what?  People who say that “Life’s a B**** and then you die?”  They’re wrong.

Ain’t rich, ain’t young, ain’t no Victoria Secret model – but glad to be “Bea?”  Yep. And I’m willing to bet that if you really think about it, you’re glad to be YOU, too.

You can find audio programs at the Brain Sync website. 

This Success Conscious article talks about some action steps you can take to enhance positive thinking.

You can take Henrik Edberg’s “Positivity Challenge” here.

Christina’s site is called The Benefits of Positive Thinking, and she has a list of positive thinking books here.

Bea’s Quotes of the Day:

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become. (Buddha)

Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but by how we react to what happens; not by what life brings us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst . . . a spark that creates extraordinary results. (Author unknown)

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. (Abraham Lincoln)

Take Responsibility and Change Your Life!

Bea’s Pet Peeve:

Is it just me, or have we become a nation of whiners? Am I crazy, or is the U.S.A. filled with people who feel “entitled” to special treatment? People who don’t want to do the right thing, and always have an excuse for not doing the right thing?

Kwame Kilpatrick, thief extraordinaire (er, former Mayor) of the Motor City, won’t accept responsibility for paying back the Detroit taxpayers for his antics. (“I don’t have any money . . . my wife controls everything and won’t give me a dime!” *sob*. Gee, I wonder why?)

John Edwards lied during his PRESIDENTIAL campaign and wouldn’t ‘fess up to his  “love child”  until just before his former aide’s “tell all” memoir hit the bookstores (Well, gosh, I wonder why he finally admitted the truth?)

Spill drive-thru coffee on yourself?  Just sue McDonald’s; they should have warned you that the coffee was HOT.

Well, yes, your Honor, he did beat his child – but he was abused as a child, that’s his defense.
(Ever heard of therapy, idiot??)

Well, it’s not my fault that I quit school and never went back; my dad always told me how stupid I was.

He cut me off; I had to shoot him.  I guess I forgot my kids were in the car, watching me kill the guy.

Need I go on?

Bea wants people to quit whining and take responsibility for their lives.

So many of us hold onto past resentments, hurt, and anger, and then use that past as an excuse to avoid personal responsibility.

We cry about how bad our childhoods were, and that gives us a reason not to be successful as adults.

We cheat our children by not stepping up to the plate and teaching them how to be responsible people.

All U.S. citizens (and that includes our elected officials) should be required to take a “Take Responsibility for your own Actions” course before we turn 18 years old.
7 Ways to Lose the Victim Role:

  • If you do something wrong, at work or at home:  Apologize! Make things right.
  • Don’t blame someone or something else for a mistake you made.
  • Free yourself of the resentment and anger you hold toward your parents, your siblings, your teachers, your employer.
  • Don’t pass your issues onto your own kids. Learn from the past, let it go, and break the cycle so your kids don’t grow up to be whiners.
  • Remember: you always have a choice. Quit complaining and do something about a situation that makes you unhappy, angry, resentful, guilty, or sad.
  • Do the right thing. Choose to be ethical. Take the high road.
  • Be grateful. Take a minute to compare your life to someone else’s – you may be surprised by how great your life is!

Grow up.

Empower yourself.

Take charge of your life.

It’s the only one you’ve got. It’s up to you to make the most of it.

These people are entitled.

Henrik Edberg talks about the “benefits of a victim mentality,” and how to break out of the victim role here.

Got anything to add to my list? Heard about any goofy lawsuits lately? Agree with me? Disagree?

I welcome comments.

Why I Read "Choosing Voluntary Simplicity"

Would living a simpler life enhance your wellness?
 
If you find the idea of simplicity intriguing, check out Shirley’s blog here
 
I like this blog’s personal, yet informative format.
 
Shirley describes her blog as “about finding balance in your life, connecting with who you are, and creating a lifestyle where you wake up each morning eagerly anticipating the day ahead.”
 
Sounds like a great way to live!
 
Here are links to just a few of Shirley’s most popular posts:

If you like to cook and bake, check out her “Cooking and Baking from Scratch” and “My Family’s Favorite Recipes” categories.  I also enjoy her “Words of Inspiration” category – which has links to inspirational quotes and photos to go along with those quotes.

Check out Shirley’s simple lifestyle and let me know what you think.  What do you think are the pros and cons of living life this way?

Doing Good Deeds – Good for your Wellness!

Bea Boomer has declared February 14 – 20 as (drum roll, please) Doing Good Deeds Week. Why? Because it’s fun to do good things. It makes old Bea happy, and we all want Bea to be happy, don’t we?? (Yea, I should have posted this on Valentine’s Day – better late than never, I always say)

How to change the world, one click at a time:
 

  • At the Good Search site, you search the web, and the site donates a penny for each search to a non-profit organization of your choice. (For example, I did a search for the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, one of my favorite charities, because it helps people in my own backyard)
  • This is a cool one, if you want to improve your vocabulary. Every time you choose the correct definition of a word, this website donates 10 grains of rice to countries where people are suffering from hunger, such as Bangladesh, Nepal, and Cambodia, just to name a few.
  • Love dogs? If you answer a daily trivia question, the site will donate food to dogs in shelters. (You don’t even have to answer the question correctly!)
  • Love cats? Same as above; cats in shelters will be fed!
  • Just click to give free mammograms at the Breast Cancer site (save the Ta Ta’s for goodness sake!)
  • Very cool site – one stop for a variety of free to donate charities.

Being compassionate and kind to others can increase your own happiness.

Bea Boomer’s Quotes of the Day:

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile. (Mother Teresa)

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. (Dalai Lama)

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. (George Washington Carver)

And just because I like the 25-year old version of “We Are The World:” (sing it, people!)

Men, Take Charge of your Health!

According to the eBizarre website, women on average live seven years longer than men do.

Check out Ivman’s Blague here for photos of men living dangerously, adding credence to the above statement.

And seriously, guys, you know it’s true that women live longer. Why? Well, it’s a well known fact that women simply take better care of themselves!

Bea is a perfect example:

  • She goes to the doctor annually.
  • She gets all those required tests that someone of “her age” needs, and believe me, some of these are not so pleasant. (Ask her nicely, and she might show you the color photo of her nice, clean colon)
  • She gets her cholesterol and blood sugar tested yearly.
  • She gets her blood pressure checked.
  • She exercises regularly.

Mr. Boomer goes to the doctor, well, uh, hmm – ok, he last saw the doctor when he was born (almost 57 years ago!).

When he turned fifty, Bea gave him a magazine article to show him what medical tests were needed for a man his age.  He glanced at it, turned back to the television, and lit another cigarette. His main form of exercise, other than cutting the lawn, is using the clicker (his thumb is in great shape).

From what I’ve read, Mr. B. isn’t the only man who ignores his health. According to HAP, most men put off going to their doctor for regular exams, and simply don’t take their health seriously.

Consider these numbers, guys, provided by HAP: almost 30 million men have high blood pressure, 50 million men have high cholesterol, and 8 million men have diabetes.
These are conditions that can be controlled, by diet and exercise, or with prescriptions, if necessary.
 
Have you ever noticed that most of the people hanging out at those local Senior Centers, playing pickle ball, bingo, and all those other *fun* activities are women?
 
Many mall walkers are women, all on the prowl, trying to find a single man! Widows over 65 can’t get a date! All the men have gone to the great beyond. What a sad state of affairs.
 
But something can be done to reverse this trend. Men, take charge of your health! Don’t make your wife or significant other live out the “Golden Years” without you. Life without a husband to nag is, well, no kinda life at all. 
 
At HealthFinder.gov, check out this quick guide to improve your health.
 
A wide variety of men’s health info can be found here.
 
The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality provides a men’s health checklist.
 

“Come on, honey, let’s go find a place to make out.”

Photo by: Simon Howden
 
Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Money (*Gasp!) Can’t Buy Happiness!!

Whoa! All this time I’ve been fantasizing about winning the BIG LOTTERY so I can have a lot of dough.  And with that dough would come all great things.

Photo by Phil Thebault**

  • Travel to faraway lands (how far is it to OZ, by the way?  I want to go over that danged rainbow).
  • A vacation home in Bora Bora or some other tropical isle. 
  • Maids, butlers, chefs, oh my!
  • A private yacht,  luxury cruises, my own jet?
  • Private spa treatments, personal trainer, designer gowns.
  • Black tie invitations to parties given by (gasp!) the President of the United States!

Obviously, I’m talking about winning Very Big Bucks, folks.

Now wouldn’t that just be the Cat’s Pajamas! (What the hell? Was that ever actually an expression that people used?? Must have been before Bea Boomer’s time).

Well, according to this rich guy,  Karl Rabeder, money simply isn’t the key to happiness.  He actually claims: “Money is counterproductive – it prevents happiness to come.”

He’s giving it all away.  Can you imagine that?

Maybe we don’t need a fortune to be happy. Maybe we’re looking in the wrong places for the good life. Maybe it’s right here, right now, in front of our faces. (Of course, a couple hundred thousand in extra cash wouldn’t hurt . . . .)

What do ya think, readers? What makes you happy on the inside? 

By the way, Mr. Rabeder is raffling off his fancy villa in the Alps, if you’re looking for new digs.

**Image: Phil Thebault / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Prevention – A Mighty Good Health Magazine and Website

My dad was a health nut.

  • He took vitamin and nutritional supplements long before it was trendy.
  • He made me eat cereal that resembled twigs and tasted just as good (yum).
  • He bought me carob bars, which resembled Hershey’s chocolate but tasted nothing whatsoever like it.
  • He did isometric exercises using a weird stretchy contraption.

Prevention magazine was the bathroom literature of choice, and I’m betting that my dad collected a lot of his health and nutrition facts and tips from this magazine.

Just like I do today.

Prevention magazine, founded by J.I. Rodale, was first published in 1950. (Source: Wikipedia) Sixty years later, this healthy living magazine is still around! It’s the senior citizen of magazines! For a magazine in its golden years, it’s still looking pretty good!

Nowadays, Prevention is geared toward women. It’s filled with:

  • fitness tips
  • exercise plans,
  • recipes,
  • anti-aging tips (actually, I prefer the term “pro-aging”)
  • healthy weight information, and more.

The magazine is small, making it very portable for travel and such.  For a small magazine, though, it packs a mighty health punch.

And if yyou don’t want to subscribe, you can go to Prevention’s website, which is an easy-to-maneuver, fun site.

I like its Community section, which has expert blogs, discussions, polls, quizzes, and games. It also has “My Health Tracker,” where readers can keep a food and exercise diary, track weight loss, and much more.

My favorite section on the website is the Video link. The video topics include nutrition, health, fitness, age-defying beauty, weight loss. Each topic has a nice selection of videos.

For example, the nutrition link has 137 videos with such titles as:

  1. Eat Fiber
  2. Live Longer
  3. Foods that lower blood pressure
  4. Decoding label claims

 The videos are short and sweet, so Internet surfers won’t lose interest!

Another favorite section is the recipes link, which includes “What’s for Dinner?” and has 30 minute healthy recipes, great for busy families.

Finally, in honor of healthy heart month, check out the nutrition link and find “28 Days to a Healthier Heart” and a “Heart Smart Shopping List.”
No,  I’m not earning a commission from Prevention! I’m just a health and wellness nut, like my dad.

Thanks, Dad, for the legacy.

HIgh Cholesterol – Your Heart’s Enemy

I had high cholesterol levels when I was 23 years old. I was skinny as a rail, but inside, fat was globbing up my arteries. (Is globbing a word? Not sure).  My body produced cholesterol like it was going out of style. I inherited this tendency from my mom, along with her nose (aarrrgghh!) and eyes.

Of course, I also ate the worst foods in the world, never thinking about cholesterol or how it could lead to hardening of the arteries, which could lead to heart attacks . . . Hell, I was 23, what did I know? At that age, you’re gonna live forever! (On the plus side, I did exercise like a fiend; aerobics being the fitness class of choice.)

Even my mom’s heart health woes didn’t faze me.

She suffered from high cholesterol and high blood pressure, a dangerous combination.  In her sixties and seventies she suffered from heart attacks, angina, mini strokes . . . She had angioplasties and bypasses. She visited doctors way too often, and depended on a wide variety of prescription medications. Yikes.  Not a pleasant way to live.

It wasn’t until I got to the top of that proverbial hill, at age 40, that I really began to take my heart health seriously. Suddenly, middle age was staring me down, and I didn’t like the look on its face. When my doctor took a blood test and my cholesterol level was something like 270, I knew I had to make some lifestyle changes.

I started fighting against cholesterol.  I knew it wasn’t enough to simply exercise. I worked to eat a much healthier diet (you know, veggies, fruit, beans, whole grains, the whole kit and caboodle) and took natural cholesterol fighting supplements.
 
My dad was a BIG fan of garlic (I swear, he actually put in on his oatmeal) and claimed it cured high cholesterol and anything else that ailed you. He was pretty darn healthy, for an old guy. Of course, you could also smell him a mile away.

Taking my Dad’s sage advice, I tried so-called odor-free garlic supplements.  My hubby let me know, gently, of course, that they weren’t the best form of perfume. (What?? The labels lied??).
 
Lifestyle changes improved my sense of well-being. However, it wasn’t enough to make significant changes in my total cholesterol level. My doctor prescribed Lipitor®, a statin drug, and it brought my total cholesterol level down to around 177. There are pros and cons to taking statins, which you can find here.
 
Luckily, I haven’t suffered from any noticeable side effects. And for some people, taking charge of their heart health through diet and exercise may be enough to avoid prescription medications.
 
If you have high cholesterol levels, you may want to check out the 10 commandments of cholesterol control, compliments of Prevention magazine.
 
HAP provides a chart indicating what your Total, HDL, LDL and triglyceride numbers should be here.
 
Fats: The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Nothing against doctors, but I’d rather not spend a lot of time in my old age visiting them. I’m sure I’ll have better things to do, like creating a lot of trouble at the old folk’s home, making those caretakers chase me around to try and give me a shot or a pill.  Even if I have a walker, they’ll never catch up to me.

Has anyone read any informative heart health articles lately?  Do you know of any great heart health websites or blogs?  I’ve got to keep myself  “heart smart!”

Save Your Teeth, Save Your Heart?

Reasons why Bea Boomer hartes hates going to the dentist:

  • Ten cavities in my mouth before the age of 10 (I blame nickel candy bars, bazooka bubble gum and penny candy). Lots of visits to the dentist in the sixties – this was before “gentle dentistry,” mind you.
  • My childhood dentist had seriously bad breath. Nuff said. (Sorry Dr. Madigan. Do you believe I remember his name? Well, heck, I saw him often enough).
  • Hellish experience in my teens during a root canal procedure. (ROOT CANAL – for some reason, those words just don’t paint a pretty picture)
  • Those hygienists hated me – I’m sure of it. When I opened my mouth and they saw those un-flossed teeth, they made me pay (in blood) for all the extra work I gave ‘em. (and they’d keep yakking at me, then expect me to answer while they were scraping and spraying water on my teeth. What’s up with that?)

Well, it’s a wonder I have any teeth left. But I do, though some of them have been “crowned.” Now I brush with a “Braun Professional Care” toothbrush, (yea, yea, after every meal), floss religiously, and visit the dental office twice a year.

My teeth are getting old now, you know, and I want to AVOID dentures at all costs (My God, Poli-Grip ranks right up there with Depends of things to put off as long as I can in my Golden Years).

Another reason to keep ’em clean?  Because not only does this make my visit to the dentist, well, a little less unpleasant, but gum disease may be connected to heart disease! 

Other experts have studied the connection between tooth loss and heart disease.

While experts debate these connections between oral health and heart health, saying that more research needs to be done, I guess I’ll just go and brush my teeth. Dr. Halitosis, er, I mean Madigan, would be proud.

I got a good chuckle watching Sammy Cat getting her teeth cleaned:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeT6PpeYswc